Tag Archives: Spinning retreat

Olio – May 29, 2017

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things.



Thursday we awoke to flooded creeks after a night of torrential rains.  After taking grands to school, I left hubby in charge and took off for a few days of R&R to spin at Hawk’s Nest with friends.  The New River was muddy, the clouds hung low that day but gave us beautiful weather for the other two days.  There are always critters on the lawn, lizards, raccoons, this time 4 baby groundhogs and their Mom.


I beat the rain home on Saturday night and woke to another nice day on Sunday.  My favorite guy hopped on his ride and took off for a bit.  My ride, the tractor, was driven out of the barn and the lawn was finally mowed.  A lazy dog as usual in the middle of floor for everyone to have to walk over.



The pullets spent 5 days locked in the hen house and while they were getting large enough for that transfer, the run got overgrown with lambs quarter and this morning when they were finally released to run, they were lost in the overgrowth.  One has already gone over the fence into the garden.


Today another great day and while my guy took off on another ride, the garden was finished except for the climbing beans that must wait for the corn to come up.  The three sisters garden was planted with 10 hills of sweet corn and 5 hills of heritage popcorn.  The potatoes in the barrels got another layer of soil and there are only about 3 more inches till the barrels are full.  The bush beans, tomatillos, and sweet potatoes were planted, bunny barrier installed around the beans, and all the beds weeded again.  The pumpkins are a couple of inches tall in little pots on the deck.  They will go into the garden in a few days. It will only require maintenance now.

Surprise Opportunities

Each year on this weekend in February, one of the spinning retreats dear to me occurs.  About a month ago, the group received an email from the organizer with the news that the state park facility where it is held had a major equipment failure affected the heating system and the lodge had to close for a couple of months.  The event offered rescheduling in May if enough participants were interested.  Of course we are interested, but it still left a hollow spot for this weekend.  I am not a social butterfly and attended this the first time only after being welcomed into the local spinning group and knowing what part of this group attended the retreat.  Friends have been made there, friends that are only seen a few times each year, but friends that are treasured.

HN group

This is from last year.

Unexpectedly, late Friday evening, I received a text from a number I didn’t recognize, but the info was.  Once established who was on the other end of the exchange, I found out that 4 of my friends from the retreat and had already arranged time off from work and/or care for their critters back home had come for the weekend to the mountain top lodge 4 miles from our house.

Yesterday winter had returned to our mountain with cold rain and wind.  We did our weekly Saturday breakfast out and got to the Farmers’ Market half an hour before they opened.  After waiting the time with a cup of coffee from the local coffee barista, the market goodies brought home and put away, and a quick vacuuming and dusting of dog and cat hair, I packed my sturdy contemporary wheel and a basket of fiber and drove up the mountain for an afternoon with friends.  We enjoyed a late lunch in the lodge dining facility, sat in the sitting room of the suite reserved by one couple, spun, knitted, talked and told tales.

When we are at the retreat, each day winds down with a happy hour at 5 and though we ate late, Jim and I invited them down for cheese and crackers and a beverage from a list of choices.  Three of the friends drove down the mountain to our house and got to meet Jim, the household dog and cat pack, saw our farm, visited for an hour or so and then headed back up for their last evening of the weekend at the Lodge.  Though the retreat was postponed until May, these friends helped fill the void that the postponement had left in my heart.


Two years ago.

Until our next meeting, safe travel home my friends.

Return, Refreshed and Happy

This afternoon, I returned from the Fiber Arts Network Hawk’s Nest Spinning Retreat.  I was both a participant and a vendor this time, taking my soaps, lotion bars, and salves from my Etsy shop.  This group are all spinners, knitters, crocheters, weavers, felters, fiber animal raisers, so no yarn or knit wear was taken.  My roommate for the three nights is a good friend, think Lucy and Ethel, and we can laugh, giggle, and be a couple of lady friends away from their normal lives, so a good bit of talk about family, pets, responsibilities, cooking, gardening (both tasks we enjoy) and sometimes just having a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and being still or silly.  This time there were 40+ participants, both male and female, who spend 2 or 3 days enjoying each other’s company, having a nightly social hour, teaching and learning from friends.  Many of us vend fiber, equipment, books, knit wear, yarn, and in my case, items from my shop.



New River Gorge bridge in the distance on a snowy day.

HN group









Part of the crowd, spinning &


A very, very talented Lisa, needle felting for a Dr. Seuss birthday display at her local library.


Her adorable menagerie that she made, with no patterns, this weekend to go with others at home and some she is still working on.

HN carding

Me being coaxed, cajoled to get over my fear of new things and learning to card two different rovings into a beautiful top to spin for my daughter to knit herself a hat and another time to blend two rovings into a luscious deep purple top with gray and blue undertones to knit into a dressy top for me on a Strauch finest double wide motorized carder.  The owner of the company, one of my friends and spinning group buddies, thank you Joanne for encouraging me on your beautiful equipment.

After a final lunch at Tamarack on our way home, we had an uneventful couple of hours on the road, arrived back to unload at friend’s house then I on to mine where inventory of sold goods and updating of the shop, unpacking, sorting the lovely fibers and bags that came back with me were done.  A delicious dinner prepared by me was enjoyed, and now I am looking at the photos and sharing some of my good time with my blog friends and family.

This was a much needed and much enjoyed mini vacation and trip away from the routines of home, great time with friends, fellowship, food, a successful vending event, and rest.  Thank you all who made this possible, holding down the fort at home, caring for my chicky flock, teaching me new skills, being good friends and family.