Monday, January 16, 2006

Shakerag Reunion/Spinning for Colorwork Knitting

Last June I was fortunate enough to teach at the Shakerag Workshops in Sewanee, Tn. Shakerag is a new (two years) crafters workshop program created by Claire Reishman of St Andrews Sewanee School on Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau. Asst. Head of School for Academic Affairs at SAS, Claire is also an enthusiastic ceramic artist herself and a teacher of ceramics. Her vision was to provide a residential workshop venue where artists and craftspeople could completely immerse themselves in their medium. The campus of St. Andrews Sewanee, know to us locals as SAS, is perfect the perfect setting for studio immersion on the mountain. Dorms, classrooms, dining hall are all in place. Once the academic year comes to a close, Claire magically sets the stage for Shakerag.

My class came together from all over the country and then some. One participant even came all the way from England to join us. Twisted Mom Sandy Sitzman of Banks, Oregon and fiber artist Lori Lawson of San Juan Capistrano, California assisted to give participants a full spectrum of dyeing, spinning and knitting styles. Shannon Okey, author of KnitGirl, joined us for a couple days, photographing in every direction on top of dyeing and spinning up a storm. We spun, dyed, dyed, dyed, and knit. We even spotted a glorious yellow speckeled black king snake lurking under the vividly dyed rovings that were hanging in the sun. Shannon and Pam nearly caught him but...(eep)...he booked into the nearby woods. Smart fellow.

We soon began to breathe as a unit, so much so that we are having a one year class reunion this year. Since there is no room to do this at Shakerag, we're going to meet at the Red Rooster Retreat in Huntsville, Alabama. Red Rooster is a crafter's retreat that provides space for small residential intensive retreats for fiber crafters, mainly quilters, but there's plenty of room for spinners and knitters. I'll offer a two and a half day class in spinning for colorwork knitting. There is still space available for others to join us. Contact Blaine for more information.

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