Home again, home again

A collection of stacked stitches knitted swatches all in different 3-colour combinations grouped together on a white table

Market (and retreat) are done.

The Knit-Tea Retreat at Insole Court in Llandaff, Cardiff, was wonderful. The organisers, Zoë and Jennie, were so kind and helpful (and organised!) and the attendees were such a great bunch of people that it made the weekend feel like a real pleasure even though I was working. It doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

Everyone did so well in both workshops, learning new and unusual knitting techniques. Here are some pictures of what they achieved in the Stacked Stitches and Moebius Knitting workshops.

Two days before the retreat started (on my birthday) I decided to design a new stacked stitches sample to include in the class. (This is a very *me* thing to do). I like it – it’s similar to Hungarian Point Bargello tapestry stitch and also reminds me of geometric 60s wallpaper! I also like the fact you can work the 12-row repeat as often as you want until you decide to cast off.

Zigzag Stacked Stitches

This swatch was knitted using leftover ColourLab DK. While I was at the Sunday afternoon marketplace I had a look at the Cartref Yarn stand (run by Zoë and Jennie, the retreat organisers) and bought these three skeins of gorgeous 4-ply:

Cartref Yarn in purple, yellow and orange

The plan is to develop the zigzag swatch into a design that can be made using either 4-ply or DK (there will be two versions of the pattern depending on the yarn used). The DK version will be made using three very beautiful skeins of Black and Blue Welsh Wool from Midwinter Yarns – so it will be a design fully created in Wales with Welsh materials.

The zigzag swatch replaced the little mat/coaster in the workshop – the sample on the right of the picture below – that had been based on a section of Xandy Peters’ Ribbon Candy Scarf.

Stacked Stitches Swatches

The scarf is fabulous by the way and the pattern can be found at knitty.com.

Ribbon Candy Scarf by Xandy Peters

As well as the two workshops on Saturday, there was a social evening with a bring-and-take table, a raffle and a great mass ordering of take-aways – the combined aromas of pizza, Chinese and curry was surprisingly lovely!

Even though I hadn’t taken anything for the bring-and-take table because I hadn’t known about it, I was encouraged to have a look and found this little gem of sock yarn. It’s a 50g skein from Pixel Atlantis, a dyer from Edinburgh. 50g is enough for 1 sock, and I plan to find another 50g skein in one of the colours from this variegated one and combine them to make a ‘same but different’ not quite matching pair! The colourway is called “The Ghost of Christmas Past”.

Pixel Atlantis sock yarn

Then there was the raffle – there were some amazing prizes on offer here. I had donated a printed copy of The Little Orme Collection (hat, mitts and cowl) and there was also a whole yarn advent calendar, a project bag and lots of wonderful yarn. When my number was called I chose a skein of yarn that reminds me of raspberry sorbet. It was dyed by Owl About Yarn (that’s Jennie’s other yarn business!) for one of the past retreats. Isn’t it lush?!

Owl About Yarn skein

You may think that after lots of workshops folk would have had enough of knitting, but no! In each tea and cake break in the middle of the workshops we returned to the Carriage House Hall where refreshments were had and where everyone picked up their own knitting again for half an hour. The same was true at lunchtime and in the evening. I made quite a bit of progress on my sock using RiverKnits’ Open Day Special yarn.

Sock using RiverKnits’ yarn

I even worked on a jumper (I cast on at the Travelodge on Friday night) with yarn I had bought back in March or April!

Umbriel 1

For me Sunday was all about the marketplace. Retreat attendees mostly spent the morning either lino printing or doing yoga for crafters. I was very grateful the weather was not stormy as forecast and was able to bring the contents of my Yaris into the hall without getting soaked, ready to set up just before lunch. (Packing up was another story as the rain had begun again by then. I was VERY grateful to have lots of help taking everything back to the car).

The 6 foot clothes rail works really well and I was so relieved that I could remember how it fitted together!

Knit-Tea Retreat Marketplace Stand Kath Andrews Designs

I had *everything* with me and put out just over half of it. It was particularly wonderful seeing several of the knitters who had been in my moebius knitting workshop the day before buying moebius patterns!

Since getting home I have been taking it easy and yesterday I caught up with the Doctor Who special whilst continuing with my Morph hat by Woolly Wormhead. I really like the construction and I’m interested to see how the brim decreases work on the next/final round of squares – it’ll reduce the circumference by a third.

Morph body nearly complete

What have you been up to over the past couple of days?

Take care one and all, K x

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