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This year marked the 10th anniversary of  the Knitters retreat at Mount Saviour Monastery, a time set aside to retreat, reflect, renew.  It is a time to take a deep breath, to step away from the everyday busyness, having to be somewhere to do something, organize an event, answer the phone.  Cell phones seldom work at the monastery and without Wifi for online connection,  it helps everyone practice less use of those things that eat up too much of our time.  
 
As the name of the retreat implies, it is a time for knitters to come together. But what we do is more than share our knitting projects and skills.  We share a bit about ourselves, our beliefs, practices, traditions.  Those of us familiar with the monastery are able to show others around,  stopping to recommend some books for reading in the gift shop,  share what we have learned about the Rule of Benedict and the daily rhythm of praying the hours.  
 
There is time for fellowship, readings, silence, walks, watching the sheep, sharing recipes, workshops, star gazing, praying the hours with the monks and so much more. 
 
A lot of teaching goes on. This year some of the participants were able to see a demonstration of card weaving.   Others tried their hand at hand-spinning their own yarn.  The number of spinning wheels present each years seems to increase.  The oldest is my 100 + year old Great Wheel, 5 feet tall and 7 feet long.  
 
I taught a workshop on how to make coiled baskets using cord and yarn from the monastery gift shop.  Participants struggled with their baskets at first but once they got past the beginning, they were pleased with what they were making, something they will be able to use in practical ways. A new skilled learned.  
 
What did I come away with from this year’s retreat?  As a gardener I tend to think of things in gardening terms.  I see all the sharing as seeds being planted.  In my morning reading I was reminded that I am also a seed, to be gentle with myself as I grow, being as patient with myself as I was with others during the retreat. 
 
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