Arriving at SOAR 2009 & Beginner Spinning Tips


I like to travel by train.  It’s romantic, relaxing and most of all doesn’t contribute so much to the carbon karma us humans are accumulating.  The hubster and I have become train conniseurs in Canada, and this trip, I decided to learn the ways of our brothers and sisters in the US.

West Coast Train Tracks

The Amtrak trains are way bigger than the Via Rail trains (when the hubster mentioned being able to get around in his chair on the train, he wasn’t kidding, the washroom is as large as some of the rooms on Via!)  Sadly, the food, especially the vegetarian fair.  Just so everyone knows out there, cheese is not the only form of protein available to non-meat consumers!  So was I ever surprised to arrive at SOAR (at 10pm) to find that they had a dish set aside for me (that they delivered to my suite on a tray!) which looked like this:

Food at SOAR

Yes people, that is indeed tempeh. (not to mention mashed potatoes, very fresh veggies and a spinich salad!)  Food is a big deal for me. This was saying a lot to a hungry vegetarian at 10pm.

Soar ridgid heddle class with Joan Sheridan

The company at SOAR has been like coming home. Here is my the workshop I am taking, Spinning to Weave on the Ridgid Heddle with Joan Sheridan. For the beginners wondering if SOAR would be okay for them – it will – the instructors and the other workshopees are more helpfull than any book possibly could be!

Spinning Tips I learned today:

  1. Read Start Spinning by Maggie Casey.
  2. Then read The Intentional Spinner by Judith Mckenzie McCuin.
  3. Figure out which way your roving is smooth by running your hand along it, spin it into your wheel that way, then us a bobbin winder to wind the bobbin off so that you start with the beginning when plying, it keeps all the fiber going the same way making it smooth to knit or weave with.
  4. When plying your yarn, bring your hands together with the plied yarn between them every once in a while.  If the yarn loops together and twists counter clockwise, you have too little twist.  If the yarn loops together and violently turns clockwise, you have too much.  I have been told that it is best to ere on the side of slightly too much twist then not enough.
  5. Steam your skiens with a steamer, it is very fun to watch the yarn wriggle.

Ashford Joy with Wooly Winder and Warp Yarn

And this is the yarn I spun today for my warp!  Holy spinning homework batman – got back to the room at 11:11 – midnight now, so I’m off to bed!


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