A New Retreat

As we were weaving in all the loose ends from our colour retreat last November, we started throwing around ideas for future retreats, what would be different, what would be fun. We were looking at some of the feedback we got, and noticed that many knitters had pointed out that our current class structure (a dye class, a knitting class, a spinning class) was fun, but left out those knitters who don’t (yet) spin. We sat down with the fabulous staff at Port Ludlow, and started to talk about what we could do instead of spinning, and the very first suggestion was brilliant, and we’re doing it. From June 22nd until June 26th at the Resort at Port Ludlow, we’ll try our first ever Gourmet retreat. The idea is for you to spend a little time with the nicest possible ingredients… both food, and fibre. Three days jammed packed with luxury fibers and yarns, beautiful foods and cooking, and anything we can think of to do with them. One day dyeing, one day knitting, and one day (be still your beating heart)- one day of gourmet cooking classes.

The Executive Chef at the Inn is Dan Ratigan, who’s not just a wonderful chef, but a skilled teacher and he’s got an amazing day planned. Your adventure will start at the farm, learning how to select the best ingredients. From there you’ll go with Dan into the classroom and start cooking dinner for the rest of your retreat knitters. Chef Dan will lead you though everything you need to create a nutritious, delectable and stunning dinner, teaching you skills that will improve every meal you ever make. From planning, prepping, cooking and plating, all the way through the steps of service, and how to choose the wines to go with your creation. (We both want to take this class from Dan so badly that we can hardly stand it.) The class ends in the dining room – when you serve the meal you created, and we all eat!

In the dye room, Tina Newton will help you work with all the amazing yarns, and how they can best meet their chromatic counterparts. We’ll learn about dyeing coloured yarns -how do you dye brown bison? You’ll create your personal recipes – not just any blue but your very own blue. We’ll delve into sophisticated palettes to go with our sublime yarns. Bring an apron it’s sure to get messy!

In the pretty room overlooking the water, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee will host an all day exploration of knitting with luxurious yarns and the tools that go with them, and how to make the most of these precious ingredients. What are the challenges of cashmere, bison, silk and angora? How do you use them to their best advantage… and how do you take care these valuable projects when they’re finished? If you’re afraid of spending the money on these yarns because you don’t know how to handle them? This is perfect.

The weekend begins when you check in on Friday night, when we’ll gather and welcome you in the Sunroom. Over the next three days, you’ll attend classes during the day (punctuated by gourmet meals) and spend the evenings relaxing and learning more about the fibers we’ll be learning to love in really fun ways. (Reeling silk, anyone?) On the last night we’ll have a Q&A and a show and tell, and part from each other sadly.

The price includes all three full-day classes, evening fun, all materials, and breakfast, lunch and dinner Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The food is fabulous, and we promise that there will be very good vegetarian options, and the same flexibility for those of you with food allergies that you’ve come to expect from Port Ludlow. Chef Dan is very excited about being part of our teaching team 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. We’ll give you the promo code when you sign up, and you can always day-trip if you live close by.

Price for the three day/three class intensive with meals:
$795. (Credit card or paypal are fine) All Materials (except tools) 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 gourmet (food, or yarn or anything) in the gift bags, just drop us a line. We’d love it.)

To register, simply send an email to registration@knothysteria.com with “Gourmet Retreat” in the subject line, and include your name, address and phone number and a good time to call you,  and we’ll ring you to arrange it. We’ll leave registration open as long as there’s room, but it’s an intimate retreat. Don’t wait too long.

87 thoughts on “A New Retreat

  1. Drool… Okay, when I find another job with a paycheck that will extend beyond the basics of food, rent, and gas, saving up for that has just gone to the top of my list. Sounds like a great time.

  2. That sounds amzing – once more. And once more I regret that Port Ludlow is just so very very far …
    But I’m looking forward to blog posts and pictures.

  3. “Gourmet Retreat” has me picturing Monty Python’s crew in ascots and aprons and chef’s hats hightailing it for the treeline, shouting “Run away! Run away!”

  4. WOW! That would be fun! Sadly, it is the weekend of TNNA. Hopefully, you’ll repeat in November! Adrienne and I plan on bringing more friends next time.

  5. It’s just not fair that I’ve already booked a retreat for this year. This one sounds like heaven to me. Maybe you’ll do it again? Please?

