Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Spinning weekend

The spinning retreat begins on Friday afternoon and ends on Sunday afternoon. It's not long enough. I had a great time.

I decided to stop at The Mannings on the way to Wilson College for the spinning weekend. I called ahead to verify that they had Lendrum bobbins in stock and when they said yes, I set up my route to take me past the store and then on to the college. I am proud of myself for thinking of a way to save the shipping on the bobbin purchase and still not make a special trip to the store (which is not in my neighborhood) to get the replacement bobbin. I usually don't plan that far ahead. I picked up some dyes and a bobbin for someone else who needed it and then got back on the road to the college.

Wilson College has a beautiful campus and at this time of year, with the trees turning red and brown and orange, it can be breathtaking.  The drive went well and the trees all around provided me with lots to look at. I arrived, unpacked spinning and knitting stuff in the gathering room and then carted my personal belongings to the room. It's a basic dorm room, bathroom down the hall, and basic dorm food. Facilities are not why we go there.

We gathered and spun and chatted, catching up on events and families and whatever else we wanted to talk about. I don't see most of these people during the year - just at the retreat - so there is a lot for me to catch up on. The theme this year was silk, and we received our bag of goodies on Friday night. It included some tussah silk, some silk hankies, some silk noil and a few cocoons. All of the fiber was natural in color. On Saturday some of us tried dyeing the silk with Koolaid. I brought my tussah and hankies home to try my new Mother MacKenzie dyes on them but tried the koolaid on the silk noil. The colors are fine but I didn't have enough room in the bowls to get good coverage with the dye powder, so I will have to go back and add more koolaide now that I am home. There is way too much white on that fiber still. I hope to be able to blend it with some wool and get an interesting effect.

Everyone brings a snack for the goodie table, and one of the attractions of the weekend is to sample some of everything. More and more people are bringing healthy foods rather than just cakes and cookies, so it's not as bad as it sounds. ; )  There were some very yummy goodies on that table .....

The weather was so nice that many of us took our spinning and/or knitting outdoors on Saturday. There is a nice patio there that we made use of for a couple of hours, soaking up the sunshine and vitamin D. It was actually heat that drove me back inside after a while!

Show and tell was fun - people bring and talk about different projects they worked on over the last year. I am awed by the talent and interest in learning new things that is apparent in that group of experienced fiber people. Each person walked around for a while, checking out other people's projects and asking questions or asking for instructions. Everyone was free with help and information.

Sunday is always bittersweet - one more morning to spin and chat, have brunch, but then it's time to pack up and go home. : (

The drive home was great, too. No traffic hangups and great scenery to entertain my eyes while I listened to my audio book. I am sorry - I took absolutely no pictures while I was there despite having brought my camera.

What did I accomplish while I was there? It was a spinning weekend, after all. I finished spinning my first Grafton Batt and started the second. I sampled some other fibers that were there for us to play with, but none of them really did anything for me. I spun some silk hankies (that I had brought from home), switching from spindle to wheel spinning,  and instructed others on how to draft silk hankies for spinning or knitting. I spun my silk (from home that I have been working on for a while) on the spindle outside on Saturday. I did some knitting on the new shawl and a bit on Rob's sweater, too. All in all, it was a great weekend. To top it off, Monday was a holiday!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fun weekend!


EGunn said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend! It's so much fun to spend time with people that are curious to learn and interested in the same things.

I sympathize with the camnesia...I am notoriously bad at taking photos of fiber events. Between not liking to post pictures of people (unless I'm really sure they don't mind), and not wanting to take photos of other people's work without permission, I end up taking almost no pictures at all. Some things are meant to be experienced, anyway. Documentation is secondary. =)

Karen Frisa said...

I loved reading your write-up -- really brought back memories!! And believe it or not I'd forgotten about the table of munchies! Did JoAnne bring those chocolate peanut butter cupcakes? YH is right; we need to figure out that teleportation machine...

Also jealous of your time at The Mannings. I miss my visits there.