Retreat Planning · Updates and chat

June 2019 Straford-upon-Avon retreat!

We are thrilled to tell you all about our second retreat! We tell you everything in the video below, and I’ve written down all the main details here for you. We’ve been planning this for several months now so it’s great to finally share it with you all!

Location page

Terms and Conditions page

Booking will open for newsletter subscribers on Saturday 11th August at 12pm BST. Any remaining tickets will be available for non-subscribers on Sunday 12th August at 12pm BST via this website. Not subscribed to our email newsletter? Sign up here.

This retreat will be held on the 1st and 2nd of June in beautiful Stratford-Upon-Avon. It’s Zoe’s home town so she was very keen to hold an event here. It’s very easy to get to, being only about two hours from London, two and a half from Leeds, not far from Birmingham and on the mainline train network. You will be spoilt for choice for accommodation. As it is such a popular tourist destination due to its strong links to William Shakespeare there is an abundance of all sorts of accommodation available.

As with our Cardiff retreat, it will be held over a weekend, with the Saturday and Sunday being the main days. However, we will organise an informal get together on the Friday evening for those of you who travel to Stratford the day before the retreat.

The retreat costs £220. We will require a £75 deposit to be paid within 72 hours of our PayPal invoice in order to secure your place and then the remaining £145 by 1st Feb 2019. It includes 2 days at the 4* Alveston Manor hotel, with tea / coffee and home baked treats morning and afternoon both days (access to hotel bar at own cost), cake and biscuits, fabulous goody bag stuffed with lovely things, tickets for door prizes, a three course dinner cruise on the Saturday evening on the Countess of Evesham (drinks at own cost), entry to Sunday afternoon table-top marketplace. Does NOT include accommodation, travel, personal insurance, breakfast or lunch. We will be speaking to the hotel closer to the time to see if we can arrange lunch for attendees which would be at an extra cost. The hotel is a 5 minute walk from lots of cafes, restaurants and shops, and the Bancroft Gardens Area of the town. For full terms and conditions, please click here.

Website for the town… Accommodation websites include and will be helpful for booking train tickets closer to the time.

If you watched our latest podcast episode you will have heard about our exciting news about future retreats! Our next retreat which will be booking soon will be in Stratford Upon Avon on 1st and 2nd of June 2019. Stay tuned for information coming soon about the venue and fabulous evening entertainment, as well as a timetable for the booking process. As happened last time, newsletter subscribers will get 24 hours priority booking. As the Cardiff retreat sold out in 21 hours, if you are at all interested in attending our Stratford upon Avon retreat and don’t already receive our newsletter, please sign up so that you don’t miss out!

Updates and chat

June 2018 Podcast

Find us @theknittearetreat on IG / FB / Ravelry / Twitter

Sign up to our newsletter here:

Find us personally as @owlaboutyarn on the same + etsy
and @pinsandneedlesuk


Jen Best as @beakerbutton on IG and on etsy here (see website for tutorials)
Emma of Ffolky Ffelt as @emmaffolkyffelt on IG and on etsy


Debbie of Down Sheepy Lane can be found on etsy here
Ange of Yarn n Yarns on IG as @yarnnyarns and @rainb0wange and on YouTube here and her shop at
Carolien of Colourful Creativity by Kralalien on IG as @kralalien and
Jen Best of Beaker Button as @beakerbutton on IG and on etsy here (see website for tutorials)
Emma of Ffolky Ffelt as @emmaffolkyffelt on IG and on etsy
Anniken Allis of Yarn Addict as @yarnaddictanni on IG and at
Jennie of Owl About Yarn  as @owlaboutyarn on IG, at and
Richard & Jane of Shaston Boxes as @shastonboxes on IG and on Facebook
Liz of Ananuca on IG as @ananucahandmade and
Emma of Eldenwood Craft on IG as @eldenwood_craft and on etsy here


Renée Callahan KAL
Renée Callahan KAL in our Knit Tea Retreat Group here
Find Renée on IG as @eastlondonknit, and her Ravelry designer page here:
And her website here

Jennie’s Angelus Novus Cardigan by Renée, in Owl About Yarn Cuddly Owl DK, one of a kind
Zoe’s Christmas Eve Bauble by Renée in Owl About Yarn Sparkle Owl in Cranberry Fizz and undyed

Project bag by Emma of Eldenwood Craft, find her on IG as @eldenwood_craft and on etsy here
2 x 50g balls of Jamieson’s Spindrift 4-ply in Natural and Moorit
1 x 100g skein of Owl About Yarn Happy Owl Sock in Vivid Sunset

KAL runs from now until 20th July 2018
Use #reneeretreat on social media
Anybody can take part, not just retreat attendees!
No wips
Any of Renée’s patterns count.
Prizes for FO’s and joiners in!

