Wednesday, November 03, 2010

SOAR 2010

Sooooo... yeah. It's been a while since I blogged. But SOAR was important. Spin-Off Autumn Retreat for the uninitiated. In Delavan, Wisconsin.

I went not knowing what to expect. No one I knew in Real Life was going to attend. I had only heard good things, save for the Swine Flu Epidemic of 2009, but I got my 3-in-1 shot in September so I wasn't worried about that. I was leaving a two-week-post-tonsillectomy husband and 2 small children at home in Texas, and I was slightly worried on that count, but not too much. We had emergency babysitters lined up and a healthy frozen dinner service on speed dial.

I'm going to skip all the fluff and get right down to it, especially since I didn't take the camera (I know, I know -- for shame!). On Thursday night, I met people I had only talked to online, placed faces with avatars, and non-public-me actually volunteered to walk in the fashion show in probably the least impressive garment possible (my "beat around the house" sweater -- EZ's NZ Pullover in 3-ply CVM long-draw worsted weight).

Friday started with Margaret Stove's Spinning Fine Lace retreat. Definitely re-wrote my preconceptions on lace spinning. I wouldn't have guessed that a medium whorl would be the secret to beautifully knit-able gossamer yarn. Looking through a microscope to see the twist angle on the result was a true revelation for me.

Friday afternoon changed my perspective, too, but in a different way. Now, this time we were spinning fast in Sara Lamb's Silk Spinning class. I had always avoided spinning silk top because of shoulder tension from spinning from the end, semi-worsted-style. All of a sudden I was spinning with my hands in my lap, fiber coming from 'wherever' in the fiber-mass and it was the easiest, fastest, most relaxing thing ever.

Friday night was more camaraderie and sharing stories -- and drinks (I never drink at home so I let loose -- perhaps a little too enthusiastically -- abroad). Saturday morning, though, I was right as rain, particularly after a brisk, and by that I mean CHILLY, walk by the lake, which was wonderful.

Open Studio was Saturday morning - perhaps something that needs to be tweaked in future, but still gave me a chance to spend more time discussing obscure topics while getting some serious brainless spinning time in -- always my relaxation method of choice.

Saturday afternoon culminated in Deb Menz's class on blending fiber on hackles. Also fascinating and I learned that I have a fairly difficult time distinguishing equal value between different hue families. :-/ However, the blending was great fun and I was finally able to put in play all the theory I had gleaned out of my beloved copies of Color in Spinning and Color Works. I also gave value to that tetanus booster I got 2 years ago by thwapping my right thumb solidly onto the hackle. Note to self: thumb /= fiber.

Sunday morning I managed to pry all my new acquisitions into my suitcase and backpack and head home .... less one motorcycle jacket, which I forgot in my airport-ride's vehicle. She has kindly offered to mail it to me, though.

Market purchases: Only 1 pound of Rovings polwarth and 1 pack of undyed silk hankies. I left with way too much of my budget unspent -- mostly due to the crowded nature of the market. I felt if I would have bought something it would have to be on impulse and I am very much not an impulse purchaser.

That's pretty much it -- I don't remember much of the Spin-In (except for watching Phreadde card cotton for Sara Lamb and Deb Menz while we all indulged in scotch) due to sleep deprivation. Someone (ahem... me) forgot to pack her melatonin and my internal clock is not used to the sun (or lack thereof) in the mid-west. I think I went to sleep at midnight and woke at 3am every night of my stay -- not so good for working with sharp and pointy wool implements!!!!