We are thrilled to announce the inaugural By Hand Serial Makers Retreat,

where our popular By Hand Serial books come to life!  

 Do you ever wish that you could attend a retreat that wasn’t limited to just one craft – where you could truly embrace cross-crafting and indulge in different forms of making? The Makers Retreat is like walking into the pages of a By Hand Serial Lookbook – a wealth of fiber and fabric arts to experience in a makers’ community setting designed to inspire and ignite your inner creative.

 Delve into an experience that goes beyond lectures and classroom-based learning, and allows you to get hands-on experience, guided by regional experts.  Our Makers Retreat focuses on what we love most:  the act of creating something with our hands.  Expand your existing skills in new ways, or indulge new curiosities with our focused offerings.

 As adults, we’ve found ourselves longing for the nostalgia of a true ‘summer camp’ experience: the magic of early mornings spent with new friends, family-style meals, time in nature and evenings spent around the campfire, making s’mores. While we’ve kept some of the nostalgic fun (bunkbeds are available for the adventurous), we’ve upgraded the accommodations, housing you in a stunning timber-frame lodge with a giant stone fireplace and centering our activities around community and the intimacy of a close gathering. The Maker’s Retreat is limited to only 40 participants, with a ratio of one instructor per four students: this means individualized attention and uncrowded learning, plus a chance to really connect with the instructor and other attendees. 



 The Makers Retreat workshops are a true indulgence for any crafter:  knitting, indigo dyeing, sewing, embroidery and mindful mending, photography, botanical sketching, and ceramics are all included in the workshop offerings (see full descriptions below).  All students will have a wide variety of opportunities to make with their hands and create projects from start to finish.  The exceptional instructors are all both artists and teachers, with a wealth of practical experience, and many have graced the pages of By Hand Serial.  



 In between the workshops, we’ve scheduled plenty of downtime for those who need a quiet moment alone, and activities for attendees who like to be on the go. With keynote speakers, nature hikes around Islandwood’s glorious acreage, intimate fireside chats, and a top-notch Maker’s Market, this retreat is a chance to connect with like-minded creatives. Our program directors have planned a weekend full of luxurious goodies and gifts for each attendee, too, so there’s even more to take home from your experience.  

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 Islandwood is an integral part of our first Makers Retreat experience.  As you travel by ferry or across the high trestle bridge onto Bainbridge Island, you enter a quieter, slower world.  Islandwood is a 160-acre bucolic retreat in the forest, like a luxe summer camp.  Retreat attendees will stay in Invertebrate Inn, a timber frame lodge with a large common room, perfect for informal gathering and late-night knitting around the giant stone fireplace.  Lodging is five-person rooms with bunkbeds and private full bathrooms (there are also a limited number of single and double rooms available).  The food at Islandwood is a reason to come all by itself: delicious farm-to-table meals prepared on-site and served family style (special dietary needs can be accommodated).  And while you’re visiting Bainbridge Island, take some time to stop by the legendary Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, and explore the village of Winslow, where you can stop in at Mora Ice Cream, Blackbird Bakery, Eagle Harbor Books, and Salthouse Mercantile (featured in By Hand Serial Lookbook #4)!

 More information about Islandwood can be found at


 Dates:  Thursday, Sept. 12 - Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019
Arrive:  Between 3 and 5pm on Sept. 12th
Classes:  Friday, Sept. 13thand Saturday, Sept. 14th
Check-out and departure: By 9:30am on Sunday, Sept. 15th

Single room:  $2000 per person (the single rooms are furnished with a queen bed, so if you would like to register for a single and bring a friend with whom you’re comfortable sharing a bed, you can make arrangements to do so for an additional $250 to cover the cost of meals)
Double room:  $1350 per person
Bunk room (bottom bunks): $1000
Bunk room (top bunks): $875

If you have friends with whom you’d like to share a room, just include that information in the Notes section at check-out and we will contact you to make arrangements.

The registration fee is all-inclusive:  all lodging, meals, classes, and retreat activities.  Materials fees for certain workshops will be arranged prior to your arrival, so there are no unanticipated costs on-site.  

 Registration for the Makers Retreat will go live on June 1st at 7am PST.  Current By Hand Serialsubscribers will have an exclusive 3-day advance registration window, starting on May 29th at 7am PST.  There is room for only 40 retreat attendees, and we are anticipating that available spots will go fast!

 At registration, you will select your lodging (single, double, bunk room (bottom bunk) or bunk room (top bunk)).  Once registration is complete, all attendees will receive information for selecting Friday and Saturday classes, as well as a program itinerary and more information about traveling to Islandwood.



