TICKETS ON SALE FOR SOAR 2024!

Spin Off Autumn Retreat (SOAR) 2024
Heritage Hills Resort in York, Pennsylvania
(October 6 – 11, 2024)
SOLD OUT — Join Waitlist
WHAT IS SOAR?
The Ultimate Spinning Retreat

There are fewer than 80 spaces total for this incredible handspinning experience! Spend five days expanding your skills and deepening your passion for spinning alongside a warm, spirited community of fellow spinners. Learn from some of the most outstanding spinning teachers and fiber artists in the world, including:
(read full instructor bios)

  • Amy Ross Manko, instructor and owner of Ross Farm Mercantile, focusing on heritage- and rare-breed sheep
  • Heavenly Bresser, spinner, fiber artist, spinning wheel restorer, and instructor of the Fractal Spinning video course
  • Irene Waggener, researcher and author of Keepers of the Sheep: Knitting in Morocco's High Atlas and Beyond and a forthcoming book on traditional fiber arts in Armenia, where she currently resides
  • Kate Larson (she/her), editor of Spin Off magazine, author of Practical Spinner’s Guide: Wool, and instructor of the How to Spin on a Charkha video course
  • Lily Hope, one of the few living designers of ceremonial dancing blankets—flowing garments created and worn by Northern Northwest Coast Alaska Native peoples—and instructor of finger-twined styles and the spiritual commitments of being a weaver
  • Maggie Casey, instructor of The Spinning Teacher along with many other beloved videos, and author of Start Spinning
  • Robin Goatey, toolmaker and instructor focused on historic fiber arts tools for modern spindle spinning and small-loom weaving
  • Sara C. Bixler, owner of Red Stone Glen Fiber Arts Center and resident instructor teaching spinning and weaving, and instructor of the popular Color and Weave on the Rigid-Heddle Loom video
  • Tom Knisely, frequent Handwoven magazine contributor and instructor of many videos, including his plant-to-cloth video course, Weaving with Linen

We like to think of the Spin Off Autumn Retreat (SOAR) as a spinner’s paradise. Imagine being in a room filled with people with the same interests while you learn from some of the top spinners and educators. You are all together for five glorious days in a beautiful location, making new memories, building skills, and, of course, spinning! 

Join us to study with accomplished fiber arts teachers, connect with fellow spinners from around the world, and relax at Heritage Hills Resort in York, Pennsylvania.

All accommodations, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, classes, materials fees, and evening events are included, but space is limited. Tickets start at $2,799.99 for the full retreat.

Ticket Information

Tickets are on sale for everyone! For those considering joining us, classes are selected based on the order in which tickets are purchased. That means the earlier you are on the list, the more class choices you’ll have, so don’t delay!

 Attendees will receive a link to build their schedule by June 24, 2024.

SOLD OUT — JOIN WAITLIST

You may cancel your registration for any reason up to 90 days before the event (July 8, 2024) for a refund minus a 10% processing fee.

Intensives

What’s an intensive? It’s a focused two-day class where you’ll dive deep into a skill with a knowledgeable and passionate instructor. Intensive classes will be held on Monday and Tuesday of the event.

Have additional questions about the classes? Curious which ones are beginner friendly? Contact us at support@longthreadmedia.com.

Extraordinary Singles

Intensive
Heavenly Bresser

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:

From Wool to Socks: Spinning and Knitting in the Moroccan High Atlas

Intensive
Irene Waggener

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:

Spinning for Self-Striping Color Effects

Intensive
Kate Larson

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:

Ravenstail Textile Sampler Wall Hanging

Intensive
Lily Hope

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:

Spin Goldilocks

Intensive
Maggie Casey

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:

Low-Whorl Spindles: Ancient Textile Tools of the Northern Roman Provinces & Beyond

Intensive
Robin Goatey

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:

Flax to Fabric: Spinning and Weaving Inspired By the Past

Intensive
Tom Knisely

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:

Samplers

What is a sampler? A sampler is a 3-hour class session where you’ll get a taste of a subject: try new techniques, explore new materials, or spark creativity. Participants take part in four samplers over the course of Wednesday and Thursday.

Have additional questions about the classes? Curious which ones are beginner friendly? Contact us at support@longthreadmedia.com.

Island Sheep: Spin and Experience Rare Breeds

Sampler
Amy Ross Manko

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:

Prep Like a Pro: Combs

Sampler
Heavenly Bresser

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:

Knitting Socks: Techniques from Armenian Knitters

Sampler
Irene Waggener

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:

Inspired by Tweed: Blending and Spinning for Complex Color

Sampler
Kate Larson

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:

Ravenstail Textile Tasting

Sampler
Lily Hope

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:

Teach Your Old Wheel Some New Tricks

Sampler
Maggie Casey

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:

Clasped Weft, a Not So Plain Fabric

Sampler
Sara C. Bixler

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:

Instructors

Amy Ross Manko

Amy Ross Manko travels the country (and now the world) teaching, researching and writing about her favorite topic: rare-breed sheep! You may know her from her articles in Spin Off, feature series “Sheep on the Edge” in PLY, or breed profiles in the UK’s KnitNow magazine. When she’s not on the road spreading the gospel of critically endangered livestock, she’s managing her historic farm with her son Drew, which raises nine breeds of heritage- and rare-breed sheep, as well as draft horses, mini-donkeys, and poultry. She is the owner of Ross Farm Mercantile Inc and provides love and shelter to homeless fiber equipment in her small fiber studio in Hudson, Ohio.

