Learning in 2011

4 harness counterbalance loom

my counterbalance loom

To get me started weaving, I took a series of 6 classes from a wonderful teacher in his 80s at the McKean County Museum in Smethport, PA. I haven’t taken a class since; all my learning has been on my own, gleaning what I can from blogs, books, and online weaving communities. This is fine…….to a point.

My weaving guild belongs to MAFA – the Mid-Atlantic Fiber Association. Every other year, MAFA holds a 3-day conference in Gettysburg, PA, with intensive workshops on a wide range of topics. It’s a five-hour-plus drive for me, but sure sounds like a GREAT thing – well worth the time & money. So I’ve signed up for the conference in 2011.

Macomber loom

my Macomber loom

All the workshops are completely hands-on. If you’re taking a weaving workshop, you’ll be weaving for three days, learning new techniques from the masters. Obviously, since you’ll be weaving the whole time, you need to have a loom there. Neither of my floor looms is portable at all, so I reached out to my fellow guild members to see if anyone had a multiple harness table loom they’d be willing to lend me; I had to know before I registered. Working on a table loom isn’t my favorite thing to do, but I’d be hard pressed to fit even a small, folding floor loom in my little Yaris.

I’m so fortunate — two fellow guild members will not only be GOING to MAFA, they’ll be TEACHING. Carol Wood & Deb MacCrea teach great classes on dyeing fibers with all-natural dyes. Anyway, Carol offered to lend me her 4-harness Harrisville loom, which she’d lent me before I bought my Macomber. AND to cart it down to Gettysburg for me!! It doesn’t get any better than that!

So I sent in my forms. When you register, you have to identify your top 3 choices for workshops, because class size in each is quite limited. I sent in my choices a few weeks ago. I haven’t heard anything back yet, so don’t know which I’ll be in, but all sound great. I’m looking forward to expanding my weaving repertoire!

Your turn: how do you improve your skills & knowledge?
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