April meeting and workshop

This Thursday, April 23rd, at our April meeting, Barb Wainright from Rochester, NY, will present a lecture on “Let’s Not Call It Honeycomb” at the usual time – 11:30 am for lunch with a short business meeting at noon, lecture afterwards, and done by 2 pm.

If you are interested in joining the workshop and your schedule has freed up at the last minute there is still room to join us. This is a stash friendly workshop so materials will be inexpensive and easy to find and/or swap amongst ourselves.

Our workshop will start immediately after the Guild meeting, and we are trying a schedule that is a little different to try and accommodate people’s work schedules:

Thursday, April 23rd: from end of Guild meeting until around 5:00 pm-ish then going to supper (optional)
Friday, April 24th: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm and
Saturday, April 25th: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Barb’s description of the workshop:
Given the right sett and materials honeycomb can produce tailored, deeply textured fabrics suited to many purposes, even clothing. Fabrics of surprising complexity are possible on only four shafts. Using woven examples we will examine the effects of threading, yarn, sett, and beat in developing texture. We will also consider use of color with this structure. Like all deflected-weft weaves, honeycomb needs wet-finishing to blossom but results can be hard to predict. The samples you create will help you plan future projects with confidence.

More information on Barb’s work can be seen in Handwoven, September-October 2007, page 52 and Interweave Press e-book, Best of Handwoven: Honeycomb Technique Series, which includes her Honeycomb laptop case project. We also have materials in our library about the weaves Barb will be teaching.

We are also trying something new with a limited round robin where each weaver creates samples for herself on only four looms with representative threadings of the entire workshop.

Cost will be $50 per person ($60 for non-CWG members).

If you want to join the workshop, please contact Lynne Killgore.

Bus trip to Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

Join Stacey Allen of Cleveland Metroparks on an adventure to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. We will spend all day Saturday shopping at the festival for fiber, yarn, equipment, patterns, ideas and more.

The Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival includes hundreds of vendors from all over the country that include everything that a fiberholic could ever need, plus 5 hours each way of hands-free driving allowing plenty of time for UFOs or start new projects on the way home!

Bus ride is $85 per person, and space is limited. Registration is required. Call 216-206-1000 to reserve your spot.

We will leave Fairview Park at 10 am on Friday, May 1st, 2015, and return approximately 10:30 pm on Saturday, May 2nd, 2015. Cars can be left at the Ranger headquarters overnight. Friday evening we will have dinner at May’s Seafood Restaurant (not included).

Hotel will be the Comfort Inn, Red Horse of Fredrick, MD (not included). Price is $90 per room (1-4 people). Bus will drop us off at the opening of the festival on Saturday and will depart from the festival at 5 pm.

The Running of the Wools

Picture an event more reminiscent of a hobbit than a Hemingway; not containing enough adrenaline or alcohol to inspire a memory of Pamplona or allow use of the word stampede. Three hundred dry merino sheep move through the streets of Queenstown, New Zealand, in a quick but relatively orderly procession. Fifty rams mixed in keeps just that hint of danger. Barriers line the route to keep the chances of any bloody fool sustaining bodily injuries to a minimum, but I would think the chances of slipping while trying to cross the street right after it’s over are about 50/50. In the long-gone old days, this would just be called taking the sheep to market. In today’s world, where people have no clue where wool comes from; it’s a world news event called The Running of the Wools.

Founder Steve Hollander started this event to help people remember and celebrate the things that built Queenstown. He assures me that the first time was a great success and the sheep will run again next year. This soon-to-be annual procession is part of the Hilux NZ Rural Games, which takes place in early February over the Waitangi Day holiday weekend. A quick check of their website shows the other events planned to give the visitor many things to see once the sheep have gotten to where they’re going. Serious competitions listed with the word speed in front of them included coal shoveling, sheep shearing, hand milking (cows), tree climbing, tree chopping, fencing (building), and gold panning. Events judged by distance include the traditional Highland heavies-the caber toss, stone, sheaf toss and farmer’s walk as well as the lighter cherry pit spit and gumboot throw. Slower precision events include the egg toss and, of course, there are sheep dogs herding lots of sheep.

View of Queenstown, NZ

Queenstown, NZ – Photo by Stephen Murphy

I know it’s a long long way to go for a field trip, but if next February gets to be as cold as it was here this February, witnessing the Running of the Wools might be just enough excuse to visit somewhere where it’s naturally Summer during that time of the year. It looks like Queenstown is a pretty place, and they have lots and lots of beautiful soft merino. I wonder how much one can cram into a carry-on?

Honeycomb workshop with Barb Wainwright, April 23rd – 25th

Barb’s lecture for the Guild, “Let’s Not Call It Honeycomb” will be on Thursday, April 23rd, at the usual time (11:30 am for lunch with short business meeting at noon then lecture afterwards done by 2 pm).

