Archive for November, 2009


November 5, 2009

I can no longer say that I am a SOAR virgin. For anyone that doesn’t know, SOAR is Spin Off Autumn Retreat. It is a gathering of spinners, many of who also weave and/or knit. This year it was held in Sunriver, only a half hour from my house, so how could I not go? And it was worth every mile that I had to drive (since there was no one at home to take care of the beasties, I had to come home each night). I got to do the retreat, 4 3-hour classes in 2 days.

First up was silk with Michael Cook. He raises his own silk worms, and we got to reel silk (basically unwind the cocoons of about 100 moths at once) and make silk hankies. Way cool. I don’t know that I’ll ever reel again, but I can definately see myself making more hankies, since I already like to spin those.

On to blending on the drum carder with Abby Franquemont.  A great lesson on how colors combine on the drum carder. You start with a pile of fiber that really clashes, and end up with a gorgeous batt. Very inspirational!

I stayed way too late Friday night, since I had parked myself with the wheel in an area that was used to measure the yarns made in the spinning competition. Gave me a chance to finish spinning a 2 ounce roving that I had dyed last summer.

Saturday I started in a spinning for next to the skin class with Sara Swett. She had brought in a bunch of hand knit clothing that she made that hardly showed any wear at all, despite most of it being several years old. Fell in love with a long vest that I may have to re-create for myself. We used several different prep methods. Very interesting to see what a difference the prep makes to the yarn.

I finished up with a color class with Deb Menz. What more can I say but WOW! We all came in dragging a bit, but as we worked you could feel the energy level go up, up, up! We only covered the bare bones basics, but it was wonderful. Between what I learned here and in Abby’s class my head is bursting with ideas.

Now I have to get back to spinning the commission fleeces. Three down, at least 3 more to go. Haven’t looked at the mohair fleeces yet, but I haven’t been impressed before. They get shorn too late, and in previous years have been horribly matted. Too bad, because they’d be nice fleeces if they were properly shorn.

Pictures next post, I promise…