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.

73 thoughts on “A Colourful Plan

  1. Sounds like so much fun; but, alas, cannot find the funds in the pocketbook. I do hope to read about it in forthcoming posts.

  2. *sigh* It’s times like this I missing doing infrastructure support in the city (lousy job, but fantastic paycheck.) Have a good time, y’all.

  3. Aw crud. I’d feared Knot Hysteria would be scheduled for that weekend. I’m sure my Knitting Lab experience will be fun, educational, and inspiring, but I can’t help feeling really disappointed at having to skip Port Ludlow.

  4. Sounds like a beautiful time. It’s great to be able to get out with other fibery people especially during this colorful time of year.

  5. Wish I lived in Canada and/or could afford the travel costs.
    Sounds like a wonderful time; someday I’d love to participate!

  6. It sounds heavenly good think I don’t have a spinning wheel yet. Have a wonderful time those that come will have their lives enhanced greatly. Looking forward to seeing you at Powells. Hugs and happy fall .:)

  7. For any of you out there on the fence about this: Do it. You will not regret it.
    I have attended two: the very first, two-day retreat, where I had my head blown off by Tina and Steph and tried spinning (on a spindle and a wheel) for the very first time. I bought a wheel and made a concerted effort to build some skills specifically so that I could justify attending the second silk retreat (where I was blown away by Judith, too!).
    For anyone interested in all things fiber-y, these are absolutely wonderful intensive, enjoyable, exhausting explorations. And the accommodations rock. A+++

  8. Not gonna happen for me this year, sadly, but I guess that gives me a year to learn how to spin so I actually qualify next year. I’ve had worse goals 🙂

  9. Sounds divine! Hopefully one day soon I can do a Port Ludlow retreat, that is the goal. Till then I will enjoy thru the blog!

  10. Okay, you often take quite lovely photos, but the second photo in this post simply blows me away- lovely scene and the composition with the boats and clouds and reflection on the water with the splash of fall color on the right…wow! (And what a great photo ad for a color retreat!)
    Sounds like a great time- I look forward to reading all about it!

  11. I so want to come to something like this, but I can’t spin. I really wish there was a option to only do 2 of the 3 or that there was a beginning spinners option. Have money, want to come, just never seem to meet the qualifications 🙁 Have fun all that get to go

  12. You can’t know what great timing this announcement was for me. It’s the day after I had to withdraw from Judith’s Color in Spinning all-day class at the Los Angeles Guild, because I was just dreaming that my new knee replacement was ready for a 1-2 hour drive up to the meeting, an 8:30-5:30 class, and a 1-n hour drive home. I had a lousy time in Physical Therapy this morning, probably because I was feeling sorry for myself, and I was really pulling the stops out and building for a grand pity party when…
    Happiness reigns. The husband thanks you.

  13. Oh, how I wish the college covered this as “staff development.” I would so dearly love to go!
    But…single mum me will be good and not use saved money to go. That’s for things like unexpected car repair and such. (And my director would probably frown on me missing Sunday rehearsal…unless I promised to knit her something beautiful, of course…)
    I’ll console myself with the fact that I’m not a spinning wheel spinner, but rather a drop spindle spinner, and a new one at that.
    What a terrific line up of teaching people, though. And the color theme rocks. Shoot. I really want to go!!

  14. I am so inspired by this! ’tis a few years away but I will do this one day! Good luck and thank you to your team for making it possible!

  15. Oh, how I wish I could join you this year! Someday, I will have the time and money to attend one of your retreats – they all sound like so much fun! And maybe you’ll do color again? I can hope!

  16. I am hoping that you will continue to put this on so that I can come when my wee ones are a little older. The nursling would be very upset with me if I weren’t around at bedtime.

  17. as an alum of 2 of these, I can only echo what Patricia said, and that you won’t regret it if you go. It’s really that awesome. I hope I made the cut again!

  18. This sounds better than great. Enjoy yourselves.
    One day, some day … It would be a dream come true.

  19. Oh, how I wish I could!! But this reminds me to think abut spindle spinning and tell you that at Sock Summit, Denny was the *best* teacher Evah!! Spindling finally made sense to this old wheel girl. Boatloads and buckets of thanks to her and to you! See you at one of your retreats, someday…

  20. any thoughts about rotating between port ludlow and say… muskoka? that way those of us back here could participate even if we can’t afford airfare?

