Thea M. Gray

From the minds behind the Knitting on the Coast Retreat comes...

Knit by Northwest

A Knitting Retreat in the Pacific Northwest

Thursday to Sunday, September 29 to October 2, 2016

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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 on the beautiful Kitsap Peninsula!

At Knit by Northwest, the Knitting on the Coast Retreat retreat’s Northwest cousin, advanced beginners and intermediate knitters can learn a variety of skills in a relaxed, supportive, and restorative setting.

This year's theme is adventuring into the unknown.We’ll have a new home away from home, explore new techniques, visit new towns and yarn shops, and meet—you guessed it—new and interesting people.

Although much will be new, as usual the retreat will be punctuated with opportunities to swap tips with other knitters, seek solitude, see some birds, or do a little yoga—all while reconnecting with nature.

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


Brioche knitting sample
ALOFT WITH BRIOCHE. Are you ready to burp and bark your knitting? Learn how to execute these oddly named maneuvers during this introduction to brioche, an old technique with new devotees.
Woman doing Portuguese purl
PORTUGUESE PURL. And now for something totally out of the blue—an Andean technique that makes colorwork a breeze. We'll make a nifty wristlet to experience its benefits: ergonomics, tension, and fun factor.
Beaded necklaces
JET AGE: KNITTING BEADED JEWELRY. Need a quick gift or a stylish addition to your own jewelry box? We’ll start—and very likely finish!—this retro cool beaded necklace designed by Shaina Bilow.



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.


Thursday, September 29

12:30-4:30 pm Pre-Retreat Yarn Crawl
5:30-6:00 pm Frog Creek Lodge 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.

9:00-10:00 pm S'mores under the stars

Friday, September 30

8:00-9:00 am Breakfast
9:30-11:30 am ALOFT WITH BRIOCHE, PART I. Are you ready to burp and bark your knitting? Learn how to execute these oddly named maneuvers during this introduction to brioche, an old technique with new devotees.
noon-1:00 pm Lunch
4:00-5:00 Yoga! 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 MDs ARE IN. Bring a failing unfinished object (UFO) and we'll work to resuscitate it. Or just hang out to hear both cautionary and cheering tales of rescuing projects gone awry.

Saturday, October 1

8:00-9:00 am Breakfast
9:00 am-11:00 Birding hike
12:30-1:30 pm Lunch
2:00-5:00 pm PORTUGUESE PURL. And now for something totally out of the blue—an Andean technique that makes colorwork a breeze. We'll make a nifty wristlet to experience its benefits: ergonomics, tension, and fun factor.
4:00-5:00 MINI CLASS: I-CORD JEWELRY.Fun and fast!
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, October 2

9:00-10:30 am Brunch followed by group photo
11:00 am-1:00 pm JET AGE: KNITTING BEADED JEWELRY.Need a quick gift or a stylish addition to your own jewelry box? We’ll start—and very likely finish!—Gatsby, this retro cool beaded necklace designed by Shaina Bilow.
1:00 pm Goodbyes
Nearby yarn shops. If you aren't able to join us for the pre-retreat yarn crawl, check out some Washington State LYSs after the retreat—or during your downtime—one of the closest is Rainy Day Yarns in Gig Harbor



This year’s retreat will be the first in the Pacific Northwest, in a lodge in Lakebay, Washington, nestled on 10 acres about 1 hour from Seattle’s Sea-Tac airport and near the little town of Gig Harbor.

Frog Creek has comfy doubles...

a cozy triple...

...and great spaces to relax and enjoy nature

We will have the Frog Creek Lodge all to ourselves—and our own private chef serving seasonal food with a focus on locally sourced ingredients and a French flair! The comfortable guest rooms in this character-filled lodge share clean, tidy bathrooms.

Local Yarn Shops

The area surrounding the Puget Sound and Lake Washington (what visitors might think of as the greater Seattle area) has a truly astonishing number of yarn shops. From Nouth to South, the yarn shops you might want to check out before or after the retreat include Bazaar Girls, Acorn Street Shop, Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, and Rainy Day Yarns (closest to our lodge).

So, before the retreat, consider joining us for the local yarn shop crawl, and during your free time, stroll the wooded property, pop into Gig Harbor, or just hang out and knit!

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


The founder of Knitting on the Coast Retreat, Thea Gray taught knitting at BookShop West Portal in San Francisco for many years, and now lives in Portland, Oregon, and focuses on teaching her annual knitting retreat; the 2016 retreat is the first in the Pacific Northwest. Thea 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, she 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

Mary Wisnewski—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

Rita Rodriguez has been making jewelry for 25+ years. Her love of jewelry and knitting will again combine as she teaches a fast, fun project—you’re sure to want to make more!

Bill Walker

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


Jeanine Mattson is an amateur birder but an experienced coffee and wine drinker, and she is the very kind soul who makes sure everyone at the retreat has what she or he needs.

A sampling of feedback from recent retreats:

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


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


A list of class materials and homework (this year the homework is both minimal and optional!) will be sent to all enrolled students.




Registration for the 2016 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 by August 31, 2016, a full refund less a $50 cancellation fee will be available. No refunds will be available after that dates.



The 2016 Knit by Northwest Retreat instruction and facilities fee is $195, which includes all fiber classes and the birding hike. The fee for accommodations is $395 or $470, depending on whether a triple room (3 available) or double room is selected, and includes 3 nights’ lodging and 8 meals, from dinner the first day through brunch on the last day. The yoga classes 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 of Spinnity and Bill are copyright Bill Walker; photo of woman doing Portugeuese purl is copyright Joao Ponces de Carvalho; the photo of the Gatsby beaded necklace is copyright Shaina Bilow; and the photo of the brioche sample is copyright Sebastian Helm. 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