Please be pat ient…

…with my technical glitches. Please bear with me as I try to navigate all this. I’m trying to see if the emails to subscribers is working. I’ve reverted back to the old system. Sigh…

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This is a test take 2…

I think I am doomed to spend my life in technology hell. Yet another redo of my subscriptions and my beloved subscribers after my host company shut down my blog last night. You don’t want to know. I have a new way to subscribe, there is a page on the blog for subscribing. Hopefully all of you who have already subscribed are still intact. Hopefully. So we are testing the new service, if you get notification of this post via email, please leave a comment, if you get this post via RSS feed, no need.

Crossing my fingers…

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And so it begins…

Travel season is officially here, and I’m pretty much on the road from the end of the month through until November.  I have one more getaway planned, a five day watercolor class at Peters Valley, though I decided to commute instead of staying out there since I have a one day turn around before I teach a five day class there in beginning weaving, the first week in August.  Final plans for that class are on the to do list along with about thirty other items added since I returned from Reno.  I’m good at all this, and lists are what holds me together.  As long as it is on the list for me to glance at and deal with from time to time, I don’t have to keep it in my head.  There is something wonderful about the fact that a piece of paper can substitute for your brain…

I have a lot of updates to do in my files, my prospectuses, my digital files and downloads, I spent the day today updating all 17 project files on my website because as I lay awake Thursday night, with a very sick dog, actually sleeping outside with him to prevent him from getting sick in the house, I realized that all 17 project files had no attribution nor copyright information on them, 10 years from now, no one will remember where they came from nor whose draft and details they should be attributed to.  There are days when I’m really not the brightest crayon in the box.  I’m not the dullest either.  Which is comforting…

Anyway, the great thing about digital downloads is I can correct files, and if you click on the download link again, the one you received when you purchased them, you will always get the latest version.  If you’ve bought a project file from me, you might want to check to see if I’ve updated anything, especially those who bought them early on.  I’m a tweaker of the first degree…

I left for Reno carrying most of my new work, since it related to the patterns I use for my classes, or I had made it to wear to events like the fashion show and the keynote address.  When I went on stage after the fashion show to give out the awards, I asked how many people in the audience were wearing something that came from their hands and half the audience stood up.  It was so incredible.  As if on cue, and this was not prearranged, the house lights came up and I really saw the amount of handweavers out there who wore something they made.  There were more than 600 people at each of the fashion shows, so that says a lot.

I’m always reluctant however to travel with new work that hasn’t been officially documented in some way, so I was glad when all my work came home with me safely and Saturday morning, after a leisurely breakfast, I ripped apart my studio to turn it into a photo session.  It requires shifting looms, moving furniture and equipment, but it works well, and takes me about a hour to set everything up.  I take a few photos, run over to the office down the hall, check what I have, see stupid stuff I didn’t notice when I was shooting and go back and tweak.  Did I mention I am a tweaker of the first degree…

And this is the result.  I realized I didn’t shoot the back of this jacket.  It has a pretty yoke cut on the lengthwise grain.  I’ll have to go back and shoot that next time my studio is rearranged.  The jacket is a version of the Collared Vest pattern combined with the jacket pattern for the armhole, sleeves and pocket variation.  The class directions for making these garments are available for free on my website, but you have to take one of my classes to get the patterns.  I have not figured out a way to market them.  Nor do I want to until I stop teaching.  I wove the jacket from Noro Taiyo Lace knitting yarn with a Shetland warp, and cut it on the crosswise.  

Then there was the Autumn Patchwork duo, the duster and the tunic, both from the same length of hand painted and handwoven cloth.  There was a lot of yardage there.  The tunic is from my class pattern, and the duster is a very long version of my jacket pattern with optional shawl collar.  The Autumn Patchwork draft is available here.

I used my Jumpstart vest pattern to make this brown melton vest trimmed in the length of fabric I wove in the Karen Donde Bubble Cloth class I took awhile ago at my guild.  It just occurred to me I forgot to shoot the crimp cloth vest I did from the Diane Totten class I took.  Damn…

And I made this vest from my Collared Vest pattern, from the turned taqueté fabric I wove in a class with Kathrin Weber using her dyed warps.  And I used the same pattern minus the collar to make this small piece of felt laminate I did with an old silk scarf from my late mother in law’s stash.  There are no side seams.  

