Have Ewe Any Wool?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Retreat Details - Part III

And here's the "Final Chapter" of the Retreat Details. I took a lot of photos - mainly so I could remember all the people - I'm much better when I have a face to put with a name!

Diane is wearing a fabulous pin. Each "bead" is made with fleece from her Alpacas. The "parent" Alpacas are attached to the pin and the "children" dangle down from it. It's definitely a unique way to "show off your flock". Hmmmm....if only I had my own fiber animals! She carded and spun all weekend long - she's one of the lucky few that actually was carding and spinning fiber from her own animals!

David and his grandmother, affectionately called "Grandma" by all, spent the day on Saturday. David spent nearly the entire day warping his loom. I've never seen a loom like the one he has, but someone said it's a counter-march loom or something like that. We unanimously felt that the top of the loom looked like a Medieval torture device. Grandma was busy doing her embroidery of placemats and napkins for the grandkids. The stitching is entirely done in French knots....my most hated embroidery stitch.

We also had some "silly moments" on the retreat as evidenced by Kathy in her latest felted hat - and Dave modeling it as well! (aka felting "gone bad" - LOL!)

Left - Kathy has her "little white hat" underneath her "big hat" as yet another "fashion" statement. Tina is showing off her "nose mitten" (also known as the beginning of a "toe up" sock) as well as a necklace of "designer yarns" she'd spun Saturday night. She'd played around with color and made the multi-colored mohair skein and then made some of the "fiddly" boucle.

There were so many projects of various types! I was amazed at the amount and variety of talent contained in our conference room - it was inspiring! Faye and another girl had bobbin lace setups - and the lace they were producing was totally awesome! Think of he patience this must take!

Cindy was spinning, working on a tapestry, and a triangle loom project! I didn't happen to catch her knitting, but I'm sure she probably does ALL the various needleworks! Tamala graciously modeled her handwoven vest for me - isn't it gorgeous? The color is just fabulous!

When Tina took a break from spinning her yarn, she tutored both Lynn and me on the finer points of Navajo plying. It was so easy! I was amazed! The yarn I'd tried it with was very lightly spun, so it kept pulling apart...but the basic technique was surprisingly easy. Lynn plied two skeins using the Navajo method - one solid color (for practice) and then a variegated skein where she kept the colors in tact - cool! Yes...the Navajo plying was on my list! Wahoo! Another skill learned!

I even managed to finish spinning my Merino/Tencel blend! I had purchased 8 oz. from the Drafting Zone last February. It's gorgeous stuff and very easy to spin. The luster of the tencel gives the resultant yarn a very nice sheen. This is my second and final bobbin in the "Peacock" color way. All I have left to do now is ply it - then I'll have an 8 oz. skein to "play with".

The retreat ended with the tutorial on "How to knit a toe up" sock taught by Audrey and Donna. They were awesome! (I can kick myself for not getting their pictures....and a picture of their display board!) They put together a fabulous package with lots of information about how to do the toe up socks as well as provided the crochet chain for the provisional cast on. They also put together a fabulous display board showing the various steps of knitting the sock for reference. They did an absolutely fabulous job and each had the patience of a saint while teaching us.

I completed my very first "toe up sock"! I'm absolutely thrilled with how my sock turned out - it's so cute! I did "goof up" on the toe a bit as I "knit" the first stitch after "undoing the wrap" rather than slipping it, so my sock toe has a few little gaps along the sides. I managed to work the short-rowed heel the proper way and the gaps were significantly less. Hopefully, I'll improve with practice - otherwise, I may try the alternate method where you a create a heel gusset similar to the "top down" sock method.

Sadly, the retreat came to an end in the mid-afternoon on Sunday. Time to say "goodbye" to Dogwood and head on home. I learned so much! And talk about inspiration! I really hated to leave, but I kept reminding myself that next year will be here soon...there will be another retreat...and I'll DEFINITELY be there!

Parting shots.....

I shared the road with local surreys on my way out of town......


  • At 2:16 AM, Blogger Kai said…

    I wish I'd been there! :) It all sounds fab . :) And the little sock is so very cute.

  • At 9:54 AM, Blogger Mia said…

    Oh my gosh so much crafty goodness! The bobbin lace projects look so cool.

  • At 12:29 PM, Anonymous lizardknits said…

    Glad you had a good time at your retreat! Wish I could have joined you!


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