I’ve just returned from a lovely weekend in Ohio. I was teaching at Stringtopia in Lebanon and held at the Golden Lamb Hotel which is Ohio’s oldest operating hotel. If I remember correctly it was established in 1817 and lots of well known people have stayed there, including Sara Lamb and Abby Franquemont and Shelly Kilgallen!

I was teaching about breeds and fine spinning and drafting and longwools. The students were great, the venue was great and my room mate was great.

There were students from all over the United States and even from Canada. I took no photos. I am the worst of the bloggers. When I am teaching I am focused on the teaching and the students and all of the happiness in the room and the camera is the last thing I think about. Take my word that this retreat is fabulous and next April, if you can, you should attend.

In my breeds study class on Friday was RebeccaG from California! I lent her a wheel and she made me sheep! I love these guys so much.  There is a Jacob and a Wensleydale and a Shetland and a Zwartbles as well as a fantastic Border Collie. I may bring them to the shop once in a while but I think they will live near me in my room.


The thing that happened before I left for Ohio is that Kathryn Alexander came over to show us things. I had been asking for a few years for her to come to Michigan but she doesn’t leave her horses (who she loves) very often. The class was just as wonderful as I thought it would be and I learned a ton about twist and how it affects fabrics.

The students, including me, were learning and spinning and knitting and learning some more.  Tagging and notes were quite necessary.

No idea what’s going on here but Roxanne looks scared!

Our class materials were presented in a beautiful box. We felt well taken care of .

This was our first swatch knit from singles with a dormant twist which we then activated by washing. See that slant? That’s before washing. My hands were warm and they began to activate the twist.

This is after the bath. A bit more slant. Swatching in these cases is imperative.

This is the yarn I made and washed. I really do love lace made from singles.

These two yarns were spun in opposite directions. It is a knit 4 purl 4 rib but the opposite twist just makes the stitches lean with no pulling in. Imagine this as a cuff or a sweater hem.

And this is a bit of entrelac which makes these swirly things because the swatch was knit with active twist. Also, I learned to knit backwards to avoid turning the knitting every 4 stitches!

While Kathryn was in Michigan I showed her a good time. We went to the Western Wear store where she found a fantastic pair of boots.

And she tried on my favorite tiara. I can’t say enough wonderful things about Kathryn as a person and as a teacher. She was knowledgeable and fun and had the samples to back up what she was saying so we could see the things in person. She also had a great sense of humor because I couldn’t stop teasing her.

In three weekends i will be teaching at the Carolina Fiber Fest. There are still openings if you are in the area and want to take classes with lots of samples and lots of fun. Signups are over on May 11th so check it out.

Also, The Rhinebeck registrations are open and I will be teaching a few classes there this October. Check it out!

The other thing I wanted to mention was my favorite podcast. Hopefully you’ve all heard of  it but if you haven’t give it a listen. It’s called SpinDoctor.  It is hosted by Sasha Torres who is funny and smart and right on in her assessment of most things (except when I don’t agree:-). There is a new part called Out for a Spin when she chats with Jillian Moreno. Jillian is the Editor of Knittyspin and also posts on Tuesdays on the Knitty Blog. The two of them are great fun and are usually the boss of me.

If you are looking for something fun to listen to when you are spinning the SpinDoctor Podcast is the place to go.

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