  6. Hell, you need to do this in the UK. Or Europe would do. I don’t think the budget could stand the flights…or the excess baggage I’d bring home!!! Looks great fun though.

  7. One of these days we’re going to have to sit down and coordinate our schedules. I mean it. Unless this is just an ongoing “NEENER” for all the gansey comments…

  8. If only my budget would let me have so much fun! Any chance you might organize something more accessible for those of us in Ontario?

  9. Please, oh please, oh please, can’t you just have one of these retreats on THIS side of the continent once? (The Eastern side)

  10. Sigh. For once I don’t have a theater conflict (dreams of Squam, which I could have at least driven to, lost out to Enchanted April) but alas, still have the “single mom on one salary” budget conflict.
    Lol. It sounds lovely. Please post many pictures!

  11. As I live near Port Ludlow I just want to throw in that the surrounding area overflows with organic and sustainable produce farms. Throw in a dairy and some artisian bread bakers and the local seafood and you could get some awesome meals. Can’t think of a better place to host this event.
    Oh- and there are a handfull of sheep farms producing wonder fleece too.

  12. Unfortunately, wayyyyy out of my price range, but it’s something to aspire to someday 🙂 (and thus my unbridled joy that you are coming to Perth and I can take your sock class!)

  13. My first reaction was a rather uncharitable Damn you woman!
    Unfortunately I am going to Squam and cannot afford to take a second trip in the same month to a place across the country. But food, gourmet cooking, possibly elevating my ice cream skills from awesome to super human! Gah!

  14. How the ideas only get better, I’ll never know! Awesome, totally awesome! Though I will be in the area, I have work meeting in Seattle Tuesday…8am. No way to make it on time.
    So…if you’re tracking for wait list/next time, you can count on one person signing up should this wonderful offer be made again.

  15. Sounds fantastic! Can’t do it this year but I hope it gets repeated. And thank you from the non-yet-spinners of us!

  16. This is EXACTLY up my alley. If you could add leisure time for reading you’d have covered my dream vacation. Alas, it is my once every three years week to be the supportive corporate spouse. Dang, and double dang.

  17. Would love if just ONCE these could be on the East coast. The $795 is reasonable but not with an additional $460 flight to Seattle and back. Anyway, super jealous and maybe one day my budget will allow it. Hope everyone has a ton of fun, it looks amazing!

  18. This sounds amazing. Maybe I can afford to do this in a few years – I hope you’re still putting together these retreats then!

  19. I concur with Elizabeth @2:46. You have so many Canadian followers, I sorta felt that most of your book tour catered to you USA followers. I live in Kingston, ON and even that was a challenge when considering trying to go to your book signing, which I think was just one opportunity for Toronto.

  20. Aw man, I’m already booked for a flight out of town that same weekend. To a different sort of retreat.
    Ah, maybe another year.

  21. omg that sounds absolutely amazing. maybe when i’m a grown-up i can afford to go to one. you’ll still have these in twenty years, right? *droooooolllll*

  22. SIGH! My heart is jumping for the “send” key, and my mind is checking the balance in the ole account.
    I hope this one is a keeper…because I am going to be saving like mad!!!

  23. I have the kitchen equivalent of a gardener’s black thumb… but would love to taste what everyone else makes and admire their skill on the cooking day…
    I’m going to be in Port Townsend in June, but not the same time, else I’d sign up and spend the days at the retreat and let the rest of the family go entertain themselves!

  24. Wow. Sounds AMAZING – especially this time for me as a non-spinner – will start saving now and hope this is repeated in a few years when I can afford to come over from the UK – definite motivation!!!

  25. Are Crocheters allowed to attend as well? I Crochet and I am a food enthusiast, this get-away sounds like the perfect marriage of my two passions; Fiber and Food.

  26. I cook 4,000 times better than I knit and 17,539 times better than I spin. So of course this perfect retreat conflicts with a work-related command performance conference. Maybe next time. Have fun!

  27. This sounds amazing. Tragically, I can’t come as things might get prohibitively expensive if I try and make it from Australia (on top of the Iceland tour in September) but gee, I’d love to.
    I have one related question, though. Do you have any words of wisdom regarding maintaining your enthusiasm for the retreat whilst organising it? I’m part of a committee organising a retreat in June and I’m hating the bloody thing already, which is, needless to say, a bit sad. It was so much fun last year but I fear this time all the fun will have been sucked out. And yes, I’m running one of the workshop sessions. Similar (but much lower-profile!) situation to yours here.

