This past weekend was an annual fiber geek retreat, held at the beautiful and spacious home of A’ine, just outside Kansas City.

This is the second year Bechte & I have attended, and I simply love it.  I’m not sure how many people were there this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the total number was more than 40.  Stuff was going on in at least 4 different rooms of the house.

Starting Friday night, thru to Sunday noonish, the weekend is filled with laughter, conversation, sewing, weaving, spinning, and just about any thing you can imagine to do with strings.  There are some classes planned, but mostly it’s very impromptu.  Someone pulls out a project, and asks for help, and others step up and offer their advice.  15 minutes later, the teacher/student dynamic may be reversed, and so it goes all weekend.

Everyone brings some food to share for Saturday, and thus the good fellowship is improved by tasty food.  I especially liked the Chicken Vindaloo, made by Kristine, and the Spinach-Artichoke dip, made by  .  There was no excuse to go hungry.

So, Bechte managed to take out and re-hem her blue wool GFD, do a little crochet, and finish the pleatwork apron she started over a year ago.

On Friday, I spread my books about, and talked with folks about them quite a bit, and gave my .02 cents to Hanne, who was altering a wool T-front dress she had purchased.  I also showed off the wool weaving thread cones I got dirt cheap at my local Pendleton wool outlet, and tried to give away some of the oodles of buttons I got free at Pendleton’s.  I showed off the luscious wools I got there as well. I know I talked, but I can’t remember doing any work on Friday.  We didn’t arrive until about 11pm, and went to bed about 3am.

Saturday, I took apart a linen shirt, and used it to make a high-necked partlet, with the goal of figuring out the pattern for the high neck.  Thanks to the draping help from  .  I had to re-pin and re-stitch several times.  Then I took that pattern, and cut out some really nice embroidered linen I have, for the sleeves and upper body of a high-necked chemise.  The embroidered linen began it’s life as a classy dress.  I also used some reclaimed plain linen for the skirt.  I didn’t quite finish the chemise, as I needed more plain lined to give me enough space in the lower body.  I’ll get finished here at home this week.

I cut out some fairly coarse linen, and had Anabela help me again, this time pinning it into a bust-supportive garment, and marking the seams.  The linen wasn’t tightly woven enough to work well, as it kept relaxing.  I’m thinking I will copy off the pattern onto paper, and then just use the coarser linen for a loose undertunic.  But I need to make a couple of linen and/or wool GFD’s before Lilies.

During this, I also gave my opinion to a lovely lady who was working with Anabela to refit a corset.  I love the give and take.

Taking advice from the crowd, I decided that the single length of the blue wool plaid was too small for an anglo-saxon peplos-type dress, and sewed the other piece to it.  I then handed it to Bechte to finish the two seams, one of which she completed.  We can take turns wearing it.

I had some good conversations about geometric construction, and then, fairly late in the evening, cut out a viking apron dress from the leftover herringbone twill wool I’d used for Dolan’s Anglo-Saxon cloak; and a geometric tunic out of the 2 yards + an odd bit of grey wool I bought from Countess Jane at Clothiers.  The apron dress fits me ok, and Bechte well (again, we’ll share), but I’m going to add just a bit more, to decrease the sausage-stuffed look over my stomach.  I think I went to bed about midnight or so.

Sunday morning, I used the grey wool pieces to demonstrate Geometric construction to Kathryn, and then sewed up the body pieces and gores.  Tried it on, and decided it could use just a bit more ease in the booty.  I also was asked by Mirabel to help her drape the neck for her houpelande.  I’ve really not got that much experience in draping, so I got a bit  of a “deer-in-the-headlights” look, and she used me as a dress dummy instead.  Then after a few minutes, I realized that what she wanted was a high neck, just like I’d created for the partlet & chemise.  Grabbed the partlet, she used pins to mark where she’d need seams, and let her copy my patterns.  Caitlyn also copied my partlet pattern.  That’s the sort of lovely serendipity I really love about the retreat.

Got cleaned up, and packed out by 12:20pm.  Most of the crowd was going to the Yarn Barn, in Lawrence, KS, a mecca of fibery goodness, but Bechte & I went home.

I actually got some stuff done, and feel totally recharged.  Bobbin & Weaving is on my list of can’t miss events, even if it isn’t a real event.

I hope for about the same level of social and project interaction in April, when Bechte & I go down to my Laurel’s place for Apprentice weekend.  The projects may be metal and glass, but the recharge to my spirt will be the same.  I hope that our local baronial event isn’t on the same day, but, if it is, I’ll skip the baronial for Apprentice weekend.

After that, my next event likely is in May, for Kingdom A&S.  Bobbin & Weaving ends a busy stretch, which had SCA activity for me on 5 out of 7 weekends.

I’ll post pictures of the projects later.

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