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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What’s Old is New Again…

Those of you who know my history know that after college/art school, I started my career working for a textile design/handweaver duo, and I got pretty efficient at weaving, I could in my prime knock out 30 yards of cloth in about 8 hours including warping.  Those years are long gone, and I never want to go back there.  But the education I got, and the ability to knock out cloth when I need to has never left me.

I started doing craft fairs in 1979.  My early craft fair entries were mostly everything I’d woven that didn’t include clothing, and as all things in my life, my sewing skills prevailed and I eventually started selling handwoven garments.  I was pretty good at it.  I had a stable of patterns I developed and used, and would change the color ways every January, and I made a decent respectable living for about 10 years when two things happened, burn out, and I got pregnant.  In my mid 30’s. The rest is history.

So the point here is that the 70’s and 80’s are back.  In fashion I mean.  I look through the latest Vogue/Burda/whomever patterns, the latest Vogue magazine, and I’d swear I made/owned/wore that garment back in the day.  These are two of my production coats from 1987.  This is basically the Daryl Jacket, I use in workshops today, tweaked a lot for my customer in size variations, but still the same jacket, with the shawl collar, and in a long version.  We called them dusters, or in this case, they were both coats, interlined for warmth, from brushed mohair.

Fast forward to today.  I still use that jacket pattern for teaching, and have added a shawl collar to the options, versions with lots of darts for a closer more tailored fit, and it occurred to me that I need to show a long duster/coat option, because well, it worked back in the 80’s and why not today?  This version has a side pocket instead of the patch pocket from my regular jacket, like the ones from 1987.  And this version, is from a draft I developed, that uses multiple hand painted warps, and supplemental warp ends, and I think I’m going to have fun wearing it at Convergence.  It is called Autumn Patchwork and the draft is available here.

While I was making it, I thought about what I was going to wear underneath.  Sidebar…  I’m really spoiled, don’t cry for me.  I’m pretty consistent in my sizing, so much so that for the most part, other than my bout with cancer, chemo drugs, and instant menopause when I was 46, and packed on 25 pounds, I’ve stayed a consistent adult weight, so I expect that what exists in my closet I might put away for awhile, but when it comes back around again in style, I’m going to still fit in it.  That 25 pounds never completely went away, but some of it did, and so I complacently thought that what was in my wardrobe would be available for me to wear as a complement to whatever I wanted to show it with.  Hahahahahah…  (You know where I’m going with this…)

I don’t know whether it is the luxurious lifestyle I lead, all the travel, the good meals, the new food box I get every week (thank you Leslie Fesperman from the Yadkin Valley Fiber Art Center in NC for turning me on to the Purple Carrot) but my weight has crept up ever so slightly and when I went to put on this lovely little paprika silk dress I made from a longer gown I wore to my 35th high school reunion, it never occurred to me it wouldn’t fit.  Ouch…

Since the dress was underlined, I was able to let out the sides just enough to get it on me, and if I don’t take the coat off during the fashion show at Convergence, it will work fine.  Only my beloved readers will know…  I don’t have time to make something else, because well I’ve been working on this dress below…

Many of you dear readers will remember this dress.  It used the Frosted Florals palette from Handwoven Magazine, January/February 2007.  The dress was completed in 2009.  It was featured in Threads Magazine in the Reader’s Closet column, it was the cover of a Fiber Focus, a Canadian publication back in 2010, and an American Sewing Guild publication in 2011, and a Threads Reader’s Closet back in 2009.  It was also the subject of an end notes column in Handwoven Magazine March/April 2011.  It has done it’s job for me and for that I will always be grateful.  (Frosted Florals draft is available here.)

I loved this dress.  But in my line of work, anything older than two years, if I can’t use it in a garment construction class as one of my current patterns, and I can’t exhibit it anymore because it is older than two years, and it has been published, it is worthless to me and just takes up space in my closet.  And gowns are a bit problematic, as they are a bit formal for my lifestyle, I mostly sit around in my pajamas all day.  When I do get dressed, it is for workshops where mostly I wear knit tops and I’m crawling around the floor with students working on layouts for their own fabric.   Can you imagine me trying to do that in this gown?

Everytime I bring up this gown in a lecture, I’ve mentioned that it will be the next thing I cut up.  Yes, that’s correct.  It is in fact just cloth.  It did it’s job as a gown, got me lots of recognition and accolades, and now it just takes up space in my closet.  The great thing about what I do is that I’m not afraid to take scissors to something, because in reality, it is just cloth.  It is in my head, back to the designation of raw material. 

