The Three Rs, Part One

The word that comes to mind for day one has to be rowdy. I mean it in the nicest possible way, but there’s just no way around it.

The students at the retreat were divided up into 3 groups and each group rotated through the three instructors in a different order.  All of the groups seemed to develop their own personalities.  Mine was obviously the coolest.

Our first day’s activity was dyeing with Tina Newton, the mastermind behind Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  We started with a discussion of color, silk, and dye.  Within a few minutes, we were wielding squirt bottles full of dye with reckless abandon.  We played with three very different sorts of yarn and two different preparations of unspun silk.  That’s Silkie Socks over there on the left and some lovely silk top (I think, I neglected to take notes so I could be wrong) down there on the right. We also did a silk laceweight, a lovely silk mohair blend, and a whole stack of silk hankies.

We used miles of plastic wrap (and somehow managed refrain from mummifying anyone in it) and learned the ancient and sacred dyer’s call and response of “vinegar, vinegar, vinegar” “oh shit!” By the end of the day my hands were blue (and while my toes remained color-free, I did see a few folks sporting some brightly-colored splotches on their feet) and my face hurt from laughing.  Any lingering shyness about meeting new people had vanished, and we all smelled faintly of vinegar. It was an excellent start to the weekend, and we walked away with lots of goodies.