I cut up my old handwoven gown, and ended up with this lovely top, which I wore to the keynote address, though I sat in the back and few people saw it, I was too tired to interact with anybody having taught all day and then given an hour and a half lecture as the juror of the fashion show.  The lower part became this lovely bias top.  I can see getting a lot of use out of both of them.  The draft for the Frosted Florals fabric is here.

I found some extra fabric from a tunic I made awhile ago and made another bias top, I wore both bias tops at the conference and they were so comfortable.  The pattern is a bias variation of my collared vest pattern, but I haven’t written the page yet that explains how to convert the vest to the bias top.  It is on my lengthy list to draft all the bias top sizes, to save students time.  The draft for the Pacific Sunset fabric is here.

I also made this tote bag from a Krokbragd sampler I did in a Tom Knisely rug workshop.  This is the front and the back.  You decide which is which.

Then I made this long walking vest with a shawl collar, from a fabric I had done for a potpourri grab bag exchange at my guild.  Guild events and workshops are always great for taking you out of your wheel house.  I hope that Convergence does that for all of the attendees.  The draft for the fabric for this potpourri walking vest is here.  I combined my Jumpstart vest pattern, walking vest version, added the optional shawl collar, and overlaid it with the jacket pattern for the armhole opening, and drafted facings.

And last but not least, I made six of these gradient scarves, I may offer a couple of them for sale in my web shop, but they were from my hand dyed yarns, using the Down on the Farm palette from one of my handwoven forecasts long ago.  The draft for this scarf and other color variations is here.

It was a remarkably successful weekend, I’m completely exhausted, but feeling like I’m seeing the shoreline from treading water in the middle of the lake.  I have an emergency article to write and get to Threads Magazine before I leave on the 27th for Peters Valley, so that’s next up, I’ll put my office assistant on the job of updating all my downloads and print covers and handouts with the correct phone number.  I’m happy to report the dog is much improved, back to his old bratty lovable self.  And it rained all last night, a much needed lovely rain, which made everything green again, and that’s a wonderful thing.

Stay tuned…

 

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Daryl’s excellent Reno adventure…

Well, if you read my last blog, you’d know what a horrific week I had prior to flying to Reno for the Handweaver’s Guild of America biennial conference Convergence.  I had hoped that all the drama I encountered would be an indicator of how the conference would be, my experience is the more drama, the more successful the event.  I was not disappointed. I arrived uneventfully and the director of HGA Liz Williamson snapped a photo of me dragging my 150 pounds of luggage through the airport.  

Convergence was an amazing event, full of eager weavers and fiber enthusiasts, in a sparkling city full of lights, gambling, cigarette smoke (yeah I know) terrific food, and enough inspiration to last until the next conference in 2020 in Knoxville.  I was hopeful that this conference would represent a real turning point for the weaving community, after years of decline, weavers retiring, dying, or moving on to less physical forms of fiber exploration, weaving is back in full regalia, it is the next big thing, which amuses all of us who have been hanging around for a quarter century or more.  I couldn’t be happier.  I will say that the weaving and textile surfaces I saw this past week have never been stronger, more complex and diverse and truly pushing the envelope.  It was an intense week, I’ve never worked so hard.  Someone asked me if I was having fun, that actually didn’t even occur to me.  I had a job to do and this is my life.  The logistics of each new class kept me awake at night, but I am thrilled to say that everything involving me went off flawlessly.  Huge sigh of relief when it was all done.  

I took no photos at all until the last day, when I was finished and just hanging around Reno waiting for my flight home.  I was that busy.  I didn’t get a single photo of the 50 people in my Friday morning lecture, nor the gorgeous turned Krokbragd on the inkle loom my 20 students learned Friday afternoon.  I didn’t get a single photo of the fashion show, even though I sat through two of them.  I was the judge and had to wait for my cue to come up on stage at the end of each and give out the awards which I had selected the day before.  I did not get a photo of me in my new handdyed handwoven duster I made for the occasion.  I’m hoping someone did and will send it to me.

