Friday morning 29 weavers from Central Oregon as well as Klamath Falls, Mt Hood and Pendleton converged upon the Diocese Retreat Center in Powell Butte for a three-day weaving workshop with Robyn Spady called the Thrill of the Twill. The introduction we received in advance told us that we would explore advancing twills, networked twills, corkscrew twills, and echo weaves. The only twill I’ve done apart from tartan is eight-shaft turned twill so everything was new to me.
The facility is a converted horse barn and very commodious. This is the space used for lectures which is in addition to the well-lit workshop area, and we had 3-4 hours of lecture every day. Lots of information!
The east end of the cavernous room is where we ate breakfast and lunch together. Patty Huffer who works at Eugene Textile Center set up a mini ETC shop in the corner affording us the rare opportunity to see and touch before buying. Many of the attendees took advantage of the cabins and bunk house and stayed right on the premises. I live 20 minutes away and chose to sleep in my own bed since the weather is nice.
My Dorset workshop loom was the only four shaft, four treadle loom there. Weaving with direct tie-up is more taxing than on a regular loom with lams but I was still able to produce the patterns in each exercise. I was disappointed in my results with a solid color warp though.
There were a lot of Schacht looms in the room and most of them were eight shaft. Colleen was another weaver with four shafts but chose the warping option with two different colored warp threads. It’s much more interesting and I was so jealous!
Kathy was one of the eight-shaft weavers and had to foresight to use different three colored warpings and she threaded for three different patterns. Her results were wonderfully dramatic. I could only comfort myself that when I warp my own eight-shaft loom at home, I too could produce some dramatic cloth.
It wasn’t until I got to the section with two shuttles in the exercises that my cloth got really interesting and I starting loving it. This was with orange and yellow and the complementary color blue. I woke this morning at 5:30 thinking of other colors I could take to try. I thought I’d arrive super early but two other weavers were already at work when I got there. I was able to weave this pattern again before breakfast and the final lecture, but this time I did it in analogous colors - orange, yellow and red. It wasn’t nearly as interesting.
I also took cones of purple and gold this morning and I love the results in the last treadling sequence of the class exercises. I wove right up until lunch, squeezing out every last minute. We needed to be out of the building by 1:30 to make room for a group of quilters coming in for their retreat. I learned so much over the past three days that my brain feels bruised.
I also subscribed to Heddlecraft today, Robyn’s online magazine. I’ve been trying to decide whether or not to renew my subscription to Handwoven - well now that’s settled. Before I launch into designing my own cloth, I’m going to weave the exercises on both my four-shaft and eight-shaft looms. There’s still more to be learned before I fly solo.