The workshop schedule is a little different. We are trying to make the time more user-friendly to everyone who is working full-time and needs time to run errands or just relax on Saturday.

Thursday, April 23rd: from end of Guild meeting to 4 pm.
Friday, April 24th: 9 am – 4 pm
Saturday, April 25: 9 am – 1 pm

We are also going to try something new with a limited round-robin where each weaver creates samples for herself on only four looms with representative threadings of the entire workshop.

Workshop description:

Did a coarse 1970’s wall hanging turn you away from honeycomb? Or was it a stringy sample woven at the end of a tiresome overshot warp? Forget them. Given the right sett and materials honeycomb can produce tailored, deeply textured fabrics suited to many purposes, even clothing. Fabrics of surprising complexity are possible on only four shafts.

Using woven examples we will examine the effects of threading, yarn, sett, and beat in developing texture. We will also consider use of color with this structure. Like all deflected-weft weaves, honeycomb needs wet-finishing to blossom but results can be hard to predict. The samples you create will help you plan future projects with confidence.

For more information on Barb’s work it can be seen in Handwoven, September-October 2007, page 52, and Interweave Press Honeycomb e-book which includes her Honeycomb laptop case project.

Cost will be $50 per person ($60 for non-CWG members).   Please send check and registration form to:  Jean Jackson, 2980 Washington Blvd., Cleveland Heights, OH 44118.

This is a stash friendly workshop, so materials will be inexpensive and easy to find and/or swap amongst ourselves.

Susan Conover studio sale

Susan Conover is having a sale! See her web site for more details.

Susan Conover program and Spring newsletter deadline

The March 19th meeting and program will be at 11:30 am at the Church of the Saviour, 2537 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, OH.

After a brown bag lunch, Susan Conover, former member of our guild, will share with us her journey for 5 years at Västuga Weaving School. We have had many members learn from Susan, and she has returned to Northern Ohio willing to continue her teaching and sharing of her experiences.

And mark you calendar for March 25th for the deadline for the Spring newsletter. Please submit your articles, announcements, essays and photos to Nancy.

No home study group meeting this month

No one signed up to host the study group for March, so the March study group meeting is cancelled, but we encourage everyone to be busy at their looms preparing for our show at the library in May. If this isn’t the perfect weather to stay home and weave, I don’t know what is. Happy weaving!

The Tale of the Tundra Tassels

The request came in through the website; a commission was being offered. A weaver was needed to make an inkle belt. Few of us must weave for money, and an inkle would never create enough income for the idea to entice most of our members. Eyes quickly glazed and looked away at the mere thought.

Then our web mistress sent the message directly to me. It seemed this person was persistent in her quest and had asked please again. She was going to the Artic for three weeks in February and wanted an inkle belt to wear while there. In an effort to let her down gently, and maybe get a little bit of a story, I contacted her and asked her exactly what she wanted. She told me she had already bought a belt but was disappointed by it. She assumed I would find her odd when she explained that it would do, but it was the wrong red. It was not the red she wanted to see cutting through the great white Arctic expanses and would clash with the rest of her ensemble. She was working diligently to make her anorak (an eskimo windbreaker) and moose hide mittens; wisely leaving her necessary footwear to the professional mukluk makers. She still had more than a month to find a weaver to create her bright red belt of her dreams. She had to try.

I have many inkle looms. The world of weaving hardly gets simpler. I have many red yarns; only needing to make a choice in material, diameter and hue. She’s a neighbor, only living a mile from me. She seemed weird enough to be a weaver, so I felt compelled to help. I offered to set up the loom and show her how to weave it herself with a little coaching. She loved the idea, and we agreed to meet.

The next day I took a few books and one of my little inkles and went to see and show. The blue and white demo warp had been worked by many hands large and small over the years, but she still saw the beauty of the structure despite the obvious tension changes. She fingered the cloth and said she thought it was neat, but really wasn’t anything like the belt she bought. She brought out what she had, and she was right. I was showing her an inkle. She was holding a ceinture fléchée.

It wasn’t even a pretty ceinture fléchée; machine made from chunky poly yarns in uninspiring colors. It was a big thick French Canadian belt 6 feet long, 5 inches wide, and a structure so stiff you could beat back a bear with it. Trappers wore them wrapped twice around the waist. They could use them as utility belts and back braces when heavy loads required more lumbar support than usual. Cinched tightly enough, even I might be able to move a moose, but that particular belt was unattractive enough that I wouldn’t have wanted to wear it even in the Arctic. She brought out a book to show me her inspiration photo. The front cover showed a woman happily dragging a sled across the frozen tundra. A bright red belt circled her waist, and that photo was laid over a much closer view of the belt. It was a beautiful Pendleton red Metis ceinture fléchée, stunning enough to inspire, and worthy of wear anywhere. I completely understood and wanted to help, so we had to quickly move to a plan B.