Summer 2019 Knit Tea Retreat
1st and 2nd June in Stratford-Upon-Avon
Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear.

Updates and chat

Five months to go!

My days, the seven months since we took bookings for our first Knit-Tea Retreat have flown by! Five months today we will be getting right into our first workshops and having a fabulous time at Insole Court! Five months tomorrow will be our first Knit-Tea Marketplace, a gathering of a wonderful group of makers who will be tempting you with their wares. Even if you’re not attending the retreat, the marketplace will be open to the public and so we’d love to see you there, supporting independent companies and creators. We will be releasing a full list of exhibitors in a couple of weeks on our next podcast.

We’re in the middle of our Renee Callahan Knitalong – are you taking part? There are prizes on offer for participants, and I’m still upset that Zoe won’t let me be in on the draws! I’m knitting an Angelus Novus cardigan, and the original triangular shawl which will make up the back of the cardigan is coming on nicely. I know Zoe has planned to knit some Christmas baubles, but I don’t think she has found the time to start just yet. She has picked out the yarn though, so she’s as good as there!

Right, I’m off to enjoy this gorgeous May day with my family; happy crafting to you all!

Jennie x


Three days until booking begins!

Only three days! It seemed so long away when we worked out our calendar in the summer, but the time has flown by as it always does, and now we’re getting to excited to find out who will be joining us in Cardiff next year!

In three days, on Saturday afternoon, all our newsletter subscribers will receive an email with a link to the booking form. Unfortunately as we have to limit the places on the retreat due to class sizes and the size of the location it will be on and first come, first served basis. So, once we have received the applications,  we will send out paypal invoices to our applicants in the same order as we receive the completed forms back. Applicants then have 72 hours to pay the deposit and officially reserve their place. If 72 hours pass and the deposit is not paid, and if we have a waiting list, we reserve the right to offer the place to the next person in line.  

We’d really recommend that you read our terms and conditions before filling in the form, as you will be asked to tick a box on the form to signify that you agree to abide by them. Also, have a look at the class list on our Tutors page so that you can plan your order of preference in advance too!


Final tutor reveal!

Our fourth and final tutor is…

We are so excited to reveal our final tutor to you. It’s a fantastic line up of four truly talented wooly artisans and we just can’t wait to get them all together at our retreat!

Our fourth tutor is Renée Callahan!

As we did with our other tutors, we asked her a few questions which she was kind enough to answer so that we could get to know her a bit better!

What’s your name and where do you come from / are you now?

My name is Renée and I am from Seattle. I came to the UK many years ago as an exchange student, met a boy and decided to stay!

– Could you give us a brief outline of how you started knitting, and your yarny career to date?

After studying fashion design with knitwear at Central Saint Martins college, I began to hoard yarn and a range of knitting machines.  I love textiles and technical challenge of knitting. There is real joy in producing something both useful and beautiful! After several years of making samples for designers and helping students with final collections, I decided to give up my studio to pursue hand knitting full time. I love to see new knitters taking to the needles and teach a range of hand knitting classes.

– Which design are you most proud of and why?

That would probably be Angelus Novus: a cardigan design that is part of the Klee Collection.

I was pleased with the design that sort of came to my brain fully knit up and I admit it made me feel pretty clever. Even better is that other people seem to like it as well! I love to see other people’s versions.

– What is your favourite drink to accompany your knitting?

Since moving to the UK, I have become a greedy tea drinker! The bigger the mug, the better. I am also partial to a gin cocktail on occasion when simple knitting is on hand…

– What will you be teaching at The Knit Tea Retreat? 

Brioche Stitch Basics and Twice The Fun:Learn To Double Knit

You can find Renée online as @eastlondonknit on social media, EastLondonKnit on Ravelry and at

Renée is going to fit right in at our retreat, being a self confessed “greedy tea drinker”! So, are Brioche and Double Knitting techniques that are on your must-learn list?

