By special request from Ramona, I have created a collage for you.

SOAR Haul Collage

Starting from top left, going clockwise:

  1. “Mayan Chocolate Cashmere” (50/30/20 Merino/Alpaca/Cashmere) from Lambspun. 6 bumps. Approx. 16 oz.
  2. “Blended Rolls” (50/50 Mohair/Cormo) in “cool” colorway. I can’t remember the vendor, but the rolags are carefully prepared so that if you draft evenly from the end of the rolag, you will get precise repeats. When plied, they will match up almost 100%. 2 pouches. In theory, enough for a vest or sweater.
  3. “Rocky Mountain High” (Polwarth) from Rovings. A bag. I have no idea how much is in the bag.
  4. Lavender Bunny Balls from Elemental Affects. 6 bumps. I think they were 4 oz each. Enough for a vest.
  5. “Salt Lake” (Polwarth) from Rovings. A bag. Again, I have no idea how much is in the bag. I told myself that if it was bag was still there at the end of the weekend, I would take it home. It came home with me. Laura took the other bag of Salt Lake home. It’ll be interesting to see how we each work it up.
  6. “One of a Kind” (Polwarth) from Rovings. Yet another bag. This was the first one I picked up. I love the greens. I’m in a green rut these days.
  7. “Deep Waters, Dark Woods” SOAR 2006 Blend from Crosspatch Creations. Sold only through Carolina Homespun. 2 pouches.
  8. 2 red Corriedale batts from Grafton Fibers. Purchased from Carolina Homespun.
  9. [center] “Spritzy Spruce” (80/20 Wool/Silk) from Lambspun. 4 oz. I told you I was stuck on greens.

Not pictured:

  • my new replacement Schacht Matchless (you all know what it looks like *)
  • my new Lendrum double treadle (again, you know what it looks like *)
  • 3 wood naalbinding needle (I’ll show these when I start a project **)
  • 1 small hand held weaving frame (I’ll show this when I start a project **)

* If you don’t, you know how to Google, right?

** I will not promise when the said project will actually happen. It’ll happen when it happens.

There. I did say it was conspicuous consumption, didn’t I? It’s quite embarrassing the amount I came home with.

SOAR, Sore, and Conspicuous Consumption

I went…I spent…and I’m sore. Okay. Disclaimer. My left shoulder (my drafting arm) was already in mild pain before I went to SOAR, but it really went into full gear while I was up there. It didn’t help that I forgot to pack the new bottle of Advil. I only had enough Advil to last one day. This afternoon, I cried uncle, or rather Annie…my acupuncturist. I now have the Gwyneth Paltrow look on my back. I have never heard of cupping before this evening, but I have to tell you, I have movement in my shoulder again. It still hurts, but I think it’s going to take several therapy sessions to fully recover from abusing myself and ignoring treatment for so long.

SOAR was marvelous. It’s always marvelous when you get to spend extended time with so many talented people who are passionate about fiber arts. I’ve attended Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat for several years now, so I thought that I’d know what to expect. But, WOW! SOAR is in a much bigger and grander scale. Don’t get me wrong. I still love Madrona’s retreat (and I will definitely be up at the crack of dawn later this week to register). It’s much more intimate, and because it’s primarily a regional retreat, you get to know everyone, at least by sight. But the international talent that was present at SOAR was amazing. Apples and Oranges, but delicious nonetheless.

I arrived at SOAR late on Wednesday evening so that I can be there when the market opened the next morning. As it turns out, it was an excellent idea. Have you ever seen a shark feeding frenzy on the Discovery channel? That’s what it was like. I was surprised that a fisticuff didn’t break out. The vendors were picked clean of the prize bounties by 1000 (the booths opened at 0900). Lines were close to an hour long at Rovings.

So, what did I come home with? I’m too embarrassed to show pictures of the fibers in the back of my staionwagon. Let’s just say that I did my bit to help pay down the national debt.  So much that I backed my stationwagon into the driveway so that Penny wouldn’t see my haul as I unloaded my car.

I will say that I came home with something that I had planned to get for some months now — a new Lendrum Spinning Wheel. Much as I like my Schacht Matchless, it does weigh a ton, and it can’t go on an airplane. The Lendrum can fit into a large hardsided suitcase and go as checked luggage.

But I didn’t come home with just ONE spinning wheel…no, I came home with TWO. Before y’all worry whether I can afford my Annie’s Mac & Cheese for the rest of the month, the second was free. Sort of. My Matchless was acting up. When I arrived at SOAR and settled in for some relaxing spinning, I felt this clunking thing going on. I took it to Cindy at the Schacht booth. She looked at it, worked on it, but it still wasn’t right. On Saturday, she flagged me down and said that she’d swap her demo wheel with mine — straight across. There was something too strange with my wheel and she was going to take it home and do an autopsy on it. (Cindy — I’m SO going to take you sailing when you come to the Bay Area next!)

So, hardware wise, I came home with 2 spinning wheels, 2 spindles (plus the one I took up with me), 3 nalbinding needles, and a little wood frame loom. There. That doesn’t sound so bad. As long as I don’t list the fiber that I had to buy to pad my spinning wheels in my stationwagon. You know, so they don’t get damaged coming back down the hill.