I did not get a single photo of my beginning inkle weaving class on Saturday, they all did great work and were doing Baltic pick up on five threads at the end.  I did not get a single photo of my two day class Sunday and Monday while they went through 140 yards of pattern paper tracing everything I brought, including the new bias top, that was many participants first choice!

I did not get a single photo of my juror’s talk, both of them, Sunday and Monday nights, as I dragged 35 interested but exhausted participants around the gallery.  My roommate and dearest friend and felter (she calls herself a lapsed weaver) Amy Morris did manage to get a photo of me having breakfast, thank God for a Trader Joe’s and a refrigerator in the room.  We stocked up on breakfast and lunch things because there was absolutely no time to wait at the fabulous restaurants at the Peppermill Resort where all this occurred.  I brought my swimsuit thinking there would be time…  Hahahahahah…..

However…

I made up for it on Tuesday.  I spent the day looking at all the exhibits with Amy in tow, we took a cab to the downtown area and started with Complexity: Innovations in Weaving produced by Complex Weavers at the Reno City Hall Metro Gallery.  I took photos of my most favorite pieces.

Fireflies and Jellyfish by Molly McLaughlin

Do NOT use images of flowers for assessment by Suzy Furness

Ruby, Ruby by Mimi Anderson

Gravity of Reality by Robin Haller

No Secrets by Lynn Smetko

We left the Metro Gallery and walked a couple blocks and I got my first and only look of the landscape of Reno and the Truckee River.

We found the Sierra Arts Foundation Gallery and saw a gorgeous exhibit by four artists, an East-West Conversation in Fiber.  I did not get a full gallery shot, but I was drawn to the work of one of the artists, Mirka Knaster, born in Italy to parents from Poland, who came to the US as a child.  She creates 2-D and 3-D fiber pieces in a studio on the Sonoma Coast.  You can see more of her work at mirkaart.com .  I particularly loved the small units, each a treasure, that fit together as a whole covering one whole wall.  

Assemblage by Mirka Knaster

Assemblage detail by Mirka Knaster

Assemblage detail by Mirka Knaster

Assemblage by Mirka Knaster

We headed back to view all the exhibits at Convergence and hopefully take a few photos.

The exhibits were one behind the other in an expansive narrow ballroom off the vendor hall which was closed by Tuesday.  My only opportunity at the vendor hall was Saturday night in the Shop ’till you Drop.  I managed to get to three booths.  

The carpet in the ballroom that housed the exhibits was quite the textile in itself. 

 

I started with the leader’s exhibit, where I found lots to love and my coat was the first piece on display.

Here are some of my favorites.  Descriptions are embedded in the images.

Red Letter Night by Molly Elkind

DaVinci Revisited: La Mona Lisa by Louise Berube

DaVinci Revisited: La Mona Lisa detail by Louise Berube

Adam & Eve by Susan Marsh

Stained Glass Diamonds Scarf by Constance Collins

Shimmer & Shadow by Dottie Weir

Paisley by Laura Viada

Unfurled by Barbara Setsu Pickett

We moved on to the Truckee River Yardage Exhibit, and there were some really beautiful works.  The first one is by my friend John Mullarkey, and it is card woven  using 160 cards, each with four threads, in an unbelievable feat of complex weaving.  John won the Complex Weaver’s Award, as he should have!

Tablet Woven Triptych by John Mullarkey

Water is Life by Nancy Peterson

Playing with Blocks by Sarah Fortin

Kartoffel 1 by Nancy Weber

Kartoffel 1 detail by Nancy Weber

River Meditation by Jennifer Angelo

Silk Boxes and Lines by Joan Namkoong

Silk Boxes and Lines detail by Joan Namkoong

This last piece didn’t look like much from a distance, but up close, I realized that those little boxes were formed by supplemental warps and wefts.  It was so subtle and inspirational.

In the center of the room was the Great Basin Basketry Exhibit.  I’m not particularly drawn to baskets, but there were two standouts for me.

Square Teapot by Kathey Ervin

Made It by Nancy Loorem-Adams

The next area housed The Playa Mixed Media Exhibit.  This is a mixed bag of techniques, everything fiber that doesn’t fit in with the other exhibits is fair game.  There were a lot of standouts here.

