About

IONA HOUSE

A cream villa overlooking the immediate coastline with a 180 degree view of nearby clifftops, Exmouth and across Lyme Bay.


THE KNITTING HOTEL is our home, over-looking the sea in Dawlish, Devon.

Everyone can soak up the wonderful seaside view and atmosphere, eat a delicious home-cooked lunch and yummy Devon cream tea. Sink into a sofa watching the waves and spend a relaxing retreat, indulging in a few days focussed on making soft, fluffy and warm things.


Photo of me on the Dawlish pier; mucking around in my Tumbling Cascade and my new shiny shoes.

The Knitting Hotel is up and running and we are into the groove of retreats.

Such fun; lots of laughter, scone eating (with clotted cream of course), exchanging of knitting techniques, learning new skills, fish and chips by the sea and too much fudge eating. New designs are swirling around my head and on the needles.  It was a momentous task creating our little fibre paradise. Now the bathrooms are gleaming, the water bottles and tea-caddies are in place, the cook has told me emphatically she has all the pans she needs, the hotel yarn has been spun (Black Swan: DK and 4ply – a mix of Devon BFL, Exmoor horn and silk)… we can all breathe.
Big hugs and more
Belinda





We host 3 day GETAWAY and LEARNAWAY retreats approximately twice a month, so there are plenty of dates to choose from.

Please see below



BOOKING

Come and Play...

If you would like to book a LEARNAWAY or a GETAWAY place please email info@theknittinghotel.co.uk or phone us on 01626 866966 to check availability. We will then send you our Terms and Conditions document and the Booking Form to read, complete and return.

To secure your place we require a £60 deposit, the outstanding balance needs to be paid 6 weeks before the event. Payment details are indicated on the Booking Form.


STAYING 3 nights as TKH LEARNAWAY or GETAWAY GUESTS

LEARNAWAY: Thursday evening, Friday and Sunday bring your own projects to work on or knit/crochet the design you are given in your goodie bag + Saturday workshop. We are inviting talented knitting/crochet designers, mill owners, spinners and fibre specialists to host a very special one-day workshop.

GETAWAY: as a LEARNAWAY but without the workshop day.

For each guest staying at TKH: from £310 (for a GETAWAY sharing a twin room) to £525 (for a LEARNAWAY single occupancy in a twin room)

For guests staying at TKH there will be mid-morning tea/coffee and biscuits, home-cooked lunch, tea-time cake/treats and a gift bag with luxury yarn and pattern

Price depends on: the room you choose, sharing a room, one guest in twin-room, sharing a shower-room with one other guest.

DAY GUESTS, STAYING EXTRA NIGHT and NON-PARTICIPANT GUESTS

DAY GUESTS not staying at TKH - visiting one or more of the retreat days; Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday (from 10am until evening). Attending all three days: you are invited to the Thursday evening 'welcome supper' at 6pm and to stay until bedtime, to knit, crochet and chat - no extra charge).
GETAWAY: £65/person/day
LEARNAWAY: £75/person/day

For day guests there will be mid-morning tea/coffee and biscuits, home-cooked lunch, tea-time cake/treats and a gift bag with luxury yarn and pattern

Non-participant guests staying at TKH (B&B + invited to the Thursday evening 'welcome supper' and the Sunday Devon Cream tea-time 'goodbye' - no extra charge): sharing the same room with a participant £85/person/night

EXTRA Sunday night for guests and non-participants as a B&B guest £55/person and go home on Monday after breakfast. Or you could spend some extra time in Dawlish, go for a walk, go shopping, explore, dip your toes in the sea etc..




RETREATS: Dates and Availability




AUTUMN 2018


LEARNAWAY
September Thursday 20th – Sunday 23rd 2018
CERAMIC BUTTONS - a Friday workshop, take home your own hand-made buttons (make, fire, glaze, fire, enjoy) + LEARN BRIOCHE; knit a cowl for your buttons!
HOST for Saturday workshop: Emily Cross
Saturday and Sunday Brioche workshop: Belinda Harris-Reid and Brenda M. Watson

BRIOCHE; thick dense reversible ribbed fabric; worked in two colours and slipping alternate stitches means you work one row twice.
You will need: 2 x 100g of DK (225m/100g) in two colours (total of 200g) - one 100g hank of undyed yarn will be in your goodie bag. You can either bring your own contrast yarn to work with or buy 100g hank of DK from BHR's yarn collection. You will also need 4mm short (50cm) circular needles (the design is worked forwards and backwards not in the round).

