Sunday, June 08, 2008

Back home again.....

This is the scarf completed in the second week of class at Penland. The warp is 100% silk, hand dyed in three separate warp chains. The weft is about 1/3 hand dyed silk, with the remaining 2/3's being 20/2's merc. cotton. The threading is a 2 block 8 harness twill. The treadling and weft order were serendipitous. Much of the time I had 3 shuttles going.

It was a jam packed two weeks with very little sleep. Yoga was available every morning at 7 with breakfast at 8. From there it was to the studio to prepare warps, weave samples, dye, discharge dye, wind bobbins, and so on.

Lecture/discussion most days from 9:30 to 11:30 AM. Then again from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. These consisted mostly of a textile related reading and "fabric du jour".

Weaving until dinner. Weaving after dinner. Sometimes weaving past midnight. Gallery openings, studio open houses, show & tell, nightly slide shows, a Japanese fiber movie, a baby shower, and a fashion show collaboration with the milliners upstairs: this is a short list of the other activities.

What did I learn? Here's a list:
  1. Linear can be good, but it's better if you know how to 'color' outside the lines.
  2. Selveges......Schmelveges!
  3. Color never shuts talks to other colors: the ones beside it and the ones clear on the other end of the piece. It talks to the will go on and on and on.... Until you turn out the lights. And even then, it dances behind your eyelids.
  4. Flat fabric is over rated.
  5. Most of the weaving problems I've been taught to avoid can become successful design elements.
  6. Start simple and let the fibers lead the way.
There's more, but that's enough for now.
If you want to see pictures click here


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I wonder if this will be the only "report" or if there's more to come? Will you have more pics of your piece/s? Pant! Pant!!!

  2. Valerie, your Penland Set link isn't working for now for me. Will it be created later on this person's Flickr, do you think?

  3. All I can say is, "WOW"!

  4. In a word - Wow! I'm speechless (not normal) and more than a little jealous. Thanks for uploading all those pictures - the slideshow is great.

  5. You've made me want to go to Penland more than anyone ever has.

  6. I love the scarf, it really is a "wow!" The photo story was fantastic. Thanks for sharing. So glad you had a good time.

  7. Your scarf is a work of art!

    Thank you so much for the photos of your time spent at Penland!

    I loved reading about what you learned...esp the part about color ... where you describe afterimages.

    looking forward to hearing more about the trip, it sounds heavenly.

  8. Thank you for all of this. I came very close to putting in my "bid" to go, but decided my body would not stand the strain. Reading your post shows I would never have lasted the two weeks! Thank you so much for sharing all of this.

  9. amazing, thanks for the report.

  10. Wow! Val! Looks like you had a fantastic time - and learned alot! Great photos... and I love the scarf.

  11. Wow! The scarf is absolutely gorgeous. You put a whole new meaning to bringing home souvenir from one's travels. I loved the photo journal of your Penland experience.

  12. Anonymous11:48 PM

    What a fabulous way to spend two weeks!

    Did you use singles?

    Did Randall weave the vest he's wearing? (Love it!)

    Did they leave open times for participants to walk the hills? It's so beautiful, I'd be torn with the desire to go for long hikes.

  13. Oh my oh my! What a wonderful time you had! I am so glad that you got to go and I so wish that I had been there too!
    Thanks for the flickr photos! I never realized that Penland was so beautiful! It's a wonder that you were able to get much work done with all of the lovely views.

  14. Valerie,

    Your pictures are absolutely lovely (makes me long for another Penland experience). The scarf is wonderful and the colors are so active. I'd love to see it in person - I'll bet it just sings!



tie in the loose ends...