(Catching up on the blog posts about my weaving weekend.... this is from Sunday )
Jason is the son of the late Peter Collingwood. Peter designed a method to weave unique wool rugs using a special device called Shaft- switching, among other wonderful techniques to make interesting patterned wool rugs. His innovative ideas have been incorporated into rug weaving world wide, and he even helped to develop a special loom made by Harrisville. http://www.harrisville.com/about-rug-looms.htm
Here is our class for this year, posed outside of Juanita Hofstrom's studio in Shopiere, WI http://www.vavningstudio.com/ She purchased a retired Methodist church to make into a studio, and uses the billboard outside to note special upcoming classes.
The whole purpose of this weekend conference is for these students to journey from the surrounding states all of the way to learn about Jason Collingwood's methods of making wool rugs.
These rugs are very thick, usually made from three strands of heavy rug wool yarn, and are quite dense and firm when beaten firmly on a rug loom. These are not the average rag type rugs I usually make. We are taking the class to learn the techniques and methods, and understand the structure and patterning of these types of rugs. Our smaller portable floor and table looms suffice for learning, but if these samples were woven on bigger rug looms, they would be even more compact and firm.
I decided to walk around the studio on Sunday and snap a pic of each person's loom and a close-up of their sample thus far. Keep in mind, we were all working on various parts of the teachings over the entire weekend. Each weaver works at their own pace, trying this or that, and discovering what they like or learn what they need to make the patterns they desire. The mind is filled with lift plans, pattern repeats, shuttle placements and tending to neat selvages. It can get very complicated, but as the mind absorbs the ideas, it becomes more and more clear to the weavers… hopefully!
Here is my Tools of the Trade table loom, clamped to a rolling bench, and my unrolled sample:
And here are the rest of the weavers’ looms and their samples too....
(the loose strings you see get needle-woven back into the rug sample before it’s done)
While I am dashing in and out of lectures, completing tasks in the kitchen, and my own weaving loom time, Steveio is walking the dogs, doing some repairs on the motorhome, doing a couple favors for Juanita around the studio and entertaining himself. He does this once a year to allow me the time to attend these classes. I am soooo appreciative of him setting aside his busy schedule so we can travel 200 miles one way to come to this place. It re-energizes me and puts a lot of forgotten methods back into my scope when I return to my own studio. I am so blessed to have such a kind husband!~
Sunday after sessions were done, a few other people came to visit at the studio. We also met up with a fellow Rugtalk group weaver, Katie from Ohio. What a surprise for her! Also, a fellow weaver, Karen York’s friend and circular sock machine newbie, Donna, came to see me. I gave a quick demo of my machine, with a few onlookers. I even let her crank a bit so she knows to expect once she sets up her machine. Ann, the other RVer weaver, started salivating over a pair of socks I had made, and they were snapped up by her desperately cold feet! LOL …
I checked out Donna’s machine which appears to be a nice bargain for her. Armed with my own self produced and marketed How to Knit a Hem Topped Sock DVD , she will hopefully soon be cranking socks of her own.
Then it was time for us to go visit some other weavers that we know in Beloit-- , the Burketts. We missed stopping by their home on our jaunt back from our vacation (due to my sickness) last month. We wanted to get in touch with them since we were in the area. Jim and Norma are a great husband and wife weaving team! She does all the gathering, cutting, sewing and preparing of the rug wefts, and Jim does the weaving. She also crochets wonderful blankets too on the side, among other things. They travel in the spring, summer and fall, to sell at many art shows and festivals around the state. They are quite prolific in the number of rugs they churn out all winter long from their looms. They wear me out just hearing the volume of rugs they produce each year. We had such a nice visit, and were entertained by their little Taffy, a fluff ball pomeranian who kept us in stitches with her adorable face and silly antics. All too soon it was time to get on back and hit the rack… ready for another day of weaving at Vavning!