  28. You are such a temptress! I just registered for an all-day weaving class at Stitches Midwest this August after reading your blog posts about weaving. So of course, I’ll end up buying a loom and other accessories for that. Now you are tempting me to fly half-way across the country to this retreat (which sounds wonderful). Sadly, I will resist this latest temptation.

  29. I will aim at 2 years from now (keep doing these..I don’t spin) when tuition for the tribe is finally done, and my checkbook doesn’t wince when I show up to write another check! Have a ball.

  30. What about doing something like this in Muskoka. I live up here and would be glad to help put something together.

  31. Oh, I hope you keep running these while I save up! It sounds amazing, just not in the budget. Maybe you will post recipes too? I can’t wait to hear how wonderful it is because I know it will be! Food and knitting, my dual passions……What a great idea, Stephanie. Have a great time everyone!

  32. SO excited! Just sent my email. Right up my alley, I’m not a spinner (I have reached maximum hobby density), and it’s my 40th birthday in June, and we just got our first tax return in years. Woot! Hope there’s space for me.

  33. Wow, hope y’all have a great time! Maybe someday I’ll join you. Sounds like a blast!

  34. Okay, I think it’s time you started franchising these smaller events. Find local organizers and venues, provide guidance and make appearances. There are so many of us who would love to attend but the travel cost makes it prohibitive.
    You could have one running every other month in a different part of the continent/world if you didn’t have to do all the work yourselves.
    What do you think?

  35. A couple of questions– Which is the best airport to fly into? (I will need to price that before signing up) Will there be any transport to share from the airport?

  36. Wow – sounds simply amazing! Anyone who’s wavering – DO IT NOW!! I went to one of the silk retreats. Alas, it was a once in a lifetime experience for me, but one that I savor regularly.

  37. Oh, wow!! If only the planets (the time and the money) would align! Oh, my, this sounds so wonderful! I can hope that it happens again though…oh please, oh please, oh please…

  38. I hope you will do this next year as well! I am booked for this year during that weekend but this sounds amazing!

  39. Heather (at 5:39 p.m.): Sea-Tac is the airport that you want. In the past, people have shared rental cars, and there was also a vanpool organized by someone local.

  40. Please, please, please do this again later this year or next year? I can’t afford it this year, but I can save up for the next round! This would be the most awesome weekend ever!

  41. Random thought: I spent quality time with a grandchild this afternoon, listening to fine music. They Might Be Giants recorded a song for Haitian earthquake relief called ” King of Socks.” maybe your Joe’s people could talk to their people and you can come to some agreement before your next flashmob. Just sayon’.

  42. Please, please tell me you’ll be doing this again. I can’t make it work with my schedule this year, but can’t tell you how much I want to come to this.

    You have hit the nail right on the head for me WRT spinning – I have always been tempted by your retreats because they just sound so lovely, but since I don’t spin I didn’t feel I could justify it. And now LOOK!!! PERFECTION! Perfection except for the dates… and the fact that I would not exactly be wife-or-mother-of-the-year if I went directly from a 10-day business trip to a knitting retreat instead of home to my 4-year-old :-/.
    Sigh. Please say you’ll do it again… someday.

  44. Holy cats, what’s next from you & Tina??! This sounds like so much fun, and I just talked my friend into going so go get your email, please 😉

  45. Knitting AND food!?!? Sounds almost as if you were thinking of me when you planned it! One problem though…I already have a vacation booked for those days (I know, not exactly sympathy inducing).
    Promise you’ll offer this class combo again?!?! (pretty please)

  46. Wow, sounds like so much fun. Just way out of my price range. Maybe next time.

  47. If you can possibly make it to this camp, do so. It won’t ever be finer than this combo of mentors and the amazing food and hospitality of the Port Ludlow Inn. Unrivaled.

  48. This retreat sounds fantastic!
    Unfortunately, what I can afford at this time sends me to the PKR-Poor Knitters’ Retreat, which consists of a lawn chair, a glass of iced tea, a chicken salad sandwich, & my knitting.
    Maybe someday…..

  49. Once again, you have selected dates so that teachers (at least Canadian ones) can’t attend. My mom lives in Vancouver and I keep thinking I might get a chance to link my visit with her and a trip to Port Ludlow — maybe even with my mother who is also a knitter — but the dates are never during standard vacation times. And no more sock fun in Seattle either? That was supposed to be my retirement celebration 🙁 Sad, sad, sad.

