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Saturday, May 18, 2013

10th Annual Jason Collingwood Workshop at Vavning Studio - Day Two

Whew... another day has passed and I am totally worn out!~  

But inside of me, my mind is buzzing with new patterns, more ideas and combinations and thinking thinking thinking... I should go unlock the studio and weave into the night?  

It's very hot and humid tonight down in Shopiere, WI so we are sitting in the motorhome with all the windows open and it's still 80 degrees outside!  Whew!   I am going to blog a bit, then do the dishes, maybe hop in the shower and perhaps get some shuteye.  Hard to do when a weaver's brain is buzzing!

Early this morning (I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and couldn't sleep)  so I boiled up a dozen of Melanie's farm fresh eggs.... she is Juanita's daughter.  Each morning I make a tray of deviled eggs for a bit of "breakfast on the run" for the fellow weavers.  A tray of brownies, a pile of donuts, a pot of coffee and a few deviled eggs and we are good to go till noon!
Fellow weaver, Linda's husband, being a "city boy" hadn't seen these country eggs from free ranging chickens.  So he had to come and see for himself!  Ahhhh freshness, golden and goodness.

We are parked right next to the side door of the studio, so I am able to slip right in and get to work....

After I got the eggs made, coffee and tea going, it was time to settle down for some early morning quiet weaving time for me me meeeee....   I got all cuddled into my little weaving corner and started figuring out my patterns, lifts, shuttle sequences and paid close attention to my selvages....  If you are a weaver, you understand each and every bit of that.  It takes a lot of concentration.

About 8 a.m. other weavers started trickling in... ready to start day two of the workshop.  After catching up a bit on their looms, checking their notes, and grabbing their pattern sheets... we all went up to the sanctuary at 9 a.m. to get our "lecture portion of the morning".  

It's by no means a dry boring lecture... no siree, not from Jason.  This lecture includes little quips and stories, and demos on his handy dandy display rack where he builds some of the patterns using thick ropes to show the correct placement of various rows of weft pattern yarns and the upright dowel sticks simulate the warp threads of the loom. He explains things very well, with a patience of a saint to get through our thick skulls.  LOL . 

So what does my hubby do when I am busy weaving in class???   Steve had a "date" all morning with fellow weaver Jim's wife, Norma!  They went out to an auction, a couple rummage sales, and then out to lunch!   He found me some wonderful treasures, including a metal plant trellis, a glass pyrex percolator coffee pot, some gas cans, and then ... then... a huge garbage bag full of teddy bears!   (it was an auction and he got them for a whole dollar???)

We wove at our looms the entire morning, only taking a lunch break and back to the studio.  Juanita asked us to all pose for the obligatory Class Photo....   We are all in our places with sun shiney faces....  
 We are at Juanita Hofstrom's studio in Shopiere, WI  called vavningstudio.com

Jason had woven a wool rug for Juanita so we got a nice pose for that, and we also posed with hubby Norm...  what a crew! But soon Jason cracked the whip and back we went in for the afternoon lecture and more ---- you guessed it ---- weaving!

I took a break and walked around.. snapping random pics of the folks at work.  Weaving, figuring, visiting and resting a bit.  Jason makes his rounds of all the workers at their looms, giving advice, helping with problems, admiring the good stuff and compliments on the completed pattern sections or good selvages.  He is very encouraging and from time to time he will sit down at someone's loom and demonstrate a tricky part or show an alternative or technique to help.

And of course, we help each other too.  Jim would get help from Jason, and then I would go and copy Jim!   LOL

Although it was getting hotter and sweltering outside, the lower level of this old church was nice and cool and comfortable.   Juanita hopped on John's loom for a while to give it a bit of attention.

Here is a close up of some of the work we are doing.  Ignore the loose strands hanging down.. those are needle woven in later to hide among the thickness of the rug sample.  For the experienced weavers reading this.. this is ALL done on PLAIN WEAVE.....  you can weave all these lovely patterns with just TWO harnesses!  Can you believe it?  (guess you gotta take the next class to learn how--- heh heh)

The room gets very quiet at times, as everyone is concentrating on the patterns they are working on.  Each person can work at their own pace, and try to do whatever they wish... but we are given plenty to choose from during the lecture portion.  We get back to the looms and try more and more ideas and patterns.  The techniques and tips help us make neat even edges and sharp crisp patterns.

Here is one section I worked on this afternoon.... it's a diamond shape, filled in with staggered dots... flanked by a background... not just any solid background.. noooo it's a background of vertical stripes with tiny lines through every third row to make them kinda like boxes stacked up one on top of each other.  Again... for the weavers reading this, it is all done on two harnesses.  Amazing, isn't it?

There are so many variations and patterns to try to emulate or adapt to your own as you work along the guidelines you learn throughout the three days.  Using Ipads and digital cameras, a weaver can record certain processes, or snap pics of the other weaver's progress for more ideas to take home.  Also, Jason has a large variety of samples on hand of various patterns we can all look at, photograph and use for future ideas once we get back home.

Each person works on their own loom with their own yarns... and chooses their own patterns and ideas to try or not try or rip out and re try! We wove on our looms up until 4 p.m.  Then it was time for taking a break.

My wandering husband came home from his long date with Norma.... and I found him relaxing in the lawn chair with a "beverage of choice" ... and manning the grill to make us supper.. yes, right in the parking lot at Vavning Studio!

 Yummmm steaks, a salad, and a bottle wine.  Life is pretty danged good, don'tcha think?

Oh, and one last shot... yesterday I mentioned how Juanita made each of us a special hostess gift to each participant to take home?  Well, here is mine!   Made to match my cobalt blue accents in my new kitchen!

It has grazing sheep all around it's perimeter, 
and one black sheep in the bunch too is on the back side!   
That is my own handwoven towel in the background.   

Oh, tomorrow I will snap a pic of the lovely shuttles Juanita makes... one of which spoke deeply to my heart.  Each year I buy one from her to go home with me.  I counted and I think I only found 8 in my batch... I am wondering if I left 2 at home, or perhaps some went missing?  I might have to buy a few more before I leave to complete my "set".   Again, I will snap a pic of them tomorrow because it's getting late... I am tired... and I think I might just fall asleep.


dreaming of


nighty night


  1. I took Jason's workshop a year ago. I loved the workshop and I think we all thought Jason was a cutie! I commissioned a rug from Jason and it came in September

  2. Hi Karen, Thank you so much for posting this workshop again this year! I always love seeing the photos and reading about your lovely workshop weekend at Vavning. Makes me feel almost like I am there! You guys always seem to have such a great time and I can't imagine trying to fall asleep at night with all of that new information floating around in my mind.
    Thanks again,
    Vickie in Ohio


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