SOAR 2024 INFO: October 6-11, 2024 at Heritage Hills Resort (Pennsylvania). More details coming soon.

Spin Off Autumn Retreat (SOAR) 2023
The Embassy Suites in Loveland, Colorado
(October 29– November 3, 2023)

Get Your Ticket
WHAT IS SOAR?
The Ultimate Spinning Retreat

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

  • TahNibaa Naataanii, fifth generation Navajo weaver, is an active instructor and artist. Her mother, Sarah H. Natani, taught at past SOAR events.
  • Maki Teshima is a botanical-dye artist who has studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology and in private studios in Kyoto, Japan.
  • Maggie Casey, instructor of The Spinning Teacher along with many other beloved videos, and author of Start Spinning
  • Stephanie Flynn Sokolov, fiber arts instructor and coauthor of Woven Scarves: 26 Inspired designs for the Rigid Heddle Loom
  • Devin Helmen, spinning instructor and textile writer whose work focuses on creating useful cloth informed by history
  • Amy Tyler, spinner and teacher with a focus on movement and motion, and instructor of the new video, Spinning Wheel Mechanics
  • Kate Larson, editor of Spin Off magazine, author of Practical Spinner’s Guide: Wool, and instructor of the recently released video How to Spin on a Charkha
  • Kris Paige, longtime spinner, knitter, and weaver working with the sustainably gathered fur of wolf hybrids at the W.O.L.F Sanctuary in Colorado
  • Galina Khmeleva, author of Gossamer Webs and instructor of the video Spinning Gossamer Threads
  • Heavenly Bresser, spinner, fiber artist, and spinning wheel restorer, and instructor of the forthcoming Fractal Spinning video
  • Angela Schneider, textile artist, instructor, and project editor at Long Thread Media

You’ll study with accomplished fiber arts teachers, connect with fellow spinners from around the world, and relax in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

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.

Participants will be invited to choose classes on a first-purchased, first-choice basis. Attendees will receive a link to build your schedule by July 14, 2023.

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

We will offer full refunds for any reason until July 29, 2023 (90 days prior to the event).

SOAR Intensives

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

Mechanics of Your Spinning Wheel

Intensive
Instructor: Amy Tyler

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:
Additional notes:

A Fresh Approach to Fractal Spinning

Intensive
Instructor: Heavenly Bresser

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:
Additional notes:

N/A

Cold Hands, Warm Yarns: Spinning and Knitting Cozy Handcoverings

Intensive
Instructor: Kate Larson

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:
Additional notes:

N/A

Mixed Warp: Weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom

Intensive
Instructor: Stephanie Flynn Sokolov

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:
Additional notes:

Rigid-heddle looms will be provided for use during class.

Sheep to Yarn: Navajo Handspinning

Intensive
Instructor: TahNibaa NaaTaanii

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:
Additional notes:

If you would like to preorder a spindle from TahNibaa, contact her at tahnibaaweavings@gmail.com.

Targhee: A Sheep of the Wooly West

Intensive
Instructor: Maggie Casey

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:
Additional notes:

N/A

Samplers

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

Introduction to Navajo Handspinning

Sampler
Instructor: TahNibaa NaaTaanii

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:
Additional notes:

If you would like to preorder a spindle from TahNibaa, contact her at tahnibaaweavings@gmail.com.

A Howling Good Time: Working with Fur from Wolf-Dog Hybrids in Sanctuary

Sampler
Instructor: Kris Paige

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:
Additional notes:

N/A

Dorset Buttons: A Handmade Tradition

Sampler
Instructor: Kate Larson

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:
Additional notes:

Just bring yourself to class. Kate will provide all supplies needed.

Beginning Book Charkha

Sampler
Instructor: Kate Larson

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:
Additional notes:

Charkhas will be provided for use during class.

Blending Board Fractals

Sampler
Instructor: Heavenly Bresser

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:
Additional notes:

Blending boards will be provided for use during class.

Plying on Supported Spindle in the Orenburg Way

Sampler
Instructor: Galina Khmeleva

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:
Additional notes:

Supported spindles will be provided for use during class.

