Country House Retreat

I had a fantastic time at the Country House Retreat last week. It is the first time in over ten years that I have been on a knitting retreat, and it exceeded all of my expectations. First and foremost, it was an absolutely lovely bunch of knitters, and we had a blast:

photo from Events Unwound

The retreat is in the Lake District in England and the House and environs were really beautiful. The photo above is taken in front of the house where we stayed, Melmerby Hall. It is a gorgeous place, and has been very lovingly restored.

The leaves were all in the last throes of autumn; this is the view from my bedroom window:

It is a very spacious, comfortable place to knit, and to hang out. I like the photo below, which shows the cosy breakfast room. Note that everyone is knitting, except for me. I am eating. And talking.

photo from Events Unwound

We spent the time knitting, eating, laughing, drinking champagne, walking through the countryside, taking classes, and knitting some more. We started the retreat with a birthday party to celebrate all of the birthdays which had gone un-celebrated during lockdowns. There were a number of big birthdays – 40, 50, 60 and 70 were all represented. We also had an unexpected big event to celebrate: Max and Vincent got engaged while we were there! Much more champagne drinking and fun ensued.

The countryside is dotted with sheep; I seem to have only taken horse photos.

I went for a long walk, during which I got to demonstrate incontrovertibly that my coat was not waterproof. This photo was taken before the downpour:

Oh, and did I mention that there were goodie bags? Here is some of the stuff I got:

The two yarns that are caked are from The Fibre Company, a light grey skein of Cumbria and a darker grey skein of Cirro. The beautiful bag on the bottom was hand-made by fellow retreater Reet, and contained the sock yarn bundle on the right and lots of goodies. I also bought some lovely things in the mini-marketplace.

The retreat was run by Carmen and Mette (shown in the photo on top on either side with their dogs); the company Events Unwound is associated with Carmen’s yarn shop, A Yarn Story, in Bath. Get on her mailing list if you want to be in the loop about future events. This particular retreat had its fair share of knitting designers – Aleks Byrd, Amanda Jones, Maxim Cyr and Vincent Deslandes were all there – so we got to see what they were working on next. (Aleks is wearing her fabulous Seli sweater in the top photo! I am really wanting to make this one.)

I did a lot of knitting while I was there, mostly chugging along on the Caravay sweater for Emma. I’ll show you some progress photos next week.