Retreat FAQ

“It was a fabulous weekend with so much to offer to so many.” – Ercil Wroth

Who is behind it? A home-based business that sells natural dyes, fibers and small fiber tools, founded by John & Bjo Trimble, now owned and managed by Theresa Wollenstein and helpful friends, bless them!

What’s included in the Retreat fee?
All meals
Open Dyeing
Many classes & materials
Reference library
& much more

What are “loaner tools”? We’ll have an assortment of spinning wheels, looms, drop spindles, carding combs and other fiber tools that you can borrow during the Retreat.

Why the high fee? It isn’t bad for the huge amount of information you will take home, and our Retreat includes lodging plus all meals. 

Where is the Retreat? Arrowhead Ranch, just outside Lake Arrowhead, CA.

What is the altitude? About 5000 feet above sea level.

Is it close to an airport? LA/Ontario airport is about an hour away; LAX is 2 hours or more. Let us know if you fly in so we can make arrangements to get you to the camp.

What are the cabins like? There’s a wide variety of cabins! They sleep between 2-7 people, and have twin, double, queen, king-size beds, trundle beds, and some have pullout sofas. Every cabin has a bathroom with a shower. Most cabins include a small kitchenette with a fridge and microwave, others have ovens and sinks too! The larger cabins include sitting rooms and porches.

Is Arrowhead Ranch handicap-friendly? There’s one cabin with a ramp entrance and a separate handicap shower facility (although they are working towards making the cabin fully chair friendly! The entirety of the ranch has stairs and small hills, but we also have access to a golf cart to help people get around as needed.

Is Arrowhead Ranch online? Yes! You can visit their website at

Where can I sleep if not at the Ranch? There are Lake Arrowhead motels and campgrounds just minutes away!

Is there RV parking? Unfortunately, Arrowhead Ranch cannot accommodate RVs, but there are plenty of campgrounds in the area, and you can join us for meals and classes at a lower rate!

“Whenever someone wanted to learn something, there was always a teacher there to teach it.” – Roberta Brubaker.

Can I dye all weekend? Yes. We’ll start the dyepots on Friday afternoon and stop them Saturday night. Since dyeing involves long waits between good color, you can take other classes during the weekend.

What can I learn?
How to skirt and wash fleece
Combing and carding flax and fleece
Making sprang and naalbinding
Inkle and triangle weaving
Tablet weaving
Lucet cord-making
Viking combing
Great wheel spinning
Drop spinning
Knitting and crochet
Tie-dye and other resist dyeing
How to handle silk caps (bells)
Flax spinning
MX fiber reactive dyeing
Natural dyeing
and much more.

What else can I learn? In the past we’ve had leatherworking, wood-turning, wire jewelry, basket-making, silk-painting, and painting with dyes and earth oxides.

What kind of dyeing? You’ll work with natural dyes and commercial dyes to create a wonderful array of color. This year we’ll have even more dyepots going, with color stations set up.

Can I bring a special project? We will try to assist, but since the Retreat is a learning experience for all, we can’t devote too much time for each person’s personal projects. We suggest that large projects be dealt with at another time.

Can I teach? Tell us what you want to teach, and we’ll discuss it.

“I am ‘recovering’ from one of the most fantastic weekends I’ve had in a long while.” – Susan Williams

What about food? All meals and even snacks are included in the Retreat fee. You will be well-fed, guaranteed.

All beverages are supplied? The Retreat fee includes plenty of bottled water, lemonade, and iced tea.

What about food allergies? Meals are buffet-style with all ingredients listed, so those with allergies can work around any problems.

What is “The Coffee Bar of Splendoor”? Cat Ellen supplies free hot beverages each morning, and at other times on request: drip coffee, teas, chocolates, spiced cider, served with a variety of flavored creamers, syrups, and sugars.

“That weekend retreat was the most fun I’ve had in years.” – Jeanne Willits

Is this an all-female event? Males are VERY welcome!

Would my family enjoy it? Many classes are child-friendly, and Lake Arrowhead has plenty to offer children and families looking for a weekend away from the city! (Campers who don’t take classes are welcome at a lower rate!)

How do I dress? As casually as possible. There will be lots of wonderfully messy things to do. This is not the place for high heels, jewelry or even makeup. Since the upcoming Retreat is in June, plan on a light chill in the evenings.

Do I need sunscreen in June? Yes!!! Double yes! We’ll be in higher altitude with no protection from the sun. Also bring lip balm with a high SPF, and skin moisturizer. We’ll be working with wool or in dye-water which also dries hands.

Will there be vendors? Yes. If you know of anyone with fiber or crafts-related merchandise, have them contact email us. Vendors are responsible for their own setup, booth, shade, credit card machines, etc.

Can I sell my stuff? You are welcome to bring one or two items (loom, spinning wheel, fabric, fleece, etc) and sell or trade it.

What should we bring? Hat, sunscreen, materials required for your classes, any projects you want to work on, any items for our donate/destash table or the raffle, a comfortable chair, maybe a small rug for the spinning area, a swimsuit and towel for the pool and jacuzzi.. Bedding & bath towels are provided by Arrowhead Ranch. See more recommendations at What should I bring to the retreat?

What about medication? Medication with your name on it may be stored in the kitchen refrigerator. We can’t supply any medication except under First Aid emergencies.

What should we not bring?

No unregistered friends or family ‘just to camp’ – they have to pay a fee.
No drop-ins ‘just to see what’s going on.’
No jewelry because it can be lost and never found.
No perfume or other scented stuff because it attracts insects that get annoyed when it turns out you aren’t a flower.
No pets of any kind; site is a wilderness area and there are wild animals nearby.
No smoking.
No hard liquor.
No firearms.

“I got everything out of the event that I wanted: Time with fiber, folks who understand and love fiber” — Debbie Coyle

Is everything volunteer? Yes. We pay teachers and helpers in vouchers for Griffin Dyeworks merchandise if they perform as promised.

Remember to add us to your address books! We do most of our Retreat business by email, but if we’re spam-blocked you won’t get much information. 

How can I help? Tell everyone about the Retreat. We’re not in every guild or on every fiber site, so we need your help.

“Totally enriched by the weekend!” – Erin Talevich