2.0

I moved to my lovely home with my husband in 1982.  It is the only home we have ever owned.  We redid this 100 year old home with inexperience, dogged determination, and a lot of sweat and blood.  We built it into something that would serve our needs forever.  We gave birth and raised two kids here, built two large additions, renovated the basement for a playroom, and tore down all those old plaster walls and replaced and upgraded wiring, plumbing, insulation, heating, and slowly transformed the half acre of nothing into a lovely pond and perennial filled oasis in suburban North Jersey.  But life changes.  And now that my kids are raised, and my husband is gone, I’m left with something that is way beyond my capabilities to maintain.  Lets say that I could maintain it by myself, should I care too, but I have a job, and I like my job, and I can’t do both.

So over the last few months, I’ve entertained any number of contractors, for the inside and outside, simplifying and updating and reworking things that haven’t been dealt with since we first did everything over in the 1980’s.  I’ve had a painter working room by room, freshening everything, redecorating with paint, and making my life more manageable.

This morning the landscape designer came in with a crew to empty the ponds, rebuild them, new filters/pumps, and give them an overhaul.  They had become overgrown and inefficient and needed extreme upgrading.

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Upgrading.  If I had to use one word to describe my last six months, that would be it.  I’ve spent the last six months, upgrading my surroundings, my life, my work, and trying to move on.  There is something freeing about that process.  I blogged a couple of posts ago, about climbing into a 110 degree attic and running a new ethernet cable with my tech guy, the old co-axial cable was inefficient and worn and not doing the job.  

From wardrobe to hairstyle, paint colors to furniture, to technology, we all need a refreshing upgrade now and then.

Prior to my husband’s illness and subsequent death last year, I had embarked on a project to completely revamp my silhouettes, samples and handouts for my garment construction classes.  First came the pattern redrafts, and sizing upgrades.  I redid all 27 jacket samples in bedsheets.  Lighter traveling, more accurate fit.  I designed a tunic silhouette, and that proves to be a popular alternative for those who have already made a jacket in one of my classes.  I added a shawl collar option to the jacket, a swing coat option, a very fitted option, and a princess seam option.  Each new option requires a handout, or a rewrite, and those proved to be a little more challenging.

First, let me take a side step here.  My son is in the military, National Guard.  He has been in service for something like 8 years.  A number of years ago, he would go for additional artillery training, and come back frustrated because they were being trained on new digital weapons systems that were notorious for having technical difficulties.  He would declare, “Mom, do you know how frustrating it is in the middle of a battle, to ask the enemy to hold on while you reboot?”  And then he said the most amazing thing, “Give me a compass and a map any day and I can do my job.”  This from a 20 something tech savvy kid.  

I have thought about that comment a lot over the last couple of years.  Because we have the technology doesn’t mean we can do it better.  There is something to be said for an old fashioned pencil and paper.  My original handouts for my jacket class dated back in the days of Microsoft Draw.  Yeah, that was once a thing.  Over the years, I’ve purchased Adobe Illustrator, learned to use it, sort of, took a couple classes in it, and muddled through.  My illustrations improved a bit, but truth be told, if I don’t use something like Illustrator on a regular basis, it is a learning curve, at least for me, every time I sit down.

So when it came time to illustrate my new tunic directions, I looked at all the manuals on my shelf for Illustrator, looked at the giant learning curve ahead of me, and threw up my hands and pulled out a micron pen, some colored pencils and blank white paper.

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Can I say that I had a ball drawing exactly what I needed for each illustration?  There is something intimate and so very simple about just drawing what you want.  And apparently I have the skill.  I’ve certainly looked at enough instruction sheets for garment construction over my 50 years of sewing.  I can clean up an illustration in Photoshop like nobody’s business, I can use Photoshop blind folded, because I use it every day, but these little color drawings show exactly what I need without the interruption of technology.

That prompted a rework of my jacket directions, and the addition of how to do all the options, including bound buttonholes on the shawl collar variation.

