Retreat Planning

Saturday Evening Speaker!

We are so pleased to announce that Zoe Fletcher of The Woolist will be joining us on Saturday 13th June to give an after dinner speech and to answer questions that you might have about her work.

Zoe has always loved wool, knitting and anything crafty! After graduating with a First Class Honours from Manchester School of Art in Textiles Design for Fashion, she went on to specialise in knitwear for an MA in ‘Fashion and the Environment’ at London College of Fashion. After graduating with Distinction, she worked at People Tree and House of Fraser, before moving back up North to work with an alpaca cooperative in Yorkshire, where we blended alpaca and Bluefaced Leicester for yarn and womenswear collections. Zoe gained her PhD from Manchester School of Art in 2018, specialising in British sheep and fibre qualities for knitwear design. Zoe is the founder of The Woolist, an online (and pop-up event) space, which showcases research into British sheep and wool, connects producers, manufacturers and makers, as well as selling products made from breed specific fibres. 

We are thrilled that she agreed to join us, and can’t wait to learn more about all things wool!

Updates and chat

Cardiff 2019 – what a wonderful weekend! Watch out for Stratford-upon-Avon 2020!

And another retreat is over! Once more we had a fabulous weekend. The weather was kind to us, drying up just in time for everyone to be able to move a couple of tables outside and enjoy the warm Welsh autumn sun. Our attendees were all really friendly and a joy to be around, and both of us thoroughly enjoyed meeting old friends and making new ones.

Zoë recorded her traditional vlog, which I’ve embedded into this blog post. You’ll also find it on our YouTube channel and Zoe’s Pins and Needles Podcast YouTube channel. Also, lots of pictures were posted (both by us and by our attendees) on Instagram, so pop over there and have a look. Good hashtags to search are #theknittearetreat and #knittearetreat. We also had a mention in a few vlogs and podcasts, including Yarn ‘n’ Yarns, East London Knits and Calon Yarns.

And the fun doesn’t stop here! We’re already diving headlong into planning the 2020 retreats. We will be returning to both Stratford-upon-Avon and Cardiff, and we have some fabulous things lined up for you!

Tickets for Stratford-upon-Avon (June 13-15 2020) will go on sale next Saturday, 9th November at midday for those of you who are signed up to our mailing list. Any remaining tickets will be made available to the public on Sunday 10th November at midday, via this website. We will be uploading information about the June retreat over the coming days to its designated page on this site, but also to Instagram. We have planned a fabulous Saturday evening event and we’re excited to tell you more about that over the coming days!

Cardiff 2020 (23-25 October) will go on sale in the new year. We are thrilled with our line up of tutors and can’t wait to tell you about them! Once more, priority will be given to our newsletter subscribers, so if you haven’t already signed up, do it now!

Retreat Planning

Four weeks left!

Just four short weeks and we will be in the thick of our first Stratford-upon-Avon retreat! I’m so excited for it to come around. The Cardiff one was just a joy from start to finish and everyone was a little sad to go back to normal life when it was done!

We’re finalising preparations now, so goody bags are being arranged and vendors for the Sunday mini-market are being confirmed.

Last weekend Zoë and I were at Wonderwool Wales once again, and it was really lovely to see some past and future retreaters there. We also had a fair few people express interest in coming to future retreats, so they have been added to the newsletter list!

The main excitement last weekend though was that Zoë and I launched our brand new joint project, Cartref Yarn. The yarn has been a Work In Progress for over a year now, so it was wonderful to bring the Finished Object to exhibit. A few sweater quantities were acquired and many smaller project amounts. We will be launching online at next Friday evening, so if you want to get your hands on some completely Welsh wool, visit there or our website I’m in the process of writing up the whole story behind the yarn for our website.


I’ll be writing again soon to tell you more about the marketplace on Sunday 2nd June which will be open to the public as well as our retreaters. For now, back to goody bag plotting!

Jennie x



Bookings open in 2 days for Cardiff 2019!

It might be the better part of a month through the year already, but if we’ve not already said via some other method, we wish you a very happy 2019 full of lovely crafting and times which create wonderful memories for the future!

