Monday, 27 April 2015

Still Buzzing

Welcome to the second stop on The Great Gwlana Blog Tour.  

Hint - This is how it all begins, but you need to listen to THE PODCAST to get the full story

If you have not come over here on The Tour you may be wondering what Gwlana is all about. Well, I'll tell you, it is a wonderful knitting retreat. Yes a retreat, in a cosy hotel (Beggars Reach) deep in the Welsh countryside where a bunch of knitters and a couple of knitting experts will be holed up for a whole 3 days,  just knitting.  In just two weeks' time 15 - 18 May 2015. Bliss, or what?? 

We will knit in the wonderful hotel orangerie looking out on this view

And I shall be there, how lucky am I?? You can be there too, but hurry and get your tickets, I well remember the first time I went on one of these retreats the tickets sold out before you could say lickerty split and people were queuing up to join the waiting list.

So much beautiful knitting (Brenda listening to us taking the Today's Sweater class)

Gwlana is Welsh for Wool Gathering, it has a very specific and special meaning but I'll leave Brenda to explain this, she does it so well in this podcast in conversation with Felix. 

Brenda Dayne, of the famous podcast Cast-On, recently renamed Provisional Cast-On, is the woman behind the Gwlana retreats and Felix (Felicity Ford of Knitsonik) is joining her in May as the second knitting expert. When you listen to the podcast you will not only learn the meaning of Gwlana but also hear more about the retreat's classes (beautiful colour work from Felix and sweater design from Brenda) and get a taste of how Brenda and Felix work together.

Felix's colour work, Brenda's knitting - a perfect combination

I have been to two Gwlana retreats before. Not quite 3 as Brenda says, but as many of us keep in touch, have lots of little London and yarn festival meet-ups I can see how easily I have given that impression.  I have illustrated today's blog with some my best photos from previous retreats but you can also read about them here and here

The Brenda and Felix podcast will tell you all you need to know about the up-comming retreat but I thought I would tell you here what, for me, is so good about Gwlana 

  • I have made lasting friendships that cross the generations, including Kathleen who as Knit-like-you-mean-it will be joining the blog tour later this week

We're gathering for a group photo on the hotel lawn, that's Kathleen, in the middle, holding her
daughter Little Miss Feisty (it was LMF's first knitting retreat)

  • A whole new appreciation of yarn from independent producers. When my friend Vandy suggested we went on the first retreat together 'to meet other knitters who don't just want to knit with acrylic' I had no idea how big and wonderful the indy yarn business was

You can learn by buying, right? This was my little stash addition from the mini-market, iincluding the two wound skeins which were in my goody bag

  • I learned some basic techniques of design,  from how to incorporate a stitch pattern to a specific shape to designing a whole sweater to specific measurements

I have to admit this is still a WIP, but one day it will be a shawl, it will...

  • Courage to begin something new -  I met Rachel at Gwlana who encouraged me to learn to spin

Very special, yes I spun it but also the fibre was dyed by Rachel, AKA porpoise

There's much more, this is just a start, as you will see if you join us on The Blog Tour and at the retreat (I hope you do)

The next stop on the Gwlana Blog Tour is The Yarn in the City Blog (Did you know that Alli and Rachel, the clever women behind the YITC partnership also met at a Gwlana retreat, so much creativity)



PS, more things going on on Facebook and Twitter

A retreat needs to be in a quiet peaceful place - right?  Well there are neighbours but they are very nice


Mary Lou said...

Oh that looks like such fun, and what a beautiful place. A bit far for a short hop, though.

Brenda said...

Thank you, Catherine, for such a lovely post about Gwlana! I can't wait to see you at the May Retreat.

Annie Cholewa said...

How exciting ... and of course I'm green with envy. If only this darn shoulder of mine would let me knit more than a few rows!

Felicity Ford said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Felicity Ford said...

Thanks for your lovely review of Gwlana and for linking to the KNITSONIK podcast. I'm really looking forward to seeing you at the May edition of Gwlana and to teaching alongside Brenda, these glimpses of past editions are just lovely.

kristieinbc said...

It sounds like such a wonderful knitting retreat. I only wished I lived nearby so I could attend. Looking forward to reading about it on your blog after you return.