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Which prompted this week, a complete rework of the vest directions.  

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Next up, when I get back from the Midwest Weavers Conference, I’ll sit down and start to write and illustrate the walking vest option.  How about a walking vest with a shawl collar?  I can do that, at least on paper.  

And yesterday, I did the ultimate rework.  

Back story is in 2014, I found in the back of my closet a six gored full length handwoven skirt, circa early 1990’s.  I blogged about it here, and here.  

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I adored what I made from it, after cutting it all apart, and loved when I could wear it at an event where a handwoven dress was appropriate.  I traveled with it as part of my teaching samples.  Unfortunately, I noticed that the black linen I had paired with the handwoven dress fabric was starting to disintegrate.  

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I had a bad batch of black linen. I had discovered while trying to stretch a canvas with it that it was either dry rotted, or possibly the black dye weakened the fabric.  It disintegrated in my hand while I was stretching a canvas, and what I hadn’t realized at the time, was that I had used it in this dress.

I spent one afternoon last month ripping out.  I’m a wicked fast ripper outer.  So I carefully removed every bit of the problematic black linen.  

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Yesterday, I cut new yokes and panel from a different black linen, underlined it for more body, with a Veriform Sew in Interfacing, since it was a thinner linen that the original.  And by the end of the day, all I have left is the handwork, and I can start traveling with this dress again, and not have to worry that it will disintegrate even more.

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So this past six months has been a 2.0, or in some cases 3.0 upgrades of just about every area of my life.  I am enjoying the fresh light each upgrade brings, I’m proud of the upgrades, and I look forward to continuing to upgrade, and simplify my life.  My handouts are far from simple at this point, but maybe that will be a future upgrade.  What’s important is that I don’t ever remain stagnant.

So I’ve shipped off five boxes ahead for the conference in Indianapolis, I have pretty full classes at Midwest.  I’m looking forward to hanging with my teacher friends, and seeing past students again.  I’m judging the fashion show, and that is always entertaining and informative.  When I come back, I am hoping that most of the major landscape rework and the ponds will all be finished. The last day of the conference happens to be the one year anniversary of my husband’s death and I can’t think of a better place to spend it.  

Stay tuned…

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Nevertheless, she persisted…

If you read my last two posts, you will know that this past couple of weeks have been just a little stressful.  Life does have a way of resolving itself eventually, if there is anything I’ve learned, things have a way of sorting themselves out, and usually for the better…  

The week before I left for Las Vegas read much like the old classic melodrama, Perils of Pauline, though oddly enough “Pauline has often been cited as a famous example of a damsel in distress, although some analyses hold that her character was more resourceful and less helpless than the classic damsel stereotype.” (Wikipedia)   Yeah, that was actually me…  Just call me Pauline.

When last we left off, I had contractors everywhere, wilting bushes, computer woes, and other maladies that would make the sturdiest of us all quivering at the knees.  

I woke up early Friday morning, ready to leave for the airport and really upset because my landscape contractor had moved about 50 bushes earlier in the week, and we had an unseasonable heat wave and three 90 degree plus days would surely kill off all my lovely plants.  There was nothing I could do, I had to leave for Vegas, and there was no one to water, and the property too extensive to design a watering system at the last hour.

I did what any self respecting widow would do.  I yelled at my late husband.  I begged him to take care of the plants while I was gone, they were of course all his plants, and I was desperately trying to simplify his gardens so I could manage them alone, and if he wanted them all to live he needed to send rain.  Which was not in the forecast.  Imagine my surprise when I woke up Saturday morning in Vegas, and my painting contractor, who was building my new gazebo, told me he couldn’t work on Saturday because it was raining.  I nearly fell out of bed.  

