Advise for Attending the Next SSK Knitting Retreat

(pic of dining hall)

Looks like Hogwarts Dining Hall

I am very late in posting about my experience at SSK, SuperSummerKnitTogether in Nashville, TN.  I’ve been in a retreat withdrawal, a post-retreat depression.  It could be the weather returned to its hot humid oppressive norm.  It could be just exhaustion.  Doesn’t matter.  I’m back working in the studio now.

Plenty of bloggers and podcasters (Must Stash, Fat Squirrel Speaks, Knit Theory, Yarn Raising, Yarns at Yin Hoo, to name just a few) have been sharing their experiences.  I don’t think I can add much more than what’s already been said.  Basically, along with everyone else, I had a wonderful time.

I thought I’d share what I’d do differently for next time….advice for the next retreat.

BEFORE the retreat:

  1. Get ahead of all your work.   Assume you will need time to recover, a few days to a week.  Assume you will have post-retreat withdrawals.  Meeting all those wonder people and coming home to an empty studio will be tough.  Maybe schedule time with local friends to easy into the transition.
  2.  Bring business cards with your Ravelry name.  And bring old address labels or print stickers with your name and Ravelry name for the door prize drawings.
  3. Participate in all the knit-a-longs (KALs) and contests posted in the SuperSummerKnittogether Ravelry forum before the retreat.  Use this as a motivator to knit all fiber and yarn you acquired at the last retreat.
  4. Must Stash Yarns

    Must Stash Yarns

    Bring more money than last year.  I don’t know about other retreats, the SSK marketplace had SO many wonderful vendors.  You ran out of money after only visiting three of them.  You thought you could keep to a tight budget and doubled it for “just in case.”  It wasn’t enough.  Double it again.  Just assume you will be going on a yarn diet for the rest of the year.

  5. Keep the SSK retreat dates clear.  Because SSK entry is on the lottery system.  You might not get in on the first round.  Plenty of people drop out over the seven months between application and event.  In fact, one gal managed to get in at the last-minute, 1 day before the retreat started.
  6. Bring your favorite finished knitting.  Be prepare with designer name and yarn source.  Why didn’t you bring any of your finished knitted garments?  Are you crazy?  People want to see what you’ve made.
  7. (pic of spindle class)

    Find the Spindle that Sings Class by Malia Jackson

    Take a class in something new, like the spindle class.  You’ll be surprised.  And you’ll meet a different set of new friends.

At the Retreat:

  1. Relax, enjoy all the fun.  Take breaks to get away for some quiet. Quit worrying about remembering everyone’s name. You’ll mess up anyway.
  2. Say ‘YES!’ to every crazy activity.  Don’t miss out on all the crazy fun stuff.  Like trying on every one of Amy Herzog’s sweaters.
  3. Don’t forget the camera for the opening ceremonies!  Take lots of pictures.  Take selfies with your new friends.  Silly girl.
  4. Wear something crazy on your head.  The improvised purple tulle fascinator worked well, so your friends could easily find you.  Take a few selfies.


Here are a few more pictures….

(pic: Marketplace wait)

The first third of the line waiting for the marketplace to open.

(pic: FiberOptic)

Marketplace Vendor: FiberOptic

(pic: Amy Herzog)

Amy Herzog & Fit to Flatter Class

(pic: tables of door prizes)

A few door prizes at the Closing Ceremony


Laura and Leslie, the KnitGirllls, officiating the closing ceremony with their lovely assistants



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