In January—the heart of winter—cabin fever often nips at the soul, bringing an urge to escape and undertake a new adventure. Kanuga’s Knitting & Quilting Retreat, held January 11-14, is the perfect cure. Kanuga’s serene winter vistas and cozy accommodations beckon with a retreat filled with creativity and friendship.
Creating the Perfect Retreat
The three-day retreat is a mix of class and project time, worship, and casual social time. It’s a carefully planned formula that conference coordinator Varian Brandon has refined throughout the years. “Every year, I check in with participants at the end of the conference and ask for ideas on how to make the conference better,” says Varian.
Her drive to build the perfect experience resulted in the addition of on-site massage therapists and picking projects that are energizing, but not too challenging.
A Place for All Skill Levels
The goal is to create an atmosphere that welcomes the beginner, yet entices the experienced knitter or quilter. “For the novice, they get to work surrounded by seasoned and experienced people,” says Varian. “They get the support and guidance they need.”
Experienced knitters and quilters come for the opportunity to socialize with friends and refine their techniques. “We provide the chance to try something new at our retreat, so that those who are experts can perfect their niche, expand their experience, or focus entirely on what they like,” says Varian.
While there is plenty of time to improve skills—there are multiple classes and eight instructors—the conference also gives an uplifting dose of fellowship. From morning communion to homilies that use knitting and quilting as spiritual metaphors, the retreat feeds both the soul and the creative spirit.
Creating Beautiful Friendships
Finished projects from previous years are always a conference highlight. However, Varian believes the resulting camaraderie is the greatest gift. “This conference is a little bit different, because it’s about the relationships between the people who come,” says Varian. “At Kanuga, we all know each other and can enjoy each other. It’s about the community and the time together.”
For the newcomer who isn’t yet a part of the group, Varian promises their newbie status won’t last long. “Come and enjoy our company. We are incredibly welcoming and inclusive. If you are looking to meet great friends while doing something you really love, this is it.”