Thanks for your interest in the WEBS Spring Knitting Retreat!
At this time it appears that the retreat has reached capacity. However, because of the different packages being offered, it is possible that additional space is, or may become, available. If you are interested in attending, please click "Register Now" to add yourself to the waitlist. We will contact you if a spot becomes available to accommodate your request. Thanks!


Welcome!
Our WEBS Spring Knitting Retreat will be held virtually from April 29 - May 2, 2021. We will have online classes, virtual trunk shows and Q&As with our sponsors, and an all-day lounge you can join at your leisure with events and games each day. Plus, you’ll receive an exclusive shopping coupon code and a sumptuous swag bag, mailed right to your door! We have some of the most talented instructors sharing their expertise this weekend, including Lily Chin, Patty Lyons, Gudrun Johnston, Keith Leonard, Josh Bennett and Laura Nelkin. We want you to have the fun of the Retreat from the safety of your living room or craft space, and we all hope you'll be excited to try this virtual retreat with us! 

Full retreat details are included in the various tabs above, or you may click here to download the retreat brochure. If you have any questions, concerns, or need any assistance related to the retreat, please feel free to contact us, the UMass Conference Services Team, at registration@umass.edu or 413-577-8102! Please note that due to limitations related to on-campus staffing, we are currently working remotely so we recommend contacting us by email when possible so the most immediate assistance. 


Registration Package Rates
We are excited to offer three different retreat registration packages for you to choose from. Each package includes access to the lounge and all presentations and activities throughout the weekend, as well as the coupon code and swag bag. The only difference? Each package offers a different number of class hours, allowing you to determine just how much virtual instruction you’d like.

Merino Package: $300.00
Includes: 4 class hours, access to lounge and all presentations and activities; free shipping code and swag bag.

Alpaca Package: $375.00
Includes: 6 class hours; access to lounge and all presentations and activities; free shipping code and swag bag.

Cashmere Package: $450.00
Includes: 8 class hours; access to lounge and all presentations and activities; free shipping code and swag bag.


How to Register 
Step 1: Register for the Retreat 
To complete your registration click the Register Now button above. Registration is only accepted online and will open to the general public at 12 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 28. A minimum $100.00 deposit, payable online by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express, is required to complete your registration. You may pay the $100.00 deposit, your full balance due, or any amount in between. If you do not pay in full during your initial registration, you may return to this page to periodically submit additional payments. All balances must be paid in full by the close of business (5 p.m. ET) on March 29, 2021. Any registration not paid in full by this date will be canceled and the $100.00 deposit will be retained as a cancellation fee.

Registration is limited and typically fills fast, so early registration is strongly encouraged!

Step 2: Submit Your Class Preferences
On Thursday, February 18, registered attendees will be able to submit class preferences by returning to this page, logging back in, and entering in their first and second class choices for the number of class blocks included in their selected retreat package. Since the various retreat packages include different amounts of class hours, we suggest reviewing the class schedule in full and marking down all preferred classes and their corresponding timeslot. Detailed instructions will be emailed to registered attendees prior to February 18. Click the "Class Description" tabs above to learn more about the classes being offered!


Retreat Registration Policies 
Payment Policy
A minimum non-refundable $100.00 deposit is required to secure each registration. Payment is accepted via our online payment gateway by Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express credit or debit card. Those who do not pay their full balance due during their initial registration may create their own payment plan by periodically returning to this page, logging back in, and clicking the orange "Make a Payment" button to submit additional payments. All balances must be paid in full by the close of business (5 p.m. ET) on March 29, 2021. Any registration with an outstanding balance after this date is subject to cancellation. 

Cancellation Policy
For cancellations received more than 30 days from the start date of the retreat (prior to March 29) : a full refund will be processed less the non-refundable $100.00 deposit.

For cancellations received less than 30 days from the start date of the retreat (after March 29): a full refund will be processed less a cancellation fee in the amount of 50% of the retreat package + $60.00.
For cancellation received less than 14 days before the start date of the retreat (after April 14): no refund will be issued.
All cancellations must be sent in writing to UMass Conference Services by email (registration@umass.edu
). No registration will be canceled and no credit will be issued unless a written confirmation is provided. 


