So I missed Yarn Candy Monday yesterday... what with all of the excitement of the weekend, the relief of arriving home and planting my derriere on the sofa, and then the annoyance of an ugly headache that lasted a seriously long time... I am really just beginning to process this weekend's unreal experience.
I do the majority of my spinning and knitting at home, Where there are no other knitters or spinners. Not that I wouldn't like to share and work together with other artists, I just hadn't been lucky enough to find a group yet. I work on projects with my Mom, and JB, and a few other people I've met, but nothing I had before seen prepared me adequately for the "Retreat" experience.
There was a SEA of wheels. 103 wheels and just as many spinners. Throughout the conference room, and the entire hotel really, there was an overwhelming sense of family and acceptance. The intensity of the whole thing was hard to describe. Everywhere you looked... there were ladies wearing beautiful handknit garments - that you know they must have crafted themselves, given the circumstances. There was laughter, and learning, and food, and fun. In the outside world, I often feel like I am unusual in my love for all things fiber, like "regular" people think that I am crazy for wanting to do the things that I love, but in that room I was normal.
At one point, I was wandering through the gallery of vendors and realized I was holding a braid of silk fiber close to my chest, feeling it's softness and admiring it's vibrant color... and when I looked around me to see if anyone had noticed, I realized that there were several other people doing the exact same thing. I got down on my hands and knees on the floor to paw through bags of raw fleece, breathing in the light scent of hay and sheep, only to realize that another spinner was doing the same thing... with just as big of a smile on. There was inspiration and encouragement everywhere. Such acceptance and enthusiasm I have never felt in a room of complete strangers.
At the Saturday night Banquet, one spinner wore an Orenburg Lace shawl (Yes, a REAL one, the absolute real deal). I nearly lost my mind. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen... shining, etherial, and as light as a dream. My jaw was completely on the floor. (along with everyone else who knew what it actually was) She let me touch it. I could tell how proud she was of it, a piece of history and a garment of such extreme beauty and luxury. I felt awed and inspired in the same breath.
I met some wonderful people in our little spinning circle... Betty Ann, Lois, Heather, Anne, Joan, Donna, Daphne, Nancy and Hannah from Maine, Chantelle who offered me a place to stay in her lovely home, Heidi who taught me to needle felt little rabbits, and the ever energetic organizers of the event Elaine and Louise, and so many more people than I can remember names for... You were all wonderful, and I am very grateful to have met and spun with you all!
I feel like I just can't tell the stories and do them justice... and I can't remember all of the things that made the place wonderful... The weekend is a blur in my memory, but none of the great experiences will be forgotten.
I clearly did not take enough pictures... but here are a few that I managed to find :)
this is only ONE half of the room... during setup. I wished I had remembered to take more photos with everyone working...
My little needle-felted Bunny :)
Dyed Mohair locks and a new WPI Gauge
2 lb of raw Shetland... one of the cleanest fleece's I've felt!
Mountain Colors Targhee Top... in the colors of the Caribbean Ocean
Waterloo Wools Seacell and Merino Blend
Waterloo Wools Silk and Merino Blend