Monday, 13 July 2015

A Beginner's Guide to Knitting Retreats

Written by Sam

Do you have questions about attending a retreat for the first time? Or not sure if it is for you? This post will give you an outline of what you can expect at a retreat and don’t forget you can email us or post questions in our Ravelry group and we’ll be happy to answer them.

Part 1: Before the retreat
Our Single Rooms are all sold out, leaving only Twin Rooms available on-site. So you might be unsure about sharing a room with someone you have never met. It’s a common worry, but we can help. If you didn’t request a specific roommate, we will send you a roommate questionnaire so we can match you up with a roommate. We’ll let you know before the retreat who you will be sharing with. We encourage you to message them to get to know a little bit about each other.

If a shared room is not for you, we’d suggest signing up as a Non-Residential Attendee (you’ll get everything that the on-site attendees receive other than a place to sleep). Then you can book a room at a hotel or B&B in the area. We’ll share a post here on the website in a couple of weeks with recommendations for other places to stay in Edinburgh.

Part 2: Arriving
At least one of us will be there to greet you when you arrive, even if you are late! That way we can make sure you know where everything is and show you to your room. Don’t feel that you need to socialise straight away if you are tired or feel rushed. There are plenty of quiet places at the retreat centre, inside and out, where you can gather yourself or have a rest. We’ll be sharing a contact phone number with you before the retreat so you can contact us the day of with any arrival questions or to let us know you’ll be arriving later than you expected.

Part 3: Meeting the attendees
You may arrive alone or at the same time as other people. If you’re sharing a room, we will be available to introduce you to your roommate. Everyone will have a name badge, so you can see at a glance who everyone is. If you’d prefer not to have photos of yourself taken, your badge lanyard will be a different colour so that everyone will be able to immediately see who doesn’t want photos taken. If you feel overwhelmed at this point, the quiet places I wrote about above will always be available. And remember, we all like to talk about our knitting!

Part 4: During the retreat
The aim is for everyone to have a relaxing, fun, knitting break. If you get stir crazy, there are lots of great places near the retreat centre to have coffee or visit. C.C. and Damaris will post a guide to the local area next week. Edinburgh is a great city! We won’t mind if you decide to escape to the city for a while for some sightseeing. There may well be other attendees who’d love to join you. Alternatively, you may just want to sit and knit quietly for the whole retreat. That’s fine too. Yay for knitting!

All meals are provided for all attendees. Seats aren’t reserved but there is plenty of space for everyone. If you let us know about dietary concerns, we will be working with the catering staff of the retreat centre to make sure your needs are met.

We’ll be in touch at the end of August about your classes. If you expressed interest in taking more than 1 class, that will be your chance to confirm that with us. If there are additional spaces left in any of the classes, we may open those spaces to the general public. So make sure and get back to us within a week of the end of August email to make sure you get the class(es) you want.

We’ve been blown away by the support of the fibre world for our retreat. We have lots of door prizes and things for our goodie bags including coupon codes and patterns that we can’t wait to share with you.

Please let us know if you have any questions or problems during the retreat and we will answer them and/or try to resolve them as soon as possible.

As we get closer to the date there may be opportunities to help with registration, the vendor market, and other things. We’ll let you know via the Ravelry group, this blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.

Part 5: The Vendor Market
Attendees get first dibs on the goodies from the great vendors who will be selling their gorgeous wares! If you haven’t seen the list of vendors, check it out here. If you have friends in the area, why not meet them for the afternoon public opening of the marketplace as well. The vendor market will be open to the public from 1pm to 3pm on Saturday, 31-October, for a fee of £3 per person or a donation of a knitted or crocheted item which we’ll donate to charity.

Part 6: The sad bit
Saying goodbye! We hope that you will have had a fantastic time and can’t wait to come back again. Don’t forget that we will still be on Ravelry and you can message us whenever you want. We’ll also be sending out a questionnaire after the retreat, where we welcome any comments you may have about our time together!

Hopefully that gives you a good overview of what to expect at the retreat. If you haven’t signed up to attend the retreat yet, go here immediately to sign up! If you have any questions, feel free to email us at or post in our Ravelry group.

We are so excited to meet each of you in person in just a little over 3 months! Happy Knitting!

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