Home ] Class Notes ]

                  19th Annual Knitters Retreat

          February 21 – 23, 2014

               Ames, Iowa

Join Arnhild and friends for a weekend of knitting, learning, relaxing, and fun!



This Year’s Featured Teacher

Joan Sheridan

Joan Sheridan considers fiber a playground and uncharted territory to be discovered. She spins it on her wheel, designs with it in knitting and threads it onto her looms. In addition to seeing possibilities in everything fiber, she was trained by the Army as a curriculum developer and trainer. Classes with Joan are always enlightening and full of tips that apply to knitting in general. She has taught at SOAR, TNNA, CNCH, Michigan Fiber Festival and at other yarn shops, festivals and guilds in Michigan. Joan has her own yarn shop in Lake Orion, Michigan called Heritage Spinning and Weaving, where she spends her days surrounded by beautiful fibers.

This year, Joan will lead us on an exploration of knitting from the past, including a fun project from a pattern written during US Civil War! Join us as we explore our knitting heritage.


 2014 Classes


Old Time Knitting

Instructor: Joan Sheridan

You will be introduced to a pre-Civil War knitting pattern for “A Baby’s Sock.” In today’s language, it would be called a bootie and is just as cute today as it was more than 150 years ago. Joan has re-written the pattern for today’s knitters, which will be presented along-side the original wording. $10 materials fee.


Conquering Color

Instructor: Martha Baker

In this interactive class, you will learn the Kaffe Fasset method for incorporating pleasing colors into your work. Martha will have many colors from her stash for sale. You can bring from your stash those colors you think you will work with. The project will be slippers or stocking caps. Yarn should be wool and of DK or sport weight.  Bring appropriate circular and doublepoint needles.  This is an excellent beginner project or it can be as difficult as you like.  You must know how to knit to take the class.

A Different Take on Plain Gloves

Instructor: Arnhild Hillesland

In this 6-hour class we will make a glove. As homework you make the ribbing. The first 3 hours we concentrate on making a gusset the way they are done

on a traditional Norwegian mitten plus getting the thumb opening done.  Before you come back for the next 3 hours (the next day), you knit the body of the hand up to the base of the fingers. The 3 last hours we will make fingers by working back and forth on two double point needles; a neat technique for small circular projects.


Mitered Squares and Domino Knitting

Instructor: Marcia Minear

Have fun creating mitered squares for many different kinds of projects—including those in 3-D! Learn cast-on methods for different types of squares; explore several methods for knitting decreases and joining squares; incorporate colors in distinctive ways; and practice techniques for a faster finish. Learn how you can make domino knitting needles, specially designed for this style of knitting. This is fun, satisfying, and easy knitting for all.

Beginning Knitting

Instructor: Lisa Grulke

If you have never knit before or if you haven’t knit for a long time and need to get back up to speed, this is the class for you! In this class you will learn the knitting basics: Casting on, knit stitch, purl stitch, reading patterns, increasing/decreasing and measuring gauge.  We will get you started on a great project!


Extra Day - Want to come early?

If you would like to come early and join us for extra classes or informal knitting and chatting time, we will be available on Friday from 10am-4pm.  You may bring projects you would like help with and one of our teachers would be glad to assist you, or just bring a project that you want to work on while you visit.

This year Joan Sheridan will conduct an additional class on Knitting in the 1800’s—Come to the Knitting Playground. Knitting is a relatively “modern” invention; likely having it’s roots in sprang. Knitting pattern books were introduced to the populace in the 1800’s as more and more people could read. Friday will be spent “translating” patterns from "The Ladies Handbook of Fancy and Ornamental Work," printed in Philadelphia in 1859. Patterns were just starting to be written during this time and had not been standardized. They actually more closely follow an oral tradition, than a written tradition. We will begin by reading the pattern aloud and talking about the salient points that every knitter now expects in a written pattern. As we “fill in the blanks,” knitting will begin and we will end with knitting puzzles solved and patterns that are ready to knit. Projects will be: a lace trim, fringe, and a purse.

