Explore 4, Traditional “Four-by-four” Format

November 12–15, 2018

Friday Harbor, Washington

Join me for the traditional “Four-by-four” format of my Explore 4 events: four fibers, in four days.The fall Four-by-four retreat will repeat fibers that have previously been featured in spring retreats, and as of late March 2018 I have determined which breeds will be in our line-up! Thanks to everyone on the mailing list who voted on the fourth candidate.

January 2018 note: There will, of course, be four fiber topics, of which I have now determined two:

  • Lincoln (a luscious longwool)
  • Jacob (diversity of colors and textures)
  • Suffolk (an unsung hero of the fiber world)
  • Black Welsh Mountain (from medieval treasure to modern delight)
Retreat participants gathered in the Lakedale great room
Retreat participants gathered in the Lakedale great room

During this retreat, we spend four days digging deep into the world of animal fibers, mostly wools, while allowing ourselves plenty of time to relax and refresh. Each morning we enjoy a fabulous breakfast and then gather in the great room of the Lakedale Resort, where we talk about the fibers—their variety, their history, the science around their form and function, and their applications for knitting, spinning, weaving, and beyond to matters of ecological and cultural impact and of personal delight.

This is both talking and hands-on time: the fibers of the day are our companions in this journey. 

After the morning session, we break for lunch, catered for us by a fabulous chef using the best local ingredients, and then spend the afternoons enjoying our own individual explorations—nature walks around the island, trips to local points of interest, or more spinning and knitting time. Naps and massages can be located, too!

One of the views from English Camp, San Juan Island
One of the views from English Camp, San Juan Island

Each evening, after we gather again to enjoy a delicious dinner, we spin (or knit or crochet or weave) more together, and we review and I answer more questions about what we covered in the morning.

A few people stay up late spinning. Many take advantage of the peaceful environment to read a novel or go to bed early. Lakedale accommodates both solitude and companionship.


If you’d like to get away and immerse yourself in the craft you love and the fibers that make that craft possible, while in a richly restorative environment and community, join us on our next exploration.


The Details:

When: November 12–15, 2018 (arrive November 11; depart November 16)

Where: Lakedale Resort, Friday Harbor, Washington (click here to visit their website)

Who: This event accommodates new and experienced spinners. If you can spin a singles yarn and ply it, you’ll be able to keep up with our exploration without any difficulty. There will also be time to play with the yarn we spin in whatever fiber craft medium you prefer (knitting, crochet, weaving, etc.).


$475 for the retreat, due in mid-September (note: this is a slight increase from previous years’ retreats)

$125 materials fee, due at the time of registration to hold your spot

$220 to be paid to our caterer if you plan to take lunches and dinners with the group

lodging additional, pricing varies and includes breakfast

(for all the details, see this document)

Click here to register for the Fall 2018 Explore 4 Retreats.


Want to plan ahead? The 2019 dates have been set!

Week 2: Explore 4 Traditional Format, November 11-14, 2019. Click here to register for this retreat.


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