Saturday, June 27, 2009

Vavstuga – this year's big weaving adventure

It all started just before Christmas 2008 – surfing the net, looking for a particular yarn for a special project. Suddenly I found myself on the Vavstuga site and .... that was it! Once I saw the courses, checked the outlines and had given Becky Ashenden a call there was no way back.

I thought of flying down and started to look for tickets – yikes, it was a long way away + the tickets from one day to the other went up to a price where I didn't want to play anymore.

So I just thought and then I mentioned it to my friend Linda M. who is also an avid, curious and very productive weaver. She thought for 3 days – well, she might have done other stuff than only thinking, but after three days she informed me that she would like to come too! And so we made the calls and paid the initial sums to secure our spots and the waiting game began. Remember, it was still in January 2009 – a long way away from June 8-12, 2009.

As time goes by expectations grow and change and start to pull at you, entice you, make your brain and imagination do funny things, good things and nervous things – in short expectations keep your emotions and curiousity busily occupied.

The time got closer and closer and suddenly we were talking about where to stay overnight during our travels down to Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, - one or two overnights, how fast did we want to go?

Well, we are Ladies of Leisure so we opted for two stops so we wouldn't get all cramped up and exhausted before we ever got to the weaving 'camp'.

Wall paper in the inn we stayed at in Guilford – reminiscent of bird's eye pattern – we saw weaving everywhere we turned our eyes.

And although our brains, imaginations, intuitions had been hard at work for quite a while there was no way that we could have even in our wildest thoughts have touched on or believed the amounts of fun, learning, sweat, food, inspiration, adaptation, inclusion, challenges and cooperation we had to go through once we got to Vavstuga and met the other 6 comrades in crime. It has to be lived to be truly appreciated and understood.

We stayed at the B&B connected to Vavstuga and had 3 meals a day in the deal. And they were good healthy, balanced meals – lots of different foods to choose from at the table each time, not to mention the table cloths/runners which were different for every meal giving us weave-o-holics lots to look at and talk about if there was ever a lull in the conversation – hm – I don't think there ever was – we just kept exchanging ideas and jokes and expressed our thorough delight in what we were doing and the privilege to be part of this experience in the first place.

The class was 5 days long Monday to Friday – starting each day at 9am sharp and finishing at 5pm – free weaving to finish up projects after supper (7-9pm) was optional

The first two days were devoted to setting up looms – some looms needed threading, and sleying, some needed treadle tie-up, some needed to have the warps wound and to be beamed before we could even think about the aforementioned two activities – and it all went smoothly and cooperatively, for students who had never woven before or who had only little experience with weaving it was a lot to take in, for the ones of us who have woven quite a lot it was still a lot to take in, and the tricks and pointers here and there around the whole process of dressing a loom made our eyes sparkle and our brains jump for joy.

Day 3-5 was weaving weaving weaving – well, and winding spools and deciding on which weft colours to use and chatting and admiring each other's accomplishments.

I have been back in Nova Scotia for almost two weeks now and when I look at the photos my mouth turns into a smile and I feel the twinkle in my eye – it was fun, exhausting, inspiring – and I will do it again as soon as the opportunity arises.

Thank you Celeste and Becky for great guidance, fab food and for creating such an exciting, inspiring environment – we sure had our brains and bodies engaged!

Thank you Linda for driving and driving and driving - and for sharing your photos with me and the world.