The spinner's retreat hosted by the Spinners and Weavers of Imperial Calcasieu Guild in Moss Bluff, LA is one of our favorite shows. Most of the attendants we see only on this weekend, some of the others we also see in Destin, FL in January. It's a great group of people - full of fun and bubbling over with talent, experience and enthusiasm. We always come away with new ideas and incredible motivation to do more ourselves.
The retreat is held at the St. Charles Catholic Retreat Center which has clean spartan rooms, great water pressure, good food and a very calm ambiance. The meeting room is open day and night so enthusiastic spinners can just sit and spin and spin and spin. It's wonderful.
We sell a lot of fiber at this show but we have some great competition. Christy of Christy's Fibers always has lovely hand dyed fiber and we always bring some home with us!
We teach everyone who asks how to spin. Lynette was pretty good to begin with and just needed a little encouragement.
Here I am warping and new 15" Cricket loom with some cottolin yarn for kitchen towels. I'll post some pictures when I get some more of the weaving finished.
I came away from this year's retreat with two great new ideas. First of all are the small rigid heddle pieces that can be mixed up and put in the frame so you can have sections of the warp threaded through a 12 dent reed and other parts in a 5 dent reed. It has lots of possibilities. For example, you could put wide ribbon in the center of a scarf with fine yarn at either edge. I've already ordered several pieces of each of the 5, 8, 10 and 12 dents per inch. I'll post some pictures when I get the tools.
The second great new idea is a loom made by Saori. Saori is a Japanese company that makes a small, light weight counter-balance loom that is easy for anyone and everyone to use. It has only two treadles and includes a bobbin winder, closes up easily and is perfect for plain weave using lots of different weft options. Again, I'll post pictures when I can get some.