Wild Creative Fiber Art Retreat

The Creative Fiber Art Retreat 2019

August 21st - 28th - Mid Wales


A creative summer gathering for fiber artists, yarn spinners, and complete beginners.

Come and give yourself some time to relax.
Enjoy a beautiful and peaceful environment in the Welsh hills.
Have all the time you need, to be creative as much as you'd like
Take time out to relax whenever you wish.
Spin with new friends in fun light hearted spinning circles, creative activities, and also for beginners - lessons to get started on your spinning journey, so we can all spin and create together.

Whether you are an experienced fiber artist, or a total beginner excited to start spinning, this craft holiday is for you all!

Because there is unlimited studio time throughout the week, you can spend as much or as little time as you'd love to, creating, you can take a relaxed week chilling out in the countryside and enjoy some crafts, or, you can enjoy a complete fiber arts immersion, and give yourself the time to create the fabulous piece you've always wanted to!!
You can also enjoy the land and spin outside anytime.



Held up here in these stunning Welsh hills at our retreat centre, a beautiful space, with gorgeous accommodation, and full of creative energy!

Days 1 & 2 - These two days are all about learning, for beginners - So you can learn to spin on a spinning wheel before the second half of the retreat starts, and get started with your spinning journey! (I have two spare wheels available to book, so if you have your own working wheel please do bring it along (this way you will also have your own wheel to carry on spinning when you get home, which you'll be glad of - after learning to spin you'll be hooked on your new craft!! :-)

Day 3 - Learning to drop spindle - There will be a drop spindling session in the second half of the retreat, so if you haven't learned how to drop spindle, maybe you're completely new to spinning, or maybe you have already been spinning on a wheel and haven't drop spindled, so this day is for you to learn and practice with a spindle.

Days 4 - 7 - If you already spin on a wheel and a drop spindle you can join the retreat here, this half of the retreat is a relaxing and uplifting experience, supporting your own creative freedom in a beautiful relaxing space, with plenty of spin circles, campfires, woodland weaving, and wild spindling, unlimited studio time, and each working towards our own handspun creative finished project, while forging new friendships in a peaceful space, on nearly two acres of land with stunning views, and with amazing local walks a plenty!!

And extra one to one lessons are also available to book if you would love to immerse yourself and learn even more!

There are only 10 residential spaces (some of these have already sold) and just a handful of daytime passes available.

Accommodation is as follows:

Shared cabin - 3 places

Purple shared room in cottage - 3 places

Forest shared room in cottage - 2 places

Fairy Pod - 1 person - Because this is a private double room to yourself, this room is an extra £20 per night to the ticket options price

Gypsy Caravan - 1 person - Because this is a private room to yourself, this room is an extra £10 per night to the ticket options price

* There are two bathrooms inside the cottage for guests to share, there is also a toilet, shower and micro bath in a little cabin outdoors, right next to the cabin, and very close to the pod, and the gypsy caravan.


Travel & getting here

If you are travelling from abroad - the nearest airports are Birmingham & Liverpool. Train travel - the nearest train stations are Welshpool & Newtown. There are busses to our most local town, we can do a pick up from here. By car - let us know where you are travelling from when you book, and Luke will send you really good simple directions to follow.


Ticket options available

Prices include accommodation, activities or classes planned, bedding, towels & refreshments.

Residential for days 1 & 2 - £180

Residential for days 1, 2 & 3 - £240

* There will be an optional extra of a two hour creative spinning lesson on the morning of day 4 from 11am - 1pm if you'd love to move on and get even more creative with your spinning, or if you're arriving for the second part and would love some help to get a bit more art yarny! Price will depend on numbers, from £20 - £40

Residential for days 4, 5, 6 & 7 - £210

Residential for days 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 - £290 You will need to book this option if you haven't drop spindled before

Residential for the entire full retreat - £450 - The full beginners fiber arts immersion!!

The retreat activities finish on the evening of the 27th, giving you the full last day and evening, followed by a good sleep, with departure anytime before 11am on the 28th.

Day pass for days 1 & 2 learn to spin on a wheel - £100

Day pass for day 3 learn to spin on a drop spindle - £50

Day pass for days 4 - 7 (see itinerary below) - £90

Day pass for the entire retreat  - £240

For all day visitors please see the what you need to bring section, and the itinerary below.


Extras available on the retreat:

Infrared sauna with colour light therapy - £7.50 each (20 minute session)

Studio shop - Creative fiber packs, hand dyed rovings, merino wool, handmade crochet hooks, knitting needles, drop spindles, Lea's art & creations

Any extra lessons per hour one to one - £20  - The lessons on this retreat are mainly at the start for beginners, I've kept the second half creatively free for you to get into the flow for your ideas, with a woodland weaving workshop, wild spindling, spinning circles, and creating a final project out of your yarn, for a fun creative holiday, there's time to go for walks, enjoy the land, visit a local attraction, or take naps and relax. It also keeps the price of the retreat as low as possible to make it more accessible if you don't need the lessons, so you can choose to take extra lessons only if you'd like to.
So if you want to learn how to crochet, creative crochet, simple creative knitting, or further your spinning knowledge with art yarns, you can book your lesson one to one, or if there's more than one of you that would like to take any lessons together then we can do group sessions for £15 per hour for two, or £10 per hour for three or more.

