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Thea M. Gray

Knitting on the Coast 2017 Retreat

A retreat at St Dorothy's Rest in Camp Meeker, California:

Thursday to Sunday, November 9-12, 2017; REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

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The Knitting Classes * The Extras * The Schedule * The Setting * The Teachers * The Goodies * Class Materials * Other Things to Bring * Retreat & Host Policies * To Sign Up 

 

Join us for a relaxing knitting getaway among the redwoods by the California coast!

Geared to advanced beginners and intermediate knitters, these retreats offer a variety of technique classes in a relaxed, supportive setting.

stranded colorwork from Qasr Ibrim dating to 11th or 12th century

This year we celebrate diversity in the origins and development of knitting. The oldest knitted artifact, which features complex colorwork, is believed to have been made by Egyptians in the 11th century. Knitting spread and morphed, further enriched by knitters around the globe. We'll explore classics from a few cultures, including twined knitting from Sweden, the stranded colorwork first seen in Egypt, knit jewelry inspired by Greek, Roman, and Viking artifacts, and even a pattern from the world of quilting!

As usual, classes will be punctuated with opportunities for participants to swap tips with other knitters, seek solitude, see some birds, even dance your butt off—all amidst the beauty of the redwoods.

We hope you'll join us this September to enjoy:

THE KNITTING CLASSES

stranded knit nametag knitted log cabin washcloth close-up of 2-color twined knitting Sterling knit jewelry
STRANDED KNITTING. Practice skills for stranded colorwork (such as Egyptian, Andean, Scandinavian, and Fair Isle): holding yarn for speed and even tension and trapping floats, while making a name tag. LOG CABIN. You'll knit a washcloth in the classic quilt pattern in order to learn about color motifs plus techniques for picking up stitches, applied I-cord, and joining—so you can make a whole quilt if you like! TWINED KNITTING. To learn this 330+ year-old Swedish technique, you'll be making a two-color wristlet with a traditional cast-on, braid, twined knitting and purling, and patterning with the "o" stitch. STERLING JEWELRY. Learn to knit beautiful jewelry pieces, inspired by Greek, Roman, and Viking artifacts, using sterling silver wire. We'll finish a pendant in class that will allow you to master the basic techniques, and you'll take home materials for the gorgeous earrings.

 

THE EXTRAS

Birding Hike

Besides being a serious knitter, Mary Wisnewski is a serious birder, and so is Bill Walker, who also happens to be a serious nature photographer. Bill (below, far left) and Mary (below, far right) have been leading us on fabulous birding hikes since the 2009 retreat—they have always been quite a highlight.

Join us this year when they take us on another mellow hike to explore nearby woods or coastline from a birder's perspective. Perhaps you'll find inspiration for future knitting projects in a bird's plummage or the landscape's palette.

THE SCHEDULE

Thursday, November 9

5:30-6:00 pm St Dorothy's Rest Orientation
6:00-7:00 pm Dinner and introductions
7:00-9:00 pm STITCH 'N BITCH: SHOW AND TELL. Meet (or reconnect) with fellow retreat-goers and bring a knitted item for show and tell.

Friday, November 10

8:00-9:00 am Breakfast
9:00-11:30 am INTRODUCING STRANDED KNITTING. Practice skills for stranded colorwork (such as Egyptian, Andean, Scandinavian, and Fair Isle): holding yarn for speed and even tension and trapping floats, while making a name tag.
noon-1:00 pm Lunch
1:00-4:00 pm LOG CABIN FOUNDATIONS. You'll knit a washcloth in the classic quilt pattern in order to learn about color motifs as well as techniques for picking up stitches, applied I-cord, and joining—so you can make a whole quilt if you like!
4:30-5:30 pm Zumba! A fun optional extra to get you moving more than just your needles.
6:00-7:00 pm Dinner
7:00-9:00 pm STITCH 'N BITCH: THE YARN WHISPERERS. Bring an orphan skein (or two) and we'll tell you what we think it wants to be knit into.
9:00-10:00 pm S'mores under the stars

Saturday, November 11

8:00-9:00 am Breakfast
9:00 am-11:30 Birding hike
Noon-1:00 pm Lunch
2:00-5:00 pm TWINED KNITTING. To learn this 330+ year-old Swedish technique, you'll be making a two-color wristlet with a traditional cast-on, braid, twined knitting and purling, and patterning with the "o" stitch.
6:00-7:00 pm Dinner
7:00-9:00 pm STITCH 'N BITCH: SWAP! Tonight bring a thing or two (skein, tool, book, or other) to swap. And maybe enjoy an optional extra, a short massage from an on-site masseur.

Sunday, September 13

8:00-9:30 am Breakfast
9:00-9:30 am Group photo
10:00 am-noon STERLING JEWELRY. Learn to knit beautiful jewelry pieces, inspired by Greek, Roman, and Viking artifacts, using sterling silver wire. We'll finish a pendant in class that will allow you to master the basic techniques, and you'll take home materials for the gorgeous earrings.
12:30-1:30 pm Lunch and goodbyes
Afterward
Nearby yarn shops. Some LYSs worth checking out on the way to or from the retreat—or during your downtime—include: Yarnitudes in Sebastapol, Cast Away in Santa Rosa, Knitterly in Petaluma, Black Mountain Artisans in Point Reyes Station, and ImagiKnit in San Francisco.

