Does this sound familiar?

For years, you've had a secret, inexplicable yearning to make yarn—a subconscious desire that you've resisted, rationalized away, and pushed to the back of your mind.

Things have happened, though, that make this resisting harder. Perhaps a good knitting friend has confessed a desire to learn how to spin, or maybe you just happened to attend a Sheep and Wool Festival and couldn't tear yourself away from the spinning demonstrations that seemed to be occurring behind every barnyard door.

Or you've walked away from your local knitting shop with a bag full of unspun fiber—even though you're not quite sure what to do with the stuff—you just like the way it feels and smells.

Eventually your resistance has eroded, and you've finally been able to say aloud, "I want to make yarn. I need to make yarn. This yarn must be made."

So, you found some books, magazines, and websites and pored over them, wanting to learn the secrets—how to turn this insubstantial fuzz into yarn that can be knitted up into the gorgeous garments that dance across the insides of your eyelids at night as you're falling to sleep?

But despite your best efforts, your yarn is not what you envisioned—in fact, though making yarn looks effortless in the hands of the women you saw spinning at the festival, you find that yarn making is a dreadfully stressful experience—your hands hurt, your back hurts, your cat has run away because you're throwing spindles across the room. Where is the magic? Where is the relaxation?

What you need is a really, really good spinning teacher. You know this. But where? How? When?

We invite you…

It is time to travel. Get on a plane. Go to Sunriver Resort, Oregon, the last week in October to be surrounded by the soothing souls, garbed in their exquisite handspun sweaters, colorful socks, lacy scarves, funky hats, and silky wrist warmers, with bits of fluff sticking to their shirts and spindles falling out of their handwoven, naturally dyed bags.

Finally you have arrived among your people, and they welcome you with open arms. Literally. And they ask you, "Do you know how to Andean ply? Because I've got this small bit of yarn left on my handspindle, but I'm not sure how to make that yarn bracelet to ply it?"

And even though you don't know the answer, you look around and realize that someone here does know, and pretty soon, you, too, are going to know what to do with that last bit of yarn and answers to all your questions lie in the capable hands that are busy—with spindles, on wheels, with knitting needles, and little portable looms—making things with their irresistible yarn.

SOAR (Spin-Off Autumn Retreat), www.interweavesoar.com. Register now. It is your destiny. There are still many classes with space available:

Workshop (three-day class, Monday-Wednesday)

Sarah Anderson: All You Can Eat Yarn Design Buffet
Sara Lamb: Soumak Bag
Carol Rhoades: Meet the Leicesters
Joan Sheridan: Spin to Weave: Intro to Rigid Heddle
Robin Russo: Exotic Fibers

Retreat, Friday a.m.

Stephenie Gaustad: Charkha Spinning (no handicap access to the classroom)
Lisa Klakulak: Solid Felt: Forming Extraordinary Buttons with Shanks
Sara Lamb: Learn to Weave
Carol Rhoades: Spinning Big Yarns
Sarah Swett: Spin for Next to the Skin

Retreat, Friday p.m.

Sarah Anderson: Designing in Spinning
Lisa Klakulak: Solid Felt: Forming Extraordinary Buttons with Shanks
Sara Lamb: Kumihimo
Carol Rhoades: Spinning Big Yarns

Retreat, Saturday a.m.

Sarah Anderson: Designing in Spinning
Stephenie Gaustad: Charkha Spinning (no handicap access to the classroom)
Lisa Klakulak: Solid Felt: Forming Extraordinary Buttons with Shanks
Sara Lamb: Learn to Weave
Robin Russo: Making the Most of Hand-held Combs
Sarah Swett: Spinning for Next to the Skin

Retreat, Saturday p.m.

Sarah Anderson: Designing in Spinning
Stephenie Gaustad: Charkha Spinning (no handicap access to the classroom)
Lisa Klakulak: Solid Felt: Forming Extraordinary Buttons with Shanks
Janel Laidman: Spinning for Socks
Robin Russo: Making the Most of Hand-held Combs

—Amy Clarke Moore

PS: We know everyone looks forward to the Spinner's Market at SOAR. For stash enhancement when you aren't at SOAR, check out Spin-Off's free natural fiber directory—a great shopping resource!

 

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