Would you be interested in attending the Olds Master Weaver class in Prince George?

Monday, May 23, 2016


Some examples of student learning exercises related to value. 

If someone doesn't have an instinctive sense of how to work with colour the eye can be trained by such exercises, looking at how the value of a hue can be changed, and how different values play together.  

A couple of mantras are:

White dilutes.  Grey muddies.  Black intensifies 

If a light, medium or dark value of any hue is used, the same applies.  

Another mantra is:  value is more important than hue.  

I quite often use very dark values of purple, blue, green or brown rather than black to good effect.  

One way to develop an eye for colour is to use watercolours and try to make a value scale, or do yarn wrappings.  The more you work with colour, the better able you will get at putting effective combinations together. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Day Two

Work is well underway at the closing of day two.  I talk a lot, mainly because there is so much to say.  Hopefully everyone will be able to get their class work done in spite of me.  

The room is cosy, and the weather has been on the cooler side so staying indoors to weave is not a hardship.  Most everyone has begun weaving their samples and/or working on their in class assignments.  My challenge now is to leave them enough time to do all their class work (but there is so much to say!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

"When I am old...

...I shall wear red and purple..."

The colours in this photo are much lighter than in real life.  The red is so dark and more into the blue, so it actually does 'go' with the purple.  I will weave a full sized sample and see how well I like the finished results.  I have used this yarn before in the warp and had no particular problems with it, but usually mixed with smoother yarns.  So I don't know if having only this yarn in the warp is going to work the way I want it to.   Sample, sample, sample!

For now, I need to get back to the loom and finish this place mat warp.  Then do one more before starting this prototype warp.  

Monday, May 16, 2016


I feel like a one armed paper hanger at the minute.  There are so many things to juggle I am having a hard time staying on track to finish any one thing.

I wish my studio looked this neat and tidy right now - there are boxes piled all over as I try to sort through some of the yarn I bought in March, mark one more level one students homework from last year, attempt to get some place mat inventory woven and get ready to teach starting this Saturday.

Truth is, I'm not really multi-tasking but doing one thing for a short period of time before the thought squirrels send me to another, then the next.  I suppose I could call it serial tasking?

I have also been checking schedules for the rest of this year and the start of next.  While I am still healthy I would like to travel some more, and perhaps teach some more.  I've been talking with a couple of people about expanding the Olds program to other locations.  Whether or not I would be the one teaching those, I don't know.  But it would be fun if it was.

Doug is working on moving my stuff out of the annex - not a simple thing so it is taking a great deal of his time.  I do appreciate his attention to detail.  But the impending move is just one more thing in the back of my head - although I try to not think about it right now - there are too many other more pressing things to think about.

But the class here is coming together nicely.  Part of the challenge is that, since I'm teaching at home (so to speak) I can utilize all sorts of learning/teaching aides that I wouldn't ordinarily get to use because I can't transport them all.  But it also makes for more work as they have to be moved to the guild room...and then back again.  Still, it's nice that I have them for the students to reference.

So - back to the serial tasking!  It won't get done if I don't get back there and do it.

Currently reading The Brain by David Eagleman

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hidden Costs

Most people have no clue about what goes on in the background, behind the scenes, the hidden costs involved in getting things made.  

My schedule is a tad full at the minute as I juggle a bunch of different things, each with their own hidden agenda and out of pocket expenses.  My dining room table is a microcosm with the rubble of several deadlines.  

My cheque book and deposit book that need to have entries made in my ledger (sight unseen).  Bills starting to pile up, needing paying.  

Boxes of new hang/care tags, to be attached to inventory, piled in boxes on the floor nearby.  ($360 worth of tags...no they aren't free and have to be paid for out of the selling price of the textiles they are attached to.)

Class manual with some of the many handouts, needing photocopying.   Binders freshly purchased from Costco, into which the manuals will be installed, still in their shipping box. 

First warps for the students have been pre-wound for them and ALL of the skeins have been wound onto cones to save time doing that in class.  (Say 'thank you, Doug!' When you see him, students).  

Warp for group warp is wound and will be ready to weave on when students arrive.  

Water colour paint boxes purchased along with a new colour wheel because I couldn't find my old one.  Which insures it will appear, no doubt after class is finished. 

And on it goes.  

Even though I have taught this level before it was for five days. We have six here in PG (a good reason to take the class here...extra time to complete the class, an extra day with moi?).  So, I spent an hour reviewing the manual, then listed all the learning exercises as a Check list for the students, then made up a six day schedule - a tentative one because much depends on how quickly everyone completes their work.  If they are whiz kids, we could potentially do more.  

Teachers do so very much more than show up on the day...

Currently reading The March of Folly by Barbara Tuchman

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Times They Are A Changing...

Magic in the Water; wet finishing handwovens went Out of Print a number of years ago.  In 2011 (while I was undergoing chemotherapy) a friend helped me photograph all the samples from the book and another friend turned everything into a .pdf file which I have been selling via my website ever since.

However, things change and one of those scheduled to change soon is my website (if I can ever figure out how to get into it - I've lost the password for the control panel, and I think I'm going to have to phone my service provider and get some help...one of these days!)

Anyway, now that I'm officially an Old Fart, I'm looking at ways to cut back All The Things and simplify my life.  One of those things is my website and as soon as I can figure it all out, it will undergo some changes, one of which is that I will no longer be selling Magic there.

That said, it is now available for sale via Weavolution.  Erica and Oliver are working hard to make Weavolution work for weavers, and one of the things they do is host classes.  And now they will be hosting Magic in the Water.  It is still a .pdf file, which can be purchased and downloaded.  They have also set up a Group for people to share stories of their wet finishing adventures.  And yes, I will be a member and any questions addressed to me will get answered, as best I can.

Some people call me a wet finishing 'expert'.  While I may know a little more than the average weaver, I have not woven with every fibre/yarn under the sun.  But I will be happy to give my best guess.

Purchase Magic in the Water here

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Planning for the Future

With the first Olds satellite class about to begin here in Prince George thoughts are turning to the future - because once level one is successfully completed, provisions need to be made for level two, right?  And because not everyone who is interested was able to take level one this year, but might be ready next year...well, calendars have been consulted, plans drawn up, dates set aside.

The next questions is - will there be enough interested people for level two to go ahead next year and will there be enough interest in level one next year?  Who knows.  Life Happens, sometimes in a big way and plans made can fall apart.

But, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

And so I propose that 2017 offer the following...in Prince George, level two May 20-25 and level one May 27-June 1.

If I can remember how to post a survey to my blog I will add that to the banner to see if people are actually interested.  If so, I will talk to the powers that be in Olds when I am there in June.

What is really exciting is that a couple of people have inquired about having satellite programs in their neighbourhoods - stay tuned!