Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spinning Retreat

My last post showed the beautiful Bed and Breakfast estate where our three day spinning retreat was held. The retreat was conducted by Beth Smith of the Spinning Loft in Michigan. Her parents own the B & B. This post will show you what happens when you put a group of fiber-a-holics in an elegant setting! The "perfect cop" above was spindle spun by Naomi.
Beth and her daughter Chelsea had brought all sorts of fibery goodness from her shop for us to caress. Our workshop involved lessons about individual breeds of sheep, and we received fiber from that breed that we could card and spin to become familiar with each breed. I always thought a sheep was a sheep, but Beth showed us that each breed's fiber is different and we can choose a fiber that compliments our goal yarn.
Yes, we really made a mess. But we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The following picture is a Charkha wheel. Remember seeing pictures of Ghandi? He used this type of wheel to spin cotton for weaving garments. He also used spindles all the time. I wanted to give it a try but was afraid I'd break it as it looked delicate (but really wasn't). I love the portability of it in the box.
My friend Kim had never spun before and learned to draft beautifully during the weekend. Here she is focusing on her "park and draft" method. It's so relaxing.
Here are some pictures of busy people making yarn samples.
Of course we had to purchase some of the fun fibery goodness and toys that Beth and Chelsea brought from Michigan. After all, we didn't want them to bear the horrible burden of taking too much back home with them. So we lined up and and were happy to be doing a good deed.
Here is Chelsea working hard. I think we might have put her through college with what we spent! Well, perhaps not but we made the effort!
Here is fun Michelle showing off her new hat. Notice the neat knitted water bottle cozy.
That is water, isn't it?
Our classes were held in the morning and in the afternoon we received lessons about tools and other things. Here is Beth giving us information about drum carders.
Our delicious meals were held in the formal dining room. It seated all twenty of us quite well. Notice the fabulous carved buffet on the side of the room.
It was so relaxing to sit and spin and learn, and leave our trails of fibery goodness all over the house. But as most fiber enthusiasts are also packrats (in a good way) we took everything with us when we left. There only remained bits of fluff on the carpets for Cookie to vacuum. And she did, returning the estate back to normalcy by Monday afternoon. Thanks for putting up with us Cookie!


Alice ~ Folk Art Primitives said...

It looks and sounds like a great weekend!! My friend and I went to a fiber show recently and it is like a smorgasbord of beautiful yarns, and rovings and fleece!! I like to hook with all of the above ~ and bought some fleece to dye!! So I know you had a great time being with people who do what you love!

WoolenSails said...

That was a nice retreat, between the accommodations and the spinning, lots of fun. I will stick to buying yarn, I need another hobby, like a hole in the head;)


Angela said...

What an awesome time of fellowship you must have had! Refreshing for the mind and the spirit.