Escape to Santa Fe: What Kind of People Knit?

Back in November, I emerged from a weekend with my expectations dashed.  As business leader for Interweave, I thought that I had a general idea as to what an Interweave Escapes experience would be like: a great location, lots of yarn, and nice people knitting. Pretty much what you would expect for a knitting retreat, right?

Duh.  The weekend I spent in Santa Fe, New Mexico was SO much more than that.  Yes, the location was wondrous.  I love Santa Fe and we were just blocks from the Plaza with terrific food, great museums, world-class galleries – and we had plenty of opportunity to enjoy the local color.

The knitting experience was terrific.  What can you say about a morning class with Norah Gaughan (plaids!) and Amy Detjen (double-knitting!) other than “fantastico!”  This was my first time working with them both and I was hugely impressed with how well they managed the selected projects to help all attendees get a solid start with these techniques.  As teachers, they’re simply delightful.

What most surprised me most, however, were my fellow knitters.  I know that yarn brings nice people together.  These are activities that, at their heart, are about connecting in real and tactile way with the world – and creating great stuff out of that connection.  It’s an honor to be part of that.

But I was surprised by how the process that brings yarn people together also creates fertile ground for expansive and fascinating world-views.  During the course of my two days at the Escape, I found myself in thoughtful, lively (and often hilarious!) conversations about:

Libraries and their future role in our culture and their contribution to families
Yarn
Stunning locations for next year’s Escapes
Canadian single-malt whiskey and why it can’t be called Scotch
Plaid knitting
My kids
Double-knitting
Other people’s kids
Knitting and mindfulness
Jokes that work (and don’t work) with children
Teachers and projects for next year’s Escapes
The crazy-excellent elk tenderloin, salmon, duck, and chili rellenos!
Jokes that work with your doctor
The fabulous masseuse at the resort spa (mmm…MMMM!)
Making newcomers feel welcome at yarn retreats (all of which sure worked on me!)
How knitting, crochet, and weaving enhance learning for young people – and for older people, too!
More stunning locations for next year’s Escapes

I could go on and on…and on.

As part of Interweave, it was an honor to participate in delivering that kind of experience for our community.  As a knitter…I can’t wait to do another one!

—David Pyle