At the Still Point of the Turning World
Residency is over, NOW what? (While I'm waiting for the answer, I'll get some spinning done....)

Sunday, November 02, 2003


No new photos with this post. Between attending SOAR and managing my family, there aren't enough hours in the day to edit and upload all the photos I'd like to show you. I'm planning a Grand SOAR Round-Up entry as soon as possible, but first I'm going to catch my breath from all this actividty.

Friday's classes were Elaine's rug hooking workshop and Kathryn Alexander's knitted storyboard class. Elaine is an excellent instructor--organized, patient, enthusiastic, and very good at spotting beginner's mistakes and explaining how to overcome them. My hands were tense, as they always are when learning a new skill, but I think I'll be taking up another fiber hobby soon. Kathryn Alexander's class was a more freeform, by-the-seat-of-you-pants experience. We began by knitting I-cord embellishments and simple short-row triangles, but soon we were on to entrelac rectangles and triangles in sixteen colors. Kathryn often uses sixty to eighty colors in her virtuosic sweater designs, but working with only sixteen gave me a headache, and I had to bow out before tackling the entrelac pick-up stitches. I love working with Kathryn, but I need to practice my entrelac technique before I take another class with her.

Saturday was much more easygoing. I took Carol Rhoades' course entitled Handcarding with More Fun and Less Stress, in which I made a successful rolag for the first time. We did some color blending and worked with medium and fine grade wools, mohair, cotton, silk and camel. Carol is a great teacher--straightforward and encouraging, and genuinely pleased when you finally "get it." In the afternoon, I took Twisted Sister Lynne Vogel's course on spinning with multicolored rovings. Lynne showed us how to divide handpainted rovings to achieve solid, true heathered, sequential, and complex colorways in finished yarns. She gave an initial set of instructions, then the rest of the afternoon was spent spinning, spinning, spinning. Now that's my kind of class. Her techniques are simple, but gave me a new appreciation of working with handpaints.

In the evening, I joined the entire remaining group of SOARers for the Spin-In, where a local folk band provided the entertainment. Looking around the room, all you could see were people spinning away, the whirring of wheels and twirling of spindles interrupted only by laughter, and occasional outbursts of dance. I've never seen anything more wonderful in my life.