  21. Sounds just lovely – if I win the lottery, you will hear from me. Otherwise I will just be quietly paying two college tuitions and lusting…
    Have some fun on my behalf!

  22. Not about Knot Hysteria:
    Several days ago I started the first Cutest Bootie, and ended up in the Frog Pond – at least 5 times, maybe more, I’ve repressed it; then switched to a different yarn and tried again – 3 times – and frogged back, all of this at the picking up gusset stitches section. Then I threw the pattern on the floor. (Not in the trash. I don’t throw out patterns.)
    But I’m really, really stubborn and I’ve knit dozens of pairs of socks, many from your basic sock pattern. So I just went to your blog of June 24, 2009, on Pick-up Lines, and read, slowly and carefully, how to pick up garter stitches.
    And this giant light went off where it says “First I identify the loop I want to collect. In this case, its the edgemost ladder of the edgemost garter stitch. (Note that this is not that WEIRD LITTLE KNOT (caps mine) on the very edge of all garter stitch. That sucker is odd, and impossible to collect neatly. Ignore the rotter.)”
    So, stubborn, persistent, not to say Pigheaded, knitter is off to try again. I love that little bootie and I refuse to be dissed by my knitting! Wish me luck.

  23. If I ever travel to North America again, I know exactly how to time it. Here in Australia, especially where I live (Coffs Harbour, about 500km north of Sydney), this kind of knitters’ joy just doesn’t exist!

  24. I’ve signed up! It will be my birthday present – from everyone. I live about an hour away, but I think I’ll stay in Port Ludlow to get the whole away-from-kids-focus-on-me-fiber-experience. I’m so excited, I keep checking my e-mail. What if I don’t get in?!?

  25. Sounds wonderful. But, golly, don’t you just want to put your feet up on a cushion and relax? It seems as if you’ve been going, going, going for a long time. Just my thoughts. Anyway, I hope you have a great attendance and a very exciting time.

  26. Oh, how desperately I wanted to go to this, especially since I live less than a 2-hour drive from the resort. Sadly, lack of funds will exclude me this year. Next year, though, oh, next year!

  27. I sent in my email. While vending at Sock Summit was awesome. it was a lot of work. These retreats are just fun. Hoping to hear back after I get home from Yarncon tomorrow!
    I’ll add my 2 cents to the “you wont regret it!” I had the best time a year ago in July. I wasn’t much of a spinner that time, so this will be even better!

  28. When I move back to Washington next year (from London) I am totally coming to some of these fabulous retreats. I am always so jealous to hear about your adventures on my home turf. Have a wonderful time 🙂

  29. Sent my registration e-mail last night as soon as I finished reading the post and husband said I could go. Waiting to hear if I made the cut before bothering the Port Ludlow people. Hope that’s the right way to proceed.

  30. I was just thinking that the third pic looked familiar, but I couldn’t place it off the top of my head. Thanks, Leta, for the info. I’d forgotten all about wonderful Wild Apples.

  31. The price seems very reasonable to me. I just did a two day Color workshop at Vogue Knitting Live and my package came to $600. Included some shwag, but only one dinner. And Port Ludlow certainly seems nicer than the Hyatt Century City. (to me anyway)

  32. I am excited to contemplate coming, but when is it???? I can’t find the dates~!!~!! Kathleen

  33. I am excited to contemplate coming, but when is it???? I can’t find the dates~!!~!! Kathleen

  34. I am excited to contemplate coming, but when is it???? I can’t find the dates~!!~!! Kathleen

  35. I so wish I could go to any of the retreats..they sound amazing! They are all so far away from the midwest that it is sad thinking of them going on and me sitting here all by my lonesome! Maybe someday we can do a retreat in Colorado….

  36. Sounds like fun. Is drinking allowed while you’re knitting, spinning and dying? Just wondering. Alcohol makes hobbies much more fun.

  37. Sounds wonderful, sadly, work (it’s audit season) and family, (my Dad is 93) plus the money at this point make it a no go. Those who will go will be very, very lucky. I will also dye and spin and knit and pretend. And, what’s the deal with the apparent Martian post just above mine?

  38. Just wondering – you live in TO but seems like several of your mondo projects are in the Pacific Northwest. Do you like flying and tackling cross-continent challenges or what? Crazy lady. Nice photos in this & the next blog.

  39. It always makes me sad when I see these. It makes me wish, just for a moment, that I lived in a cold, knitter friendly country. There isn’t much call for knitted garments in Australia…

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