AVAILABLE: PSSO bedroom (our largest single sea-view bedroom: one double bed with own bathroom next to room) + one more place available for day guest, or stay at Lyme Bay B&B (across the road), or stay in your own accommodation/another hotel


LEARNAWAY
OCTOBER Thursday 4th – Sunday 7th 2018
FAIRISLE; how to create knitted fabric using multiple coloured yarn (Saturday workshop)
HOST: Alison Crowther-Smith
Fully Booked


LEARNAWAY
OCTOBER Thursday 18th – Sunday 21st 2018
PROFESSIONAL FINISHING TECHNIQUES and BRIOCHE; a technical cornucopia of wonder: perfect seams (sewing-up seams and edges professionally) and creating thick fabric (one colour, two colour, increase, decrease and cables)
HOST for Saturday workshop: Claire Crompton
HOSTS for Friday and Sunday workshop: Belinda Harris-Reid and Brenda M. Watson
Fully Booked


LEARNAWAY
November Thursday 1st – Sunday 4th 2018
HOW TO KNIT SOCKS; in the round, top down, toe up, Kitchener stitch and more
HOSTS: Belinda Harris-Reid and Brenda M. Watson
Fully Booked





LEARNAWAY
Thursday November 29th – Sunday December 2nd 2018
LACE KNITTING: Octavia lace shawl and lace mittens (Saturday workshop)
HOSTS: ANNIKEN ALLIS
Fully Booked


GETAWAY
DECEMBER Thursday 6th – Sunday 9th 2018
FESTIVE FROLICS; crackers and mulled wine, carols and knitting
HOSTS: Belinda Harris-Reid and Brenda M. Watson
Fully Booked


NEW DATES: WINTER 2019


LEARNAWAY
JANUARY Thursday 24th – Sunday 27th 2019
PERFECT JOINS: Professional Finishing Techniques a Friday workshop
HOST for workshop: Claire Crompton

Claire Crompton is an acclaimed author of numerous publications including The Knitter’s Bible, she is also a crochet, knit-wear and cross-stitch designer, tutor and technical editor for knitting and crochet patterns. Claire has worked for 22 years working in the knitwear and needlecraft industries. She was employed at Hayfield (UK yarn company, part of Sirdar) for five years, writing and maths checking their whole catalogue of knitting and crochet patterns.

It is often the finishing details that make the difference to a garment and this workshop will show you techniques to make sure your garment has a professional finish. You will learn how easy it is to sew up all your unfinished projects using mattress stitch. Topics include: How to sew up various styles of garment, mattress stitch, blocking and pressing pieces, shaping to make sewing up easier, picking up stitches, buttonholes and more.

You will need: make four identical samples of stocking stitch to measure 10cm x 10cm (4" x 4"), using a light-coloured, smooth Aran or chunky yarn. Please work the edge stitches in stocking stitch, not slipping them or working in garter stitch. Do not press or sew in the yarn ends.

AVAILABLE: SSK bedroom (sea view twin bedroom: two double beds with own shell-themed bathroom, next to bedroom)




GETAWAY
FEBRUARY Thursday 7th – Sunday 10th 2019
BRING YOUR OWN PROJECTS: knitting and crochet, have a 'making-me-time-sea-time' – bring your WIPs and projects and have a fun weekend relaxing with other woolly folk
HOSTS: Belinda Harris-Reid and Brenda M. Watson
Fully Booked



LEARNAWAY
FEBRUARY Thursday 21st – Sunday 24th 2019
SELBU NORWEGIAN GLOVE KNITTING: Traditional Norwegian 'Selbu' mittens
Saturday workshop host: Anniken Allis
Fully Booked



LEARNAWAY
MARCH Thursday 7th – Sunday 10th 2019
REVERSIBLE OR DOUBLE KNITTING; two-colour thick fabric and LEARN BRIOCHE; thick dense reversible ribbed fabric

Saturday Double knitting workshop host: Claire Crompton
Double knitting is an intriguing technique that makes a double layered fabric which is the same on both sides. Stocking stitch has two knit sides which means items made in double knitting always show a 'right' side. It is ideal for scarves and blankets because it lies flat and it also makes very cosy hats, sweaters, mittens etc. Colour patterns such as Fair Isle style motifs and intarsia blocks appear with the colours reversed on one side so items are reversible with no stranding or 'wrong' side showing.

You will need: 100g of chunky-weight yarn in two colours (total of 200g) to practise with and then to start a scarf or cowl. And needles to match.



