The view of the lake

2014 Knitter's Review Retreat
November 6-9
Inn on the Lake
Canandaigua, NY


Sorry! Registration is now full.

Please join us in the charming lakeside town of Canandaigua, New York, at the Inn on the Lake, for our 13th year of friendship, relaxation, and inspiration.

The Knitter's Review Retreat is a special kind of gathering that mixes inspiration, learning, play, and a healthy dose of low-stress downtime with your peers. I take great care in pulling together just the right blend of people, vendors, and activities to create a weekend that leaves you feeling relaxed, inspired, and welcomed as part of a community.

This year's retreat features a mix of design fundamentals, technique wizardry, TLC, and whimsy—along with some tall tales and good-old silliness—in the company of esteemed guests Amy Herzog, Carson Demers, Susan B. Anderson, and Julie Weisenberger.

all smiles

How It Works
The heart of the event is the Weekend Retreat, which runs from November 7-9 and includes an excellent workshop, evening programs, unfettered access to the stash lounge, equally unfettered access to the Saturday afternoon marketplace (yet more surprises this year!), participation in our Sunday morning program, plus copious freshly prepared meals, a steady flow of tea and coffee, and a comfortable bed on which to rest your head every night. For those who wish to arrive early and enjoy a full extra day of activities, including an additional workshop, we also offer the Thursday Extension that begins November 6th.

Please note that no part of the event, from Thursday to Sunday afternoon, is open to the public.

Aunt Judy and Kathy

What We'll Do
The weekend agenda strikes a careful balance between programmed time for learning and sharing, and unprogrammed time for relaxing and connecting. Highlights include:

A choice of four Saturday morning workshops:

  • English Tailoring Julie Weisenberger's designs have a gorgeous look of both effortlessness and refinement to them. Having learned to knit in Europe, she owned a ready-to-wear sweater company in the '80s before launching cocoknits. In this workshop she shares her secret technique for shoulders and necklines: English Tailoring. With a wee bit of homework to set the stage, you'll walk through the creation of a toddler sweater and finish the cardigan from the armholes up so you can experience firsthand how English Tailoring works. You'll come away with a clear understanding of how to use this technique for any set-in sleeve pattern. Skill level: Ability to cast on, knit, purl, and work basic increases and decreases.

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  • Knit a Wee Sheep I love the charm and whimsy that renowned toy designer Susan B. Anderson coaxes out of her stitches, transforming everyday yarn into bunnies, dragons, foxes, and, just for us, sheep! This workshop includes small group demonstrations of a wide variety of toy-knitting techniques, plus individual attention and group discussion on one of the most popular of all knitting categories, TOYS! The techniques learned in class will transfer over to your other toy projects and beyond. Skills: The ability to cast on, knit, purl, and work basic increases and decreases.

  • Mastering Mindful Modifications It's one thing to look at a YouTube video on working short rows, and quite another to identify when you need shaping, what you're trying to accomplish with your shaping, and figure out the mechanics of carrying out a mod. In this class, sweater guru Amy Herzog explores how to make sweater modification as easy as possible. You'll cover how to choose your correct "base size" and where to go from there; how to determine when you need, and how to work, all major modifications a knitter would make to a sweater. Skills: This class is aimed at adventurous knitters of all skill levels who want to make sweaters that fit perfectly and are not shy about using their calculator. You should feel comfortable with knitting, purling, increasing, and decreasing. Basic familiarity with short rows is a plus but definitely not required. (Even Amy doesn't recommend using them in most cases.)

  • Swatchbuckling Let's face it folks, we aren't getting any younger. We can't talk about longevity without talking about our bodies and what they may be trying to tell us. A physical therapist by trade, Carson Demers is a pioneer in the field of ergonomics for knitters. In this workshop, he'll help you bring improved ergonomics to your knitting technique. You'll swatch to improve your posture, comfort, and efficiency. You'll also study yarn tensioning techniques and all phases of stitch creation, from simple to more challenging swatches and stitches. Finally, you'll learn new ways to add movement to knitting to avoid stiffness and injuries caused by disuse. Skills: This class is appropriate for students who are comfortable with basic knit purl stitches. You'll also be working swatches of basic cable and lace pattern (with stitch patterns provided in both charted and written formats).

  • You'll also enjoy the Friday evening show-and-tell, Saturday marketplace, Saturday night's program, and Yarn Church on Sunday morning, and unfettered access to the infamous stash lounge all weekend.

  • Mealtime

    Thursday Extension
    For those who wish to make a long weekend out of it, our Thursday Extension fits the bill. This smaller gathering begins with a reception on Thursday afternoon, followed by dinner and a special presentation on Thursday night, followed by in-depth workshops running Friday morning and into the early afternoon.

    Choose from one of four classes:

    • European Finishing Tips and Techniques Sometimes the subtlest tweaks can make the difference in a finished garment. Julie Weisenberger knows her finishing techniques, and in this information-packed workshop she shares some of her most valuable tricks. You'll cover loads of territory, from simple selvedge stitches, increases, and decreases, to the more nuanced ways to play with cast-ons, short-row shaping, and bind-offs. She'll finish with a look at blocking, seaming, and picking up stitches along a button band or neckline for that perfect finish. Skills: Ability to knit and purl, increase, and decrease, and a curiosity about finishing techniques.

