Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Yarn Retreat

What do you call it when 19 women get together at a resort state park to knit, crochet, weave, and spin?  A yarn retreat!  That is what happened last weekend in Pineville, Kentucky at the Pine Mountain Resort Lodge.

This is an absolutely gorgeous State Park about 30 minutes north of Tazewell, Tennessee.  As you can see the dogwoods, red buds and azaleas were all in bloom.

The resort had a large dining hall (and they served delicious food) that is surrounded by floor to ceiling windows so you can see the mountains and watch the birds while you eat.  There was a cozy living room complete with a fireplace and checkerboard, a porch with rocking chairs, hiking trails and a large meeting room for groups. There is also a basketball court and a miniature golf course. During the summer they have a pool and a zip line.

On day two we caravaned  to Mountain Hollow Farm (our host) in Tazewell to shop at the store.

It was fun to walk the farm - especially on such a beautiful day.  

BUT the best part was the critters - and lots of them. Beth has ducks, sheep, bunnies, dogs, cats, guinea hens, two llamas, a horse and ....... GOATS.  It was time to harvest the angora fibers from the goats so I was able to get a hands-on experience.

Still - the best was yet to come......BABIES !!!!!

If only my bag had been large enough.  Another retreat is planned for August (I think I'll be bringing a crate).

Till I hit the road again - stay warped,

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Spinnery

A few weeks back I ventured through the mountains to check out the Spinnery with some weaver friends.  This lovely store is off the main road from all of the craziness that is in downtown Gatlinburg.  It is different from our usual knitting/crocheting yarn stores in that it has an additional focus on spinning and weaving.

As usual our arrival injected quite a bit of fun (aka noise and confusion) into the atmosphere.  Hey, we just can't contain our excitement.  "Look at this", "Wow, I want this", "Oh, this is pretty", "Feel this" (fiber people HAVE to touch things).

There was a rigid heddle class going on so (of course) we had to check it out and talk to the teacher (and the students and the customers and the shop workers - you get the idea).  The project interested two of us -now the hunt was on to find exactly what type of yarn they used.  This was not an easy feat because we kept getting sidetracked.  As you can see there was no shortage of things to grab our attention.

We all came home with packages.  I got right to the warping board and the Beka to see if I could recreate what the class was doing.  I think this will turn out beautifully.

It was another good road trip complete with mountains, friends and fiber.

Till the next one - stay warped, 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Mega Trip

Oh my, what a day we had this past Wednesday. You know I like a good road trip but this was a mega trip!

We started in Norris by loading the truck with 5 people and eventually met up with 2 more at our first destination.  An hour and a half drive on a beautiful spring day is always OK with me. This one though also had good company, laughs, many stories and even some "oldies but goodies" singing.

Our first stop was Muddy Pond.  This is a little Mennonite community near Monterrey.  We followed the GPS directions and bypassed the first sign, opting to obey "Penelope".  There was a bit of excitement as we wound around the skinny, gravel road but sometimes these off the beaten path adventures produce little gems as this one did.  We drove by farms that had goats, horses, sheep and even a large bird that we never did figure out what kind it was.

The trip is already a success with me since it had the critter factor but we continue along and arrive at the Muddy Pond General Store.  The first floor of the shop was filled with jams, flours, spices, soup mixes, butter, cheese and meats.  The second floor was for all of the  crafts - quilts, wooden chairs, doll cradles, baskets etc. 

Next door is a leather shop.  I had to go in just to smell it. There was a young girl working on a belt and the walls were covered with all sorts of leather goods including saddlebags and hats.

 Our next stop was lunch.  We asked some fellow shoppers if they knew of a local place we could try out.  They directed us to the Pour House in Crossville. 

This was a wonderful recommendation.  It is small but very unique. It shares it's space with a small dress/tea shop.  The restaurant part has rustic wooden tables and a chalkboard to show the specials of the day.  The "pour" part of it's name comes from the local beer and wine they offer.  Lunch options ranged from paninis to blts to hamburgers.  

Since we were in Crossville we couldn't leave without stopping by Little Blessings quilt store - especially since a few members of the group had never been there.

Now that could have been the end of our road trip since we not only had the critter factor but the fiber factor too!  But no, there's more.

An alternate route back to Oak Ridge ran us right along the road Loose Threads is on.  Woo Hoo ! Two quilt stores in one trip.   

It certainly was a mega trip - lots of fun and new things to explore.  

Stay warped,