Annual Spinners’ Retreat: LSD 2015 Mennorode

I just got back. It was a lovely weekend!
I’ll show you some pictures, in non-logical sequence…

This is the project I brought with me, artistically photographed in my room:

One single of fulled handspun and one Wollmeise Lacegarn in colourway Grand Mère. It’s going to be a hat with an original construction…
On its own the handspun knits up with the colours all heathered but combined like this they get a stage to shine one.

It’s that handspun I knitted a Shapeshifter from. Which I’ve never worn after I took the photos of the finished object...
I frogged it to use the yarn in -yet- something else because I adore this yarn.

This is my room. I like it! I wore my green legwarmers to show to everybody:

We had tea at arrival and I was reminded of my little black kitten:

My room is really nice! I rested there a few times during the day. I brought wool.

We spend many hours spinning together:

I did a workshop Art Yarn Spinning but I didn’t do so well. It was great fun though and the teacher was very good.

To sit more comfortably I brought my cushion to the workshop, knitted in the Freestyle way promoted by artist Mary Walker Phillips:

This approach to knitting I like very much. It’s interesting to do as it’s both technical and playful. It’s a pity I don’t have need for many lacy planes in my home…

Back in the main room it was so fun to see all the different wheels! We were with about 85 spinners on Friday and on Saturday there were 250!

The second part of the workshop was about learning to add beads to your thread, without stringing them on first. This I could do:

Even very big beads because my wheel has a delta flyer for an orifice hook and yarn hooks that are open on one side.

During the Friday and Saturday I spun and plied some of my green handdyed BFL roving:

Torn in small strips which only need a little twist but not much drafting (keeps the colours intense). Going for worsted weight yarn: spinning this way will get you from 100 gram roving to 100 gram yarn in 24 hours.

On Saturday and Sunday I did the same with my beautiful “little piglet from the hedge row”, the Hedgehog Corriedale:

 (some spinning as done in my room, before breakfast)

The plying was finished while we were drinking the last cup of tea before we all headed home again.

I don’t know about the meterage yet, I have to skein both yarns and set the twist. I think they’ll both become legwarmers. I love legwarmers.

Oh! On Saturday night my spinning wheel snare broke! I lost the option to use my gear but I could go on spinning, I just had to peddle more with my feet.
You can “glue” the band together again, with heat. I’ll do it when I get home.
Otherwise I can’t spin my Merino Silk mix from Passe-Partout! It’s still on this wheel but I didn’t bring the rocing to the weekend because I want to savour every moment of spinning those moonbeams.

Each year we get a little bit of surprise fibre from the National Spinners’ Organisation. This year it’s this interesting mix of colours:

All merino. Colour designed by Passe-Partout.
We got this colour and a dark variation, with purple and black. But I preferred this one and swapped with someone who like the purple better.

I think I’ll tear this roving in small strips also. Lengthwise.
Another way to preserve colours (through minimal drafting) is spinning from the fold. But that yields too thin a single to my taste.

This is probably the 5th year I attend this weekend now and I’ve always had to stay the night. This was the first year that I slept like a baby. Mind, I did bring some things to make my room my own:

There’s my own low light alarm clock. And the felted throw you know. I use it as an underlayer because this venue has a plastic sheet over the matras. For hygienic reasons I’m sure. But it doesn’t breathe and makes lying on it for more than a few hours very uncomfortable.
Lying on wool (felt) is VERY comfortable! (I’m also often cold in bed and this matras cover is a good help)

There’s some chocolate, my own mug, a cat magazine, my iPad and my ear mufflers. What you cannot see is the glorious beech tree right outside my window.
Behind it stands the wifi antenna, a large antenna emitting a strong Electric Magnetic Field (EMF). In previous years this EMF had me bouncing of the walls during the night, not able to settle down. That’s why I brought my EMF-shielding silver cloth this year. I slept wrapped in it, from head to toe. I wore my bed-hat (handspun yak with a tiny yellow moon for a pompom) and this keeps the EMF-cloth away from my face.
What I said: like a baby! From 23 to 6 o’clock, solid sleep.

During the weekend my husband kept me up to date how he was juggling the three cats in the cabin:

On Saturday morning there was a market at which we could by wool and tools and books and trinkets. For my birthday I had gotten a sealed envelope, addressed to me and Passe-Partout. It contained the means to buy these:

More moonbeams!

Wonderful Merino / Mulberry Silk mix, handdyed by Passe-Partout.
What a treat!

There was a little money left and I bought some Mulberry silk balls, handdyed by Iboy from Iboy’s Mohair:

That right one, isn’t it just like Labradorite?! I’ve been wearing my necklace all weekend, feeling very stylish AND in touch with mountains and water.

At dinner we had to wait a bit for our food… what’s a girl to do? I know what knitters do:

I send this picture to my husband who promptly replied that someone else was waiting for their food too:

On Sunday Morning I joined the nature walk with someone from the protective council. It was a lovely misty morning:

We saw rare things like marter’s poo and this sponge mushroom. It’s edible but a lot of grit nestles into the folds.

Wild boars had roamed and plowed the ground everywhere. We even found a muddy patch where they bathe. You could see the indentations of their bodies. These are big beasts!

Ink-mushrooms, used to make ink in earlier times:

This forest is beautiful. So many small tableaux of nature:

And the big displays of nature, with large trees and miles of tranquil nature:

It was a Sunday in a religious part of the country so it was also nice and quiet. Except from that one person taking a brisk walk through the mist, singing the Lord’s praises. We couldn’t see him but we surely heard him.

Who knew a dung beetle had this gorgeous colour?

More gorgeous colours and textures:

A purple mushroom, probably a Clitocybe nuda but is has a bit of a weird shape. Our guide had his pockets filled with paper field guides and a little mirror and all sorts of things but he said he had left his biggest mushroom book at home, which contains 50.000 species, so he couldn’t say for sure.

In Dutch this mushroom is called “paarse schijnridderzwam” and I’m not sure how that translates. “Purple shining knight toadstool”? The word “schijn” is both “shine” and “mimic” in English. So who knows, is this a purple knight in disguise or is he beaming on the forest floor? He looks velvet-y.

This boring white mushroom is filled with arsenic. You eat this one, you die:

The Medici family in Renaissance Italy used these to feed their enemies, our guide said.

After the walk there was time for a little bit more spinning, we were with 50 people now I think. Most of them had already gone to lunch:

What a beauty!

When I came home I was greeted by cats. One hadn’t been fed all weekend, or so he said.

Morning mist in the forest:


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