It has been a little over 2 weeks since I came home from our macramé retreat in the pretty little town called Ericeira in Portugal, just north of Lisbon. It was one of those weeks that created memories that will stay with me forever, and I am still sorting through my emotions after the intense week I spent together with 14 amazing women from around the world. But it is time I share a little bit more about what our week looked like (I’ll let the video and photos do most of the talking though)!
We arrived in Ericeira late on Saturday November 2nd and were welcomed by my amazing co-organizer Valeriya Gogunskaya. She is a master retreat organizer and she was the one who contacted me early this year to see if I was interested in making a dreamy macramé retreat a reality. She did all the on-site organizing such as finding a great place for all of us to stay (Amar Guest house), our beyond amazing chef Joana Limão, our yoga instructor Miguel, our photographer Daniel Espírito Santo, our surf instructors and our professional masseuse (and much more).
On Sunday morning we started out with our first morning yoga session and followed up with our first breakfast. Joana showed off her talents and absolutely blew our minds with homemade coconut yoghurt, granola, smoothie, bread and spreads and much, much more in her superhealthy breakfast buffet.
She definitely set the bar for the rest of the week sky high (spoiler: she delivered above and beyond)! Afterwards we kicked off our macramé week with a welcome circle where we got to know each other and everyone’s hopes and goals for the week. It was clear by the end of this hour that we had assembled very special group of women – all very different in personality and background, but everyone coming filled with positive energy, curiosity, vulnerability, and open hearts.
On that first day, I had planned for us to ease ourselves into the knotting, and of course teach the beginners the basics of macramé. I let the group start with one of the most classical macramé items - the plant hanger - showing a wide range of very different designs to inspire creativity.
Every day we had 3 hours of actual scheduled knotting, but it was apparent after those first 3 hours that everyone in the group were exactly like myself – once you start knotting, you don’t stop until you have either finished or someone else tells you it is time to go to bed. The rest of the week followed in that exact same spirit. There would always be some people in our macramé room knotting away, no matter what time of day it was.
There is something close to magical about getting to spend such intense days together with people you have never met before but whom you share a strong passion with. I think many knotters can agree that if you talk about macramé with someone who themselves do not practice it, the reaction is usually one of confusion mixed with either curiosity or indifference. Sure, they can appreciate or understand the joy of crafting in general, but the actual love of rope and knots and especially seeing what tying knots can result in, you have to experience it to know the feeling. To me personally, this was such a gift. I don’t have that many people in my vicinity who genuinely understand why I love my work (they can think it’s pretty cool I’m doing my own thing, but understand, no) and I also work alone. Getting to talk about knots and their magic for hours every day was… really, really special.
Without going into too much technical detail of what our week looked like, we spent the remaining days knotting away on more projects, getting massages, surfing, stand up paddle boarding, eating Joana’s superfood, talking, laughing and crying and bonding. When our week was over I don’t think I was the only one who really didn’t want our time together to end.
Our macramé retreat was an experience I will treasure forever, and I really hope to be able to do another one in the future (you can sign up here if you want to get info about future retreats!). Thank you to everyone who made this week so special; Valeriya, Joana, Miguel, Daniel, Bruno and of course all the amazing women who came to knot with me; Dolores, Becs, Gay, Camille and Camille, Matilde, Matilda, Sarah, Gemma, Susan, Lauren and Kristine. I will end this post with a fraction of all the beautiful photos from our time together!