Fiber College of Maine Touchstone Workshop: September 4-8

Sheep to Shawl – Creating Wearable Art with Wool

Together we will conduct a hands-on breed study comparing fibers from many different sheep breeds, and then take the wool from its raw stage (right off the animal) through different processes like cleaning and dyeing to creating a luxurious wrap on a floor loom.

With Diane Hoppe, Heron Crossing Farm

Wool with the sheep it came from picturedWool is a very versatile, warm, and comforting natural fiber. It grows like hair on sheep and is periodically harvested for the health of the sheep as well as the by-product of its insulating fiber. Throughout history, sheep have been bred to demonstrate desirable characteristics. Wool resulting from this selective breeding can vary from fine and soft to coarse and durable. In this retreat, we will conduct a hands-on breed study comparing fibers from 16 different sheep breeds, and then take the wool through different processes to create a luxurious garment.

Working with wool engages our senses in a visual and tactile adventure. We will embark on a learning journey that will take us from meeting the sheep, learning about breed and wool qualities; and on to the sorting, cleaning, and spinning processes; followed by dying and weaving with wool yarns to reflect the colors and textures of September.

While learning technical skills, we will create elegant weavings with unique color ways and textures. Our work will be inspired by the animals themselves, the abundant gardens of surrounding the studio, and the natural beauty of Mid-Coast Maine. During the retreat, each participant will create a woven shawl on a floor loom using their own hand painted yarn and one of the twill draft designs offered. The resulting creations will celebrate your unique sense of color, texture, design and inspiration.

Class and Retreat Fee: $980.00

Materials fee: $175

the materials fee includes: 1-lb of fleece - $24 (1-oz each: 16 breeds), Dyes: $6,  Workbook: $15,  Warp: $50; Weft: $40 + $30 labor for winding warp

For more information on accommodation options, click here.

To see the other workshop offerings, click here.

Dianne Hoppe with her flock of sheep.

Heron Crossing Farm

Diane is a passionate shepherdess who has spent her adult life raising Finn Sheep and creating the softest and most beautiful yarn you'll find anywhere in the world. Her method of teaching is straight forward and fun: She informs, encourages, supports, and then stands back and lets your individuality and creativity take over. The results are always rewarding to both the student and the teacher.

Touchstone Retreat Schedule


Settle into this magical world

2:00-5:00 Register, share a cider, pick up a map of places you might like to visit in the area and settle in for your relaxing retreat once you've gotten a lay of the land

5:30-7:30 Join us for cocktails/mocktails, snacks, and social time.  Meet the instructors and share in the stories while we have a teacher's work exhibition.  We'll light a campfire if you'd like to linger into the evening and toast marshmallows under the stars.


Dive deep into your passion

8-9 Breakfast (included for everyone, veg & GF friendly)

9-12 Class

12-2 Garden Lunch and Guided conversation (1:00-1:30) (veg & GF friendly)

2-5 Class

5:30-6:30 pre-dinner sip and stroll~ a chance to walk the beach and catch up on the day's activities.

Thursday: Light Dinner (veg & GF friendly) Followed by a Forest Bathing Walk through the ancient Oak grove

Friday: Dinner on your own, studios will remain accessible and we'll have a campfire in the garden for your pleasure

Saturday: Moveable Feast, Some part of dinner will be served in each of the classrooms...stroll through and see what everyone's been creating


Re-emerge Gently

8-9 Breakfast (included for everyone, veg & GF friendly)

9-12 Class

12:30 - 3 Lunch, book signing, special shopping, pictures and goodbyes (veg & GF friendly)