PlyAway- An Infusion of Creative Energy
Each year, in Kansas City, a worldwide gathering of spinners happens (often in the lobby of the hotel) that sparks the soul.
Jacey and the folks at Ply Magazine put on quite the spinners retreat- bringing in amazing teachers, providing an incredible market of vendors, and lots of other super fun activities to bring people together and fuel the creative spirit.
This year was also extra special, because it was my first major retreat since my medical trauma. I have taught some small workshops-eek, which i still need to gush about.. that post will come next …
But this was the largest, most energy exerting event I have attended.. I admit, I was a little worried that I wasn’t going to be “as good” as I was before all the surgeries.. like somehow being sick crept into the other aspects of my life… rendering me broken. But that fear dissolved the instant my first class started.
I was so lucky to have 4 sold out classes.
The first day we spent the full day together. It was a day exploring the endless options of layered plying. We spent the morning dissecting and understanding the structure and process of both crepe and cable yarns. Then the afternoon was spent mixing and matching the different ways these yarns can be put together.. from a chainplied crepe, to a supercoil cable. It was so inspiring to see everyone sharing ideas, and inspirations. By the end of the day, everyone left with a head full of ideas, and an armload of sample skeins.
My next classes were also spectacular.. We explored boucle and how changing the structure of the single will change the way the texture will look. We also spent 2 sessions spinning different plying textures… pushing the boundaries of the individual box. Classes were so great I took very few photos.. but I was inspired by the creativity happening at the wheels around me.
The thing that I love the most about retreats like this, is the ability for after class hanging out. Not only are there sponsored retreat events to hang out, but also a general take over the lobby with our spinning wheels vibe. I saw so many fiber friends that I haven’t gotten to hug since before the first trip to the hospital. I got to thank so many for donating to my fundraiser, for sending love, support and even fiber. It was such an over pouring of kindness. This chance for after class hanging out is extra special for us teachers, because it is rare that we are ever in the same place long enough to have more than the few minutes in between classes to say hello. We got to pow wow about future classes, share stories and just enjoy getting to catch up. We also get to meet with vendors to do much needed networking.. so retreats, though a lot of energy, are my favorite places to teach.
And perhaps we were the table of troublemakers in the back.. because there are always troublemakers….
Another thing that happens can sometime happen at a retreat is teachers get to be students too!! I didn’t have a class to teach on Saturday afternoon, so Judith said I could sit in her fine fibers class. I spent a delightful 3 hours listening to her tell stories of collecting qivik in Alaska and creating her own dye pigments. Watching her corespin was one of the highlights of my weekend. We got to spin the most beautiful fibers- qivik, camel/silk, merino silk.. and now I need to find all the musk ox outer coats, because that would be a super fun tailspun……
I also lucked out with some amazing fiber goodies. A braid of vibrant polwarth/silk from Nebula fibers, and a projects worth of textured batts from Emily at Bricolage studios. I can’t wait to dive into these once surgery is past.
I went home with a belly full of burnt ends, a head full of inspiration and a heart full of love. I am teaching for the South Carolina Guild this upcoming weekend, and then my reversal surgery is next monday April 23. 10.5 days. Then my life can finally move forward with a new sense of appreciation for the joys of living.
I will be posting next week about the new workshops that are filing out the rest of 2018, and starting to dot 2019. If you are interested in booking a workshop for 2019/2020, drop a note via my contact form, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you my class list and info.
And I can’t wait for you all to be along with me on this next chapter of life.