Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Fiber Retreat

All year long, Mary, of Fancy Fibers has been planning a retreat. It was held in Argyle, not too far from my home. The retreat center had wonderful hotel style rooms and a fabulous chef to prepare meals. There is a wonderful meeting room where 30+ people met. We had spinners, hand knitters, crocheters, machine knitters, beaders, felters, and dyers on sight. What a resource of knowledgeable and fun people! Classses were held and taught by volunteers, because we wanted people to be able to afford to attend the retreat.

I had time to take pictures in the dining hall on Saturday morning. Above is our fearless leader, Mary. If you look past her into the kitchen is our wonderful chef.

More ladies at breakfast, everyone is excited to be on a retreat for FIBER. Rita is waving, she makes great stitch markers and wonderful spinning batts. She taught a class on how to make fabulous spinning batts. The finished batts from her class were gorgeous.

This is Liz and she taught a class on knitting 2 socks at the same time. You could choose between using two circular needles or you could use the magic loop method(one really long circular needle). I helped Liz in this class, because it can be pretty fiddly while you are getting started. Fiddly became the new word for the weekend. The fiddly knitters actually had homework. Imagine that! On a retreat and they were given homework. LOL! :) What knitter minds having to knit for homework???? They were using worsted weight yarn and large needles(8 US), and had to knit 3 inches on their socks before the next morning's class. Some waited, took out their homework about 11pm, made a fresh pot of coffee and started knitting. But, our chef, had come over and built a wonderful fire in the fireplace, was it really homework? Knitting with friends, coffee, snacks and a warm fire in the fireplace. You be the judge of that one. When class started the next morning, they were ready.
On Saturday afternoon, I taught a special helps spinning class, where we helped spinners understand their spinning wheels a little bit better. I had two great helpers in my class. Liz and Cindy came over to help us out. We all gave hints to spinners who were confused or just puzzled about their wheels. I talked a bit about plying and tried to de-mystify it. I taught them about Wraps Per Inch, too. When I was a beginning spinner those two items had been mysteries to me.
On Sunday, I taught a magic loop knitting class, where we used my pattern for the Slouchy Hat. We discovered, if you want to get a room full of knitting women quiet, teach them a new technique. You could've heard a pin drop in this room. The word "fiddly" came up again, several times actually, while they were trying to figure out the technique. :)

So, you ask, Joanne what class did you take? Well, I decided to take one class. IF I had taken all the classes that I wanted to take, I would not have felt like I had been at a retreat. I took Peggy's 3 dimensional needle felting class. What fun! We made a flock of sheep. We had about 6 students in the class, but I only took pictures of three of the sheep and Peggy's bunny. We were supposed to get pictures of the whole flock, but I don't think that happened. My sheep, Flossie, is the sheep on the left. Saturday night, when we went back to our room, I worked a bit more on her.

Flossie is on the left. Her legs are stronger and her face is shaped a bit more like a sheep. On the right is Sharon's sheep and the yarn is Sharon's handspun yarn. In the background is Sharon's weaving from her cardboard weaving class, taught by Cindy. When done, Sharon will have a small woven bag.


  1. I just can't get over those sheep. There were soooo cute! You would never know you guys were beginners, or at least some of you were! Needle felting is something I've never done; you guys made it look easy! Great job, Joanne!

  2. What a cut flock of little sheep! They're smiling! Jojo and MiniD will be busy tending them. I'll always remember what fun we had at a fiber retreat. I know you had a wonderful time.