Craftlands: Knitting with Company

Craftlands: the Knitting with Company retreat

Well, I did not foresee this, but one of the events I originally planned to talk about in this new Craftlands series has taken a personal turn! Have you heard about Knitting with Company? It’s a newer arrival on the fiber-camp scene, and one I’ve been dying to go to. Company (the company behind Knitting with Company) was formed by designers Julie Hoover and Catherine Lowe to offer an alternative sort of retreat. Instead of a jam-packed schedule of classes to choose from, it’s just a few languorous days in a scenic place where you get to simply hang out and knit with other knitters and pick the brains of Julie, Catherine and their featured guests. There have just been two events so far — one in the upper midwest featuring Olga Buraya-Kefelian and Michele Wang, and one last month on Bainbridge Island WA with guests Jared Flood and Michele. The next one will be October 6-9 in Detroit Lakes MN, and I’m pretty stunned to tell you that the guests are the highly credentialed and revered Norah Gaughan and … er … yours truly. (blink, blink, blinkblink) I don’t know what they were thinking asking me, but I’m honored and excited to be going!

It’s a roving event with different yarn stores around the country hosting in their area and providing the pop-up shop for the event, so you never know where future instances might turn up. But this next one opens up for general registration next Monday, the 13th — more details on their website.

BONUS EVENT: I may write more about this one at some future date, but another event worth knowing about is the Nordic Knitting Conference, which takes place in Seattle every other year. This year it’s Oct 8-10 at the Nordic Heritage Museum, and I’ll be traveling from Company straight to Nordic, so perhaps I’ll see you at one or the other!


PREVIOUSLY in Craftlands: Estonian Craft Camp

Photos © Julie Hoover, used with permission

Craftlands: Estonian Craft Camp

Craftlands: Estonian Craft Camp

Learning to knit and getting back into making things with my own two hands has not come without some regrets — chief among them being that there’s no way I’ll ever get to go to even a fraction of the amazing retreats and camps and workshops that take place all over the globe. Or even get a grasp on what they all are! So I thought maybe we could live vicariously, and I could write a little bit, once in awhile, about some amazing opportunity out there in the vast craftlands of planet Earth — and maybe you or I will actually get to attend some of them along the way. I’d say some will be closer to home and others farther afield, but since you lovely people are scattered all over the world, it’s all relative, right? So I’m kicking it off with one that I’ve actually made note of before, but thinking about it yesterday (longing to attend) is what gave me the idea for this new series, so that’s where we’ll begin:

Two summers ago I mentioned that Jaime and Amber of Fancy Tiger Crafts (world-class craft tourists and role models) were attending Estonian Craft Camp, recommended you check out their Instagram pics and noted that they’d be blogging about it. I just looked it up, and the camp is put on by the Viljandi Culture Academy at the University of Tartu (how exotic does that sound?) and it’s coming up in July! It is conducted in English, if that’s the first thing you’re wondering. I was quizzing Jaime about it recently — seriously, I think about this one a lot — and she emphasized how incredibly affordable it was as compared to other retreats, and how much they got out of it. It’s a mix of workshops in a variety of traditional Estonian crafts, lectures, films and field trips, so it’s a rich stew — and you get all of that (including 4 workshops) plus six nights’ accommodations and all meals for 950 Euro. (Plus your flight, which obviously will vary!)

For anyone who didn’t read their blog posts about it at the time, they are extensive and amazing, and you can still read them on their old blog, which I definitely recommend doing — whether to whet your appetite for going or, like I said, to live vicariously.

Photos by @fancyamber and @fancyjaime, used with permission