Meanwhile, the computer issues were not resolved, even though my lovely story of running a new cable on my late husband’s urging was supposed to solve the problem, it did not.  The internet issues were so bad by Thursday night I left in disgust on Friday ready to sell the house.  Only kidding, but I’ve never been so frustrated, and unable to work.  I’m still backed up probably 100 emails, I’m starting the slow slog to dig out from email hell.

The weekend workshop with the Southern Nevada Weavers and Spinners Guild was short and intense.  This was actually a one day beginning and one day advanced inkle weaving class combined.  Whenever I do this class, I warn students that because you had a one day class in how to weave on the inkle loom doesn’t mean you are ready to tackle complex pick up, name drafts, and other hand manipulated structures.  But they persisted…

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This was a wonderful group, mixed levels of experience, and yes, they persevered. The first day got everyone warped and learning to weave a competent band with clean selvedges, and experimenting with supplemental warp and weft and Baltic 2:1 pick up.  

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Day two was a lot tougher.  We rewarped looms, and learned 1:1 name drafting, free form pick up, and about half the class attempted pair pebbles on the inkle loom.  Crosseyed exhaustion played a large role here but I was impressed at how persistent this class was.  

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Though I was in Vegas, and the temps were over 90 degrees, I never left the lovely studio, which was in the house where I was staying.  It was great to roll out of bed, eat and walk three feet to the studio.  Sort of like my life at home.

Monday morning my hostess took me to the airport.  It was my 62nd birthday.  My flight wasn’t until noon, and rain back home was predicted for the day, and as I suspected there were all kinds of weather delays for flights to Newark.  I told myself that it didn’t matter because my beautiful plants were getting watered, and that was more important than being home on time.  Other than the three hour delay, the flight was uneventful and I made great progress on my sweater.  Not a bad way to spend a birthday, in a Club lounge with free wine, knitting, quiet, and relaxed.  

My daughter, bless her, came to the airport at 10:00 at night, so she would at least spend a bit of time with me on my birthday.  She had presents waiting for me.  We talked and had a lovely night.  She had sorted my mail and two things jumped out besides the hilarious birthday cards from my sisters.  First, my mammogram/sonogram all came back normal.  This is always a stressor, when I have my yearly tests, and especially this year in spite of losing my husband, a couple of dear friends and my dog, all to cancer, it just makes me relive my own cancer experience until I get the all clear.  Which I did, on my birthday.

The other piece of mail brought this…

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I had submitted three works for Fiber Celebration 2017 this year.  Only one was accepted, and I will say that I was disappointed that the tartan coat that one first place at the Blue Ridge Show last fall, did not get in.  I’m use to stuff like this, but it still amazes me how mercurial the selection process can be, and I say this having judged most of the major shows.  I was though, completely surprised when my daughter called to tell me that all three of her submissions were accepted.  She is on a roll!

Last week, before I left, a large packet came from the Northern Colorado Guild addressed to my daughter, and I knew as soon as I saw it that she had won something.  She had received first place in yardage (beating out my entry) and the juror’s choice award.  Yes, mom was very proud.  I wish I had a photo of her piece, woven with video tape, titled “Night Viewing”, it was pretty amazing especially for a 24 year old.  I wish I could take credit, but Brianna has a vision I never had at that age, even though I have a degree in Fine Arts.

That said, I assumed my yardage did not win anything, and that was OK.  When I got home Monday, I was thrilled to learn I had received the award for Best Use of Color, and yeah, I’d agree with that…

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This is my yardage Chaos, which was created at the height of my husbands illness and subsequent death and I blogged about it last year.  I desperately needed some color in my life and this helped a lot.

Yesterday morning, I went out on my deck and saw this.  

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My new hard top gazebo.  It fit like it was designed for the space.  I paid heavily to have my painter assemble it, there were something like a thousand pieces, he finished up Sunday night, and I sat and cried.  It is so beautiful, and so perfect, and exactly what I had hoped it would turn out to be.  Happy Birthday to me.

