SOAR: A place to learn, make friends….and shop!

A magical event happens in our Interweave family each fall–somewhere in a beautiful setting, rooms begin to fill with puffs of alpaca, wool, and silk; spinning wheels sprout as though from nowhere, and everywhere, everywhere, you hear the click of knitting needles and the joyful voices of knitters showing off lace shawls, incredible socks, fabulous sweaters. The experts come to share their craft (Nancy Bush, Abby Franquemont, Maggie Casey, Judith MacKenzie McCuin, to name just a few); the beginners come to learn and play and make new friends.

This magical event is called the Spin-Off Autumn Retreat, or SOAR for short. This year, SOAR runs Sunday to Sunday, October 5 through Oct 12, in the gorgeous Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania. There are workshops–just as one example: Nancy Bush, author of Knitted Lace of Estonia, teaches you all you need to know to make an Estonian lace shawl, and if you want to make one from handspun, Judith MacKenzie McCuin, author of the upcoming book The Intentional Spinner, is there to show you how. You can also take an amazing workshop in color from Vivian Hoxbro–her class includes knitting your own color wheel! Plus, there are retreats and meals and late nights spent sitting with other knitters and spinners…

Perhaps you can hear a tinge of lust in my voice. Yes, definitely a tinge…I'd love to be there, surrounded by people like Vivian Hoxbro and Deb Menz, learning things I can only now dream about from the people who know the subjects best.

However, as you read this, SOAR 2008 is already about halfway over. So why on earth would I torture you with visions of this fabulous event if you can't attend?

Well, you CAN still attend this year's SOAR event! If you happen to be the area, even though the workshops and classes are full, there's still the SOAR Market, people. There's booths, and vendors, and fibers, and yarns, and tools, and SHOPPING to be had there. (Suddenly, there's this run on Google, with thousands of knitters trying to figure out just how far away Pennsylvania and the Pocono Manor is. Why not? Who wouldn't want to attend a fun fiber market?)

The SOAR Market, located in the Terrace Ballroom at The Inn at Pocono Manor, is open to the public as follows:

Thursday, Oct. 9: 10 AM to 4 PM
Friday, Oct 10: 4 PM to 6 PM, 7 PM to 9 PM
Saturday, Oct 11: 10 AM to 5 PM

Also, in the Stone Lobby, open the same hours as the Market, will be:

  • A trunk show from The Center of Traditional Textiles in Cuzco, Peru.
  • Demonstrations on spinning alpaca fiber from the Suri Network.
  • A wonderful gallery of work by SOAR participants.

And as if that were not enough….there will be book signings by some of the hottest authors around on Friday evening:

And of course, if you cannot attend even the Market this time…there's always next year: SOAR 2009.

You can purchase any of the above books from our Interweave online store–but try your local yarn shop first.


Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? Hm. I have run into an interesting adjustment issue in the Camisa…I am puzzling it out and will report shortly. Meanwhile, there's a quick hat for Nicholas and a pair of socks for myself that I am trying to get done before the first dip below freezing happens here!

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