Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Knitting Retreat and DyePot.Com

My life is just like everyone elses ... rushing around, completing most of the items on my ToDo list, grabbing knitting time at every opportunity, taking care of business as well as home and hearth. It is hard to remember that work is designed to increase the quality of my life, round the clock, so when there is the happy co-incidence of going off for a few days of fiber fun, I take it.

That's just what I have done with a weekend up in the Alleghany mountains bordering Virginia and West Virginia, lovely rough country where the Episcopalians decided to build a retreat more than 100 years ago. There are more than twenty buildings, a couple of community dining halls, a small lake, mineral springs, rooms with no doors, playing fields within sight of the meeting rooms, lighted grounds ... really a well put-together retreat for families and groups in the beautiful commuity of Orkney Springs, Virginia.

Virginians are inordinately proud of simply being from Virginia, and we love to discover new little spots and remind ourselves how lucky we are to live in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Years ago, I spent ten years in Los Angeles. It seems like another lifetime ago, now. When people would ask me where I was from, and I'd say 'Virginia' nearly every one of them had something nice to say about my corner of the world.

But, I digress. This little knitting retreat was the third consecutive annual weekend get-away organized by Christina Parham, of http://www.dyepot.com/. There was nothing formal about the weekend, but everyone showed up with food to share, donations for drawings, and stash to share. We took tons of interesting roving -- BFL Superwash, Tencel/Merino blend, Baby Alpaca -- and some dye kits, and I made up some sample packets of three different sock yarns in one package. I took mini-sock blocker keychains, and some books from my fiber library which I knew I would never read again. The mini-sock blocker keychains sold out! and most of the books went! I don't think there were many dyers there.

Except for Christina Parham, of course. It was such a revelation to see the amount of work which one dyer can put out. I was in awe of the sheer amount of handdyed yarns and spinning fibers that she brought. Beautiful colorways, and creative names! 'Sicilian Harvest, Sweet Violet, Clay Pots, Sahara Sunset' are the ones I bought. She has a great knack of choosing just the right names for her colorways.

It made me realize how much work the handdyer actually does to produce a line of handpainted yarns or fibers. Only once have I made a big effort to supply a yarn store with a line of handdyed sock yarns, and I learned to respect the art and craft of the handdyer! No, I will leave that work up to my customers, and continue to dye for my own pleasure.

Check out Christina's website: http://www.dyepot.com/

1 comment:

NH Knitting Mama said...

Thank you for having the appreciate for what the home business dyer does. AND, thank you for carrying high quality yarns for us to dye - it sure makes life easier.