Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Winter Fiber Retreat Recap

I had great fun participating in the winter Fiber Retreat held last weekend here in Asheville & hosted by Friends and Fiberworks, a local yarn shop and fiber community center.  Lisa and a corps of dedicated fiber enthusiasts have taken a lease on a large store in a mall that has been 'asleep' for the past few years.  I'm not sure why, but this shopping mall has never done well.  It has a good location, the space is attractive, but it's sort of ...well...quiet.

But last weekend it was the site of the Winter Fiber Retreat, a gathering of knitters, spinners, felt makers, dyers, animal enthusiasts of all stripes.  There were great vendors, amazing classes, and cool people all around.  From Chad Alice Hagen to Jazz Turtle Esther Rogers, Kimberly Nicdao Reynolds from Knittters Magazine, we had wonderful instructors.  Wild Hare Fibers, Earth Guild, Creatively Dyed, Hooked on Felt - those were just a few of the very tempting vendors.  

My classes went very well.  Crockpot dyeing (all 3  sessions) was a hit and all my talented students made beautiful multicolored roving.  The 2 knitting classes were a pleasure.  Although small, each student got started knitting a lovely hat and has the confidence to knit on.  I really enjoyed teaching and am preparing a proposal for SAFF as well as the Summer Retreat.

I didn't take a lot of pictures.  I just forgot.  But if you go to Friends& Fiberwork Facebook page, you'll see plenty more, including the vendors, the fashion show, the Saturday night band (Buncombe Turnpike) and lots of fun and sillyness.

There were a few hiccups.  The weather the preceding week was awful - cold and about a foot of snow and that hurt attendance.  The fleece to shawl event didn't happen.  A late start and a warping error meant that already busy and stressed people just couldn't pull it off.  Oh well, lesson learned.  The live animals in the mall were quite a shock for the mall management, particularly when the llamas ...um...fell in love.  I missed it, but I heard it drew quite a crowd.

But it was a lot of fun and the whole event had a very positive vibe.  So much so that a Summer Retreat is already in the planning stages.  And I can't wait!

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