Saturday, April 24, 2010

CNCH report

I’m back and unpacked from CNCH, a well-run conference with exciting exhibits and great students. There is some serious weaving talent in Northern California! My chauffeur from the airport, Ulla de Larios, gave me a tour of a few pieces on exhibit and I was blown away by the power and beauty of her large format weaving, as well as her S & Z spun sweater. Will, a student in my tartan class brought a kilt he wove. I met Tien Chiu and saw her model her spectacular wedding dress/coat ensemble. I chatted with Judith MacKenzie McCuin and got an autograph on her Intentional Spinner. I became enchanted with the new mini-spinner from Hansen Crafts and came home with one - in cherry. I visited with Lillian Whipple and Gudrun Polak . I roomed with Susan Wilson of Crackle fame. I gave a program in the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles , surrounded by the Navajo weavings of Lucy and Ellen Begay. I ate Mexican fire, I ate Japanese sushi, I stayed up on the mountain-top with Anne Dunham webmistress for Glenna Harris guild . I touched redwood trees. I picked oranges. I sailed on Joyride across San Francisco Bay with Jenn and Jim my post-conference hosts .

I worked hard and played hard, but flying to teach is getting to be agonizing. What’s an old teacher to do?

Thought you should see a picture of my ‘teenager’ who handles shipping your book orders. (He thinks I’m sloughing off if no order come in for a few hours.)
Treadle with Joy, Kati

Must be there is something about weights and loom and me.

I am now exploring the ancient warp-weighted loom and trying to come up to speed on current explorations. The WWL is/will be a means to an end. My ultimate goal is to reproduce "a garment with no seams" in linen, on the WWL,(as prescribed in ancient scripture, according to, Nahum Ben-Yehuda, CTexATI, of Bar Ilan University in Israel) in waffle-weave. Last year I became captivated by a question from the Rabbi, and, after getting Erica deRuiter involved, ended up weaving 3-shaft waffle weave on an improvised warp-weighted loom, in 6-ply linen. [Handwoven plans to run a related story in the M/J issue- waffle weave on a rigid heddle loom.] I now have an additional challenge from the Rabbi to reproduce a 'seamless robe with reticulations'. [the waffle weave seems to satisfy that requirement, though I know from the research I have already done, that just about any structure can probably be woven on the WWL]. I appreciate the simplicity and sophistication of the WWL and look forward to assembling and practicing on one.

In my copy of H. Ling Roth's "Studies in Primitive Looms", page 122, there is an illustration from "Johannes Braunius Vestibus Sacerdotum Hebraeorum 1680" showing a woman at an elaborate WWL on which she seems to be weaving a garment without seams. The weft of the upper body extends to both sides around the loom sides, these weft extension to later become the warp for the sleeves. The text reports that "the loom is one designed for making a seamless garment." There is also comment that this loom may be an illustration of the transition from a weighted warp loom to a beamed warp loom. Roth's 1918 book is available via PDF, but here is the illustration I referr to.

If any of you can lead me to one who may already have done something like a seamless garment, especially on a wwl, I would be grateful, and again, generous with credits. Treadle with Joy, Kati

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The first two print runs of Warp with a Trapeze and Dance with your Loom are gone, shipped out to many corners of the world, breaking all records and expectations. Thanks, fiber friends. We are expecting the next 100 copies in a day or two, so new orders should ship soon. My "teenager shipping clerk" (actually, my 70-year old husband) is learning the ropes very quickly and he will be totally in charge for the next week as I will be at CNCH playing tartan, flax, and linen with fiber folks out there. Feel free to ‘talk’ with him. When he is not shipping books or keeping the books, (or waiting on me hand and foot), he plays silver flute, NA wooden flute, and the Great Highland Bagpipes.
The Gift of Life Foundation Great Kilt is finished and on its way to the tartan’s co-designer, Nicole. Until I have a picture of her wearing it, here is a look at 60.4 square feet of a new tartan design. Treadle with Joy, Kati