Friday, February 21, 2014

2014 MLH Summer Workshops

You are invited to participate in the Michigan League of Handweavers’ three day workshops taking place from August 8-10 at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.   For many of us it will be a hard choice to pick only one of our eight gifted instructors.

Dawn Edwards is back to teach Explorations in Nuno-Felt and Eco-Printing.  All skill levels will experience the magic of felting silk and wool into a lightweight scarf which will be enhanced by eco printing.

In Wynne Mattila’s class, Finnish Runner/Cotton Rug Technique, students will take home a table runner which they designed and wove in the Finnish rag rug style using cotton fabric strips as weft.  Students must be able to warp a loom and read a draft.

Connie Lippert will teach Wedge Weave Fundamentals.  In contrast to most weaves, which are woven on a plane horizontal to the loom, wedge weave is woven on the diagonal. This results in a weft-faced product with many distinctive characteristics and exciting design potential.  Student Level: Intermediate.

Inge Dam’s class, Tablet Woven Side Borders, will teach students to weave tablet borders simultaneously with loom weaving, adding  a unique art edge to your work.  Students must know Plain Weave.

Jenny Schu will share in her class, 3 Day Beaded Leaves and Variations,  her stunning technique for the basic beaded leaf component and variations that you will use in the design of your jewelry or embellishment in your fiber work.  All skill levels welcome.

Holly Brackmann comes to us with Dyeing without a Dyepot: Disperse Dyes
Students will learn to use copy machine transfers, yarn transfers, rubbings, monoprinting, Thermofax screen printing, painting, stamping, foiling, stitching, resist and collage techniques to produce endless design possibilities on a variety of fabrics.
No dye experience required.

Nancy McRay will teach us Foundations of Tapestry   Learn to weave an art tapestry with discontinuous weft yarns that make a designed image on plain weave fabric.  Please bring a tapestry loom with adjustable tension and a shedding device.  Beginners are welcome.

Rosalie Neilson’s class, It’s in the Warp: Color & design in Rep Learn how blocks of Rep threaded on four or eight shafts, can be combined to expand the design possibilities of warp-faced Rep weave.

MLH presents to you, a talented group of instructors who are eager to show you ways to broaden your knowledge in extra ordinary ways.

For more information and to sign up visit

Monday, February 17, 2014

Interlochen Summer Adult arts programs

Yes - I am on the schedule with two classes - dyeing your own yarn, and Beginning Rigid Heddle Weaving. I love being in the Traverse City area, and I love planning and teaching classes. I am pretty happy about Summer at the moment. 

I enjoyed my part in helping plan these classes with my friend Leslie Donaldson - the fiber arts programs are just some of the wonderful art classes being offered for adults on the Interlochen campus this Summer. The best part is - this is not all. We have some other plans forming right now!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I agree with Anne Lamott and Woody Alan about this one thing: the importance of showing up. Once the decision has been made to put all your eggs into the creative basket - be it painting, writing, weaving, or whatever, all the trolls and devils come to the surface. 

Why does this matter? 

It isn't any good anyway. 

You are just making more stuff that nobody will care about. 

The only way past these monsters is to show up anyway. Show up and do the work. Try not too judge it too harshly.  

This has become my process and my practice since selling Woven Art  - my yarn shop. I work hard to set aside judgement, and just show up in my studio every day. And it is working. I am working. Often I do not know what or why. I believe part of my growth as an artist will be to become more at ease with this uncertainty. 

I take refuge in teaching. It is pleasurable, and a measurable achievement to share knowledge. It also requires that I study - to deepen my own knowledge of the field. Another pleasure. 

Pictured here is the second tapestry in my series. I did not know when I began it exactly what it would turn out to look like. I find myself surprised every day. When you look at this, understand that it is woven from the bottom to the top.  Warm tones turned to dark, with a glaring contrast - the final strip of blue really took me by surprise. 

Now I get to start another one next week. No idea what it will be - but I will show up to make it all the same.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tiny Toes

I have been knitting baby socks since last Wednesday, when my grand daughter Teagan decided to come into the world. Her toes are just too precious. I must cover them in cuteness. The yarn is a left over ball of Zauberball Crazy, from my stash. There is quite a bit left - so I am just going to knit  unmatching socks until the yarn is gone. The pattern is called Baby Socks, by Bianca Boonstra, available as a free download on Ravelry. They are fast and fun, and with the crazy yarn, all a little bit different. 

Tapestry progress:

The second in my stream-of-consciousness series is centimeters from being complete. The time frame for this one began around Thanksgiving, which I celebrated on an organic farm in Tucson with my daughter, husband and friends. It was woven through the increasingly cold and snowy winter, the Christmas ice storm, and subsequent power outage. It marked the unexpected passing of my brother-in-law, and will be completed shortly after the recent arrival of our newest family member.  I can see the influence of my life and experiences reflected in the progress of this piece.  I think I should rotate it to the right 90 degrees for hanging. Tilt your head to the left to see what I mean.

I am beginning to think about the next one. Planning ahead is not allowed in this process, but I have been dying brighter colors for the handspun weft. Can't wait to see what happens in my next tapestry.