Have questions or need assistance? We're happy to help! 
For the most immediate assistance, please email us at  registration@umass.edu.

Thursday, April 29

6 p.m.              Welcoming meeting hosted by Kathy and Steve Elkins
6:15 p.m.           Tahki Stacy Charles presentation
7:15 p.m.            Valley Yarns presentation
8:30 p.m.           Late Night Lounge

Friday, April 30

8 a.m.       All-day lounge opens
9 - 10 a.m.
      Morning Tea Time
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.        Early Afternoon Classes 
            - Tips, Tricks, and Hints with Lily Chin (2-hour class)
            - Colorwork Techniques with Patty Lyons (2-hour class)
            - Shetland Lace Basics with Laura Nelkin (2- hour class)
            - Fearless Finishing with Keith Leonard (2-hour class; this class is offered twice, attendees should only participate once)
            - Short Row Savvy with Gudrun Johnston (4-hour all-day class)
            - Tips and Tricks with Josh Bennett (4-hour all-day class)
1:30 - 2:30 p.m.         Sponsor Presentation: Sirdar
3 - 5 p.m.       Late Afternoon Classes
           - Afterthought No-Sew Pocket with Lily Chin (2-hour class)
           - Miraculous Cable Fixes with Patty Lyons (2-hour class)
           - Fixing Lace Mistakes with Laura Nelkin (2-hour class)
           - Short Row Fun with Keith Leonard (2-hour class)
           - Short Row Savvy with Gudrun Johnston (continuation of early afternoon class)
           - Tips and Tricks with Josh Bennett (continuation of early afternoon class)
5:30 - 6:30 p.m.    
      All-day lounge activity
7 - 8 p.m.
      Sponsor presentation: Rowan Yarns
8:30 - 9:30 p.m.       Late-night lounge presentation: Cascade Yarns
9:30 p.m.        All-day lounge closes

Saturday, May 1

8 a.m.             All-day lounge opens
9 - 10:00 a.m.            Morning tea time in the All-day Lounge
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.            Early Afternoon Classes
                 - Join As You Go Knitting with Lily Chin (2-hour class)
                  - Knitting ER with Patty Lyons (2-hour class)
                  - The Novus Construction with Laura Nelkin (2-hour class)
                  - AMAZING Tips and Tricks with Keith Leonard (2-hour class)
                  - Shetland Hap with Gudrun Johnston (4-hour all-day class)
                  - Design Workshop with Josh Bennett (4-hour all-day class)
1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
           Sponsor presentation: Berroco
3 - 5 p.m.            Late Afternoon Classes
                 - Designing/Charting Cables with Lily Chin (2-hour class)
                 - Shape Up with Patty Lyons (2-hour class)
                 - Beaded Brioche with Laura Nelkin (2-hour class)
                 - Fearless Finishing with Keith Leonard (2-hour class; this class if offered twice, attendees should only participate once)
                 - Shetland Hap with Gudrun Johnston (continuation of early afternoon class)
                 - Design Workshop with Josh Bennett (continuation of early afternoon class)
5:30 - 6:30 p.m.            All-day Lounge activity
7 - 8 p.m.            Sponsor presentation: Shibui Knits
8:30 - 9:30 p.m.            Late-night Lounge presentation: Cascade Yarns
9:30 p.m.
           All-day lounge closes

Sunday, May 2

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.          Morning tea time in the lounge     
11 a.m.      Keynote speech by Patty Lyons

All Retreat sessions will be held virtually on Zoom. Click here to download Zoom Client for Meetings (see the "Virtual Retreat Tips" tab for more information!).
All times for the Retreat are in Eastern Time (ET).  Feel free to use this  time zone converter to figure out the time difference if you are in a different time zone.