If you need them please do book any lessons, and book the retreat for the appropriate days that you need, so that you can easily join in the spinning/creative circles, these are for everyone to relax and spin as a group and are not lessons in new skills (don't worry if you are a beginner and need a reminder in any skills you've already learned in lessons, you are welcome to ask for help if you are stuck of course) Also if you'd like to learn a new skill to use for your finished project, like bowls, bag making etc, a lesson for this can also be arranged for you.


What you will need to bring with you: 

Your own spinning wheel & drop spindle (and your spinning stool if you have one) I do have two wheels available for beginners to book, but it's best to bring your own wheel. Please make sure you label your own equipment, bags of fiber, etc, incase someone else has the same.

Plenty spinning fiber - (if you are a complete beginner please ask for a recommended fiber list, if you need one)  There are loads of gorgeous fiber packs, coloured merino by weight, carded natural wools by weight & beautiful hand dyed rovings available to buy in the shop here, but I have tried to keep the price of this retreat as low as possible for everyone, and if you dye your own fiber at home it may work out cheaper for you to bring along. You may spin your way through lots of fiber throughout the retreat, so do bring along lots of your favourite fibers to play with, in colours that you will love to put together for your final project, or even new fibers you've always wanted to experiment with! Also it's a good idea to bring any plying yarns, threads, add ins, and fancy bits and anything that you might like to create with! Curly wools and locks are always lovely to spin with too!

Carding batts - I have one drum carder and a spare pair of hand carders here, so do bring along your carding batts, blending board (or even your drum carder if you'd like to) then you can efficiently prepare your fiber without having to wait turns on the drum.

Anything else you love to create with - you will be creating your finished project from your spins created through the retreat, so bring along your favourite tools to make your piece with! Maybe you'd love to weave it if you have a small portable loom, or you could knit, crochet, etc... You may have some favorite commercial yarns or yarns that you've already spun that you might like to bring to include into your project.

Food for throughout your stay - bring along what you would love to eat throughout your stay (there are local supermarkets & shops in nearby towns of Welshpool & Newtown, and a Spar shop in Montgomery) There are two kitchen spaces here, and two fridges with freezer, to share space in (you are welcome to share meals together if there are any others staying who would also love to do shared meals together, or you are very welcome to make your own food, please do whatever you feel happiest to do) I have made a suggested kitchen plan to help with planning time in the kitchens for people creating their own meals, or groups preparing together, if it helps, or you can work out your own plans together to share the kitchen spaces. All shared spaces must be kept clean and tidy after use, for everyone to enjoy a relaxed space together, thank you x

Suitable footwear if you enjoy walks and would love to explore the local countryside. Hopefully the weather will be dry, but just incase you may like to bring along a pair of wellies and a raincoat.

House slippers, all the indoor spaces are shoe free.


Retreat Itinerary

Because there is unlimited studio time, you can spend as much or as little time as you'd like creating, you can take a relaxed week chilling out in the countryside and enjoy some crafts, or, you can enjoy a complete fiber arts immersion, and give yourself the time to create the fabulous piece you've always wanted to!!

Day 1: Arrival is from 10am, settle in and first lesson starts at 2 - 4.30pm - Total beginners spinning lesson on spinning wheel, learn to card and draft fibers, and spin a single ply yarn. 6.30 - 8.30pm - spinning circle (this is where you can practice your new skills on your wheel and ask me questions if you get stuck, need a reminder or help)

Day 2: 3 - 5pm - Lesson two, get creative with colour and fiber blending, and spin a two ply yarn. 6.308.30pmSpinning Circle to practice.

Day 3: 3 - 5pmDrop spindle spinning lesson. 6.30 - 8.30pmDrop spindle spinning circle around the campfire (weather permitting)

Day 4: Arrival for spinners for the second half of the retreat is from 10am, settle in and first Spinning Circle 2.30 5.30pm this one is a longer spin circle, to give us time first to gather inspiration and make plans for a finished project we will each be working towards to take home from this retreat.      7 - 9pm Woodland weaving.

Day 5: 11am 1pm Spinning circle6.30 9pm Wild spindling around the campfire (weather permitting)

Day 6: 11am 1pm Spinning & creative circle at this circle we'll all start to buzz ideas about how we're going to make our finished pieces and get creative 2.30 4.30pm Creative circle well there's probably going to be all kinds of exciting techniques happening as these finished pieces get created!!!

