Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Pile It On

I'm home from Asilomar. Oh. My. It was a great conference, the best I've attended in quite a while. People seemed relaxed and happy, there was much visiting and busy-ness, and the weather was fabulous.

First the class report:
Asilomar Deanna

Deanna wins the prize for the most committed weaver. She was relentless, and got the first half of the project bag done. I wish I were a better picture-taker, and this was not so blurry, but I think you can see the project. She also had her own personal journal, which she made, bound in her own woven fabric. Fabulous? and also on the table I think a key indicator: iced coffee. Deanna had all the tricks!

Nancy is working on the other class-project pattern:
Asilomar Nancy

Luckily, this photo is in focus, and you can see more clearly the working setup when using this loom, an adaption of Archie Brennan's copper pipe tapestry loom, seen here. We make some minor adjustments to use the loom for pile rather than tapestry. It's a great little tool, and makes my classes possible.

This is Amy:
Asilomar Amy

She might not like this picture of herself but I loved it, and her project. She worked on her own design, a camel, and I think it is fabuloso. It will be even better once he gets a head, which he probably has by now. I've known Amy for about 25 years, and it is always a pleasure to see her, a great fun to spend this much time with her in class over the weekend.

Here is Brooke:
Asilomar Brooke

I love the colors in the sample set she picked: it is great fun for me to see all the different colorways come together. I expect Brooke will be doing handspun natural dyed projects in the future. She has a business working with local wools, naturally dyed, more here.

Last, and quite blurry, is Shelia:
Asilomar Shelia

(Me? not so good with the camera. But! I remembered to bring it! points?) We can pretend that Shelia was just weaving so fast, the camera could not catch the warp-speed (heh). Shelia brought her own handspun to do the sample and like Amy, her own design.

Friend Sue took in the extra-curricular activities offered by the conference: a day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and a naturalist-guided boat trip up the Elkhorn Slough Nature Preserve. She saw an exhibit of Chihuly glass at the aquarium, a jellyfish special exhibit, and scads of wild life in Elkhorn slough: harbor seals (even babies, and nursing babies), otters (a raft of 30 or so with babies, and even one pair mating), herons, and all sorts of other wildlife which I have forgotten.

The conference organizers did a marvelous job of making everyone happy. There were lots of activities if the classes did not suit one, and many people came as spouses, partners and retreat participants just to go on the nature tours and spend some time at the beach. It was truly a retreat, and in a very wonderful place.

I do have a better, less blurry picture of Shelia here:
Asilomar, last night

She's on the left. I'm in the center, and Sue is on the right. Shelia joined us for an extra day after the conference. We had a nice relaxing dinner out, a fire and knitting before bedtime, more fire and knitting with our early-morning coffee, knitting on the beach, and then the trip ended with a long ride home.

Thanks to all of you who put together this conference. Please know how wonderful it was, and what a great time I had. Many kudos.


Blogger Merna said...

Me too, me too! It was definitely driving up from Southern Calif to attend this retreat. My class was fun and DH loved the Elkhorn Slough outing. Imagine seeing 3% of the states otter population in one place.

Who needs booths and all that extra stuff? This was a great conference.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Charleen said...

Looks like it was a great class. Fuzzy pictures or not, the energy came through. Okay, I admit there's not a lot of energy in the toasting toes and single malt but you've got to relax sometime!

6:05 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Asilomar is such an extraordinary conference setting. I couldn't make it this year but was at the last one. I hope CNCH will continue to use this venue. And while I love the content of classes and what I learn, it's really about creating those lasting relationships.

10:19 PM  
Blogger Anne P said...

It looks like a wonderful time - what creative folk you had in your class too!

5:52 AM  
Blogger Leigh said...

Just a note to say thanks for your inspirational blog. This comes to mind as I was nominated for The Thinking Blogger Award and you were on my list. If you either want to join in this meme, or just want to see what I wrote about your blog, click here.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wonderful energy and memories of past times with great people! Your classes are top notch and not to be missed.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Birdsong said...

I am so glad you came back recharged, even with the responsibilities of being one of the teachers, though my real envy is Sue getting to see the Elkhorn preserve (it's on my 'list'). The time should feel good and relaxed and inspiring rather than hectic and contrived, so it sounds like it was a great success.

10:40 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Would love to know more on the construction of these looms and how to warp and weave on them. Looks like it's a lot of fun

3:00 PM  

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