Supported Spinning in the Orenburg Way

Sampler
Instructor: Galina Khmeleva

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:
Additional notes:

Supported spindles will be provided for use during class.

Spindle-Spun Longdraw

Sampler
Instructor: Devin Helmen

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:
Additional notes:

N/A

Beyond Plain Weave: Pick-up Stick Patterns

Sampler
Instructor: Angela Schneider

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:
Additional notes:

Pre-warped looms will be available to use during class along with required equipment.

Beyond Plain Weave: Hand-Manipulated Lace

Sampler
Instructor: Angela Schneider

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:
Additional notes:

Pre-warped looms will be available to use during class along with required equipment.

Spinning Silk Hankies: Cultivated and Wild

Sampler
Instructor: Amy Tyler

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:
Additional notes:

N/A

The Pros and Cons of Predrafting

Sampler
Instructor: Maggie Casey

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:
Additional notes:

N/A

Three Japanese Dyes—Indigo, Kakishibu, Bengara—and Try Bengara Dyeing Together!

Sampler
Instructor: Maki Teshima

Required supplies for class:
Optional supplies:
Additional notes:

N/A

Instructors

Amy Tyler

Amy Tyler has degrees in modern dance, kinesiology, and physiology. Her art and science backgrounds give her a keen understanding of learning and analyzing movement skills, composition, pattern recognition, and systematic exploration. She translates that understanding into practical approaches to spinning and knitting techniques. She teaches spinning and knitting at venues across the country and is well-known for her animated and engaging teaching style. Amy has had numerous articles published in Spin Off and PLY, and has also been published in Interweave Knits and Handwoven. In addition, she has authored several instructional videos available through Long Thread Media, including her new online course Spinning Wheel Mechanics. You can find out more about her work on her website, stonesockfibers.com.

Angela Schneider

Angela Schneider is both a techie and an artist—but above all, she’s a teacher. As Long Thread Media’s project editor, she checks and double-checks project instructions in an impressive range of fiber arts. Her designs have regularly appeared in Handwoven and Little Looms magazines, and she has created everything from delicate jewelry to massive weaving installations in public spaces. With a background balancing programming, engineering, and art, plus a Master Spinner Certificate from Olds College, she relishes getting down in the details to understand a textile. One of her greatest joys is teaching and watching someone’s eyes light up with understanding.

Devin Helmen

Devin Helmen (they/them) has been immersed in fiber since learning to spin at age eight. They spin, knit, and weave in beautiful Minnesota. Devin enjoys writing and teaching about fiber arts and has a passion for spindles and everyday textiles. Their focus is on making useful textiles from natural materials in a way that is informed by history and celebrates the materials. Devin’s fiber ambition is to be surrounded by handspun textiles and they work toward furnishing a handspun household and building a handmade wardrobe. They blog, intermittently, at afewgreenfigs.blogspot.com.

Galina A. Khmeleva

Galina A. Khmeleva is the owner of Skaska Designs and the author of two books, several videos, and many articles about the history and techniques of Orenburg lace shawls. A former clothing and costume designer who worked with the aristocracy of St. Petersburg’s music and theater society, Galina has championed the work of Orenburg’s textile artisans for decades. Learn more at galinakhmeleva.com and on Instagram @galina_khmeleva_lace.

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.

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).

Kris Paige

Kris Paige has been spinning for nearly 40 years since she discovered it soothed the chaos from yet another move. Her personal discovery that wolf fur was spinnable struck when she was working as a vet tech in 2006 and was brushing off her scrubs. Since then, she’s spun, knitted, and woven a variety of things, all to help her local wolf sanctuary raise funds to continue their work. The fur she works with is from domestic wolf-dog hybrids (so no worries about the Endangered Species Act). Kris discovered early on that this fur is unlike spinning her beloved canines’ fur, and that it’s even warmer than that of the llamas in the back yard.

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 the 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.

Maki Teshima

Maki Teshima is a botanical-dye fiber artist. Born and raised in Japan, she studied botanical drawing, painting, and printmaking at Corcoran College of Art in Washington, D.C. She learned natural dyeing techniques at the Fashion Institute of Technology, the Textile Art Center, and private studios in Kyoto, Japan. In early 2021, Maki relocated to Denver, Colorado, after living in New York City for 15 years, where she worked as a textile surface designer for various fashion companies. She actively organizes natural dyeing workshops and teaches at various places, such as the Denver Art Museum and Denver Botanic Gardens. Learn more at tomorrowisalwaysnew.com.

