This past weekend I had the privilege of going to a Winter Knitting Retreat with a close friend. Wool, Warp and Wheel in Richmond, IL puts on a fun-filled weekend for knitters of all ages every year at The Little Switzerland Inn in McGregor, IA.
Those of us who were fortunate enough to go had loads of fun learning and sharing new techniques with our fellow knitting friends. We had the opportunity to walk through the Fiber Festival held in McGregor the same weekend, where there were many vendors presenting their craft and selling treasures of all kinds.
One of the highlights of the trip for me was learning how to spin my own yarn on a drop spindle. Eva (pictured at left) was my patient and gracious teacher. She was busy spinning some gorgeous turquoise silk on her portable spinning wheel, when she asked if I would like to learn how to spin. I wasn’t going to pass up that opportunity! So she let me use her spindle and some of her wool roving and she took me through the steps of preparing the roving for spinning, called pre-drafting, to spinning the yarn in the correct directions, and to finally plying the yarn. It was so much fun… and addictive!
I also had time to try out steeking for the first time on a fair isle sweater I had set aside for several years. It was very nerve-racking at first to cut right into the knitting I had so painstakingly done for so many hours, but thankfully I had the support of my fellow knitters encouraging me! Everything turned out fine, and now all I need to do is pick up stitches for the collar and arms to finish off this fun sweater. The picture at the left shows the already cut center steek for the v-neck on this sweater.
I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to go to a knitting retreat, to not pass it up. It is a great time to share with other knitters and learn something fun and new! Let’s keep up the tradition of this time-honored craft!