A Stalwart of Men - MSKR 2021 - Five at Five Steve Hayes Greg Doug Kirk Franklin Chet (2)

A Stalwart of Men

Collective nouns for animals are always amusing. When it comes to a group of men, the best I’ve come up with is “a stalwart of men.”

Any Other Thoughts Better Than A Stalwart of Men?

Each year I have the immense privilege of helping to bring together  a stalwart of about 40 guys. Twice a year in fact.

These guys are amazing in so many ways. Talented, smart, creative, and enthusiastic. But mostly they are incredibly supportive.

Throughout my life and career, I have often found myself in front of groups of people. I had become very accustomed to having some of the people to who I was presenting be antagonistic in some way. They either had some agenda different than mine that they were trying to bring about. Or they were vying to be in my position and had some interest in making me look bad.

For any of you who have facilitated any kind of group, you get used this kind of unsupportive element. And find ways of incorporating these disrupters in as non-damaging a way as possible.

But for the last 14 years, I’ve been able to stand in front of 20 different stalwarts of men at the Men’s Knitting Retreats.

And be fully supported. Enthusiastically encouraged.

If you’ve never experienced this, you may not understand how exhilarating it is.

These guys are diverse in so many ways. Gay, straight and bisexual. Varying races, economic statuses, education levels. Beginners to most advanced in fiber arts. Introverts and extroverts (to the extreme on both sides).

And yet they have consistently been the same every year. Loving, supportive and engaged.

Two Events

I mention all this because of two events.

  1. The registration opened for this May’s Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat at Easton Mountain. 36 retreat spots opened up this past Saturday morning at 11:00 am Eastern U.S. time. they were sold out by 11:05.  I can’t wait to be among this stalwart of men in May.
  2. Easton Mountain Retreat center has asked me to address the “Virtual Great Room” tonight at 8:00 PM (also Eastern U.S./Canada time).

Easton Mountain Virtual Great Room Bio Pic

Or dial in at +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 849 9977 9081

Please feel free to join me and the other guys. It will be 15-20 minutes of me speaking about the amazing community of guys and the history of the Men’s Knitting Retreats, and then smaller “breakout” rooms where you can share your experiences of community.

I’d love to see you there.

Current Knitting

In all the excitement and work that happens after a whirlwind retreat registration, I haven’t knit a whole lot.

Roses Fingerless Mitts 01-12-22 02

Finished one pair and started another. Pathetic really.

But I will be excited to start making these beauties using some new yarn from Alpacatrax.

Alpacatrax Cormo-Alpaca Yarn 01-08-22 01

Love the natural color of this cormo/alpaca blend from the Hudson Valley, NY area.

Alpacatrax Cormo-Alpaca Yarn 01-08-22 02

It’s got a wonderfully sturdy feel to it and I think it will make fantastic mitts.

Alpacatrax Cormo-Alpaca Yarn on Cones 01-08-22 01

I wanted to try out cones of their yarn as well. Both Cormo/Alpaca blends…one is softer and fluffier and the other is more tightly plied.

Again, I’ll keep you posted on how they work out.


3 comments on “A Stalwart of Men

  1. I looked it up in the English Thesaurus. I think “Stalwart” was a great choice.

    aggregation, assemblage, association, band, batch, bevy, bunch, camp, category, circle, class, clique, clump, cluster, collection, company, congregation, coterie, crowd, faction, formation, gang, gathering, organization, pack, party, posse (slang) set, troop
    arrange, assemble, associate, assort, bracket, class, classify, dispose, gather, marshal, order, organize, put together, range, sort

    associate, band together, cluster, congregate, consort, fraternize, gather, get together

    1. ??!!! I thought it just meant reliable/strong. Thanks for this info! Of course I thought it was a good name for this group in particular even just based on that.

      1. Yes, Laura…I think you and I both misread Karen’s comment…I thought she was listing synonyms for stalwart, but I think she was listing synonyms for collective nouns. The definition of stalwart is “loyal, reliable, and hardworking.”

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