West Coast Knitting Retreat - November 2019

Update - Please note tickets are sold out. Stay tuned for Fall 2020. Join us in the Wine Cellar at the Black Rock Oceanfront Resort for the 2019 West Coast Knitting Retreat!


November 06 - 08, 2019


West Coast NEST


Faye Kennington, Andrea Rangel


Catherine Knutsson, Rose Wilson


596 Marine Drive


Come together with other knitting enthusiasts for a variety of workshops led by local and visiting instructors. Nestled in a cozy, ocean-level room at the end of an active surge channel, you will learn the secrets of brioche knitting and create lofty, squishy, and reversible fabric, make handknit slippers in the round with a cute cable detail, and explore all about wool, sampling a variety of yarns from Vancouver Island sheep. You’ll also have a chance to try your hand at spinning sheep fleece and weaving with locally-sourced cedar, stretch your legs and learn about coastal rainforests while taking in spectacular views from the Wild Pacific Trail, and enjoy a west coast feast at Heartwood Kitchen.


Wednesday, November 6th

9am – 12pm Workshop: Mine! Slippers Just for You with Faye Kennington of UkeeKnits

12 – 2pm       Break for lunch/ free-time

2 – 5pm          Workshop: Local and rare-breed wool exploration with Catherine Knuttson of Small Bird Workshop

6 – 8pm          Group Dinner at Heartwood Kitchen


Thursday November 7th

9am – 12pm Workshop: Brioche 101 with Andrea Rangel

12 – 1:30pm Group Lunch at Black Rock Fetch Restaurant

2 – 3pm          Guided walk on the Wild Pacific Trail

7 – 9pm          Group knitting in Wine Cellar and project sharing


Friday November 8th

9 – 11am       Workshop: Cedar weaving with Rose & Brian Wilson

11am – 2pm  Break for lunch

2 – 4pm          Workshop: follow-up knitting Q+A with Faye and Retreat Close



Mine! Slippers Just for You with Faye Kennington aka UkeeKnits

“Mine” slippers are quick-to-knit and a comfy-cozy gift for yourself or loved ones. This small project-based class packs multiple skill practicing opportunities (making cables, picking up stitches and grafting) into a fun and, honestly, kind of addicting, package. Faye will walk you through each of the steps you need to make these slippers. You will receive a skein of Polka Dot Sheep Big Mountain yarn, a hand-dyed blend of Superwash Merino and Nylon, which is perfect for a small or medium pair of slippers. Class also includes a printed copy of the wildly popular “Mine” slippers pattern.

Knitting Skill Level: Intermediate

Special skill required: Must know how to knit in the round using double pointed needles. 

Supplies needed for class: Set of US 10 (6mm) double pointed needles, scissors, 1 stitch marker, cable needle, and a tapestry needle.

Materials Supplied by Instructor: 1 skein (100g) Polka Dot Sheep Big Mountain 80% superwash merino/ 20% nylon


Brioche 101 with Andrea Rangel

Brioche knitting creates a lofty, squishy, and reversible fabric. In this workshop you’ll learn to work basic brioche, along with increasing, decreasing, and finishing techniques. Demonstrations and a full-color tutorial handbook will guide you through your first brioche sampler with instructions for both Continental and British-style knitters (pickers and throwers).

Student-supplied materials:

  • 60 yards of light coloured, worsted weight yarn
  • needles appropriate for worsted weight yarn (probably a US 6, 7, or 8/4-5 mm) (Straight or circular needles of any length are appropriate, though a long cord may get in the way and be irritating)
  • tapestry needle

Technique Requirements:

Cast on/bind off; knit/purl; increase/decrease; have knit a few accessories


Local and rare-breed wool exploration with Catherine Knuttson

Did you know there are over 8000 sheep on Vancouver Island, and all of them are growing wool, right at this very moment? That’s a lot of fibre, but sometimes it’s hard to find that fibre and even harder to know what to do with it. This workshop will explore five different categories of sheep wool (fine, down, medium, longwools, and primitive), their properties, and their uses. We’ll also discuss how to source local and rare-breed wool, and why we’d even want to do that. Workshop participants will get to sample a variety of yarns from local sheep (both mill spun and hand spun), as well as having the chance to try spindle spinning some local sheep fleece.

Skill level: Beginner and up

Required skill: enthusiasm!

Materials to be supplied by the participants: preferred knitting needles, scissors

Materials supplied by the instructor: washed fleece, 10 grams skeins of hand spun yarn, 10 gram skeins of mill spun yarn, homemade drop spindles, hand outs, spinning wheel (for demonstration purposes)


Cedar Weaving with Rose Wilson

Learn the art and skill of cedar weaving with Rose and son Brian Wilson of Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ First Nation. Create a cedar craft while hearing about the many aspects of cedar and grass weaving such as how fibres are prepared.

Skill-level required: No weaving experience required, only a willingness and enthusiasm to learn

Materials supplied by the instructor: prepared cedar strips



Faye Kennington lives and knits on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. Her patterns have been published in Knitscene, Knit Now, and various Knit Picks books. Find more of her self-published designs on Ravelry. She goes by @UkeeKnits on Instagram and Twitter.

Catherine Knutsson is a knitter, spinner, weaver, hand dyer, and knitting pattern designer. She loves all things fibre, and loves to share her knowledge and enthusiasm with other fibre fans.

Andrea Rangel is an experienced knitter, designer, and educator. She’s the author of AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary and Rugged Knits (Interweave/F+W), and her design work has been published in Brooklyn Tweed Wool People, Twist Collective, Interweave Knits, and Knit Scene, as well as independently. She’s a trained educator, having taught elementary, middle, and high school for several years before becoming a full-time knitwear designer. Her classes are organized and clear, with a strong understanding of learners and class planning, and always include useful, beautiful workshop handbooks for students to take home.

Rose Wilson is a Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ First Nation cedar weaver living in Hitacu on the inner-shore of Ucluelet Inlet. She is both self taught and has the traditional teachings from elders in processing materials and creating traditional works of art. Rose and her son, Brian Wilson, work with red and yellow cedar bark and several types of specific grasses to create clothing, hats, baskets which incorporate traditional and meaningful designs that have been passed down through her family for many generations.



The 2019 West Coast Knitting Retreat will take place in the Wine Cellar at the Black Rock Oceanfront Resort in Ucluelet, BC. Situated at the end of an active surge channel, the cellar has spectacular views of the coast and Pacific Ocean - a perfect location to peacefully knit, while viewing the powerful sea.

Black Rock Oceanfront Resort is offering some great room discounts for retreat participants. Mention you are participating in the West Coast Knitting Retreat with West Coast NEST when you contact reservations@blackrockresort.com or by phone at 250-726-4800.



Also included in the cost of the retreat is coffee/tea and a light snack at each daytime workshop and Thursday’s evening session, one lunch at Fetch Restaurant, one dinner at Heartwood Kitchen, and a guided walk on the Wild Pacific Trail. (*Lunch and dinner must be taken at the designate group time and include one lunch and dinner for the participant. Drinks are the responsibility of the participant.)

Course fee:


How to register:

Tickets are sold out. Please email nicole@westcoastnest.org if you would like to be on a waitlist. Also stay tuned for future retreat details.

Early bird rate $500 until July 31st

August 1 – 31st tickets are $550.