2014 Stitchtopia Round Up

f58c8e1a-3bce-477e-810a-13bab9666892 2014 has been a fantastic year for Stitchtopia, with a mixture of brand new tours being introduced to our programme and some old favourites making a return. We've travelled to some beautiful places, met some wonderful new friends and completed some stunning knitting and quilting projects in the process, so please read on to catch up with what's been happening this year!

Hardanger & Northern Lights Cross Stitch Cruise

Departing on the 14th January, this 10 day trip included a 5 night Hurtigruten cruise plus a stay at the magnificent Hotel Ullensvang. With cross stitch workshops led by Jane Greenoff and a wonderful day spent at the Hardanger Folkemuseum, it really was a trip to remember!

Tokyo Quilt Festival & Best of Japan

On the 15th of January, a group of keen quilters accompanied by Janice Gunner embarked on a 14 day magical trip to Japan. They enjoyed many textile visits and workshops as well as visiting Kyoto, Hiroshima, Lake Kawaguchi (Mt Fuji) and ended the holiday in Tokyo with the Quilt Festival. Read more >>

Stitchtopia Festival 2014

stitchtopia festival 2014 Stitchtopia Festival this year took part on the 17th February for 3 days. The new venue at Wyboston Lakes was superb, the classes magnificent and the food delicious. The festival featured inspiring classes from Karin Hellaby, Debbie Abrahams, Jane Crowfoot, Sally White, Stuart Hillard, Carol Meldrum and Jane Greenoff to name a few. With an entertaining evening talk by the Muslin Mistress, Jennie Rayment, quizes and plenty of chatting and laughter, it was a great chance to meet up with old friends and new. 7c771d2a-6f78-4f28-937c-eb2cb32fb2dd bcae7901-9a68-4eb9-acab-a5bad0cd3c3a Read more >>

Sitges Patchwork Festival, Spain

On the 21st of March, Sally White hosted a 6 day trip to Sitges and the beautiful city of Girona. The group enjoyed 2 days to visit the Sitges Patchwork Festival led by Sally and sightseeing in Girona and Barcelona.

Northern Lights Knitting & Quiting Cruises

In March, 1 group of knitters and 1 group of quilters enjoyed a fantastic Northern Lights Hurtigruten cruise. Both groups enjoyed the stunning scenery that Norway had to offer as they attended workshops on board. Jane's blog >> Karin's blog >>

Knitting in Carcassonne

Knitting in Carcassonne On the 24th of March a group of knitters enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing trip to historic Carcassonne in France's sunny south-east corner to savour the amazing architecture and atmosphere of the World Heritage site. The group enjoyed the luxury of a first class hotel, set in the heart of the medieval Citadel, and indulged in four days of leisurely knitting with Debbie Abrahams.
"It had been a really wonderful week and such a treat to stay in such a beautiful place. And although we went our separate ways at the end of the trip, a strong sense of companionship and friendship had been created, with the hope that maybe one day our paths might cross again on another knitting expedition!" - Debbie

Knitting Weekend in Holmfirth

We also had a Knitting Weekend in Holmfirth in March, which gave knitters the opportunity to spend a wonderful long weekend in Last of The Summer Wine country. They enjoyed classes at Rowan's home led by Marie Wallin, (head Rowan designer), at Green Lane Mill in Holmfirth.

Quilts of the North Weekend

We kicked off May with a Northern Quilts and Patchwork Weekend with Karin Hellaby, where quilters had the opportunity to visit two of the finest Textile collections in the country; Gawthorpe Hall and The Bowes Museum from their Harrogate base.

Knitting in the Shetland Isles

knitting in the shetland isles Towards the end of May, Jane Crowfoot took a group of knitters to the Shetland capital of Lerwick, and in August, our new knitting expert, Carol Meldrum, took her first group. The holiday delved into the long history of knitting in the Shetland Isles and included workshops where our knitters learnt from their expert the methods behind the ancient Shetland technique of Fair Isle, with its intricate patterns and multiple colours. The holiday also included visits to Jamieson & Smith Wool Brokers, Shetland Museum & Archives for a talk by the textiles curator and visits to local crafts people.
"As with all the Arena Tours its always sad when it's time to go home, but we had an amazing trip and made some great friends." - Jane
shetland isles shetland isles See Jane's blog for more details >>

Cross Stitch in Williamsburg

Also in May, a group of cross stitchers took a journey back in time with Jane Greenoff to visit America's capital city, Washington DC, where they viewed old samplers at the National Museum of American History. Then they move on to Colonial Williamsburg, the world's largest living history museum where Jane led workshops in Williamsburgh and there was time for shopping and sightseeing too!

Knitting Retreat in Umbria

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Umbria is the Hotel Lido. Nestled on the shores of Lake Trasimeno, it was the perfect venue for a lovely knitting retreat with Debbie Abrahams. This June trip included workshops from Debbie, and was a relaxing getaway for all. See Debbie's blog to find out how many pairs of shoes the group bought!

Quilting in Helsinki, Tallinn & St. Petersburg

This much heralded holiday took in these three pearls of the Baltic. Our quilters were accompanied by Karin Hellaby and enjoyed visiting the textiles collection at the National Museum of Finland, walking along the craft route in Tallinn and visiting the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Karin also ran a workshop where our group had the unique opportunity to meet local Russian quilters and exchange ideas.
"Wonderful experience and I have learnt a lot about all the countries, especially Russia. The guides have been fantastic." - Sandra
"The Savoy, Tallinn is one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in. The whole trip has been brilliant." - John
"The Russian show was a wonderful finale to this special holiday. I loved seeing all three countries, they have been so different." - Barbara
Read more about it in Karen's blog >>

Knitting in Iceland

In October, Nicki Trench joined us for her first trip and led a group of knitters for an exciting knitting holiday to the beautiful country of Iceland. With plenty of workshops, a tour of Reykjavik, a visit to Istex and a full day Knitting Circle Tour and a wonderfully relaxing trip to the Blue Lagoon, the group really did have an action-packed few days!

Quilts of the North

November saw Janice Gunner lead a quilting trip to Harrogate where quilters had the chance to visit the Knitting and Stitching show at the Harrogate International Centre, The Bowes Museum and enjoyed a workshop at the York Quilt Museum and Gallery.

We have enjoyed meeting old friends and making new ones this year and we hope that you will join us on one of our truly inspirational crafting holidays in 2015.

Click here to see our upcoming tours >>