KnitWit at the Shores

Event dates: June 24 - June 27, 2021


Registration is open!

KnitWit Yarn Shop is hosting their first of what we hope to be annual knitting retreats!

Maine Ocean Campground

KnitWit Yarn Shop in Portland, Maine is thrilled to be offering a fiber-retreat this summer.  Located right on the ocean, this event will be held at Searsport Shores Ocean Campground in Searsport, ME, June 24 - 27, 2021.  This campground is a magical place for makers.  Everything about this location creates a feeling of home for artists.  KnitWit at the Shores is open to all ages, genders, and cultural backgrounds.  What brings us together is the love of our craft, and that makes us family. 

Bristol Ivy, Jackie Ottino, and Alicia Plummer will be joining us to teach knitting, spinning, dyeing, and designing classes.  When you’re not in class you’ll have the opportunity to join a yoga class, go kayaking, visit the adorable mid-coast towns in Maine, hike the trails, or hang out in the gardens or with the cashmere goats and sheep. You may choose to relax, visit the marketplace, or just knit in the beautiful outdoor setting. 

We will follow all current COVID guidelines and be limited to 50 people. Classes will be held outdoors with masks and social distancing.  Should the state open up to larger groups we may be able to open the event for more attendees. 


Your investment includes all meals, three 3-hour classes (one of your choice with each teacher), class supplies (for dye classes and Sheep to Sweater)*, a fabulous swag bag, 2 hours of kayak rentals (if you choose lodging at the campground),  some extra surprises, yoga classes, and all taxes and gratuities.  There are also options to include meals for family members joining you or an extra class.  

*A full list of all homework and materials needed for your classes will be emailed to you 30 days prior to the event. 

Retreat investment is $1299. Early bird rate of $1098 extended for the first KnitWit retreat!. 

You may pay in full or make three payments 30 days apart. The payment amount will be $433 ($366 for early bird) each.  The payment option will only be available until April 15, 2021.  Registrations after that must be paid in full at the time of sign-up. Registration will officially close on May 13th for this event.

The payments will be automatically withdrawn every 30 days. 

Fourth Class option - For those of you who are class junkies, you will have the option to purchase a fourth class for an additional $200. 

Food Option for Family members is $300 per person. Please email [email protected] and we will send you an invoice for your family meals.


Lodging is not included in the event cost so that you can choose the type of lodging that most appeals to you.  Searsport Shores Ocean Campground offers RV and tent spaces.  They also have cabins and campers to rent.  Or you can choose your own B&B or other lodging offsite.

Please call the Campground directly to reserve your spot for the event. Please tell them that you're with the KnitWit Retreat. (207) 548-6059

Cancellation Policy

Refunds are no longer available for this event, however, we will send your fabulous swag bag to you after the event. 

If the event needs to be cancelled we will provide you with a full refund or the option to move your registration to a future event.

Maine Ocean Campground

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Class Schedule

Each attendee will choose one class with each teacher for a total of three classes. Class descriptions are located in the Instructors section.

Thursday afternoon

  • Bristol Ivy- Shawl Shapes
  • Alicia Plummer- Spoken Stitches

Friday morning

  • Jackie Ottino- Indigo Shibori
  • Bristol Ivy- Shawl Shapes
  • Alicia Plummer- Sheep to Sweater

Friday afternoon 

  • Jackie Ottino- Indigo Shibori
  • Bristol Ivy- Knitting Outside the Box
  • Alicia Plummer- Sheep to Sweater

Saturday Morning

  • Jackie Ottino- Natural Dye Mini Rainbow
  • Bristol Ivy- Knitting Outside the Box

Saturday Afternoon

  • Jackie Ottino- Natural Dye Mini Rainbow
  • Alicia Plummer- Spoken Stitches
Jackie Ottino


Meet the Team!

Jenn- Owner of KnitWit Portland Yarn Shop

Jennifer Fleck purchased KnitWit Yarn Shop in Portland, Maine when Suzie vonReyn retired in March of 2020.  The purchase had been planned well before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19!  Since then, Jenn and her husband, Chuck, have been working hard to keep KnitWit’s local charm, while also building an online platform that would keep the business alive during the pandemic.  

Jenn works at KnitWit most weekends, while Chuck is there almost every day.  During the week, Jenn also still has her “day job” working as an actuary for an insurance company, pricing products and analyzing risks.  Knitting is a great creative outlet from the analytical world of insurance.

Jenn is the also co-host of the Maine Yarn Podcast with her friend, Julie Nye.  Together they chat about all the pretty things they like to knit and all the beautiful places in Maine (and beyond) they like to visit.  They are also two of the founders of the Lighthouse Knitting Guild of Maine.

