Curious Handmade Retreat

Bailbrook House Hotel

Bath, UK, May 2018

Immerse yourself in pure creativity and relaxation: 8th – 11th of May, 2018

Sold Out!


Everyone who reserved their place should have received an email with further registration details (Paypal email address) if it hasn’t come through please email me
Registration for the Bath Retreat 2018 is now full.  If you would like to be notified of any openings, please sign up for our waitlist here.
The Location:
Join us in one of Britain’s most storied cities: Bath. For over 2000 years, souls have flocked to this magic city in search of indulgence and restoration. Today it is an intoxicating mix of ancient and modern. The historic Roman spa still stands over the bubbling hot springs, the magnificent Georgian architecture is as handsome as it was in Jane Austen’s day, and the city is packed with museums, boutiques and restaurants around every corner. We’ll be staying together at Bailbrook House, a luxurious Georgian mansion house hotel set in 20 acres of beautiful, peaceful grounds just outside the bustle of the city.

True to the quiet, nourishing spirit of all the Curious Handmade Retreats so far, the heart of the retreat will be a slowed-down, gentle pace, with plenty of free time to knit and enjoy each other’s company. This is a chance to step away from the everyday demands of a busy life so that you can focus on your own creative spirit (and make some incredible progress on a WIP or two!)
We’ll share great food, a bit of fizz, the company of knitters, and beautiful surroundings. We’ll also have a chance to enjoy a tour and other activities in and around Bath. Spoiling ourselves a little bit has always been part of the Curious Handmade Retreat experience, but we are really taking it up a notch this time. We’ve put together a retreat worthy of bucket-list status.
On the Wednesday night we will visit the actual Roman Baths to enjoy an exclusive and very glamorous event. The city of Bath is a World Heritage Site, and this magnificent venue is the centrepiece. Over one million people visit the Roman Baths every year, but for one night we will have it all to ourselves for an unforgettable evening of drinks, canapés, and a private tour.

If all of that wasn’t enough to make this a legendary occasion, for this very special retreat we have put together wonderful sessions with some of the warmest, most creative and most knowledgeable knitters, designers, and teachers I know. You can craft your own schedule of two-half day workshops and talks from a selection of topics.
(Subject to availability: the first knitters to book their places will get first choice!)

Joji Locatelli of Joji Knits

Joji Locatelli enjoys living her life in sunny Buenos Aires, Argentina, while dreaming of visiting the rest of the world armed with knitting needles and yarn. (She believes life is much sweeter when served with coffee and chocolate.) Joji has been actively knitting for twelve years (and counting). She self-published her first design in 2008 and now has more than 100 patterns on Ravelry, as well as four Interpretations with Veera Välimäki.
Joji Talks about Sweaters that Fit
In this friendly session, we’ll talk about how to choose a sweater that will make you really happy after spending so much time knitting it. We’ll discuss:

You’ll also have the opportunity to take a look at some of my samples and their sizes, shapes, lengths and styles.

Renée Callahan of East London Knit

Renée Callahan is a knitwear designer, podcaster and knitting teacher who loves slow fashion and believes in making and sharing beautiful, useful things. After studying fashion design with knitwear at Central Saint Martins college, she began to hoard yarn and a range of knitting machines. Renée loves textiles and the technical challenge of knitting. There is real joy in producing something both useful and beautiful! After several years of making samples for designers and helping students with final collections, she decided to give up her studio to pursue hand knitting full time. She loves to see new knitters taking to the needles and teaches a range of hand knitting classes. Renée will be teaching two workshops at the retreat:
Making the Cut
Master the dark art of cutting into your knitting. In this workshop you will learn several ways to prepare your fabric, we will cut the steek and discuss several ways to finish the raw edges.

3-D knitting
Turn your 2-D knitting into 3-D knitting with short rows. Short row shaping is a great technique with unlimited applications such as accommodating a fuller bust in sweaters, garment shaping and decorative elements in accessories. Learn several techniques for short-row shaping.

Jonna Hietala and Sini Ellen of Laine Magazine

Jonna Hietala and Sini Ellen are the co-founders of Laine, a Nordic knit & lifestyle magazine, which has found its way into the hearts of like-minded wool lovers all over the world. Together they are responsible for the aesthetics and photography of the magazine, known for its beautiful, strong, visual storytelling. Besides Laine, they work as freelance photographers creating content for international clients.
Knitwear Photography
At this 4-hour workshop, we will dive into the world of knitwear photography. We will learn about light and composition, how to create a picture with a story. We will go through basic camera settings and how to bring out the best of your photos through post processing. Time for hands-on practice, one-on-one feedback and discussion will be given.