Heavenly Bresser

Heavenly Bresser is an award-winning handspinner, teacher at major fiber events, spinning wheel collector and restorer, and the founder of Heavenly Knitchet. She is excited to share her love of knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, and all things fiber related with the world. Some of her areas of passion include the love for working with color, working from fleece, and researching historic information for antique spinning wheels. Heavenly has made it her mission to help fiber artists of all levels expand their knowledge in their craft and to try new things. Learn more at heavenlyknitchet.com.

Irene Waggener

Irene Waggener is a knitter, spinner, independent researcher, and author focused on knitting traditions around the world. She is the author of Keepers of the Sheep: Knitting in Morocco's High Atlas and Beyond, which she wrote in collaboration with shepherds from Morocco's Aït Boulli valley. She is currently living in Yerevan where she is working on a new book about knitting in Armenia. You can find her on Instagram @waggens_ho where she shares the sheep, spinning wheels, knitted socks, and more that cross her path as she travels the world. Learn more at 106metersfromtheroad.com.

Kate Larson

Kate Larson (she/her) is the editor of Spin Off and loves using fiber arts as a bridge between her passions for art and agriculture. She keeps a flock of Border Leicester sheep and teaches handspinning and knitting throughout the United States. Kate is the author of The Practical Spinner's Guide: Wool (Interweave, 2015), many articles and patterns, and several videos, including How to Spin on a Charkha (Long Thread Media, 2022).

Lily Hope

Lily Hope (Tlingit; b. 1980; Alaska) is of the Raven moiety, belonging to her grandmother’s clan, the T’akdeintaan. She learned Ravenstail weaving from her mother—master weaver Clarissa Rizal—and artist Kay Field Parker. Hope apprenticed for over a decade in Chilkat weaving with Rizal who, until her untimely passing in 2016, was one of the last living apprentices of the late master Chilkat weaver Jennie Thlunaut. She endeavors to leave honorable weavers in her place. Hope is one of few living designers of ceremonial dancing blankets, flowing garments created and worn by Northern Northwest Coast Alaska Native peoples. She teaches both finger-twined styles, demonstrates internationally, and offers lectures on the spiritual commitments of being a weaver. Her work can be found in numerous museum collections, including the State Museum for Nature and Man (Germany), the Eiteljorg Museum, the Sealaska Heritage Institute, and the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery. Learn more on Instagram @lilyhopeweaver and at lilyhope.com.

Maggie Casey

Maggie Casey has been addicted to spinning since the last century, and while some people are proud of their wine cellars, she much prefers her basement full of fleece. Maggie was co-owner of Shuttles Spindles & Skeins in Boulder, Colorado, until it closed in 2020. She teaches at events around the country, including Estes Park Wool Market, Harrisville Designs, John C. Campbell Folk School, Maryland Sheep & Wool, PlyAway, and SOAR. She holds Part 1 of HGA’s Certificate of Excellence in Handspinning and is the author of Start Spinning, many articles, and several videos and courses from Long Thread Media.

Robin Goatey

Robin Goatey is a toolmaker and student of folklore creating reproductions and re-imaginings of historic and prehistoric fiber arts tools. Focusing on the textile traditions of the Northern Roman Provinces, the Northern Isles, and Western Europe, he makes shuttles, heddles, looms, spindles, and whorls available to modern fiber artists. Robin teaches spindle spinning and small-loom weaving workshops in the United States. Follow him on Instagram @thedancinggoats and visit the shop at TheDancingGoats.etsy.com.

Sara C. Bixler

Sara C. Bixler is the owner and resident instructor of Red Stone Glen Fiber Arts Center in York, Pennsylvania. She has been teaching spinning and weaving for about 10 years and prides herself on having a broad knowledge spectrum to share with her students. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Art and a Bachelor of Science in K-12 education—although she gives full credit for the depth of her knowledge to her apprenticeship with her father, Tom Knisely. You can find many examples of Sara’s work in issues of Handwoven and Little Looms and see her in person or in one of her many weaving videos.

Tom Knisely

Tom Knisely has been teaching handweaving for more than forty years. In addition to teaching, Tom weaves professionally and is a frequent contributor to Handwoven magazine. Voted Handwoven Teacher of the Year, Tom is renowned among his weaving students for his kindness, good humor, and seemingly infinite knowledge on the subject of weaving. He teaches at the beautiful Red Stone Glen Fiber Arts Center in York Haven, Pennsylvania.

Itinerary

The SOAR team will announce more details in the coming months, including special evening speakers and activities.

