Good evening and happy Sunday! Last weekend was the first North East Men’s Knitting Retreat, and I cannot be more thrilled about how successful it was for a first retreat. The spring retreat is well established now and in its 11th year. In fact, the popularity of the spring retreat which sold out in a matter of minutes last year and the year before is what led to the creation of this additional retreat. How could it not be successful, right? Well, both Joe Wilcox and I had our concerns which he has written about on his blog. Also, since I am notoriously terrible at taking pictures at pretty much every fiber related event I go to (mostly because I am notoriously bad at taking pictures in general) I will once again direct you to Joe’s blog because he is absolutely amazing at it.
Most of my fears that the retreat wouldn’t be a success disappeared on Thursday as more and more guys arrived. In my opening remarks later that evening after dinner, I asked the guys who had been to any of the men’s knitting retreats before to remember what it was about their first time that made them want to come back again, and try to extend that to the many new guys who came. But by dinner time, it was clear that they were already doing that. The amazing spirit of brotherhood that I have always felt at the spring retreats was already starting to grow.
When we wrapped up our retreat on Sunday Joe and I got an opportunity to hear feedback from everyone about the retreat. Many of the guys who came to the retreat, especially those who had never been to a men’s knitting retreat before, told us how fantastic their experience was at this first fall retreat, and suggestions for future retreats were shared. Afterwards, when I went to get my car to begin packing up, I sat in the car and had a little cry. A good cry, really.
It was an incredible honor to be able to bring this retreat to reality, and I could not have done it without Joe’s help and guidance. He has been an excellent mentor for the past several years that I have been helping him with as the co-organizer of the spring retreat, and I was very glad to have him as my co-organizer for our first North East Men’s Fall Knitting Retreat.
Most of all, I am honored to have been able to spend the weekend with so many talented guys who took a chance on this new retreat and registered for it. Of all of the things that have contributed to the success of this retreat, it is the guys who come to it that have the biggest impact on its success and I cannot thank you enough.
Although the retreat has been over for a week, my excitement continues because I am already thinking about next year’s retreat.