In February/March and in November, I facilitate four-day fiber retreats in the San Juan Islands of Washington state. Each is a relatively small gathering for which I spend a year or two planning, and then collecting and preparing fibers. These are retreats: they are structured to include a bounty of information and fiber within a daily plan that allows everyone (including me) time to relax.
Each of the retreats takes place at the fabulous Lakedale Resort in Friday Harbor, Washington, and each one is catered by an outstanding island chef, using fresh, local ingredients. The format for each retreat is slightly unique, but the atmosphere remains the same: a gathering of fiber-loving folks, excited to learn more and unwind for a week of exploration and fellowship.
— Deb Robson
Are you ready to explore more?
Each of the retreats I facilitate takes on a slightly different theme. In the most basic terms, they are:
Fall 2018 #1 – Explore 4 “Wild Card” Retreat – Nov. 5–8
The “Wild Card” retreat format allows me to deviate from the traditional “four fibers in four days” option. In the Fall of 2018, by popular demand I have decided to bring back the topic of Shetland sheep and their wool. This retreat takes place November 5–8, 2018.
Click here for more information on, or to register for, the Fall Explore 4 “Wild Card” retreat.
Fall 2018 #2 – Explore 4 Traditional Four-by-four Retreat – Nov. 12–15
For the second week of the fall events, we return to the traditional “four fibers in four days” format. Fall Four-by-four retreats revisit breeds already covered in spring retreats. The specific fibers we will explore for this retreat are, as of April 2018, Jacob, Lincoln, Suffolk, and Black Welsh Mountain, barring an unexpected issue in acquiring all the necessary fleeces, but the prospects are promising. This retreat takes place November 12–15, 2018.
Click here for more information on, or to register for, the Fall Explore 4 Traditional Four-by-four retreat.
Spring 2019 – Explore 4 Traditional Four-by-four Retreat – Mar. 25–28
The traditional “four fibers in four days” format. Fibers to be determined, based on what I am successfully able to source in time that do not repeat fibers featured in previous spring events. Most likely possible candidates for 2019 (but only four, and there might yet be a surprise): Border Leicester, Clun Forest, Corriedale, Gotland, Manx Loaghtan, Polwarth, Whitefaced Woodland, although there might be something else that pops up. As of April 2018, the leading contenders are Gotland, Manx Loaghtan, Polwarth, and ?, but I’m not making any promises yet. This retreat takes place March 25–28, 2019.
The Fall 2019 line-up is currently tentative. If I do one retreat instead of two, it will be the November 11–14, 2019, timing and the color-blending topic.
Fall 2019 #1 – Explore 4 “Wild Card” Retreat – Nov. 4–7
2019—Color Blending with Wool and a Limited Palette
The “Wild Card” retreat format allows me to deviate from the traditional “four fibers in four days” option. In the Fall of 2019, by popular request, we’ll explore how to use limited palettes, applying concepts from painting to see what can be done with wool. Right now I envision using two palettes, one of the primaries and secondaries (essentially, a rainbow) and the other of six primary colors (three warm and three cool), plus white and a touch of black in each case, to mix a wide variety of hues, shades, and tones: it’s a bunch of color games! Of course we’ll spin as we go, using a different fiber base for each of our palettes, to see some of the things we can do with our results. This retreat takes place November 4–7, 2019.
Fall 2019 #2 – Explore 4 Traditional Four-by-four Retreat – Nov. 11–14
For the second week of the fall events, we return to the traditional “four fibers in four days” format. Fall Four-by-four retreats revisit breeds already covered in spring retreats. The specific fibers we will explore for this retreat are as of now to be determined This retreat takes place November 11–14, 2019.
If you’re not sure if Explore 4 is you, or you’d just like to learn more about these events (including inspiration, history, location, and cost), click here for all the details you’ll ever need about Explore 4 or get in touch through the contact page.
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