Monday, May 5, 2014

Weekend Mountain Retreat

I was so lucky to be invited to join a group of hand spinners for their retreat this weekend. 

Now, I'm not a spinner. My Little Sailor The Fiberisto tried time and again to teach me to use his Ashford "Joy" spinning wheel. Using a spinning wheel is kind of like of like patting your head, rubbing your tummy and chewing gum -- all at the same time. 

I found his drop spindle while packing yarn for the weekend. Friend Mary patiently showed me how to work it. And I spun about two yards of alpaca fiber left over from making thrummed mittens,

The most fun was dyeing yarn with master-dyer Peggy Doney. The theme for the weekend was "Italy," so Peggy chose dye colors that evoke the Italian countryside. Here's some yarn in progress by Julie:

Here are the finished products, drying in the sunshine:

That mostly-white skein on the top row is mine. I can't wait to see how it knits up! I've washed it and wound it into a center-pull ball:

Here's a close up of the second skein I dyed. Aren't the colors rich?

It was a lovely location:

The sound of the rushing water is so soothing. 

A herd of elk provided free entertainment. They had moved off to the forest before I got my camera out, but they were close by mornings and evenings.

What a perfect weekend in the mountains!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature


  1. Spinning... I have two POUNDS of merino wool roving, some of which I have dyed w food coloring and used in my lap loom weavings. I NEED to get a drop spindle and teach myself how to do it... I have seen young children doing it so it must be a very basic fine motor skill that can be learned by almost anyone so...

  2. Looks fabulously inspiring!!!

  3. Well I can't see me doing anything like that any time soon but I love the colours of your second lot of dyed wool. Gorgeous. I'll be interested to see what you make with it!

  4. I tried spinning many years ago too - but I will add that place to my bucket list for when I win millions...I don't intend to spin - I would dye stuff - but really I just want the view.

  5. what marvellous fun, I would have loved to do some dyeing.

  6. Jealous of your dyeing fun. Have a ton of natural yarn from happening across a yard sale where the woman's mother used to own a local yarn shop. Do you have a great pattern for your thrummed mittens? Have been wanting to make a pair.


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