Lily Chen

Tips, Tricks, and Hints: Learn all the little secrets to make knitting life easier and better. Find out how to cast on in 2-tail method without running out of that second tail. Join a new skein of yarn or a new color without losing that first stitch. See ways of attaching buttons as you work. Create invisible circular bind-offs on a neck where the beginning and the end are absolutely imperceptible. Weave in those little ends that are too short to put through a darning needle. Take away lots of “fix-its” and improve those details.
2-hour class, offered Friday 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Afterthought No-Sew Pockets: We never have enough pockets in our clothing! And most knitters avoid seaming like the plague. Learn this innovative and revolutionary way of applying inset pockets to any garment or accessory after the fact. Work up a miniature sample in class and plan placement perfectly beforehand. Never lose a cell phone or scrounge around for lipstick or a tissue again.
2- hour class, offered Friday 3 - 5 p.m. 

Join-As-You-Go Knitting: Most knitters hate to seam. When working garment pieces or different colored strips, seaming can seem daunting. Learn how to join as you go in any situation, including edgings. Join a new piece to the left or to the right of an existing piece, or to the top or bottom of a finished fabric.
2-hour class, offered Saturday 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Designing and Charting Your Own Original Cables: You’ve done cables before and you want to get into more complex cable patterns. Maybe you want to design your own cable. Learn how cable patterns are formed, and what the basic traits, characteristics, and manipulations of the cable are. When you have a better understanding of cable patterns work, not only can you follow the instructions a lot better, you’ll make fewer mistakes and maybe, be able to look at a cable pattern and understand how to knit it without directions! Students must be comfortable reading knitting symbols and stitch charts, as well as having worked cables before this class.
2-hour class, offered Saturday 3 - 5 p.m.


Gudrun Johnson

Short Row Savvy (all-day class): Many knitting patterns use short row techniques, but it can often be a challenge to get them to be as invisible as possible. Sometimes it is just the smallest manipulation that can make all the difference. In this class we will look at the mechanics of four different types of short row methods with the aim that you find one you like and can then use it in any pattern that calls for them. We will also take a brief overview look at how and why short rows are used. This class will suit anyone who has had some experience with this method but had unsatisfactory results!
4-hour (all day) class, offered Friday from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 3 - 5 p.m.

Shetland Hap (all-day class): Learn how to knit a traditional hap (shawl) from the Shetland Islands. This beautiful heirloom shawl makes a great gift for a new baby and is a great introduction to Shetland lace knitting. We will make a mini version of this shawl in class (as a half hap) and students will leave with the necessary skills to make their own full-sized version at home.
4-hour (all day) class, offered Saturday from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 3 - 5 p.m.


Patty Lyons

A Cornucopia of Cool Color-work Techniques: Learn all the techniques of one of Patty’s most popular pattern, the Labadee Cowl. In this class we will work a mini sample and learn all the secrets like the magical “unvented” contrasting color i-cord cast on, chart reading, slip stitch knitting, lifted floats, how to knit in your tail as you go, the contrasting color i-cord bind off and so much more. We’ll also learn some lifesaving tips on yarn control, jogless joins, circular knitting tips, swatching in the round and even fixing mistakes. By the end of the class you’ll be ready to tackle this incredibly popular pattern AND you can order the kit that includes the yarn to make the cowl, and a promo code to get the pattern!
2-hour class, offered Friday 11 a.m.  - 1 p.m.

HELP! I Took a Wrong Turn: Miraculous Cable Fixes: In this class we will go over basic chart reading as well as two tricks to reading your cables on your needle. Next up we will master fixes while your stitches are still on the needle, getting comfortable with unknitting cables, dropping cables to move them to a different row and recross them. Finally we will learn some pretty amazing fixes you can make to your cables after your stitches have been bound off. Learn how crochet cotton, and a scissor can rebuild any cables!
2-hour class, offered Friday 3-5 p.m.

Knitting ER: Tragedy & Treatments: We’ll learn how to read your knitting and master the basics that every knitter needs to know, how to unknit, how to pick up a dropped stitch in stockinette, how to fix garter, how to fix a mistake in a stitch pattern such as rib or seed, and how to fix your stitch mounts to avoid twisted stitches. We’ll also learn a few fancy tricks like picking up a dropped stitch at the end of your row or using a small needle to safely rip down to. Everyone makes mistakes, now learn that it doesn’t have to ruin your knitting!
2-hour class, offered Saturday 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Shape Up!: We will explore all the ins and outs of shaping your garment while keeping your stitch count correct and staying in pattern. We’ll begin by exploring increase and decrease options for knit, purl patterns, then move on to cables and finally tackle shaping in lace charted and not charted. You’ll learn how to read your knitting and use visual cues to shape perfectly.
2-hour class, offered Saturday 3 - 5 p.m.


