Sunday, June 26, 2011

Midwest Weavers Conference!!

I am so disappointed. I have alot of pictures to choose from to post. You can ask Linda, but I tried downloading several pictures and something won't let me. Maybe the wifi at this hotel isn't good enough to do it or my computer's tired! Whatever the reason, this blog will have to be all words. Next Monday I will post the pictures!!

This past Monday pre conference  started. I was taking a class that kind of scared me when I signed up. It was one where you had to wind 2 warps, wind them onto the back beam together, then thread them alternating threads from each warp to a set pattern and have it all ready for class Monday morning! I got the warp on but Monday morning there were several of us who were quite nervous about this whole thing. Sheila O'Hara was our teacher. You can google her and find some of the things she's woven. I have pictures now of some of her woven tapestries because she brought some along.
We wove for 3 days. I had put on 4 yards but wanted to have it done by the end of class on Wednesday. I did it too!! I have the piece to bring to the center Tuesday and will have pictures next Monday to show. The scarf is reds and yellows on one side and blues and greens on the other. I also wove little squares near the ends of each side which alternated the colors. So on the reds and yellows side there are small blue and green squares and the other side is the opposite. It was a rather complicated process but quite satisfying. We also sampled colors and treadlings to see how the process worked. I have alot more sampling (what, sampling???) to do yet to get the progressions that I am thinking about for another warp.  Too many ideas, not enough time to do them in!! The whole thing was great fun! You have to take it slowly but as you change the shafts the picture shows up on my fabric and the layers alternate in various ways!!

Tuesday evening we all took a break and drove about 15 miles to a town called Calumet to a gallery hop time. Now, you have to remember we were up in the upper penninsula of Michigan. Yeah, rain and cold!!
How no one got pneumonia is hard to believe. Going from gallery to gallery was fun but everyone was wet and cold. Getting back to the dorms that night was great!!

Wednesday evening was the keynote speaker. Sheila was the speaker and she had tons of slides and information for us. The time flew by as she showed her work and others. We follow Sandra Rude's blog on the side of our blog page. She had several pictures of her work as part of her presentation. I was glad that she did. She'd explained some of the process of the jacquard loom to us in our class and knowing how hard it is to get everything just so especially with looms acting up made me appreciate her work that much more!

The whole conference was at Finlandia University. However, they didn't have enough dorm space and since I was wanting my own room I had to stay across the river in Houghton at Michigan Tech. Driving back and forth was interesting and not as big a deal as it could have been. Just meant getting up a bit earlier each day to be at breakfast at Finlandia shortly after 7. I got up at 6 each morning!!!

Thursday was a free day. The vendors were open. Several hours were spent going through all the vendors and seeing what I could find that needed to come to my home. I did buy some shuttles and yarn. It's so tempting when you see the yarns there in front of you. I also got a sample card of perle cotton from Yarn Barn. Now I can see what colors to order from there without having to rely just on the website!!

Friday I spent the day in class making a scissor sheath out of birchbark, porcupine quills and sweet grass!! That was the class I really looked forward to. Good teacher and fun project!! I'll have pictures of mine too next week.
Friday evening was the fashion show. It's hard to take pictures of it all so I didn't try. I sat back and enjoyed the whole process. There was a reception later where we could see alot of the clothes and models.

Yesterday I had a class on sett. It went on all day. I did learn alot and have notes to figure out how many ends per inch to do any fabric. Used that square root feature on my calculator too!! Thanks DD for reassuring me that it was on the calculator that I was taking along! We also brought along cardboard and used the huge supply of yarns she'd brought to make some wraps of different kinds of yarns and also planning a warp that used various yarns and colors.

Last night was the evening for a business meeting and awards ceremony. It was the time for good byes to friends we see each time we go to MidWest and time to reassure each other that we'll meet again in 2 years in Kansas!
These conferences are full of people like us that love to weave, are eager to learn new things or improve skills we already have. The support and encouragement we give each others as weavers is phenomenal. Last night Donna Kellner had the audience clapp for themselves, for all the mentors among us who are willing to help others learn to love the craft that we are so in tune with!

This morning we all packed up and headed home. I picked up Linda from the Best Western where she was staying with Karen last night and we headed across the upper penninsula toward the Mackinac Bridge. It's a long ride in wilderness but we enjoyed it. Once over the bridge we headed south and got just south of Grand Rapids after 6pm. We're resting up for another day of driving tomorrow.
I am writing this evening so I can get on the road fairly early tomorrow. By the time I roll onto my driveway tomorrow night I will be exhausted so decided tonight would be a better time to write again. Next week I'll post a bunch of pictures of the week. Again, sorry that the computer would just say there was a security error when I clicked on the pictures to upload from my camera.


LA said...

It sure sounds like you had a great time...I can't wait to see all your finished projects. Just be careful driving home!!!!

Maggie said...

It all sounds pretty wonderful. Can't wait to see the pictures, and the real stuff!

Bonnie said...

Can't wait to see the pictures. I guess you will have show and tell on Tuesday. Sounds like it was a fun time.