Sunday, June 22, 2008

Virginia City Fiber Arts Retreat

I have had such a wonderful week at the Fiber Arts Retreat in Virginia City. I don't want to bore you to tears, but I probably will. First of all, the facility is in the old hospital from the 1870s silver boom.

It's such a lovely place, but like all non-
profits, they struggle for funding. The building is very old and it desperately needs a rich uncle. The caretaker lives in the 600 square-foot pest house out back, and we left her infected, oh yes we did, with the fiber-arts bug. She has scouted out a fleece and drop spindle. Clearly, this a visceral venue for a fiber arts retreat.
As a hospital, these are the main stairs and we assume that somehow the wounded were carried up them to the ward where the current studio is now, since the surgery was at the lower level. There are secondary stairs, not used anymore, that the sisters used in their daily patient care. After running up and down the stairs for my dye pot, indigo, reducer, towels and wool, I have decided I know why they are called Sisters of Mercy. They get to the end of one of those runs of the stairs, and they declare - "Mercy!" Remember that this is at 6,000 feet. The first year I attended, I brought my 24" Gilmore, which Ian and another husband had to carry up the stairs, like a patient. Afterwards, Ian said, "Please don't do that again."
Oddly, we seemed to be a clutch of Lundrum Hens, all except the two anomalies, not shown. Though my wheel isn't pictured, I was finally able to get my super-fast flier to work - big $$igh. Lindsey asked Sara to teach us to spin silk - ooh my. I tried, I did, I did, and I'm going to need to practice at home because I'm such a silk klutz. Speaking of practice at home, Sue V brought her accordian and practiced her lessons in her room. I guess she thought we couldn't hear her, but it added a new and delightfully fun element to the retreat experience.
We work our tails off all day, except we think we're having fun, and we laugh an awful lot - a sinful lot, but that's because we're kinda that way. The word "work" doesn't enter into our vocabulary. We finish the day like this.
And this. More boredom to come~

8 comments:

Margene said...

It looks like a lovely retreat! Spinning silk is hard until you get the hang of it. I'm still trying, too.

bspinner said...

Looks like great fun!! So lucky to have a lovely site for your retreat. I'm jealous!

Birdsong said...

OK, where do I sign up for next year? I'm willing to cough up the deposit right now - I don't want to miss out! Spending a week in Virginia City with all of you would be fun enough, but adding fiber makes it close to heaven.

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

I wish I could afford to go, already have plans to spend lots of money next year on BSG and SOAR in Bend Oregon in October... You want to plan to ride with me to SOAR? Maybe we can Mim to go along too?

Tina T-P said...

looks like you had a great weekend. Maybe you could turn that piece that you cut off your loom into hot pads or coasters or something - it's too beautiful to send to the dumpster! T.

Robin said...

Looks wonderful! Cool building - the architecture is a bit different that I would have expected in your area. I'm with you on those stairs -- UGH! I love seeing Lendrums so well represented. Glad you had fun!!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Wow, a whole WEEK at a fiber retreat? That is as remote a dream as spending a week at a rustic resort in Mexico doing next to nothing but relax. Oh, wait, I got to do that! Well, maybe that means that SOMEday, I might get to attend a fiber retreat, too! When I'm a widow and my son is grown and on his own....

Just read the rest of the comments. What is this about SOAR in Bend, OR in October? How do I learn more?

wooly daisy said...

if i sell enough rovings this year--i really want to go next year- can i go even though i don't have a lendrum?