"Knit for a Good Life"
A Rocky Mountain Retreat with Longmont Yarn Shoppe
May 16 - 19, 2024
It’s that time again – LYS is announcing their third retreat at the picturesque Dao House nestled at the base of Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park, Colorado. Unplug for three days (i.e., there is no cell or internet service) in an intimate gathering of fiber lovers to enjoy the community of others, majestic scenery, and expert instruction to find your happy place in knitting.
This year ergonomic expert Carson Demers (author of Knitting Comfortably) will lecture on ways to avoid bodily stress and strain during knitting and offer individual suggestions through small group classes.
In addition, you’ll learn the fundamentals of yarn dyeing with Jennifer Miller of Theodora’s Pearls and then apply that knowledge in small groups to dye two skeins of yarn provided by Jennifer! You’ll also get one-on-one time with Ann Budd for help with an existing project or to discuss options for a future one.
The rest of time you can enjoy the camaraderie of other attendees, stroll the 84 acres of Rocky Mountain wilderness, or take advantage of the additional services offered at Dao House, including tai chi, horseback riding, bio mat therapy, foot soaks, and an oxygen lounge. Do as much or as little as you want.
The LYS Knit for a Good Life retreat begins with check-in Thursday, May 16, and ends after breakfast Sunday, May 19, 2024.
Following breakfast on Sunday, we’ll re-locate to Longmont Yarn Shoppe from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm for private shopping and special deals.
Meet Your Teachers
By day Carson is a physical therapist who operates an award winning ergonomics program for a San Francisco medical center. Every other moment he's knitting, spinning, designing, teaching, or otherwise up to some fiber fun - always with a watchful eye toward ergonomics.
His passion for ergonomics for fiber artists was prompted by a set of unfortunate computer ergonomics related injuries that left him unable to treat patients, perform many activities of daily
living, and knit for 2-years. During that time he devoted himself to further study of
ergonomics. On returning to clinical practice he discovered many of his patients were knitters
contending with injuries just as he had, and for the same reason – a lack of information.
Today Carson brings over 20-years of ergonomic experience into his writing and classes
with a goal of demystifying ergonomics, and teaching knitters, spinners, and other
textile workers root-causes of their discomfort, speed, efficiency or lack thereof.
Carson is the author of Knitting Comfortably – The Ergonomics of Handknitting which has sold over 10,000 copies worldwide to date. Carson teaches at knitting, spinning, and other fiber events throughout the US. He loves to teach at local yarn shops and guilds. He has written articles for TNNA and other publications, and is a regular contributor to Ply magazine.
His passion and experience in fiber arts combine with his expertise in physical therapy and ergonomics to create a unique skill set that he eagerly shares with the fiber community to keep us all creating healthfully - and comfortably - ever after.
Retreaters can pre - order Carson's book here and have it waiting in their room when they arrive at the retreat!
Ann Budd is a best-selling author of more than a dozen ever popular knitting books, including The Knitter’s Handy Book series, Getting Started Knitting Socks, Sock Knitting Master Class as well as co-author of a variety of books in the Style series.
Ann is a devoted teacher who helps others develop their own approach to knitting and designing, and has solved many a conundrum and advised students with ease in her popular 1:1 consultation sessions.
A yarn and color designer, Jennifer is the creator of Theodora’s Pearls, nationally-known hand painted and hand-dyed yarns, featuring unusual and luxury fibers. Jennifer is dedicated to promoting creative confidence in every student, encouraging new and innovative experimentation in yarn!
A self-taught artist, sourcing inspiration from the natural world, folk art, and historical textiles, she shares her own creative journey as an example of how you can express yourself through fiber, creating beauty, harmony, and functionality. Jennifer teaches at Stitches and appears regularly at fiber festivals and yarn shops around the country.
The price for the weekend is $1795 for a single occupancy room or $1495 for a double. The retreat fee (due upon registration) includes three nights lodging, all meals from Thursday dinner through Sunday breakfast, two lectures and one small group session with Carson Demers, two skeins of yarn for dyeing under the guidance of Jennifer Miller, personal knitting help from Ann Budd, as well as a few surprises, including an awesome Swag Bag, all in a beautiful alpine setting.
Be aware that the retreat venue is located at an elevation of 9,200 feet, which can result in altitude sickness for those coming from significantly lower elevations.
Please read tips from the Cleveland Clinic for prevention and treatment of altitude sickness prior to attending the retreat. We want this weekend to be perfect for you!
You can cancel your registration until March 1st, 2024. Any cancellations after this date can only be processed if we are able to fill your space with someone on the wait list. This includes late cancellations due to emergency or illness. If you do need to make a late cancellation and have someone that can take your space, we can substitute another person in your place up to May 14th. A $150 fee will be charged for all cancellations, and a $50 fee for all transfers.
In the unlikely event that the Longmont Yarn Shoppe needs to cancel the retreat due to COVID or other unforeseen circumstances, your registration fee will be refunded in full.
