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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Jason Collingwood Workshop in Shopiere, WI - Saturday Workday

This is the third post in a series of blogs about my weaving weekend in Shopiere, WI at Vavning Studio. This is about Saturday's class. 

Saturday morning I hit the ground running!  After a gulp of coffee and a quick blog post about Friday, I went into the studio and started my day.  I got the coffee and tea pots going, set out the bagels and cream cheeses, and did up a dozen deviled eggs for those folks who might have skipped a breakfast.  This way the brain gets fed before the workout starts at 9am!

By 9am on the dot, Jason has us gather upstairs for the learning/lecture part of the class.  We were working on constant lift with the 3 end blockweave structure.  Those non-weavers out there won't understand, but it's basically changing the pattern in a rug by just changing the order of how you throw which color shuttle across as you weave.  The looms are tied up in a special way that you can control the patterns that appear just by the order of shuttle colors.

We then went down to work out all our newly gained knowledge on our looms!   Busy busy busy as bees, the weavers were throwing shuttles, flipping harnesses and checking their notes.  Patient teacher Jason Collingwood  http://www.rugweaver.co.uk/   went from loom to loom, student to student, working out the patterns and sequences with each weaver.

About noon, we took a break for lunch.  I wandered out by Steveio to make up sandwiches in the rig.  Whew it was getting HOT!!!!    It was over 90 degrees and our fridge side of the rig was facing the sun.   We noticed the temp in the fridge was climbing and needed more cooling air across the coils in the back compartment.  Steve rigged up a table fan to blow back there that cooled things back off soon enough.  He is now looking to adapt two 4" DC muffin fans to help move the air back there.  Another project for him, so he is happy! LOL

After lunch was over, it was time for the obligatory group photo!  LOL  We lined up so Juanita's hubby Norm, a professional photographer, could snap our shot.  (ps this is NOT the shot that Norm did, this is one taken by Steve from one side) 

And everyone else handed their little point and shoot cameras to Steve so he could snap some too for memories.  Norm later printed up his shot for everyone to enjoy too.... they took a nice shot of Steve and I by a tree that Steve had transplanted for them a number of years ago, and Norm printed that out too. When I get home I will scan it in on the scanner and post it in another blog.

Our hostess, Juanita Hofstrom and her photographer hubby, Norm.

We wove on our looms from about 1:30 till after 4.. some of us till 5.  Whew!  But the lessons were sinking in and we were making sense of it all.  Here are some pics of people's work in progress and how it's all coming together-----

And here is mine.  I am going to make 5 or 6 individual 12"x12" samples instead of one long one like the other years in the past.  Then I can use them as mats for hot things or as end table mats to put our coffee mugs on by our bed! (blue and sliver will match our motorhome) 

Kari was working on something different than a rug sampler.  
She was working on some fastastic color combinations 
in a complicated log cabin weave structure for a blanket!!!  Wowzer!  

Her husband, Mark is also an accomplished knitter with a blog and more information about his fiber business with knitting patterns and kits at  http://www.sugarriverfiber.com  and blog at http://vdcalpacas.blogspot.com

Now, our hostess, Juanita is working on a "full sized sample"  (really- a full rug!)  at her specially designed shaft switching loom.  At one point, Jason was able to hop on and demonstrate some of the techniques used on a full sized loom that are hard to show on the little table looms.

Meanwhile, Norm took care of untangling some weft that was going to be used.... 
what a great Weaver's Helper he is!

By 5pm I think our brains were all like sponges that had gone over and beyond the saturation point.  It was time for a break.  Whew!   My friend John wanted a sock machine lesson, but then decided he had just about enough for the day too.  I think we were both relieved to call it off.  The temps outside were terrible.   When I got out to the motorhome, we fired up the generator and ran the two rooftop AC units to cool down.  It was an easy supper of tacos and then we just laid around decompressing.    I didn't even pick up my knitting needles or touch my spinning wheel.  Now THAT is unusual.

About 9 p.m. it started to cool off a bit, so we hopped in the Tracker with the dogs and took a ride into Beloit---  in search of a Dairy Queen!  After a bit of ice cream by the river, we headed on home and to bed.

As I slept, 
I had visions of warp and weft, 
shuttles and sleying hooks,
patterns and placement,
and over and over in my dreams 
I was chanting out the lift sequences:



  1. Excellent coverage of the great event! :) May I "borrow" some of your photos to use on my blog? I will certainly give you photographer's credit.
    Also, thanks again for helping make the workshop such a success. Your morning coffee, bagels, and ESPECIALLY your devil eggs, were really appreciated!

  2. What a class!! I'm so glad you'll be able to do some weaving while on the road. I love the little place mats you sent last year! They're very handy.

    Keep up the wonderful blogs.

  3. I can't believe you "just laid around". No knitting? Nothing? Oh where Oh where is the REAL Karen! I have never seen you without your hands doing something. STEVE, QUICK, You need to do a DNA test on this woman! LOL!

  4. I am so impressed! How long does it take to thread the loom? That large loom looks so intimidating! This is so interesting to me but I dont think my simple mind could wrap around it. I will stick to painting and crocheting.

  5. Well, I didn't understand a thing about this blog post but I loved the looks and colors of the items on the looms. And it sounds like you're having fun while learning and that is the best thing of all.

  6. Thanks, Karen, for the posts. The workshops at Juanita's are so special - the place, the instructor, the people all work to make it a magical time together. I came home so excited about the new technique Juanita and Jason helped me develop. You help make the weekend so easy with your wonderful hospitality.


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