I’m going to be heading to Reno shortly for Convergence.  I need some cool things to wear that I actually fit into.  There are a couple dresses, one I still love, but it is made from the leftovers from the design challenge I did for the Tampa Bay Convergence in 2008. The Splash fabric draft is available here.  The dress fits me like a glove, but I can at least get into it.  

I looked at the Frosted Florals gown, and showed it to my office assistant/friend Cynthia, and she was horrified when I said, I was going to cut it up.  I tried it on, and oops, the bottom part was just a little snug for comfort, and I said, what the heck and chopped it right off and made this absolutely adorable top, which I can wear all kinds of places, besides Convergence, dates, weddings, the theater, and I am pairing it with a wool knit skirt I bought in the $5 bin at a consignment shop I visited when I was on Whidbey Island last April.  The color is a plum brown and it works perfectly with this top.  I did have to take off the waistband of the skirt and increase the waist by about four inches… 🙂

And so that left the lower panels of the dress.  I thought a lot about what to do with them, and I wanted to play around with a bias top.  I love the way bias fits, and wanted to see if I could use one of my patterns to make this work as a top.  My collared vest pattern was perfect, just an alteration in the neckline, raising the armholes a bit, cutting the front on the fold, cutting the pattern on the bias instead of the straight of grain, and cutting one size smaller ended up being perfect.  Check this out…  (again the draft for Frosted Florals is here)

I have enough fabric I think to make a tunic out of the leftover from the Autumn Patchwork coat.  I’m thinking that it is only Tuesday night, and I have another week before I leave for Convergence…  

Stay tuned…

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Naked looms, new carpet and some cool stuff in the store…

This has been one of my most favorite weeks.  The planets aligned and things worked for once, and for this week, all is right in my world, which is a little hard to accept because the rest of the world seems to be going to hell in that proverbial handbasket.  I suppose it is wrong to live in my cave, my fiber world, but they know me here, and I feel it is the one place where I can make a difference, empower people to make beautiful stuff from their hands, and I try desperately to keep a balance, otherwise, I’d go completely off my rocker with things I have no control over, except on election day… 🙂

That said, everything has been or will be shortly, shipped to Reno ahead of Convergence.  That leaves me with a little time on my hands, and I suddenly thought, silly me, wouldn’t it be great to have something new to wear to the Convergence Fashion Show.  You know, being the judge and all, and having to get up on stage to give out the awards, it would look pretty sad for me to be in something that’s 10 years old. 🙁

I looked at my one remaining loom that had a warp on it.  I looked at the calendar.  I looked at the loom, and I decided, well, no guts no glory…  The only problem would be if I finished it, I’d be in the hated position of having naked looms.  All of them.  There would not be a single loom I could sit down and weave on, they would all be clear… 🙁

I started to weave.  It was slow and cumbersome at first, this was a particularly cranky warp, from the get go, I don’t know why, and of course about two yards in, the brake failed, which seems to happen on these looms about 25 years into their lifespan.  The main spring got so loose that the brake cable no longer held.  I did emergency surgery since there was still 6 yards to go, and I can think about rebuilding the brake later.  The brake held, and I continued to weave.  🙂  Oh, and the caribiners hanging off the back of the supplemental warps help keep them tensioned evenly.

On Friday, my friend told me about a fantastic rug store in Morristown, J&S Flooring.  Been there forever.  I’ve been here forever and never heard of it.  Wow, was I missing the boat.  Her sisterhood was holding a fund raiser, pick out a 6×9, make a donation and the rug is free.  A great idea.  So down we went, they had a back room of the large retail store full of broadloom remnants and area rugs.  And they had real wool.  Real wool broadloom.  The only kind of rug I’ll ever have in my house, for many reasons.  I needed new carpet for my stairs and hallways, and the wool broadloom that was there was more than 35 years old.  Yeah.  Wool.  I found two very cool remnants I thought would work…  🙂

On Saturday, Red Stone Glen, a relatively new and highly successful fiber center, with wonderful classes, where I’d like to teach once in awhile, was having an open house.  Demo’s, tours, exhibits, sales of equipment and yarns and supplies, what’s not to love?  My friend Cynthia and I drove three hours Saturday morning to a town somewhere south of Harrisburg PA, and found this. 🙂

