SOAR is best explained as spinning camp. And there the women, and a few token men, can be just as excitable and crazy as pre-teen girls at a pajama party. Plus, you get to hang out with the celebrities of the spinning world -- Maggie Casey, Margaret Stove, Jacey Boggs, Deb Menz, and Judith MacKenzie, to name a few.
My mom and I started our learning with a drop spindle class taught by Maggie Casey. I'd never once picked up a drop spindle before, and was pleasantly surprised to find I caught on pretty quickly. This is my first mini skein using a spindle, both making the singles and plying. It turned out pretty well, and even the singles are quite sturdy, judging by how my cats have been playing with the left-over bit for weeks now and yet it's holding together.
I took a couple classes on colour theory and blending, including using combs and hackles -- a handy and dangerous tool! I only lost a few bits of skin on my hands, and came out knowing a lot about blending in my class with Deb Menz. We started with one colour -- in my case a dark blue/teal -- and then added different colours to play with hue, tone and saturation. It's amazing how adding just a touch of another colour entirely changes the fibre.
My favourite and most challenging (read: causing an intense desire to pull out my hair) class was thick and thin and coils with Jacey Boggs. Oh, how long I have been trying to get the hang of this technique. It's so deceptively simple, especially when watching Jacey in action. I persevered despite the overwhelming urge to walk my fluff-covered ass out the room never to return. SOAR lesson #1: You soon have to give up on trying to keep bits of fibre off your pants, shirt, shoes, socks, etc. It is everywhere -- on every chair and table and floor. Despite the danger of fuzzy hitchhikers, the event was amazing. How cool is it to be in a place where people are toting around spinning wheels, using their spindle at the dinner table, knitting anytime there's a spare second!? It's invigorating to be around people who share the same interest -- especially when it's one the average person thinks is a relic of a quaint, but tedious time when people had to spin and knit their own garments. Thankfully we've such a pampered life now that now we can do it just for fun!
Back to my thick and thin and coils, which was fun despite the frustrations.
My try in class at coils was a fluffy mess, not helped by starting with a not-so-hot thick and thin single, and the second I attempted later in the evening was slightly less of a disaster. At least for now I've got something to keep me entertained.
This has got to be the smallest skein ever, just a few coils to admire . . .