  50. It sounds awesome. And one day when I am again earning a more-than-subsistence living (working as a childminder so I can stay at home with my two) I plan to come on one of these retreats!

  51. Holy gustation batman! If only I had the flexibility to just wing off in June to Port Ludlow! Please please please do this again sometime a few summers from now!

  52. If I win the lotto 😉 I’m coming, just so I can sit on the pier there, with my feet hanging over the edge, and knit.
    There are no mozzies, right?

  53. Be still my beating heart! I think it might be a good thing that I live in Australia because resistance would be useless otherwise

  54. This sounds like an absolutely amazing weekend. However, I know for a fact it’s not in this year’s budget for me. So please, please have it again next year!
    That means all you lucky folks who go – have a great time, and give it rave reviews, so they do it again!

  55. This sounds amazing! when I’ve finished all the running in circles for my wedding (probably 2013, to be honest) and can knit more than plain socks, plain hats, and simple baby gifts when zoning out between work and wedding prep, and have actual time and money again (really 2013 is going to feel like a year of luxury), I’m signing up for one of these.Well, or another knitting related weekend of awesomeness, but yours look exceptionally good. For reals.

  56. Sounds awesome! Unfortunately, that’s about the time we will be moving into our new house. Any chance of a repeat in the fall????

  57. By golly, i think you’ve hit on a winning combo of knitting and cooking and eating. I think this might even appeal to someone who’s just learning how to knit or even someone who just really wants to hang out, work on some projects learn something and then just eat, drink and be merry!

  58. I would go just to watch all the pretties and eat. I don’t even knit, spin, weave or manage anything artsy – but wow, this sounds great.

  59. If it wasn’t for the fact that I have unexpected hospital bills, I would be all over this retreat. It sounds great.

  60. Oh, I do wish that (1) I didn’t live smack-dab in the middle of the prairies, (2) wasn’t married to a farmer, and (3) that I didn’t have five darn bottle-fed lambs. Most farm women have a love-hate relationship with these seasons 🙁

  61. What a hoot this will be. I will just have to hope for another round of this wonderful retreat in the future; already stuck with a work obligation for that week. GREAT idea.

  62. I so would love to go!! This looks astounding. No way I can swing it, but…*sigh*
    Maybe when the kids graduate high school…then there is college…then…

  63. please do this again next year! I already books the 2012 Knitting Retreat

  64. Due to DH having some medical issues that will turn out well for him, but not in time for a summer Port Ludlow outing, I regret missing it this time.
    I imagine Chef Dan will be relieved that the lady who can’t eat onions will not be there to mess up his menu, though I have nothing but praise for his treatment of me the last two fall Hysterias. When I asked for a yogurt and fruit for lunch on the Mexican feast day, he pretty much said no, that wasn’t good enough and came up with something lovely that I could eat.
    I would have loved to show him my court bouillon, though, with fresh strong arugula from my garden substituting for the shallots, and giving the sauce a subtle oniony flavor. Really, it’s very good. Honest.
    Any hope for a fall Hysteria???

  65. I’m thinking I need a raise…or better yet, I must insist that my DH begins making more $$ immediately so that I can join in such an incredible getaway. Not sure either the boss or DH will comply…we’ll see 😉

  66. Only the fact that I’m going to be visiting family over that time is keeping me from signing up for this RIGHT NOW.
    I suppose it would be bad form to tell them they’d better appreciate my sacrifice, huh? 😉

  67. Port ludlow is on my list, and this one falls in between SAW and a spinning retreat in july. I am hoping to get to the one with spinning. I will keep looking. See you at SAW!

  68. You do know that it’s all the fault of the knitting to be so creative.
    And it makes so much sense to have a chef to free more time for knitting, spinning, dying…

  69. Drat…it’s too soon after Squam and on t’other side of the continent. 🙁 It sounds simply marvelous! Maybe I can go next year, if there will be a repeat performance.

  70. How come I moved to the other side of the planet just in time for you to plan this retreat? You are so going to have to repeat this… and I am so going to have to figure out a way to go. Sounds like so much fun!
    (just started reading this blog about 2 months ago… started from the beginning, learned to knit and read at the same time, and have just now caught up to almost real time. So much good stuff in the blog… 🙂 )

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