The Knitting in Paradise Retreat on the island of Saint John (which is my home in the Virgin Islands for most of the year) is perhaps my fondest memory of 2022. And it appeared to be the case for all the enthusiastic attendees.
A group of delightful knitters gathered for a five-day program of morning knitting classes in which they started three colorful new Caribbean-style projects. Then they enjoyed afternoon excursions to plantation ruins in the Virgin Islands National Park, some of the world's most highly praised beaches, and a gourmet Caribbean cooking class.
Two delightful women joined me as guest presenters. Zahra Knott, my niece, shared her professional knitwear design insights. Karin Skacel, the guiding light for Skacel Knitting, taught a wonderful yarn dying workshop.
The first knitting class started with a spectacular presentation by Rafe Boulon, the expert on St. John's reefs and sea life. Then everyone learned how to use the shadow knitting technique. And they began to create a scarf or wrap designed to encircle them in a school of tropical fish.
In the next class they discovered a simple yet beautiful openwork stitch. And began to craft a soft flowing tunic worked sideways in recycled linen. The perfect pairing of stitch pattern and yarn created a light, airy summer coverup.
In the yarn dying workshop everyone created their own signature multi-colored yarn. Then two days later we all had a day of beach knitting, and they began the creation of a beach bag using a beautiful mesh pattern. Their unique yarn turned it into a lasting reminder of their time in the Caribbean on a little piece of Paradise.