Sunday, November 18, 2012

SOAR Report 3: Giving

Despite having no money to spend in the vendor hall at SOAR, I did return home with many new items.  All gifts.  All from gracious and generous folks.

Upon arriving, we all got “welcome bags” which included samples of fibers, coupons, and so forth.  And a beautiful bag handwoven from alpaca fiber from Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco.   Lovely!

Many attendees used their bag throughout the week.  I would have if I hadn’t just gotten a beautiful new bag from my friend Becky McD.  I’d asked her to sew me a bag using some Dalmatian fabric (see an earlier blog post  about the fabrics involved).  She finished the bag the day before I left for SOAR.  I was so very pleased with the result, and I was very pleased to debut it at SOAR.

Another Interweave gift was this terrific mug.  I’ve had many a cup of tea from it since.  I do like its shape and size.

A number of the participants in my workshops surprised me with gifts.  MarySue French  quickly picked up a few bits of information about me and incorporated them into a sweet little Christmas tree ornament.  On day 1 of my Spin-Knit Nexus workshop, we spent some time spinning wool from two of my favorite sheep:  Lucy and Lonnie.  We also spent time talking about slip stitches in knitting, one of my central knitting passions.  And, of course, I managed to make it known that I adore my dog, Toby, a Dalmatian.  The following day, MarySue gave me this ornament in the shape of a bag, spun from Lucy and Lonnie, with a cabled, Dalmatian-y strap, and showing a bit of the woven stitch (one of my favorite slip stitches) at its base.  She got my number alright!

Deb Behm  sat to my left during that workshop.  At the end of the 3rd day, she shared with me a booklet that she’d written.  In it she presents her thoughts on the use of spinning as meditation.  It is an intriguing treatise on what is and what isn’t meditation.  I share many of her notions of mindfulness, practice, and focus with regard to spinning.  It has been a delight to read, as is her blog.

One of the exercises that I have participants do for the Spin-Knit Nexus workshop is to try to spin a yarn that will match one that already exists.  Part of the idea is to examine the effects of spinning-then-dyeing versus dyeing-then-spinning.  One of the participants then knitted a wine bottle cozy from these “before and after” yarns.  I think it was Nancy, but I’m not sure…..I wish I were better with names!

Terri Guerette took the Mechanics of Your Wheel workshop on the last day of SOAR.  She gave me some beaded stitch markers that she’d made.  I think I will use them as embellishments on a hat.

On SOAR’s last evening, Jane Wadsworth, who had been in the Spin-Knit Nexus workshop, and her husband treated me to wine before dinner and excellent conversation during dinner.  It was a perfect way to relax at the end of six days of teaching.

Then, my roommate, Joan Ruane  gave me a copy of her DVD, “Cotton Spinning Made Easy”.  This may be just the inspiration I need to attack the several pounds of cotton that are “maturing” in my fiber stash.

All these gifts tell me that I am one lucky so-and-so.  Fiber people share.  Fiber people give.  Fiber people are good people.  I am truly thankful to all for the things and stories and ideas that folks shared with me at SOAR.  Really.  Thank you!

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