Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Name Change

Well, I have decided to change the name of my blog.  The old name (reluctant traveller) seemed too negative.  And I have the wild, unfounded hope that the name change will fix the glitch that has people finding a blank white page when they use the old name.  We'll see what happens.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


It has been 9 months since I have written a new entry here.  The main excuse was that we had such slow internet access that it was too frustrating to post photographs.  And, for me, a post without photos is not worth doing.  Well, we have good, high speed internet now, so no excuses!

My most recent weaving adventure was taking a Tapestry class in San Jose (an hour's drive when the traffic is reasonable; up to 2.5 hours during rush hour).  I would have been driving during rush hours both morning and evening, so decided to stay at a hotel near the site.

The class was being given in conjunction with an exhibit of tapestries by Mark Adams.  You can see a few of his works at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles website: http://www.sjquiltmuseum.org/exhibitions.html.  That is also where the class was held.  Mr. Adams' quilts (Actually, he did the designs, called cartoons, and others did the actual weaving.  This is a long-standing tradition in tapestry.)

This was my favorite by far.  It was about 4 feet by 2 feet.  The center of those petals just glows!

This one was unusual because of its simplicity.  I did not take other photos because I was not sure we were allowed to, and my cell battery was low.

Now, about the workshop itself.  The teacher was Tricia Goldberg, who lives and teaches in Berkeley, across the bay from San Francisco.  Berkeley is about 100 miles from Salinas.

This is Tricia with one of her tapestries.  She is a lovely woman and a very patient and kind teacher.

Each of us had one of these looms made of copper tubing.  They are easy to warp.  You can see the horizontal bar that holds the heddles.  The other shed was made by inserting a ruler above the heddle bar.

And here is my little tapestry completed on the third day.  Of course I am not satisfied with it.  I see all the things I would/will do differently next time.  But it allowed me to learn some of the techniques and have something to take home.  It may need a bit of explanation: It is from a photo of the bird bath outside my kitchen window in Cobble Hill, BC.

I enjoyed the class very much.  I would like to do more tapestry weaving.  One of the students spins and dyes her yarn for weaving.  That may be a sensible way to go as the warp is cotton, and rather thick (sett at 8 - 10 epi).  But the weft is wool, quite a fine 2 ply.  You use 4 strands of the wool at one time (wrapped on one bobbin, or in a butterfly).  This allows you to use more than one color in the weft at one time.

Think of the stash you might need in order to have the right color at any time.  One company sells 252 colors!