What a weekend! I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for the last two months. I signed up for Studio Retreat 66 in March and this event truly delivered. The 3-day retreat from Friday to Sunday was a whirlwind of weaving, spinning, knitting, quilting, basket making, origami, beading, and most of all dyeing. Just the dye was worth the price of admission. The cabin was modern and spacious, the view of the mountain (still plenty of snow) was spectacular, and the food was fresh and delicious. I was expecting the rustic accommodations (no heat, no bathroom, and no electricity inside the cabins) that I experienced in the Middle East Dance/Music camp in Mendocino a few years back, so this is a huge upgrade with all the modern conveniences. As a bonus, the staff were gracious and eager to please. The organizers of the retreat did a great job and I commence them for taking a huge financial risk. I hope that this inaugural retreat is a success so the fiber folks in southern California can look forward to more gatherings in the years ahead.
Of course, it would be a lot nicer if I have photos to show you what I’m taking about. But, I was negligence for taking the camera without taking the Secured Digital card. Alas, no photos! I’ll update this post to include links to sites with photos for this event.
The best part of the retreat is the Dye in Crockpot sessions taught by Kathleen Waln. We were given rovings and three tiny pouches of dye power in light, medium and dark shades that were selected by the organizers. The dye job could not be any easier. Just sprinkle the dye power directly on the the dry rovings, add water, vinegar, add more rovings, more dye power, so on. Everyone was encouraged to believe in the power of the dye goddess and let nature take its course. I am ecstatic with the end result as seen below. It is a combination of Prochem’s Brilliant Blue, Terracotta and Yellow. The base fiber is partially blended white and black Blue Faced Leicester.
I left Studio 66 Retreat Sunday early in the wee hours of the morning to attend Michael Cook‘s class on silk reeling sponsored by my weaving guild, the Southern California Handweaver’s Guild. I missed Saturday’s class because of the retreat, but I wanted to attend both events. We worked together as teams to take the silk fiber from the cocoon and spin into silk threads. The process is not as complicated as I thought, but it does requires some deftly maneuvers that are quite awkward for the novices. But we all got out silk spun at the end of the day and were elated with our successes.