We are the ones: PLY Away

We are the ones carrying around a wad of fiber that we happily suspend by a piece of colorful string, the ones referring to a 15-lb contraption that doesn’t have a handle or a bag as “portable”, the ones that think it just makes sense to have that many raw fleeces, the ones that don’t give a rodent’s bum how cheap yarn is at Target. We are spinners and for the past few years we’ve been without a retreat of our own.  I loved SOAR and sorely miss it so can you guess what’s coming next?  Yep, the rumors are true! The world is no longer going to be devoid of an all-spinning retreat! For at least 4 days, we’ll be the ones surrounded by other ones just like us.

PLY Magazine is holding its first annual PLY Away retreat April 21, 22, 23, and 24, 2016 in Kansas City, MO at Crown Center’s Westin. I’m giddy with excitement, only sitting out of typing necessity. I want to dance and scream and spin and yell. Seriously, I’m that excited. As excited as I was when the original kickstarter hit it’s goal! I told the cashier at Natural Grocers about PLY Away yesterday. She seemed only moderately impressed. Anyway, the location is perfect. It’s right in the middle of so much stuff but when you’re inside the center, it’ll feel like it’s just us. Just us and all the fiber and fiber tools a spinner could dream of.

Thanks to our wonderful and generous VERY BIG SPONSORS — Lendrum, Kromski, Louet, The Woolery, and Hansen Crafts — for helping bring these spinning stars together while keeping the costs out of the clouds. For those of you that are wondering about the cost, half-day classes are $85, 1-day classes are $145, and 2-day classes are $260. That means that 4 full days of classes will run a spinner $600 (this also includes a free ticket to the banquet/talk of Friday night), 3 full days will be $485, and weekend full will be $340. The special room rate we’re getting is $140/night for up to 4 people. I know it’s not pennies, but we did our very best to keep it to as reasonable as possible. Registration will open November 11th but classes and schedules will go up in August.

It’s an a la carte retreat which means that you pick and choose the classes you want, building your prefect 1, 2, 3, or 4 day retreat. There are four 2-day retreats that span Thursday and Friday, each one with one of these amazing teachers: Deb Robson, Beth Smith, Coleen Nimetz, or Stephenie Gaustad. These 2-day classes are what spinning dreams are made of. Soon I’ll tell you about each one. But if you’ve got something else to do on Thursday and you’d rather stroll in with your bad self on Friday, you can take a 1-day class from the likes of Amy King, Patsy Zawistoski, Jillian Moreno, Michelle Boyd, or Esther Rodgers. Is it wrong that I scheduled classes that I desperately want to take? I want each one of these and don’t know how I’ll manage it. When the weekend rolls you’ve got a choice between all the above teachers plus Amy Tyler, Abby Franquemont, and Christina Pappas. That’s 12 teachers, each teaching two days worth of half-day classes that will blow your mind! I don’t envy you the choices you’ll have to make.

What would a spinning retreat be without a marketplace? We’re going to have one for sure! It won’t be huge and it won’t be tiny. We’re hoping it’s just right. There will also be an open-to-all spin in and both the spin in and the marketplace are free to anyone that wants to join in! If you’d like to be a vendor, check this page out!

Finally, there’s a Friday night banquet and talk.

I am so excited about it. I have such big plans. I want it to be the best retreat, not only for spinners but also for teachers and vendors! I’ll share more of the cool details as the weeks pass. Like the scholarship fund. And how you can win a PLY Away retreat on me (including airfare, classes, and hotel). And how you can be one of 10 people that gets to register early. And how there’s going to be a giant marketplace gift certificate for one lucky attendee. And about each class. And and and and…

For now, check out the website! ! If you’d like to join our illustrious ranks of sponsors, go here!

ps.  if everything goes well, PLY Away 2017 will be bigger and longer!