This weekend I was so lucky to be able to host the final Yarn Retreat of 2015. It was the tenth retreat this year, and I thought you might like a peep into the weekend on a retreat.
Guests were welcomed to the beautiful Arched House with a gift box to open whilst enjoying tea and cake – the chocolate cake has become a firm favourite but this time I added a seasonal twist – Chocolate pudding cake! I’ve never made one of these before but I was so delighted with how it turned out – delicious chocolate brownie cake, layered with a white chocolate icing. Smothered in chocolate ganache and maltesers, and finished with a white chocolate glaze – definitely one for the chocolate fans!
The house is so beautiful, and a little bit magical with added fairy lights and some gorgeous christmas decorations- as it is so close to Christmas I added a few festive touches here and there. A lovely lady called Carol who came on a retreat in April makes these beautiful Christmas trees and I knew I needed some. Plus some candy cane bunting from Lucy at The Pie Patch – I love Lucy’s crochet items.
There was lots of Christmas present making going on too – little dolls, delicate gloves, a first pair of socks, crowns to go in crackers, shawls with colourwork and wraps with beads – hands were kept busy whilst everyone rested, laughed and made friends, learning from each other how to pick up dropped stitches or the best way to add beads. I love the connections that are made over a weekend when you meet like minded people, and discover that you have more in common than just a love of yarn. Some guests stayed up late, knitting and chatting, whilst others took advantage of the incredibly comfortable beds and beautiful bedrooms.
Although we weren’t affected too badly by the storms, it was very windy and those that braved a morning walk got blown along the beach – but well rewarded with beautiful treasures – not just seaglass and pottery but beautiful victorian silver spoons and tiny ammonites too. Freshly baked pastries and hot coffee waiting at the house tempted them back, or I think treasure hunting may have gone on all morning!
In between all this there was time to dye yarn, exploring hand painting, kettle dyeing and making self striping yarn. There was plotting and planning as everyone worked out what they might make and dyed just the right shade of pink, or added just the right amount of a contrast colour. Some stayed firmly within comfort zones creating something beautiful they knew they would wear, others threw caution to the wind and let the colours explode onto the yarn – all of the yarn ended up being beautiful and there was much admiring as the hard work was rewarded with more tea and cake.
In the afternoon a fantastic workshop from Beth at KoruTumi meant everyone went home with a crochet hook and matching buttons that they had made themselves.
Reluctantly on Sunday everyone made their way home, feeling relaxed and refreshed and with a few more gifts ticked off their lists for Christmas, a new skill they can enjoy many times if they want to dye yarn at home, and a whole group of new friends. I can’t wait for the retreats to start again in 2016, special things happen on these weekends!
If you would like to join us, you can book here.