It was the best of times, it was the best of times.
We wondered: how would 100 knitters from 32 states—plus genuine Canadians—react to a weekend in Sewanee, Tennessee? We’d never had a retreat for MDK folks, ever. Would they like it? Would they enjoy the things we’d cooked up for them? Would they really understand that we’d be sleeping in authentic dorms? Was somebody going to short-sheet our beds?
Here we have Claire Reishman, the director of Shakerag Workshops at St. Andrew’s Sewanee School in Sewanee, Tennessee, since its inception 15 years ago. She created a small wonderland last weekend. With her is Margaret Woods, whose skill and good cheer were on display the entire time. Everybody fell in love with these two and their charming, quick-witted, resourceful staff.
Genuine dorm life. It was a massive throwback, and it was kind of great. Where else do you wander in from a full night of knitting to find a bunch more knitters in the lounge to knit with?
Home sweet home-away-from-home.
We made sure to have happy hour every night.
Yarn-winding during happy hour? Game on.
The dining hall.
The beets and carrots.
The Swag Squad filled 100 tote bags of luv. From left, that’s Nell Ziroli, all-around utility player; ecommerce manager Liz Olson; big-headed Ann; crochet wizard Liz Kaplan; and Kay Gardiner, knitter/yarnmonger. Once Liz Olson gets her fun lady glasses game going, we’ll induct her into the Coven of Fun Lady Glasses-Wearers.
Sangria and lamb chops after a really tough day.
A gaggle of Minnesotans.
Catherine Ellis’s dyeing workshop was a hot ticket, although there weren’t actually tickets at all and knitters just wandered in and out of whatever class they wanted.
Amazingly active knitters: early morning hikes, yoga with Robie Jackson, bike rides through Sewanee, swimming in the lake. Main complaint: “I haven’t really knitted much!”
The mural in the yoga room.
Claire Reishman was begged to share her collection of Shakerag t-shirts decorated with Alabama Chanin applique and embroidery. She has 15 of these, each more intricate than the next. Robie Jackson brought her Beyoncé to the modeling.
Dyeing class participants Chris, Shoshana, and Stephanie wore their work.
The fashion show was 40 strong. Blankets count as fashion in our book, just sayin.
The parade of finished Shakerag Tops and Shakerag Tops of the Future.
We set up a shop with yarns and books and all sorts of surprises.
Bread pudding. It’s all in the wrist.
A spontaneous Alabama Chanin tutorial broke out.
Flotation devices appeared out of nowhere for lake floats.
Saturday night Lazy Sunday Live: like Rocky Horror, only with kilts. KILTS!
Shakerag founder modeling Shakerag Top.
Dr. Fix-It Julia Farwell-Clay solved many, many problems.
Kelley Dew, the gamest possible Getawayer, summed it all up:
Remember that time a bunch of knitters took over @shakeragworkshops for the weekend? And we knit and knit, and stitched and giggled, and the food tried to kill us because it was so healthy and delicious and irresistible, and we drank from hand-thrown mugs, and the staff felt like old friends, and you immediately felt like you’d known all the campers forever, and the frogs were so loud, and the breeze was so nice, and there was whiskey bread pudding, and those cookies! And we learned to crochet, and improve our photos, and dye, and fix stuff, and we field tripped to @fiberfarm and @mooneysmarket, and we Rocky Horrored an old movie, and we bought yarn, and some more yarn, and we made #shakeragtops and those Field Guides! Wouldn’t you so love to do all that again?
Yes, Kelley, we would so love to do all that again.
Ann and Kay
PS Lots more photos from the weekend over at Instagram #MDKKnittingGetaway. If you have Knitting Getaway pix you’d like to share, please post them there!