In this last installment of my Minicasts The Big News is Brenda Dayne’s Gwlana Knitting Retreats. I shall be teaching at the May edition alongside Brenda and I am really excited to tell you all about it. You can download the podcast directly from the Internet Archive; you can listen below; or you can hear it through subscribing to KNITSONIK on iTunes.

There’s a longer piece about that here if you would like to see pictures of the hotel where the retreat takes place but in this podcast you can hear me and Brenda talking about what the May Gwlana is going to be like and how our two classes fit together.

I am teaching Quotidian Colourwork based on the KNITSONIK System in my book. And Brenda is teaching Bespoke Yokes which reveals her formula for designing a yoke sweater customised for you. The idea is that comrades coming to Gwlana bring a personal inspiration and leave with all the knowledge to turn that into a well-fitting and personally decorated yoke sweater of dreams. To test and explore the relationship between these ideas Brenda has been applying my charts to her yoke sweater formula. She’s been working at half-scale and you can see the progression from inspiration source to finished mini-sweater in this photo.

Inspiration source (book), KNITSONIK System Swatch (top left), Petal Swatch (right), Mini-Me Yoke sweater sample, (centre)
Inspiration source (book), KNITSONIK System Swatch (top left), Petal Swatch (right), Mini-Me Yoke sweater sample, (centre)

The Spring 2015 Gwlana takes place from 15 – 18th May 2015 at Beggar’s Reach Hotel in Pembrokeshire. Food, accommodation, tuition, workshop materials, entertainment and goodie-bags are all covered by the ticket price which is £735 per person with discounts for folk who want to share a double room or family members who want to come for the trip. There is lots of information on the website but also in the Gwlana Ravelry group and the Gwlana Facebook group, so do ask if you have questions.

Gwlana - come to Wales, bring your knitting
Gwlana – come to Wales, bring your knitting

In between our discussions about Gwlana, I share sounds recorded for our former collaboration on the CD release- A Knitter’s Manifesto. In this project we set recordings of Brenda’s essays to field recordings imbuing the stories with a sense of place and the sonic textures of Brenda’s life in Wales.

I wanted to share some of these sounds with you along with this interview; they are bits and pieces of Brenda’s life in her adoptive landscape – Pembrokeshire – where she moved to live with her partner Tonia over a decade ago.

Brenda loves and is inspired by Wales, and this can be heard in the sounds. This also fills our visits with delight, and I think Brenda’s infectious love for where she lives will lend magic to the Gwlana retreat.

Sounds in the podcast include:

Zach (Brenda’s son) playing guitar in her house one evening after dinner
Tonia and Zach and Laura and Brenda and I laughing and chatting
a stream and adjacent path leading to Amroth beach
the Chaffinch and Songthrush that sing in the valley where Brenda lives
waves on Amroth beach
the creaky train between Swansea and Whitland (the nearest train station to where Gwlana takes place)
playing accordion in Brenda’s garden
a lively cafe in Narbeth
Truman’s dog leash rattling on the daily dog walk into the woods
Brenda’s coffee-pot on the stove

If you want to collect some of the sounds YOU listen to while you knit, you can download the printable PDF for making your own Knitting Sound Diary which we created when we released A Knitter’s Manifesto. If you watch this video you can see how to turn the PDF into your own little diary for recording the sounds that you hear when you are listening.

I hope you enjoyed hearing from Brenda and me in this Minicast; I’ll leave you with this amazing photo of Tenby which is the inspiration source that Brenda will be using as the basis for her work at the May Gwlana retreat.

Tenby: Brenda's inspiration source for the May edition of Gwlana
Tenby: Brenda’s inspiration source for the May edition of Gwlana


Until then,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.