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Maggie Jackson Ireland Knitting Retreat June 2014

Hello all you yarn lovers! I know it’s July and I’ve been back from the U.K. for 7 weeks but it took me that long to really get back into writing and sharing. This was definitely a trip of a lifetime. I took many pictures and videos to keep the memories fresh for me and so I could share some of the highlights with all of you.

Toward the end of my time with Maggie and my tour mates, I became convinced that I would love to share the “Maggie” experience with all of you more directly and would like it to happen in Big Bear! Maggie and I began brainstorming and sure enough, it is happening!

Maggie Jackson, award winning Irish international knitwear designer and the founder of MaggiKnits, will be joining us for a spectacular weekend Friday June 20 through Sunday June 22

You might think “why would I want to do that?” Well, it’s just a great deal of fun to be with

Maggie. Not only is she multi-talented and inspirational, but at the same time, very down to earth and with that Irish accent, you do have to work a wee bit to keep up with her.

On our first full day in Belfast, Ireland, we went by tour bus

from the Europa Hotel to the Lisburn Museum and Linen Center. There was a tour here to learn about how they make flax into linen but the highlight for me was right inside the entrance. Here was one of Maggie’s famous timeless knitwear designs! (pix #1 , 2 , 3 here). Isn’t it amazing these were done in 1995?

MaggiKnits Fashion Show Knitting Retreat

Wool for dyeing

After that, we had a Felting workshop with a local designer, one of Maggie’s long time friends. We were able to choose from a beautiful array of dyed and undyed roving. (#4). We needed just a few tools and ingredients (#5).Simple tools for felting

Here is Jan Powell working on scrunching our project. Jan traveled from Florida, while I came from Los Angeles, and we met in Newark to travel to Belfast together. Scrunching all the water out of our felted piece

Here is our final felting project (#8).Flat felting at Maggie Knits Retreat This was so easy and fun to do. It also gave me some ideas of how to incorporate my hand dyed angora roving into a fabric or knit project. Last weekend I did a second batch of angora in a new color. Watch for more updates.

Next blog I will cover Eugene McConville’s Farm and flax mill we visited in the afternoon – complete with a video of Irish fiddling and dancing!