January saw me back in Vermont, teaching L'Amour de Maman at the Marshfield School of Weaving.
In February I taught L'Amour de Maman for the Williamsburg Spinners and Weavers Guild and did a wool waulking for the guild meeting. Sometimes in spite of all my efforts a group of volunteers cannot agree on the rhythm - I believe there is video evidence on Facebook...
March brought the first tartan class of the year for the Weavers Guild of Greater Baltimore
as well as a meeting program on the History of Tartan and a wool waulking.
And then I went to the Florida Tropical Weavers Guild Conference.
This was only the second weaving conference I have attended and I gotta say that weaving conferences are terrific fun! It's delightful to see so many weavers and to meet up with other teachers. Michele Benson wove the longest blanket warp for the wool waulking, just a gorgeous length of wool. This was probably the first and last time a wool waulking has been interrupted to rush outside to watch a missile launch!
Also, Florida has Sand Hill Cranes, Manatees and Alligators - all very exciting to see!
In April, I had the pleasure of hosting Kathrin Weber of Blazing Shuttles, who came to Virginia to teach two classes for the Waterford Weavers Guild. Kathrin is a delightful woman and a patient and inspiring teacher.
I was very happy to finally have the opportunity to take one of her weaving classes and also her dye class.
May always begins with the excitement of the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, and this was my second year volunteering for the Fleece Sale.
Some great sweater spotting in the fleece sale amongst customers and fellow volunteers -
I came home with a Texel and a Romanov fleece to add to my teaching inventory and also one of Lee Langstaff's Shepherds Hey Farm fleeces, the lovely Tallulah. And just a little yarn...
Then, I flew down to Arkansas to teach an Acadian Weaving class for Red Scottie Fibers in Eureka Springs. Debbie Davis has a beautiful shop and teaching studio and Eureka Springs is a fascinating and delightful little town.
It is built on the side of a mountain and I spent my free time walking up and down and enjoying the architecture and some of the many springs and grottos. I'm very excited to be returning to Red Scottie for two classes in September 2018.
At the end of May, I presented another Waulking of the Wool and a hand spindle class at the first High Fiber Festival at the historic Hickory Neck Episcopal Church in Toano, Virginia.
In June I drove to Indianapolis to spend a week teaching for the Midwest Weavers Association Conference. This is my sister Carolyn's regional conference and we got to room together, plus she took my 3 day pre-conference Scottish Sampler class.
This round robin class combines tartan samples with tweeds and estate checks for a full dose of traditional weaving from Scotland, and we finish up with a mini waulking! I also taught Traditional Wool Preparation and a lecture demo version of 18th c. Household Textiles.
One of the most exciting parts of this conference was seeing the original and reproduction Linsey Coverlet. This is a pieced and quilted bedcover made almost entirely of handspun, hand dyed, handwoven linsey woolsey fabrics. It is simply extraordinary.
There are very few of these coverlets in existence and very little to be found about them on the internet. A group of spinners & weavers who volunteer at the Conner Prairie museum near Indianapolis has been working for many years on a reproduction of this piece and in this presentation we were able to see both the original and the reproduction. Countless hours went into this project and the results are wonderful to see!
Coming soon - One Amazing Year, part the second!