2340 Mile Mississippi by Laura Strand

Kachina I by Adriane Nicolaisen

LAVAfolds #1 by Cameron Taylor-Brown

Speckled Digits by Al Canner

Wildings by Molly McLaughlin

Wildings detail by Molly McLaughlin

Mountain for the Buddha: Chroma by Mary Zicafoose

Under Construction by Jayne Gaskins

And finally, the last gallery housed the Fashion Show.  Since I was the judge, I had really studied each of these pieces, and I will tell you it was the hardest fashion show I’ve ever judged, there were so many prize contenders and I had only a handful to give away.  There were many I was drawn to including a delightful student piece woven on a rigid heddle loom…

Handwoven Grad Dress by Sandra Micovic

Midnight Highway by Adriana Gorea

Cinnabar Mountain Jacket by Mary Mortenson

Echo & Flow by Jannie Taylor

Verdigris Jacket by Joan Near

Blue Majesty by Ruth Ronan

And the winners.  These three all received honorable mentions from me.  I chose the winners because of the layers of thoughtful engineering, and complexity of design.  Each time I revisited them, I found more to love.  Sadly what you can’t see is the energy that happened on the runway, Reno showgirls modeled the hell out of these garments and sold every single one to the audience.  The best fashion show of handwoven and other fiber technique wearables I’ve ever seen.

1920’s Going to the Opera by Wendy Dolan with Wandering Vine Weavers

Blue Skies by Fine Gelfand

Las Vestiduras para Milta by Eileen Driscoll

Las Vestiduras para Milta detail by Eileen Driscoll

I gave third place to this gorgeous jacket from Lillian Whipple.

Red to Blue and Green All Over Jacket by Lillian Whipple with Sharon Bell

I gave second place to this outstanding jacket by Canadian Inge Dam, the purple stripes are actually card woven simultaneously with the regular hand painted warps.  And for the non weavers reading this, know that card weaving is pretty challenging, not my drug of choice in textile techniques.

Band of Northern Lights by Inge Dam with Manon Pelletier

And my first place winner was a complete delight both on and off the runway.  Congratulations Mimi Anderson.

Friday Night Fever by Mimi Anderson

If anyone does not want their piece shown here, please let me know and I’ll remove it. 

We left Reno in style, first the limousine ride to the airport, thanks HGA and Peppermill for a wonderful experience.  Too bad the ride to the airport was only 15 minutes…  I was upgraded to first class in both legs of the flight home, a nice ending to a fabulous week.

Now that I’m home from my exhausting yet wonderful and inspiring week away, all the drama I left and then some has come back to haunt me.  There are a couple of technology issues that will cost me months of work to redo every file associated with my name, through a series of unfortunate events, my business phone number is no longer available, and though I’m fighting to get it back, the thousands of handouts and monographs that have 973 628-0185 are no longer accurate.  My phone number, should you wish to reach me by that antiquated method is 973 706-7745, but email is much better, trust me, and it will take me probably the rest of the year to update all the prospectuses and all the downloads on my website.  And I spent last night, until 2am with my beloved brat Ranger at the emergency vet hospital, it appears he has a nasty case of cDiff or Giardia, and you don’t even want to contemplate the visuals of that infection.  I brought him home and had to sleep outside the rest of the night because I couldn’t risk my brand new carpets, and yeah, well…

And so this horoscope greeted me this morning.  I’m not even sure what to do with this…

Stay tuned…

 

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Three, Two, One and Lift off!

Back in the 1980’s when I use to do craft fairs, I always could tell how well I’d do at a show, by what went wrong or didn’t right before I left.  If everything went smoothly, I got everything finished, there was no peripheral drama with family or the house, or storms or anything, then the show would invariably be terrible.  If on the other hand, I was completely crazy by the time I was ready to leave for the show, because if it could go wrong it did, then the show would be fantastic.  The more that went wrong before hand, the better the show.  I know that seems like a silly gauge, but it was somehow comforting.  Like it was nothing I did or didn’t do, sort of just the fates.

