Have Ewe Any Wool?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Spinning and Weaving Retreat at Refreshing Mountain Resort


IMG_3953IMG_3954There’s nothing like the cool mountains of Pennsylvania to escape the sweltering heat!   I arrived a bit early at the retreat, so I made myself at home on the “Adirondack Chair” swing and spun away the afternoon with my drop spindle.  It was so relaxing!  A great way to mellow out after a stressful work week!




This is the second year that Beth organized a retreat at Refreshing Mountain.    She does a great job…and we always have a lot of fun!

(Thankfully, this year, there wasn’t a hurricane bearing down on us like there was last year!




IMG_3962IMG_3963All my friends from Lancaster were there….and we had a great time!   I saw several folks that I hadn’t seen for a while – like the Sock Lady!    There were the usual spinners and knitters, but in addition to them, where were several folks with antique sock machines!  What a wonderful sight!


IMG_3995IMG_3997Kim taught a little class and demo’d some of the fantastic things you can do with the antique sock machines.  

I was amazed….she beaded a sock using the sock machine (shown with one bead on the top right)! 

AND she created a “heart-lace” pattern!  AND she did cables!  It was incredible!  (She also specially dyed some roving for me – bright green and purple.   It’s absolutely gorgeous!!!!)




Heart-pattern done in lace (left)

Cables (right)





IMG_3967There were so many crafts represented!   Beth and others were spinning, Audrey was weaving, others were busy with punch needle embroidery or bobbin lace.   Of course, there were a few vendors there as well – including one selling tie-dyed t-shirts!   (Of course I had to buy a couple of them!)













Punch needle (left) and bobbin lace (right).








Audrey’s  loom is just like the one I want to get….complete with the wheels for easy manuevering!






IMG_3960IMG_3961One of my roommates had a Journey Wheel….isn’t it gorgeous? (left)




I spun like a fool the entire weekend.   I had 4 oz. of hand-dyed alpaca that I’d received in a swap, so I spun that up as a two-ply skein.  It made a nice sized skein – I just can’t remember how many yard!   I decided to do an experiment – I split it into two one-ounce chunks.  I spun one using my usual “inch worm” method and the other using the “long draw” method.   The "long draw” used a lot more fiber!   The two-ply yarn then had a fluffier ply and a tighter ply.  The plied yarn was soft and lofty.

I had 156 yards of the single-ply from the “inch-worm” method left over!    I was amazed at the resulting difference in yarn between the two methods!  (The finished skein with the leftover singles are on the right below.)









IMG_4034I spent most of my weekend “spinning like a fool”!  I spun 2 oz. of some lovely mohair I purchased from Misty Mountain Farm. This was a much  heavier and drapier yarn than the alpaca….mainly because of the difference in the underlying fiber.   I was amazed at the difference. It’s gorgeous!  Unfortunately, I only have 78 yards of this luscious yarn, so I’ll have to make creative use of it!

I purchased some gorgeous hand-dyed alpaca roving from Pam.  It was incredibly soft and the colors were fabulous!   Normally she pretty much sticks to the natural colors, so this was a huge “step away from the norm” for her.   And we all loved it!  When I spun it up, everyone liked it so much that they were looking for more at her booth.   Sadly, she only had a single ball of each of the colors she dyed….but I think she’s now got some ideas for how much to dye and bring the next time!  This made a lovely 214 yard two-ply skein.  So many things I can make!!!  Hat?  Fingerless mitts?  Cowl?  Decisions, decisions.



















Well…I didn’t spend my entire weekend spinning.   I worked in a bit of knitting too!   I made another one of the mesh scarves.   They’re so addictive!   I just can’t stop!




Of course, there was a pool and lots of areas for walking and hiking…just in case we needed a break from “crafting”.   I was personally fascinated by the kids that were riding the zip-lines….I think they’re crazy!!!!  Oh….to be young and foolish again…..

                  IMG_3981 IMG_3982  

The platforms were very high…and the walking paths were underneath in some areas, so we had quite a view.   Check out the zip-liner on the right.  (Double click for a closer view)


Sadly….all good things must eventually come to an end.   Sigh.



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