Laura Nelkin

Shetland Lace Basics: Laura will cover some history of Shetland Lace and then delve into techniques to help you knit it successfully. The class will cover basic increases and decreases, walk you through chart reading, and get you on your way to becoming a more advanced lace knitter!
2-hour class, offered Friday 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Save Your Stitches: Fixing Lace Mistakes: Laura will demystify the anatomy of your lace with you and teach you how to know when you can fix, and when you need to rip (or perform surgery). You’ll learn how to replace yarnovers, insert missing decreases, rebuild sections of your knitting, and most importantly—how to avoid making mistakes in the first place!
2-hour class, offered Friday 3 - 5 p.m. 

Side to Side Sweaters: The Novus Construction: In this class Laura introduces you to the “Novus” construction, her seamless yet structured modern approach to the side-to-side sweater. She’ll cover how the construction works, how to modify it to fit your body, any necessary skills needed for the construction, (i.e., provisional cast-on, lifted increases, German short rows), and how to plug a stitch pattern or motif into it. Class will also discuss yarn selection and cast on for a sleeve.
2-hour class, offered Saturday 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Beaded Brioche: Learn the secrets to working two color Brioche with BEADS. Laura will teach you how to look at brioche in a whole new way. Laura secretly refers to this as her “anti-Alzheimer’s” knitting, as mastering all the skills involved uses ALL of your brain power, which we all know is healthy for our minds!
2-hour class, offered Saturday 3 - 5 p.m. 


Keith Leonard

Flawless Finishing (offered twice): Learn to professional assemble your knitwear from the finishing master, Keith Leonard, owner of Knits All Done. In this class, you’ll use prepared swatches to learn Keith’s tricks for five different seams. You’ll also learn the correct way to pick up stitches across both the top and the sides of your knitting. Be amazed as the magic unfolds and walk away with the proficiency to finish your knitwear professionally for years to come.
2-hour class, offered twice: Friday 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. OR Saturday 3 - 5 p.m.  (chose one)

Short Row Fun: Short rows, anyone? In this class, Keith will teach you how to properly work short rows using two colors, or yarn to create 1 of 24 squares that combined will turn into a beautiful afghan named “Lizard Ridge.” Learn how short rows build your knitting and where to use them in different projects. Disclaimer: once started, this pattern will be hard to put down—prepare for addiction, laughter, and bursts of color.
2-hour class, offered Friday 3 - 5 p.m.  

Keith's AMAZING Tips and Tricks: Is the first stitch of your knitting loose? Do you cast on a new project in both knit and purl? Do you hem the bottom of your knitting? Is your bind off uneven when knitting in the round? Is there a magical loose bind off? How much yarn do you need for the long tail cast on? Why aren’t my stitches even? What is the proper way to measure? Should I slip the first stitch of every row? Find the answer to these questions and many more!
2-hour class, offered Saturday 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 


Josh Bennett

Josh Bennett's Tips and Tricks for Making Your Garment Look More Professional (all-day class) : In this class you’ll learn ALL of Josh’s tricks for making your garments look more professional and polished. He’ll demonstrate different cast-on methods, increases, decreases, body shaping, and other special techniques used by professional knitwear and couture designers.
4-hour class, offered Friday from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 3 - 5 p.m.

Josh Bennett's Design Workshop (all-day class): In this 2-part class, you’ll go from sketch to pattern. In class 1, You’ll look at upcoming trends and forecasts in the knitwear industry and sketch designs using these or your own inspirations. From your rough sketches, Josh will pick a design that you will be able to write a pattern to make. We’ll discuss design aspects to help your design look fashion-forward and wearable. In class 2, we work out the pattern math to make your design an actual garment. We’ll also discuss techniques to make your design more professional-looking and have better wear.
4-hour class, offered Saturday from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 3 - 5 p.m. 


