I have, for the first time, been participating in fiber retreats. Last month I took the ferry to Port Townsend (above) and joined the miniSpinner retreat taught by Judith MacKenzie.
My goal in participating was to learn how to vary my spinning techniques with the spinner. And I did spin a variety of fibers and yarns in the class.
This is the first skein of experimental yarn I spun.
This is the second even more experimental skein I spun.
And I spun some painted wool given in the class in my more traditional manner.
And then this weekend I went to Whidbey Island to attend Fair Isle Knitting and Spinning Retreat with Elizabeth Johnston and Martha Owen. This is Elizabeth sorting a white Shetland fleece.
The first day we dyed Shetland wools of various colors with natural dyes (onion skins, log wood, and cochineal). Here are the dyes fleeces drying.
We hand carded the wool and prepared rolags and then spun wool using long draw woolen style. We started with the natural colored wools.
And then Saturday we moved on to the dyed wool. Here are Denise’s dyed rolags.
We blended the dyed and natural colors on hand cards to make additional shades of yarn. Here are some of the colors on my bobbin.
We then needed to get all of our color samples plied, skein, washed and dried by this morning. Here are most of my skeins drying on the bathroom shower rack last night.
Today we knit our yarns using Fair Isle patterns into small bags. Here is my miniBag drying upside down on a can lid.
I have learned a lot of new fibery techniques in these two retreats and have expanded my repertoire.