A Weekend of Knitting and Brotherhood

This past weekend I attended my fourth <a href=”http://www.mensknittingretreat.com/”&gt; Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat </a>. This retreat, now in its sixth year, has become the official start of my “fiber season”. There are other events that happen earlier like the Chancellor’s Sheep and Wool Showcase in Clermont, Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival, and even the Washington County Fiber Tour. I have yet to make it to any of those. From the time registration for the retreat opens around the beginning of the year, my focus is on one thing only, spending a weekend with the most amazing and talented men I have ever met.

Early morning in the great room of the lodge, our main gathering space.

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Off to the Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat

My car is mostly packed, and I’m off to the Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat for the rest of the weekend, held at Easton Mountain in Washington County. It’s a beautiful time of year there and the weather for the weekend looks great. This event is something that many of us start thinking about as soon as we get home from the previous one.

I’ll have more to say about it next week, and we’ll do Saturday morning spinning there. You’ll also get to read a lot more about the cool new wheel you see there in the back of my car. It just arrived yesterday.

Saturday Morning Spinning in an unusually quiet house

Good morning and Happy Saturday! I hope you’re all doing well. Things here are a little different this weekend. We lost our oldest dog this week. Lili was 17 and in failing health, and it was clearly time for us to do what all pet owners dread having to do. She was already old when she came to live with four years ago, but she was the sweetest little girl and feisty too. We all miss her very much. There are only our two dogs in the house this morning with us, and it seems so quiet.

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Saturday Morning…Plying

April 6, 2013

I’m always amazed when I see what my handspun yarns look like when they are plied. It’s kind of like blocking a lace project when that strange looking pile of knitting suddenly transforms before your eyes. Three bobbins of singles which on close inspection do have their own flaws and inconsistencies that I could go on and on about (yes, I’m my own worst critic) come together into one beautiful even yarn. A two ply yarn would probably have been just as lovely, but I like the extra roundness and evenness that the addition of the third ply provides.

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Flip-flopping on fiber prep

August 23, 2012

Early on as a spinner I thought how fun it would be to spin fiber that started as a raw fleece. Then I washed my first fleece in the bathtub at home. It was a bag of wool that I got for free from a sheep farm in Vermont. It turned out to be lovely wool, but the washing process isn’t exactly exciting. Also, after seeing what was left behind in my tub afterwards, I wasn’t too thrilled about the cleaning up process after cleaning the wool. Not to mention that I was forbidden to ever wash another sheep’s fleece in the tub again.

Raw fleece will make a mess of your bathtub. Trust me.

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The scarf project I can FINALLY blog about!

I’m still processing my thoughts and feelings on the Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat, so before I attempt to re-cap the weekend in a way that does it the justice it deserves, I thought I’d write a little bit about what I’ve referred to in the past as the “scarf project that I cannot blog about.”

At last year’s Spring Knitting Retreat, I volunteered to organize a fiber to scarf exchange amongst some of the guys who attended and planned to attend again this year. Each guy participating in the exchange supplied an amount of fiber that was sent out to another guy participating in the exchange to be spun and knit (or crocheted or woven or any other manner of construction) into a scarf, cowl, neck warmer, or other “scarf like” object for the guy who supplied the fiber. Continue reading “The scarf project I can FINALLY blog about!”