A Colourful Plan

Knot Hysteria’s Colour Retreat

The glory of summer is fading away and being replaced with the splendor of autumn. Tina and I have both noticed the first hints of gold and orange starting to sneak into the trees and garden, so it must be time for what we are happily coming to think of as our fall knitting retreat. From November 4th to 8th we would love it if you could join us at Port Ludlow, for another wonderfully good time.

We’ve done our Silk retreat a few times, so we thought it might be time to mix it up with a whole new theme, and we let the season guide us. This time, we’ll be knitting, spinning and dyeing with a focus on colour and all that it means to us as fibre artists, and we can’t imagine a better time for a colour retreat then the middle of autumn surrounded by all the fall colour at our lovely little knitter-friendly Resort at Port Ludlow in Washington.

It’s been such a pleasure to have master spinner, author and all-round-genius Judith MacKenzie with us for the retreats, that we’d be mad not to have her back for this one. Judith is brilliant with colour, and in the spinning room she’s got a lot planned. Judith will show you how to spin a painted top, and how to combine a rainbow of gorgeous solids – at the carder, and at the wheel. The only bad thing about this all day intensive is that it’s not nine days.

In the knitting room with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (that’s me) there’s an all day exploration of knitting with colour. We’ll work on perfecting your stranded knitting, investigating fair-isle, working with slipped stitches to create fancy patterns that only use one colour per row, firmly grasp the principles of intarsia and talk about stripes. We’ll even talk a little about how to choose colours that go together, and how you tell if they do. If you’ve ever wondered how to better manage colour in knitting- this is your class.

In the dye room Tina Newton will take you on a guided journey into the emotional and psychological aspects of colour. We’ll delve into our personal colour depths and comfort zones. We’ll take a mood, memory, moment… and express it in colour on yarn and roving. We explore compliments and contrasts on the colour wheel as it applies to dyeing for spinning and knitting. Bring an apron it’s sure to get messy!

The weekend begins when you check in on Friday night, and we all have an opportunity to talk, hang out (maybe have a drink) get to know each other, chat with the teachers, and you’re assigned to one of three small groups.

Saturday, Group one goes with Tina, to a big bright room with a floor covered in plastic and loaded with dye and fiber goodies.
Meanwhile, group two goes with Stephanie to knit.
Over in the pretty room overlooking the water, group three sets up their spinning wheels (or spindles) to spend a day with Judith.

That evening, we gather to play with carders, learn how to make batts, and play with all sorts of colourful fibre.

Sunday, the groups rotate places for the day classes, and then after dinner we’ll have a discussion on inspiration and a show and tell. The teachers will share what inspires them and a bit about their own creative process and show you some wonderful pieces, and if you’re so inclined, we’d love to see what you’ve done with colour also. Please bring your best, and don’t feel limited to bring only knitting.

Monday we rotate for classes again, and Monday night we have a wonderful social gathering for Q&A and talking about all we’ve learned, bid you farewell, and the retreat ends that evening.

The price includes all three classes, evening fun, all materials (except wheels, spindles and needles), and breakfast, lunch and dinner Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The food is fabulous, and we promise that there will be very good vegetarian options. Our lovely Chef Dan is very excited about having colour as the retreat theme, and we’re expecting even more beautiful food from him than usual – and that’s saying something.

Accommodations are separate and you will arrange those on your own. We have negotiated special prices with Port Ludlow, and there are some shared accommodations (condos and town-homes) if you’d like to come with your friends.

Simply call Port Ludlow and tell them that you’re with Knot Hysteria and the knitters, and they will help you get sorted with the special knitter price. They are lovely and helpful people.

Price for the three day/three class intensive with meals:
$735. (Credit card or paypal are fine) All Materials (except knitting needles and spinning wheels) included.
Gift bags, presents and surprises forthcoming.

(If you’re a vendor and you’d like to talk to us about putting a little something in the gift bags, just drop us a line. We’d love it.)

If you’d like to come and are thinking about your skills, keep in mind that you don’t have to be an expert spinner, but you do need a basic working knowledge of a spinning wheel, spinning basics and should be able to spin a continuous thread. We’re not saying that you need to do this well. An advanced beginner would be very comfortable. As a knitter, you’ll need to be able to cast on and off, knit, purl, increase and decrease easily and be comfortable with most knitting instructions. You don’t need to be experienced with colourwork. The point is to learn.

To register, simply send an email to registration@knothysteria.com with “Colour Retreat” in the subject line, and include your name, address and phone numbers, and we’ll call you to arrange it. The first 45 knitters are in, and we can’t wait to see you.