I was so busy networking and watching some pretty cool demos and looking at some pretty cool stuff that I didn’t take another photo.  But the roster of fiber classes is pretty fantastic, check them out.  Then we drove three hours back…  🙁

On Sunday, I planned to do nothing.  Not even weave.  It was the second anniversary of my husband’s death.  My kids came home, and we sat, in the garden, or rather in the house because it was 95 freakin’ degrees, but I put up on facebook, with rather late notice, that we would be hanging out and anyone was welcome to stop by and pay their respects to Kevin’s legacy.  I was thrilled when Kevin’s old friend Ed showed up.  He loved the gardens.  It was especially difficult because Sunday was Father’s Day.  I know it was hard on my kids.  After lunch, a series of my friends showed up, all coincidentally, and all of them are recorder players.  So we pulled out recorders, stands, music, and we played on the deck under the gazebo, six of us, for a couple of hours, Mozart, Bach, and it was just the best afternoon.  I think my husband was smiling and saying, this is your gig now.  Be happy.  🙂

Monday morning they came out and measured for the carpet.  I got a call later in the afternoon with the breakdown of costs and that they had a cancellation on Wednesday morning for the installers, was it too soon to come by?  :-0

Tuesday morning I wove like the wind.  I got into a rhythm. By lunch time the knots were appearing over the back beam.  I couldn’t believe it.  After lunch the fabric came off the loom, into the wash, and onto the line in the back. 🙂  8 yards by 36″ wide…

This morning, the rug installers came, along with my landscape crew, and my office assistant and friend Cynthia.  I had a house full of people who made my life and house a better place.  The problem was, because they were tearing up 35 year old carpeting, which had tack strips, which would have to be replaced, the dogs had to be kept out of the way, and it was 95 degrees and I couldn’t keep them outside.  So Cynthia and I and the two dogs stayed locked in my bedroom/office for 8 hours.  The dogs could go outside through the balcony, but not through the house.  Cynthia and I decided to tackle a major task in upgrades to the eStore.  🙂

Sidebar…  I posted the Autumn Patchwork fabric in progress on my facebook page.  That’s the fabric I just finished that I talked about at the top of this blog.  I had people ask if the draft was available and of course the obvious question, whose warps were they because, hand painted warps are the hot new thing and everyone has been buying them from Kathrin Weber of Blazing Shuttles.  Except these were mine.  And so was the draft.  I’ve been dyeing warps since 2005.  I was planning to just post the draft and then I said, duh, this is my livelihood.  Why am I not putting project notes and drafts up on my website store like every other designer in the world.  Duh…  :-0

So I started looking through my design journal, which is a couple hundred digital pages.  I can’t post/sell drafts for projects that aren’t my own design, obviously, but I was shocked at how many were my own design and how many of them would be spectacular in hand painted warps.  Especially since you can buy them already painted.:-)

Cynthia and I spent 8 hours, locked away in my bedroom office, with the dogs munching on bones, and added 17 downloads, most are $2.99, for fabrics/drafts and design notes of my most interesting original pieces.  I do use a lot of mill ends, and I do dye a lot of my own yarn, but wherever there is a handpainted warp, I give the dye formulas as well, along with sett, draft, and whatever information I think important.  Most of the drafts are 8 shaft, combination structures, like plain weave, twill and supplemental warps, all in the same fabric.  

So for what its worth (actually $2.99), you can purchase the design pages from my journal, with drafts and notes and some dye formulas, and have some pretty awesome fabric like the one I wove above.  Click here to get to the store… 🙂

And so, after hiding for 8 hours, I came out of my bedroom and found this… 🙂

I also had one of the remnants cut into area rugs for my bedroom hall/closet/dressing room area.  I asked the guy when he called on Monday how long it would take to get the area rugs bound.  He said they would be ready when they came to install the stairs wall to wall.  When they showed up today, I asked if they had bound the area rugs and they said, “We do it here on site”.  :-0

So here are the area rugs, and here is the carpet guy doing it “on site”.  I have never seen anything as cool as this.  A little industrial machine on wheels, that just zooms around the rug while it was laying on my front deck.  This just made my whole week, to think that such a thing as this exists.  🙂 🙂 🙂

