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Monday, May 3, 2010

Days 2 and 3 at my Weaving Conference - Vavning Studio - Shopiere, WI

Well.. the blog I posted on Saturday finished up at Sunday morning... today's post will include both Sunday and Monday.... 

By the way, these posts are being made by a 
"Solar Powered Computer"  thank you very much, solar panels on the roof! 

So on Sunday morning, after mounds of copious note taking, learning, weaving, working, chatting and exchanging ideas, we were all herded outside for the obligatory group photo.  LOL   I hide in the back, you can see my head on the left over the shoulder of the gal in the bright blue shirt, Lynn Twitty.  

We had a lot of laughs as everyone handed their cameras to Norm (a professional photographer)  and his trusty sidekick Steveio (who shakes and wiggles almost every photo he has ever taken)....

Perhaps deep down Jason always wished he were a minister or a pastor?   Here is his name on the only "marquis* that Juanita has at the studio... the church sign where the dates and times of the services used to be posted.  

Oh, one thing I wanted to mention was sweet Juanita every year makes a creative wonderful gift for all the weavers that partake in her program. She is a retired art teacher and a wealth of information and ideas. This year she managed to get photos of us, and created shadow boxes!   Those are real skeins of yarn hanging down on little pegs, and the sign in the background is actually a photo of a REAL sign she made me several years ago..... 

(there is some reflection on the glossy surface of the shadow box)

This photo is from the day she made me the sign....

One thing I like to do for Juanita every year is I place a pot of my famous coleus (I winter it over every year in my home to grow again each spring outdoors from the same plant since 1995)...  I place the pot here every year, and she knows a new fresh plant will arrive within the weekend for her... awwwwww It's the least I can do for all her hospitality! 

After the Sunday session was over at 5pm, Steveio had set up the table, chairs, awning and grill.  He made a big salad and grilled out chicken breasts for us and our weaving friends Norma and Jim Burkett who live in Beloit.   Jim has taken the class a few times over the years, but this year they had a big rug show to do out of town on Saturday.  But they were able to come and see us on Sunday, how nice was that? 

Some little neighbor girls just HAD to come an play with our "Lassie Doggies" 

Juanita and Norm  had gone out to dinner with some other weavers, but came back to the studio (and our cute little parking lot camping spot)... to sit and visit for a while too....  nice way to wind down and end the day! 

Once everyone left, we cleaned up and put away gear.  Then I had to get a cracking!   I had taken two sock orders from other gals at the conference... plus I wanted to make a pair of socks to tuck into Jason's suitcase when he wasn't looking.   I used to try to make a pair for his father each year too, before he passed away ---  his father is the famous rugweaver and inventor of the Shaftswitching loom devices.. .Peter Collingwood.   And now Jason teaches the things learned from his father, and passes them along to us.  

I thought I would toss in a picture of where I keep my loom in the studio when I take the class....   I put my loom off in a side hallway (away from all the other folks)  so I have easier access to the kitchen area.   I am constantly jumping up and down doing my Kitchen Wench duties....  taking out food, putting away food, making the coffee and tea water, and cleaning up...   I run up and down for Juanita as need be, to save her some steps if I can.  Plus, being out in the hall way, I can concentrate a bit better on the complicated weave structures and treadling sequences easier. 

Monday morning dawned bright and shiny... .But I think most of us were clogging our brains and not too bright for our thought processes..... 

Jason carried on and explained things in detail.. and we took our notes and tried to untangle the complicated world  of warp and weft, lift and plan, structure and sequence, left and right!   (we even get THOSE mixed up!)

We found ways to be comfortable and let it all soak in....

The things we were weaving are *samplers* of the various weave structures and patterns we are learning....  we can then incorporate them into a large rug --- hopefully --- someday.   Here is a small section of my sampler:

If this doesn't interest the non-weavers of my blog, you can skip down..... but for the weavers, here are a few other samplers from other students.... 

some Clasped Wefts 

some Log Cabin

2/2 stripes in blocks

some clasped wefts in a 2/2 twill

During the morning sessions, I am busy hopping in and out of the kitchen preparing the final meal for noon before everyone departs.  Once the weaving portion of the morning lesson is done, Steveio and Norm help everyone fold up and carry out their looms and gear....    all the weavers are upstairs in the lecture area.  Steve and Norm then set up some banquet tables where all the looms used to be.

Here I am!   "The Kitchen Wench"

I whipped up 2 pans of regular lasagna, one pan of veggie lasagna, cheezy garlic bread.... and what is so neato is that EVERYTHING got done at the right time!~    I have done this for quite a few years now, so I know what needs to go in, and when, and for how long.   But it still amazes me that is all comes out right each and every time.  Whee heeeee!

I had two big bowls of vegetable salads, various other go-withs, .. then Norm had picked up a cherry pie on the far left... and some of the gals had brought bars .... I made up trays of deviled eggs each morning too from Juanita's daughter's farm fresh eggs....  (the same gal who brought in the lamb in yesterday's blog)

The restaurant down the road (where many of the weavers went to eat --- called Annie's)  sent over a huge caramel chocolate and nut cheesecake...  the REAL thing, not from a mix!  It's called a Turtle cheesecake, which fits the local flavor, being as we were in the Turtle Township and near Turtle Creek!

Everyone dug in and shared their weaving experiences and frustrations, their discoveries and ah-haa moments.

The calendar was set for next year's session, and many of the weavers hope to return! 

And there you have it.. . another wonderful weaving conference at Vavning Studio... with my buddy Juanita!

 VAVNING, the School for Weaving and Heritage Arts is located in a 150-year old Methodist Church in Shopiere, Wisconsin, which is a little north-east of Beloit, WI.  Shopiere, located in the lower south-eastern portion of the state, is graced by a small-town feeling, yet is accessible by major Wisconsin highways....
Detailed Location of Vavning Studio

Vavning Studio is 2 miles and 2 blocks east of I-90 along Shopiere Road (county S).  Shopiere Road has exit and entrance ramps at I-90.
Vavning Studio
5420 Hwy J
Shopiere,  WI  53525

Jason Collingwood
Old School
co6 4jh
(441)  1206  502073
(441) 7780 887072


  1. What a wonderful weekend y'all had. Thanks for all the pictures and explanations.
    Happy Trails, Penny, TX

  2. Wow Karen, I am amazed at what you can do.. I have no talent at all but love seeing what others can accomplish. Thanks for sharing it all. Looks like you had a great time.

  3. I see Steveio isn't the only talented member in your family! You are quite the multi-tasker. :C)

  4. That sounds like so much fun I might think about taking up weaving! Seriously, those retreats are just the best fun, I love getting to know all the people.

  5. What wonderful talent!! Your weekend sounded wonderful and the pictures were great. Thanks for sharing.

    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)


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