So that left the unresolved computer issues.  Sigh…

My tech guy came later yesterday morning.  We kind of looked at each other, rolled up our sleeves and were determined to find out the problem.  We were persistent.  I probably didn’t mention that last week in desperation I called the cable company, they sent a guy who replaced the modem, because, why not, but he did a head scratch when I told him the issues I was having.  He didn’t think it was a cable internet thing.

So tech guy spent a couple hours going over everything with a fine tooth comb so to speak.  There were actually a couple of seemingly unrelated things happening simultaneously and don’t you know, they were actually related.  He discovered a setting, that has not been an issue since my husband built my computer a number of years ago, something about a dynamic ISP, that would randomly chose an ISP from a huge list, because at the time, there were four of us living in the house, each with our own computer systems, he had three or four himself, with numerous peripherals, and apparently it made sense at the time.  For some odd reason, since my ISP was always changing, I was suddenly booted off the internet randomly, could no longer access my own domain shop and blog and website admin.  He created a static ISP address and I have been up and running ever since.  To say I’m overjoyed and totally in awe of my tech guy would be an understatement.  Geeks are the absolute best, and I’m sure my husband is happy tech guy was able to find the problem.  I’m sure my husband had a hand in it.  I don’t really understand what actually happened, and I don’t need to, because I have people for that, but I woke up this morning, surrounded by my doggies, another rainy morning, and lots of catching up to do because now I have stable internet access.  I worked hard all morning on the computer, catching up on orders, printing, shipping and doing the banking from the weekend.

I spent the afternoon cleaning out the vegetable garden. It stopped raining and I bought beautiful red geraniums to fill the deck pots, and lots of vegetable plants.  I have about half of them planted.  It is supposed to rain again tomorrow.  I’m smiling…

Stay tuned…

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Lost in the Pacific Northwest…

One of the best things about my job, besides the look of delight on a student’s face when they stand in front of a mirror and see what they have made from their own hands, is the ability to travel to the coolest places, and stay with the coolest people.  I flew to Seattle about 10 days ago and as we were approaching Washington State, the pilot told us to open the window shades and look out the left side of the plane, where I was actually sitting.  This is what I saw, Mount Rainier…

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I was picked up and driven about two hours north to Algers, near Bellingham, where the Whatcom Weavers Guild meets.  I stayed with someone I’ve stayed with before, I adore her, and finally met her husband, now retired and I felt like I was home with family.  The first night I was there, we went for a long walk around the waterfront, there was a marine life exhibit with live tanks and a wonderful docent who knew a lot and answered all my stupid questions.  There was this cool creature…  an orange sea pen…

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And then we went for drinks and listened to a jazz quartet.  So civilized and so wonderful.  

And then the workshop started Monday morning.  I was actually teaching a two in one, a three day jacket class overlapping a five day garment construction intensive.  About half the class have taken workshops with me before.  Many of the three day students opted for vests.  There were two felters in the class.  Good ones.  They had beautiful felted panels to work with.

 

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We were in the Algers Fire House for five days.  So that meant that we hung with young firefighters, probably the age of most of our children.  Men and Women.  In the beginning I think we were that group of old ladies, but by the end, we were talking and friendly and they were just adorable.  They would cook their lunch in the kitchen just off where we were sewing and at one point, I smelled something burning, something about the impatience of youth that they only cook on high, and I called over and said that my “mom” instincts were showing but I trusted that if a group of firefighters set fire to the kitchen, they’d know what to do.  And maybe they could open the window a bit since all of our eyes were watering.  You have to laugh.

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My five day students carried on and Molly made my tunic (a test before she tackles her handwoven fabric)…

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Cheryl wove a tencel/cotton fabric and spent at least a couple days matching the pattern, challenging even with the best of weavers, and I can honestly say I’ve never seen a better match job.  Even I couldn’t have done better. She also put in perfect bound buttonholes.  The swing coat will eventually have sleeves.

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Jody made a jacket with a shawl collar, also of tencel.  She re-engineered the collar for in seam buttonholes.