 Retreat Descriptions

Ceramics and Underglazes: Throwing and Decorating with JaMpdx (featured in By Hand Serial Issue #1)
Description:  Get an inside look at how JaMpdx makes their ceramics, and try your hand at a unique decoration method! JaMpdx owners Jenn Gauer and Meghan Radick will give a two-hour workshop that will let you create your own beautifully painted ceramic item (or items) to keep.  Jenn will give a demonstration of how ceramics are made on a potter’s wheel, including centering, pulling up the wall, shaping a form to make it fit its use, and trimming. Meghan will give a demonstration of using ceramic underglazes and different paint brush techniques to achieve fluid designs, including an ombre effect, and discuss how to choose a composition and layout for decorations. We will discuss how we work together, the process of making our ceramics, and how we determine design directions in our studio practice.  Workshop participants will be able to practice their underglaze techniques on a bisque ornament/tile (provided at workshop). Final designs will be painted on a piece of JaMpdx pottery: a cup, bowl, and/or saucer that you will pre-purchase from our website, and we will make and bring to the workshop. We will take your masterpieces back to our studio, glaze and fire them, and ship them to you so you can enjoy and use your handmade pottery! If time allows, Jenn will also provide short guided throwing lessons on the wheel for anyone who would like to get their hands into clay.

Instructors:  JaMpdx was founded in 2009 by artists Jenn Gauer and Meghan Radick, two friends who make functional and decorated ceramics together. Jenn Gauerhas been working on the wheel since 1996. Her clay education includes classes from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Oregon. She works predominately in porcelain clay and designs ceramics with an emphasis on clean curves, making a clay canvas that’s ready for Meghan’s decoration. Meghan Radick began her career in bakeries in 1994, and was a professional cake decorator for many years, working at Favorites Bakery, Three Lions Bakery, Alameda Baking Company, and Helen Bernhard Bakery, all in Portland, Oregon, before she translated her skills from frosting to clay. She uses cake decorating tools and techniques, as well as various stains and underglazes, to decorate each piece of JaMpdx ceramics.

 Sewing a Maywood Backpack (featured in By Hand Serial Issue #6)
Description: Learn how to sew a Maywood Totepack from start to finish and go home with your own, made-by-you tote bag and backpack in one! Get a thorough introduction to leather strap design, function, and attachment. This bag fits a 15” laptop and all your everyday essentials. Prerequisites:  Basic machine sewing skills.

Instructor:  Ellie Lum is a maker and a teacher who loves encouraging and inspiring people by teaching sewing tips and tricks through fun, hands-on workshops. With over 20 years of professional bag-making experience, Ellie went on to found Klum House in 2015, born out of the desire to share those skills with everyone. Klum House now boasts an in-house bag pattern & kit line, as well as a collaborative making studio and creative education space where local artists and makers share their skills.
Description:  Learn how to sew a Maywood from start to finish, and go home with your own, made-by-you bag!

 Sewing a Leather Knitters’ Portfolio (featured in By Hand Serial Issue #7)
Description:  Learn how to sew a leather knitters’ portfolio (also handy for crochet, sewing, or artist supplies) and go home with your own, made-by-you functional piece of art! Students will learn tips for cutting and sewing leather, setting rivets, and all skills needed to sew a portfolio from start to finish. Prerequisites:  Basic machine sewing skills.

Instructor:  Andrea Hungerford, the founder and creative director of By Hand Serial, is an obsessive knitter who lives with her husband, three daughters and three cats, a Great Pyrenees farm dog, and a variety of chickens on acreage outside of Portland, Oregon.  Andrea has never met a hand craft that doesn’t intrigue her, and her current repertoire of making includes sewing, quilting, embroidery, mosaics, hand thrown pottery, canning, candlemaking, photography, and anything involving fiber and fabric (learn more about her creative adventures at In her non-making time, she is the managing partner in a law firm representing Oregon school districts.

 Shibori Indigo Dyeing (featured in By Hand Serial Issue #1)
Description: Learn how to create beautiful, colorful patterns in brilliant blue, using the art of hand dyeing. In this workshop we will concentrate on the basics of working with indigo dye, using folded and tied resists to create beautiful patterns on a variety of cotton and natural fibers.  Students will leave with beautiful and stylish textiles for wardrobe and home and the skills and confidence to keep dyeing at home. Prerequisites:  None.

