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Dear everyone,

Here we go: a glimpse of the good fun at the MDK Knitting Getaway at Shakerag Workshops last week.

For those just joining us, Shakerag Workshops hosts a gathering of knitters about 90 miles southeast of Nashville, on the campus of St. Andrews-Sewanee School.

Workshops happened each day. Our teachers this year were the Fabulous Four: Sunne Meyer, Angela Tong, Jen Geigley, and Nell Ziroli.

Knitters arrived from all over the country, and they all tested and retested and masked and took extraordinary care the whole time. We were all in it together, and it felt amazing.

Dorm sweet dorm was home for all, where winsome small vases of flowers made it pretty.

Everybody brought bags, totes, suitcases, steamer trunks, and entire vehicles stacked with the projects they were going to work on.

Each night there was a gathering. Cecilia Nelson-Hurt keynoted the heck out of Thursday night and gave us a message of inclusivity and love.

There was always dessert, here a chocolate tart that morphed into a mousse. Our chef, Caroline, didn’t miss a beat.

A spontaneous reading from The Elements of Style happened. (Good job, Mary Beth!)

An auditorium full of knitters sorted into 14 teams for Trivia Night, no problem. Even the 6s and 9s worked it out.

Trivia Night’s triumphant winners kept it humble.

Cecilia: “They ate all the bread pudding.”


Endless conversation, comparing of notes, chitchat, gibblegabble, and solving of the world’s problems.

Merissa and Margaret, core members of the Shakerag Workshops team, were the epitome of grace under pressure.

Yeah, here’s that bread pudding. Bread pudding, we hardly knew ye!

Angela Tong’s rug-making class spawned a world of baby rugs. Or, as some called them, “trivets.”

Sublime weather meant knitters headed outdoors, all over the campus, little clumps of folks happy together.

Sunne Meyer’s stitching workshop had everybody dreaming Alabama Chanin dreams.

Beads and backstitch wow.

Jen Geigley’s colorwork class birthed all sorts of beautifulness.

Nell’s entrelac class instigated a lot of Giant Lightbulb Moments—her intro to this technique was universally declared “really great.”

The fashion show Friday night included a stupendous array of beautiful knitting. Jan’s temperature blanket includes the phases of the moon.

Pennie’s log cabin blanket is all natural plant dyes, all dyed and knitted by her. Heart eyeball emoji.

As ever, our fearless leader was Claire Reishman, founder and head of Shakerag Workshops, who pretty much embodied “Climb Every Mountain” at every step of the way. She inspired us all, from her leadership to her bicycling across campus to her willingness to hop up on a table when the moment called for it.

The iced lemon poppyseed cookies seemed bigger than ever. (We found Chef Sarah Gunn’s recipe in the vault here.)

Swimming in the Res was epic, with a lot of heroic jumping off the big rock and general lazing around.

And at the end, a campfire on a clear night.

I keep thinking about all the conversations we had, the little moments where it felt so normal, so good to be together. Everybody was so generous. There was so much gratitude in the air, to the folks at Shakerag for the tremendous work required to pull off a gathering like this. I’m feeling very tender about it all, so much fun.

Kay, we all missed you desperately!




  • It was the best of times during the worst of times. Fabulous job, Team Shakerag and MDK, for pulling it off so seamlessly!!

  • I’m going to Shakerag on Sunday for stitching with Susan Brandeis
    So excited to experience this bit of heaven.
    One of these years I’ll make the lottery and be picked for Knitting Getaway.

    • I’m so excited for you, Roni! Can’t wait to hear about your Shakerag experience.

    • The weather was perfect; the classes fun; the sharing of ideas and projects great but the wonderful feeling of community including all is the best!

    • I am just finishing Susan Brandeis’ class here (I stayed over from the knitting getaway). You are in for a fabulous week!

  • Sigh..I love woodsy locations…the word “winsome”…chocolate souffles…bread pudding….the Idea of entrelac if not the actual git ‘er done of it…trivets…campfires…poppyseed lemon cookies…starting a blanket (or Mitered Crosses pillow). Maybe one day. Despite my verbosity in the Comments I would be the Quiet One. And love every minute of it. (And both Ann and Kay better be there.)

    • “Winsome” and “verbosity.” I would sit by you. My favorite words: insouciant, diaphanous, resilience, vivacious, any word but “thing” to describe a noun, and any word but “said” to describe a reply.

    • It was my first Shakerag, but hopefully, not my last. The warmth and joy of this gathering filled my soul and my tummy. (Shout out to Caroline and her kitchen wizards!) The days flew by; with all masked, tested and intrepid with optimism, sharing so much more than our projects. Loop by loop, we were knitted together.

      • Love, love, loved it, learned so much and met so many wonderful people!

  • It was a magical time. Loved every minute!

  • And to come away with project ideas to last a year. New tops, a knitted skirt from @NellKnits or @Yvonnegut then the Honeycomb scarf (FG21) with Freia yarn, Sunne’s dress embroidered only on the front, the Old Friend Pullover (FG20). And sooooo many more.

    • Such a wonderful retreat! I learned lots, met many, relaxed thoroughly. It was my first MDK outing and I sincerely hope it will not be my last! *sigh*

  • You forgot to mention the unbelievably fabulous weather! Thanks all for another great year!

  • I’m thinking we all need that lemon poppyseed cookie recipe…..

  • A reading from ‘The Elements of Style’ is definitely my kind of get together. I love it!

    • Must have been the librarian in me. It just took over!!

  • Missed this year. Feel sad for myself but happy for the ones who went.

  • Got home yesterday — took a detour north to visit my Mom. All that driving gave me plenty of time to reflect/relive the knitting get away. Friends, food, fiber. What a wonderful time. The world is a better place because of Shakerag. Thanks Claire! Thanks MDK! Thanks fellow knitters and teachers!!!!!!

  • One day … she wrote, dreaming.

  • Way back when a superhero and the woman who taught me to knit had Knitting Kamp just outside of Colorado Springs and for 3 days all of the attendees laughed and knit and camped and hiked and laughed some more. We had bunk beds and we could hear the mice skittering around at night. My friend has passed away but I will never forget how wonderful it felt to just have FUN and knit

  • I’m so, so, sorry I had to miss this one! These beautiful, perfect pictures make me homesick!

  • Looks like another epic Shakerag! So sorry I missed it this year but I hope to be back, able to climb the mountains!

  • It was a wonderful few days. So many lovely people and fabulous food and patterns to ponder. Hope to return another year. Thank you MDK

  • I wish I could find some knitters in cisco texas

  • Are the classes listed for session 1 the Knitting Getaway? A little confused on what the classes will be.

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