When was the last time you did something for yourself? No, picking up a pint of ice cream on the way home from work doesn’t count. I mean something really extra special. If you’re like me, it’s been longer than you can remember. The daily grind can settle you into a groove that can be tough to get out of, but I have a great way for you to treat yourself to an experience you’ll never forget.
You need to attend a knitting retreat!
Escaping your everyday life for a while to surround yourself with your favorite pastime is a one-of-a-kind experience every knitter should have. Whether it’s a day at an event like Yarn Fest or an all-inclusive retreat like Interweave Escapes, gathering with like-minded people has its benefits.
5 Reasons You Need to Attend a Knitting Retreat
1. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy you a seat in class, which is kind of the same thing. If you’ve never been to a knitting retreat, you’re really missing out on a fantastic learning atmosphere. When you enter class and choose your seat, you’re in for a wonderful few hours dedicated to exploring a new-to-you technique, learning the tricks of master knitters, working with tools you might not usually have access to, or finally understanding that stitch you just couldn’t get the hang of on your own. By the end of class, time will feel like it flew by, and you’ll leave with a sense of accomplishment, if not a finished project, too. Just imagine the joy you’ll feel when you’re back home, on your couch, working on that new-to-you technique, and remembering class. I bet you won’t be able to hold back a smile—that’s a little bit of happiness you bought for yourself!
2. When you raise your hand, an expert answers. There are no substitute teachers when it comes to the master knitters that lead classes at our knitting retreats. You can trust that someone who knows what he or she is doing will answer any question that pops up (unlike those days when the math teacher subbed in my accelerated level 4 French classes). I wish I knew how to knit in high school; those classes would have been much more productive. But I digress.
It really takes a special kind of knitter to stand before a group of other knitters and share their knowledge in a way that students respond to. I’ve yet to have a knitting instructor who wasn’t entertaining while educating. Whether it’s Maggie Casey with her gentle patience or Arne & Carlos with their side-splitting charades, each teacher brings something unique to their classes.
3. You love yarn. The other students love yarn. You’ll make instant friends. I can’t stress enough the unique camaraderie that develops at knitting retreats. It’s somewhat indescribable. You need to experience it to understand. Fellow students are welcoming, kind, and eager to invite you to their table if attending a retreat alone. At a recent Interweave Escape I attended, there was a pair of ladies chatting over dinner as if they were friends forever. I interrupted to ask how long they’d known each other. They’d just met that afternoon! I’ve also seen retreatmates jump to the aid of a student feeling challenged and discouraged to support her all the way through. Knitters are good people, and at a knitting retreat, good people surround you.
4. Cardigans have buttons for a reason, so eat up! Along with the constructive classes, entertaining instructors, and friendly students, retreats have fantastic food! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner made by accomplished chefs call for extra helpings, always. So pack a cardigan when you travel to a knitting retreat. You might need to loosen the buttons, ahem. The delicious offerings at knitting retreats aren’t the types of things you’re cooking on Tuesday at home. Say yes to the decadent dessert, get the full fat milk in your latte, and grab extra helpings of your favorite menu items. A retreat is an opportunity indulge, and you can always size up on the next project you knit if needed.
5. With all the knitting you’ll do, you deserve a spa treatment. I love when a knitting retreat location also happens to be a spa. You do a lot of knitting at a retreat; what a luxury it is to schedule yourself a massage after class. I’m pretty sure I knit better with a fresh manicure and facial, too. These are things I very rarely, if ever, treat myself to when I’m at home. Retreats give you the opportunity to do things you’ve never done before, including spa treatments.
If you’ve attended a knitting retreat, we’d love to hear the top reasons you tell your friends they need to go to one, too. Share in the comments below. Then, feel free to tell any friend who’s on the fence about booking a spot in a retreat about this post. Together, we’ll get more students hooked on knitting escapes!
Looking for a roommate? Contact Doreen Connors to be paired up with another knitter for a double rate: email@example.com or 516-498-7463.
Editorial Director and Knitting Retreat Attendee, Books
Posted April 27, 2018. Updated February 26, 2019.
Join friends you haven’t met yet, and get down with some serious knitting at one of our 2019 retreats!