Friday and Sunday Brioche workshop: Belinda Harris-Reid and Brenda M. Watson
BRIOCHE; thick dense reversible ribbed fabric; worked in two colours and slipping alternate stitches means you work one row twice.

You will need: 2 x 100g of DK (225m/100g) in two colours (total of 200g) - one 100g hank of undyed yarn will be in your goodie bag. You can either bring your own contrast yarn to work with or buy 100g hank of DK from BHR's yarn collection. You will also need 4mm short (50cm) circular needles (the design is worked forwards and backwards not in the round).

AVAILABLE: SSK bedroom (RESERVED - sea-view twin bedroom: two double beds with own shell-themed bathroom, next to bedroom) and M1 bedroom (2nd largest single bedroom, kingsize bed, share a shower room with with other guest, no sea-view)





LEARNAWAY
APRIL Thursday 11th – Sunday 14th 2019
JAZZ; Belinda's short-row shaping shawl, workshop weekend
HOSTS: Belinda Harris-Reid and Brenda M. Watson
Fully Booked


LEARNAWAY
MAY Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th 2019
SHIBORI knitted felt
Saturday 4th May workshop host: Alison Crowther-Smith

Shibori Knitted Felt is all about embellishing the surface of your hand-knitting and then felting it in the washing machine. On this course, you will have the opportunity to play with marbles! And embroidery thread! Using sample squares, you can embellish two samples which we will then wash for you. That done, you can cast on a real Shibori project from my book. I will be offering you the choice of a large project – either a knitting bag – ‘The Bump bag’; or a medium project – an embellished short scarf or comforter; or a small beaded project – a beaded needle case. These will be completed at home.

The real purpose of this course is to teach you all I have ever learned about felting your hand knitting and getting exciting and unique results to inspire you to continue with this lovely ancient craft. Warning: highly addictive.

To take part, you need only basic knitting skills. You will learn: • How to embellish your knitting. • How to get the best felting results every time. • How to customise your felted item for size using my formula (optional!) • What works best for felting. • Choosing and testing yarns. • How to knit with beads. • How to be fearless with your felting.

I will be bringing along many hand-knitted felted samples too.

You will need: • 2 x c20cm square pieces of knitting. This MUST be Rowan Felted Tweed DK, knitted in stocking stitch, using 4mm needles. These can be smaller if you wish. You can also knit these on the day if you prefer. • For the Needle Case: 4mm needles; 2 shades of Rowan Felted Tweed DK – left-overs will do, c25g of each colour; c400 beads, size 6; a fine sewing needle threaded with c15cm of fine sewing cotton. • For the Bump Knitting Bag: 4mm needles; 2 balls of Rowan Felted Tweed DK in A (green), 4 balls of Rowan Felted Tweed DK in B – main shade (purple), 2 balls of Rowan Felted Tweed DK in C (red) or 3 shades of your choice. • For the Pleated Scarf: 4mm needles; c500 beads size 6; 4 balls of Rowan Felted Tweed DK.

For these projects, I have specified the exact yarn as I know how it will behave. Vary the yarns you use if you wish but I can’t guarantee the results or even if they will felt at all. If varying, choose a high or 100% wool content DK yarn that is NOT Superwash or machine washable.

AVAILABLE: YO bedroom and M1 bedroom (largest single bedrooms, both have kingsize beds, they share a shower room, no sea-view)





LEARNAWAY
MAY Thursday 23rd – Sunday 26th 2019
HOW TO KNIT GARMENTS A two day workshop.
HOST for Saturday and Sunday workshop: Anniken Allis

Learn how to knit a basic garment with set in sleeves. This workshop will include how to read a pattern for a simple sweater, how to plan your garment to make the finishing details easier, how to shape for armholes and necklines, how to knit sleeves and sleeve caps and how to sew up your sweater and pick up stitches for necklines and button bands.

During the two days you will be working on a mini sweater (pattern will be provided) and you will be expected to complete some homework between the two classes. Please bring 100gr dk or aran weight yarn and suitable needles (4mm for dk or 5mm for Aran).

Suitable for confident novice and intermediate knitters.

AVAILABLE: SSK bedroom (sea-view twin bedroom: two double beds with own shell-themed bathroom, next to bedroom) and M1 bedroom (one of the largest single bedrooms, kingsize bed, shared shower room with one other guest, no sea-view)



LEARNAWAY
JUNE Thursday 6th – Sunday 9th 2019
LACE BEADING (Saturday workshop)
Saturday workshop host: Alison Crowther-Smith

Beaded knitting is transformative. Get in touch with your glitter gene on this sparkling course. I teach you to knit with beads, with the beads threaded onto the yarn, in order to ensure that the beads sit perfectly straight, exactly where I want them, and on the surface of your knitting.

