The Makerie was such a special event for me, I think I’ve really needed to let the experience percolate a bit before writing about it.
When the organizer, Ali DeJohn, first invited me to teach, I was really excited about it. This would be my first Creative Retreat, and really the first time I would teach classes that spoke to all levels of knitters. I usually teach advanced classes on fit, shaping, design, so teaching “Embellishing” and “Open Knit Lab” was a step outside my comfort zone.
This was also the first time that I would leave both of my daughters for days at a time. I usually take one or both with me when I travel. Olive was still nursing, and Mazie was just not used to me not being there at night.
So, many, many emotions were running through my head in the time leading up to the event. Now that I’ve had some time to look back on it, it really was a lot! Letting go, especially of Olive (who’s still nursing,) was really hard. But I’m so glad that I did. I met wonderful people and had a great time getting to be me, Stefanie, not me, Mom, Wife, caregiver to anyone else.
I really haven’t given myself that freedom since Mazie was born, and I needed it. Even just for a weekend.
Without going into specifics, teaching beginning knitting / open knitting lab was a very moving experience. There were students who wanted to learn to knit or to refresh their skills for such meaningful reasons. One student to connect with her past, and one to connect with and to create a legacy for future members of her family. It really reinforced for me the profound impact that craft can have.
Knitting, and all crafts, really tie us to something larger. Not just to a larger community of people in the world today, but to tradition, history, and that “thing” inside us that compels us to create.
When we arrived at the Makerie, we were asked to pick up a pinecone, on which a word had been written (the photo at top.) Mine said, “Connect.” I think that my pinecone somehow knew what I needed for this weekend to be. A chance to get out and interact as an adult woman with other adults, to connect with other crafters and to help them connect as well.
Thank you to my students, to Ali, and to my family!
Here are a few photos from the weekend: