Retreats

Knit For Fun in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada!

Once again, Knit For Fun Retreats will partner with River City Yarns for a third Knit For Fun Retreat in Edmonton, Canada. Because we like it so much, we’ll return to the DoubleTree by Hilton, West Edmonton.

Rock Star teachers are Olga Buraya-Kefelian, Xandy Peters, and Shirley A Scott.

OlgaThe daughter of a professional tailor, Olga Buraya-Kefelian (aka Jazzyknits) acquired an understanding of clothing construction at a young age. That understanding has evolved into Olga’s imaginative yet versatile knitwear designs that balance a love for texture with a minimalist approach. Her designs evolve from technique-driven elements that provide her students with a greater learning experience and impeccably finished knitwear. In addition to publishing her own designs, Olga is a contributing designer, author and co-author of numerous titles. Learn more at www.olgajazzy.com.

Xandy Peters is a knitting designer and teacher, best known as the innovator of the stacked stitch technique and for her Fox Paws pattern. After graduating from Pratt Institute with a degree in Industrial Design, she started out as a footwear and product designer. Xandy turned to knitting as a way to explore textiles and surfaces without using factory production and has since made a career out of knitting, publishing new patterns monthly, and teaching workshops across the country. Xandy has been published in magazines such as Vogue Knitting, Twist Collective, Knitscene, Knitty, and Pom Pom Quarterly, but continues to self-publish most of her work on Ravelry. Follow Xandy’s blog at http://theworkisgettingtome.blogspot.com.

Shirley A Scott (aka Shirl the Purl) is a handknitter with a special love for history and North Atlantic culture that led to her first book Canada Knits: Craft and Comfort in a Northern Land, which chronicled the history of knitting in Canada. She went on to publish her own knitting newsletter, to establish her own craft tour company, and to design and publish many knitting patterns. She is now co-author with Christine LeGrow of Saltwater Mittens, Saltwater Classics, and the upcoming Saltwater Gifts books, all of which celebrate the Newfoundland aesthetic. A native of New Brunswick and a survivor of 50 years of living in Toronto, Shirl now makes her home in Newfoundland, where she has found shared interests, deep friendships, and much food for the soul

The regular retreat classes will be scheduled during four class periods: Friday morning, Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon. You will be given three classes (one with each instructor) and one free period with regular registration. In addition to three 3-hour classes, you’ll have the opportunity to sign up for one-on-one sessions of 20 minutes each with the Knit Doctor (that’s me, Ann Budd) on a first-come, first-serve basis. I’ll help you with anything that ails your knitting, from taking measurements and choosing yarn to finding your place in a piece gone wrong and fixing mistakes. With more than 40 years’ knitting experience, I’ve seen (and corrected) almost everything.

For additional fees, you can sign up for an extra full-day class with one of the teachers opening day (Thursday, August 27). If space is available, you’ll also have the opportunity to register for a fourth class in lieu of a free period.

Go to Knit For Fun Retreats for complete details.

Registration opens Saturday, January 11 at 10:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time

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Getaway to Michigan

For a number of years I’ve taught at Four Purls, a family-owned and run yarn shop in Winter Haven, Florida that’s home of hand-dyed Emma’s Yarn, created by owners JD and Laura Dobratz’s daughter Emma as a result of homeschool classes on math. (I used Emma’s Yarn for my Junior Goat Herder Pullover.) Still in high school, Emma relies on her older sister Aspen to help with the the logistics of running a rapidly growing yarn dyeing business. I’m happy to say that I’ll return again December 7 and 8 this year to teach A Skirt For All Seasons and Toe-Up Socks. It’s always nice to escape the Colorado winter for a bit of Florida warmth.

However, I’m even more excited to announce that I’ll be one of three teachers at the first Four Purls Getaway in Kalamazoo, Michigan, July 16-19, 2020. Kalamazoo is the hometown of JD and Laura. For years, they’ve dreamed of sharing their Michigan roots with their clients.

Next July, that dream comes true.

The retreat will take place at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo, walking distance to specialty shops, breweries, distilleries, and coffee roasters, as well as world-class dining.

I’ll join teachers Kate Atherley and Melissa Kemmerer.

Kate Atherley, Knitty.com’s Managing Technical Editor, seasoned designer, and teacher of all things knitterly, is known for her attention to detail in her patterns and classes. Kate regularly teaches at stores and events across North America, and her work has appeared in many books and magazines. Kate’s technique classes are a lively mix of discussion, demonstration, and hands-on practice, with individual attention and guidance provided. At the retreat, Kate will teach Two Socks At Once: The War & Peace Method, Make-or-Break Garment Skills, and The Pi Shawl.

Knit designer, Melissa Kemmerer is from Upstate New York. She loves to knit sweaters and does not like to sew, a combination that results in her nearly seamless sweater designs. Since 2018, Melissa has been designing for and creating Nomadic Knits magazine along with her best fiber friend, Becky Beagull. Melissa travels the country looking for indie dyers and designers to feature in the pages of Nomadic Knits. She loves to explore the local knitting culture wherever she goes and is ridiculously excited to share her finds with the world. At the retreat, Melissa will teach Beyond the Basics, Inside Nomadic Knits, and Knits that Fit.

I’ll fill in with Happy Heels—Explore Three Heel Variations, Two-Layer Mittens, and Fixing Mistakes.

In addition to classes and camaraderie, attendees will have access to a specially curated marketplace that will feature Michigan makers, as well as a private one-on-one 30-minute shopping session with Laura, Aspen, or Emma, all of whom will help you find the perfect yarn for your project.

To provide their guests with the opportunity to explore more of Kalamazoo after the retreat, Laura and JD are offering a 4-night extension (organized by my own event coordinator Cindy Hallam) that will include many of the highlights of their favorite town.

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La Jolla Shores Cowl

Designed for my Fall 2019 Knit For Fun Retreat in La Jolla, California, The La Jolla Shores Cowl features yarnover increases and directional decreases in a modified Old Shale pattern. To me, the scalloped pattern represents clusters of flowers, which are all so abundant in Southern California.

The pattern repeats over 17 stitches and 12 rounds and is easy to memorize if markers are placed at the end of every 17-stitch repeat.

The fingering weight yarn is a luxurious blend of merino, cashmere, and nylon in a bright pink colorway specially dyed for the retreat participants by Yarning For You, located in nearby San Marcos, California.

Both charted and written instructions are provided.

Use the code LAJOLLA to receive 20% off the Ravelry purchase price of La Jolla Shores Cowl between now and midnight Mountain Standard Time on Friday, October 18, 2019.

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Fun in La Jolla

It’s been a couple of weeks since my Knit For Fun Retreat in La Jolla, California, and I’m already missing all the new friends I met and the old friends I got to see again.

My event coordinator Cindy Hallam and I were joined by international teachers Nancy Bush (from Salt Lake City), Andrea Rangel (from British Columbia), and Veera Valimaki (from Finland). I think I speak for all of us by saying what a delight it was to spend some time in warm sun before returning to cooler weather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a special treat, Jeane DeCoster of Elemental Affects was on hand as the Style Doctor to help retreaters determine the optimum styles for their particular sizes and shapes. We all learned a lot about proportions and balance. Thank you Jeane!

Lastly, I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank my most excellent helpers Rhonda Croxon and Chonita Olivas, who ensured that the retreaters were well taken care of and cheerfully solved any problems that cropped up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next next Knit For Fun Retreat will take place in historic Savannah, Georgia. April 23 – 26, 2020. The three teachers will be cable expert Norah Gaughan (from New Hampshire), lace expert Elizabeth Johnston (from the Shetland Isles) and yours truly (from Colorado). The basic registration package includes one class with each of us.

Registration is now open!

 

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Knit For Fun in Savannah

Join Norah Gaughan, Elizabeth Johnston, and me next April at my Knit For Fun Retreat in Savannah, Georgia!

We’ll stay at The DeSoto, which overlooks Madison Square in the heart of Savannah’s Historic District.

Check-in for the retreat will begin Thursday, April 23, followed by a welcome dinner. Classes will be offered Friday and Saturday, and the retreat will conclude with a farewell breakfast Sunday, April 26. As a departure from the normal Knit For Fun Retreat schedule, you’ll have more time in the evenings to explore the historic district, including a night to eat at one of the local restaurants.

As with all Knit for Fun Retreats, you’ll get one three-hour class with each of three first-class teachers, as well as lots of fun and surprises!

Norah will teach Knitting Two-Sided Cables; Twisted Stitches; Knitting With Linen; and Knitting A Patterned Yoke.

Elizabeth will teach Shetland Lace Tips and Tricks; Steeking; Fair Isle Cuffs, Ribs, and Trims; and Shetland Lace Shawls.

I’ll teach Intro to Sweater Design; Fixing Knitting Mistakes; Custom Socks At Any Gauge; and A Skirt For All Seasons.

Registration opens at 10:00am MST today!

Click here for details and to register.

 

 

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Knit For Fun Commuter Package

There are spaces available in most classes at my Knit For Fun Retreat in La Jolla, California, September 19 – 22. This is good news for those of you who would like to participate in the retreat but prefer to sleep in your own beds!

We’re offering a commuter rate that includes everything but a room at the Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa. You’ll get one class with each of the three teachers–Nancy Bush (from the U.S.), Andrea Rangel (from Canada), and Veera Valimaki (from Finland) .

You’ll also get all your meals, an impressive swag bag, the opportunity to sign up for one-on-one sessions with the Knit Doctor (that’s me) and the Style Doctor (Jeane deCoster), evening entertainment, and loads of fun with other knitters.

Of course, you can still opt to sign up to lodge at the beautiful Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa, as well.

Nancy BushNancy Bush is an expert in both sock knitting and Estonian knitting techniques. She has authored five books, including Folk SocksFolk Knitting in Estonia, and Knitted Lace of Estonia, as well as many articles on traditional knitting. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the owner of Wooly West online shop, leads knitting tours of Estonia, and teaches workshops throughout the United States and abroad.

Nancy’s classes include Estonian Cast-Ons, Roositud (an Estonian inlay color technique, and Knitting an Estonian Lace Shawl.

Andrea Rangel

Andrea Rangel is an experienced knitter, designer, and educator (she’s taught elementary, middle and high school) from Victoria, British Columbia. She’s the author of AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary and Rugged Knits, and her designs have been published in Brooklyn Tweed Wool PeopleTwist Collective, Interweave Knits, and Knit Scene, as well as independently. Andrea’s classes are clear and organized, with a strong focus on how students learn. Visit Andrea Rangel’s website for original patterns.

Andrea’s classes include The Fine Art of Yarn Substitution, The Basics of Stranded Colorwork, and Increasing and Decreasing Master Class.

Veera Välimäki lives and designs in a small village in Southern Finland. Her designs focus on simple and clean lines with small fresh details. She loves simple yet modern knits that are both easy to knit and easy to wear—year after year. Veera has two books published in Finland, along with five (5) volumes of Interpretations, co-authored with Joji Locatelli. Her work has been featured in magazines and books in Finland, Europe, and the U.S. Follow Veera on her blog, 100% Rain.

Veera will teach Colorplay, Stripes–Beyond the Basics, and Round-Yoke Sweaters.

For an additional fee, you can sign up of one of the full-day extension classes Thursday, September 19: Muhu Knitting Traditions with Nancy Bush, Brioche and Beyond with Andrea Rangel, or Shawl Shapes with Veera Valimaki. I’m also offering a full-day class called A Skirt For All Seasons in which you’ll walk away with custom instructions for my “pleated” skirt pattern.

Click here for details and to register today!

 

 

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Gathering No Moss

My dear husband complains that I’m on the road more than I’m at home and I can’t argue. Since March 11, I’ve been to Washington, all around Italy, Maine, Texas, Pennsylvania, and New York. Out of 111 days, I’ll be gone 67. In other words, I’m away 2.5 days for every day I spend at home. I guess my husband has cause to feel a bit lonely.

I, on the other hand, am having a blast. First, I got to teach (along with Lorilee Beltman and Carson Demers!) at the third annual Getaway Retreat hosted by the Bazaar Girls in the quaint little seaside town of Port Townsend, Washington. It was a treat to learn and share while enjoying refreshing sea breezes, locally grown produce, and freshly caught fish, and shopping from independent merchants.

After just four (4) days at home, I joined Lambs on the Run’s 16-day excursion to Italy that included knitting and cooking classes, tours of wineries, a chocolate factory, and a cashmere goat farm, visits to museums, and lots of time to soak up the local culture, art, and architecture. The trip began with three days in Rome, followed by trips to Milan, Perugia, Florence, Viareggio, Parma (oh, the cheese!), and Turin. I stayed a few extra days to visit Venice as well.

I was home just long enough to get over jet lag and repack my bags, then I headed to Freeport, Maine, for my ninth Knit For Fun Retreat, held at the incomparable family-owned Harraseeket Inn. There, I rubbed elbows with teachers Kate Atherley (from Canada), Isabell Kraemer (from Germany), and Mary Jane Mucklestone (from New England), and enjoyed making lots of new friends and reconnecting with old ones. “Fun” is an understatement!

I had another two days at home before heading south to Fredericksburg, Texas, for Cindy Hallam’s first Cre8tive Escape. My fellow teachers were German knitwear designer Isabell Kraemer and Saori weaving expert Kathy Utts. If you like to pair learning with intimate luxurious settings, look for future Cre8tive Escapes.

