Updates and chat

Statement regarding the Stratford-upon-Avon retreat and the COVID-19 pandemic

Statement from Jennie and Zoë regarding our current plans for the Stratford Retreat in June and the COVID-19 pandemic.

As things stand, we have no plans to cancel the retreat and we would only do so on government advice. We are a relatively small group of fewer than fifty people and therefore less likely to be affected by mandatory limits on public gatherings.

We will be monitoring all updates from central government and Public Health England/Wales and will keep you informed about any changes that would affect the retreat.

Clearly the hotel management will also play a role in determining if we are able to continue and we will be liaising with them to make sure that we are aware of their current policies.

Hopefully you will all have purchased travel insurance (as recommended in the terms and conditions!). Please check to see whether this would cover you for any expenses which you have already incurred.

We hope that you have enough stash to get you through any periods of self-isolation, and that you stay healthy! Don’t forget to wash your hands (and needles!).


Nearly booking time again

On Saturday, the form will go live for newsletter subscribers to book their place at our October Cardiff retreat. I’m so excited to find out who will be joining us, and which classes you decide to do. I have to say, I don’t envy you trying to narrow down the choice, given that I would happily take any one of the seven workshops. I really need to find a time turner, or a TARDIS!

These are our workshops for October 2020:

named tutors

Karie Westermann

  • Estonian Lace
  • Knitting the Landscape

Sylvia Watts-Cherry

  • Fun with Colour in Knitting
  • Cast on Cast Off

Mina Philipp

  • Spinning on a Drop Spindle for Beginners
  • Pattern Hacking

Mathew Browne

  • Photography for Knitters

Leave a comment in the box below and tell me, what would be your first choice of workshop and why?

Retreat Planning

Sneak peek behind the scenes…

So you see the social media posts, you get the emails, but what other retreat-focussed work do we do that you don’t see?

Last Saturday, Zoë and I had a happy afternoon watching the booking forms arrive for the June 2020 Stratford retreat. It’s always wonderful finding out who will be joining us for the weekend, and fills us with enthusiasm to plan the very best retreat that we can! Some old friends will be returning, but plenty of new people have signed up. The chat group has been set up on Ravelry, and I’m looking forward to getting to know people before I meet them in person! I’ve got a routine going now for getting everyone’s details into a spreadsheet and then ticking names off when they have their invoice when they pay, when I’ve tagged them on Ravelry, etc etc. We are both big fans of lists, and so we have lists coming out of our ears to make sure we know what has been done, what needs doing, which invoices need chasing, who has food allergies, and so much more!

Now, we are brainstorming and dreaming up ideas for next year’s retreats. We are thinking about what we want to put in the gift bags, how we can decorate the venues, what activities we can plan. We don’t believe in resting on our laurels, and always aim to make the next retreat even better than the last. We have started to review feedback forms and are making notes on any wrinkles that could be ironed out next year. I am updating the website and sorting out the invoices and emails, and Zoë is our social media manager and is planning a Makealong in our Ravelry group as well as what will be going on Instagram.

Obviously, we are being fuelled by many pots of tea, but the lovely comments from our past retreaters are really driving me forward right now. I have seen people come alone to a retreat and then leave with lots of new friends. I’ve seen those friendships endure over social media with retreaters commenting on each other’s Instagram posts, for example, in good times and bad. It is heartwarming to me to see these connections being forged because of an event that Zoë and I have organised, and it absolutely makes me want to carry on and hopefully facilitate more friendships between people in the crafting community!

Do you have any questions for us with regard to our retreats? Is there anything you would like us to write about on this blog? Leave a comment or post a message on our social media channels and we’ll see what we can do!

Updates and chat

Just three days to wait….

Three days until you can reserve your space in The Alveston Manor at Stratford-upon-Avon for two and a half blissful days of knitting, crocheting, spinning, or whatever woolly, yarny hobby takes your fancy! Three days until you can plan in earnest for a weekend with a room full of friendly, like minded people who understand the value of a hand knit, don’t question the need for one more skein and find it entirely reasonable to have five WIPs at once! And an abundance of tea, coffee and cake. (Did we mention the cake??)

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Updates and chat

It’s the Final Countdown! Doo doo doo doo….

Four days! Four short days and we will find out which of you lovely people will be joining us in Stratford-upon-Avon next June 12-14! It’s going to be a fabulous weekend and Zoë and I are so excited for it already! After yesterday’s announcement about Zoe Fletcher of the Woolist joining us on Saturday 13th, we are counting down the weeks until it begins! (It’s 31 weeks and 3 days, in case you were wondering…)

If you plan on joining us in Stratford-upon-Avon, or would like to be the first to hear information about future retreats, please ensure that you are signed up to our newsletter list. Newsletter subscribers get priority booking, so it’s definitely worth signing up to make sure you don’t miss the opportunity of a wonderful weekend with dozens of like minded people wearing wonderful handknits!