Stephanie Flynn Sokolov

Stephanie Flynn Sokolov is a fiber fanatic experienced in teaching and motivating students in many fiber arts. She has a diverse expert background that includes spinning, weaving, knitting, felting, and dyeing. Her interest in learning about fiber arts started at a very young age, and she trained in accessory design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Stephanie continues expanding her expertise by seeking out the best in the industry. Her online weaving class can be found on craftsy.com and online spinning classes on Schacht School of Textile Arts. Stephanie is co-author of the book Woven Scarves: 26 Inspired Designs for the Rigid Heddle Loom with Jane Patrick. Her other projects can be found in Spin Off, The Weaver’s Idea Book, and Little Looms. She loves to spread her contagious enthusiasm for fiber with everyone she meets and vows that students are sure to find inspiration in any class she teaches.

TahNibaa Naataanii

As a fifth-generation Navajo weaver, TahNibaa Naataanii creates as her ancestors did, using a traditional vertical Navajo loom. As a young girl, she was given the Navajo name of TahNibaa Atlo'iigii, which means “TahNibaa the Weaver.” Her mother, Sarah Natani, is a past SOAR instructor. TahNibaa has been weaving since the age of seven, apart from a tour of duty in the United States Navy. Her weavings are made from a combination of handspun wool from her flock of Navajo Churro sheep, millspun wool, and sometimes other fibers such as silk, Merino, feathers, leather, and hemp. She says, “I am influenced by my surroundings, by the sunrise, the landscapes, my dreams, my community, and my family heritage of weavers. When I weave, I feel the presence of my grandmothers.” Learn more at tahnibaanavajoweavings.artspan.com.

SOAR 2022 Highlights

We were lucky enough to bring Tiffany Warble onsite to capture some memories of SOAR 2022!

Itinerary

Participants will be invited to choose classes on a first-purchased, first-choice basis.

Sunday, October 29
4PM: Registration, dinner, and welcome


Monday, October 30–Tuesday, October 31

8AM: Breakfast
9AM-4PM: 2-Day Intensive sessions (with lunch break):

Mechanics of Your Spinning Wheel Intensive (Amy Tyler)
A Fresh Approach to Fractal Spinning Intensive (Heavenly Bresser)
Cold Hands, Warm Yarns: Spinning and Knitting Cozy Handcoverings Intensive (Kate Larson)
Targhee: A Sheep of the Wooly West Intensive (Maggie Casey)
Mixed Warp: Weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom Intensive (Stephanie Flynn Sokolov)
Sheep to Yarn: Navajo Handspinning Intensive (TahNibaa NaaTaanii)
6PM: Dinner + Evening gatherings


Wednesday, November 1
8AM: Breakfast
9AM-4PM: Morning & afternoon Sampler classes

Spinning Silk Hankies: Cultivated and Wild Sampler (Amy Tyler)
Beyond Plain Weave: Hand-Manipulated Lace Sampler (Angela Schneider)
Spindle-Spun Longdraw Sampler (Devin Helmen)
Supported Spinning in the Orenburg Way Sampler (Galina Khmeleva)
Blending Board Fractals Sampler (Heavenly Bresser)
Beginning Book Charka Sampler (Kate Larson)
A Howling Good Time: Working with Fur from Wolf-Dog Hybrids in Sanctuary Sampler (Kris Paige)
The Pros and Cons of Predrafting Sampler (Maggie Casey)
Three Japanese Dyes—Indigo, Kakishibu, Bengara—and Try Bengara Dyeing Together! Sampler (Maki Teshima)
Introduction to Navajo Handspinning Sampler (TahNibaa NaaTaanii)
Beyond Plain Weave: Pick-up Stick Patterns Sampler (Angela Schneider)
Plying on Supported Spindle in the Orenburg Way Sampler (Galina Khmeleva)
Dorset Buttons: A Handmade Tradition Sampler (Kate Larson)
6PM: Dinner + Evening gatherings


