Escape with Interweave For a Life-Changing Experience

A few months ago, I was invited to attend an Interweave Escapes event in Maupin, Oregon. I had never participated in one before, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I knew there would be a few knitting classes and special events planned, and that it was in partnership with the Imperial Stock Ranch. Beyond that, I had no way of knowing just how much it would affect me.

The trip began in Portland, where about 20 women and myself piled into the Brooklyn Tweed yarn company office. We met the whole staff, including the famed owner and designer, Jared Flood. And we got to peruse their warehouse full of yarn! It was a dream come true, basically. After a few hours at BT, with Voodoo Donuts in our bellies and fresh skeins in our hands, we hopped back onto the bus and made our way east.

The terrain began to change from lush and green to very dry and gray, a little smoky even. We would learn that weekend that the fires in the area have been especially bad this year, and the rainfall well below annual average, which heavily impacts ranching in the area. We would also learn a whole wealth of knowledge about the history of the Imperial Stock Ranch, which dates all the way back to 1871, and about the Carver family that has been running the ranch for the past 30 years.

The fearless leader of Interweave Escapes, Doreen Connors, and her good friend Jeanne Carver, the force behind Imperial Stock Ranch. Photo by Pascaline Barry Grooms.

The fearless leader of Interweave Escapes, Doreen Connors, and her good friend Jeanne Carver, the force behind Imperial Stock Ranch. Photo by Pascaline Barry Grooms.

In addition to a huge history lesson and education about sustainable ranching and textile development, we took classes with knitting guru and teacher Vicki Twigg. She taught us her famed Twigg Stitch, which is a ton of fun to do. We knitted away awkwardly as we all got used to this new stitch; some picked it up quickly and for others it took a little longer. But while we learned together, we chatted about all sorts of other things besides our knitting, and learned a lot about each other.

Not only was this retreat a chance to get away for the weekend, it was an opportunity to connect with the women around me, who also exist in this quirky knitting community of ours. I spent time with women in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s, and felt like I was surrounded by family. I learned about their lives, their hardships, what they like to knit, and so much more. By the end of the trip, I felt so connected to all of them, and I wished we could all stay longer.

Some moments captured during the trip. We celebrated a birthday, learned the Twigg Stitch, enjoyed the outdoor air, wore our cowgirl hats, and visited the Imperial Stock Ranch. All photos by Pascaline Barry Grooms.

Some moments captured during the trip. We celebrated a birthday, learned the Twigg Stitch, enjoyed the outdoor air, wore our cowgirl hats, and visited the Imperial Stock Ranch. All photos by Pascaline Barry Grooms.

By the end of this trip I felt like I had a met 20 new sisters, mothers, grandmothers, and even a couple new dads or uncles. Though the focus of this retreat was knitting, I never knew just how much I’d connect with these lovely people, and it very quickly became about much more: community.

We have six Interweave Escapes planned for 2019:

April 10–14, 2019
Leavenworth, Washington
Instructor: Lorilee Beltman

April 25–28, 2019
Lake Tahoe, California
Instructor: Romi Hill

May 3–6, 2019
Camden, Maine
Instructor: Laura Nelkin

May 16–19, 2019
Imperial River Company, Oregon
Instructors: Lis Smith and Jamie McCarthy

November 7-10, 2019
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Save the Date – Available Soon

December 5-8, 2019
Christmas by the Sea – Camden, Maine
Save the Date – Available Soon

If you’re looking to connect with others in this awesome knitting community of ours, I highly encourage you to consider going on an Interweave Escapes trip. It is a truly priceless experience.

Happy escaping,
Hannah

(Featured Image: Photo by Pascaline Barry Grooms)


Escape with Interweave in 2019!