Complex Weavers DC 2012
That is where I have been the past three days. The Seminars take place every 2 years, this was my first time, I will do my very best to go next time and the time after that.
I started weaving in 2003 when I had accumulated enough handspun yarn to open a store. I told my friend I was going to give the yarn away because there was no way on earth I could ever knit it all up. She said, no, no, NO! you don't give your yarn away, you buy a loom! so I did, and started one of the most fabulous journeys in my life. From a four shaft table loom and a basic How to book, I soon moved to a 10 shaft Glimakra, and added a couple more along the road.
After I bought the first loom, it was at least 4 years before I took the first weaving class, I did things on my own with email help from my friend. Then came Mary Meigs Atwater Handweavers Guild in Utah, the most wonderful group of people I have ever met. Then Complex Weavers, and moving to Maryland added a spice to my weaving.
Complex Weavers is an international group of creative people, the name intimidates most beginners, but there is no reason for it to be that way. People weave on Inkle looms, with cards using something as simple as two clamps to hold the warp tight, frame looms, treadle, many have computerized and even Jacquard looms. Along with the Seminars, there is a Journal published three times a year, and online study groups. There are members from the USA, Canada, England, Continental Europe, Australia,New Zealand, and other places.
So where is the magic? in creativity, and sharing with 180 like minded people. We all speak the same warp, weft, shaft and shuttle language, we all love color and structure, we share, we learn, and admire each other's work.
The Seminars were all wonderful, full of information, and ideas that jump in your head, all these things we want to create, all the hard learned lessons from others make a dent in our knowledge, and encourage us to just go home and try. The study group meetings allow sharing of interests, discussion of roads we want to take. The Fashion show, the exhibits, lunches and informal group discussions.
Today I realized I only took a couple of pictures, there was so much to see, and so much to take in, I committed things to memory and jotted down notes. The best thing of the whole experience was to be able to put faces names of people I have known for years, many have helped me along the lines, with all I have shared.
Deciding which seminars to sign up for was difficult, since it was my first time I decided to go for simple, and with instructors I knew. You can't go wrong with Daryl Lancaster, Inge Dam, with Inkle looms and Tablet weaving, I took others of course but those two were the highlight for me. With so little time to make things, I have to settle for simple and beautiful and doable.
I attended the double harness study group meeting, because drawlooms fascinate me and I have one in the maybe one day department. You can make similar things with sliding sticks and heddle bars, without committing to the huge intimidating equipment. I 'knew' from online lists most of the people in the meeting, they remembered me, and were just as nice or nicer than online.
I chaired the meeting for the study group in which I am actively involved, the leaders could not make it. It was well attended, and interesting.
With so many wonderful things out there to make,and so many ideas gathered up in my head, there is not enough time in the world to even scratch the surface. I will keep at it, dreaming with the glorious day I can retire and play with yarn all day!