Twist Retreat, 1st edition

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Centre Touristique La Petite Rouge - Paysage

The 1st edition of the Twist Retreat was held at Centre Touristique de la Petite Rouge in the Outaouais region of the province of Québec. At this retreat, 70 fiber enthusiasts of all ages & levels got together for a fiber-filled weekend.

That picture above is exactly how the entire weekend was! Gorgeous, warm, sunny… the first true weekend of Spring, a few weeks early!


Activities started Friday afternoon, with 3 60-minute workshops in small groups.

We learned about the preparation of worsted yarn (not to be confused with worsted weight yarn) from one of my new favorite people in the world: Master Felter, Diane Gonthier.

We also learned to spin fiber with a drop spindle with Julie Biron & Karin Brouillette). I love these ladies, and learn a lot from them each time I see them. They’re also just a lot of fun to know!

And we learned to make fur pompoms (so easy & fun!) with Mélodie. I love my new furbabies. I will name them and keep them forever.

Friday evening was the Twist In. All of us got together in small groups of 2 to 6 participants and created a team flag. These flags stayed up through the weekend & will be on display at the Twist Fiber Festival this summer!

And yes. I am absolutely wearing our flag as a bikini bottom. I’m classy.



After not enough hours of sleep (I am a solid sleeper =)), I went to my 1st of 4 3-hour workshops: Felting with Diane Gonthier. Felting is HARD on the arms and back, but sooo enjoyable. I think this was my very favorite part of the weekend, and something I will come back to. We were making drawstring bags, but Karin changed hers into a hat through sheer shaping at the end, and I decided I’d try that too. I love wearing hats.



Everyone was wondering what crochet girl was going to do at this 2nd workshop: Knitting a magic cake with Josée Labrie. I considered taking on the needles, but in the interest of time I chose to Tunisian crochet this beautiful yarn cake instead.

This is also something I will be coming back to. It took me out of my matchy-matchy comfort zone, and got my creativity all fired up. The idea is to take your leftover yarn and wind it into one big ball, and then to knit (or crochet) from there. I would have been fine just learning that perfect double knot, but I got even more out of the workshop so that’s awesome. (That knot, though. So useful!)

No pictures of Saturday night, but we did stay up a little later than we should have =)



It was slightly harder to enjoy the time change… Losing that 1 hour of sleep really sucked =) On with the workshops, though.

Marie-France Gosselin is a really awesome teacher & this was the perfect workshop for Sunday morning! Very intuitive and relaxing. This type of weaving (saori) is not for making hand towels, but more for letting it all go. Very lovely. I want to do more of this..

And last but not least, I dyed yarn with indigo! Indigo stinks, by the way =) But it is pure magic. Another favorite lady of mine, Julie Asselin, expertly taught this class.

Indigo, when it’s ready to dye, is yellowish. But then when it touches oxygen, the fiber goes from yellow to green to blue, changing very quickly at first – and more slowly over the next few minutes. Check out the videos below to see that happen =)

Here’s one picture of almost everyone. This is on Sunday, right before our 4th workshop.


Twisted gurlz

I’m very happy to have been a part of it. Amélie Blanchard and her team of volunteers did great.

I was happy to be only 90 minutes away from home when it was all done! Some people had flights or 6-drives ahead of them.

I wouldn’t change anything about this weekend (except for my stubborn cold not wanting to leave, and my middle-of-the-night coughing fits). The number, level, and interest of the various workshops was exactly right.

It was my first time at a retreat after years of curiosity about the different ones I read about online. I’m really excited about doing more of these =)

Julie xx