NEWS Final!

I’m home!  It is the Monday morning after, and I’m feeling the workout of the weekend!  Surprisingly I’m in pretty good shape, I’m unpacked, and organized, the cutting table is clear, the bank deposit ready to go.  Mail is sorted, (I still have a couple dozen emails to work through), but I’m doing better than I thought, and my wrenched shoulder is mending.  I just have to be careful and not lift or reach with my left arm.  No weaving on the big loom this week!  (Not that there is anything on the big loom to weave…)

It was a very inspiring weekend, and I was grateful for the opportunity to teach some workshops I haven’t taught in awhile, ones that I think are important, but I don’t usually get asked to teach them because I’m more of the Go-To girl for sewing, and no one thinks to look at proposals from me on Multiple thread warping techniques, like the warping paddle, and Photographing your Textiles.  I’m hoping that the variety of things I taught this weekend (which was everything except sewing, which is what I’m most known for), will help get the word out that I am not a one trick pony!

Somewhere in hauling my support materials from one end of campus to the other, I managed to pull a muscle, or wrench my back left shoulder, so by mid morning, I was in a huge amount of pain, and I was struggling to focus.  During the break in the color class, one of the workshop participants did a bit of Reiki on me, and that really helped get me through until lunch!  Plus the conference sent a couple of strapping guys to haul me back across campus for the afternoon session.  That was a real treat, to be followed along by a couple of guys toting my supplies.  🙂

Speaking of campuses, Smith College, which I’ve never been to, is gorgeous!  Like all New England campuses that have been around for the last 150 years, there is an architecture, a tradition, a landscaping, that creates a gardens1gardens2wonderful environment, and community that envelopes you with a tradition and grandeur that I know I didn’t feel on the campus where I attended college back in the 70’s.    The main road into the campus takes you by the lake and boat house, and the Botanical Gardens.  I did a couple of quick inspirational shots of the perennial wall along the road, and the glass conservatory.

colorclassteaMy morning class was all about color and inspiration.  Like the class I gave last month in Iowa, I love teaching this one, because it is just a jumble of color and texture and yarns, all thrown into the middle of the table wrap2and everyone is given a couple exercises where they get to loosen up and really play, without the constraints of the loom.  These little warp wrap3wraps are like sketching exercises, and weavers don’t usually walk around sketching.  One of the final exercises involved interpreting a magazine photo into yarn, and I snapped a couple shots of my favorites, including one that used a box of tea as the inspiration instead of a magazine photo!

wrap4I had to include one additional shot, from my infamous workshop participant Leslie, who is planning a 90th birthday party during the 2011 NEWS, the same Leslie who seriously sprained her ankle on her way to my Friday class in Inkle wrapleslieLoom Weaving.  Leslie not only made it to the Color and Inspiration class, but she did a couple of beautiful interpretations, the one on the left of a honeybee in a flower, and the one on the right, a room interior, interpreted with Color-Aid strips to represent a color palette.

The afternoon class, was all about using multiple yarn ends together when winding a paddlewarp.  I started the class by giving a demonstration on using the warping paddle on a warping mill (see photo right), followed by one on Sectional Warping, and then one on using the AVL Warping Wheel.  I love my AVL Warping Wheel, though it is one pretty pricey piece of equipment.  Thankfully I bought mine when they were first introduced back in 2000.

The class was finished by 4:30, and I had some really helpful workshop participants stay behind to get me packed up and down to the basement level of the building where I could pull up with my car, waveafter retrieving it from the parking garage down the road.  I was loaded in and ready to hit the road by 5pm.  I listened to the rest of my book on tape, The Other Boleyn Girl, on the 3+ hour ride home, and once home, I got to spend some time with my fuschia haired daughter who had successfully completed her first week of CIT training at Girl Scout Camp.  We took her back to the bus this morning to start week two!

Now I need to start thinking about the next conference in Durango Colorado!  I leave July 30th!

Dreary Day #37

Well it seems like it anyway.  The headlines of the newspapers talk about how much rain we have had for how many days straight.  It starts out promising in the morning, but by mid afternoon, thunderstorms, dreary rain, what else can one do but stay inside and play?  🙂

This was a great day for just laying low, and doing a mindless but necessary project.  My goal now is the conference next week, I leave for the New England Weavers Seminar in Massachusetts on Wednesday.  And I’m teaching an unusually large number of very different seminars, all needing specific prep.  There is the Inkle Weaving class, and though I will have students rent looms from WEBS , they may not have enough, and I need fifteen anyway for the following weekend when I teach a class down at the Jersey Shore for the Shore Guild.  So my daughter helped me out with that one.  She is quite the assembler…  Now they are all lined up across two of my looms, like little soldiers looms2waiting for active duty.

looms1Meanwhile, the crock pot is still going.  I gave up drying anything outside, and found two lovely pans that would keep my floor neat and avoid using all my bath towels.  So I’ve got a lovely green cooking in the pot, and the blue and a pinky taupe color are drying on the floor.  The burgundy from Monday is finally dry and in a bag.  I tried carding a little bit of the burgundy color and it is a really nice fleece.  I think it is a Corriedale cross.wool crock

While all that was happening, I worked on the Photographing your Work Seminar, and in this particular version, workshop participants are sending images of their work ahead so I can load them into PowerPoint and then critique the images after the main presentation.  I have a great group of images to work with, but they all had to be sized and popped into the PowerPoint slides.  So that’s finished.

