On the demise of SOAR

I received an email yesterday that announced that this year’s SOAR (Spin Off Autumn Retreat) will be the last. I am surprised, and saddened. I know some of the sadness, frustration, and anger that the SOAR staff must be feeling right now, having to make that announcement. There are no photos below, only memories. This year, the event will be held just outside of Chicago. I believe that this will be the 31st year that the event will be held. There’s a thread on Ravelry that discusses the great memories that SOAR go-ers have of the event. I shared there, and I’m going to...

read more

In which we begin playing with fire

On day 3, we prepared our yarn for natural dyeing. Leslie assured us that natural dyeing, or any dyeing really, was just like cooking. You gather your ingredients, prepare your yarn/fiber, and follow the recipe. Wednesday, day 3 was the day we prepared to dye. Joanne, who was responsible for bringing the program to Smithtown, had arranged for us to have six brick fire pits. We only needed one for prep day. It’s a good thing too. The wood we had was a little wetter than we would have liked. Joanne was an Eagle Scout though, and got the fire going. We were thankful that it was a cooler...

read more

There is still very little spinning

Day two: Once we’d washed up our fiber on Day 1, it was time to talk about prep. There are two ways we addressed prep in class: 1. Flicking: Be careful. The flicker will bite you if you aren’t paying attention!   2. Carding This is the queen of woolen prep. I’m a woolen spinner by default so I had a really good time seeing how Leslie carded vs. how I was doing it, and watching all the other women in the class (we happened to all be women). While I liked Leslie’s method, I feel like my method works better with some super short fibers – I’m looking at...

read more

Everything’s coming up wooly

After what feels like a very long time, my life has turned back to the fibery side. I’d been very down about the way Spin-U turned out, so much so that I wasn’t really looking forward to what the future held for my personal spinning. I had signed up for Olds College Master Spinner Level 1, to be held in (fairly) nearby Smithtown. Completing either the Master Spinner courses, or a COE (Handweaver’s Guild of America’s Certificate of Excellence in Handspinning) has long been on my bucket list. When I saw the Master Spinner Level 1 course being offered less than an hour...

read more

I think I broke my brain

I think I broke my brain. I’ve had a little Strauch Petite for AGES. I never use it because I was never happy with the results. I would feed in wool, and get out a neppy awful mess. I was afraid to put anything of any quality into it, even though I know the old adage “garbage in/garbage out”. I had considered selling the drum carder, but couldn’t bring myself to do so. After carding (and carding and carding and carding) the Hampshire fleece bits, I decided that I wanted a project for me, and I didn’t want to do it on hand cards, thankyouverymuch. I went...

read more