It’s getting close to the time when we will open bookings for Cardiff 2019 – the retreat will be on the 18th, 19th and 20th October, with a specially booked get together on Friday 18th from 6pm for us all to meet and chat before the weekend officially starts!

On Saturday, we will send email subscribers an email at 12 midday. In it will be a link to the booking form. The form is very simple, just a handful of questions about you, and then a list of classes for you to put in your order of preference. To save time, I would recommend that you read our terms and conditions beforehand as we ask that you tick a box to agree to them as a condition of booking a place.

Later today there will be a podcast on our YouTube channel in which we talk in more detail about the Cardiff 2019 retreat. We also talk about the knitalong which will begin next week (come and join in the Ravelry chat thread).

All details are on our website, but if you have any questions please feel free to email us or leave a comment on Instagram and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Finally, a couple of our Stratford-Upon-Avon attendees have unfortunately had to cancel. We therefore have some places available, so if a weekend long knit-in in a beautiful Tudor hotel with dinner on a riverboat is more your style, why not join us for that!

Hope to see you in Cardiff or Stratford!

Jennie and Zoë

Retreat Planning · Updates and chat

Come and visit the Sunday Market

Just one more day until we kick off the inaugural Knit-Tea Retreat in Cardiff! We are so excited, ticking the final to-dos off the list, planning our cake shopping, packing our own knitting projects and Bring and Take Table contributions!

The Ravelry group is getting lovely and chatty with lots of our attendees getting to know each other there ahead of time. Plans are being made for taxi sharing, gathering together on the London to Cardiff train, as well as discussions as to how many hand knits to pack (all of them, of course!) and whether the load in the suitcase will be balanced out between the things they will leave at the swap table and the things they plan to acquire at the market!

If you missed out on a place at our retreat, or if you just like a lovely craft market, why not join us on Sunday between 2-5pm and visit our public market at Insole Court? It is free entry, and we have a lovely selection of stalls for you to browse and stock up on crafting goodies!

marketplace poster sep 2018

I’ll look forward to seeing you there!

Updates and chat

It’s the Final Countdown!

Here’s our final podcast before the inaugural Cardiff Knit-Tea Retreat! We’re getting pretty excited!

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

Friday 19th October evening get together
Beverley Hotel & Inkeepers Lodge, 75-77 Cathedral Road, CF11 9PG
Jennie & I will be there from 6-9.30pm or later, and will be eating. Come and go as you please! We have reserved 2 areas at the back of the pub. Check website for menu and details of allergies etc. Parking is tight round there so car share, walk or catch a taxi / bus if you can. There’s a thread in the Ravelry group for this meet-up so head over there to sort details and chat.

Saturday 20th evening event
We’ll be staying at Insole Court for the Saturday night shenanigans. We will provide lots of take-away menus for you to order from. Please try and remember to bring cash as you will be ordering and sorting out payments yourselves. There’s a thread in the Ravelry Group.

Sunday 21st October evening get together
Toby Carvery, 21 Tyn-y-Parc Road, CF14 6BH. Attached to the Travelodge in Whitchurch.…
Table is booked for 20 from 7.30pm, we have about 5 spare seats so far, but we can book more if needed. Jennie and I will be there asap after tidying up at Insole Court. There’s a thread in the group for this as well. Plenty of parking on site.

Lunches at the Retreat
Feel free to bring your own, but you won’t be able to put anything in a fridge.
We’ve arranged for the on-site cafe, The Potting Shed, to offer lunches. Please see the menu options in the thread in the Ravelry group for details. You can order off the main menu as well but may have to wait longer. You can pre-order with us in the morning and pay on pick up.

General Info
Please arrive promptly at 9am on Saturday and Sunday – there’s some admin to get through like name badges and getting cups of tea!
Don’t forget to bring:
pen and paper
yarn / needles / notions / swatches for workshops
contributions to Bring & Take Table
Finished objects from our KAL’s for extra door prize tickets
lunch if not ordering it
water bottle and travel mug to save on waste
cash and cards

Retreat Planning · Updates and chat

June 2019 Stratford-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