Instructor: Anna Joyce is author and textile designer bases in Portland, Oregon. Anna's work is inspired by the stunning colors in nature. She regularly teaches sold-out dyeing workshops in person and online, and sells her work on Etsy and through upscale online shops and boutiques around the country. Learn more about Anna here

Mindful Mending and Embroidery
Description:  Do your favorite pair of jeans need mending? Or do you want to add decorative, geometric designs to your jean jacket? Join local fiber artist Melissa Galbraith, of MCreativeJ in a hands-on visible mending workshop. Embroidery mending is a decorative mending technique that is a wonderful way to get more use out of your clothes and a creative way to patch your favorite worn out pieces. The use of colorful thread and geometric patterns turns worn out pieces into wearable works of art. Participants will need to bring an article of jean clothing to embroider. All other workshop materials will be provided. No embroidery experience is required and all skill levels are welcome in this class.

Instructor:  Melissa Galbraith is the fiber artist behind MCreativeJ. Born and raised in Washington state, her mother instilled a love of crafting in her at an early age. After working for several years in the communications field, Melissa wanted to get back to making physical works of art, playing with colors, and creating texture. Melissa draws inspiration from the desert, plants, and pop culture to create inspired, whimsical, and modern hand embroidery, punch needle, and Sashiko-style mended works of art that can be displayed or worn. She loves combining vintage handcrafts with a modern take of bright colors, patterns, and unique designs.   

Botanical Identification and Illustration
Description: Take a walk down one of Islandwood's beautiful trails and dive deep into the microchasm of flora that surround this special place through plein air sketching. Hannah Thiessen puts her fine arts background to work and will guide attendees along as they capture the beauty of the area through small nature study. This type of sketching is ideal for those wanting to connect more deeply with plants, the outdoors, and explore their artistic side without the pressures of perfection. The walk is welcome to artists of all skill levels and aspirations.

Instructor: Hannah Thiessen works as the Production Editor for By Hand Serial, in addition to being an author of her own books (Slow Knitting, Abrams 2017) and the CCO of KnitCrate. Her passion for fiber, nature, and color have found common ground in her day to day life and work pursuits and on her website,, where she shares knitting projects, botanical dyeing experiments and more. She lives in Franklin, TN, with her fiance and two cats, where she is currently working on her second book.

Photographing Your Hand Work
Description:  Photography is the best way to share and showcase the things you are making! In this hands-on workshop you will learn how to take better photos of your projects and how to create a consistent aesthetic for use on Instagram, online shop, blog, or for your own personal use and enjoyment. Using your own camera (DSL-R or phone camera), learn tips and techniques for photographing your yarn, knitwear, and finished hand crafts, both as product photography and on live models. Prerequisites:  None.

Instructor:  Effie Gurmeza is a brand photographer and social media strategist with a passion for working with local businesses to showcase and share the little luxuries that make the Pacific Northwest such a vibrant community. In recent years, she has narrowed her focus to branding photography for everyday luxury products. Social media strategy initiatives soon followed, allowing her to extend her role into helping small businesses expand their reach and share their story. Effie is a Pacific Northwest native, where she lives with her husband and their two sons.

 Project-Based Knitting Workshops: Create and Learn
Descriptions: Each of these workshops is designed to give participants an opportunity to learn new techniques within the context of completing a project. In the Flax Pullover Workshop, we will be knitting the smallest size of the Flax Pullover pattern by Tin Can Knits (photo credit: Tin Can Knits). As we cast on and knit this sweet and simple pullover, we will use our work as a platform to discuss knitting a sweater for yourself. We will go over information that is given in a sweater pattern and how to choose the right size to knit for yourself, as well as tips and tricks used to knit and complete this sweater. In the Morrison Sock Workshop, we will knit an ankle version of the cuff-down Morrison Sock. We will go over the various techniques used to knit this classic looking unisex sock, including Old Norwegian cast-on, heel flap and turn, picking up and knitting stitches, and Kitchener stitch.

Instructor: Jenny Blumenstein has a genuine love for knitting. She started knitting in her thirties and quickly fell in love with the art of the craft. She loves to share her passions with friends and has a gift for teaching, which shows through the classes she leads at Tolt Yarn and Wool. Anyone who has taken one of her classes would testify that they leave feeling truly inspired and excited to work on their next project. Outside the knitting world, Jenny is a loving wife to her husband and best friend of 25 years, mother of three amazing kids, and proud owner of two high energy dogs. If Jenny is not knitting, you can find her on the tennis courts, hiking or hanging out with friends and family. Follow along with her adventures on Instagram @blumenjj .

Guided Knitting Circle
Looking for more free time to relax and create? If four classes sound overwhelming, retreat attendees also have the option to sign up for one or two Guided Knitting Circles, led by an expert “knitting docent” who will host open knit time and assist with any projects, skills, or new techniques. This is also an opportunity to get guided assistance on our exclusive Makers Retreat pattern, or to learn the basics if you’re new to sticks and string. No prerequisites required.