I walked to the Lodge for Registration with some trepidation: I knew *nobody* here In Real Life, only as digital entities on Ravelry and via email. I'd tried to memorise ravatars, but I'm bad at faces, and pictures of someone's dog or favourite FO are no help at all...
Abby was unmistakable, and gave me the first of many, many SOAR hugs (for which I later gave her the beer I'd brought from England). If someone asks if it's your first SOAR, and you say 'yes', they'll probably hug you. Inspired by this, I did my share of hugging, to thank Beth of The Spinning Loft for all the stuff she's sent to me ( OK, I did buy it, but it was all good). Wearing my Camo Laminaria I was stunned when ElizF (on Ravelry), who designed it, came up to me to see mine - the first she'd seen in the wild. Her first time at SOAR too, so I hugged her for that AND the fabulous patterns. I hugged Tsocks, and Lynn (Enallagma9) and JimBobSpins and Sandi. All around me other people were hugging each other, friends who saw each other only at SOAR. And speaking regretfully of those they'd hoped to see who hadn't been able to attend.
The three-day workshop session was about people, too (as well as cotton). Other students, learning. Our mentor, Stephanie Gaustad, who poured a generous flood of information, skill and experience into the room. The people who'd made the tools we used (Alden Amos' work is so beautiful that some pieces made me
cry) the people who devised the techniques we learned, who used them to clothe their families. We are part of a tradition stretching back into the mists of time. Stephanie talked of duplicating ancient textiles, and people who'd done similar work spoke of feeling that the original makers were there, present, helping and approving of the effort to keep the tradition alive.
Pass it on, people.
-- posted on the move