Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ferry Tales - Round Two

Determined to make up for lost time, I decided to arrive early on Tuesday morning and practice some weaving before the lecture began at 10:00 a.m. Arising at 4:00 a.m., I once again made the trek to Port Townsend. The day was blustery and cold but happily the 6:30 a.m. ferry was on time. I drove on board, and settled back into my car seat for the crossing. But as Keystone glided into view, the ferry powered down and stopped 200 feet from shore. The wave size had been steadily increasing as we crossed Puget Sound and now the ferry was tossing and bobbing. Crew members came onto the deck and watched and talked. After more talking, the ferry suddenly powered back up and headed back in the direction of Port Townsend. In disbelief, I listened as the loudspeaker announced that the wind and tide conditions prevented landing and we would try again at 11:15!
Going online (thank goodness for Verizon air cards), I calculated the route to Kingston. When the ferry once again landed at Port Townsend, I drove off and headed to Kingston. I caught the 9:00 a.m. ferry and headed to Lynnwood, where I once again called Madelyn. She got me going in the right direction and I located the Mukilteo ferry in time for the 10:00 a.m. crossing. Off the ferry in Clinton, I was greeted by the charming hand carved sign and a 30 minute drive. I arrived in time to begin learning who to warp front to back.

Everyone in class chose a color and practiced wrapping the warp. Once completed, we all went to various looms and began weaving samples. Madelyn uses a wonderful technique for teaching. Looms are pre-warped and set up to weave various samples. Pre-woven samples are available at each of the looms as inspiration and examples.
Each student chooses a unique color of yarn from the rest of the class. At the beginning and end of each student's sample, that color is introduced in plain weave. In this manner, each student can identify their weaving sample when they are cut apart and distributed at the end of the class.

The samples are beautiful and inspiring. This is an example of an "Overshot" design.

This is an example of a "Block" weave pattern.

This is a black and white silk double weave.

The afternoon slipped by surprising fast, each woman concentrating on their chosen samples. Huck wandered among the weavers, supplying endless energy and comic relief. At the end of the day, it was gratifying to be able to look at my sample and see real progress -- the selvages were becoming straighter, the pattern more firm, and the design emerging from the void. All too soon, it was time to head for the ferry and the commute home.

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