Thursday, March 7, 2013

Incredible

That's all I can say about that; the Hansen miniSpinner retreat I went to at the beginning of this week in Port Townsend, WA.  Fifteen people with miniSpinners, Beth and Kevin Hansen, Judith MacKenzie in the flesh (!) and a picturesque little old town.  Doesn't get much better than that.

I caught the noon ferry from Edmonds, WA for the half hour to Kingston.  After that I had about an hour's drive to my destination.  Not a bad journey, and the scenery was beautiful.  Quite a few of us had decided to visit Taylored Fibers, so we carpooled to their farm.  We saw sheep (I think this one is a CVM)

and sheep butts.



We saw the big carding machine that Barry Taylor uses to make beautiful rovings, which he dyes.  Many of us came away from this room with bags of fiber.  I'm planning to make a sweater with the CVM/Merino/Silk blend that I got.


We went back to town to get ready for the evening get-together.  This is the stately old hotel where we stayed.  It was very comfortable, except for being a bit chilly.  The main source of heat in the rooms was a gas stove and I was hesitant to turn it up too high.  We didn't spend much time in our rooms, so that really wasn't much of a problem.



That evening we had wine, lots of snacks, and got to know each other.  I was lucky enough to win an ounce of Pygora fiber from Rainbow Farms.  I wrote about this stuff in my Madrona post...and now I have more!  It will be fun to spin it together with something else to make a soft, yummy yarn.  After that, we listened to a presentation by Kevin explaining some history of the Hansens and the origins of the miniSpinner.  Very interesting.

Monday morning we arrived at our classroom ready to go.  We all set up our spinners and then were overwhelmed (at least I was) at the wealth of knowledge that is Judith MacKenzie.  Seriously, if I remember .02% of what she told us, I'll be doing well.  I could listen to her for hours and hours.

Here she is with the "ring of fiber" from which we got to choose.  Way to start a day!





Monday and Tuesday we worked all day with a lunch break.




Kevin taught us some wheel maintenance, then Judith taught us about spinning techniques, how to spin different fibers, how to blend fibers and colors, different ways to ply.....you name it.  We would watch her and then try it ourselves.  Some people were more successful than others.  Please don't mention the word cotton to me; I get all twitchy.

Monday evening we came back for a presentation and hands-on "playtime" with all sorts of equipment with which to blend fibers.  Blending boards, hand cards, drum carders.....  Here is a group standing around watching Judith make beautiful fiber out of a bunch of scraps.  Artists....so amazing.



We had a lovely buffet lunch in the classroom every day.  Here's Beth getting it ready for us.



And here's Judith demonstrating long draw for a video that Beth was taking.  I love my photo of the person taking her own photo.



 Sunday and Monday were beautiful but by Tuesday evening when I left, the rain had returned.  I caught the evening ferry back towards home tired but very happy.  A wonderful experience that I highly recommend.  Nice people, great teachers, an amazing time.












1 comment:

NadaLottaRanch said...

When I see all that beautiful fiber I just want to felt it onto a bar of soap...even the stuff the sheep are still wearing lol :) Maybe one day we will have some fiber critters around the farm...