Monday, June 13, 2011

Squam Art Workshop

I returned from Squam Art Workshop last Sunday, and I am finally going to sit down now and write about it.

First of all -

A             W             E               S              O            M             E.

I have never experienced four days of such positive, creative energy in my life!  The people I met were amazing, and talented, and friendly, and I learned so much from all of the teachers and classes, and also just from my fellow cabin mates and workshop attendees, that by Saturday I really needed to take a breather and just sit on the dock and let my brain relax.  It's still all sinking in in little bits and pieces...   I learned the process of preparing and using silk directly from the bombyx cocoon.   The silk hankies are super delicate and wispy and you pull or draft your "yarn" directly from the stretched cocoon.  In class we learned to stretch the cocoon over these frames with nails, and then you layer and layer and layer them (kind of like phyllo dough, but with silk) and from there - you can dye them any way you please (which is a craft I intend to try some day with my little guys), and then just pull and knit.  And the silk is wonderfully soft and beautifully shiny.  It was a great class.    (oh yeah - and also - it was taught by the Yarn Harlot herself.   So there's that)

I also took classes on drop spindling (had never done this before.  it's fun!  but I'm going to need a lot of practice)  and crochet with Denny McMillan (loved her!!), and a class called Botanical Printing, with Maya of Maya*Made (Go to her blog post to see more about that class.  What a great class!  She was so warm and sweet!  and I had so much fun learning how to make prints on fabric with freezer paper  (more on that tomorrow).

When we weren't in class, the nights were filled with music (Jonatha Brooke played guitar and sang for us the first night), and interesting speakers, and then there was the Squam Art Fair on Saturday night to wrap up the weekend. Ysolda Teague was there, selling and signing copies of her new book Little Red in the City, (which you should get if you knit, for the sizing and technique info alone, never mind all of the beautiful patterns in it as well.)

and even if there had been NO art workshop, I was in heaven the minute I pulled up to my lakeside cabin, Cragsmere (it was huge - there were 14 of us there!), and made myself at home.  Knitting by the wood fire every evening, sitting by the water on the dock (it was sunny on Saturday)
and walking through the woods on beautiful trails to each class.    *sigh*     I'm a lucky girl.

( try not to be too impressed with how tidy my room is...)

 I finihsed my "branching out" scarf while I was there, and
 a little embroidered piece as well.

 (art fair)
 my lovely Roomie Ramona
 funny housemates Andrea and Mary re-telling a story by the fire

And finally - there was a daily Waffle and Ice Cream Sundae Bar.

I think I've said enough.


  1. I love all your pictures. They bring me right back. I think we may have had 3 classes together. I took Matawa, spindle and botanical printing as well. I loved them all - although my spindle talents are going to need quite a bit of work to develop. I can't wait to try playing with the botanical printing with my nieces. They are going to love it.

  2. Just found your cardigan pattern on Knitty, and then saw this too. This was my first SAW and I had such an amazing time. Loved seeing your pictures. It brought me right back!


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