Felicia's Notebook, Spinning

Leaving Lake Lawn

Lake Lawn Resort
Lake Delavan. A really beautiful place. Who knew.

The last few days of SOAR just seem blurred together now that I’m back in Vancouver. I remember waking up one morning (might have been Friday?) to see steam or mist rising from the surface of the lake into the frosty morning air. Absolutely breathtaking. And two mornings, the sunrise filled the entire sky with an orange glow. This is one of the rewards of going to SOAR — seeing beautiful landscapes and places that I might not otherwise have the reason or opportunity to visit. Next year’s SOAR will be held in Manchester, New Hampshire in early October (so we won’t miss Halloween again) and I am already making plans to attend…

Dream Wheel, Lendrum Saxony
The Lendrum Saxony. Oh, and Gord Lendrum.

SOAR seems to be the only place I’ve been able to set my hands on a Lendrum Saxony. About five years ago, I visited Morgaine in San Francisco and got to spin on her Lendrum Saxony… it made me weak at the knees and now, every time I see the wheel, I have to sit and spin on it again. I’m always reminded how much I love this wheel. One day, someday… maybe when I’m old and grey, I’ll be spinning on this beautiful wheel.

Spinner's Market at SOAR
The mad crowds at the market. This is the Rovings booth.
Spindlewood Spindles at SOAR Market
Spindlewood Spindles… about 10 minutes after the market opened…

Somehow on Thursday morning, Jen and I managed to finish breakfast super early. Must have been some deep-seated anxiety about getting to the spinner’s market in time. We knit outside until the doors opened and spinners flooded into the market, filling up the Spindlewood and Carolina Homespun booths quickly. An hour later, I found Jen standing in line with two new spindles and I had managed to escape with little more than Margaret Stove’s new lace book “Wrapped in Lace”, Abby’s book “Respect the Spindle” and a tiny 25g (0.88 oz) Jenkins Turkish Delight spindle (my first and only turkish spindle) made of Kingswood (no idea what that is… but it’s dark rosy chocolatey brown). I promised not to buy any fibre… but I broke down to buy some Abstract Fiber Cashmere & Silk in a gorgeous autumny red orange colour for Jen’s birthday. That’s it, I think. I was pretty good.

Wool combs for mohair class
Robin Russo’s class on spinning and blending mohair… these wool combs were arranged next to a box of bandaids.

By Saturday afternoon, my brain was nearly mush and I just wanted to spin… brainless spinning. But I had Robin Russo’s class on goat fibres and there was so much information! We spun pygora, cashgora, cashmere and mohair (everything from 2nd clip kid to yearling to adult mohair) and talked about micron counts for each… it was too much for my tired self. Thankfully, Robin prepared excellent handouts and provided lots of fibre to spin. Ever so happily, I spun cashmere-like fibres and carded together kid mohair and cormo and border leicester… and… and.. I would love to re-do this class as a longer workshop next time. Same goes for Sara Lamb’s silk class… I’d love to do that as a three-day class and learn the inkle weaving and all that.

Batt 2 Hat Competition: "The Brits"
Batt-2-Hat team: “The Brits”
Farewell Spin-In 2010
Farewell Spin-In on Saturday evening

On the last night, there was the final spin-in after dinner that also hosted the Batt-2-Hat competition. Teams of two or three spinners got together to spin and knit/crochet/manufacture a hat within one hour. The rest of us non-competitive types watched and cheered. It is surely the biggest spin-in I’ve ever been to and I love this photo of one little corner of it… spinners of all ages, both from the US and the UK, spindles and wheels, all gathered together, smiling. All the rest of my photos from SOAR are here on Flickr. I’ll be looking forward to next year with heartfelt anticipation.

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About Felicia Lo

founder + creative director of SweetGeorgia // designer + dreamer // wife + mama // dyer, knitter, spinner, weaver, youtuber + author // been writing this blog about colour and craft since 2004 // see what I am making @lomeetsloom and @sweetgeorgia.

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