If this week is any indication of how my trip to Reno will go, this should be the conference of the century.  Which I hope it is!  That said, I’m so tired of the drama.  I have a pond that keeps emptying, and is green, and pond guys came Monday, replaced a pump, cleaned the filter and it still dropped 3 inches overnight.  I’m guessing the next step will be to rip the pond out, re-line the entire system and start over.  The pond is old, probably 15 years, and I just want this to work again and not have to hire someone to babysit it every day while I’m on the road.  Yes, there are those I know well who are telling me to just back fill the whole thing and call it a day, but it was my husband’s legacy and I’m not ready to give that up.  I’ve invested too much already.

And then the comments thing.  I found out over the weekend that the comments plug in was not functioning and no one could leave a comment on my blog posts.  We traced it to an upgrade to Word Press, and it all seems to be part of the huge push to comply with privacy policies and opt in options and the whole plug in that controlled the comments section just disappeared.  I had to call in tech guy, who came in Saturday and spent the morning trying to figure it all out, and I hope he was successful, I’ll know because hopefully some of you dear readers will leave comments.  And it will work.

My daughter texted this afternoon she was in the Emergency Room with a possible gall bladder attack.  I’ve had them.  They are no picnic.  No sign of stones, but she is a hurting puppy.  A traveling mom’s worst nightmare.  I have to leave for this trip tomorrow.  Too much is riding on this conference.  And I’ve invested too much. Half of my stuff is in Reno already.   But then my daughter is in the hospital.  Hopefully as I write, she is on her way here to stay the night, where it is airconditioned, her apartment was 94 degrees last night and the cat went into severe distress.  She is a smart girl and knew what to do, get the cat to the vet hospital where she works.  I’m sure stress has nothing to do with any of this…  And probably the dinners at Taco Bell don’t help either…

Did I mention the storm that blew through here an hour ago?  Monsoon rains, torrential flooding, towns 15 minutes away got nothing.  The power went out before I could transfer my files and I had visions of my last trip, where I had to fly out with a power outage causing me to have to dump all my food the night before I left, from two refrigerator/freezers.  The power outage was short lived and you will know all is well if I get this post out.  It has been 100 degrees the last three days and it has been hard to function.

In spite of all this chaos, I could go on, but you get the point, I did what any self respecting fiber junkie would do and in between frantic calls to contractors and tech people, I hid in my studio, psyched about the path I was on, and looked around for more stuff to sew.  Slim pickings.  I have to get my naked looms dressed and get to weaving…  I did find the remnants from this tunic…  

And after I sent a huge hunk out to make these clogs… (Chameleon Clogs)

I was left with this…

There clearly wasn’t enough fabric for a bias top, but that never stopped me.  I am a whiz at butting selvedges together, and the selvedges on this fabric were beautiful.  So I carefully pieced the fabric in a way that allowed me to cut a bias front and back and I have another summer top.  The draft for this fabric, called Pacific Sunset can be purchased here.

I’m having trouble fitting all these lovely new things in my closet! (And in the suitcases for Reno).

Then there was the pile of scraps from the Autumn Patchwork Duster Coat I just finished.  

 

There was enough to make a tunic from the leftovers. Truth be told, I love this tunic even more than I love the coat.  And it is something I can wear a lot.  The draft is Autumn Patchwork and you can purchase it here.

And Sunday I needed to do one more dry run of the Turned Krokbragd technique that I’ll be teaching on Friday afternoon.  The weaving is easy, but the set up is pretty complicated.  And I had to see exactly what I needed to pick up at Staples to give to students, rubber bands, unsharpened #2 pencils, paper clips.  The result of course was this…

The draft is in my Advanced Inkle Weaving Techniques.  You can purchase the download for this here.  I hand dyed silk from India I bought from a weaver friend.  It is the same draft as this one I started last year, and had to abandon because, well, Shetland wool singles, what was I thinking…  Silk is so much better to work with on an inkle loom.

In spite of all the drama, I’m packed, just have to weigh the suitcases, which I’m avoiding as you can tell.  The limo comes to get me in the morning and I start the trek to Reno, via San Francisco, from Newark, and it will all be what it is.  I hope a complete success all round.  No drama.  None.  

Stay tuned…

 

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