Thursday, October 4, 2012

break day three

The last day was a class in graduated dyeing with Kathleen Taylor. The class materials warned us that we would get wet, and she wasn't kidding. We were soaked by the end!

Graduated dyeing produces a yarn that changes over the course of the ball from a dark shade through several progressions to a lighter one. In the skein, it's not so remarkable.

But wind it on a ball winder and the amazing appears!

OK, maybe not so amazing in this case. I had an unfortunate incident with some black dye getting into my rinse pots and greying everything out, plus I may have mismeasured my lengths a bit. The outside color was supposed to be light orangevery different from my normal pink-red-purple color range, but I was hoping for fall colors to memorialize a wonderful Fibre Fallout. My friend Robin used the same dyepots and ended up with a completely different (and more fall-y) result.

Unfortunately I have no pictures of her result or our fun but messy experiment because when I went to get my camera out of my Fibre Fallout bag, I realized that my bag had gone missing. Bear in mind that everyone attending the retreat had been given the same bag... I had a 75% complete beaded shawlette project in the bag as well (more on that project in a few days), and my mind started reeling with the possibility that my bag was in a car and on its way home to parts unknown with someone who had picked it up by accident. I was trying to keep the panic under control and just concentrate on the dyeing, but it was an uphill battle. My distress was shared by everyone there, especially Robin, who had seen me working on the project throughout the weekend and could well empathize with the horror of the situation.

Of course, I eventually found the bag. One of the instructors had scooped it up by accident. But it was a pretty tense class, unfortunately.

The perfect restorative was at hand, thank goodness. (That is, in addition to the joy that was shared by everyone when I found my little prodigal bag... It's truly an uplifting experience when everyone you are with is on the exact same wavelength as you are regarding the important things in life.)

The camp is held at the Johnsonburg Presbyterian Center in a very rural part of northern NJ. It is a gorgeous setting for this retreat. Because our class finished early, Robin and I (with my newly-found bag, which I was not letting out of my sight) decided to go exploring. We found the old chapel, and then we found the labyrinth.

Mere words cannot describe the peace. Both of us walked the hand-set stone pattern, before ending up at the center.

Unfortunately we had not brought our own stone. If you are unsure of the significance, I highly recommend the movie The Way. I should have brought along a boulder to unload.

We kept on exploring until we found the "new" chapel by the lake.

Again, the peace was indescribable. It almost had a weight to it.

Soon after, we loaded the car and were on our way back to the hectic crazy. With any luck, some of that peace will stick with me for a while. The signs aren't too promising so far this week... but maybe if I knit that graduated yarn up, it will help. Knitting always helps.

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