A Spinner's Retreat


Spinners on retreat with smiling, happy faces. Photos courtesy of Kate Larson.

Each winter, I have the good fortune to be part of a spinning retreat in northern Indiana. About thirty fellow spinners and I trek from a wide swath of Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois to the Lindenwood Retreat Center in Donaldson, Indiana, just southeast of Chicago. As it is almost the only fiber event I attend during the year at which I am not helping a vendor, teaching a class, or leading a meeting, it is a chance for me to recharge my spinning batteries. We spend two days together chatting, snacking, spinning, and knittingwhat could be better? I love listening to conversations happening around the room that range from discussion of different brands of handcards to the Middle East peace process. Spinners are such interesting people! We represent many different guilds and groups, so it is a great time to hear what is happening in other spinning neighborhoods.

Top: The textile studio at Moon Tree is filled with looms and spinning wheels. Bottom: We had a chance to talk with Susan Sutherland Barnes (in center of picture) at the opening of her new exhibit. 

The retreat was started by Peg Coffey, the former editor of Spinner's Connection, about twenty years ago. The event is not affiliated with Lindenwood, but the location adds character to the event. It is part of the PHJC Ministry Center, of which Ancilla College and Moon Tree Studios are a part. Moon Tree is a new addition to the Ministry Center. Its aim is to "fearlessly explore the interconnectedness of art, nature, and the Spirit within." Peg is now facilitating spinning and weaving experiences in the well-equipped textile studio. When I stopped by this year, I also had a chance to see the pottery studio and watch an enameling demo. The gallery space is currently exhibiting multimedia work in pottery and basketry by artist Susan Sutherland Barnes. Our retreat group was invited to the exhibit opening and had a chance to talk with the artist about her beautiful pieces.

My spinning retreat leaves me feeling renewed, refreshed, and ready to begin a busy new year. Do you have a retreat that you enjoy? Send your story to spinnersconnection@interweave.com to share it with us on Spinner's Connection. 



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