Food for …Knitting!

Kathryn and I have walked along the Gatineau River each morning for years, our conversations wide ranging. Sometimes it is current affairs, at other times we dig into the archives, often it is art or knitting, but lately the topic has been food. One of the most fun parts of the knitting retreat for both of us is planning the food we prepare, looking up recipes, talking about what veggie dishes would go best with the salmon, which cheeses would be nice to buy at La Bottega or the Mideast store, which dessert would be most irresistible. Lately, after an hour of walking and talking about food, I find myself coming home hungry. In the next few weeks we’ll be trying new recipes, fine tuning the menu and gathering all the ingredients to prepare some tasty, healthy meals for our knitting weekend.

Dyeing Teaser

Prepare to dye

Tools of the trade







Soak the yarn in a warm bath of citric acid and water.




Prepare to paint






Paint the colours on to the yarn





Wrap it snugly in plastic.







Steam gently for a half hour





Prepare to knit!







or try a different method







for more subtle results.

Double knitting

I thought I would post a few pictures of some double-knitting projects that I am working on. We won’t tackle anything this complex at the retreat but you will learn the fundamentals and then the sky is the limit!

First, I am working on Anna Dalvi’s shawl called La Toupie (hope to be finished by the retreat):

And the second project that I am working on is actually a stranded pattern but I am using the double-knit method. It is a beautiful moebius from Kate Davies and is called Funchal:

I am using fingering weight (sock yarn) for both. But at the retreat we will use thicker yarn and a simpler design. I hope everyone will love double knitting as much as I do – it is a bit slow going since you are essentially knitting everything twice but, if you are impatient, it is great for smaller projects like cowls and hats.

Stash confession

Well, Julie speaking here, in my first post, which I thought should be a confessional one. Stash. You know you want it. And I have it. Loads of it. Bins and bins of it. I have plans for all of it. I know which bins contain which yarns (as any good hoarder will claim), well usually I know, after I “organize” things I always have a few memory problems. There is spinning stash in there too (does that count? I say it doesn’t count until it is turned into yarn).

(The ironing table is Henry the cat’s favourite spot with his food bowl on it. I’m sure he will appear in this blog soon enough, clutching some of my stash.)

And I swear there is nothing stashed in the little freezer except food. For now.

Oh, and lots and lots of books and magazines and pdfs…. I might need three life times to finish all this, but it sure makes me happy even if the sheer volume of it does trigger the odd panic attack in me (but not in my husband who I don’t think yet realizes the insanity of it all, think he’ll figure it out?).

Wakefield Knitting Retreat

A brand new blog and the first post…We are excited about our third Wakefield Knitting Retreat and want to let everyone know what is being planned for this year on the May 4-6 weekend. The Retreat will once again be held at the Barn, a beautiful old structure right on the edge of Gatineau Park where we can spend the weekend knitting (of course), socializing, learning, relaxing and eating great food.

Here is what we have lined up for this year:

Dyeing yarn with Kathryn Drysdale:

In this workshop you will learn how to create fabulous painted yarn with professional acid dyes. The colours you can achieve are brilliant and endless! Acid dyes use citric acid, which is a food safe acid. You will learn to paint self-striping multicoloured yarn, and kettle dye using common kitchen tools, like a crock-pot.

Double Knitting with Julie Nandorfy:
You will learn how to knit two “right side” fabrics at the same time, creating a double-thick, fully reversible piece of knitting. Double knitting is a great way to do colourwork and is perfect for knitting hats, scarves and cowls.

 Short Rows with Julie Nandorfy:
Short rows are rows that are partially knitted, then turned and worked back. This technique adds shape without increasing or casting on more stitches.They can be used to create a slope (shoulder line), create a contour (sweater bottom, collars) and bust darts. We will look at different methods for working short rows and how you can incorporate them into your knitting.
We have room for only 12 participants so if you are interested in coming for the weekend, please let us know soon and we’ll reserve a place for you.

The price will be $300, which includes three workshops, all meals, snacks, and dormitory style accommodation. In the past the meals have been feasts with delicious, healthy offerings.

If you are planning to attend, please let as know as soon as possible by emailing us at