I’m also giving another Color and Inspiration Seminar, like I did in Iowa last Saturday.  All those little quills of yarnmess I dumped on the table for the students to play with, are in a horrid jumble and really needed to be rewound onto the quills and refilled.  Students added to the pile, and those little reelings needed to be put onto quills as well.  I use to just carry a suitcase full of little balls of yarn, but those got just as unruly and it was a huge waste of space in my precious luggage allowance, so I got the idea a couple of years ago to wind off yarn onto bobbins.  There are too many to waste my plastic shuttle bobbins, though a fair windingamount of my plastic bobbins were in the bags.  I really needed to empty them.  I started by making paper quills from business card stock, but it was my daughter who came up with the idea of drinking straws.  They slipped perfectly on my small shank Swedish Bobbin Winder, and weigh almost nothing.  I’m all for weighing almost nothing…

So I sat today, for a number of hours, untangling, rewinding, tidyrefilling, and organizing a massive mess of yarn, carefully onto skinny plastic drinking straws, and turned the above disaster into this lovely organized bag of color.  I still have another bag to go, but tasks like this are what make my mind still and my creativity soar.  It’s like refolding fabrics neatly on a shelf, organizing fat quarters by color, or sorting buttons.  This is meditation for fiber enthusiasts.

In addition, I finally got to vacuum my poor house.  I seriously thought about bringing in the heavy artillary, a rake, but my old vacuum did the job, and I filled a vacuum bag with all the debris, tracked in crud from all the drenched blossoms and tree detritus, tracked yarns and threads from my studio, and general dust.  I’m a bit grateful we no longer have a dog, that would have really added to the mix.  Then I would have definitely voted for the rake…

Iowa Day Three

I had a free morning, my next class wasn’t until after lunch, so I took advantage of a rare opportunity to actually sit in on a class, and I am embarrassed to say, I chose this class because I liked the title and there were no materials we had to bring (which is really important when you are already at max limit with checked bags).  I actually didn’t know what the class was about.  Sherry Konya, a delightful teacher, who I hadn’t crossed paths with before, taught a morning seminar called Bodacious Boas.  For a nominal materials fee, Sherry handed us everything we needed to make a needle felted boa, from dyed locks of wool. We got the wool, the needles, and the foam base.

boaclassI sat next to my buddy Amy Norris from St. Louis, I met her when I taught there last year, and we instantly hit it off, we chattered for three hours while we stabbed a foam block, making a Bodacious Boa from dyed wool.  It was sooooo much fun.  And Amy passed along tips for dyeing in a crock pot, which I am “dying” to try, especially now that I have acquired about 30 pounds of new fleece.  I have a feeling my crock pot from the kitchen will now move and live in my studio…

During lunch, I skipped over to the vendor hall, to see if I had won any of the door prizes.  Sure enough, I won a small baggie of Camel Hair, suitable for spinning, which was very exciting, but it ended vendorhaulup being a costly door prize in that I accidentally passed by a booth with a bin of 50% off all South West Trading Company Yarns…  Well what was I to do?  I bought one of everything in the bin…


While I was in the vendor hall, I took advantage of the reduced crowds and got a look at the guild exhibits.  They were all wonderful, but there was one guild, the Sand County Shuttle Guild, from Central Wisconsin, whose display was amazing.  Everything in the booth was woven from recycled plastic bags. recycled And everything was really well done.  I was totally impressed.

My final class (that I taught) was a terrific one for conferences, and great for the end of the day.  Everyone is really tired at this point, and on total overload, and I had 24 very eager but exhausted women, all gathered around the table and I dumped little quills of yarn all over the table.  We just had a blast, I gave them little challenges, and they wound warps based on my parameters.  We got to play colorplay2with Color-aid papers, and magazine photos, and they all came up with palettes based on those photos, and then tried to interpret them with yarn and a warp.  And of course I gave my presentation on Color and Inspiration, which is available in a color monograph.  The images in this presentation are based on all the color forecasts I wrote for Handwoven Magazine.  We made such a mess, there was yarn everywhere, but there were lots of smiles, and more than one person at the end told me that I had freed her to run amok!  Well done…

My wonderful class assistant had me packed up in no time, and I headed out to dinner, one last chat with my buddies Robyn Spady and Ruby Leslie and then off to set up for the teacher sales event.  I had my monographs available, and I was really happy with the enthusiastic sales, I sold out of the one on Fitting, and was able to bring home some additional income.

Late Saturday night I caught a ride to an airport hotel in Des Moines, since I had a very early flight to Houston this morning.  As I was boarding the plane on the Houston/Newark leg, the gate agent handed me a new boarding pass, yippee, first class.  So I sat in a lounge chair, drinking a margarita, all the way to Newark.  Life just doesn’t get any better than this…