SOAR Follow Up

I know. It’s been nearly a month past, but I thought I’d better post a follow up. I kept waiting until I finished some of the SOAR class work so I would have something to show. Since those class projects still have needles attached to them, I thought I’d better post something.

One of the retreat classess I took was a tahkli class from Joan Ruane. She turned my cotton world upside down in those three short hours. She made cotton spinning effortless. Don’t believe me? Take a look at a before picture.

Before…lumps, bumps and all

Yeah. That’s been sitting on my charkha for several years. It’s my attempt at spinning some Nancy Finn Chasing Rainbow dyed cotton punis that I purchased years ago. The punis were compacted and I haven’t been able to spin these on a charkha nor spinning wheel. But after her class? A picture is worth a thousand words.


Yes, the orange is really that bright. There were a handful of solid orange, which I spun as is. The variegated ones I spun in a the orange-yellow-green-yellow-orange sequence (4 punis each). All of these were spun during the past month. Easy peasy.


Yet another fabulous SOAR. And again, there appears to be no photos on my camera, save this. The Circle of Life Shawl at the SOAR gallery. I didn’t get to the edging, so I just finished it with a crochet bind off so it can make it into the gallery.

And here it is on the hotel bed for scale. It’s a queen sized bed.

After much consultation, I have decided to skip the medium brown that just started to appear in the progression and jump straight to the dark brown for contrast, and a wee bit of drama. However, I won’t start it for a few weeks. After a summer spent on 2 major projects, I feel a need for a few instant gratification projects.

So far, I’ve finished a sock, singular. I need something a bit more frivolous. Suggestions?

Home from SOAR

I’m home from Delavan, Wisconsin, where SOAR was held this year, exhausted and invigorated. I’m still unpacking and finding fiber in more crevices as I unpack my bags. Until I have time to sit down and finish off some of my class samples and take pictures, I’ll leave you with a couple of things to whet your appetite.

A few photos in my Picasa album.

Shelia, Stetson, and I were sitting at the lunch table when Linda announced the Batts to Hats contest. First statement out of our collective mouths were, we aren’t really contest entry type people. But we talked about how it could be done. Next thing We knew, we were checking out collection of tools for the largest knitting and crochet needles. I had seen the perfect pencil rovings in the market that we could just shove it up the orifice with the miniSpinner set at the lowest twist setting and fasted whorl.

And the rest is history. Amy wrote a nice summary of the Batts to Hats contest. She neglected to note that we won the “Technical Excellence” award. That’s a shocking thought since the hat started to unravel the first time Stetson put the hat on.

Gone Spinnin’

I’m headed for SOAR in a few hours. My bags are mostly packed. Last load of laundry is in the dryer. My ride to the airport is picking me up at 0700. Just a few short hours from now.

This year, SOAR is in Delavan, WI. I’m flying out to Chicago to meet up with Kathleen, and then we’ll drive from Chicago to Delavan. I will not bring a laptop this time, since I don’t have to do anything silly, like set up the CNCH registration site.


So much to say yet so little to show for it on my cameras.  At least, that I’m willing to share on the blog. After all, I need to hold back something for blackmailing. Karaoke with Velma & Nancy Roberts, anyone? Samba line dancing? (Thank goodness no one took pictures of me doing that!) Stetson and Sarah trying for the longest draw with cotton and a spinning wheel (with Denny and Stephenie doing the limbo under it).

What’s best about SOAR? Hanging out with old friends, some you only see a few times a year, or once a year at SOAR. Getting to know some of them better. Getting under the covers and learning the thought and design process of the mentors for their various projects: Sara Lamb, Deb Menz, Stephenie Gaustad, Sarah Swett to name a few. (Go ahead, click through to their site and tell me you aren’t inspired.) Meeting new best friends. Seeing all the fabulous projects that everyone has been working on during the past year. Creative juices are flowing.

Unfortunately, creative juices aren’t the only juices that are flowing. I arrived still recovering from the ravages of a 2 week old cold (just sinusitis and bronchitis at this point, and cleared by my doctor as not contagious), there were others who arrive while contagious. Sorry, people, cold/flu while you are contagious and in small hotel meeting rooms/suites and lots of other people is just not a good idea. Several of the mentors came down with the crud after the 3 day workshop and had to suffer through the remainder of the week feverish and loss of voice. Not cool. Some think that the SOAR crud is the price of admission; I’d rather not.

The cold dry air of the Oregon High Desert triggered a severe asthma attack for me. That on top of weakened lungs from the bronchitis made it ugly. Very ugly. So ugly that I barely made it to Whidbey Island. So ugly that my doctor put me on a course of prednisone. So ugly that I’ve decided to stay put until this is fully under control instead of returning back to the bay area and some commitments I have down there.

Now that the asthma is better controlled, I have the sniffles. Damn! And a winter storm is now scheduled to arrive tomorrow and stay through the window I am thinking I’ll be able to head south again.

On the positive side, I love a good winter storm when I tucked in the cottage with a fire blazing. Plenty of hot tea and my spinning wheel. I might even break out the Cricket and weave a scarf!

And even better, I will be able to go to the Whidbey Weaver’s Guild‘s Annual Sale on Friday!

I leave you with some images of the week. Click through for full size.

31-Aug-2014: Sorry, I have removed the photo gallery because I have been getting a lot of comment spam through a loop hole in the WordPress Galleries created before a patch.

23 Dec, 2009: Edited to use YouTube instead of the local QuickTime movie for improved page loading and throughput.