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Anne is working on a Butterick motorcycle jacket from handwoven linen and Cathy made my Daryl Jacket with a shawl collar handwoven from Harrisville Shetland Wool.

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Mary Ann (center)is making a swing coat with shawl collar from commercial wool, and Toni (right) made a vest from her handwoven fabric. 

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In the end, the Algers fire department pulled out the big rig and we all hopped on for a group shot.  

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I leave tomorrow for Las Vegas, a two day inkle weaving class.  Off to pack…  

Stay tuned…

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Meltdown…

Yeah, I know I haven’t blogged in awhile, I’m starting to get letters.

So I’d like to think that this past year, difficult as it has been, I’ve managed to navigate it with grace, humor and shear determination.  I’ve had my house overrun with contractors since last fall, cleaned out more sh*t than a human being should ever have (and I’ve barely made a dent), reclaimed spaces as my own, and tried hard to keep a smile.

Until this week.  I got off a plane Saturday morning after a sleepless flight home on the red eye from Seattle.  I knew going into this that my painting contractor had electrical difficulties and the east wall of the kitchen was out and what I didn’t know at the time was so were the ponds.  I knew I’d have to call in an electrician.  I also knew that my ethernet to my office computer was starting to act up again, and that I had probably a hundred emails that would have to be attended to and navigated before I got on a plane Friday morning for Vegas for a two day workshop.  My  landscape contractors had come in my absence and started the major overhaul of my gardens.  Some of this is timing, especially weather, and availability.

Running on no sleep, I will say I had a lovely Mother’s Day with my children, and my newly painted kitchen looked fresh and clean.  My daughter spent Friday as I was flying home trying to reorganize everything so I’d walk into usable kitchen.  And I did.  And I’m really really grateful.

And then everything went south.  Electrician contractor was able to come Monday, find an obscure GFCI circuit in the basement that had tripped for some reason and restore power to my east wall and figure out that the outlet in my studio that apparently wasn’t working, which I discovered the week before when I pulled out a wall unit to access it, was never in fact hooked up.

And then the dog got sick.  Kennel cough. It is a virus, sort of like the flu, just has to run its course, rarely happens especially with vaccinations, but  it did, and I had a pretty miserable dog on my hands.  And I have to board them again tomorrow for the weekend while I’m in Vegas.

And then yesterday morning, I had my annual mammogram/sonogram and a decascan.  I had cancer 15 years ago, I cannot go through this annual ritual without some angst.  And I have two friends who’ve lost their husbands about the same time my husband died, and they were both diagnosed with breast cancer and we buried one of them a couple of weeks ago.  Haunted is a better word.  Yes, I’m stressed.  Until I get that call that all is well, I’m stressed.  I admit it.

There is the other looming issue, pun intended, that this time last year was the beginning of the end.  I was in the Pacific Northwest teaching when everything went to hell in that proverbial handbasket.  I was with many of the same people as word started to come in that things were not OK with my husband.  Did I mention that haunted is an appropriate word?

And then there were the ethernet problems.  I was holding on, sleepless and concerned for my coughing dog, until I could not address the 100 emails that needed my attention, orders, contracts,  and to top it off, the final edits for two articles I have written for two different magazines.  Both had complicated issues, and I couldn’t do any of it.  I couldn’t follow up on anything, I couldn’t send out information, all I could do was answer people temporarily on my cell phone email access, inadequate when you are having conversations with editors.  My tech guy came yesterday and spent four hours, tracing the problem to a frayed wire in a switch, and everything worked fine for about two hours and then my ethernet went haywire again.  The difficulty was my internet/WIFI worked fine.  My office system does not use WIFI for many reasons, though I’m in the process of correcting that for emergency purposes.  My office system is hardwired and has always been.  

I was a cranky bitch yesterday.  I have house guests on top of everything.  Someone I adore who will love me in spite of everything.  I am really grateful that all my contractors and my friend, and my son gave me space to grieve and be pissed, exhausted, and  cranky.  

