Knitting retreats

I live in hot Florida where I’m in need of a small group knitting get away to mountains, forests, or lake- where it’s cooler (knitting weather)! I’d prefer a trip on the East Coast… It’s probably too late to book a trip this year, but I’d even consider a snowy escape. Weekend or weeklong retreats for 2023?
I’ve tried searching with various keywords with limited results. How can I have a fruitful search? Suggestions, please! I’d be so grateful…

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Hmmm. I bet that if you started following some of the better-known designers and teachers’ newsletters, you could figure out where they teach classes. Starting in the MDK realm, I’d suggest Patty Lyons, Julia Farwell-Clay, Jillian Moreno, Nell Ziroli, Cecilia Compecharo (I know that’s misspelled but she’s a great teacher!), Kate Atherly off the top of my head are professionals who teach at retreats. I learn a lot about where they’ll be teaching from Instagram: Jillian co-led an Iceland knitting tour this month, for example. I would have LOVED that.
Squam is one of the retreats that comes to mind. Obviously MDK’s knitting getaway. Maybe Rhinebeck/NY Sheep & Wool? Not that that’s a retreat, but a resource at least.
Have fun!

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And don’t forget Franklin Habit!! He teaches a lot. That said, good for you Christine!!! I had heard about retreats for years but finally went on one this year and loved every minute of it. I think part of the thing about finding a retreat that works for you is finding your “tribe.” I am now part of an amazing knitting group. I love them all dearly but it took me a little while to find them. The first group I went to was very gossipy (which is not my scene at all) and also seemed to resent anyone who came who was a better knitter than they were. Honestly, they were happy with their group so I’m not dissing them. Just pointing out that they weren’t what I was looking for. There were a lot of nice people who I remain friends with. It just took a minute to find the spot where I fit in.

I think it’s the same for retreats. If you like the MDK world, you would likely really love Shakerag. It can be hard to get into because of the demand and the limitations of the space (especially this year - fingers crossed) but worth trying. Vogue Knitting is fun and has great classes but is far from the intimacy of a retreat but if you see one in a city you want to visit, go for it! You’ll meet people in the classes you take and they’ll lead you to other ones. Rhinebeck is not a retreat but it’s really fun. If you can book a flight and get a rental car I have a spare (cheapo!) hotel room nearby for Saturday night if you want it. Wool and Folk is happening on Friday which you might enjoy. It’s always a wonderful weekend and although at the festival itself, you probably won’t meet a lot of people, you’ll have fun anyway. At Wool and Folk, I bet you would meet a lot of folks. The area is beautiful - think Hallmark Movie set in autumn - and there’s lots of other things to see in the area. And the cheapo hotel room is right next to a good Mexican restaurant. Hmmm…maybe a Saturday night gathering a la South of the Border.

I have two friends who go to retreats regularly so I’ll ask them what their favorites are. I know one of them went to Meg Swansen’s Camp and still hasn’t gotten over it.

The last thing I can offer is if there is a place you would like to go, call the local yarn shops and ask them what happens near them. If you’re feeling all Jessica Fletcher and want to spend some time in the salty breeze on the cost of Maine, call the yarn shops in the coastal towns and ask them to give you the lowdown on local retreats. I’m sure they would be happy to share with you.

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Thanks, I didn’t think of following my favorite designers. Of course, what a good idea!

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Thank you for all the ideas, especially contacting yarn shops in places I’d like to visit. That’s an idea I didn’t think of, and I’ll definitely look into it.
Florida is NOT a big knitting/spinning state. The knitting groups are mainly charity knitters (hospital baby blankets, chemo caps). I’m selfish and want to knit for myself using my lovely hoard of yarn. Really, the tropical weather isn’t compatible with a lap full of WIP sweater knitting! But I moved here from the Pacific NW with a massive stash and two spinning wheels, so I carry on inside in the AC. I did join a couple of local knitting groups — they were insular and unwelcoming, something that I didn’t encounter in any groups I belonged to in the NW. Groups that form frequently dissolve quickly. My guess is that people prefer outdoor activities and hobbies rather that sitting and knitting.
I moved to Florida to be a caregiver for my aging parents eight years, with the last few years enormously stressful, with my father’s dementia increasing and Covid health considerations. My father passed away this year at 95, and I continue to care for my 92 year old mother.
Any trips I make necessitate careful planning and preparation for my mother’s care while I’m away. I considered Rhinebeck but decided that the trip would be too soon for me to adequately prepare for. And, Florida is still in hurricane season, so despite my yearning for autumn elsewhere, I’d have to stay around for another month or so.
That said, I realize that it’s best to look for retreats in the spring and early summer.
Thank you for your getaway ideas, I very much appreciate your reply!

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Shakerag, of course (sadly, I am wait-listed for 2023). I highly recommend the Iceland retreats that are offered by Hélène Magnússon. It looks like 2023 is completely booked.

It is not a retreat, but have you considered SAFF, the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair? It is Oct 21-23 in NC.

ETA: the Knitter’s Review still maintains a list of events. Check it out here.

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Off topic Christine, but I just looked at the weather channel. I hope you are in a safe area.

Thank you for your kind concern! I’m on the east coast of Florida (the Treasure Coast, south Florida). We’ll away from from Ian but mighty rainy. Knitting, books, and battery lantern at the ready.

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Thanks for the Knitters Review! I’ll keep checking for near-ish events.

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I’m also on the waitlist for Shakerag!

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KnittyGrittyYarnGirl is doing a retreat in the Berkshire mountains, MA. Her shop is in Niantic, CT and she has an online and FB presence. I think the retreat is this month.

Sold out, but I added knittygrittygirl to FB. I also added numerous e-newsletters to keep up to date! After Hurricane Ian, I’m staying close to home until the end of hurricane season December 1st…
I’m now looking at retreats in the summer…
I’m visiting a friend in Missouri in May, and her local knitting guild has classes and knit nights.

Sigh. I’m being patient but hopeful.

Not sure if this is your vibe, but having gone to Acadia last year, this seemed very Inviting!

(https://knitwitattheshores.com/)

Hope you find something that fits you?

Cheryl

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Totally my vibe, thanks for the suggestion! I’m thinking of attending the Maryland Sheep & Fiber Festival in May…

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