    • Sock Yarn Bunny Grab a ball of languishing sock yarn from your stash and turn it into an adorable seamless knit bunny! Join Susan B. Anderson for this fun adventure in toy knitting, but don't be fooled by the cuteness: This class is packed with techniques that you can use in other projects too. You'll get to try new and innovative toy-knitting techniques for creating seamless top-down toys. Susan will demonstrate several techniques for picking up stitches, face embroidery, stuffing techniques and tips, afterthought techniques, and much more. You'll leave class being a much more confident toy knitter. Skills: Must be comfortable working in the round on DPNs on a small number of stitches.

    • Sweaters Deconstructed Getting a great-fitting sweater is super important, but it's far from the whole shebang. Amy Herzog's hands-on, interactive workshop covers every non-math thing you need to know to get the sweater of your dreams. This includes, but is not limited to, fabric, silhouette and design elements, and stitch patterns. You'll spend the whole morning talking about (and playing with) sweaters! Skills: This class is suitable for knitters of all skill levels.

    • Knitting Happily Ever After Those who've taken this class from Carson Demers say it's even more important than the knit and purl stitch, and I happen to agree. You'll complete a Risk of Injury assessment in class to help you understand how knitting may contribute to any aches and pains you have. Even more important, you'll learn how to reduce them so you can knit happily ever after. Skills: This class is indispensable for knitters of all skill levels.

    How Much Does it Cost?

    Weekend Retreat:
    $650 single
    $540 double (per person)
    $490 per person *triple/three people
    $470 per person *quad/four people
    *These options are most suitable for friends only, as the rooms have two double beds.

    I'm happy to match you with a roommate, or you can specify a roommate on your registration form. Please make sure your intended roommate sends in his/her form at the same time as yours—I am unable to hold rooms for missing roommates.

    This rate covers everything: all classes and activities, two nights' lodging, all your meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch, plus snacks and beverages throughout the weekend, and all taxes and gratuities.

    Thursday Extension:
    An additional $320 single
    An additional $240 double
    An additional $220 triple/three people
    An additional $200 quad/four people

    If sharing a room, both roommates will need to be registered for the extension. The fee covers everything—meals and snacks, lodging, and all programming.

    Rooms feature complementary high-speed wireless Internet, a coffee maker, hair dryer, iron and ironing board (for last-minute blocking, perhaps?), and an in-room safe if you want to hide your cashmere from me. The inn also offers a limited number of lakeview rooms for an additional $40 per night, including tax.

    Bringing Family

    Non-knitting partners, spouses, friends, or children are welcome as long as they promise not to interfere with your fun—and are willing to entertain themselves except at mealtime. Knitting partners, spouses, friends, and children are also quite welcome as attendees.

    We regret we are not able to accommodate children under 12 without a non-participating adult caregiver, as childcare is not available at the inn. Well-behaved nursing babies are always welcome, but once the child is a toddler, it will need a non-participating caregiver.

    The cost for adult non-knitting companions sharing a room with a participant is $400 for the weekend, or $580 with the Thursday extension. This includes lodging, meals, snacks, all taxes and gratuities, and the distinct pleasure of staying in a hotel that's packed with knitters. (However, it does not include the pleasure of participating in the evening activities, marketplace, Sunday morning program, or the stash lounge.)

    Sunset over the water

    How to Register

    Registration is now full.

    By August 25 you will receive a confirmation of your registration status. If you secured a spot at the retreat, your confirmation email will also indicate which class you'll be taking. If you're on the waiting list, do not despair. Cancellations have happened and will likely happen again.

    Once your space has been confirmed, your credit card will be charged for the full registration fee. If you're on the waiting list, your credit card will not be charged, or Paypal account invoiced, until your space has been confirmed.

    Cancellations are fully refundable until September 15, 2014, at which point they will be subject to a $100 cancellation fee. After October 1, 2014, we regret that all cancellations are non-refundable.

    Getting There
    The nearest airport is the Greater Rochester International Airport, served by all major airlines including Jet Blue. From Rochester, our inn is a very easy 40-minute drive to the hotel. Albany is three-and-a-half hours away, New York City just a little over five-and-a-half hours—or 27 minutes by plane.

    What to Do Nearby
    Canandaigua is in the heart of the Finger Lakes Wine Region. In fact, right next to the inn is the New York Wine and Culinary Center, with a Tasting Room that offers samplings of New York's top wines. And for those who like to get out and stretch their legs each day, there's a paved walking trail that runs along a good length of the lake.

    Thanks so much for reading. I hope to see you this fall!


    Got Goodies?
    P.S. - Do you make knitting-related products that you'd like to place in the hands of more than 100 avid and discerning knitters? We have goodie bags and would love to talk! Email retreat AT knittersreview DOT com and we'll be in touch. Thank you!