Your Host:

Helen Stewart

Helen lives in London, where she spends her days designing knitting patterns and hosting the award-winning Curious Handmade podcast. Obsessed with clarity, detail and proportion in all of her designs, she creates beautiful patterns which are straightforward enough for everyone to achieve but challenging enough to be addictive. Helen loves to combine knitting with her other passions, travel, photography, and meeting up with knitters from around the world.

The Itinerary:

Some special details are still under wraps, but our general retreat schedule will be as follows:

Tuesday, May 8th

3pm to 5pm: Check in and registration
Evening Pre-dinner drinks: fizz, nibbles, and a chance to meet and greet our special guests and fellow attendees
Sit-down welcome banquet

Wednesday, May 9th

Buffet breakfast
Morning: Workshops
Buffet Lunch
Afternoon: Free time at hotel, including Afternoon Tea, or sightseeing in Bath
Evening: The Roman Baths

Thursday, May 10th

Buffet breakfast
Morning: Workshops
Buffet Lunch
Afternoon: Free time at hotel, including Afternoon Tea, or sightseeing in Bath
Evening: Final evening sit down dinner at hotel

Friday, May 11th

Buffet breakfast

10am: Checkout and goodbyes

How to join us:

Places at the Bath retreat will go on sale 4pm BSTSaturday, September 16th 2017. There will be only 40 places available.
The following all-inclusive rates cover:

  • Luxury accommodation for 3 nights
  • All meals, including sit-down dinners with wine and soft drinks on Tuesday and Thursday
  • Afternoon tea in the “parlour” on Wednesday and Thursday
  • 2 half day workshops
  • Glamorous drinks reception at the Roman Spa
  • Fabulous swag bag
  • And free time to explore the historic city of Bath

How much does it cost?:

Single occupancy (double bed) £1475
Double occupancy (large single beds) £1375
If you would like to bring your partner along to share this wonderful experience, they are welcome! The non-participating partner rate includes everything but the 2 workshops and swag bag: they can relax or venture out to enjoy their own adventures in Bath while you’re knitting.
Double occupancy – non-participating partner £1025 (accompanying a partner in a Double occupancy room)
– Prices are Per Person
The accommodation will be Classic rooms in the modern building of the hotel, with either double or twin beds, according to your preference:

Registration will open Saturday September 16th at 4pm BST/11 am EST

I will post a link on this page which will allow you to grab your spot instantly with a £100 reservation fee. You will then receive a registration form where you can indicate your class preference, room preference, roommate preference, and whether you require a partner place. The remainder of the deposit, £400, will be due within 7 days, and you’ll be able to choose your method of payment (bank transfer for UK folks and Paypal for international guests.)

I’m so excited to welcome you to the retreat! Please do read the following carefully because by booking your place, you agree to the retreat terms and conditions.
You agree to pay an initial deposit of £500 to secure your place. The first £100 of this deposit will be paid as a reservation fee to save your spot. Once this fee is paid we’ll send instructions on how to pay the remainder of the deposit.
The deposit is non refundable regardless of circumstance so please make sure you can commit to the retreat dates before you book your place.
Please note the date Monday, 12 February 2018 when the balance is due.

After you complete the registration form, and pay your full deposit, we will confirm the balance payable for your booking.

We do understand that very, very occasionally you may need to cancel your place. While we cannot offer refunds after Monday, 12 February, if you do have to cancel, you may transfer your place to another person. In this instance, please send an email with details to and we will send a new registration form.
We cannot be held liable for situations beyond our control, including (but not limited to) acts of war, acts of God, threats or acts of terrorism, civil unrest or unforeseen personal circumstances. We also can’t offer refunds for illness, flight delays or any other circumstances. Please, please, please make sure you have adequate travel insurance in place to cover for this.
In the event of a teacher cancellation, every effort will be made to deliver the same content by another accomplished teacher. If we need to cancel the retreat, we will refund the money you have paid so far. We cannot be held responsible for other costs – such as flights or any other incidentals  – and strongly recommend you have insurance in place to cover this.
The retreat includes all meals, wine or soft drinks with dinner, morning and afternoon tea, fizz and canapes at the welcome reception and at the Cocktail Party in the Roman Baths.

You will need to pay for other incidentals such as extra room charges and drinks at the bar yourself.  These will be charged to your room and the hotel will take a credit card imprint from you at check in to cover this.
More information about registration will be coming soon. For now, save the dates and sign up below to join the VIP retreat mailing list.
That way you’ll be the first to receive a reminder that registration is open.
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