Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Here's the News from NEWS

Last week I taught at the New England Weavers Seminar -- well known as NEWS -- in Worcester, Massachusetts. Not only was it run very well (right down to the excellent IPA I had at the dinner for jurors and NEWS committee members), but I had a great time teaching my workshop, "One Warp, Many Structures: Explorations in Extended Parallel Threading." 

Everybody was enthusiastic and their samples showed it -- as you can see from the 12-shaft samples above, woven in Jin (bottom) and Shadow Weave (top) by Diana Vaughan.

Diana was one of the conference organizers (forgive me that I can't recall her specific title) and the entire volunteer team did a terrific job in planning and running this big event, which may be the largest of the regional conferences in the U.S. (I don't have any research to back this up, just hearsay and a glance at the long list of attendees.)

I figure that, since weaving is such a visual craft, the best way for me to describe the workshop is to show it in photos. Unfortunately, I took pictures only at the end of the workshop on Sunday, so Amy Somerstein had already packed up her loom and left -- leaving me with no images of her beautiful work! But I think I got images of everyone else and if I didn't, my apologies.

Debra Colo Nemetz here with her Doubleweave samples 
of the eight-shaft "Falling Stars" pattern

Jennifer Rogers also wove 
Falling Stars, shown here as Rep

Jennifer on the floor re-tying treadles. 
For those with floor looms, 
this had to happen a lot....

Fran Osten wove an eight-shaft pattern called "Fun House" on a gradient warp. 
The blue and magenta yarns each shifted from dark to light values going right to left, 
adding lots of depth and interest to her samples.

Here's the Shadow Weave version of the eight-shaft pattern "Many Rivers," 
woven by Barbara Keller

Barbara Keller herself

Sylvie Faucher of Quebec also wove "Many Rivers," shown here as Rep.
(Sylvie was camera-shy, so I didn't get a good photo of her, unfortunately.)

Danyelle Brodeur, also of Quebec, weaving the Rep version of Fun House.

A few years ago, I noticed that one of the favorite patterns in Carol Strickler's book was #728, a multiple-tabby design that allows for many colors in the warp and never ceases to grab you with its treadling rhythm. I realized that it could easily be adapted for Echo, Jin, Shadow Weave, Rep, Doubleweave -- all the designs in this workshop -- so I added it to the workshop. 

Echo and Jin variations on #728, the eight-shaft design found in Strickler,
woven by Krysten Morganti.

A few other variations by Krysten...

And here's Krysten.

Diana Vaughan ventured into 12-shaft territory 
with the pattern I call "Pink and Green."

Here are some of Diana's samples woven as Echo. 
The pattern on the bottom right is particularly striking, 
with colors ranging from navy to khaki to turquoise to yellow. 
(Her warp was turquoise and dark blue and her weft was orange!)

Mayine Yu (who goes by Lynn) of Brooklyn, NY, also wove the "Falling Stars" pattern.
Here, she's working on a Doubleweave version that uses one wool yarn 
alternating with one cotton yarn in the weft. When the sample is washed and agitated 
with soap and warm water, the wool fulls and draws in the layer of cotton, 
creating vertical pleats in the fabric. The technique is called "differential shrinkage."

Anne Graham of New Haven also wove the 12-shaft pattern called "Pink and Green."

Here's a detail of Anne's samples in Echo. Note the changes in weft color 
and how much they change the color blending in the samples.

Christina Zook's Falling Stars variations in Rep (below) and Doubleweave (above)

Christina at her loom. Note that her weft colors of bright blue and burgundy 
are the same yarns and colors as her warp for her Doubleweave sample. 
The weft colors can vary and produce interesting color blending, 
but the effect is stronger in some designs than in others.

Here's Marjorie Wheeler working on her Doubleweave design for "Falling Stars." 
(Marjorie was also a key volunteer for NEWS 
and I hope I thanked her enough for all her good work!)

Christine Ross at work on her Doubleweave sample of "Falling Stars."

Ann Guralnick also chose the eight-shaft pattern #728 in Strickler. 
At the top is a Doubleweave variation and below that, Rep Weave.

Ann at her loom

The samples were beautiful, the company was great, and the food was excellent. OK, maybe the rooms were a little cold, at least to begin with -- but what more can you ask for a good conference? 

The morning everyone was leaving, I woke at 6 a.m. to the sound of a weaver calling out to her friend, "Goodbye! Drive safely! See you soon!" I think that says a lot about the camaraderie of these gatherings.

Can't resist posting one more image: This one of Ann Guralnick's samples 
of Strickler #728, starting at the bottom with Shadow Weave

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