Sunday, October 6
Registration, dinner, and welcome

Monday, October 7–Tuesday, October 8
Breakfast
2-Day Intensive sessions (with lunch break)
Dinner + Evening gatherings to follow

Wednesday, October 9
Breakfast
Morning & afternoon Sampler classes
Dinner + Evening gatherings to follow

Thursday, October 10
Breakfast
Morning & afternoon Sampler classes
Dinner + Evening gatherings to follow

Friday, October 11
Breakfast, then morning departure

Sponsors

TheDancingGoats

TheDancingGoats makes historic and prehistoric reproductions and re-imaginings of fiber arts tools. Focusing on the prehistoric textile traditions of the Northern Roman Provinces, the Northern Isles, and Western Europe. Shuttles, heddles, looms, spindles, and whorls. Tools are made in wood, stone, pewter, copper alloys, ceramics, and glass. The advanced CNC Laser at TheDancingGoats is dedicated to making fiber arts tools and folklore inspired creations.

Treenway Silks

You’ll find the largest variety of Silk Spinning Fibers, Silk Yarn and Silk Threads & Ribbons at www.TreenwaySilks.com. Choose from a rainbow of hand-dyed colors. Love natural?  Our array of wild silk and silk-blends provide choices beyond white.

Louët

Louët products are known worldwide for their excellence in quality, design, and workmanship. With their focus on ease of use, durability, and ergonomics, their products have been used for decades by spinners and weavers.

Woolloomooloo

G'day SOAR attendees! We are Woolloomooloo, makers of premium merino wool sneakers. At Woolloomooloo, we take the merino wool from Australian Wool growers and spin it into a superfine merino thread that is knit to build a soft, durable, breathable upper. Our method ensures minimal waste and creates the most comfortable Australian Merino Wool sneakers on the market. Sustainable materials drive our design, building shoes that are better for your feet and the planet. We'll be at SOAR with our mobile shoe store - join us and take a pair of sneakers for a spin. See you there!

Eugene Textile Center

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, Little Looms, 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 is an immersive experience with activities outside class time, classes are available only as part of a 5-day package.

How long are the classes?
On Monday and Tuesday, each student will participate in a 2-day intensive designed to explore a subject in depth. On Wednesday and Thursday, participants will sample four subjects in 3-hour sessions. These classes emphasize trying new techniques, exploring unusual materials, and sparking your creativity.

When do I choose classes?
Participants will be invited to choose classes based on the order in which tickets were purchased. Attendees will receive a link to build their schedule by June 24, 2024.

I’d like to come for the market.
We are finalizing details with our sponsors to host a limited number of curated vendors. More information will be available later in the spring.

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 be held at the Heritage Hills Resort in York, Pennsylvania.

How do I find a roommate?
When you register, you will select either a private hotel room or a double room with two beds and a shared bathroom. If you choose a shared room, please email support@longthreadmedia.com to indicate your roommate request or if you would like us to introduce you to other guests seeking roommates.

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

I’m gluten-free/dairy-free/have specific food allergies. Can you accommodate me?
Please let us know of any food allergies, and we’ll coordinate with the kitchen to let you know what alternatives are available. We will send a questionnaire to gather information about your food-related allergies along with your class selections by June 24.

Is the event handicap accessible?
Heritage Hills Resort has a range of facilities catering to people of all abilities, and you can learn more here on their website. If you have difficulty with mobility, please let us know so we can provide further details.

Can my spouse/companion attend?
Spouses/companions need to be pre-approved by Long Thread Media in advance of the event to be sure that we can accommodate them. Due to space limitations, spouses/companions may not attend classes, meals, or activities without pre-approval, and additional charges may apply. Attendees who have a guest joining them should choose a private ticket type.  

What if I need to change my plans?
You may cancel your registration for any reason up to 90 days before the event for a refund. We do charge a 10% processing fee, so you will receive 90% of your payment back.  

What COVID-19 precautions will be followed?
We treat the safety of the event’s participants, instructors, and staff as our highest priority, and we will follow the current public health guidelines at the event.

Can a beginning spinner come to SOAR?
We have attendees at a range of skill levels and welcome people who are early in their spinning journey. The essential skills needed for most classes are to spin a continuous thread, make a plied yarn (just a basic 2-ply is fine as long as it holds together), and make yarn with whatever spinning device you’ll bring, whether it’s a spinning wheel, e-spinner, or spindle(s). Class descriptions will indicate which sessions are suited to spinners at all levels and what equipment is needed. Please get in touch with us at support@longthreadmedia.com if you have questions about whether a particular class is appropriate for you.

How do I get to the Heritage Hills Resort in York, Pennsylvania?
The Heritage Hills Resort is located at 2700 Mt. Rose Avenue, York, Pennsylvania 17402, just off Interstate 83. The resort is 30 miles or about 30 minutes from Harrisburg International Airport (MDT) and 65 miles from Baltimore Airport (BWI). The lowest-cost transportation options will be Uber or Lyft which can be scheduled and priced in advance. You can also rent a car at MDT or BWI if you prefer to have a vehicle with you throughout the event. The SOAR 2024 Facebook group is now live and we encourage you to post on the Facebook group and seek out travel partners to split the cost of your rideshare or rental car. We recommend purchasing your plane tickets no earlier than 2-3 months in advance for the lowest prices. The SOAR itinerary is always subject to change.


SOAR is brought to you by Long Thread Media LLC.