The camp store will be open Friday from 10am-4pm exclusively for those who sign up for this extra day.

 There are additional fees for this day to cover the cost of the extra class and meeting rooms. Lunch will be provided. Extra Day Fee $70. If you need a guest room for Thursday night the cost will be $130 per room (not per person!)

 The Camp Store—Welcome to Wall of Yarn!

Your favorite Rauma yarns and patterns will be available plus many new wonderful products. The store this year will be set up and run by Jeffrey Wall and Dennis Rinkenberger, two creative, enthusiastic, and talented knitters who own Wall of Yarn, a terrific store in Freeport, Illinois. Learn about them on Facebook at Under the name, The Yarn Guys, Jeffrey and Dennis have become the new US distributors and wholesalers of the Rauma yarn line. Their camp store will be open during the retreat from 4:00pm Friday through 3:00pm Sunday. The store will be closed during meals.


Arnhild Hillesland is a native of Norway and a respected expert on Scandinavian knitting techniques.  Her career in the US is a compilation of operating her import/distribution business, teaching classes, designing patterns, translating patterns & books and guiding tours to Norway and other areas of northern Europe. This summer she retired as the Rauma yarn distributor, but is still keeping busy with leading tours to Norway, translating patterns, teaching classes—and, of course, knitting!

 Martha Baker has been knitting for 70 years—can you believe it?? She can’t. For many years she enjoyed learning to knit many cables and textural stitches. Now her love is Color. She was hugely influenced by Kaffe Fassett. Although he has been with us for quite a while, she still marvels at what he does with color.

 Marcia Minear has been knitting for about 25 years and particularly enjoys experimenting with textures in knitting. She has taught knitting in several different venues and especially enjoys working with beginners. In addition to knitting, Marcia enjoys basket weaving.

 Lisa Grulke has often taught at our retreat. She is a native of the historic Amana Colonies, in Iowa, where she learned to love knitting with the other women in her family and community. Lisa teaches at the biology lab at Drake University.

Nancy Maakestad will be available to lend her years of experience and expertise to help you with your knitting needs.



Sign up for a chair massage with massage therapist, Doug Couser. The charge is $1 per minute. Sign-up sheets will be available at the retreat, and massages can be done at any time through the day. Feel free to duck out of a class for a few minutes. Doug will ease those sore shoulder muscles we sometimes get from an over-indulgence of our favorite hobby. Doug owns Awesome Results in Nevada, Iowa.


This year’s retreat will be held at the Gateway Hotel & Conference Center. Information about the hotel and directions and maps can be found at

Show and Tell

Bring a finished project for display on Saturday afternoon and evening. This popular event gives campers a chance to see what everyone has been up to in the last year. We also get inspiration from seeing the lovely projects our friends have made.

Saturday Banquet

This year, after the banquet dinner, knit along and enjoy Exploring our Lacy Past with Joan Sheridan— A brief introduction to lace will be shared, including how important it was to commerce in the old world in its heyday and how it traveled to the new world. Over her years of collecting textiles, lace has held a special place in Joan’s heart. Recently she discovered “time saving lace making methods” that women used in the late 1800’s and into the last century to create fancy goods that were affordable and quick to make. Learn a bit about their use and see items from Joan’s collection. In addition to the dinner lecture, Joan will also set up a display of some of her favorite textiles from her vintage and antique collection that can be viewed before and after the meal.




The price of the retreat includes all of the workshops of your choice, all meals from Friday evening through Sunday lunch and lodging for Friday and Saturday nights, if applicable. All the rooms are non-smoking.

A $150.00 deposit is required with your registration to reserve your place. The balance of your fee for the weekend can be paid at the retreat. If notification of cancellation is received prior to the registration deadline, $75.00 of your deposit will be refunded.  Once the registration deadline has passed, no refund can be issued. 

Deadline for registration: Friday, January 24, 2014

Once your registration has been processed, you will receive a confirmation letter and a list of supplies to bring.