After a full two and a half weeks at home (during which I cooked all of my husband’s favorite meals), I’m about to fly east to teach at The Knitter’s Edge in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (June 11 and 12), and The Knitted Purl in Oyster Bay, New York (June 18 and 19). Of course I plan to make a detour to New York City to take in a couple of shows while I’m in the area!

My dear husband is delighted that I’ll stay home for the month of July (and I’ll enjoy sleeping in my own bed). During that time, I don’t know whether it’s wisest to treat him like a king in retribution for the fun I had without him, or to annoy him as much as possible so he’ll be glad to see me leave when my fall teaching schedule picks up.

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Where Would You Like to Retreat?

It’s hard to believe that my Knit For Fun Retreats is in its fourth year! I got the idea for the retreats (even the name) when I was looking for my “happy place” while recovering from a broken arm.

I’m glad to report that my arm is thoroughly healed and I’m I having a thoroughly good time hosting retreats! My plan was to hold the retreats in cities across the country that I wanted to visit. Turns out, I’ve taken them to Canada, too.

So far I’ve taken my retreats to Park City, UT; Estes Park, CO; Freeport, ME; Vancouver, WASavannah, GA; Sturgeon Bay, WI; and Edmonton, AB, Canada.

This year we’ll go to La Jolla, CA; Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada, and return to Freeport, ME.

The teachers have included notables Susan B Anderson, Lorilee Beltman, Olga Buraya-Kefelian, Nancy Bush, Bristol Ivy, Carson Demers, Meghan Fernandes, Norah Gaughan, Sivia Harding, Susannah IC, Galena Khmeleva, Joji Locatelli, Laura Nelkin, and Justyna Lorkowska (oh, and me, too). We’ve got Nancy Bush, Andrea Rangel, Veera Valimaki, Alexa Ludeman, Nancy Marchant, Julie Weisenberger, Kate Atherley, Isabel Kraemer, and Mary Jane Mucklestone lined up for 2019. Wow!

I’m writing now to ask where *you* would like to join in a Knit For Fun Retreat and what teacher(s) you’d like to learn from. North, south, east, or west, I’m game to travel the continent. There is plenty of this beautiful country that I have yet to explore.

Perhaps a future Knit For Fun Retreat could be somewhere you’re keen to visit!

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Teacher Spotlight: Veera Valimaki

I’m very pleased to announce that Veera Välimäki will be the third teacher (along with Nancy Bush and Andrea Rangel) at my Knit For Fun Retreat in La Jolla, California, September 19 – 22.

I first met Veera a couple of years ago at the  Hill Country Weavers Knitting in the Hills Retreat last year. I was so impressed with her friendly intelligence that I immediately asked her to put a Knit For Fun Retreat on her calendar.

Veera Välimäki lives and designs in a small village in Southern Finland. In her ten years of designing, she has focused on simple and clean lines with small fresh details. She’s heavily influenced by architecture and the relationship between art and architecture. Veera loves simple yet modern knits that are both easy to knit and easy to wear, especially ones that engage the mind as well as the eye.

Veera has two books published in Finland, the names of which I can’t pronounce. Fortunately for English speakers, she has also published six (6!) volumes of Interpretations, co-authored with Argentinian designer Joji Locatelli. Each volume features innovative designs by both authors. In a refreshing twist, the authors model their own garments.

Veera’s work has also been featured in magazines and books in Finland, Europe, and the U.S.

You can follow Veera on her blog, 100% Rain.

Veera will teach the following classes at my Knit For Fun Retreat in La Jolla, California, September 19 to 21. 

Colorplay
Enjoy a class that focuses on color in knitting—what to expect from certain colors, which colors to pair and which to begin with. You’ll learn basic color theory hands-on while knitting swatches. You’ll leave class full of inspiration and confidence!

Stripes — Beyond the Basics
Learn how to add stripes to your knitting, how to best work them, and how to make stripes extra special with easy techniques. You’ll also learn what to expect from certain colors and which colors pair best, how to enhance stripes with simple stitch patterns, knitting jogless stripes in the round, working stripes with short-rows, and keeping the edges neat.

Round-Yoke Sweaters
This class is dedicated to the art of round-yoke sweaters. Through knitting a mini sample yoke, you’ll learn the basic construction and math, then explore different ways to add colorwork, lace, or other stitch patterns. The lovely look and wide-ranging design possibilities make a round-yoke sweater ideal for experimentation.

Shawl Shapes
In this class, you’ll learn the most common shawl constructions and how to take your shawl knitting to a whole new level. In addition to basic shawl shapes—triangle, crescent, square, circular, etc.—you’ll learn how to add stitch patterns while increasing or decreasing to form the desired shape.

Click here for more information on the Knit For Fun Retreat that will feature Veera as a teacher.

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