I attended SOAR, Spin Off Autumn Retreat, earlier this month. This was my first time. It was at Sunriver, Oregon, a long 7 hour drive but well worth it. It was our vacation for the year. Me and the hubby… He took advantage of the nearby rivers for fishing and we met up for dinner each evening.
My first Retreat session was with Sarah Anderson, Designing in Spinning. I have been spinning for 20 some years and I learned quite a bit. She is a talented spinner and teacher. If you get the opportunity to attend one of her classes, you won’t be disappointed. She had great hand outs, too. As so much info in so little time, the hand outs are a must!
Next up was a class for teaching spinning. It was taught by Maggie Casey. I have been teaching spinning, private and perhaps two at a time for quite some time. I didn’t know what to expect. Perhaps lesson plan ideas.? Not. It was pretty much other spinners with some type of teaching history. Don’t know if I got a lot out of it? Except reinforcement to read everything you can regarding spinning yarn and to be sure the student wheels are in good working condition. Being in a rural area, I can’t see me getting a class of 8 plus new spinner students at one time, But one never knows. In hindsight I should of taken another class.
Next day I took Lisa Klakulak’s class on Solid felt. We made a felted button. She gave us tons of ideas and techniques. Too bad she didn’t have hand outs. As it was impossible to be wet felting and trying to take notes. She indicated something regarding a book in the future.?. I guess we will have to wait for that. Her web site is well worth a look see. Strong Felt I would take more classes from this gal. She was very good, But hand outs, please!
Then Dye Crazy with Amy King. Hand painting on combed top. She did have some new ideas I will try again. Unfortunately no hand outs. So I will have to try to remember…. First we dyed some superwash wool top, wetting out the fiber, laying on tray and pouring diluted dye stock on top. If you add the acid, (vinegar or citric acid before applying) the dyes will not mix with one another. If you add the diluted acid after the dye, the shades that touch will blend into a third shade. This was then heat set in the oven. Put your tray of dyed fiber in the over. Close the door. Turn on your over and when reaches 350 degress, turn it off. Keep the door shut and wait I think 30 minutes??? Don’t do this in your home oven, it will ruin it for future baking and eventually the acid fumes will corrode your oven. The next dye project was laying wet wool top into a pan of COLD water. Pour on the diluted dye stock, add acid (diluted citric acid or vinegar) either before or after as desired. Don’t touch it, the dyes will merge down through the pot. Put on your stove and turn on the heat gently bringing up the heat to 190 degrees. Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes. After your fiber is cool to touch, gently hand wash in warm water with your favorite wool wash. The type you don’t need to rinse is preferred. Less handling the better for your fiber.
Then I got a lesson on how to display those dyed rovings. Braided or Chain crochet. My only suggestion for Amy, hand outs. Again it is pretty tough to take notes and have rubber gloves on. I guess I should of used that time when the fibers were heating to sit down and make notes, but I was having too much fun chatting with Jill Laski, Ashland Bay Trading, Amy and the others in the class.
There also was a trade show. In one word. Crowded. About impossible to actually see anything, let alone purchase. Glad I was not vending. It was only opened for an hour not during class time. I understand the Market was opened all day on Thursday before, but we didn’t get there until 4 which was when they closed the Market.
All in all, I would go again. Hopefully it will be out west again.