Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Rob Goes to College

Last Sunday we took our son, Rob to Western Washington University to move into the dorms. What an adventurous day that was! We took him out to breakfast, he was so nervous, he nibbled his meal, hardly noticed anything was gone! When we arrived at the college, we were directed to the appropriate line for his dorm -- along with all the other nervous students, and some with their entire family in the car with them, Mom, Dad, brothers, sisters, friends, and on and on! The weather was sunny and warm. After waiting for an hour, and moving about 100 feet, Rob and Jim decided to hoof it up to the dorm and check in. All up hill. His dorm room is on the 5th floor, no elevator!

Rob starts out as a Junior, majoring in math and computer science. He tells me his room mate may also be a math major. Growing up Rob "played" with math a lot. Just like I knit a lot, he played math a lot. One of his favorite games now is GO, and he is quite good at it. In fact I think he is so good at it, he has a hard time loosing! I hope he can find some GO challenges at school!

Our cat, Wilson, has gone from being Rob's constant companion to mine. He kneads and purrs all night, and is at my side constantly, talking during the day. Rob says he'll be home this week end to do his laundry - we'll be happy to see him, especially Wilson, I think!

Good luck, Rob! We love you and are so proud of you!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Nadine Sanders, Weaver, Singer, and Waulker

Yes! Nadine came to visit us last Saturday, in good form. She started out with her warping technique using shoestrings, paddle, and a raddle. Very nice and efficient way of warping a loom. I missed this part, but those who attended really liked it! Several bought shoestrings, books, CD's on "how to" including me!

After lunch, we went to the Bellingham Public Library to see her presentation on current Scottish weavers, felters and musicians. A slide show complete with garments to model, and shortbread cookies. I really liked the slide show, because I like the history of our craft so much. The slides she had of the modern day weavers were weaving on 300 year old looms! Good Greif! Very impressive, though!

We FINALLY waulked the wool yardage we wove for this day, in the afternoon. This was the part I was really waiting to do!

Several people gathered around and waulked and sang, and took turns. Of course, we didn't use urine to wet the fabric like in the olden days, but we could have! We even have the sea water near by to rinse the urine out, IF we had used urine. But, we just used plain ole' water. From the tap. You sing, beat the fabric together on the table, push it to the middle, pull it back out, and move it to the left to the next person. You are continually moving the fabric to the next person.

(Of course, the photos are all out of order! The first photo, with the waulkers parading the fabric around, is when the fabric is completed -- ah well, I'm learning about this process too, and perhaps need another lesson!)

The 15.5 inch wide fabric fulled to 12 inches. Wow! It took about 20 - 25 minutes with all the songs, taking turns, and stories Nadine shared.

As I looked around the table, I noticed how happy and enthusiastic the partipants were -- it was really great! I'm really pleased that Nadine came to visit us, share her stories, and we were able to learn and participate in an age old tradition. Soooo cool! Thank YOU, Nadine!

Thanks to the Fiber Artists Before Us

When the shop was located at the Bellingham Hardware Building, it was my first venture out of the house with this fiber art retail business. From time to time, I've been known to get melencholy with the history of our fiber crafts. Shortly after moving into that space, 6 years ago, I wanted to thank the people (thus the universe) who have contributed to my knowledge base, and the connection I feel in my soul with the history and current issues of fiber crafts and arts. I wrote this out then, and still believe it now:

"NW Handspun Yarns ACKNOWLEDGES and THANKS those teachers, fiber artists, textile mill workers, shepherds, and shepherdesses, weavers, and spinners, masters and novices; all over the world that have contributed to the collective knowledge that we have and share today, and we are priviledged to be able to reap the benefits from their efforts.

"The goals for NW Handspun Yarns are to encourage individuals to learn new skills, experiment and enjoy the process of creativity in the fiber arts."

And, I thank YOU all who are such a rich part of my life now -- all because of yarn!