Have questions or need assistance? We're happy to help!
For the most immediate assistance, please email us at registration@umass.edu!

Lily Chen 
Lily M. Chin is an internationally famous knitter and crocheter who has worked in the yarn industry for more than 30 years, as a designer, instructor, and author of 8 books on knitting and crochet. Lily teaches around the world and now has instructional DVDs out as well as some online classes. She has created looks for the New York Fashion Week runway collections of designers Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, Diane von Furstenberg, and Isaac Mizrahi, and her work has been on the backs of celebrities and super models. She was named a “Master Knitter” by Vogue Knitting. She is regularly cited in media across the U.S., including the Late Show with David Letterman, Martha, CBS Morning News, CNN, HGTV, Knitting Daily, Knit and Crochet Now, and more. Lily Chin has lived in New York City all her life and has been involved in some aspect of the fashion industry since age 13.


Gudrun Johnson 
Gudrun was born in Shetland in the 70’s while her mother, Patricia Johnston, was running the successful knitwear design company, The Shetland Trader. She has made a name for herself among a new generation of knitwear designers, using the internet to directly interact with an international community of knitters. She has self published two collections of knitwear inspired by the Shetland islands, The Shetland Trader Book One and Book Two and also collaborated with one of her favorite yarn companies, Quince & Co to publish a Mother and Daughter knitwear collection called Knit With Me. Gudrun has also been published in several prominent magazines online, including Brooklyn Tweed, Twist Collective, Amirisu and Knitty. She also loves to design using seamless construction and is always adding new techniques to her seamless knitting skills. Gudrun now runs fiber related trips to the Shetland Islands.


Patty Lyons 
Patty Lyons (http://pattylyons.com/) is a nationally recognized knitting teacher and technique expert who is known for teaching the “why” not just the “how” in her pursuit of training the “mindful knitter”. She specializes in sweater design and sharing her love of the much-maligned subjects of gauge and blocking. Patty teaches nationally at guilds, shops & knitting shows around the country such as Vogue Knitting LIVE, and STITCHES. Her popular classes can also be found on DVD and online at Interweave, Annie’s and Craftsy. She also runs wildly popular video sweater classes on her Ravelry group. Patty designs and knitting skill articles have been published in Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, Knit Purl, Knitter’s Magazine, Cast On, Knit Style, Creative Knitting, Twist Collective and Mason Dixon Knitting where she writes a monthly knitter’s advice column: “Ask Patty”. Patty’s designs have also been included in pattern collections from Classic Elite, Noro, Cascade, Tahki Stacy Charles, Sugar Bush and Willow Yarns.


Laura Nelkin 
Though she has a degree in apparel design from Cornell University, Laura took to knitting years ago and hasn’t looked back. Her designs and techniques are innovative, fun and will challenge you to think in new ways about your knitting. She is currently enamored with unexpected sweater construction, lace, and with incorporating beads into lace, so most of her designs lean in this direction. She travels often to teach these techniques at workshops around the country and online at Craftsy.com, and in her spare time she leads knitting tours abroad. She runs 2 super fun clubs every year, The N Club, and Lola's Choice, and she has a line of knitting kits, self-published patterns, and runs mystery Knit-A-Longs multiple times a year. Her book, Knockout Knits, was released with Random House in September 2014.


Keith Leonard 
Keith gained a love for knitting at the age of eleven when he joined a lunchtime knitting program at school in his hometown of Haworth, New Jersey. After working at four major knitting stores in Upstate New York, New Jersey, and New York City, he realized there was no specialized service for knitwear finishing. He took the initiative to start his own business, called Knits All Done, a service for knitters to outsource their knitted items for professional finishing. Keith’s expertise in finishing and knitting then led to requests from yarn shops and knitting guilds to teach his techniques. He now travels the country teaching classes while also selling his own custom Zen Yarn Garden, Three Irish Girls, Malabrigo and Koigu yarns and colors. He is also the American distributor for Soulwool, a hand-dyed Merino yarn from Israel.


