2017 Vermont Spring Knitting Retreat

Montgomery, Vermont (USA)
at Phineas Swann B&B 

12 Students 1 Teacher
3 Full Days of Teaching
Arrive: June 1st, 2017 Evening
Leave: June 5th, 2017 Morning
Workshops are Fri, Sat, & Sun.

2 Spots Available

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Attendees, please pay your balance.

TOPIC: Finding Your Roots Through Knitting

Celebrate your personal family history through knitting. Each knitter will make a hat using colorwork, lace, cables, or texture pattern stitches that reflect their family origins. A full three days of events & classes at a beautiful B&B near Jay Peak Ski Resort in Northern Vermont with a unique wool co-op yarn shop across the street.


Grandma Tolen

My grandmother taught me how to knit when I was 5 or 6 years old. The only thing I remember making is a yellow square of honeycomb cables. I didn’t knit in my teens or twenties, and I was almost 40 by the time I picked up my needles again.

We will be doing something extra special this year. We will be customizing each attendees packet with yarn and a unique handout the is based on your family background, ancestry, and other influences. It is going to be so much fun.

I started knitting sweaters because my grandmother had mostly knit sweaters. But I soon discovered a world of mittens, scarves, socks, and shawls in the books at my local yarn shop. Over the years, I’ve been obsessed with each of these types of projects, and each has led me into different explorations through research, travel, and hundreds of pages of writing recorded in my journals and thousands of stitches captured in my finished projects. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much more a mitten, a sock, a sweater, or a shawl? In each project I’ve made or designed, I’ve captured a part of my life and a collection of the thoughts and feelings that flowed through me as I made the object.

This workshop is about two things: knitting and roots. In the workshops and talks, we will explore knitting from around the world and how stories are captured in the stitches of every knitting project. Each knitter will make a hat using colorwork, lace, cables, or texture pattern stitches that reflect their family origins. The stitches can be chosen from traditional designs, historical pieces, family heirlooms, or any inspiration from your memories.

We will talk about traditional knitting techniques and patterns from different parts of the world, as well as how to create new folk art designs to celebrate your personal family history. We will also discuss the immigrant origins of all knitting in America and follow the path of knitting from its origins in the Middle East to North and South America.

-Donna Druchunas-


Montgomery Vermont

In the mornings we will have workshops to learn about the history of different knitting techniques as well as how to design a hat or bag using the stitches that speak to you about your family history.

  • In the afternoons, you’ll have time to knit as we listen to talks from special guests and visit a local fiber-artist cooperative across from the B&B.
  • Michael Hampton from Hampton Fiber Mill and Spinnery will talk to us about sheep farming and yarn processing in Vermont. Michael will have yarn for sale.
  • Carol Farmer from the Mountain Fiber Folk Cooperative, across the street from Phineas Swann B&B, will introduce us to the artist-members of the coop and give us a tour of the shop.
  • If time & weather allows, we will provide transportation to a local farm in Vermont for a tour.



Each knitter will make a hat using colorwork, lace, cables, or texture pattern stitches that reflect their family origins.


Schedule is subject to change. This is just a quick overview.

Arrival is Thursday afternoon and departure is Monday morning, allowing attendees three complete days to study and knit with Donna.


Arrival and settle in at the Phineas Swann B&B. After meet & greet, enjoy dinner on your own or with other participants at local restaurants in walking distance


Drawing your sweater

•Breakfast is on your own or if you are staying at the B&B breakfast is included.
10 AM Morning workshop in the dining room. Learn about colorwork and texture patterns from different parts of the world. Choose and swatch stitches for your project.
12 Noon Enjoy lunch on your own in town or at nearby restaurants that are just a short drive.
2 PM Afternoon slide show and presentation from Michael Hampton, spend time on your own knitting, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Work with Donna and Michael for hands-on assistance in learning and improving your knitting techniques for the stitches you chose in the morning.
6:30 PM Dinner on your own.


•Breakfast is on your own or if you are staying at the B&B breakfast is included.
10 AM Morning workshop in the dining room. Learn about different ways knitters around the world hold the yarn and needles, tension their yarn, and work stitches.  Begin knitting your project.
12 Noon Enjoy lunch on your own in town or at nearby restaurants that are just a short drive.
2 PM Presentation by Carol Farmer and visit to Mountain Fiber Folks Cooperative shop. Spend time on your own exploring, napping, or knitting.
6:30 PM Dinner on your own.
• 8 PM Gather by the river for a bonfire if weather allows, or knit and chat in the living room.


•Breakfast is on your own or if you are staying at the B&B breakfast is included.
10 AM Morning workshop in the dining room. Learn special finishing and embellishment techniques to add to your project.
12 Noon Enjoy lunch on your own in town or at nearby restaurants that are just a short drive.
2 PM Visit a local alpaca farm.
6:30 PM Dinner is on us in the dining room. Spouses & Partners at extra cost.
8 PM Rain date for bonfire.


•Leave for home, taking all of your wonderful ideas with you!

You are in class each of the three days (Fri, Sat, Sun) from 10am-12pm and from 2pm-5pm.
Donna will be on-site and available for questions anytime (except when she is sleeping).

Schedule is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.


