This past weekend marked the end to 2006’s fiber affairs, at least for me. It’s been quite a ride this year and 2007 is shaping up. Not bad, not bad at all.
The Gathering.. It was great and it was not as great. Some things are best unsaid. I had a wonderful time. How could I not? There were over 200 spinners staying at the Loon Mountain Club for the weekend. That’s 48 hours of eating, talking, spinning and the sharing of stories and projects.
the view from my window
The two weekend days were broken up into three class sections. I’m kicking myself now. Hindsight. I should have taken Rita Buchanan’s classes. I should have. Now, in the aftermath, I am reminding myself that I can always learn something new, even in a beginners class. Instead, I learned that there are two parts to Bosnian Crochet, only two. Most of what you need to know can be covered in about 15 minutes. The stitches can be learned in about five minutes…. the rest can be shown in the remaining 10. I took the class all day Saturday, two sessions. The company was wonderful. Deborah is an incredibly knowledgeable textile historian and her stories are very interesting. But, two stitches. I can see myself using this technique for crocheted basket work, maybe bags, something like that. Thing was, when I saw the technique, I realized I’ve used it many times in the past. I have never been taught to crochet. I learned by picking up the needle and playing around. I had naturally (read that as made up, reinvented, and) used those two stitches years ago for making crocheted sculpture. It produces a very sturdy fabric. I didn’t know it had a name. I think, that at the time, I assumed it was a single crochet. That was the Saturday class. Sunday’s Rug Hooking was rather more informative. Again, the technique is incredibly simple; the tools, likewise. It is a terrific way to use up odds and ends and get a beautiful and creative product. I’m psyched. I have loads of Lincoln roving that I’ve been spinning and dyeing for a rug or bench pad. It will be hooked instead of woven. My sample is underway.
Friday and Saturday evenings were spent in a big room with vendors and spinners doing what we do best. There weren’t many vendors, but the ones that were there were good ones. Christopher Hall was there with Montedale roving. Umm… just what I needed. And, Foxfire. I bought another Forrester spindle, this time a light weight .74 oz., wild cherry beauty. It spins like a dream. We relaxed, we talked, and Saturday night we listened to a local NH story teller. By noon Sunday, we were exhausted. How can that be? I ate my box lunch in front of the fire in the main lobby and waited for my ride north.
It would be nice if the Gathering was a yearly event. It’s the kind of thing that benefits the mind and the soul; new skills, new friends, and time spent with visiting with old ones too. The NETA Spa is next up, in February. It’s a very different experience. While the Gathering is about learning, Spa is social, more vendors, late nights. Today, as I’m winding down from one, I can’t wait for the next.
And a “HEY” goes to the RISG. We have 16 members, small state, small guild. We had a 75% attendance for the Gathering. 75% !