There’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!
All 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!
Kim 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)
There 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!
One 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.)
I 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…..
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.