Monday, November 17, 2008

Bowling Party for 5 Year Olds!

The lace weaving workshop in Salt Lake City began on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 9 AM and would go until 4. So that meant that I was going to miss out on all the fun at my grandson Jack’s birthday party which was going to start at 2, but Grandpa Bobby would be there to help and hopefully take some pictures and help hand out cake and ice cream.

This year Jack’s birthday wasn’t going to be celebrated by a massive gathering of family and friends, both adults and children, that spill out of the house into the backyard and involve a cookout meal with a birthday cake and ice cream and the opening of a huge pile of birthday presents. The camp director mother, my daughter Carlee, was ready for a new challenge. So when Jack said that he’d like a bowling birthday party, Carlee’s creative juices started running. Much better than the ice skating party he was first thinking about--all those bumps and bruises on the little knees is not something you want to think about as a hostess.

First, an envelope with a round black bowling ball with silver writing behind a clear cellophane window came in the mail inviting us to Jack’s party. Then I heard from Dustin, our graphic artist son, that Carlee had talked to him about designs for T-shirts. She came up with something on her computer as the end result was 16 small T-shirts with this emblem on the front and a larger emblem design with the saying, “This Is How I Roll” on the back. In the process of ironing on the designs she managed to put a small crack in her granite counter top from the heat, which sent her into a mild tail spin. When she heard the crack she knew what it was and panicked. Luckily, the repair man said, the crack didn’t go all the way through, and he only used super glue to repair it. This all happened before we arrived and we had a hard time even trying to see where the crack was in the dark granite countertop.

Grandpa Bobby was disappointed that he didn’t get a T-shirt, but that’s life. The shirts actually worked out well as favors. The shirts were put on as the kids arrived at the bowling alley and it turned out to be a good way to keep track of the little 5 year olds. The photos tell the story of the fun the kids had at the bowling alley, even sister Kate, who is two got to try bowling. The ball is almost as big as she is. Her Uncle Peter helped her roll a pretty good ball from the looks of the picture.

There were “teams” of about 5 children with one adult on each lane, with bumpers in the gutters to prevent the infamous gutter balls. After the single game of bowling which I heard seemed to go on forever, the keglers had pizza and a special birthday cake which Carlee baked in the shape of a bowling alley, shown in the photo below.

The party wound down about 4 o’clock and parents arrived to pick up their children. Jack and Kate were still raring to go, however the adults were wiped out. When I got back to the house from the lace weaving workshop the adults were slumped on the couch and easy chair, barely moving. Another successful birthday bash.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Long Way Round to the Guild Meeting

As I mentioned in my last post our trip from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City started out with a packed car on Thursday October 23. We drove two cars to the remote parking lot at McCarran Airport in LV as Bob was flying back on Sunday afternoon and needed a car to get home from the airport. We hopped on the interstate highway for the two and a half hour drive to Cedar City, UT. It’s not really half way, but since we’ve started building a house there we take a rest stop and check on the property at the same time. The stop at the property was disappointing as very little had been done since I had been up when we measured for the placement of the house as pictured here.

After stretching our legs and walking the dog we were on our way to Provo for our next stop. The Salt Lake City Guild (properly called the Mary M. Atwater Weavers’ Guild) was hosting the examination of the Certification of Excellence in Handweaving sponsored by Handweavers Guild of America, Inc. (HGA). Four ladies from around the country from HGA were staying at a guild member’s home in Provo (Judie's), and for the past week they had been reviewing weavers’ work for possible certification.

One of the examiners was the instructor of our lace workshop Suzie Liles
from the Eugene Textile Center. One of the other examiners was going to be the speaker at the guild meeting that evening in Provo, Madelyn van der Hoogt, who was a colleague of Suzie Liles at the Weavers School in Coupeville, Washington.

Madelyn van der Hoogt is the current editor of Handwoven magazine and has written and edited several weaving books, such as The Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers, Shuttle Craft Books, published by Unicorn Books (1993).

The guild members from SLC were carpooling down to Provo for the meeting and a pitch-in dinner. Earlier in the week I had asked via email if I could tag along on the way back to SLC with them so my husband and dog wouldn’t have to wait around, since weaving lectures weren’t high on their list of things to do. Weavers, being the nice people that they are, helped me out with 3 offers of rides to my daughter’s house.

So the tough part turned out to be finding Judie’s home in Provo. I had her address and phone number, just in case, verbal directions and, of course, map quest maps all highlighted with bright orange. Those famous words, “It’s easy to get to, it’s right off the interstate. Just take the exit that goes to BYU -- University Parkway” are what got us into trouble. We ended up getting to the meeting but taking the long way around. We found that there are TWO exits that lead to BYU. The one from the North where everyone else was coming from was the University Parkway exit. However from the South there is another exit that leads to BYU and this one is University Avenue. Guess which one we took. Check out this map of Provo.

