This last weekend was the 8th annually Griffin Dyeworks Fiber Retreat held at Verdugo Oaks Boy Scout Camp in Castaic, CA. This is where a group of fiber geeks (male and female) get together to spin, dye, weave, knit, crochet, learn and teach fiber. Fiber in the morning, fiber after lunch and fiber into the WEE hours of the morning. We don't have big name teachers (although this year we were able to have Barbara and Linda Teller - Navajo weavers) and the weekend doesn't cost that much (compared to some weaving conferences or Convegence). This year we had 6 dye classes alone. This was natural dyes (indigo, logwood) a tie dye class and other dyeing techniques. There was Tunisian Crochet, spinning and fiber processing, color blending and even some copper etching classes.
Over the years Griffin Dyeworks have offered scholarships to people who can't afford the cost. The way teh money is raised is through a raffle or the Scholar-sheep table (bring something you don't want any more and if you take something, feed the sheep). This year I sponsered a "Secret Stash" spinning contest.
I got the idea from another blog a read - Spin Artiste. Every month or so, she gathers up fibers and stuff and then you not only spin up the fibers but you have 1 month to create something with it. One month she included paper cranes, more recently a doll's head.
So I did the same. I gathered white and yellow dyed Corridale, white mohair, red and blue hand dyed pima cotton (that my brother sent me from Arizona and then I dyed), some grey / purple silk cap, about 1 yard of a black / silver eyelash yarn and then a copper metallic fiber and a good piece of white Starfire. I had 10 packets and they went quickly Friday afternoon. They had until Sunday morning at 10AM to spin the fibers and get them to me.
Each one came back totally different and it was very hard to pick a winner - so with some help fro Ercil, I picked 2. Each lady got about 4 ozs of white Merino Mix and 4 ozs of Black Welsh Mountain roving. Here is a picture of all the yarns - sorry it's not that great.
I want to thank all the spinners - you all made the decision really difficult.
Thank you Ercil for helping me pick the winners.
Thank you Griffin Dyeworks for putting on this retreat and to all the teachers who GIVE of their time and knowledge.
And thank you Spin Artiste - for the idea. Next year I'll have 20 packets and I'll be looking for something - unique to add to the fiber. Bwhaahaahaaha