I had a feeling a couple months ago, that the ethernet cable that fed my office needed to be replaced.  My tech guy would always find a culprit and fix it and things would work OK for awhile.  This time, though he thought he found a solution, it was pretty clear to me that the entire cable needed to be replaced.  I had checked the garage below my office, trying to figure out how the wire was run through the ceiling of the garage and wondering how the hell we were going to rerun the wire and what alternatives I had.  This morning at 6am I was woken up by my late husband, I kid you not, who kept telling me, the cable goes up to the attic, don’t you remember, we ran it together.  I spent the morning tracing the line, up the northwall, across both attics, (you don’t want to know the amount of sh*t up there that I haven’t even begun to deal with) and down the south wall of the house, 140 feet.  Everytime I would lose site of the cable, a voice would tell me to look up, look under or look ahead.  The joy I felt when I traced it to the switch box in the basement was just the best.  I did it.  I found it.

Tech guy came back after lunch today.  I told him that we were rerunning the cable.  It was 90 degrees today in North Jersey.  It was about 115 in the attic.  He wasn’t happy, but I was the client and he had no other solution.  So up in the attic we went, I climbed over everything into the corners, and guided 140 feet of cable down through two walls, across two attics while he pulled from the other ends, one end went to the basement and the other to my office.  Turns out the original cable was co-axial, 24 gauge wire, state of the art at the time, but totally inadequate for speeds and data demands in 2017.  It seems to have worked.  I’m overjoyed that in spite of spending an hour this afternoon in 115 degree heat, we did it.  I kept picturing myself in a sauna. People actually pay for that.  I just kept breathing.  We re-ran a new line and my system is running at full speed and I’m happy.  

The shining part of the whole day yesterday was the landscape contractor who moved about 50 mature bushes and began the transformation from out of control gardens to something beautiful I can actually manage.  He did a magnificent job, mowed my lawn and I walk outside and smile.  Except it was 90 degrees today.  And 92 tomorrow.  So I have to hand water 50 transplants and hope they survive, knowing I’m leaving Friday and there is nothing more for me to do.  They will live or they won’t.  I’m doing the best that I can.  

So I had a melt down yesterday.  I’m not proud, but I have good people around me and lots of support.  And I got through it.  The dog is about 90 percent better.  The plants are mostly still alive, the ethernet works, the electricity in my studio and the east wall of the kitchen and the ponds work, and the only issue I’m having is my freaking website and shop are down.  Really?  We are working on a long term fix, obviously moving everything to a more reliable hosting company, but trying to decide how I want to have my shop moving forward, whether to keep printing my monographs, maybe start a video download, 99 cents for a video of a technique, lot of ideas, we will see where it takes me.  The important thing for me is that the information doesn’t die with me.  I’m seeing so many of my peers retire, or die, and that information is lost, I am too much of a teacher to let that happen.  

And so, thank you dear readers for your patience, I’m sorry there are no pictures, I’ll follow this blog with the great photos of the Whatcom Weavers Guild and my five day adventure with them.  Meanwhile, the dog is healing, my friend and her husband are here and wonderful, my office system has steady internet, the voice of my deceased husband has quieted down, and my gardens are gorgeous.  I look out over the balcony and I want to cry, happy tears.  It was a challenging week, but Friday morning I’m hoping to get on a plane and head to Vegas and teach an inkle weaving class.  I fly home Monday night on my 62nd birthday. I’m hoping the new gazebo will be installed by painting contractor.   I’ll be OK.

Stay tuned…

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Professional Development…

Anyone who follows my blog knows I teach workshops for a living.  As a matter of fact, I spent the first of April teaching a lovely group of women from a Maryland American Sewing Guild Chapter how to weave trim for garments on an inkle loom.  We had a blast, in spite of facility issues, and there are now a number of new weavers out there.  It was fun to see them all try something new, something out of their wheelhouse, and to watch light bulbs going off all over the room.

