At the end of a retreat, I always feel lucky. It’s not hard to – while the hours are long and it’s absolutely a lot of work, it’s amazing work, in an amazing spot with a chef. There’s no way you can pretend that you’re hard done by if this is your job. There’s only one thing I ever wish, and I know other teachers/organizers feel the same pang – we’re in this industry because we love the fibre arts, but there’s not a lot of time to play and share between us. We always think that we’d like to take each others classes, but it doesn’t happen. There’s never time or money or all that. This trip though, this trip Tina, Judith and I had an idea, and once that idea was in the hands of ST-2 Lisa (one of the worlds most effective and efficient women) it actually became a plan. We talked a little about things we’d like to know – and do, and voila. After leaving Port Ludlow Friday, we stopped at a grocery store, picked up all that we needed to sustain life for a few days, and then went to Tina’s – where a few hours later, Lisa and Judith arrived, with a car full of fun.
A loom. A big floor loom. A loom with intentions my friends, and over the course of the next day, we put together that jigsaw of a beast, and got it warped and ready to weave, and if the world is the way it should be today, then yesterday after I left, Tina and Judith and Lisa were getting Tina started on rug weaving.
It was amazing. It came in through the door in about 30 pieces, and then it was up to us (Okay, Judith and Lisa – Tina and I have all the experience of fleas, compared to those two) to figure out what parts went together how.
It was this crazy scene. We’d line up some parts that looked like they would go together, and then Judith would say something like "This is wrong. In all my years I’ve never seen that brake go there" and we’d take it all apart and put it together another way, until someone would say "Ahh… yes. Look – that’s how it goes" and assembled a whole loom that way, with no idea what sort of loom it was, or anything. It was a complete reliance on the knowledge of how it had to work, if it was going to work – and piecing it together from there.
We did other stuff too – I taught Judith some knitting stuff, Lisa showed me how to do the tie-ups on a loom in a way that finally made sense to me, we fired up the electric carder and I made some beautiful batts that I’ll show you tomorrow, but it was a fine time. A really fine time, and it left me thinking three things. First, that I really think it’s an amazing and unusual thing for fibre artists to have time together. Second, that I’m very lucky to have befriended the fibre artists that I have, and third…. (get ready Denny…)
I think I need a floor loom – a smaller one. I’m ready. Maybe a used Baby wolf. I’m going to start looking.