SOAR 2008 part 3

The Power Trio at the spin-in.

Carol and Jennifer are really splendid in these colors, don't you think?

Here Denny approaches the tricky Dino with her trusty hammer cheered on by Beth and Anne, who finally snatches a minute to join us.

I can't tell, but I think Abby is singing. What do you think?

Class samples from the review.

More class samples from the workshop review.

This is Charlene. She is the bravest person I know. She has ripped this sweater back at least 3 times. She was doing it there in front of all of us. I don't mean a row. She ripped it right back - a sweater's worth. Her yarn maintained integrity and it is now finished. She makes me have a little courage with my knitting problems. She makes me want to rip a project back to the cast on row right now and fulfill my knitting dreams. Charlene is my hero.

Here is Nancy Bush in the 3 day Estonian Lace with Judith MacKenzie McCuin.

Fiberguy and his friend Jodie from our home guild. She ties for second most SOARs.

Our friend Jeane stopped by to drop off some yarn at Carolina Homespun. She has lots of new colors. We used her yarn for Vivian Hoxbro's class and she liked it too. It is perfect for her patterns.

Wormspit was examining Jeannine's spendid bands during a demo of his band weaving setup.

And this is Elizabeth. She learned to spin cotton from the seed in under 1 minute and proceeded to spin a bag of it. She has amazing natural talent. Did I mention she was a SOAR virgin? She fit right in.

And I made the big 20,000 on my blog counter today, woohoo! Thanks all.

More to come on SOAR.

SOAR 2008 part 2

And more pics in no particular order
This was a group gather, one of the first few nights. This location had some problems, but there were large areas in which to meet.

During one of these meetings, Marcy performed one of the funniest imitations of Lamchop I have ever seen. Kelly and I were screaming with laughter. If I could rewind my brain to play this again and again, I would.

Janel examines some Alpaca spindle spun yarn.

Beth fondles some yummy yarn that matches her beautiful shawl.

This is John's most seen expression - pure delight.

Here is Pete in Deb's class demonstrating, ah, what?

Sharon's class examine felted samples.

Abby's class

Pat dropped by to show some new goodies.

Samples in Sara's class.

Vivian's class tantalized us all with color.

I don't know what class Rita was in but don't the sample tables look great?

Amy and Karen squeeze time to have a laugh. These guys were everywhere doing everything. I don't know how they even had time to eat lunch. We are all so grateful for your hard work. Thank you to everyone at Interweave for the gift of another SOAR.

SOAR 2008 part 1

Pic heavy post ahead to show you the wonders of this year's SOAR.

There was much celebrating to see each other.

That is Abby, Judith & Maggie

Abby, Shelia & Jennifer

Steph, Juno (C)

Rachel with her friend Angelina

And more joy to meet new people I have know online.

Maia who spreads joy in her wake

And Jim

Lots of newbies that seem to fit right in:

Cosette who helped fiberguy in spinning class

Dana & Meghan, Ravelry friends showing off class samples. Oh and Pat with her camera behind.

And people that warmed my heart

Steve & Connie of Spindlewood

Carol & Pete & the wonderful Marcy showing off a strange spindle.

Two of my especially treasured friends, Jeannine & Denny. Here Jeannine is showing her amazing bands that she wove for this year's fashion show. Perhaps someday she will show them all to the world as they are astonishing. Marilyn M. said Jeannine is always the wedding dress of the fashion show. She always goes last and gives us all a jaw dropper.

OK, there is much more to come.


On Healing and loss

… I put away old my old projects. I went through the house and all the travel bags and gathered up those started and planned, bagged with patterns and needles, poised for fibery pleasures. It was like burying a beloved pet. The container they all went into was one of those giant plastic bins; it almost looked like a coffin. I counted and cataloged them, photographed them all. Goodbye my little friends, time to sleep, all of you. I'll be back when my shoulder is fixed. A big box of stored potential, stored dreams.

Now, after almost exactly one year, I pull out my spindles and knitting needles. My first touch of fiber was at SOAR. It was both joyful and sad. I lost skills. I didn’t think that could happen. I had been in a groove. Now I had holes in the corner of my first sock. How could I forget the secret magic to not having those holes? It took me so long to learn those things. How can I forget in only one year? It was crushing to realize I had lost my chops. I feel adrift in a world that was so familiar, like looking in through a window at something I can’t touch.

I have to admit that it was difficult to leave fiber alone at first. I went through my fiber bins, both yarn and fleece. I photographed them all. I weighted them. I cataloged them in database after database. Now, if I want the green silk/merino handspun from MDS&W from 1997, I can just say to fiberguy to go to bin 6 in stack 2 and get the item in this photo; there should be 6.5 oz.
And those projects I so lovingly stored? The ones that held all that potential? Some are ashes in my mouth. A pair of gloves that I loved now are clearly the wrong yarn choice and will be remade properly. I am finishing up the tiny things and ripping out more. I want a fresh start. I lost a piece of luggage on the way to SOAR that contained my nearly finished Pie Are Square shawl in alpaca along with many other treasures. It detached me, somehow, from all the other projects. I loved that shawl. I invested hours into it. It was the perfect color/yarn and now, sadly, no longer sold. My favorite needles, too, all gone.

I know a year from now that lace will fly off my needles without thought and I will be back into the groove of knitting. Spinning will come first. But it seems like I lost a piece of myself when I lost the skills. Like forgetting how to talk English or how to walk. Some fundamental loss that was a surprise and rather deeply disturbing.

And I did gain something else during the time I was losing myself. I learn to bead more seriously. I applied myself. I went through hundreds of books. I learned project after project, technique after technique. I would practice until comfortable. I took them all to SOAR as gifts as if to say, ‘Here, this is my healing. This is what I learned. This is for you.’ Yet that, too, was lost in the same bag on the way to SOAR. All my splendid pretty things to give to those who inspire me and I treasure. I had my best efforts in there to payback special favors that meant a great deal to me (Deb M). Yet I went empty handed; felt ungiving. Somehow that seems tied to losing myself too.

So now, I have projects that are ashes in my mouth, diminished fiber skills, an empty feeling of loss. It feels hard to get over this hump with no fiber to make me whole. When knitting helps you heal from loss, where does one turn when knitting IS the loss?