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Thea M. Gray

Knitting on the Coast 2023 Retreat

A retreat at St Dorothy's Rest in Camp Meeker, California:

Friday, March 31 to April 3, 2023 REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

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The Knitting Classes * The Extras * The Schedule * The Setting * The Teachers * The Goodies * Class Materials * Other Things to Bring * Retreat & Host Policies * To Sign Up 


Join us for a relaxing knitting getaway among the redwoods by the California coast!

Geared to advanced beginners and intermediate knitters, these retreats offer a variety of technique classes in a relaxed, supportive setting.

This year's theme inspired by a phrase that shows up in many famous quotes: "start where you are." We aim to continue it with: "and find balance and peace."

In FOLDING IN, OPENING UP, Kate will kick off the retreat by teaching us to make an origami box can hold stitch markers or a wee knit gift, but making one can also open you to possibilities—using whatever you have, wherever you are.

Are you FIXIN' TO FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED? Thea will show us how to address a variety of mistakes by tinking, fixing reversed, extra, or missing stitches (even several rows below), frogging, and more.

Next, Rita will help you CENTER YOURSELF...WITH A SHAWL PIN. You'll learn to foil-wrap beach glass, solder, and hammer metal without bringing it—or yourself—to the breaking point.

Feeling at sea in the world of stranded knitting? We'll help you CHART YOUR WAY IN'll learn tricks for making a well-balanced colorwork design *and* how to do two-handed knitting for stranded designs.

Finally, Kate will close out the retreat by showing us how to make a POCKET CONFIDANTE, because we can *all* use a friend in a top hat! You'll knit a small mouse and make it your own with playful accessories.

We hope you'll join us this March and April to enjoy:


small box made of paper fixing a mistakes a few rows down copper spiral shawl pin with mounted beach glass center two-handed color knittingl wee knit mouse in a top hat

As usual, classes will be punctuated with opportunities for participants to swap tips with other knitters, seek solitude, and see some birds—all amidst the beauty of the redwoods.



Nature Walk

Join us as we take another mellow hike to explore nearby woods or coastline from with a knitter's eye. You may find inspiration for future projects in a bird's plummage or the landscape's palette, but you'll surely find it a treat for the eyes and the body.


Friday, March 31

3:30 pm Arrival at St Dorothy’s Rest
5:30-6:00 pm Orientation and introductions
6:00-7:00 pm Dinner
7:00-9:00 pm STITCH ‘N BITCH: SHOW AND TELL. Bring a crafted item for show and tell, a cultural recommendation (book, movie, TV show, exhibition, etc), and a brief story about something you learned this past year.

Saturday, April 1

8:00-9:00 am Breakfast
9:00-9:15 am FOLDING IN, OPENING UP. An origami box can hold stitch markers or a wee knit gift, but making one can also open you to possibilities—using whatever you have, wherever you are.
9:30-11:45 pm FIXIN' TO FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED. Learn to address mistakes by tinking, fixing reversed, extra, or missing stitches (even several rows below), frogging, and more.
12:00-1:00 pm Lunch
1:30-4:30 pm CENTER YOURSELF...WITH A SHAWL PIN. You’ll learn to foil-wrap beach glass, solder, and hammer metal without bringing it—or yourself—to the breaking point.
6:00-7:00 pm Dinner
7:00-9:00 pm STITCH ‘N BITCH: PROJECT & YARN WHISPERING! Stuck in a project? Bring it! No UFOs? We'll help you devise plans for an orphan skein. Plus...goodie bags!
9:00-10:00 pm S’mores under the stars

Sunday, April 2

8:00-9:00 am Breakfast
9:15-12:15 pm Nature walk
12:30-1:30 pm Lunch
2:00-5:00 pm CHARTING YOUR WAY IN COLORWORK. Create a colorwork chart, plus practice two-handed stranded colorwork ("throw" and "pick") for physical and mental flexibility.
6:00-7:00 pm Dinner
7:00-9:00 pm STITCH ‘N BITCH: SWAP! Bring something to swap—yarn, patterns, tools, whatever! The optional extra: a chair massage!

Monday, April 3

8:00-9:00 am Breakfast
9:00-9:30 am Group photo
10:00-Noon POCKET CONFIDANTE. We can *all* use a friend in a top hat. Knit a small mouse and make it your own with playful accessories.
Noon-1:00 pm Lunch and goodbyes
Nearby yarn shops. Some LYSs worth checking out on the way to or from the retreat or during your downtime (check the hours before you go!) include: Cast Away in Santa Rosa, Black Mountain Artisans/Bo-Rage Yarns in Point Reyes Station, Fiber Circle Studio in Cotati, and Purls of Joy in Healdsburg (all in the North Bay) and, farther south, Avenue Yarns in Albany, Black Squirrel in Berkeley and Oakland, A Verb for Keeping Warm and Piedmont Yarn in Oakland, ImagiKnit and Firebird Yarns in San Francisco, and Royal Bee Yarn in Pacifica.



The 2023 retreat will be the eleventh at the beautiful St. Dorothy’s Rest, situated among the cool beautiful redwoods between the Russian River and Occidental in Camp Meeker, 1-1/2 hours north of San Francisco. We'll be staying in Lydia House, where students will have the choice of a private or shared room.

