These past few days, I’ve been madly working from early to super late at the studio getting yarns finished and orders out the door so that I could make it down to the 27th annual Interweave Spin Off Autumn Retreat in Sunriver, Oregon. With all the work that needed to be done and all the sleep that needed to be had (and was not had), I was hesitant about leaving Vancouver at all. Up until the very last minute, I kept wondering whether or not this was a good idea to go. Still a bit wary about travelling so far on my own by car, I started my road trip this morning by getting up at 3:30 am and hitting the road by 4 am, making it to Seattle by 6:45 am and … finally, after almost 10 hours of driving, I reached Sunriver.
I’ve always held that the Pacific Northwest is uncommonly beautiful and I felt absolutely in awe to drive through from British Columbia through Washington to Central Oregon. It’s autumn and the leaves are fully golden and rust coloured. Driving through some narrower passages of highway, the pine trees are exquisitely tall and the deciduous trees sprinkled amongst them shed their leaves in a magical pixie dust kind of way. I had zero time to do any research about getting to Sunriver, so I let the GPS determine my route. So, of course, I had no idea that I’d be driving through the snow resort town of Mt. Hood. It was brilliant to go from pitch black and pouring rain at 4 am to glorious snow and sun by about 10:30 am. Got me all excited about starting snowboard season.
And then almost directly after the Mt. Hood National Forest… I hit a super dry, desert-like stretch. It’s sort of at the end of this stretch that Sunriver is at. The resort is in the middle of Deschutes National Forest and I believe there are a number of golf courses in the area. But the rooms are lovely… complete with outdoor deck and adirondack chairs and a gas fireplace indoors… perfect for evening spinning.
So far, I’ve had about 20 minutes to spend at the spinners’ market. Not enough to decide on anything yet. Maybe some lovely natural dyed spinning fibre? Maybe a square-shaped spindle? I did spin on Lendrum Saxony again today for the second time in my life and it’s pure joy. I spoke to Gord Lendrum about getting one and there just seems like there’s none available anywhere. Ah well. The dream wheel will stay a dream.
Dinner tonight was followed by a brief, casual fashion show of the handspun creations of our attendees. Beautiful things like “my first ever handspun knit into my first ever lace shawl” or “wedding ring shawls” or “angora handspun that doesn’t shed”. Two of the pieces that I swoooooned over were the following:
Okay, from what I remember, this is 100% silk handspun and navajo-plied. The yarn is 80 wpi PLIED. And then it’s knit into a triangular ostrich plume shawl. I got to touch this one and I can’t even imagine how fine the singles must have been. Exquisite spinning and such fine lace knitting.
And this sweater had a lovely history. The yarn was spun over many years from a fleece that was purchased 16 years ago. And then the maker designed and knit and unknit the sweater a few times, never seeming to reach completion. Then finally after the support of her friends, she managed to complete it on the plane ride to SOAR today. Makes me feel a bit better about those two fleeces I’ve been storing.
Well, I’m tuckered out and my eyes are going to pop out of my head soon. I’m taking Spunky’s dye class tomorrow morning, Deb Menz’s carding class tomorrow afternoon. Time for sleep.