I am at the start of the long haul back to Ma from MI (so many “M” states!) I taught a workshop on Deflected Doubleweave to the Michigan Weavers Guild from Thursday to Saturday afternoon, and then did a presentation for the guild at large after lunch on Saturday.
Because it was my youngest son’s school holiday,we decided to take a family road trip up through Rochester . . . Buffalo . . . Cleveland . . . Toledo . . . and on to Detroit.
The Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester is fabulous although my husband and I seemed to have a much better time than our cringing 14-year-old.
It seems that the stereotype of midwesterners – that they are down-to-earth, hard-working and friendly while also being pretty startlingly (to me of the “fantastic”, “fabulous”, OMG) un-hyperbolic.
We drove into Southfield, the suburb of Detroit where I would be teaching late Wednesday night and I scrambled to unload and make sure I had everything I needed for the workshop. Our “suite”, that was to house the three of us, turned out (shame on those fish-eye room photos) to be a quite comfy king bed with a small pull-out couch jammed up next to it so that when my son was asleep, I had to climb over my husband to get out of bed.
The workshop was great for me, I had 9 students (ten originally, but one loom remained naked) of varied experience but all extremely focussed, hard weaving and sharp. I had to stay on my toes with this bunch, one of whom was a past president of HGA, another the Weave Master at Henry Ford and another a Masters candidate in fiber/fabric analysis PLUS an artist, math professor, editor . . . and more . . . whew! No sleeping on the job.
All but two weavers were on table looms, and I had provided lift plans for this class. My poor students at NEWS had to create their own. I did very graciously include several mistakes in order to keep the MWG on their toes – remember Inspector Clouseau, “everything I do is planned!”
It was a great treat to hang out with fellow obsessives who like to talk endlessly (and rivetingly) about velvet weaving, jacquard looms, historical textiles, fabric analysis, yarn sources, etc. all the while wearing hand-woven accessories and garments that you can stare at and touch without getting slapped or arrested.
After the workshop I presented a program on Hand-woven Aprons. Everyone was nice and attentive and sat through what may have been sewing 101 to them, but I did get quite a response when I donned my Wonder Woman apron that Barbara Hurley had given me. Nothing like cartoon cheesecake to liven up an Apron Program.
We stayed in Niagara, not in, but across from “A Bit O’ Paris” motel. There were so many down-at-heels or defunct motels from the romantic getaway Niagara Falls of yesteryear that it made me sad. We were laughing because one of the even more down-at-heels motels had a big sign “Used Cars/Rooms” and my husband said, Welcome, We’ll murder you and take your car!”
This morning we stopped by the freezing and frozen Falls. As you can see the teenager is not allowing the majesty of the Falls to bring him out of his, “It’s the crack of dawn, we got in after midnight, it’s freezing. Okay – it’s beautiful! ” funk. This was my first time seeing Niagara Falls, and despite the fact that everything my son was complaining about was true, it was soo beautiful. The spray had frozen on all the surrounding trees, and the mist and choppy water and icy stone formations were awe inspiring.
Onto the next weaving adventure. I will definitely be teaching a class on Moving Threads at Vav Stuga starting September 14. I think it is going to be really interesting. We have expanded the theme of deflected double weave to include some amazing drafts from old Swedish weaving books. There will be 8 total projects with each student able to weave five. All the projects will use the wonderful Swedish yarns, linen, wool, cottolin, cotton and combinations and they will all involve moving threads and be finished, usable pieces. I will post pictures of some of the prototypes soon. I just have to get out of the car and onto my loom bench.
Okay, these are the questions that were posed (or I thought of) during this workshop that need consensus, and not the “it depends” but some parameters:
Does one really need to feed yarn from tubes off the tubes horizontally or is it one of those “smarty pants” adaptations that don’t make a difference 99% of the time. I always do it, and have many plastic salad containers with holes and knitting needles to prove it, but necessary or not?
In the Swedish tradition the lease sticks are left on the loom while weaving. I have always done it – even on my jack looms until recently when Madelyn van der Hoogt said that doing it is defeating the careful engineering of the depth of the loom and the shed. But is it another thing that almost never matters one way or another?
What about sleying selvedges more tightly to control beat and give a nice selvedge edge. I rarely do it, but when I have I get smiling selvedges. The dense sett makes the edges almost warp-faced and so they take-up more. Any answers?
Keeping a wound warp under tension or chained? This may be a “it depends” because I put tight chokes every yard, so there isn’t much danger of tangling, but I never chain or kite stick or anything. I gently drop the warp into a plastic salad container (I have a lot of these) until I need it. I rarely have a problem warp, but I rarely weave with yarn finer than 20/2 in the warp. SO?