Beautiful Lydia House

...with its charming living room

Light-filled porch

...and interior- and exterior-facing bedrooms


All rooms exude simple Arts and Crafts charm and share clean, tidy baths. Those students who do not choose a roommate will have one selected for them. We will be treated to delicious, seasonal, locally sourced meals from Friday's dinner through Monday's lunch.

During your free time, go on the nature hike, take a stroll in the woods, pop into Occidental to browse the cute shops, or just hang out and chat with fellow knitters.

Lots of interesting knitters in a cozy and beautiful setting. What more could you want on a lovely winter weekend?



The founder of Knitting on the Coast, Thea Gray formerly taught knitting at BookShop West Portal in San Francisco. She began knitting in third grade and has barely stopped since, even flying 6000 miles in a weekend to polish her couture techniques. Known for bountiful patience, Thea loves sharing the joys of knitting. You can find her on Ravelry as knitOrama.
Thea creates a warm, welcoming environment, in which I feel very comfortable asking for clarification or repetition. She's a great listener, and creatively adjusts her teaching style to the needs of her students, depending on their level of experience.

— Jenny, designer

Not only is Thea a patient and thorough teacher, she's enthusiastic and skilled in many different knitting techniques. She's helped me go beyond merely following patterns.

— Rachella, writer and editor 


Rita Rodriguez Kate Godfrey
Rita Rodriguez has been making jewelry for 30+ years and loves devising ways to combine knitting with jewelry for our retreat. This year she’ll teach us to make a shawl pin that’s both gorgeous and practical! Find the nighttime creations of Kate Godfrey (such as knitted animals and embroidered tapestries) on Ravelry at designers/kategodfrey and @gollyokate on instagram.

A sampling of feedback from recent retreats:

  • The workshops were really informative. I loved every single one. I especially found the color theory lesson challenging and rewarding and learned a lot in how to choose colors for colorwork. The whole retreat was really great.
  • All classes and the group of people were really nice. I think it was the best retreat that I've attended.
  • A lovely time indeed! I loved the variety and the addition of a jewelry class! The teachers put so much preparation and thought into the classes and it showed. Thank you.
  • I want to thank you again for a fabulous time!
  • Excellent teaching. Restored my interest in taking classes, after a couple of bad experiences. Also loved the relaxing location.
  • Thank you thank you thank you.
  • The location was beautiful, food was great, teaching was great!
  • I loved everything. I appreciate so much all the energy put into the retreat. I loved all the classes and teachers.
  • Thank you so much for putting it all together, it was magical.
  • Had a fantastic time. Thank you!
  • I had such a great time! Thanks for all the hard work you put into such a fun weekend.
  • I am definitely interested in all your retreats. You really are a fabulous teacher.

and a few photos from the 2010 retreat and from the 2009 retreat.


This year's retreat participants will receive door prizes and goodie bag items from generous local yarn shops and national yarn distributors. This year’s contributors include:


A list of class materials and homework will be sent to all enrolled students prior to the start of the retreat.


  • Pen, pencil, and 4 differently colored highlighter
  • Pad of large sticky notes for masking off sections of charted patterns
  • Binoculars for nature hike
  • Clothing and shoes appropriate for walking in the woods or on the beach
  • Flashlight for walking to and from dinner, s'mores, etc
  • Robe and slippers for walking to the bathroom
  • Bathroom toiletries



Registration for the 2023 retreat is limited to 12. Places will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis and will be confirmed once full payment is received. A waiting list will be maintained once all spots are filled.

Should a student be unable to attend the retreat and the cancellation is received before Tuesday March 1, 2023, a full refund less a $50 cancellation fee will be available. No refunds will be available after that dates, except in the case of a student suspecting exposure to SARS-CoV-2 or testing positive for COVID.

The venue's staff will be vaccinated, boostered, and wearing masks indoors. Participants and retreat staff must also be fully vaccinated and boostered. To the extent possible (weather permitting), classes will be conducted outdoors to allow students who wish to be unmasked to do so safely.

We will be asking staff and participants to take a rapid COVID test (available at local pharmacies and online at a cost to the staff and students ~$10-$15 per test, or free from the government) on the first day of the retreat. If participants test positive, their retreat fee will be refunded without penalty.



The 2023 Knitting on the Coast fees include instruction for all classes, nine meals (from dinner Friday through lunch on Monday), and three nights' accommodations. Total fees are $685 for a shared room and $895 for one of the three private rooms.

An optional on-site massage can be arranged for $30 for 15 minutes or $35 for 20 minutes, payable to the masseur on site, by cash, check, or Venmo.

Attendees must be fully vaccinated against COVID, have received all available booster shots, and provide an attestation to that effect in the registration form, and test negative before arrival if requested.

To sign up for the retreat, 1. Send an email to to hold a place at the retreat. 2. You will receive an email confirming your place is being held and providing the address to which payment should be sent. 3.Within a week, mail or email the completed form from the retreat brochure and payment via check (preferred), PayPal, or Venmo to the address provided in the reservation confirmation email. Places not secured by a receipt of a check within a week of notification will be forfeited.  

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All images are copyright their respective owners (many are by Bill Walker) and should not be used without express written permission.

© Copyright Thea M. Gray