Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Syrendell Workshops - Spinning & Grade 2

This past weekend, I had so much fun attending both a spinning and Grade 2 workshop at the Syrendell Academy in Fair Oaks, CA. We drove up to my in-law's on Friday and on Saturday morning, I headed out in the rain for a two hour drive to the workshop.

I arrived around 8:30am and registered and then had fun browsing all the lovely books, handwork supplies, and grounds of the Syrendell Academy. It is literally like stepping into a fairy realm with the beautiful daffodils and lush hillside which surrounds this gorgeous home. The morning spinning session was led by Jennifer Tan and her daughter, Joey. As a complete beginner to the world of spinning, I was enchanted to see just how this ancient art is done. We learned to use a drop spindle, a drum carder, some more advanced spinners tried their hand at the spinning wheel and we learned to ply the yarn, use niddy noddies, how to set the twist and got to take home what we made.

After the 3 hour workshop, we had a delicious bio dynamic, vegetarian lunch catered by the Steiner College Kitchen and then I headed off to the Steiner College Bookstore to do a bit of shopping...it was a beautiful shop and I got so wrapped up looking at all their incredible books and supplies that I was a few minutes late getting back to the next workshop!

In the afternoon, Rick Tan led a Grade 2 workshop. Syrendell is very accommodating and will create a workshop to fit your needs. With my twins beginning Grade 2 next fall, I thought it would be wonderful to tap into Rick's educational background and talents to give us a great start!

We sat down and discussed our backgrounds and how important that is to what we bring to our children. We discussed Steiner and the typical subjects taught in Grade 2.

We even got to learn and play with some of the materials. It was very informative and hands on as Rick discussed various block crayon and wet on wet watercolor painting techniques. In both workshops, we received informative handouts that I will be referring to again and again.

It was such a fun day to learn something new and to be surrounded by such wonderful people in such a serene atmosphere. If you have a chance to attend one of their many workshops, I'd highly recommend it! They have two coming up in March that Jennifer blogged about here.

When we got home, I set my batt out and am excited to use it as a prop for our homeschooling needs (we've been using it this week - next blog will show what we're doing with our batt). I wanted to create a fairy-like batting to celebrate the spring and the new growth that surrounds all of us.

Here is my first hand-spun fiber! Lots of colors and both large and small yarn as a result.

And my beautiful drop-spindle that Jennifer's daughter, Joey, picked out for me (made out of maple and cherry wood), along with my lovely niddy noddie made out of wood from an apple tree. So beautiful and I'm sure will become well used over the years. Spinning is definitely addicting!

I will definitely head back to the Syrendell Academy in the future. It was really informative and relaxing, as well as fun! The level of understanding one can gleam from actually working in person on a new skill can not be underestimated. As a visual and tactile learner, I really appreciated being able to be there in person to learn this fine art of spinning!

For more information about workshops, you can contact the Syrendell Academy here. They are also very accommodating and can create workshops and even travel out of state to teach to a group upon request.


  1. Oh Jen! Thank you for such a beautiful review. It was truly a pleasure to have here in our home. I wish you could have stayed longer! Can't wait to see your future yarns.

  2. What a wonderful opportunity, Jen! You are lucky to be near enough to go along to these workshops.

  3. What a blessing to live near the Tan family - and so wonderful to learn to spin and to learn more about wsldorf education. Thank you for sharing.
    Warm wishes, Tonya

  4. Looks like a really fun day! Thanks for sharing it on your blog. :-)

  5. Wonderful photo's! I would love to attend one of their workshops with my children. I across the country. I can see that you were truly blessed by their workshops. Have a great day, Rose

  6. Jennifer - I will be back and we'll pick up where we left off :D And I will probably see you at the fiber retreat anyway so I look forward to seeing you there, as well!

    Kelly and Tonya, it is such a bonus to be so close to such a creative and sharing family. I definitely count myself lucky!

    Thank you Sara and Rose for your comments! I love to connect with other mommas through this blog!

    Blessings and light to you all!