Spin Off Autumn Retreat (SOAR) 2021
Colorado Chautauqua, Boulder, Colorado (September 23–28, 2021)

Learn from incredible spinning teachers in the breathtaking foothills of the Rocky Mountain
SOLD OUT - JOIN THE WAITLIST
WHAT IS SOAR?
The Ultimate Spinning Retreat

There are fewer than 65 spaces total for this incredible handspinning experience! Spend four days expanding your skills and deepening your passion for spinning in one of America’s most beautiful places, the Colorado Chautauqua in Boulder. Learn from some of the greatest spinners and fiber artists in the world, including:

  • Heavenly Bresser, antique spinning wheel collector and indie dyer
  • Maggie Casey, instructor of The Spinning Teacher and author of Start Spinning
  • Stephenie Gaustad, illustrator and author of Practical Spinner’s Guide: Cotton, Flax & Hemp and A Spinner’s Dozen
  • Kate Larson, editor of Spin Off and PieceWork magazines and author of Practical Spinner’s Guide: Wool
  • Judith MacKenzie, author of Teach Yourself Visually: Handspinning and The Intentional Spinner and textile raconteur
  • John Mullarkey, author and tablet weaving instructor and the developer of the Schacht Zoom Loom
  • Lynda Teller Pete, master Navajo tapestry weaver and coauthor of Spider Woman’s Children: Navajo Weaving Today
  • Deborah Robson, author of The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook and instructor of Handspinning Rare Wools video

You’ll study with accomplished fiber arts teachers, connect with fellow spinners from around the world, and appreciate the natural beauty and historic surroundings of the Colorado Chautauqua.  

All accommodations, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, classes, materials fees, and evening events are included, but space is limited. Tickets start at $2,499.99 for the full retreat.

Sold Out - Join the Waitlist

All COVID-19 CDC guidelines will be followed throughout the event. We will offer full refunds for any reason until August 24, 2021 (30 days prior to the event).

SOAR Class Options

Note: Class details may be updated prior to the event.

Samplers

Long Draw, Double Drafting, and Wily Woolens

Sampler
Maggie Casey

There’s a leap of faith when you draw back your fiber source before the twist enters. Will the loose fibers come together as yarn? Will the inevitable lumps and bumps resolve themselves, even out in plying, or remain as uneven spots? From cashmere for airy Orenburg lace to alpaca for hard-wearing Andean warp, learn to use these versatile drafting methods to spin versatile yarns.

Rare Breeds: Clun Forest

Sampler
Deborah Robson

Rare Breeds: Florida Cracker

Sampler
Deborah Robson

Beginning Book Charkha

Sampler
Kate Larson

Blending and Spinning Tweed

Sampler
Judith MacKenzie

The Art of Spinning Paper

Sampler
Judith MacKenzie

Tablet Weaving: Woven Shoelaces

Sampler
John Mullarkey

Antique Spinning Wheels

Sampler
Heavenly Bresser

Small Spindles, Fine Yarns

Sampler
Stephenie Gaustad

Intensives

Weaving Navajo Tapestry

Intensive
Lynda Teller Pete

Two Navajo holy people, Spider Woman and Spider Man, gave weaving to the Navajo. Spider Man constructed the first loom, composed of sunshine, lightning, and rain, and Spider Woman taught the people how to weave on it. As Lynda teaches and demonstrates the art of traditional Navajo weaving, she will also teach about Navajo history, culture, and the weaving legacy of her family. Students will begin with a fully warped upright loom and learn to weave and design in the traditional way.

A Spinner’s Palette (no dyepot required)

Intensive
Maggie Casey

Silk Spinning for Tablet Weaving

Intensive
John Mullarkey

Woolies from the American West

Intensive
Judith MacKenzie

Blending and Spinning Wild Silks

Intensive
Heavenly Bresser

Bast Fibers

Intensive
Stephenie Gaustad

Itinerary

Thursday, September 23
Registration, dinner, and welcome



Friday, September 24
Morning & afternoon Sampler classes
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and evening gatherings

Friday morning Samplers (select Sampler after checkout):
Double Drafting and Long Draw/Maggie Casey
Rare Breeds: Florida Cracker/Deborah Robson
Beginning Book Charkha/Kate Larson
The Art of Spinning Paper/Judith MacKenzie
Woven Shoelaces/John Mullarkey
Small Spindles, Fine Yarns/Stephenie Gaustad
Antique Spinning Wheels/Heavenly Bresser