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Since I’m always on the road teaching, I almost never think about taking a workshop myself.  Workshop season is upon us, this is fiber conference season, and yes, I’m teaching at two of them, Midwest in Indianapolis in June, and New England Weavers Seminar in July.  It is all part of my job.  

As I redefine my life however, I’m starting to see that taking workshops myself is actually a great way to challenge the way I think about things, be a student again, sometimes actually struggling with techniques that aren’t familiar.  There is a social part of it I miss being the instructor all the time.  I have decided that moving forward in my newly redefined life that workshops are going to be an important part of what defines me.

I’m signed up to take a five day water color painting class at Peters Valley this summer.  I haven’t really painted since college.  I’m rusty and blank paper shy. 

Last weekend, my guild hosted Tom Knisley, well known and respected weaving teacher, extraordinary person, and fantastic rug weaver.  He has published a number of books, videos, and writes regularly for Handwoven Magazine.  He came to teach a three day class in Krokbragd rug weaving techniques.  

I don’t weave rugs.  I don’t think I’ve ever woven a rug, except for a couple of pile weave tapestries back in the 70’s in college.  But I signed up for the class, because I need to expand my brain, my knowledge of rug weaving, and because, this is my goal, to learn new things, and be a student once in awhile.

What a blast.  My daughter also took the class, and it was great to watch her run with every technique she tried.  I wasn’t in competition with her, and I was happy following my path, exploring the medium, and of course Tom makes every class informational and inspiring.  Tom and his daughter Sarah have opened a fiber school near Harrisburg PA, called the Red Stone Glen, and they offer regular fiber classes in just about everything you can think of.  I can’t wait to go take a class there.

I learned that rug weaving is very slow.  And that it uses up a lot of yarn.  I didn’t have much fat stuff hanging in my studio, but I brought what I had and I used a lot of it.  I am really proud of my sampler.  And no, I don’t think I’m now going to become a rug weaver.  Though I’m thinking of just tossing a warp on one of my 25″ table looms and puttering through a throw rug that will use up my 1980’s stash of Harrisville Shetland yarn.

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The thing that intrigued me about Krokbragd is figuring out how to make units symmetrical.  We worked off profile treadlings, something new to me, but I found that some units didn’t reverse well, as in this pattern.  The lower part was blocky and the upper part contiguous.  

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But if I wanted both the bottom part and the top part of the design to be contiguous, I had to work at it a bit.  I spent Saturday morning deep in thought, working out how to get the design to flow, and of course my daughter would look over my shoulder and point out what to her was very obvious, but I wanted to work it out myself.  And I did.  

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There was something really satisfying that comes with that fist pump/Ah-ha moment.  I was proud of myself.  I see that kind of personal success in my students, but it is harder for me to experience it on a regular basis.  I don’t push myself into areas where I’m not familiar and experience the joy of new found knowledge.

I have an intern for the semester, from the local community college, she is learning all areas of fiber arts, and has really taken to weaving.  She acquired a used loom a couple weeks ago, and has that wonderful enthusiasm of youth that reminds me that none of us are ever too old to learn new things.  I let her weave off my remainder of the warp from the weekend workshop.  She was so happy.

JuliaKrokbragd

Meanwhile, I finished up a vest sample illustrating a technique in garment construction, from leftover fabric from a mohair coat I wove, for an article for a fall issue of Threads Magazine.  I turned the fabric so it would read more of an ombr√© effect.  You can see the original coat here.  Of course, I finished it up on a day when it was close to 85 degrees.  Hard to work with mohair when your hands are sweating and it is way too early in the season for air conditioning.

OmbreVest

And so, I’m looking forward to what I can study next, what workshop I can take and where.  Perhaps something in music.  I always wanted to play a stringed instrument. Perhaps because I play with strings all day…

Stay tuned…

 

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