Wednesday, October 03, 2007

playing with the big kids!

For as long as I've known Jillian's friend Carla [now she's my friend too], she's gone to the SpinOff Autumn Retreat (SOAR) every fall. We all rave on about Rhinebeck [and rightfully so!], but I've seen few bloggy mentions of SOAR.

I suppose it's because it's so much less accessible. Only a limited number of people can attend. The class fees, though not unreasonable for the caliber of teacher we'll be studying with, are not cheap. Lodging and travel make up the bulk of the expense and it's a big enough number that it makes me nervous. But I can justify that because it's a] an actual business expense and therefore a tax write-off and b] a week spent with my friends, having fun, and not working. I haven't had one of those in a long, long time. It's also probably the only time I'll attend SOAR for the rest of my life.

The way SOAR works is this: There are two parts. The workshop, which is the first 4 days, and the retreat, which is the last 3 days. The first 4 days, you study one subject with one teacher. I'm taking Spinning 101 with Maggie Casey, something I clearly, desperately need to learn. Jillian's taking something advanced and way over my spinning head. :-)

The last 4 days, there are half-day sessions on different topics. And there is the SOAR market, the consolation for us missing Rhinebeck this year. :-)

So that's what next week will be about for me. Spinning intensively, learning from a master, and having a lot of fun 24/7. I've packed a rather large bag with all sorts of fiber to spin while I'm there, including hankies and a spindle, will carry my Ashford Joy DT on the plane, and plan to finish the Artfibers sweater before the week is out. I'm halfway through both sleeves now [knitting them both at once isn't faster, but it does allow me to relax and know that the shaping on both sleeves will match, which is one of my big fears].

Before I go, though, we have a little Knitty treat planned for you. What is it? Well, you'll just have to wait and see.