Don't let this slightly fuzzy picture of outwardly normal ladies fool you - they are as sharp as tacks and are filled to the brim with skill & talent! They were all very receptive and interactive while I explained the insanity of speed knitting contests and demonstrated my method then segued into my Back to Back Wool Challenge experience. I stayed for some of their show & tell and I'm so glad that I did. While my own weaving experience is limited to the Klutz Potholders and even for that I need to refer to the book to help Amanda, what these ladies are making is awe-inspiring.
This is Joan with one of her L-shaped shawls. No, there is no easy way to turn a corner on a loom. This involves doing a rectangle then leaving long weft (or warp - I dunno. I'm lucky that I picked this much up and kept it in my pretty little head 'til now.) threads - long enought that when she is done the next rectangle the threads from the 1st rectangle get woven into the 2nd rectangle. I know, but she does it really well and seems to have retained her sanity and her love of weaving!!
Jo-Ann showed these lovely linen placemats. She explained how she had not worked with linen for awhile so her first piece wasn't very good. Apparently linen is tricky to weave because is has zero memory and is best worked wet and/or in humid conditions. Yes, I asked. So she turned it into a very nice bag with hand woven handles!!! I know!!! Let me just say that the bag was very nice and the placemats were exquisite. For me to even consider using them for their intended purpose there would have to be a layer of plastic between the works of art and the life-sustaining but permanently-staining food.
Velma showed a number of beautiful woven pieces that she purchased on a trip to Nova Scotia and this shawl that she is knitting from her handspun. Isn't it a great colour? Beside her is Anna who has moved from Russia. She is a very talented knitter & designer - I'm sure that we'll be seeing her work around soon.
Sylvia should us a kitestick for holding warp threads. (And when I say "kite stick & warp thread, it is said with authority like I know what the hell I'm talking about!) While she was explaining how this helped a weaver do weaverly things better other weavers were nodding and ahhhhing, so it must be a very cool thing.
Then there is Kathy; we met at last!! After being on the Knitting in Canada list together and reading each others blogs it was cool to meet someone for the first time that you feel like you already know. I explained blogging to the rest of the group - apparently it's not so much a "thing" among spinners & weavers like it is with knitters. Kathy is hiding behind the baby shawl that she recently finished desiging & knitting. It was beautiful - and she spins & weaves. I forgot to ask about her sleeping habits; I have a feeling that she doesn't much.
Today's mail brought me this irresistible pattern. Michelle has started on hers; I will have to content myself with the pattern for the time being. Though the pattern isn't available from her website, Aurora Alpacas, Sharon can be reached via e-mail or phone and was a pleasure to deal with. There is a Yahoo Group doing a KAL for this shawl if you're looking for a new group to join.