So for today, I love my life… 🙂

Stay tuned…

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‘Tis the season…

And so it begins…

Dear readers, I haven’t abandoned you, and I can’t even claim I’m so busy I just haven’t had the time to write.  Truth is, my days are busy and full, but I’m not out of my mind insane.  I have help, people for that if you will.  I am ramping up for Reno, ready to ship 160 handouts, 10 inkle looms for rentals, kits are made, and I just spent the whole day working in the yard, puttering around, weeding the vegetable garden, and hanging by the pond, or one of them, while my pond guys rebuilt the waterfall spillway, which was leaking, and restocked the fish and plants.  Everything was holding when I came in for the night, and we will see how things look in the morning.  The weather here this week has been as perfect as weather can be.  This is a hard week, this time two years ago, we brought my husband home to die.  The two year anniversary of his death falls on Father’s Day this year, my kids are both feeling the loss.  We are all just a little off our game, but I have my beautiful gardens, and people to keep them beautiful, the ponds which remind me of him every day, and I just spent the weekend teaching up at Peters Valley, which was a really important part of our lives together.  His presence was definitely felt all weekend, especially for my daughter who accompanied me there and took a five day woodworking class.

Before I show you the photos from the beginning weaving class up at the Valley, I need to go back a month and share the photos from another valley, the Yadkin Valley Fiber Center, in Elkin, NC.  I adored teaching there.  They want me back next year.  I had six lovely students, one of which I’d worked with before.  We had only three days so most chose to make the basic Daryl Jacket with band.  One brave soul, who had a very cool cotton patchwork handwoven fabric, spent a lot of time in the layout, because her goal was a cuddly cotton bathrobe.  We cut the jacket into a duster length, with side pockets, and all she needs are hems and a belt.  

Gaila brought narrow fabric from a Kathrin Weber workshop, and sewed like the wind to create this beautiful vest over the three days.  She finished up the armhole binding as we were packing up the last day.  This is my new vest pattern, great for small pieces and narrow fabrics.

And the rest made the standard jacket pattern with band, it is always remarkable to me how different they all look depending on the sizing and fabric.  I was proud of them all!

And so Friday afternoon, I headed out to Peters Valley, my favorite place in the world, for many many reasons, and I had eight wonderful eager students who wanted to learn to weave.  Peters Valley has 11 full size 8, 10, and 12 shaft looms, in pretty good shape.  I was able to really tweak and fine tune the brakes and other metal odysseys that are common to Macombers.  By the end of the two days they were all just about perfect.  

The sampler/gamp I had the students do, explored two different threadings, and many different treadlings, plain weave, twills, ribs, basket weave, color and weave, and more.  They were all really good sports about threading, patience is a virtue, and a necessary sort of skill when threading the loom for the first time.  They were tired and cross eyed, but there were very few mistakes and all easily correctable.  Here are some of the samplers.  I pre-wound the warps, so they didn’t get to pick the warp colors, but all were amazed at how the weft influenced the cloth.  There was more than one squeal of delight by Sunday afternoon.

And a shout out to Jamie, who is the summer assistant in fibers at the Valley.  She was a terrific sport, jumped in with great patience and really helped me when it seemed that everyone needed me at once.  She even got to set up one of the looms with an extra warp.

I brought examples of a lot of my work, scarves, table linens and dishtowels, and of course clothing, but I also brought one of my small Theo Moorman technique tapestries I did in the early 1980’s.  It helps give a range of what’s possible on the loom.  Jamie and the studio manager Beth quickly rigged up a way to hang the tapestry on the newly painted wall.  Everyone loved it so much I decided to leave it there for the summer.  It was sitting in the bottom of my closet and it looks so happy here.

And that’s two workshops I can cross off my list.  I’ll be teaching another beginning weaving class at Peters Valley the first part of August, though this one is five day and also sold out.  Meanwhile, Reno calls.  I am in final countdown mode, and actually looking forward to the conference, and the Tuesday when I fly home and it will be another one for the books.  

Meanwhile, I found out that my swing coat, which I had submitted to Fiber Celebration 2018 sponsored by the Northern Colorado Weavers Guild won first place in Wearables, along with a general award and the Pikes Peak Award.  I’m pretty psyched about that, and hopefully the coat will be heading back this way shortly since I need to take it to Reno.  I’m starting to think about what I’m going to wear to the fashion show in Reno, since I’m the judge and have to get on stage to present the awards.

Stay tuned…

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