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!

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!

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


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!

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!

Retreat Planning

Save the Date!


I’m excited to tell you that the Knit-Tea Retreat will be held on the 20th and 21st October 2018! We’re hoping for a Friday Night Knit-In in a nearby pub for those of you who travel up the day before, but the main event will be on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st. So mark it on your calendars, tell your families that you’re going to be away that weekend, book time off work if you need to and join us!
Over the next few weeks we’ll let you in on who our tutors will be as well as the location and booking information. So keep your eyes peeled! And if you want to be one of the first to hear all these pieces of news, and you’d like to have an early chance to book a place, sign up to our newsletter. Newsletter subscribers get everything a day in advance!
Retreat Planning

High-powered business meetings!

I do love having high-powered business meetings with one of my very best friends! For a start, we talk the same language (yarn and tea). We have the same requirements (tea, biscuits and yarn). And, we can enjoy ourselves while we’re making decisions!

This afternoon, we had a very productive meeting and made lots of decisions about things like when we’re going to let you in on all the retreat information, who the tutors are and what classes they will be teaching. We even decided on the contents of the goody bags – incredibly organised! Of course, we were very well fuelled…

Knit-Tea Retreat planning meeting
I feel compelled to point out that the chocolate finger biscuits were symmetrical two minutes earlier, but Zoe snarfled a biscuit as soon as she got near to them!

Mid-meeting for the Knit-Tea Retreat
Fruit Shortcake biscuits were crucial to my thought processes.

If the success of the meeting was in proportion to the amount of tea and biscuits consumed, this was an extremely profitable afternoon!

All in all, despite us both feeling very tired, I think we managed to get lots of things sorted out, and we’re really looking forward to revealing all our plans to you over the coming weeks! If you are subscribed to our newsletter, you will hear all the news at least a day earlier than Joe Public, and will have first dibs on places at the retreat. So, if you’ve not already signed up, click here and do it now!

Jennie xx