Thea Gray


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Thea M. Gray

Knitting on the Coast 2024 Retreat

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

Friday, March 8 to 11, 2024 REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

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Overview * The Extras * The Schedule * The Setting * The Organizer * Handy 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.

For the 2024 Knitting on the Coast Retreat, we're stripping away all the folderol and getting to the heart of the matter: An ongoing good old fashioned stitching social where you can work on any project you like while enjoying the company of other stitchers. No classes—except any peer-to-peer classes that participants opt to teach, no set schedule (except the dinner bell!), no goodie bags or other fluff. Just stitching among the redwoods by the California coast and enjoying hearty food and company that's smart, fun, and fabulous.

As usual, the retreat will offer opportunities for participants to swap tips with other knitters and see some birds—but this year you'll have even more downtime to stroll among the redwoods, read a book, or do whatever you please. We hope you'll join us this March!



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.


For several years now, we've had any crunchy necks, backs, arms, and hands soothed by the ministrations of masseur extraordinaire Aidan Sheehan. His chair massages, offered during one of our Saturday evening stitching social, cost $33 for 15 minutes or $38 for 20 minutes, directly payable to Aidan on site, by cash, check, or Venmo.


Friday, March 8

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, March 9

8:00-9:00 am Breakfast
12:00-1:00 pm Lunch
6:00-7:00 pm Dinner
7:00-9:00 pm STITCH ‘N BITCH: YARN WHISPERING! Bring your lonely skeins with no plans, and collectively we'll help you devise plans for it. The optional extra: A chair massage!

Sunday, March 10

8:00-9:00 am Breakfast
9:15-12:15 pm Nature walk
12:30-1:30 pm Lunch
6:00-7:00 pm Dinner
7:00-9:00 pm STITCH ‘N BITCH: SWAP! Bring something to swap—yarn, patterns, tools, whatever!
9:00-10:00 pm S’mores under the stars

Monday, March 11

8:00-9:00 am Breakfast
9:00-9:30 am Group photo
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 Petaluma, and Purls of Joy in Healdsburg (all in the North Bay) and, farther south, Avenue Yarns in Albany, Black Squirrel in Berkeley, A Verb for Keeping Warm and Piedmont Yarn in Oakland, ImagiKnit and Firebird Yarns in San Francisco, and Royal Bee Yarn in Pacifica.



The 2024 retreat will be the twelfth 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 copious free time, go on the nature hike, take a stroll in the woods, pop into Occidental, Freestone, or Duncan Mills 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 has been leading a stitching social at BookShop West Portal in San Francisco since the early 2000s (migrating to Zoom at the start of the COVID pandemic). The stitching social and her knitting retreats were an outgrowth of the beginning and intermediate knitting classes that she held at the bookshop. Thea first began to knit in third grade and has barely stopped since, even flying 6000 miles in a weekend to polish her couture techniques. Known for bountiful patience, she 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 

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.


  • Pen, pencil, and highlighters of various colors
  • 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 2024 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 Friday, February 9, 2024, a full refund less a $50 cancellation fee will be available. No refunds will be available after that date, except in the case of a student testing positive for COVID.

The venue's staff will be vaccinated and boostered. Participants and retreat staff must also be fully vaccinated and boostered.

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) before arrival at St Dorothy's Rest on the first day of the retreat. If participants test positive, their retreat fee will be refunded without penalty.



The 2024 Knitting on the Coast fees include nine meals (from dinner Friday through lunch on Monday) and three nights' accommodations. Total fees are $550 for a shared room and $695 for one of the three private rooms.

An optional on-site massage can be arranged for $33 for 15 minutes or $38 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