My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.




Wowie, wow, wow, what a fun weekend!

L-B and I went to the Knitters Review Retreat at Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, Virginia this weekend. That’s a photo of our room mate, Maggie, basking in the late afternoon sun.

Here’s the view from our room:


Graves Mountain is a great place, and you get a lot of exercise trudging up a steep hill to get to your room from the lodge. It’s almost enough to work off the huge meals they served us. Almost.

So . . . Friday night, L-B taught me how to spin with a drop spindle.


I managed to ply my singles, albeit badly!


It’s a good thing Maggie was supervising.

Saturday morning we had a great class on reading charts with Annie Modesitt, who is a wonderful teacher. Period.

Saturday afternoon we took a walk. We stopped by to visit with the horses:


Trudging back up the hill to the room, we stopped halfway, and ran into Larry:


We all maintained the little fiction that we had stopped to admire the view, not to rest and catch our breath.

Sunday morning was a finishing class with the incomparable Bess.


You probably can’t tell from this photo, but Bess wrapped her ebony circular needle around her head so the points stuck up like little devil horns. She was trying to convince us what a mean teacher she was, I think, but nothing could be further from the truth. She was fabulous!

I had a wonderful time — thanks to Clara for organizing such a great event!

But I was happy to get home to my baby.


Tune in tomorrow for pictures of my spinning attempts and some of my purchases.

Oh, and one more thing:


Kendra, they are coming to get you . . .


  1. Welcome to the ranks of us spinners. Well, I barely qualify, as I’ve only done it once. But I now own my own drop spindle and purchased my own spinning fiber, so we’ll see.

    Gosh, those felted heads are positively hideous! Don’t you just love ’em? I do

  2. nicole sweden says:

    what a particularly visually arresting morning sky is openning up, over here across the ocean. i’ve got a cup of coffee, your fantastic retreat entry, and lots of lovely old donegals to dig in to. life is soo soo good.

    what a gorgeous new day, nicole/sweden

  3. Ooh, I love that area. My two best friends got married at Graves Mountain Lodge, and it made such a lovely setting. 🙂

  4. Wow, that’s so cool – a weekend dedicated to things knitting. Are there lots of these? How did you enjoy the spinning? Did you find you could get it – or was it really helpful to have a teacher on hand? Sorry,you have filled my head with new questions – I’ll shut up now and go to bed!

  5. Welcome to the ranks of spinners, Wendy. Just wait until you sit down at a wheel…All will be lost!!! I predict a wheel purchase within 6 months! Have fun

  6. Sorry, my comment has nothing to do with this latest, glorious entry! I’ve always been a very traditional knitting gal – Dale of Norway, shetlands, and, perhaps a Rowan or two in the mix – and never, ever thought of venturing into Noro-land. Well, after lurking on the blog these past few months, that went out the window. My two pals and I went on a knit shop hop this weekend and I came back with a heap of Silk Garden and a couple of pattern books. I kept on saying, “Oh, there’s Klaralund!…oh, there’s Butterfly!” Oh, brother…

  7. A knitter’s retreat is something I’d like to do someday. Beautiful scenery, learning new things, meeting other knitters. Sounds like fun!

    P.S. I want that stuffed sheep.

  8. Graves Mountain looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Hey! Where are the mountains? I want my apple butter! Where did everybody go? Yawn. Gotta go to work. Would rather be knittin’ and spinnin’ with the KR gang! And,no,Becky, you can’t have my sheep,but she’s been appointed Knitters Review Retreat mascot!

  10. Dianne is optimistic. Six months? I think for me it was six weeks.
    Get L-B to teach you to Andean ply. It’s much easier and fun, and no waste at all, you ply from both ends of a little wrist hank you make out of your single.

  11. I’m happy to see you wearing your beautiful handknit sweater :o)

    Your enthusiasm for knitting makes me want to get out there and DO more!


  12. Oh Wendy! Good for you! The Knitters Review weekend is in my plans for next year –maybe one in the spring if it materializes … I am so glad to hear you had fun!

    Love the pics. Thanks. Especially the one of you in your GORGEOUS sweater … yeah, you’re pretty inspirational.

    And for Anne: once you go noro, there’s no looking back *lol* beware!! Those color transitions kill me every time … with every yarn …*lol* good luck.

    welcome home wendy. best — Di

  13. Wow, that retreat looks like it was great! I’m guessing you took today off to recuperate. Put on another sweater, and enjoy the crisp air!

  14. Wow…sounds really wonderful and I love horses also…so for me it would be a dream.

  15. That is one of my favorite sweaters of your that you are wearing in these pictures! That sweater is on my ultra-long “to do” list. My other favorite of your FO’s is “Henry VIII” or, as he was known while WIP, “Hank”.

    That retreat looked like a wonderful time. I’m jealous!

  16. Drop spindling and needle-felted goodies – Wendy, your retreat looks like my kitchen, about now!

    Allow me to recommend that you look into the glories of needle-felting. I’ve been having a blast with it, since I started. That’s a glorious two days of experience, one small book, and some utterly delightful results.

    Isn’t spinning with a drop spindle fun? I’m (slowly) accumulating enough to make a hat/scarf/sweater set for my brother, out of sheep and llamas whose names (and sometimes, faces) I know. It’s also probably pretty good for RSI-ed wrists to switch back and forth between them.

  17. So are we now all going to be put in extra awe of Wendy because she not only knits faster and better than any of us will in this life, but she also spins the yarn she knits with?

    The retreat looks like big fun. Wish I could go on one someday. (If I ever hope to learn to spin with a drop spindle, I’m going to HAVE to have someone teach me – bought a video and tried a book and just got a big mess).

  18. Glad you had as much fun as I did! It was nice to meet you (and Maggie, of course)! Hope you can make it next year, too!

  19. Oooo – that looks like fun! Love the devil horns and the needle felted heads. The view are gorgeous!

    Glad you had fun. You deserved it!

  20. I have been reading your site for a long while now and have been so impressed with your knitting prowess – the sweater in your pictures for example……what did you learn in a chart reading class (I know Annie is great, but you seem like a chart master to me)?

  21. That’s it; the royal blue roving is yours.

    I’ll drop it at Knit Happens, where I won’t be Wednesday since I’m triple-booked and I’ve decided to go with the company-sponsored dinner at Marrakesh.

  22. I am happy to see that “Frida” went to camp with you.
    Did you remember to bring back a present for Lucy?

  23. What a beautiful place to attend the retreat. And that Maggie is a cute little roomie.

    Enjoy the spinning. I haven’t knit with anything that I have spun on a spindle, only one of my wheels. Mostly cuz I never plyed anything I ever spun on a spindle. It is fun to do though, and fiber purchases are just as much fun as yarn purchases.

    They’re everywhere!
    Do you have any idea how hard it is to explain to those not present what a “disembodied needle felted head” is? Especially when laughing so hard as to prevent coherent speech?
    Needle felting should definitely be accompanied by alcohol, and not just for the wounds from the needles!
    Yr paralyzed minion, Kendra

  25. looks like a great weekend!!! glad you went! spinning is one of those things trying to tke me away from my beginning knitting skills lol it looks so interesting!!!!
    in time, in time…. i keep remindign myself;)

    have a super week wendy!

    da’boss says hello to lucy from his warm spot in the sun:)