Beth’s Vermont Retreats

The Vermont Retreats

With Beth Brown-Reinsel 

Beth Brown-Reinsel
Beth Brown-Reinsel

I love teaching knitters in this beautiful setting. The small class enrollment makes these weekends a true retreat. We laugh a lot, knit a lot, and eat very well. It all adds up to a memorable time for new and returning participants.    ~ Beth

Who: YOU are invited to join us for a rich knitting experience!

What: A three day retreat in southern Vermont on an historic apple farm.

When: Three sessions in 2018!

Why: Get away from it all, learn traditional knitting techniques based on Beth’s research from her travels in Scandinavia and beyond, be with other like-minded knitters who are welcoming of old and new friends!

Where: Classes are held in Dummerston, VT, (near Brattleboro, VT) in the Dutton Farmhouse, a reasonable drive from Boston, Albany, Hartford  and NYC.

How much: $550 includes all instruction and comprehensive handouts, Thursday welcome reception, breakfast and lunch on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. (Dinners on those days are on your own. Often the group will go out or bring dinner in.)


The Classes

March 8-11, 2018  Rescheduled due to snow: May 3-6, 2018

Sanquhar Gloves~a Scottish Tradition

The intricately patterned gloves from the Sanquhar district of 19th century Scotland are a joy and a challenge to knit. Worn by the common folk and elite as well, these hand garments required skill and an understanding of the geometry of the design. The cuff is worked in two parts: first a corrugated ribbing is made: the knit ribs are one color while the purl ribs are a second color. The second part of the cuff is made with a simple “Salt and Pepper” motif that allows for optional initials and/or the year to be knitted in. The hand is full of small patterns and tiny gussets around the fingers and thumb.   The tips of the three-sided fingers are finished off in little pyramids. These gloves can be worked on double-pointed needles, or using the Magic Loop or two circular needles, if preferred.

In this class, learn how to design this type of glove to fit your hand and explore the many pattern options of both the ribbing and glove body. You will have several motifs to choose from, depending on your chosen size and gauge. Over the length of the workshop, a full-sized glove will be knitted. In addition, learn about yarn dominance and how to manage two yarns at a time, in three different knitting styles (two yarns in the right hand, two yarns in the left hand, or a yarn in each hand) as well as reading your knitting, rather than a pattern, to create these marvelous gloves.

Level: Advanced (must be proficient with dp needles, and somewhat familiar with stranded knitting).  Homework includes swatching to determine the correct gauge and will be sent out prior to the retreat.


September 6-9, 2018

Designing Tams~a Fair Isle Tradition

Tams are fun to knit and, because of their size and shape, offer an easier, less complicated opportunity to design. This design exercise will give solid experience for designing future color projects. A small child’s tam will be knitted the first day in worsted weight yarn to familiarize the student with the traditional construction methods. Color-stranded knitting styles will be discussed as well as yarn dominance, and practiced in the sampler tam. Corrugated ribbing will be discussed. On Days 2 and 3, students will measure themselves, and plan a design, choose colors, and create a color chart to work from, using the traditional layout of peeries, border patterns, and the wheel chart. Graph paper will be provided. For those who would like to try out the time-honored method of knitting with a belt or a knitting stick, there will be a tam on the needles with which to practice.

Level:  Intermediate (must be proficient with DP needles, Magic Loop, or working with two circulars)


November 8-12, 2018

Designing Ganseys~ a British Tradition

Students will learn how to construct a Gansey, a sweater form prevalent in the 19th century and early part of the 20th century among the fishermen of the British Isles. On the first class day, a small scale sweater will be knitted using traditional construction techniques including the classic Channel Island Cast-on, split welts, seam stitches, traditional knit/purl patterns, the underarm gusset, the perpendicular shoulder join, picked-up sleeves, and three choices for the collar. Alternative methods to these techniques will also be explored.

 The Design Class continues over the next two days from the 1-day Gansey sampler class, and explores the design process: Design details (sweater attributes), the Silhouette (sweater size), and the Surface Design (sweater patterning).  Each phase will be explained and students will be able to begin planning a full-sized garment.  Books with charts and large format graph paper will be provided.

Level:  Intermediate- student should have previous experience knitting a sweater and must be proficient with double-pointed needles, Magic Loop, or working with two circulars for little sampler.


The Schedule

Thursday evening: People arrive around 5pm.  Wine and hors d’oeuvres at 5:30, dinner at 6:15.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: Breakfast: 8:30, AM class: 9:30 to 12:00, lunch until 1:00, PM class 1:00 to 3:30.

Getting There

Amtrak and Greyhound both serve Brattleboro with one schedule north and one south per day.  Car rental is available in Brattleboro.  Greyhound stops in Brattleboro, VT, just minutes from the class site.  The closest airports are Hartford, CT (BDL), Manchester, NH (MHT) Albany, NY (ALB) and Boston, MA (BOS). If you drive, enter “Dutton Farmhouse 255 Dutton Farm Road Dummerston, VT 05301″ into Google Maps for directions.  Contact Adventure Taxi Service at (802) 254-8400 to get to the farmhouse from the train station.

Staying There

The Dutton Farmhouse in summer


Classes are held in  the Dutton Farmhouse, which  has four bedrooms with shared baths.    Contact Marilyn for more information on staying there.


In warm weather, we often eat outside and enjoy the view of Mount Monadnock many miles away in New Hampshire!


The following hotels are within 5 minutes and 5 miles of the workshop.

The Hampton Inn   802.254.5700

Holiday Inn Express  802.257.2400

The Latchis  802.254.6300

Motel 6   802.254.6007

(Locally owned and located in downtown Brattleboro, about 10 minutes away)

And recommended by one of our attendees:  Chesterfield Inn, Chesterfield, NH 603-256-3222


A $100 deposit will secure your spot in the workshop, with  the balance due approximately 90 days prior to the class.  Checks should be made payable to Beth Brown-Reinsel and mailed to:

Marilyn King

Black Water Abbey yarns

PO Box 470688

Aurora, CO  80047-0688

If you have any questions, or for more information, contact Marilyn:

We hope to see you at the retreat!