Josh Bennett 
Josh Bennett grew up in Pennsylvania where he learned to knit from his grandmother when he was 8 years old. After moving to New York City in 2001, Josh worked at a yarn shop on the Upper West Side that wrote custom patterns for their customers. Josh has collaborated with CFDA Award winner Michael Bastian on a hand knitted line. They have also worked together on projects for the Folk Couture. He was the Men’s Sweater Designer at Tommy Hilfiger and has also worked with and designed for GANT by Michael Bastian, Perry Ellis, Alexander Wang, Rowan Magazine, Vogue Knitting, and other knitting publications. He is the designer of his own exclusive capsule collection of men’s hand knitted sweaters at Bergdorf Goodman, Josh Bennett + Goodman’s. Josh studied Menswear Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).


Have questions or need assistance? We're happy to help!
For the most immediate assistance, please email us at  registration@umass.edu.

General 

How do I access retreat sessions?
The retreat will be held virtually from April 29 - May 2, 2021. All retreat events will be held on Zoom, a web conferencing platform that you can download for free. Each retreat session will have it's own unique meeting link, and prior to the retreat you will receive a personalized schedule by email that will include all of the links that you will need for your sessions, trunk shows, classes, and evening socials. Note all session times are EDT (Eastern Daylight Time). In preparation for the retreat, please make sure to install Zoom client for meetings. We will also host a Zoom practice session for attendees prior to the event so you can test your Zoom account and connectivity prior to the retreat. 

This is my first virtual event. How can I prepare?
We know a virtual event can be intimidating, so we put together a whole bunch of information to help you prepare! Please click on the "Virtual Retreat Tips" tab above to see our suggestions on how to get the most out of your virtual experience. Keep an eye on your inbox as the retreat approaches, too - we'll be sending along some helpful updates, including details on a Zoom practice session that will be open to all attendees. If you're completely new to Zoom you may also find it helpful to check out our detailed Zoom How-To Guide, as well as our Zoom Cheat Sheet!

What should I do if I'm having trouble connecting?
If you're having trouble connecting to your session it may be because the host has not yet started the meeting. If you join the meeting before the host does, you will see a message that says "Waiting for host to start this meeting." In this case, please wait for the host to join, and you should then be brought into the meeting without issue! Sessions may also use the "Waiting Room" feature, which puts you and other attendees into a virtual waiting room until the host and co-host are ready to begin. If this is the case, you' will see a message that says "Welcome! Your session will start shortly." You will then be let into the meeting by the host once they are ready to begin. 

If the meeting is in session but you can't connect, don't worry! First, make sure you are connected to the internet. Next, try closing  Zoom and then reopen the meeting link included in your personalized schedule email (we will send you all of the necessary links by email prior to the retreat). If this doesn't work, we suggest restarting your device and trying again. If you are still having trouble connecting, please reach out to us at registration@umass.edu so we can assist you.

Will the retreat be recorded?
No, retreat classes, presentations, trunk shows, and all other sessions will not be recorded. Please plan to attend all retreat events and classes live!

When will I receive additional information about the retreat?
When you register you will automatically receive an informational email containing the latest information about the retreat. Leading up to the retreat, you can also expect to hear from us periodically by email with additional updates and instructions on how to access virtual programming. Please add our email address (registration@umass.edu) to your contacts so you don't miss any of these follow-up emails! We're here to help you get the most out of the Retreat, so if you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to us! We can be reached at registration@umass.edu or 413-577-8102, however please note we are currently working remotely so, when possible, we recommend contacting us by email for the most immediate assistance. 

What is the cancellation policy?
All cancellations must be sent in writing to the UMass Conference Services Registration Office by email (registration@umass.edu). No registration will be canceled and no credit will be issued unless a written confirmation is provided. 
For cancellations received more than 30 days from the start date of the retreat (prior to March 29): a full refund will be processed less the non-refundable $100.00 deposit.
For cancellations received less than 30 days from the start date of the retreat (after March 29): a full refund will be processed less a cancellation fee in the amount of 50% of the retreat package + $60.00.
For cancellation received less than 14 days before the start date of the retreat (after April 14): no refund will be issued.