To recap, our four amazing tutors are as follows:

  1. Anniken Allis teaching Shetland Lace, Colourwork and Steeking
  2. Jen Best teaching Crosswheel Dorset Buttons and Posy Dorset Button brooch
  3. Emma Bevan teaching needle felting a miniature landscape
  4. Renée Callahan teaching Brioche and Double Knitting.

We really look forward to having you join us on what is shaping up to be a pretty awesome weekend!

Dates for your Diary

It’s getting very close to that time when we will be opening bookings! The form to request to book will be available via the “Bookings” page on Sunday 8th October after lunch (UK time!). Beware leaving booking too long; we only have a limited number of places and once they are gone, that’s it!

This weekend: We will be releasing a podcast filling you in on all the nitty gritty details. It will all be available in written form here on our website as well to make it easier for you to check information.

Sunday 8th October 🎉 BOOKINGS OPEN!! 🎉 We will open the bookings page in the early afternoon and there will be a link to click to take you to the booking form. Once you have submitted it, we will be in touch shortly thereafter to confirm whether you have a place. If all the places sell, you will have the opportunity to go on a waiting list in case someone drops out.


Third tutor…..Emma Bevan!

We are thrilled to announce that the third tutor to join us at the Knit Tea Retreat is Emma Bevan of Ffolky Ffelt! We spotted her stand at Wonderwool Wales earlier this year and we were blown away by her work. She was kind enough to answer some questions by email…

What’s your name and where do you come from / are you now? 
I’m Emma, and I’m from the Brecon Beacons in Wales.. I spent 10 years in London but I’m back in my mountains now!

Could you give us a brief outline of how you started felting, and your yarny career to date?
​I discovered felt making when I was having treatments for cancer, about 6 years ago. I had previously been drawing, printing and using photography, so using fibre was a first! I am very lucky to have suppliers who are also sheep farmers and I use both natural and hand -dyed wool. I soon fell in love with its tactile and therapeutic processes… as I grew more accomplished, and as I am a teacher, I was asked to run workshops and make commissions. This is now my new and much loved job!​

Which design / FO are you most proud of and why?
​I think it is my Swan, a piece I made for the ‘Refuge’ exhibition for the Brecon Womens’ Festival last year. I really pushed all my boundaries in confidence, technique and experimenting, and thankfully, it worked out! It is now in the home of a private collector.​

What is your favourite drink to accompany your knitting?
​I love a G&T… with lime!​

What will you be teaching at The Knit Tea Retreat?
​We will be making a little 2D needle felted picture – perhaps your favourite pet portrait, or a garden bird, or a cute hare, maybe a landscape that you love.

Jennie and I hope you are as excited as we are to have such a talented local fibre artist teaching at the retreat. You can find Emma on Instagram as @emmaffolkyffelt and her website at

Next week we will be revealing the final tutor, and then we can get bookings started!


Tutor number two will be…

…Jen Best of Beaker Button! We met her at Wonderwool Wales where her stall stood out to us as we wandered around on the Sunday morning. We were intrigued by all the different button designs, and especially because we loved the idea of having fully customised buttons to match our hand knitted garments! We asked her to answer a few questions for us…

– What’s your name and where do you come from / are you now?
– Jen Best. I’m based in Hampshire, at The Fairground Craft and Design Centre at Weyhill.

– Could you give us a brief outline of how you started crafting and learning about buttons, and your yarny career to date?
– I’ve been button making, knitting, sewing, crocheting from a very young age, having learnt at my Gran’s  knee. My mum taught me to spin about 10 years ago and I learnt to felt about 5 years ago. I run a small studio where I get to indulge my passion for Dorset buttons and all things fibre, including writing books and designing new buttons and techniques, dyeing yarn for kits and to design with and creating fibre things to show off my Dorset buttons. Not that I’m obsessed with them or anything!

– Which design / FO are you most proud of and why? 
– I’m in love with the tree brooches, which I’ve recently turned into hoop art. (See the centre picture in the collage above) I’ve nearly finished a hula hoop sized tree which I get to be very creative with.

– What is your favourite drink to accompany your knitting?
– Gin and tonic with Ice and a squeeze of satsuma

– What will you be teaching at The Knit Tea Retreat?
– Dorset button making.

Thank you so much to Jen, for answering our questions! We were so glad to meet her at Wonderwool Wales earlier this year, and instantly thought that she would make a wonderful tutor for our retreat!