The Retreat

The place:    Israel’s only alpaca farm on the outskirts of the town of Mitzpe Ramon.  Mitzpe Ramon’s a town of about 5,500 residents in the Negev desert of southern Israel. It is situated on the northern ridge at an elevation of 800 meters (2,400 feet) overlooking a sizable (28 miles long and 5 miles wide) erosion cirque known as the Ramon Crater.  We took over the cabins (B&B) on the farm for the weekend, as well as a larger studio for activities.   The temperature was around 80° or higher during the day, fine January weather…  (!!?)

photo by Ayelet

Some of the folks arrived on Thursday, and among other things had fun preparing yarn and roving for dyeing.

The Haifa crowd arrived on Friday morning.  Ayelet gave a talk about colour theory, good tips before we began our dye lesson!   The yarn was ready…

photo by Ayelet

Yael taught us about different methods of dyeing yarn…

photo by Ayelet

We mixed colours…

photo by Ayelet

And we got to it!

photo by Ayelet

photo by Ayelet

In between the dyeing stages we had a lesson in spinning…

photo by Ayelet

photo by Ayelet

This is going to take some practice, I’ve discovered.  To help me along I bought one of Galia’s gorgeous handmade spindles…

photo by Ayelet

We took some time to stroll around and visit the local residents…

and the yarn-processing cabin…

We also had fun swapping stash,

photo by Ayelet

sharing books and projects, playing with the kids, preparing and eating wonderful goodies,

knitting of course, and I even had time for a short nap.

Evening came, it got cooler, and we had Kabbalat Shabbat.  Had to light candles in the wind that had picked up a bit…

photo by Ayelet

photo by Ayelet

After dinner we sat around the campfire for dessert, some marshmallows, and a few drinks!

photo by Ayelet

photo by Ayelet

photo by Ayelet

Then it was time for the Haifa contingent to hit the road heading north!

All in all, we had a wonderful time, and I’m eager to do this again!  (But next time, a little closer to home…)

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