Thursday, November 2
8AM: Breakfast
9AM-4PM: Morning & afternoon Sampler classes

Spinning Silk Hankies: Cultivated and Wild Sampler (Amy Tyler)
Beyond Plain Weave: Hand-Manipulated Lace Sampler (Angela Schneider)
Spindle-Spun Longdraw Sampler (Devin Helmen)
Supported Spinning in the Orenburg Way Sampler (Galina Khmeleva)
Blending Board Fractals Sampler (Heavenly Bresser)
Beginning Book Charka Sampler (Kate Larson)
A Howling Good Time: Working with Fur from Wolf-Dog Hybrids in Sanctuary Sampler (Kris Paige)
The Pros and Cons of Predrafting Sampler (Maggie Casey)
Three Japanese Dyes—Indigo, Kakishibu, Bengara—and Try Bengara Dyeing Together! Sampler (Maki Teshima)
Introduction to Navajo Handspinning Sampler (TahNibaa NaaTaanii)
Beyond Plain Weave: Pick-up Stick Patterns Sampler (Angela Schneider)
Plying on Supported Spindle in the Orenburg Way Sampler (Galina Khmeleva)
Dorset Buttons: A Handmade Tradition Sampler (Kate Larson)
6PM: Dinner + Evening gatherings


Friday, November 3
8AM: Breakfast, then morning departure

Sponsors

Treenway Silks

Treenway Silks is where spinners find the silk they love. Select from the largest variety of silk spinning fibers, silk yarn, and silk threads & ribbons at www.TreenwaySilks.com. You'll discover a rainbow of colors, thoughtfully hand-dyed in Colorado. Love natural? Treenway's array of wild silks provide choices beyond white. If you love silk, you'll love Treenway Silks where superior quality and customer service are guaranteed.

Yarn Barn of Kansas

The Yarn Barn of Kansas has been supplying Knitters, Weavers, Spinners, and all fiber crafters and artists with yarn, patterns, equipment, and accessories since 1971. Whether you are around the corner from us in downtown Lawrence Kansas, or around the country, the Yarn Barn truly is your "local yarn store" with an experienced staff to answer all your questions. Call us today at 800-468-0035 or visit our website at www.yarnbarn-ks.com to shop, learn, and explore.

Greenwood Fiberworks

Greenwood Fiberworks is an indie dye company that specializes in hand-dyed luxury fibers and yarns. We carry a selection of yak, camel, merino, bamboo, blends, and more, all celebrating our love of spinning and fiber. When we aren't in Utah dyeing fiber, we are on the road, and look forward to meeting you this October in Colorado at SOAR. Visit us atwww.greenwoodfiberworks.com

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 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.

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 4-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.

I’d like to come for the market.
We are finalizing details with our sponsors to host a limited number of curated vendors. More details 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 all be held on site at The Embassy Suites in Loveland, Colorado.

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 indicate in the notes whether you have a roommate in mind or you would like us to introduce you to other guests seeking roommates.

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

I’m gluten-free/dairy-free/have specific food allergies. Can you accommodate me?
The Embassy Suites' on-site culinary team will work with us to provide meal options for your food-related allergy. Please let us know by August 15 of any food allergies, and we’ll coordinate with the kitchen to let you know what alternatives are available. We will send you a questionnaire 90 days before the event to gather information about any food-related allergies you may have.

Is the event handicapped-accessible?
The Embassy Suites is ADA-compliant. If you have difficulty with mobility, please let us know so that we can provide you with 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 you. Due to space limitations, spouses/companions may not attend classes, meals, or activities. 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 SOAR 2023 for any reason up to 90 days before the event (or July 29, 2023) for a full refund.  

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 public health guidelines current at the time of 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, spinner, or spindle(s). Class descriptions will indicate which sessions are suited to spinners at all levels as well as what equipment is needed. If you have questions about whether a particular class is appropriate for you, please reach out.

How do I get to The Embassy Suites in Loveland, Colorado?
The Embassy Suites is located at 4705 Clydesdale Pkwy, Loveland, CO, 80538, just off of I-25. Click here to get full travel directions from nearby airports.

SOAR is brought to you by Long Thread Media LLC.