This list and additional information about the retreat, classes, possible homework, supplies, etc. will also be available on the web site at under the class notes tab.


19th Annual Knitters Retreat: Schedule of Events

Friday, February 21, 2014

Extra Day Registrants Only

10:00 AM – 4:00 PM              Camp Store in North Meadow open exclusively for you

Open knitting in Gallery Lobby, lunch, and Knitting in the 1800’s class by Joan Sheridan

 Friday, February 21, 2014

            4:00 – 6:00 PM                       2014 Knitter’s Retreat begins

                                                            Check-in at Gateway Hotel begins

                                                            Registration for Retreat in Gallery Lobby

                                                            Shopping at Camp Store opens for all

            6:00 – 9:00 PM                       Welcome Get-Together with Supper in the South Prairie Room

                                                            Open Knitting - Knit with friends

Saturday, February 22, 2014

            7 – 8:30 AM                            Breakfast in the South Prairie Room

            8:30 -11:30 AM                      Session One Classes

                                                            Old Time Knitting, Joan                                 South Meadow

Conquering Color, Martha                              Harvest Room

Mitered Squares, Marcia                                Conference 1

             11:45 AM – 1:30 PM              Lunch & Exercises for Knitters lead by Doug Couser in the South Prairie

             1:30 – 4:30 PM                       Session Two Classes

                                                            Old Time Knitting, Joan                                 South Meadow

                                                            Conquering Color, Martha                              Harvest Room

Mitered Squares, Marcia                                Conference 1

Plain Glove, Arnhild                                      SouthPrairie                              

              4:30 -6:30 PM                       Show and Tell display in Central Prairie

 6:30 PM                                             Knitter’s Retreat Banquet – Central Prairie

Exploring our Lacy Past Joan Sheridan

Sunday, February 23, 2014

            7 – 9:00 AM                            Breakfast in the South Prairie Room and Hotel Check-Out

            9:00 AM - Noon                     Session Three Classes

                                                            Old Time Knitting Joan                                  South Meadow

                                                            Conquering Color, Martha                              Harvest Room

Plain Glove, Arnhild                                        South Prairie

Mitered Squares, Marcia                                Conference 1


            12:30 – 2 PM                          Lunch in the South Prairie

             2:00 – 3:00 PM                       Afternoon Wrap-Up

                                                            Finish up Shopping and Good-byes ‘til Next Year!

 *Open Knitting anytime during the Retreat—Join friends and meet in the Gallery Lobby!


There will be some delicious meals for our weekend. We would like to make this the best possible experience we can for you.  Please let us know if you have any serious food issues so we can make accommodations for you. The chef is very willing to help us out with this. (Last minute menu changes cannot be guaranteed.)

 Please list any special dietary restrictions (allergies, diabetes, gluten intolerance, vegetarian, lactose intolerance).


Interested in the Beginning Knitting Classes? Please indicate name here: ___________________________

Registration Form: Send to Arnhild’s Knitting Studio, 2315 Buchanan Dr, Ames, IA 50010

Deadline for registration is January 24, 2014





City, State, Zip:







Put my reservation in as I have marked:                                                           My Roommate(s) will be:



Retreat with Single occupancy



Retreat with Double Occupancy



Retreat with Triple Occupancy



Retreat with Quadruple Occupancy



Retreat only; no hotel accommodations






Extra Day Class Time



Guest Room -Thursday night











                  Please indicate your approximate arrival time:



I am paying (circle one):     $150 Deposit      Full Amount                                                                                       

Payment method (circle one):   Check       Visa       Mastercard       Discover

Card Number

























Expiration Date: ____________________    Signature for Credit Card Payments: ______________________________________

Arnhild's Knitting Studio

2315 Buchanan Drive, Ames, IA 50010

Telephone 515-451-0584

FAX 800-806-1789

 Home ] Class Notes ]        

Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2003 Arnhild's Knitting Studio
Last modified: October 22, 2013