Asking directions at a 7-eleven gas pump is risky, but luckily the directions were good and after several extra winding miles I was able to arrive just when members from the north were starting to arrive.

Hubby Bob and dog Mac continued north to SLC but Bob witnessed a roll over accident right in front of him at an intersection in Provo before getting back on the interstate. Scary. Someone running a red light.

Back at the guild meeting and pitch-in dinner, the hostesses’ husband made Dutch oven chicken, enough to serve the 25-30 people attending. As you can imagine the meal was pretty good as pitch-ins usually are. The tables were cleared and the chairs rearranged for Madelyn’s talk on deflected double weaves. Besides computer photos she had lots of examples of fabrics before and after fulling using this technique.

If I understand the technique correctly, deflected double weave is the result of shrinkage of two different weaving structures. It can be even greater if the threads of the two different structures are from different types of yarn, like cotton and wool. The resulting cloth will produce ripples, or bumps, creating some interesting patterns depending on the warping pattern.

Madelyn van der Hoogt certainly was a knowledgeable speaker, but on a personal level she was funny with a good sense of humor and was just a petite lady. The kind of person you would like to get to know better if you had the chance.


For more complete information, drafts and pictures of before and after fulling deflected double weave check out the Jan/Feb 2001 issue of Handwoven pages 62-67 by Madelyn van der Hoogt.

Also the Jan/Feb 2007 issue of Handwoven which has several scarves woven in deflected doubleweave by several different weavers.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again--Before I Forget How to Ride

Have you ever avoided something because you just knew it was going to take forever to get it done? But, by putting it off you just make it worse? That’s me. I think I should form a Procrastinators Anonymous of America group. PAA -- that sounds just about right, doesn’t it. Like a tire going flat. paaaaaa. This is my story…

I planned to take a week off my blog to attend a lace weaving workshop in Salt Lake City, well, it’s turned into more like two. The workshop was put on by the Mary M. Atwater Weaver’s Guild on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, October 25-27. That overlapped with our grandson’s fifth birthday party on Saturday in SLC, which was a nice fit with our schedule. We also planned to stop in Cedar City to check on the progress of the digging of the new basement. The SLC guild was holding their meeting in Provo Thursday night with Madelyn van der Hoogt, the editor of Handwoven, as the guest speaker. So I was hoping that we would be able to arrange our trip to fit that date in too.

On Thursday morning of the 23, my husband Bob, our dog Mac and I headed north in a packed car with suitcases, a small cooler, a warped table loom, folded loom stand, and a sack of birthday presents for the 6+ hr. drive. (More about our time in Utah in up coming posts.)

When I’m away I usually check my email and stay current, but this trip I didn’t with the excitement of family and the workshop. (Mistake #1) When I returned home to Las Vegas on Tuesday the 28th after another 6+ hr. drive, I tried to get ready for a machine embroidery class. I had just purchased the unit to go with my Bernina 440 sewing machine the Wednesday before the lace workshop, and the mastery lessons started on the 29th. Tight planning. I had to work the next day and had to load some software on a new to me laptop, and, of course, I ran into problems. Finally at 11:30 PM I decided I would have to cancel out of the class sessions and wait for the next round of session in January. Superwoman I’m not! I had already glanced at my email and saw that the messages totaled 127, and I passed on cutting the total down. (Mistake #2)

After work on Wednesday I had to round up some weaving equipment to take to a weaving and spinning demonstration the next day at our neighborhood elementary school. I didn’t work on my email or blog. (Mistake #3)

The school was celebrating Nevada Day, a state holiday observed on Friday, by having a pioneer dress up day on Thursday. During the noon hour recess some of our guild members were going to be out on the play ground spinning and weaving as part of their pioneer days. You can see us in the above photo.

Friday, the 31st, I babysat my granddaughter, Paige, to give my son an Art break in the morning and I went shopping at Quiltique in the afternoon as they were having a nice sale as part of their Grand Reopening from a huge remodel. 30% off of quilting yardage is great just before the holidays. Trick or treaters were out that night, and it was so warm that we had a small get together with neighbors out in the street while the little ghosts and goblins came around. This is a picture of Paige, our granddaughter in her first Halloween costume. Another day of avoidance of the computer. (Mistake #4)

Shopping and UNLV football game on Saturday. Poor UNLV, another loss, TCU was really good. By bedtime no blog and no email dealt with…on Sunday night when I finally opened my email there were 190 messages. Yuck. Today I finally got the totals down to single digits. Not a pretty story. Time to get in the saddle again.