Real Men Do Knit!

What do you get when you put yards and yards of yarn and tons of knitting needles, spinning wheels and crochet hooks in a room with a bunch of men? The Second Annual Southeast Men’s Knitting Retreat….that what you get! This past November 8th, men from as far away as Denver Colorado and Ocala Florida and all points between gathered at Ashbury Hills Retreat in Cleveland, South Carolina to celebrate their common passion for knitting and fiber. With experience ranging from six months to sixty years, a casual, if slightly structured weekend, was filled with tons of time for knitting around the fire pit…battling the yellow jackets who were swarming for the remnants of last weekend’s apple butter festival…exchanging patterns, tips and techniques, showing off their latest finished projects, and discussing what would be made next.


Formal classes were offered in edging techniques, special bind offs, entrelac, and mosaic knitting. Spinners showed off their skills while others did some yarn bombing. (The big dinner bell outside the dining hall somehow acquired a special hand-knitted hat during the weekend…and several tree branches sported brightly colored wrappings!) Goodie bags, filled with Red Heart yarn, patterns and Susan Bates needles – were explored as special one-of-a-kind door prizes were distributed. And to top it all off, yarn stashes was exchanged…we all need more stash, after all!

Although they forgot the popcorn, a movie night was a fun way to sit and knit and enjoy a fun evening together after a visit to Wool Over Your Eyes, a recently opened shop in nearby Greenville, South Carolina…another great way to add to the stash. All in all, it was a very special weekend. Although men that knit are usually made to feel very welcome in most groups, there is something very nice about being surrounded by other guys who are like-minded. Don’t be fooled…there is still plenty of gossip and some “attitudes”, but it is different than being surround by a majority of women knitters. The bottom line is that Men or Women….we are all a community and this weekend underscored that for all the men attending. No doubt, the SEMKR ’12 was a success…thanks in great part to Rusty Boyd (smalltownknittingguy on Ravelry). Thank you Rusty for your great organizing skills.

Plans are already underway to meet again next year. The retreat center has been reserved for the weekend of October 24-27, 2013. So, if you are a man that knits, spins or crochets, save the date. And, alas, if you are not of the male gender…sorry, this one’s for the men!