Session One:

Forest Foraging & Mushroom Dyeing
with Alissa Allen

September 29 - October 2, 2019

Join us for a unique opportunity to walk into the Maine woods with mycologist Alissa Allen. Alissa has over twenty years of experience researching and dyeing with mushrooms and lichens. Alissa’s mission is to educate about the diverse ways in which the wonderful kingdom of fungi adds to our lives. We will start with an informative presentation by Alissa and then get hands-on experience searching and picking mushrooms of our own. Students will learn to name and distinguish edible, non-edible and dye-producing examples.

Forest walks are followed by an all-day dyeing workshop, demonstrating how to extract different colors from the gathered mushrooms. to add natural color to thread, yarn and cloth.


Mycologist Alissa Allen of will lead us on forest wanderings, where we will slow down, and learn to identify different species of fungi. From our findings we will explore micro-seasonal dye palettes, and extract a veritable rainbow of dye with which to transform thread, yarn and yardage. Two dye workshops will thoroughly explain how to identify, gather and process findings to make successful dyebaths for your future projects.


Meals will be provided by Annemarie Ahearn of Salt Water Farm using fresh, local Maine ingredients. We will have the opportunity to dine together at her farm. Private dining experiences will be curated by other well-known chefs and restaurants including Belfast’s Chase’s Daily, Camden’s Long Grain and Rhumb Line, and Rockport’s Seafolk.


Each evening we will gather for beautiful dinner feast, and embroider on a communal tablecloth. This project will bring us together at the end of the day - allowing for continued stitching practice and conversation, and connecting us to the part of the craft which historically took place, side by side. The finished cloth will be distributed at the end of the retreat, as a memento of our time together.

This retreat is set in beautiful Mid-coast Maine near Belfast.


Sunday September 29

  • 3 - 5pm - Afternoon arrival/greetings - welcomed at accommodation

  • 6pm - Dinner at Salt Water Farm and introduction to communal tablecloth embroidery project

  • 7:30pm - Presentation by Alissa about mushroom dyeing and/ or instructional embroidery session

Monday September 30

  • 9am - Breakfast

  • 9:30am - Woods walk/mushroom foraging

  • 12pm - Picnic lunch

  • 1:30pm - Mushroom drawing and embroidery sketching in the woods

  • 3:30-4pm - Return to accommodation for afternoon tea

  • 6:30pm - Dinner at Long Grain and Communal Embroidery

Tuesday October 1

  • 9am - Breakfast

  • 9:30am - 12:30pm - Morning mushroom dye session with Alyssa

  • 12:30pm - Sit down lunch

  • 1:30pm - 5pm - Afternoon mushroom dye session with Alyssa

  • 5 - 6pm - Mushroom Cocktail hour

  • 6pm - Dinner and Communal Embroidery

Wednesday October 2

  • 9am - Breakfast and/or free morning in Belfast

  • 10am - 12pm - 1st session mushroom students depart

  • 1pm - 3pm - optional embroidery lesson