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Everyone needs some time to re-fuel and crocheters are no exception. A crochet retreat with close friends or a large group of complete strangers can completely change your crocheting journey. Plan a successful crochet retreat using these easy tips. Whether you prefer a weekend getaway or just a few hours in your home, group fellowship and a little inspiration will feed your soul in so many ways.
Managing your life’s obligations and enjoying the hobby of crochet may not always be easy. There are ways to take a break from the daily grind and enjoy some time with hook and yarn nearby. Crocheting while at home, using tools and yarn that you already have, can be a simple and easy “solo” retreat in a safe and loving environment. Nurture your creative interests and expand your mind while learning new crochet stitches or techniques. You’ll feel great when you spend time alone on a challenging crochet project.
Looking for some group interaction? Here are four essential steps for planning a successful crochet (or any other crafting) retreat.
Define your Retreat Purpose
Is this a retreat for a couple of friends or for a group of 20-30 crafters? Will the retreat be limited to crocheting? This information is essential for understanding your space requirements and setting the stage for the other planning activities. A small group of close friends may enjoy crafting together in a private environment. A larger group retreat provides opportunities for a greater variety of interactions and new connections within the group. The shared experience of a retreat will create memories and connection points for long term friendships.
Set your Crochet Retreat’s Goals
What is the goal of the retreat? Some retreats are simply for the enjoyment of fellowship among crafters and sharing current work-in-progress items. Other retreats have a specific project purpose and employ a certified teacher to lead the project. Other retreat events focus on charity projects and seek to create a specific number of charity items within a few hours. There is no right answer. It’s your event and your goals. Ask a few trusted friends how they would like to see the event unfold. Participation in the planning will go far in bringing enthusiasm about the event.
Identify your Retreat Resources
Begin to figure out your budget and ways to stretch your dollars for the retreat. Will the participants be contributing time, money, space or other resources?
A key element to the planning process is to identify if anyone in the group can offer time to assist with the event. Some event planners prefer to do all of the heavy lifting projects alone, but there are certainly abundant opportunities for others to contribute to the event and to feel included in the planning process. Is there a scrapbooker in the group who would enjoy creating invitations? Is there someone who is highly organized and can set a planning schedule for the event? Julie at LovingChristMinistries has some excellent resource materials (and recipes) for retreat planning. Although her site is mostly about ministry retreats, the resources are excellent for any type of small group event.
We’ve all heard the quote “Money can’t buy happiness but it can buy craft supplies, and that’s pretty close”. I love when there is humor in the truth (and truth in the humor). As you plan your crochet retreat, consider if the participants should pay to attend, pay for project supplies, or just show up and bring the items that they will be using during the retreat. For project supplies and kits, I recommend Deramores for stunning yarn selections. If the retreat is centered around a charity project, consider using Facebook and other social media channels to spread the word and to encourage donations. Who knows, there may be a closet full of neglected yarn just waiting for the perfect opportunity!
Does anyone in your group or community have a cabin or vacation rental property that may be suitable for the retreat? Retreats can be budget friendly with a little advance planning. Consider local free facilities such as a library space (for a day event), church camp (with overnight accommodations), state parks, or even a timeshare rental. Some B&B venues are ideal for crafting retreats. Small inns offer private rooms and may have restaurant facilities on site for a true “getaway” experience.
Set your Retreat Schedule
As you begin to plan, you will quickly discover that there will be scheduling conflicts. Know this as you begin and choose a convenient date and time for most of the interested participants. Avoid major holiday weeks and weekends or times that are common for major family vacations or celebrations (spring break week, graduation ceremony, etc). Make it easy for your targeted participant group to say YES! to your retreat event. Be clear about the expected arrival and departure time. For a project class, ensure that the instructor receives a full event schedule, including the hours that she will teach or assist with one-on-one training. The schedule should also define any time that participants are expected to be gathered together, and when they will be on their own to craft or relax.
Keep in mind that most creative projects also reduce stress. Crocheting is a wonderful way to break from the daily routine, connect with others who have a similar interest, and make new friends.
What’s YOUR Crochet Retreat Experience?
Share below with your tips for planning a crochet retreat. Drop me a line with any planned upcoming events and I’ll add them to the directory of events (if you want me to).