Friday afternoon Samplers  (select Sampler after checkout):
Double Drafting and Long Draw/Maggie Casey
Rare Breeds: Florida Cracker/Deborah Robson
Beginning Book Charkha/Kate Larson
Blending and Spinning Tweed/Judith MacKenzie
Woven Shoelaces/John Mullarkey
Small Spindles, Fine Yarns/Stephenie Gaustad
Antique Spinning Wheels/Heavenly Bresser



Saturday, September 25
Morning & afternoon Sampler classes
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and evening gatherings

Saturday morning Samplers (select Sampler after checkout)

Double Drafting and Long Draw/Maggie Casey
Beginning Book Charkha/Kate Larson
The Art of Spinning Paper/Judith MacKenzie
Woven Shoelaces/John Mullarkey
Rare Breeds: Clun Forest/Deborah Robson
Small Spindles, Fine Yarns/Stephenie Gaustad
Antique Spinning Wheels/Heavenly Bresser

Saturday afternoon Samplers  (select Sampler after checkout)
Double Drafting and Long Draw/Maggie Casey
Beginning Book Charkha/Kate Larson
Blending and Spinning Tweed/Judith MacKenzie
Woven Shoelaces/John Mullarkey
Rare Breeds: Clun Forest/Deborah Robson
Small Spindles, Fine Yarns/Stephenie Gaustad
Antique Spinning Wheels/Heavenly Bresser



Sunday, September 26– Monday, September 27
2-Day Intensive session
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and evening gatherings

2-day Intensives (select one after checkout)
Silk Spinning for Tablet Weaving/John Mullarkey
A Spinner’s Palette (no dyepot required)/Maggie Casey
Weaving Navajo Tapestry/Lynda Teller Pete
Woolies from the American West/Judith MacKenzie
Blending and Spinning Wild Silks/Heavenly Bresser
Bast Fibers/Stephenie Gaustad



Tuesday, September 28
Morning departure

Sponsors

Treenway Silks

If you weave, spin, knit, crochet, cross-stitch, needlepoint, hand-stitch, braid (kumihimo), create silk fusion, fiber art, nuno felt, mixed media or make paper, you'll find the silk that works for you at Treenway Silks

Eugene Textiles

Visit Eugene Textile Center's retail shop for equipment and materials for the fiber arts, as well as studios for weaving and surface design. They offer classes and studio support for anyone with an interest in handweaving, surface design on cloth, and other non-woven fiber techniques.

Schacht Spindle Company

We have been designing handweaving and handspinning equipment since 1969. It's been pleasurable and challenging to learn how closely our products tie in with the craftsperson's work. We realize that the quality of this work depends on the quality of our tools.

Long Thread Media

Long Thread Media serves content for the handspinning, handweaving, and traditional needlework communities online, in person, and in print. The company was founded by Linda Ligon, Anne Merrow, and John Bolton to publish Handwoven, PieceWork, and Spin Off, as well as offer information, education, and community to crafters in those fields.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I take just one class?
Because SOAR 2021 is an immersive experience with activities outside class time, classes are currently available only as part of a 4-day package.

 What’s the difference between the first and second halves?
On Friday and Saturday, participants will sample four subjects in 3-hour sessions. These classes emphasize trying new techniques, exploring unusual materials, and sparking your creativity. On Sunday and Monday, each student will participate in a 2-day intensive designed to explore a subject in greater depth.

I’d like to come for the market.
Colorado Chautauqua has limited facilities, and we regret that there isn’t a suitable space for a marketplace.

Are there materials fees?
We have included the cost of basic materials in the fees. In some cases, instructors may allow you to purchase some specialized tools used in the class.

Where will classes be held?
The classes will all be held in Chautauqua facilities.

How do I find a roommate?
Chautauqua includes a variety of lodging, mainly in stand-alone cottages. When you register, please choose the level of room sharing you want, and indicate in the notes whether you have a roommate/housemate in mind or you would like us to introduce you to other guests seeking roommates.

What meals are included?
The event begins with dinner Thursday and includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner Friday–Monday.  

I’m gluten free/dairy free/have specific food preference. Can you accommodate me?
If you write to us with your dietary restrictions, we’ll check with the kitchen and get back to you with alternatives they can offer. Please email us at support@longthreadmedia.com with any restrictions before August 15.  

Is the event handicapped-accessible?
Being a historic landmark situated, Colorado Chautauqua is not ADA-compliant, and it is located at 5,000 feet in elevation. Please contact us directly about your needs and whether an accommodation is possible.

Can my spouse/companion attend?
Due to space limitations, no spouses/companions can attend the event meals or activities, and  spouses/companions need to be pre-approved by Long Thread Media in advance of the event. Attendees who have a guest joining them should choose private/private ticket type. You will be provided with a cottage with a queen bed. (There are no private/private rooms with king beds.)

SOAR is brought to you by Long Thread Media LLC.