Sunday, July 13, 2003

Creative Strands

What a great conference. I'm exhausted, but I'm so energized by everything I learned this past week. First was the 12 hour preconference class. With Patsy Z's help, I finally experienced the long draw. I'm not saying I'm an expert after just a few days, but I understand the technique and am now able to do it. One of her suggestions for troublesome techniques was to set a timer for 10 minutes and really focus on the new method. When the timer goes off, take off the bobbin, put it away until the next day and go back to your familiar spinning. I'm going to try that in my quest for a softly spun, thick yarn. Ask Kate to see her sample cards. She was in Virgo heaven. Oh, and also ask her about that heart shaped hole punch :-)

I took a 3 hour class with Daryl Lancaster on the inkle loom. She showed samples of her work. Remember the Sept/Oct 02 Handwoven with her article about weaving from your stash? She should us the duster she made with the inkle woven trim down the front. It was really beautiful. I'm not sure how much I'll use it, but I can see possibilities.

Saturday morning I took a rep weave class with Bettes Silver-Schack. For the first fifteen or twenty minutes my head was spinning. Then she used markers and colored in her diagram. duh, NOW I get it. It didn't hurt that Carolyn had just given Kate and me a mini lesson in profile drafts and blocks the night before. Nothing like setting the stage for the lesson. I will definetely be using rep weave for placemats or rugs.

I didn't have a class Saturday afternoon, so I got to spend some time shopping. I'll take pictures and go into more detail tomorrow. One of the vendors had a used picker and supercarder. Oy vey, such decisions! I went back and forth, back and forth, but I finally decided I couldn't really justify it right now. (not that I wouldn't WANT it)

Sunday was Silk Spinning with Sara Lamb. She showed us the gorgeous warp-faced scarves she wove. Many of them are in Handwoven's Design Collection 19. Her kimonos were magnificent and the painted warps inspiring. I had borrowed three high speed whorls (I only have the two that came with the wheel) and two high speed bobbins for the class. No luck, the whorls would not fit my flyer. I had to use the fast whorl (15.5:1) but after about 30 minutes of swearing and tussah silk being either kinked up or ripped out of my hands, it began to make sense. I was able to spin a consistent yarn, not quite as fine as I had hoped (4400 ypp) but considering my rocky start I was happy. The bombyx was much easier, Sara says that's why she made us spin the tussah first. I think with practice and a faster whorl I should be able to spin silk successfully.

Phew, that was a long-winded report - pictures tomorrow.

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