We Have Huge News
Next summer, for the first time ever, Shakerag Workshops in Sewanee, Tennessee will kick off its traditional two weeks of arts programming with a long-weekend getaway just for knitters, hosted by us!
When Claire Reishman (the creative and organizational powerhouse behind Shakerag Workshops since its inception in 2005) approached us last year about teaching a workshop at Shakerag in 2018, we told her about our dream for a different kind of knitting event. That’s how this weekend got started.
(This is Claire. She hand-embellishes her Shakerag souvenir t-shirt every year. No repeats!)
The Shakerag Knitting Getaway (June 7-10, 2018) will be a true escape: a few beautiful days for knitters to gather at the St. Andrew’s-Sewanee campus to enjoy: good food, beautiful natural surroundings, knitting, and each other.
There will not be formal classes, or at least not the kind of classes you may be used to. Instead, we will knit and hang out; eat and drink; hike Shakerag Hollow; swim in pristine water; do yoga; dye cloth, yarn or fiber in an indigo vat; learn to crochet; have a session with an MDK-certified Knitting Doctor; and elevate our photo skills with a master of knitting photography.
Each participant will do all of these things, any of these things, or, perhaps, none of these things—exactly as we wish.
The constant will be: relaxation and knitting in the company of knitters. We’re planning on laughing a lot.
Please note: the schedule is still in formation, but it’s going to go something like this.
Arrive on Thursday evening in time for Happy Hour and a delicious supper in the dining hall.
On Friday and Saturday, all participants will have these options, with time to do them all if desired:
Learn to crochet with the San Francisco Bay Area’s granny-square wizard, Liz Kaplan.
Learn how to photograph your knits, and also work photo editing magic on your smartphone, from photographer Gale Zucker.
Solve your WIP conundrums with our knitting doc-in-a-box, Julia Farwell-Clay.
Dunk your favorite yarn, fiber, or clothing (or your hair; there’s always somebody who wants to dye their hair) in an indigo dye vat set up for us by master natural dyer Catherine Ellis (who will be teaching during Week 1 of Shakerag’s regular schedule, for those who want to extend their stay.)
- Hang out with some of the knitting world’s nicest teachers and designers, several of whom are coming at our invitation, just for fun and to hang out with you.
- Other delights currently being brewed. (We kinda think a knitting party needs to have raffles and/or door prizes. We’re right about this, yes?)
Morning activity options will include swimming, yoga, and hikes in the beautiful woods of the Cumberland Plateau.
The main afternoon option is a swim in the pristine lake that Shakeraggers call The Res. Swim out to the dock or knit on a rock; it’s up to you, and it’s heavenly.
(This is the Res. those two tiny people are shakeraggers, having the time of their lives.)
Each evening will begin with a Happy Hour, followed by one of the locally sourced dinners for which Shakerag Workshops is beloved.
(The Shakerag Dining Hall is like hogwarts but with homegrown tomatoes.)
Evening entertainment will be something where knitting is encouraged. (At this time, we cannot definitively rule out karaoke. Ann has a machine.)
It wouldn’t be a knitting getaway without a little shopping, right? We got this! Plans are in the works for a market featuring special Tennessee yarns, plus other tempting treats for your needles.
On Sunday morning, we’ll have one last delicious breakfast and say our goodbyes. Some of us will stay on for the first week of Shakerag Workshops. The rest of us will put our names on the list for the next Shakerag Knitting Getaway.
Why Are We Doing This?
In 2015, we attended Week 1 of Shakerag Workshops together. It was an incredible experience. We loved the class we took, but more than anything, we reveled in the time away from it all and the atmosphere of well-being and friendship. (We also bonded to Claire Reishman like a couple of wayward ducklings.)
(Everyone takes pictures of the coneflowers at Shakerag. It’s a rule.)
Time is the greatest luxury. We crave the liberty of time spent close to nature, freed from the logistics of daily life. For that one week at Shakerag, time slowed down. We were surrounded by friendly faces, in an ambiance that was both exciting and easy-going.
In short, it was a rare experience for which the word “bliss” actually seemed accurate.
At some point during the week, we asked Claire—who knits, mainly socks, in addition to everything else she does—WHY ISN’T THERE KNITTING AT SHAKERAG?
In 2018, by cracky, there will be knitting at Shakerag.
(Dorm sweet dorm. single occupancy is available, but double occupancy is how we roll.)
Details for the weekend (and for the two subsequent weeks of Shakerag programming) can be found here on the official Shakerag website. (Spoiler alert: we get to live in dorms!)
Participation in the Shakerag Knitting Getaway is limited to 85 people.
Registration is open today (even though the page says it opens on August 1, it’s open today).
Shakerag will notify registrants of their acceptance by August 20.
If we have more than 85 registrants before August 15, we will select 85 participants by lottery, and the remaining registrants will be placed on a waiting list. Only the registration fee ($50) is due at registration, and that fee will be refunded if a space in the class is not available.
What’s It Like At Shakerag?
We Can’t Wait
We hope to see you there, and make our virtual happy place a real place, if only for one long weekend.
Ann and Kay