Live from SOAR!­

I'm writing to you this week from the middle of a beautiful Oregon forest. The Spin-Off Autumn Retreat (SOAR) is well underway, and as usual it is a sight to behold. The beautiful Sunriver Resort has been taken over by 300 spinners, weavers, and felters, and magic is in the air (our dining hall (left) even looks a bit like the Great Hall at Hogwarts!). By day, the country's foremost spinning masters impart their knowledge to willing and excited students, by night spinners gather in corners to swap drinks and fondle yarn, crazy yarn tricks abound, and stories are shared.

I've peeked in at Michael Cook teaching students how to reel nearly microscopic silk filaments, Stephenie Gaustad demonstrating on a charka, and Sara Lamb explaining how to warp rigid heddle looms. A few rooms are coated in plastic wrap in preparation for dying and felting, there are fleeces laying everywhere, and bits of fiber line the pathways. In short, we're having a grand spinnerly time!

I sat near a woman at this year's welcome ceremony who has been spinning for decades yet is taking Maggie Casey's Spinning 101 class this year. She told me that no matter how much you know, you can always learn something at SOAR – and I think that's the perfect sentiment to sum up the spirit of this event. No matter what class you take or how much you know before you get here, you will always leave amazed by what you've learned, both in class and out.

If you've never been to SOAR, I encourage you to try to come at least once – and if you're a SOAR lifer, then we'll see you next year for even more adventures!


Ready for some Friday fun? Stefanie Berganini, assistant editor of Spin-Off magazine, sent us some video and photos live from SOAR, Interweave's Spin-Off Autumn Retreat.

Ever wonder what goes on at a fiber retreat? Stef's video "blogumentary" takes you into the classrooms to see the teachers in action; into the gathering rooms where participants from all over the world share what they are learning, and more!

SOAR is going on this weekend in the Poconos in Pennsylvania. Workshops and classes are full; but if you are in the area, you can attend the SOAR Market (Friday, Oct 10: 4 PM to 6 PM and 7 PM to 9 PM; Saturday, Oct 11: 10 AM to 5 PM), wander through the gallery of handmade items, and attend author book signings by such notables as Deb Menz, Judith MacKenzie McCuin, Maggie Casey, Vivian Hoxbro, and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. (Get more information on Market hours and book signings.)



by Stefanie Berganini

I started working at Interweave about 8 months ago as the Assistant Editor of Spin-Off magazine. Within a couple of weeks, however, my job had grown to encompass many other exciting projects, including working on several other magazines and helping to plan this year's Spin-Off Autumn Retreat (SOAR). I had never been to (or even heard of, to be honest) SOAR before, but working on it has been great, and being here as a member of the SOAR staff is even better. The SOAR participants are incredibly friendly and welcoming, the classes are amazing (I wish I could take one!), the fall weather is beautiful and the changing leaves are inspiring new creative ideas. I was asked to keep a video diary of my first time experience here to share with others who aren't quite sure what all this SOAR-mania is about. Here are some photos and videos of my experience over the first half of the week:



View the SOAR 2008 Photo Gallery!

FEATURED FREE PATTERN: Shadowy Vest by Marilyn Murphy

In honor of the beauty of yarn, and the fun you have with color and texture, today's featured free pattern is the Shadowy Vest from Knits Gifts 2008. This simple vest plays with a pretty yarn to create a casual, comfortable, wearable work of art. Be sure to take a look at the rest of the irresistible line-up of projects in our new holiday issue, Knits Gifts 2008, which you can buy online or directly from your local yarn shop.

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? I finished a pair of socks last night. The shoulder seams on the Camisa need to be redone, and they are vexing me. I am stepping back to do some creative problem solving on this…

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