  • Family photos and memorabilia.
  • Knitting needles in appropriate sizes for knitting flat and in the round with worsted weight yarn. Bring several sizes so you can change as needed to get the gauge you want as we swatch.
  • Knitter’s toolkit including tapestry needles, scissors, stitch markers, and cable needle.
  • Stitch dictionaries and books about knitting from around the world (I will have my collection with me for you to use).
  • Approx 400 yards of worsted-weight wool yarn in one or several colors, depending on whether you want to make a solid texture/lace/cable project or a colorwork project. If you don’t have any idea what you want to make before hand, yarn will be available for purchase at the retreat.

Supplies will be available during the retreat and a knitting store is across the street from the B&B.


The romantic accommodations are furnished with fine antiques and four-poster beds with luxurious linens, yet also have all the modern conveniences, such as flat-screen televisions, wi-fi, courtesy phones, and individual climate controls. Our main inn is cozy in the winter (imagine yourself relaxing in front of the fireplace with a hot cocoa) and airy in the summer, offering tea, coffee, cold beverages, and endless snacks throughout the day.

What’s included at the Phineas Swann? Items that would be add-on charges at any other lodging accommodations in the area, including:

• Access to WiFi throughout the property
• An all-you-can-eat gourmet breakfast made with locally-sourced Vermont ingredients,
• Full cable TV with premium movies
• All-day coffee, tea, soft drinks, snacks, cookies & brownies
• Long-distance telephone service anywhere in the US and Canada,
• Complimentary DVD “rentals” for you to enjoy in your room, and
• Use of our outdoor Hot Tub

Local activities this time of year: Bicycling, Sightseeing, Hiking, Long walks in the small village, Jay peak ski resort & more.

The Phineas Swann’s unique attributes is its Pet-Friendly nature. Unlike other luxury inns, The Phineas Swann is a very pet-friendly inn (in only designated areas), and we look forward to making your next Vermont vacation safe and special for both you and your pet.

The inn is located in northern Vermont, near Jay Peak Resort in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. It is said that Vermont is what the United States used to be, and that northern Vermont is what Vermont used to be. Our historic village of Montgomery is uniquely situated to allow guests to easily travel to nearby Canada as well as Stowe, Burlington, and Newport, making us the perfect gateway for points of interest in Northern Vermont.

Your hosts, Darren & Lynne, welcome you to the Phineas Swann Bed and Breakfast Inn.



Getting to Vermont

The closest airports are Burlington, Vermont (1hr 15min drive), Manchester, New Hampshire, (4hrs drive) or Montreal, Canada (1hr 40min drive)


Amtrak stops in Waterbury, Burlington and Montpelier, Vermont, each about two hours away by car.

At this time we can not provide transportation to and from the Airport or Train stations.

Driving by car to Montgomery Center, Vermont

  • Burlington, Vermont (1hr 30min)
  • Montreal, Canada (2hrs)
  • Boston, Mass (4hrs)
  • New York City (7hrs)

Payment Option Procedure

The 2017 Spring Knitting Retreat
at Phineas Swann B&B Inn in Montgomery, Vermont

12 Students 1 Teacher
3 Full Days of Teaching
Arrive: June 1st, 2017 (Thurs)
Leave: June 5th, 2017 (Mon)

  • Workshop fees: $425 (USD) Includes handouts, misc supplies, knitting surprises, yarn, mailings, teacher fees, etc.
    Phineas Swann B&B Inn is not included in this price.
  • Please call Phineas Swann B&B and tell them you are attending the Spring Knitting Retreat with Donna Druchunas from Sheep to Shawl. (pricing info below & instructions)

  • Workshop Fee Terms: 
    Balance is due one month before the first day of retreat on or before April 1st, 2016 May 1st.2017. Limited to only 12 people. If you cancel, you are responsible for filling your spot for this retreat. Your deposit is transferable to another person. If we fill your spot before May 1st, 2017 with our waiting list or by you, we will refund your $150 in full. If you cancel after May 1st, 2017, your deposit is non-refundable. Phineas Swann B&B reservations (refunds & fees) is handled separately from these terms.

 Please be aware that you must stay at the Phineas Swann B&B to attend this retreat.

Payment is needed to be in full since this retreat is less than one month away (no refunds).
We currently have two openings due to cancellations.


Square secure payment. Pay balance due.


We suggest your give the B&B a call instead of emailing. Call today to book! (802) 326-4306. If you get no answer, call back later or you can email Darren at info@phineasswann.com. Please do not use their online reservation system for this reservation. It will show as booked.
Cost for rooms average $140 Regular rooms or $224 for Suites. You are welcome to split with a friend to cover costs. Knitter or non-knitter.

You may be required to put down a one night deposit. Call early to get best rooms. Not that they are not all nice. <grin>

Friends, Spouses, Partners (non-knitters) are welcome to stay with you in your room and attend the dinners, outings, tourist trips, etc. for this knitting retreat. They just can’t attend the workshops.
Double up with a knitter friend to save on costs.


Breakfast included each day and there are 2-3 star restaurants located within walking distance of the B&B. Full service grocery store including deli is available down the road. 4 star restaurants are located up the hill to Jay Peak resort. 30 Minute drive.

So, make your deposit and reservations today. We always look forward to our retreats in teaching and show people Vermont. get away from it all while learning a few things about knitting. Even if you don’t learn something new, it’s relaxing to be with those who know the craft of knitting.

Dominic & Donna
Contact us?

NEK Retreats is produced by Sheep to Shawl, LLC