Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Just Came Back: Notes from SOAR, Part One

I flew in from Reno last Sunday and boy, are my arms tired!  Although Hurricane Sandy didn't affect the Western USA, the Denver airport ran out of planes because so many were stranded in the storm.  I came home on a tiny puddle jumper, so small that my Victoria wheel didn't fit in the overhead rack and had to come home as regular baggage.  (She made it safe and sound, although TSA decided to search my other bag, dumped out my acetaminophen tablets, closed the jar and threw the pills back in the suitcase.  Everywhere. Hmmm.)

I'm safely home, unlike my sister and brother-in-law, who are stranded in the Eastern USA, trying to sort out flights after their vacation.  They are fine, although many others are not. My heart goes out to everyone affected by Sandy.

SOAR was wonderful.  I've never been at a conference with 350+ spinners and fibre artists, all passionate about their work.  I saw beautiful things and met great people, both teachers and students.

One of my SOAR goals was to study the teaching methods of people with whom I hadn't taken classes.  I took Amy Tyler's 3 day workshop, Spin/Knit Nexus as my first class. Although I suffered a bit from altitude sickness for the first few days and wasn't entirely on the ball, I enjoyed Amy's class.  Amy knows her technical skills, but she spins more intuitively, using samples to visually check her twist and grist.  One of the exercises we had to do was to duplicate a yarn which Amy had spun and dyed, using a roving she dyed to match.  Here are the results, which were displayed in the workshop show on Wednesday evening.  The small bag I made is to the right, just below Ricki's well-organized notebook.  (My notebook is not quite so complete!)

Maggie Casey was very gracious in sharing her knowledge about teaching beginning spindle spinners.  Several people came to class and announced that this was their last go-round with spindles; by the end of the 3 hour session, Maggie had everyone in love with spindles:

Michael Cook (Wormspit) knows a lot about silk.  He's a big, friendly guy who makes silk reeling look easy, although I discovered my passion is making mawata (silk hankies).  I'll leave the reeling to Michael and Coleen:

 Fifty metres of my reeled silk, twisted on a toy wheel spindle:

Making mawata:

I'll share the rest of my adventures in Part Two, but I'll close by saying that I never thought I'd be in California for my first blizzard of the season.  On Monday morning, we woke up to discover we were snowed in, with over two feet of the stuff falling during the evening and early morning and more to come.  Interstates were closed, cell phone and internet service was patchy and some people couldn't get into the resort, but for those of us who were there, it was a lovely place to be stranded, spinning, knitting, swapping fibre tales and eating (and we did eat!  Very, very well.):


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