Dog House Yarns & More

Yarn, gifts, and accessories for the knitter, crocheter, and spinner

We are planning a Fall Spinning Retreat at Graves Mountain Lodge for September 17, 2011.  More information will be posted soon. 

Our 2011 Spring Knitting Retreat was a great success and we will be repeating it again at the Lodge in April 2012.  For information about the 2011 event continue reading, below.

Please support these great companies who have provided door prizes or other assistance with our retreat.  We offer their products at our shop.


Spring Knitting Retreat

 Saturday, April 9, 2011
9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Graves Mountain Lodge in Madison County, VA

        Please join us for Knittin’ in the Mountains on Saturday,  April 9, 2011 at Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, Virginia.  The Lodge is known for its bountiful food, beautiful scenery, and relaxed atmosphere so it’s a perfect place to unwind, make new friends, and learn new things.

Registration:  9:30 to 10:30 a.m.  Look for us downstairs in the main building.  Check in, make some friends, knit, and enjoy the scenery until the morning program begins. Note: Pre-registration is required. You may download a registration form here.

Mary Gildersleeve

     We are pleased to introduce knitwear designer and author Mary Gildersleeve as our featured speaker.  Mary’s designs have appeared in such well-known publications as 101 Designer One Skein Wonders, Vogue Knitting on the Go: Vests, Babies & Toddlers: A Knitter’s Dozen, and Cast On magazine.  In addition to writing knitting and crafting columns in several publications she is also the author of Great Yarns for the Close-Knit Family: Over two dozen original, hand-knit designs inspired by one dozen fantastic family read-alouds.  Mary has taught knitting in both the U.S. and in Austria and she is especially interested in encouraging creativity in children.  We will soon begin carrying her original By Hand, With Heart knitwear designs at our shop. You can see many of Mary's designs on Ravelry.

     Mary’s program, The Ins and Outs of Using This for That, will focus on choosing and using the right yarns for your projects.  For more information, please see a complete description midway down the page.


Lunch:  12:30 p.m.  Lunch will be the great, family-style, all-you-can-eat meal that Graves Mountain Lodge is known for. Mary will be available before and after lunch to autograph her book, Great Yarns, which will be for sale.

Great Yarns by Mary Gildersleeve

2 to 3 p.m. and  3:30 to 4:30 p.m.  When you register you will have the opportunity to sign up for two, one-hour small group sessions held in the afternoon with a break in between.  The topics being offered are listed farther down the page.


5 p.m. Time to say good-bye to old friends and new acquaintances.


Registration fee:  $50 includes morning speaker, two afternoon mini-sessions, all you can eat Graves Mountain Lodge lunch, morning/afternoon beverages, and an opportunity to sit and knit with new friends and old while spring pops out across the beautiful valley and mountains.


Please download a registration form or pick one up at our shop located at 708 Sunset Lane in Culpeper, Virginia.  You can also call us for more information at 540-825-3585. Note:  No phone reservations, please!

Overnight accommodations:  If you would like to remain for dinner Saturday night or stay overnight, please make reservations directly with Graves Mountain Lodge  540-923-4231

Graves Mountain Lodge in very early spring

Main lodge building where the retreat is being held.

Program and Class Information

The Ins and Outs of Using This for That
Presented by Mary Gildersleeve, Knitwear designer, By Hand With Heart
10:30 a.m. to noon

        How often have you found just the perfect design, but you can’t find the yarn the designer used?  Or, how often have you thought, “I wonder if I could swap this yarn for that one they used”?  Mary Gildersleeve will help you make the smart choice, the right choice, for substituting one yarn for another.  She’ll teach you the ins and outs of fiber characteristics and how to make that perfect hand-knit in THIS yarn instead of THAT yarn.  She’ll discuss the newest fibers and why so many yarns are now blended with bamboo or soy or tencel.  Mary will also explain how and why a designer chooses the yarn for the design and also discuss which came first, the yarn or the design?


      Mary has been knitting for 40 years and designing for most of that time.  She readily admits that she’s a fiber addict.  “I love knitting and designing hand-knits and writing about knitting and reading about knitting,” she says.  “I’ve been fortunate to design with many different types of fiber from craft store acrylics to award-winning cashmere. I’ve been where you are now, wondering, will this work for that?”  Please join us on April 9 and let Mary lead you on the journey of discovering the ins and outs of using this for that!

Afternoon Sessions

2 to 3 p.m. and 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.


        After a great Graves Mountain lunch we’ll have two afternoon sessions of an hour each where you can pick up a new technique or two.  You’ll be asked to rank your choices on the registration form and the earlier you register the more assured you’ll be of getting your first two choices. Topics and instructors subject to change if needed. More information on each session is available on the registration form.  Instructors: Mary Gildersleeve, Sue Hansen, Chan Moore, Margaret Marquis, Rosanne Berkenstock, and Leslie King. 

     There is information on the registration form as to what to bring for each class.  In addition, a notebook or paper to take notes may be handy.  We have mailed out letters notifying retreat participants which two class sessions they will be in.  Based on a high demand for some of t
he topics the afternoon sessions are now as follows:

1st hour:
Using Beads in Your Knitting – Learn what beads to use and how to attach them

Make Your Own Dorset Buttons – Make your own beautiful buttons with leftover yarns

Tips and Tricks – Group I is a hands-on session so bring your questions or your works in progress that you have questions about.  In Group II we’ll cover lots of different tips and tricks to help make your knitting go more smoothly. Participants signed up for Tips and Tricks may choose either group.

2nd hour:
Learn to Spin Using the Drop Spindle
– Fiber and practice spindles provided

Understanding Short Rows – How to add shape with short rows and how to wrap and turn

Getting Started With Moebius – Learn how to cast-on a moebius cowl that grows from the center outward

Mitred Squares – Learn how to make a mitred square for modular knitting

To find Graves Mountain Lodge on Mapquest click here.

Directions to Graves Mountain Lodge:
From Culpeper - Take Rt 29 South for seven miles.  Turn Right on Rt 609.  Stay on Rt 609 for 9 miles to stop sign.  Turn Right on Rt 231 North, go 1/2 mile, turn Left on Rt 670.  Go 4 miles, the Lodge is on Left. (half hour drive)

From Fredericksburg – Take Rt. 3 to Culpeper and turn south onto Rt 29 and follow as above.

From Charlottesville - Take Rt 29 North for approx. 26 miles to Madison.  Take Left on 29 Business North.  Go 1 mile, turn Left on Rt 231 North.  Stay on Rt 231 North for 8 miles. Turn Left on Rt 670.  Travel 4 miles, Graves Mountain Lodge is on Left. (1 hour drive)

From Front Royal, VA - Take Rt 522 South through Flint Hill.  Turn right on Rt 522/211 to Sperryville.  At Sperryville, turn Left into town of Sperryville and Left at flashing light onto Rt 522.  Drive 1.5 miles to Right on Rt 231 South.  Drive 14 miles, turn Right on Rt 670. Travel 4 miles, Graves Mountain Lodge is on Left. (1 hour drive)