Ceinture fléchée belts

Ceinture fléchée belts from Bertie’s collection

It turns out that my personal textile collection contains two ceinture fléchées, one of which is a beautiful Pendleton red Metis. They both came through Bertie, so I have no real knowledge of their history or monetary value. None of that has ever mattered to me as I consider them all priceless and have no desire to sell off a single stitch. I was willing to rent the belt to her on the condition that she return it with the story when she came back and thawed out, but we both had concerns over its eventual condition after three weeks in the Arctic. When I found her one she could buy and keep forever, we settled into the perfect plan C. A Canadian company named Etchiboy has a website where you can pick from many beautiful ceinture fléchées. She ordered a stunning red and white belt for about the same price I would have charged her to rent mine. I get to keep my ceinture fléchées safe and warm, and she has her total, completely coordinated, eskimo suit; stylishly worn on her intrepid Arctic adventure to keep together forever. It turned out that what she thought she wanted wasn’t what she thought, but what she really wanted she eventually got.

Red tassels bound for the Arctic

Red tassels bound for the Arctic

We did decide to make up a few matching tassels to sew on her mukluks (the lady on the book had hers flying in the picture) to really complete the look. I made one extra tassel on a clip in sparkly blue and white. It did not match her colors, so the rest of her intrepid expedition will share it, with the hope of its eventual return it to me with pictures and the story of its Arctic travels.

This is where Marcia eludes, outruns, or is eaten by a polar bear… update to come when and if she returns…

Blue tassel to be worn by Arctic explorers

Blue tassel to be worn by Arctic explorers

Free Trade Expo report (and pictures!)

Marcos at the Fair Trade Expo

Marcos at the Fair Trade Expo

When I walked into the Free Trade Expo at John Carroll University, a few people were scattered among the dozen or so booths displaying wares, but I wasn’t looking for any of those. I was in search of the master weaver who hailed all the way from Tiotitlan, and I found him at the back of the room. I had been told he was young, but standing there next to Victoria’s baby Brown loom, he looked like one of my daughter’s college friends. I walked over to say hello, and introduced myself as a brand-new weaver. He smiled, graciously allowed me to take some photos of his rugs, and told me to come back in an hour.

Marcos’ table at the Fair Trade Expo

I became interested in some of the workshops and came back a couple of hours later. The empty warp had been transformed. He smiled up at me when I walked back, that shy young man transformed into a master artisan before the tool of his craft. His hands flew as he made bamboo bobbins zip between the warp threads, effortlessly creating a pattern that existed only in his head. He encouraged me to sit down and try, and patiently guided me as he told me where the color in his tapestry should change. He watched as I painstakingly threw a few picks, intent on doing no harm to the cloth he was creating. I was quick to hand the bobbin back, privileged to have been able to try his technique, and well aware that he was indeed a master. He was so genuine, so gently correcting, and so patient – and so very skilled. What an amazing encounter!

Here are some additional photos of Marcos’ visit.

Marcos' dye demonstration at Kent State University

Marcos’ dye demonstration at Kent State University

Victoria and Marcos

Victoria and Marcos

Elaine watching Marcos weave

Elaine watching Marcos weave

Marcos at the loom

Marcos at the loom

Announcing Eastern Great Lakes Fiber Conference

An announcement from Barb Wainright, 2015 publicity chair for the Eastern Great Lakes Fiber Conference. Note that registration opens April 1st.

What workshops will you take at Eastern Great Lakes Fiber Conference 2015? It may be tough to choose! This October 9th – 12th conference at the Chautauqua Institution in beautiful Chautauqua, New York, has a great lineup of workshops. Teachers include Connie Lippert, Rosalie Neilson, Mary Hettmansperger, Amy Tyler, Chad Alice Hagen, and Anita Luvera Mayer. Complete workshop descriptions and instructor bios are available, as well as the prospectus and registration form.

Registration opens on April 1st—no fooling! All registrations received before April 1st will be processed on opening day, giving you the best chance of getting the workshops you want. Cost for three days of workshops, all events, and nine meals is $355. Lodging options start at $110. The biennial conference includes a banquet plus a fashion show and fiber exhibit. Come show off your accomplishments!

EGLFC organizers would like to thank all who have provided past conferences with table favors and goody bag items. This year we would like to offer a few larger items as door prizes. Please consider getting together with a group of friends, perhaps your entire guild, to create a gift. We will announce the makers’ names and guild affiliation as we award each gift so that everyone can appreciate your artistry. Questions about door prizes? Contact Suanne Pasquarella.

We hope to see you Columbus Day weekend 2015. Learn more about all the fun we have planned. Questions about registration? Contact Kim Witherow.