 

THE SETTING

The 2017 retreat will be the sixth at the beautiful St. Dorothy’s Rest, situated among the cool beautiful redwoods between the Russian River and Occidental in Camp Meeker, 1-1/2 hours north of San Francisco. We'll be staying in Farmer Lodge.

Rustic Farmer Lodge

...with its hospitable living room

Comfortable porches...

...and cozy bedrooms

 

All rooms in Farmer Lodge have a simple charm and share clean, tidy baths (European-style bath down the hall). Those students who do not choose a roommate will have one selected for them. We will be treated to delicious, seasonal, locally sourced meals from Friday's dinner through Monday's lunch.

During your free time, go on the birding hike, take a stroll in the woods, pop into Occidental, or just hang out and chat with fellow knitters.

Lots of cool knitters and a beautiful, shaded setting. What more could you want on a lovely fall weekend?

 

THE TEACHERS

The founder of Knitting on the Coast, Thea Gray formerly taught knitting at BookShop West Portal in San Francisco. She began knitting in third grade and has barely stopped since, even flying 6000 miles in a weekend to polish her couture techniques. Known for bountiful patience, Thea loves teaching the joys of knitting. You can find her on Ravelry as knitOrama.
 
Thea creates a warm, welcoming environment, in which I feel very comfortable asking for clarification or repetition. She's a great listener, and creatively adjusts her teaching style to the needs of her students, depending on their level of experience.

— Jenny, designer

Not only is Thea a patient and thorough teacher, she's enthusiastic and skilled in many different knitting techniques. She's helped me go beyond merely following patterns.

— Rachella, writer and editor 

 

Mary Spinnity Wisnewski Rita Rodriguez Bill Walker
Spinnity—designer of Larus & Ardus—spins, birds, and knits in the SF Bay Area. She has a bad habit of combining hobbies "in the field," which sometimes leads to muddy knitting projects and broken DPNs. Find her on Ravelry as spinnity. Rita Rodriguez has been making jewelry for more than 25 years. For this retreat, she's combining her love of jewelry-making and knitting into one super fun, easy project. When Bill Walker isn't busy taking photographs, he might be found birding with Spinnity, knitting, or playing music. See his birding field notes and photographs at birdwalker.com/.



A sampling of feedback from recent retreats:

  • I want to thank you again for a fabulous time!
  • Excellent teaching. Restored my interest in taking classes, after a couple of bad experiences. Also loved the relaxing location.
  • Thank you thank you thank you.
  • The location was beautiful, food was great, teaching was great!
  • I loved everything. I appreciate so much all the energy put into the retreat. I loved all the classes and teachers.
  • Thank you so much for putting it all together, it was magical.
  • Had a fantastic time. Thank you!
  • I had such a great time! Thanks for all the hard work you put into such a fun weekend.
  • I am definitely interested in all your retreats. You really are a fabulous teacher.

...and a few photos from the 2010 retreat and from the 2009 retreat.


THE GOODIES

This year's retreat participants will receive door prizes and goodie bag items from generous local yarn shops and national yarn distributors. This year's contributors include:


CLASS MATERIALS

A list of class materials and homework will be sent to all enrolled students.

OTHER THINGS TO BRING

  • Pen, pencil, and highlighter
  • Pad of large sticky notes for masking off sections of charted patterns
  • Binoculars for birding
  • Clothing and shoes appropriate for walking in the woods or on the beach and for doing Zumba!
  • Flashlight for walking to and from dinner, s'mores, etc
  • Robe and slippers for walking to the bathroom
  • Bathroom toiletries

 

RETREAT & HOST POLICIES

Registration for the 2017 retreat is limited to 12. Places will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis and will be confirmed once full payment is received. A waiting list will be maintained once all spots are filled.

Should a student be unable to attend the retreat and the cancellation is received before August 9, 2017, a full refund less a $50 cancellation fee will be available. No refunds will be available after that dates.

 

SIGN UP

The 2017 Knitting on the Coast retreat instruction and facilities fee is $245, which includes all fiber classes and the birding hike. The fee for accommodations is $466 or $520, depending on room selected, and includes 3 nights’ lodging and 9 meals, from dinner the first day through lunch on the last day. The materials fee of $25.00 for the Sterling Jewelry class includes metal needles, sterling project wire, printed instructions, a project bag, and finishing materials (necklace chain, earring wires, and gem drops for the earrings. The Zumba class fee is $5 and the on-site massage is $1 per minute; both can be paid for on-site by cash or check.

To sign up for the retreat, please print out a pdf of the retreat brochure, complete the form, and send a message to Thea to receive the mailing address and hold your place until your check arrives. Places not secured by a receipt of a check within a week of notification will be forfeited.  

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Photos from the British Museum of an Egyptian with yarn is by Flickr user piedozzino; photo of 11th or 12th century knitting fragment from Qasr Ibrim is property of The British Museum. Photos of stitch 'n bitch gathering, Spinnity, and Bill are copyright Bill Walker. All other images are copyright their respective owners and, like Bill Walker's images, should not be used without express written permission.

© Copyright Thea M. Gray