Classes 

How do I sign up for classes? 
The registration for the Spring Retreat will be a two-part process. The first step will be registering for your chosen retreat package. Registration will open at 12 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 28. Then, at noon on Thursday, February 18, registered attendees will be able to submit class preferences by returning to this page, logging back in to their account, and entering the first and second class choices for as many class hours as selected. Detailed instructions will be emailed to registered attendees prior to February 18. Click the "Class Description" tab above to learn more about the classes being offered!

I didn't get the class I wanted. What can I do?
Class sizes are limited and typically some classes are very popular, so while all attempts are made to put everyone into their first choice for each time block unfortunately it is not always possible. We strongly recommend you take a look at all of the class descriptions and try to find two for each block that are of interest to you so that you can enter in accurate first and second choices. If you are placed into your second choice for any block we will automatically place you on the waitlist for your first choice and contact you if a spot opens up. You can also contact us at registration@umass.edu or 413-577-8102 to see if space is open in any other classes that might be of interest.

Is there any homework or materials for my class(es)?
Yes, some classes have homework and/or materials lists, as well as class specific handouts. All of the information that you will need will be provided as an attachment to your class assignment email, followed by any necessary updates, patterns, download links, etc., as the retreat approaches. 

I have questions about a class description, skill level, homework and/or materials. Can someone help me?
Sure! If you have any questions about a class description, skill level, homework and/or materials needed please send along a detailed email to us at registration@umass.edu we would we happy to help, or connect you with the appropriate person who can further assist you. 


Have questions or need assistance? We're happy to help!
For the most immediate assistance, please email us at  registration@umass.edu!

Are you new to virtual learning? 
We're happy to help you navigate this new adventure! We have put together tips and tricks, a how-to guide, and a cheat sheet to make your experience as seamless as possible. Please review the information below and contact us if you have any questions.


Prepare Before the Retreat 

Check Your Internet Connection
To get the most out of each session, it is important to use reliable internet! If possible, ask others in your home to stay off of the internet when you are in a session to minimize the devices connected to your network. If your wireless internet frequently lags, kicks you off, or is generally unreliable, try to use a wired connection right from your computer into your router, and keep your camera off as much as possible. You could also see if there is somewhere else you can go for internet access, such as the home of a family member or friend, a library, or a local café (if safe, and possible). Some libraries are offering free outdoor wi-fi, allowing you to connect from a nearby parking lot or outdoor space. 

Unsure about your internet speed and reliability? Do a quick test of your internet speed on Google! This test will let you know your internet speed and how well it can handle multiple devices connected at the same time, video conferencing, and more. 

Download Zoom and Create an Account
All Retreat sessions will be held on Zoom, a web conferencing platform that you can download and use for free. To use Zoom, first visit https://zoom.us/download and click the "Download" button under Zoom Client for Meetings. We recommend downloading Zoom onto a device with a larger screen, such as a laptop or desktop computer, instead of using your phone or tablet. In addition to downloading Zoom, you will need to create a Zoom account if you do not yet have one. You can create an account by downloading Zoom and then opening the Zoom app. This will bring you to a login screen, and on the bottom right you can click the "Sign up for Free" button. You can also create an account by visiting https://zoom.us/signup. It's a relatively easy process to download Zoom and create an account, but it does take a few minutes so make sure to do this before the start of the Retreat!

Choose Your Device Carefully
If you have multiple devices, we recommend downloading Zoom onto the one with the largest screen, such as a laptop or desktop computer, so that you can easily see what is going on. When possible we don't recommend using your phone as it will be difficult to see what is happening on such a small screen, plus phone calls, emails, and text messages could be distracting. The features and functionalities of the mobile version of Zoom are also slightly different, so please note  that our guide and cheat sheet are not fully applicable to the mobile version. Lastly, for most classes, as well as a the guided knitting evening social, you will want to be following along and actively knitting: be sure to use a device that can stand on it's own so you can keep your hands free!

