Have Ewe Any Wool?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Retreat Details - Part I

I have never been to a Knitting and Spinning Retreat before, so when this opportunity came up, I grabbed it. My only "fear" was that it was in January. In the DC area, January can be full of surprises....January 1996 comes to mind with our record snowfalls. As it turned out, the "nasty" weather made its appearance on Thursday....a full day before my trip and on Friday, the roads were clear and the temp was in the 40's - PERFECT!

There were no specific "teachers" scheduled for the weekend, just a bunch of "fiberholics" with lots of skills to share with each other. A couple of weeks before the retreat, it was noted that there would be an informal class on how to make a toe up sock.....yahoo! All that we need to contribute was a bit of $$ to cover the cost of printing the instructions - no problem!

I made a mental list of what I wanted to learn:
  • How to Navajo ply
  • How to knit a "toe-up" sock
  • How to make a center-pull ball of yarn
In preparation for my trip, I had to make sure that "Lennie II" (my Lendrum double treadle folding wheel) had plenty of empty bobbins so I could get some serious spinning done. I took this opportunity to ply some singles that had been "languishing" on my spare bobbins - and thus "free up" a couple of bobbins for the weekend! The wool is generic colored wool that I'd purchased from Little Barn eons ago. It mainly dark blue with threads of various shades of red throughout that really give it depth. I've very pleased with the resulting yarn. This skein is 4.9 oz. and is probably a DK to light worsted in weight.

I KNOW I bought a pound of the wool...I just need to find the rest of it - spun or not! Some had been spun earlier - I've been "hauling around" the finished skeins as samples for various demos. I can't quite remember if I spun it all up or not. I need to get the skeins and possibly remaining roving all in one place - a pound of yarn can be used for any number of projects. One more reason to keep my "organizing" resolution - finding lost yarn and roving!

I left work a little early on Friday so Lynn and I could get a good start and I wouldn't have to drive in the dark - I hate driving in the dark when I'm not sure where I'm going. It only took about 2 hrs. to drive from here to Black Rock Retreat near Lancaster, PA. We were about the 4th or 5th persons to arrive. After checking in, I setup my wheel and put out the snacks I brought to share in the main hall. While we were awaiting the rest of the "retreaters", I happened to catch a beautiful sunset. The first photo (left) doesn't quite capture the full beauty of the sunset. In the second photo (right), I had zoomed in and happily discovered that it provided a much more accurate view of the beautiful sunset.

Soon, the room was a sea of Spinning wheels, spinners, knitters, and all things fiber. Everyone was so nice - and we all shared a love of fiber animals, spinning, knitting.....basically any fiber related hobby. It definitely felt like home! (We even had a fireplace - a definite plus in the Winter!)

Now it's confession time. Remember the "yarn and fiber" diet I resolved to be on for the month of January? Well, I did fine until Cyndy brought out her gorgeous natural colored Alpaca Roving. Not only did she set the bin of fiber near me, but she gave me about an ounce to try spinning. It spun like a dream and I produced a "mini-skein" in no time. It was too much for me to resist. I rarely get the opportunity to get Alpaca - and the price was very reasonable. So.....I "had" to get some. I was VERY good and did not buy any yarn - even though there were lovely yarns to purchase as well!


  • At 1:49 AM, Blogger Kai said…

    sounds like you had a great time! Love the blue-y yarn.. it's gorgeous and that alpaca looks to-die-for! I have some straight off the alpaca fleece that needs spinning up.. must practice more before tackling that! :)

  • At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oooh, sounds like an awesome, awesome time! Mmm, alpaca--I bet it's fabulous.

    I blame you for constantly making me want to a) drag out my drop spindle again; b) look into getting a wheel.


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