Monday, June 03, 2013

Conference of Northern California Handweavers

I think this might just be the coolest place ever for a conference - Squaw Valley, home of the 1960 winter Olympics.  The elevation at 6,200 feet was a bit troublesome for some of the attendees but I didn't hear any grumbling.

The weather earlier in the week had been blustery, but the Friday we arrived it couldn't have been better.  This was the first time for a Tailgate Market, organized by my conference roommates who were a committee of two.  They had asked me to help so I arrived that morning to help vendors get to their sites and set up since it only went from 1:00-5:00.  There was no booth fee and a wide assortment of shopping.  I bought two fair market trade baskets and 4 ounces of dyed mohair locks for my crazy batts.  I didn't take any money so I couldn't shop.  I forgot about the Square!
In keeping with the Olympic theme, we had games.  These shuttles are entries in the concours d'elegance.
Toni Lowden from our guild entered this one.  It's called Go Baby Go.  There were four contests, two after dinner Friday night.  The actual shuttle race had a chute, like a minature roller derby.  The shuttle slalom on Saturday was a course with cones that spindlers raced through.  The shot put had three shots, which were three pounds of BBs in padding with a felt exterior.  I took the names and wrote the distances while Rae and Shalet measured.  They were brave ladies as they had to dodge some of the wildly thrown shots.  A common comment was - This is hard!  We were really surprised at how much everyone enjoyed the games. It was rather riotous.
This is Beryl and me at dinner and before the games.  Do you recognize my blue ribbon sweater from a couple of fairs ago?  Talk about a collaboration.  I was trying to decide how to use some silk and Benita sent me the brown Merino all the way from Indiana.
My first class was dyeing with mushrooms.  These are samples from the instructor, Gail Still.  These are colors from a variety of mushrooms.  Our study was just the jack o'lantern mushroom and we got a variety of greens and purples with alum and iron mordants. I wasn't really interested in dyeing with mushrooms when I signed up for the class, but I always want to know more about natural dyes.  I loved the instructor and the class and I hope to collect mushrooms when we go to Oregon next week.
We were at the Resort at Squaw Creek and I took this picture outside my afternoon classroom.    I took  designing clothing using  handwovens with Susan Lazear.  I had looked at her software before hand and was tempted, but it's pricey.  She was also our keynote speaker and as a full-time college professor, she can stand and deliver.  She used to weave and stopped when she realized that her skills were as an Idea Person  We had to bring handwoven samples and she showed us how an idea person thinks.  I was inspired.  In fact, I was so inspired I bought the software.  I realized that I paid $16 for one pattern from Sew Liberated that didn't fit all that well.
I couldn't resist taking a picture of the rocks in the lobby.  Unfortunately, necessity dictates that they mar their appearance with attached signs stating that you can't climb on them.  The lobby was filled with knitters in between all sessions.
My last session was Sunday morning with Lexi Boeger on spinning super coils.  I had no idea what that meant when I signed up for it, but I just knew that I want to know more about making art yarns.  She's demonstrating how to built a batt.  I made four batts today following her suggestions which make it go so much faster.
This is my modified version of her super coils.  I won't do it again because the yarn is just too heavy, but I will use all the techniques she showed us.  The only disappointment of the entire weekend happened at the end of her class.  A lady who had struggled through the entire class, finished early and left early.  We realized after the fact that she thought the knitty knotty I loaned another student was hers.  Other students noticed she had one like mine, and she and my knitty knotty are gone from my life.  I bought it when I bought my first wheel in 1997,  Oh well, it's just stuff, right?

I'll get online and order a replacement tomorrow.  I wanted to finish towels and make batts to take to Spindle Camp.  Tomorrow I'll gather what I need to take - everything!


Michelle said...

Where will you be???

Maggie said...

I stayed there once for a hiking boot conference. Yes, there is such a thing! It's beautiful there! Did you take the tram up the mountain? Gorgeous and nerve wracking at the same time!

LA said...

It sounds like this was a fantastic conference! I can't wait to see what new yarns you spin in the near future!

Benita said...

Wow, oh wow! What a fun conference. I would have loved that mushroom dyeing class so much. That's an area of natural dyeing that I haven't touched yet, and I want to.

Interesting yarn, but I agree that it would be too heavy for much.

You look lovely in your blue ribbon sweater. And I'll bet you oohed and aahed over other sweaters while you were there. What a fun time you had.

Sorry about your niddy-noddy.