Practice with Zoom and Come to a Test Session
If you are new to Zoom, we recommend taking advantage of some of the many resources available to familiarize yourself with how to use it! We have created a detailed Zoom how-to guide, as well as a Zoom cheat sheet for your reference. In addition, we will be hosting a Zoom practice session, open to all attendees, prior to the Retreat. Feel free to pop into this test session to practice logging in, accessing a meeting, using your audio/video, and more! Additional details will be sent to you via email as the Retreat approaches. You can also practice on your own by joining a test Zoom meeting here, or checking out some of Zoom's beginner tutorials here. If you have any questions or need a little more support, please don't hesitate to contact us - we're more than happy to help you get squared away before the Retreat (registration@umass.edu, 413-577-8102)! 

Create a Special Retreat Space
Find an area of your home where you will be comfortable, and ideally one that is private to minimize distractions. Arrange a comfortable chair in front of your screen. Set your screen up on a table, stand, or desk, so that you can easily see it while having your hands free to knit. Create a little kit to keep all of your supplies organized and easy to grab, and fill it with your knitting supplies, class materials/homework, drinks, snacks, a notebook, a pen/pencil, and whatever else you might need. If you decide to have your camera on, consider the camera angle and the background your teachers and fellow students will see. You may want to prop up your screen so that the camera is at or above eye level for a more flattering angle. Consider what others will see behind you, and perhaps rearrange or spruce up the space a bit. During the Retreat, remove distractions and background noises by closing the doors and windows to your space, silencing your phone, and asking your family or housemates to be mindful of when you will be attending Retreat sessions.


During the Retreat 

Get Ready for Your Sessions
Recently you may have noticed an increase in articles and discussions around "Zoom fatigue" - it can be tough to sit in a virtual session for a while! It helps to prepare yourself and your space in advance, and to get mentally and physically ready the day of. Consider stretching or going for a walk before a block of session begins. Leading up to the session, give yourself enough time (at least 15 minutes!) before the start of the session to get your device up and running and make sure your audio and video are working. Know when your classes begin, and what additional events you would like to attend. Be sure to setup your space in the days leading up to the Retreat (see the "Create a Special Retreat Spot" section above!) and have anything that you might need during the session close by - you don't want to miss anything because you have to go grab some supplies or a drink! If you decide to have your camera on, keep in mind the instructor and other attendees will be able to see you, so make sure you are camera ready! This is also helpful if you need to get up and grab a supply from somewhere else in your home (we've all seen the videos of the mishaps that result when someone on camera forgets that they aren't quite dressed appropriately!) 

Stay Muted
When you join a session you should automatically be muted. Please stay muted unless you have a question or need assistance to avoid broadcasting any unexpected background noises to all of the other participants in the meeting. On the bottom meeting toolbar you will see a microphone icon: if there is a red line in this icon that means you are muted, and you can click this icon to request to unmute if needed. You can also utilize a number of other communication methods in Zoom while staying muted, such as the Chat feature or Reactions (take a look at our how-to guide and cheat sheet for more information!). Your instructor might have their own specific requests regarding how attendees should make comments or ask questions, so the exact protocol to follow may vary depending on the class or session - we recommend logging in a few minutes early to make sure you don't miss any special instructions made by that session's host!

Take Advantage of Time In-Between Sessions
The Retreat is packed full of great events. Review the schedule to get a sense of when you will have some breaks or blocks of down time, and take advantage of these! When you have a break, try to get up and stretch. For longer breaks, consider taking a short walk to get some fresh air and recharge. These are also great chances to replenish any supplies, drinks, or snacks in preparation for the next session!


Have questions or need assistance? We're happy to help!
For the most immediate assistance, please email us at  registration@umass.edu!

Questions, concerns, or need some assistance? We're here to help! 
We are so excited you will be joining us for the virtual WEBS Spring Knitting Retreat! A virtual Retreat might be a new adventure, but we are committed to doing all we can to provide you with the best experience. If there is anything you need or anything we can assist with, either before or during the retreat, please contact us at registration@umass.edu or 413-577-8102.

Below are some links you might find helpful as you prepare for the Retreat: