Monday, August 10, 2009


This is what awaited me when I got home from Michigan League of Handweavers workshops and conference yesterday:
The first one of the strikes me as the perfect metaphor for right now.

: {adj.} 1. (of fruit or grain) developed to the point of readiness for harvesting or eating.

That is certainly the case for this tomato.

Having just returned from five days of immersion in fiber, the time is also ripe to harvest all the information from Daryl's "Sewing with Handwoven Fabric" workshop and Sharon Alderman's "Snazzy Yarns Seminar".
That "to do" list includes:
  • Make a muslin of the jacket pattern we drafted in Daryl's class and refine the fit.
  • Develop a plan to study Sharon's book, Mastering Weave Structures. I've read through the book before, but seeing the fabrics in person was an "aha" moment (or a rather large collection of such moments). All of the information from Sharon dovetailed beautifully with what I learned from Randall Darwall at Penland last summer.
When fruits and vegetables ripen, it is time to do some transformative thing with them: prepare them for the table, preserve them for future use, or harvest the seeds for next year's crop. If you don't do anything with the ripe produce it begins to rot and go to waste. And so it is with the information I've been accumulating over so many years and seminars. Time to make use of it.

Ripe: {adj.} 2. (of a cheese or wine) fully matured: a ripe Brie

It so happens that this year marks the 50th anniversary of Michigan League of Handweavers and the Conference theme, Golden Reflections, was a wonderful celebration of that milestone. Friday evening was the fashion show and 50 year retrospective. The planning committee did a marvelous job of providing a concise and very entertaining look at the past 50 years of handweaving in Michigan. They capped the evening with a retrospective fashion show with handwoven garments from the past five decades. It began with a 1950's style handwoven bridge apron (remember the 50's?!)....Proceeded through a handwoven hotpants ensemble.......and finished with a marvelous contemporary swing coat. I failed to take pictures, but Daryl has a great selection of them here. (I am now convinced that many weavers truly do not get rid of anything.)

Ripe: {predic.} 3. arrived at the fitting stage or time for a particular action or purpose.

One of the ongoing jokes through the retrospective program was that we were looking at some "vintage garments" and many of the attendees are "vintage weavers". As a collective group, today's weavers tend to be people of mature years, more often women than men. We have a lot of experience and information. But the time is ripe for us to cultivate that next generation of weavers and stimulate enthusiasm for this marvelous means of expression and creativity. Get out there. Take classes. Teach someone to weave on any loom available. Evangelize your weaving!

Ripe: {adj.} 4. (of a smell or flavor) rich, intense, or pungent.

I have come home to 90 degree temps. and 100% humidity. The first thing I did when I got home yesterday was clean a toilet and scrub out a sink....before I brought a single thing in from the car! It is definitely time to deal with the ripening laundry that I brought home, and freshen up the bed and bath linens.

But first, I think a tomato sandwich on home made bread, with just a touch of home made pesto is in order.

With thanks to this little guy, who helped to keep my tomato plants bug free (if you "click to biggen", he looks like he's covering his cute!):

So....what is ripe in your life?


  1. So....what is ripe in your life? ripe tomatoes for me - the late blight has taken them all. sigh. such loss.

    enjoy a bite of the fresh tomato sandwich for me!

    someday, when i grow up, i will be able to get a real loom and weave, i suspect there is a weaver inside me just waiting for the right time.

    did your katy-did start to sing yet? six weeks.....

  2. just had to come back and tell you that the ripe tomato photo is really, really nice.

    and my word verification?



  3. Wow, it's not only ripe, it's perfect! Mine have just started to ripen too but they don't look so pretty.

    My guild did that snazzy yarns seminar awhile back too. A lot of folks really enjoyed it.

  4. Certainly not my tomatoes. They just sit on the vine and taunt me. I paid for the tomatoes, the llama poo fertilizer was free, but the bird net certainly was not and I still have to go the farmers' market and get the ones I crave from the Cambodians. They have killer produce. I spent $12.50 on tomatoes the last trip. Sigh.


tie in the loose ends...