On this course, you will have the choice of knitting a super-simple beaded wrap – basic stocking stitch, with a deep flounce, and beaded all over. Or a slightly more complex boa with beads on the edges. Both are knitted in Kidsilk Haze but you can easily vary the yarns up to fine DK weight and still use the beads. The boa is knitted sideways and has deep beaded inserts. Neither of the patterns is difficult though the boa is moderately complex. You need no special skills to take part in this course but just to be a reasonably confident knitter.

You will also be shown many samples of my beaded knits and we will cover other imaginative ways to bring glamour into your knits including beaded Fairisle, beaded felt, I-cords with beads, and how to adapt an existing pattern to add a beaded feature such as at the cuffs of a sweater.

You will need: • For the Gleam Wrap: 3 x 25g balls of Rowan Kidsilk Haze or a similar super-fine kid-mohair yarn; c1,700 beads size 6 (or size 8, which are smaller); 5.5mm needles. Knitted flat. • For the Eastwater Boa: Note: the shades need to both blend nicely and contrast enough. 2 balls of Kidsilk Haze in shade A – I used ‘Ultra’ sh no 659; 2 balls of Kidsilk Haze in shade B – I used ‘Ghost’ sh no 642; 572 beads, size 6 – I used crystal; 1 long circular needle, size 5mm (this is used instead of single pointed needles, not for knitting in the round, but we need it to accommodate the number of stitches).

AVAILABLE: YO bedroom and M1 bedroom (largest single bedrooms, both have kingsize beds, they share a shower room, no sea-view)




SUMMER 2019


LEARNAWAY
JULY Thursday 18th – Sunday 21st 2019
JAZZ; short-row-shaping shawl
HOSTS: Belinda Harris-Reid and Brenda M. Watson

All Bedrooms FULLY BOOKED - but one more place available for day guest, or stay at Lyme Bay B&B (across the road), or stay in your own accommodation/another hotel


LEARNAWAY
August Thursday 1st – Sunday 4th 2019
CROCHET weekend learn to crochet, granny squares, crochet techniques and more
HOSTS for Friday and Sunday crochet workshop: Belinda Harris-Reid and Brenda M. Watson
Saturday Silversmithing workshop host: Lyn Roberts
Please note cost for hooks + silver buttons are extra - price TBC
Fully Booked


GETAWAY
August Thursday 29th – September Sunday 1st 2019
BRING YOUR OWN PROJECTS: knitting and crochet, have a 'making-me-time-sea-time' – bring your WIPs and projects and have a fun weekend relaxing with other woolly folk
HOSTS: Belinda Harris-Reid and Brenda M. Watson

AVAILABLE: TBL bedroom (largest sea-view twin bedroom: two double beds with en suite bathroom) and YO bedroom (one of the largest single bedrooms, kingsize bed, shared shower room with one other guest, no sea-view)



LEARNAWAY
September Thursday 5th – Sunday 8th 2019
DESIGN YOUR OWN FAIRILSE (Saturday workshop)
Saturday workshop host: Alison Crowther-Smith

All Bedrooms FULLY BOOKED - one more place available for day guest, or stay at Lyme Bay B&B (across the road), or stay in your own accommodation /another hotel


AUTUMN/WINTER 2019


LEARNAWAY
September Thursday 12th – Sunday 15th 2019
WET FELTING Design Workshop - make a wonderful pair of felted slippers. We will need the necessary shoe size one month in advance to order the correct size shoe lasts. Some previous experience of felt making would be advantageous. (Saturday workshop) All materials (including shoe lasts, to keep) will be provided.
Saturday workshop host: Lydia Tapley
Fully Booked





LEARNAWAY
September Thursday 19th – Sunday 22nd 2019
Friday workshop: HAND DYEING YARN - a real treat, hand-painting your own yarn; knit or crochet something delicious with a yarn specially coloured by you.
Saturday workshop: HOW TO KNIT SOCKS; in the round, top-down, toe-up, Kitchener stitch and more
HOSTS: Belinda Harris-Reid and Brenda M. Watson
Fully Booked


*NEW* - LEARNAWAY
October Thursday 3rd – Sunday 6th 2019
GANSEY MASTERCLASS - two day workshop