- Check in on Thursday, May 16th, will be followed by dinner and group knitting around the fireplace.
- Following breakfast on Friday May 17th Carson will kick off the retreat with the popular class "Knitting Comfortably Ever After". During lunch Jennifer Miller will give a short talk on the art of hand dyeing yarn. Attendees will then break into small groups for dye instruction with Jennifer or small groups with Carson & "Knit Analysis." When not dyeing with Jennifer, or in small group sessions with Carson you'll enjoy one-on-one knitting guidance from Ann and plenty of time to relax. After dinner we’ll gather around the fireplace to show off our dyed yarn and do handwork.
- On Saturday, May 18th our day will begin with another presentation by Carson, "Swashbuckling", followed by lunch. The afternoon will continue with small group "Knit Analysis" with Carson and Ann will continue to hold one-on-one sessions for those she didn't meet with on Friday. There will be time to relax or explore, and take in the amenities at the Dao House in the afternoon.
- Check out will follow breakfast on Sunday, May 18th. Longmont Yarn Shoppe will be open for drop-in private shopping from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.
- A sign up schedule for the dyeing classes, small group sessions and 1:1 appointments will be sent to registered attendees in late March so you can plan other activities around your schedule.
- You may find it desirable to arrive a day early to the Dao House to acclimate to the altitude and get a little extra "me time" before the retreat begins. Contact the Dao House for a early reservation at our reduced room rate to arrange.
May 2024 Retreat Classes with Carson Demers
Knitting Comfortably Ever After – Ergonomics for Knitters (3-hour class)
Ever known a knitter who hasn’t said, “Just one more row”? Me neither! I’ll bet they’ve also complained of aches and pains while knitting. In this class, you’ll learn how knitting effects the “fabric that makes the fabric”- your body, and see how your knitting technique impacts your efficiency and productivity. By completing a Risk of Injury assessment in class you’ll learn how knitting contributes to those aches and pains throughout your body. But more importantly, you’ll learn how to reduce them. A little knowledge and some simple changes can keep you knitting comfortably and safely ever after. Students who’ve taken this class have said that it should be “required learning for all knitters regardless of experience level!” and, “it’s as important as the knit and purl stitches!” This class is taught by a passionate knitter who is also a physical therapist. This class is not an individual knitting assessment.
Skill Level: All levels of experience.
Learner’s Materials: Students are asked to bring a bath-sized towel, and materials to take notes if they wish to do so.
Swatchbuckling (a.k.a., “Applying Ergonomics to Knitting”) (3-hour class)
Avast ye maties! Let’s bring improved ergonomics to life in your knitting technique. We’ll swatch to improve your posture, comfort, and efficiency. We’ll examine yarn tensioning techniques, and all phases of stitch creation first with simple then more challenging swatches and stitches. We’ll also look at ways to add movement to knitting to avoid stiffness and injuries caused by disuse. Class is appropriate for students who are comfortable with basic knit purl stitches. Swatches of basic cable and lace patterns are also made in class. Stitch patterns are provided in both charted and written formats.
Learner’s Materials: Students are asked to bring light colored worsted weight yarn (4 oz. is sufficient) and needles appropriate for yarn, a bath sized towel, and materials to take notes if they wish to do so.
Class is suitable for all levels of knitting experience.
Knit Analysis (small group – 90 minute session)
It’s no fun to knit when you’re outside your physical comfort zone. Did you ever wonder if the cause of this discomfort could be found in your knitting technique and habits? In this class we’ll highlight common contributors to knitter’s discomfort. Using that information we’ll then work in small groups to examine each individual’s knitting technique to discover possible contributors to their discomfort. The group is engaged in observing each knitter’s individual analysis and participates in identifying faulty movement patterns and postures. You will be encouraged to try new strategies to help improve long-term comfort and knitting longevity so come with an open mind and a willingness to experiment. Get back inside your comfort zone!
Skill Level: Class is suitable for all levels of knitting experience.
Learner’s Materials: Students are asked to bring a current knitting project, a bath size towel; note taking materials if desired. If possible please bring a photo of your usual knitting area, especially the chair; and your usual computing area.
Testimonials from Previous LYS/Dao House Retreats
"I loved being with like-minded knitters and seeing what everyone is making. I also loved the yarn dyeing class and visiting with Ann."
- Virginia K.
"My favorite part of the retreat was the community time. It was so nice to sit & knit!! Loved visiting with each lady and seeing all the WIP and learning about new and future projects. It was perfect all the way around. The swag bag was amazing and will be cherished forever!"
- Ellen P.
"Everything was planned for me from activities to meals. I was pleasantly surprised by being off the grid for cell service and really appreciated being disconnected as it helped me reconnect with self and interact with others. Thank you for this amazing opportunity. I am leaving with pleasant memories."
- Carol R.