Tuesday, May 28, 2013

FLASHBACK: Penland Weaving Concentration: Kudzu, indigo and all things Scottish!

Beth organized some wonderful visiting artists during our concentration at Penland last spring.

Junco Sato Pollack revealed to us the wonders of kudzu fiber. Her elegant manner is reflected in the restrained and beautiful table mats she weaves out of silk and kudzu. Junco will be teaching at Penland this summer

Lynn Pollard brought stories, video and fabrics from her textile travels in Asia. We also had a chance to admire her amazing handwoven garments and weaving art. Lynn also shared her latest creative experiment, indigo "paintings" on paper.

Marjorie Logie Warren shared her knowledge of Scottish history and traditons. Her discussion of tartans, Harris tweed and estate checks was timed perfectly since each of us in the class had just woven our own tartan blankets. 

My blanket warp color order on the chalkboard. Guide string is in green with warp threads ready to be wound.

For this project, I used llama yarn that I had brought from home with a brown heather and three different colors of wool that had been donated to the class. My blanket was woven in twill with an oversize plaid design. The taupe llama yarn alternated with the brown heather for the background.

Scottish-inspired blanket requires a Scottish warping technique....

I still marvel at the wonders of winding a warp this way...

...it looks like a lot, but it took me only minutes per inch of warp.

Nothing is prettier than a full warping board!

Blanket warp, sectioned and ready to wind on. Boo-yeah!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Virginia Rugfest 2013

The Shockoe Slip Rug Hookers of Richmond, Virginia, do an amazing job of hosting the Virginia Rugfest and Hook-In each spring. It is always a lively gathering where hookers catch up on each other's projects.

The marketplace included vendors like Notforgotten Farm, Mary's Wool Garden and Rebecca Erb's Wool Studio. There were great things to shop for and yards of wool to ogle. Since I don't have a current hooking project needing wool, I enjoyed hunting for wool for my friends' rugs. And, bonus, there are door prizes and raffles throughout the day!

I won this pretty bundle of wool from Mary's Wool Garden in the door prize raffle.

This year's featured speakers were Judy Carter and Leonard Feenan. They spoke about the "Eye See You" and "Eye See You II" projects. Leonard designed the first rug based on an idea by Judy. Judy hooked the rug. 

Eye See You, hooked by Judy Carter

Eventually, the idea came to turn each eye into its own rug and a team of rug hookers worked to create the huge "Eye See You II" installation. Both projects were on glorious display at the Rugfest, the last showing of the complete "Eye See You II" rugs. Read more about it at Eye See You  on Judy's website. Fantastic work that pictures just don't do justice to. It was such a treat to see the rugs in person, almost too much to take in.

Eye See You II, hooked by multiple artists

It's fun to figure out what animal the eyes belong to...

A rug hooker friend got the striking envelope below in the mail from the World Wildlife Fund. I thought it fitting for this post.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

MUST READ: Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline

In light of the recent Bangladesh garment factory building collapse where the death toll is now over 600, this book, Overdressed by Elizabeth Cline, is an important read. In a world where we care and know more about where our food comes from versus where our clothing comes from, this book is an eye-opener. Cline does a great job of tracing the origins of this country's now-disposable clothing obsession. It doesn't take much more to link that to tragedies such as the one in Bangladesh. It will make you think twice about that next clothing purchase.