Day 1: Anatomy of a Gansey
Begin knitting a small sampler gansey (would fit a teddy when complete). Knitters choose their own favourite versions of each step and we proceed with; 1: Cast on methods | 2: Welt style | 3: Main body and faux seam | 4: Gusset | 5: plotting the motif and knitting the chest part | 6: Joining the shoulder | 7: Collar of choice | 8: picking up the sleeve and plotting and working a shoulder strap pattern | 9: decreasing for the sleeves and gusset whilst maintaining a faux seam | 10: Cuffs and cast off method of choice

Day 2: (Morning) 1: Taking body measurements and working out the maths for your own bespoke Gansey | 2: Choosing the chest motif and plotting it on graph paper | 3: Initials? Choose the style and plot this on graph paper
(Afternoon) Begin knitting your gansey or continue with the sampler sweater with help from me where needed.

You will need: 2.25mm circular needles (80cm) for the full size sweater. I recommend Addi Steel tipped circulars which are very robust and virtually never snap. They are readily available from the Addi website and less than £5. Optional: 2.25mm dpns (sock needle length) for completing the sampler sweater if not comfortable with the magic loop. A calculator would also be handy.

Enough yarn for the sampler sweater plus full instruction leaflets and graph paper will be provided. There will be full-sized cones of yarn, books and traditional long dpns for purchase on the day.

Friday and Saturday workshop host: Tina Barrett of The Cornish Gansey Company - an extra £60/guest for this Masterclass Learnaway

AVAILABLE: TBL bedroom (largest sea-view twin bedroom: two double beds with en suite bathroom), SSK bedroom (sea-view twin bedroom: two double beds with own shell-themed bathroom, next to bedroom)




LEARNAWAY
OCTOBER Thursday 17th – Sunday 20st 2019
There We Are Then - BRIOCHE; creating thick fabric (one colour, two colour, increase, decrease and cables)
HOSTS for weekend workshop: <Belinda Harris-Reid and Brenda M. Watson
Fully Booked


*NEW* - LEARNAWAY
November Thursday 14th – Sunday 17th 2019
UNDERSTAND YOUR YARN BETTER + LEARN TO SPIN (wheel and drop spindle) + PLYING YARN
Understand where wool comes from / how fleece can differ depending on breed of sheep / how the fleece itself influences what you do with it and how to prepare it.
Saturday workshop host: Jackie Millichap

AVAILABLE: KFB bedroom (sea-view cosy single room, double bed with shower room opposite bedroom), SSK bedroom (sea-view twin bedroom: two double beds with own shell-themed bathroom, next to bedroom), PSSO bedroom (our largest single sea-view bedroom: one double bed with own bathroom next to room) and M1 bedroom (largest single bedroom, kingsize beds, share a shower room with one other guest, no sea-view)



LEARNAWAY
November Thursday 28th – December Sunday 1st 2019
KNITTED WINTERVILLE CHRISTMAS … with Friday Workshop with Alison Crowther-Smith (Christmas decoration fun time - Friday workshop)
Friday workshop host: Alison Crowther-Smith

All Bedrooms FULLY BOOKED - one more place available for day-guest, or stay at Lyme Bay B&B (across the road), or stay in your own accommodation/another hotel


LEARNAWAY
December Thursday 5th – Sunday 8th 2019
FESTIVE FROLICS at TKH - (knitted and crochet stars + winter festival time shenanigan)
HOSTS: Belinda Harris-Reid and Brenda M. Watson

AVAILABLE: KFB bedroom (sea-view cosy single room, double bed with shower room opposite bedroom)





BHR and BMW

The fab BRENDA M WATSON (BMW) will be on hand, at all events, to support Belinda with all manner of technical knitting and crochet knowhow!

Brenda is a technical wizard when it comes to knitting and crochet techniques, BHR is thrilled that Brenda will be on-hand at all events for any technical questions and advice.

Brenda M. Watson has been knitting for over 60 years. Taught to knit by her aunt - the first garment she knitted was a cardigan for herself when she was 8 yrs old. When BMW was 14 yrs old her mother wanted a ‘fan and feather’ top. BMW knitted it and her mother wore it to work. Everyone wanted one - and so it started... And so Brenda’s knitting ‘career’ began when she started knitting for a bit of pocket money. Brenda has knitted for numerous designers (the list is long), the first being Jenny Sandler, in the 80s (intarsia mostly) and more recently for Rowan, Stylecraft and Wendy design and yarn companies (all the garments, toys, accessories and homeware are used for photo shoots). One of BMW’s claim to fame is that she knitted a peplum cardigan for Joanna Lumley (which JL wore on a TV series called ‘Class Act’).







March 2018 - in the snow...