Disney Knitting Retreat Recap & Cowl

I just got back from teaching at the Magical Fiber Fantasy Retreat at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort. What an adventure! This fantastic retreat and marketplace was hosted by Amy Manko of The Ross Farm and Laura from Four Purls, with knitting and weaving classes galore. I was delighted to be part of this special retreat teaching Fair Isle, Lace, Thrumming, and to meet so many knitters who came out just for the event. It truly was magical and I look forward to next year!

Back when Amy and I were throwing class ideas back and forth, I mentioned the idea of a retreat-exclusive pattern for my 6-hour Fair Isle class. I knew my class would have mostly stranded color work newbies or people who had briefly dipped their toes into the waters of multiple strands and multiple colors on their needles, so I wanted a project that was not only fun and interesting to knit for a wide audience, but something that encompassed the theme of the retreat that would give my students a souvenir of sorts and be reminded of their retreat experience when they wore it. I told her my idea and Amy sent me off to design.

Cinderella has always been one of my favorite fairy tales. I loved the story of redemption, her attitude, her incredible dress, the sparkly shoes, her mouse and bird friends (as a kid I really wished I had a slew of forest creatures to help me with my chores), and her kooky fairy godmother. Any time a new version of this tale would show up in theaters, I was there watching. Ever After from 1998 and Cinderella from 2015 are favorites.

Of course, there's also her amazing castle. When we would visit Disney World when I was a kid, some of my fondest memories were walking through the mosaics illustrating Cinderella's story through the main floor of the castle. My mom and I would go back again and again while my dad and brother went off on their own, looking at each mosaic carefully. I'm looking forward to taking my kids there someday to see those mosaics and I'm pretty sure my mom hopes that karma comes back around and they make me ride "It's a Small World" 5,285,104 times as I did with her.

After spending some time at the drawing board, I came up with the A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes, a ode to Cinderella in the form of Fair Isle knitting. While knitting up her sparkling castle surrounded by fireworks, gorgeous dress, and life-altering shoes, you too can now feel like a knitting princess while wearing your cowl! I was tickled with the reception this cowl got at the retreat, and with so many people asking when they could get their hands on this pattern because my class was full, I knew I had to make it available right when I got home.

Knit on US 7 circular needles, this bottom-up cowl is worked seamlessly in the round with the Fair Isle sandwiched between corrugated ribbing. Heather over at The Lemonade Shop was awesome enough to dye my students custom colors called Haunted Mansion and Cinderella's Castle. How special is that? An addictive and magical knit, it was great to see this cowl on so many needles during the retreat. The story of Cinderella is loved by so many and while I didn't get a chance to get to any of the parks this time around, I felt like I got a little bit of her magic to come to me on my needles.

I'm thrilled to make this cowl available to all of us who need a bit of magic in our lives! Download A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes here and I hope to see you at the retreat next year!