Day 711am 1pm Creative circle6.30 - 9pm Finish embellishments & show & tell <3

Day 8: Departure is anytime before 11am - Feeling fibertastic and full of inspiration, with new friends, and your basket full of your beautiful creations <3







Fiber Art Retreat Fiber Guide
You will need clean washed wool, you can buy this dyed, or natural undyed, and carded (combed), or uncarded
I have typed some info below to help you if you are buying fiber from shops or the internet.
We have a studio shop with lots of lovely wools, pick and mix, and a few of the fancy texture fibers, there is a list at the end of the page, of what we have in stock here, and a price list for our shop.
How much fiber will I need? It depends how much time you would love to spend spinning and how fast you are able to draft and spin yarn, I would probably say approximately 100g of fiber per hour, and to card a 50g batt takes approximately 20 - 30 mins. These are very approximate, as it depends on how much detail you are putting into your batt/spin, and if your are spinning ready prepared fiber straight from the bag then the batt carding time wouldn't be needed.
I have listed an itinerary on the event page on our website (above) this will give you an idea of the hours we will be spending in lesson time and spinning circles, then you are welcome to spend as much or as little time as you'd love to inbetween practicing and creating yarns, so you will be able to get an idea of how much time you may spend spinning.
Please check the What you will need to bring section on this event page (above) to check that you have the equipment that you will need. And consider what technique you may like to use in your final project, eg. knitting, crochet, weaving, so that you can bring with you any equipment you may need for it. I have here a couple of very simple small looms and a peg loom which you may borrow to work on during the retreat, but I can't guarantee that they won't already be in use with another student, although I can show you how to make a very simple loom from cardboard if needed.
When you spin your yarns I will be showing you how to spin a single ply yarn, and how to spin two single ply yarns and ply the two together (the two yarns twist together to make a two ply thicker yarn) after you have learned this, you may like to try spinning a single ply yarn and plying it with a commercial yarn (instead of plying two that you have spun) to create interesting effects and textures, for this you will need to bring any yarns you love, fancy yarns can give interesting textures in a two ply yarn if you like that.
Lessons are in beginners spinning and drop spindling, if you take to spinning and plying quickly, and would like to learn creative (art yarn) spinning techniques then extra personal lessons will be available to book during the retreat, please see the extras available section for more info and what is available.
If you think you may be booking an art yarn lesson then it's a good idea to bring along some commercial yarn that is strong, like one with polyester in for strength so that it doesn't break easily when making art yarns.
Because will each be working on a final project, you may want to choose fiber in colours that you love to go with each other for your project.
Info about buying wools and what words may be used in product descriptions
Uncarded dyed wool - coloured & uncarded
Washed wool fleece - natural fleece washed & uncarded
Carded wools - wool fibers are washed and prepared (already carded or carded and blended) can be bought as tops, roving, batts, rolags  in dyed or undyed natural colours
* When learning to spin, you will want to practice with simple fiber, like natural washed sheep wool until you are used to spinning, so that you aren't practicing on your fancy fibers that are more expensive.
If you would love to experiment with texture and colour in your yarn you can buy fancy fibers to blend in with your wools, I use mainly wools with a smaller amount of silks and/or fancy fibers blended in to my batts.
Here are some ideas of a few of the different kinds of wools and effects fibers that can be used in spinning, you won't need all of them (unless you want them :-) I've put a star * next to a few of my favourite ones I would recommend working with for colour and texture.
If you would rather just work with natural wools then you could choose from some on the wool list in their natural undyed colours (clean washed) Blue Faced Leicester and Merino are some lovely and soft wools.
If you would like to do the process of carding your own natural wools to spin you will just need washed natural fleece (buy from a reputable seller for good quality washed fleece that has been sheered well without second cuts, one that is picked and washed well and not felted in the washing process)
Wools Breeds - 
* Merino
* Blue faced leicester
Massam (long)
Animal fibers -
* Alpaca
Camel down or hair
Fancy fibers & textures -
* Recycled silk
* Carded silk & hand dyed silks (smooth)
* Silk waste threads
* Silk noil (textured)
* Bamboo
Banana fiber
* Wool nepps (texture)
Wool Knops (texture)
Wool burrs (texture)
* Curly locks (wensleydale/teeswater)
* Flax/linen
Trilobal nylon/firestar (sparkle)
* Angelina (very sparkly)
What we have available in the studio shop here -
Pick and mix coloured merino tops/rovings (in large range of colours & shades) - £6.50 per 100g bag
Hand dyed merino rovings (many colour choices) - £14 - 112g
Recycled silk (carded) - £4 - 50g
White silk noil - £3 - 50g
Nepps (red/orange/green/purple) - £2 - 25g
Pick and mix natural wool tops - £4.50 per 100g in the following breeds
Shetland (natural moorit brown)
Manx (natural moorit brown)
Jacob (natural dark brown)
Blue Faced Leicester (natural oatmeal brown)
Organic Falkland (white)
French Merino (natural moorit brown & dark brown)
Ronaldsay (super soft batts that draft super easy)



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