Have Ewe Any Wool?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Lancaster Spinner's and Weaver's Retreat

Last weekend, I attended my third retreat with the Lancaster Spinner's and Weaver's Guild. This year, it was held at Camp Donegal - the perfect venue for the retreat.

In the great hall, we had a huge fireplace. We scattered ourselves around its stoney warmth with all our spinning wheels, CSMs, and other fiber crafting tools. The dining hall was on the other side of the room, so we didn't have to go far at meal times. It was afabulous set up! The food was great too! The kitchen staff prepared fabulous meals from scratch with lots of variety...and always, a tasty home made soup accompanied the delicious lunches. There were tasty homemade desserts as well - several varieties of awesome cookies, red velvet cake, and warm from the oven brownies - awesome!!!

Our sleeping quarters were in rather rustic cabins. They were clean and toasty warm - that's the most important thing. The only challenge foir me was getting used to the single mattress on top of a plywood frame. It was pretty comfortable though. I brought lots of pillows and blankets with me, and for a bed spread, I had a hand crocheted afghan that my DH's grandmother made - I thought that was appropriate since I was at a fiber retreat.

There were a number of hiking trails on the property and several lovely sets of outdoor swings to rest on. It was a bit too cold to enjoy knitting outside, but in the spring or fall, the outdoor swings are the perfect venue for a lazy knitting afternoon while soaking up some Vitamin D!

Several of the attendees had some fabulous yarns and fibers to sell. Even though I'm on a "yarn diet", I "had" to buy some of the goodies (I do make provisions for festivals and retreats in my "diet plan" - LOL!) I purchased lots of alpaca from both Pam (AlpacasAndBeyond) and Cyndy. Then, there was the positively divine bunny/alpaca fiber that Kathy (AlmostARanchAlpacas) sells. Simply awesome, incredibly soft fibers.

There was a new vendor there this year - Elizabeth. She had lovely hand dyed cottons. I never thought I'd get excited about cotton, but Elizabeth's cotton (WollesYarnCreations) is fantastic! I purchased some for a couple of shawls as well as two skeins to FINALLY make a Clapotis. (I'm still planning on making a wool one as well...from hand dye yarn my DD purchased for me last year - as soon as I locate it again!)

I also purchased a used spool rack for my loom from Faye who was "destashing" - that should come in very handy once I have to warp it!

We spent the entire weekend spinning, weaving, knitting, crocheting, rug hooking....you name it, we did it!

Cindy, a very talented weaver, has just warped her loom to start a new tapestry. She's recently moved, and there are bears near her new home, so she's designed a tapestry focusing on her "new neighbors"...the black bears.

Tina discovered the "joy" of silky fibers and static electricity! It was a bit of a challenge to "rein it in", but she "tamed the wild fibers". Of course, I had no doubt that she would. After all, she organizes this entire retreat - and does and absolutely fabulous job every year!

Cyndy has finally mastered the spinning wheel! Wahoo! Her first successful skein was completed 2 years ago....and last year, she didn't get much spinning done and spent most of her time "wrestling with her wheel". This year, she mastered it...with some lovely Merino no less! She's now decided she "must have" a new wheel. The Ashford traditional was put up for sale and sold in two days...and she's procured a "Lady Bug". Congratulations Cyndy!!!

My knitting focused on the cowl for my Monthly Adventures swap. The yarn is Jagger Spun Zephyr 50% Merino/50% Silk lace weight yarn. The pattern is the "Wavy Feathers Wimple". It's a very easy lace pattern done in the round. My spinning time was totally dedicated to finishing 2 ounces of some gorgeous purple silk that I bought from the Brosana's at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival in 2008. I have the other 2 ounce bag to spin before I can ply, but I'm getting there! Silk takes soooo long to spin as you can spin it quite thin.

The company and the food were wonderful! We all hated for the weekend to end, but like all good things, it must end. I can't wait until next year!


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