A SOAR to Remember

What goes around comes around-and may be spun around twice! As many readers know, the news from your groups and guilds forms the substance of this column. Your events, activities, and projects can be shared with the larger spinning community when you send me your newsletters by post or email. Your comments and experiences with various mentors gave me the confidence to enroll my husband in workshops at SOAR (Spin-Off Autumn Retreat), sight unseen, with persons unknown! Our wedding anniversary was going to have to be celebrated without the benefit of children or family. Rather than take a chance that we might not make it a memorable event, I signed us up for SOAR within 24 hours of the opening of registration.

The roommate selection was easy, but classes? Phil usually spins wool with a long draw, leaving exotics and blends (to my delight) for me. He was on a wait list for the subjects he selected and had no clue as to what he might do instead if an opening didn't appear. Poring over your newsletters to see what was new and who was hot guided us to choose what he might try for fun. How could I doubt that he would have a good time no matter what he did, with whomever he met? From the first moment we arrived at Lake Lawn Resort, we were in good hands with all of you! You helped us, and in turn we led others to find the rooms in the labyrinth of hallways where the first adventure would take place. Strangers at dinner soon became friends as we made connections in common. There was no lack of other couples attending, and animals, not children or jobs, were the topics of our conversations. We spent many evenings comparing methods of care and fiber production over dinner. Meals became a means to find another Angora rabbit fanatic or discuss the deal of the day in the Spinners' Market. The creativity on display at the Spinners' Gallery enlivened our observations and conversations with other viewers.

Phil and I competed with other bargainers for auction offerings and felt shameless winning the highest bid on two coveted items, as proceeds benefitted the SOAR Scholarship Fund. Standing in line for the book signing, two Indiana friends appeared, and our wait was forgotten as we compared highlights of our day. Friday night after the Fashion Show, Phil spun with new companions while I stripped cedar bark to practice what I learned in an afternoon class. Saturday night, we dressed up for Halloween, the masks and costumes worn by others adding to the entertainment. We laughed at stories told around the lodge fireplace and heard poetry that stunned us with its beauty. Wheels and spindles whirred in accompaniment before the live music began. Phil found himself happily spinning thick and thin and coils using suri alpaca, mohair, and more, and he never missed the abundance of wool in his typical fiber diet. But the biggest surprise was his summary of SOAR as we were about to leave Sunday morning. He said, "We are just one huge guild here, aren't we? People from all over the world who love to spin are the members, and we came together for a giant Spin-In. When and where is the next meeting going to take place?" At that point, I found myself in his arms being spun around twice in a cloud-nine conclusion to our retreat. Perhaps we'll start the newest and hottest trend in anniversary celebrations!

Look for posts each week to see what's happening in spinning groups around the world. If your group produces a newsletter, please send it to me via email at spinnersconnection@interweave.com. Thank you to the editors who include me already. However far apart we reside, we can be knitted closer together here in the Spinner's Connection, and I would love to hear from as many guilds as possible. What are you up to and how do you keep in touch with your members?

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