Thursday, March 29, 2012

Yarn Cupboard Winter Fiber Arts Retreat

The sign that greets you upon entering
A great weekend was had by all at the Yarn Cupboard sponsored Winter Fiber Arts Retreat.  The weather was awesome, the classes were informative, the people were fiber crazy, and the setting was just perfect to get down to some major fiber crafting. 
Exploring around the retreat house...
The location of the retreat was at Christ the King Retreat House in the Scottholm area of Syracuse.  Even though the former mansion was drenched in Christian statues and other religious pieces, it just added to the tranquility of the weekend.  It was so relaxing to just hang out and spin away.  I love religious statues and what not so it was nice to explore around when I needed to stretch or if I was waiting for friends.

Walking around outside in the 70 degree weather
It was so fun to spin outside in such beautiful weather.  Usually, Syracuse is not this lucky with temperatures in the high 70's, especially during St. Patrick's day weekend.  I was expecting a ton of snow and everyone cooped up inside around a fire or something...or at the very least a rainstorm.

The side entrance of the retreat house
The retreat house was very nice inside.  It had quaint little rooms and I was lucky to have a rear view with lots of trees and foliage around.  There was a chapel inside and lots of nooks and crannies to explore around in.  There was a nice dining area, with windows all along side the wall so that you could see the trees and plant life.  Sunday morning, during breakfast, everyone saw a couple of deer trotting through the yard. I feel like being a local, I should have known about this place.  I felt a little silly not knowing this awesome location existed.
I love religious statues
Most of my time was spent making hexipuffs (shocker!) and working on my Snap Dragon fiber from Clover Leaf Farms.  Saturday, I was checking out the wares made available at the market and coming up with a game plan of what to purchase the next morning.  I didn't want to go buying willy nilly, since my funds were limited. Oh, and I also took a dyeing class with my friend, Gretchen with Jennifer Van Calcar from Holiday Yarns.

Two wheels hanging out in the nice weather
This retreat was definitely well planned and thought out.  There were itineraries for each day and a speaker from Manos del Uraguay was there Friday night.  I missed that one but I was able to be around for the fashion show, local knitter, Betty Smith, who impressed us with her cable knitting skills, and door prizes.  I won some craft gloves for when the hands start getting cramped up. 
My view of the retreat house as I sat spinning away
The market place had about eight vendors selling everything fibery from yarn to buttons to even cupcakes (maybe the cupcakes weren't fibery but you get what I mean)!  I was bummed that Spinner's Hill couldn't be there Sunday morning or I would've bought a few ounces of fiber but that's okay, I was able to try out a new vendor instead.

More of my view

Yarn dyed by me and my friend Gretchen

My skeins hang vertical

Gretchen's are horizontal

Was in a really green mood that day
I took a dye class Saturday afternoon with  my friend, Gretchen.  I was slated to take the class in the morning but it was a pretty full so when the option of switching to the afternoon class came up, I went with it.  Besides, Gretch had tried to sign up for the morning but couldn't get in because it was full.  I was glad I did, because the second round had half the number of people and we were lucky enough to get more one-on-one.  I jotted a few notes about dyeing styles and interesting facts about how color acts in a chemical form.  I am convinced that I learn something new everyday.  The atmosphere of the class was relaxing and fun.  We all had some good banter going on.  I love that!  During the dye process, I wasn't  looking into dyeing yarn as my new favorite hobby, mostly because I don't have the space/time/funds, so I just treated it like a fun art project.  I tried not to think too much about what I was doing, but I did use the color wheel a bit, whether it was correctly or not.  I did, however, gain a new appreciation for hand dyers.  Dang, what a challenging job!
Buttons from Melissa Jean Designs

Dyed skein #1 all hanked up and dried

Dyed skein #2 all hanked up and dried
Couldn't resist...

Told you I was in a green mood.
I can't tell you what my dyed skeins will be turning into, what I will put the buttons on, nor can I quite pick out the perfect project for the Manos and fiber.  But at the moment, fondling them is what's currently making me happy for now.  I can say one thing for certain, it was an awesome weekend and I will definitely want to participate next year!

Thanks, Mom and Dad!  Best Christmas gift ever!


  1. That looks like so much fun! Completely unrelated, but are you a Catholic?

  2. Yes I am! I used to be really good about going to church once a week and on holy days. I'm afraid the last couple years I've been a major slacker:-/.

  3. How cool! The pictures are beautiful, and really capture the solace of the place. The fabrics you died are very pretty too!