A gathering that creates friends

Spinning friendship


Dale Pettigrew spinning at the 30th SOAR,  October 21–27, 2012, at Granlibakken Resort in Tahoe City, California.

We celebrated our 30th SOAR (Spin-Off Autumn Retreat) October 21–27, 2012, at Granlibakken Resort in Tahoe City, California. It was my fifteenth SOAR and I think it was the best one yet. One thing (among many) that made it really special this year was that Dale Pettigrew, the original SOAR coordinator, helped us celebrate this amazing gathering of handspinners. Dale is on a journey back from a traumatic brain injury she suffered in 2008 when she fell off her bike. When it happened, we weren't sure she'd survive, let alone recover memories, walk, or spin again—but here she is, again in our midst, telling SOAR stories, laughing, spinning, and walking—blessing us with her radiant smile.


Dale Pettigrew and Deb Robson at the 30th SOAR, October 21–27, 2012, at Granlibakken Resort in Tahoe City, California.

Deb Robson, Dale's good friend and former editor of Spin-Off, has been helping her make the journey. They worked side-by-side on Spin-Off years ago, and their friendship continues. As we page through back issues of the magazine, often when looking for the perfect article to rerelease in one of our new eBook collections, we see the fruitful result of their teamwork.

Sometimes I think the threads we spin at SOAR are gossamer nets cast out into the world. When we haul them back in we find, in addition to the expected catch of spinning skills and knowledge, the treasure of friendship. Every year I hear stories about how people came to SOAR for the first time, a bit anxious because they didn't know anyone, and left with what turned out to be life-long friendships. It's true for the staff of Spin-Off as well.

It's pretty magical how that happens.

Happy spinning,

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