Jenn has designed a few patterns and hopes to design some more as time allows. She is also working on her Master Knitter certification from The Knitting Guild Association, having passed the first of three levels already.  Finding time seems to be the only thing holding her back here.

Jenn and Chuck live in Windham, Maine, and have three lovely kids who you may see modeling some knitwear from time-to-time if you watch the newsletter closely.  They also have two dogs, two cats, and a tank full of fish.

Bristol Ivy

Bristol Ivy is a knitting designer, teacher, and author from Bangor, Maine. Her work has been published with PomPom Magazine, amirisu, Quince & Co., Making Magazine, and her own eponymous pattern line.  She has taught at such events as Squam Art Workshops, Edinburgh Yarn Festival, and Vogue Knitting Live, as well as yarn shops worldwide.  Her recent books, Knitting Outside the Box and Knitting Outside the Box: Drape and Fold, both with PomPom Press, explore her lifelong commitment to breaking rules and finding beauty in unexpected places.  When not knitting, she’s sewing, running, watching far too many British murder mysteries, and baking a mean loaf of oatmeal honey bread.  Find her online at and on Instagram and Twitter as @bristolivy.


Shawl Shapes

Shawls are one of the most popular projects in the knitting world right now. They’re the perfect way to explore new techniques or use just a few skeins of precious yarn for something lovely. In this class, we’ll look at how to create a few different shawl shapes, and then discuss adding stitch patterns or playing with unconventional shaping. Experience needed: knitting, purling, increasing.

Materials and homework: Please bring around 200 yards of dk or worsted weight yarn, US6-7 [4 mm-4.5 mm] circular needles, and stitch markers. 

Knitting Outside the Box

One of the most interesting and best parts about knitting is the huge variety of patterns available. But where does the inspiration for those patterns come from? In this class, we’ll talk about different forms of inspiration and different ways of thinking about knitting, and then explore methods and theory to bring those ideas to reality. This is a great class if you’re interested in designing, or just want to experiment with all the possibilities knitting has to offer! Must be comfortable with stitch patterns, and have a willingness to experiment and play.

Materials and homework: A pencil and sketchbook, scrap yarn and needles for swatching ideas, and any items/photos/tearsheets that inspire you.

Alicia Plummer

Alicia Plummer is a late thirty-something knitwear designer who lives in Western Maine, half-way between the White Mountains and the Ocean. She writes knitting patterns because she likes storytelling with her hands. She has two wonderful girls and spends her time outdoors, kayaking, hiking, wandering trails and drinking in sunsets. She believes that an hour a day of the forest is just enough to sustain happiness. She relies on grace, Jesus, and loving everyone as they are. Find her on Instagram @aliciaplums and on Ravelry.


Sheep to Sweater

Working from a raw product is not as daunting as it looks! In this class, we will reclaim the wisdom and experience of transforming a raw fleece into a finished yarn. You will be immersed into a simple method for processing fleece from the roots up. Discussion will also drift and cover various fiber types, staple lengths, and micron matters. At the end of the class you will have the knowledge to pick, scour, wash, dry, comb, card, roll, spin, set twist, skein, measure, and ply your own yarn! (Class materials are included in your retreat package.)

Spoken Stitches

Step outside of traditional storytelling to preserve a story, a song, an experience. Memories can be stitched into a piece with love and intention, rather than just told. Together, we will find our voices and tell our stories through a slow approach of appreciation and representation. You will become the designer, transcribing the metaphor of moment through texture and stitch. Your finished piece will be a story cowl full of symbolism and beauty.

Jackie Ottino

Jackie Ottino

Jackie Ottino is a dyer from Maine, specializing in Natural Dyes. She has worked in the yarn industry for 9 years, as a dyer, yarn developer, designer, marketer, you name it! Currently she travels the country teaching fiber arts workshops and doing custom color work for other yarn brands. In her spare time she drives her kids to swim meets and knits sweaters from the bleachers.


Indigo Shibori

Shibori is a Japanese style of dyeing that means shaped resist, and Indigo is the dye traditionally used in shibori dyeing.  In this fun workshop we will learn how to build an easy indigo vat and use a variety of techniques to create patterns on our cloth.  Each participant will receive a set of 4 cotton napkins to dye, and may bring one or 2 items of their own for the vat.  This can be yarn, a piece of clothing or spinning fibers.  (Class materials are included in your retreat package.)

Natural Dye Mini Rainbow

Nature offers us all the colors of the rainbow, we just need a little knowledge to coax them out!  Working with wool yarns, we will create a range of 6 or so colors from colors gleaned from the landscape and beyond.  We will cover a little of everything regarding the natural dye process, and create some beautiful shades.  Each participant will end up with a full set of mini skeins in the colors we make. (Class materials are included in your retreat package.)

© 2019, Cindy Hallam Events