I've been retreating for two weekends. Isn't calling a weekend away a retreat sort of odd? It makes me think of running backwards and burrowing into a hole which is not what a knitting retreat is at all.
It's a weekend away with people who get you. It's joyful anticipation for weeks before, arriving to find your people all around you. You can talk knitting at breakfast, in class, at lunch, in class and at dinner. Eye's do not glaze over. No one says their grandmother used to knit (when she had nothing important to do). Everyone is free to compliment total strangers on their sweater, pet it and ask for more details, making new friends. You can stare at people because of course you're thinking your way through their sweater. This can be a little off-putting in the real world.
I guess what makes knitting retreats special is that they are not the real world where we usually operate. We are not fluffed off with "isn't that cute", "wish I could knit but of course I am way to busy to learn". We are with people who think that making something is important. Wearing what you have made with pride is important. Modifications, adjustments and adding something to the pattern is an exploration of your creativity. In fact creativity rules!!
I've had two wonderful weekends and am inspired to start a new sweater vest for the spring just because I can make it and wear it. And that's something special!