Wednesday, January 13, 2010

weaving - the beginning

i was so excited all day yesterday, as i looked forward to my first weaving class with the weaving club (vævelaug) in a nearby town. i thought about it all day, hoping they would be as nice as the ladies at the museum over in randbøldal, where i first was introduced to weaving, had been. so i kind of bounced off the walls and was rather unfocused on everything else i did all day long. maybe part of it was the prospect of actually leaving the house and being around other people too, but that's perhaps a whole 'nother story.

a couple of things tried to stand in my way in getting there. i had the address plotted into my clever phone and knew it would take me 28 minutes to get there, so i left in plenty of time. i got out to the car and as i drove up the hill, the empty light flashed on the gas tank. nice job, husband, leaving me with no gas. grudge book. husband has an annoying habit of seeing how far he can push a tank of gas before filling it. clearly he did not grow up in blizzard country. friggin' copenhagen city boy. so i was fuming and wondering if i had time to fill before i got there. i called him and yelled some incoherent (i was slightly manic about the weaving class, remember) things about chivalry being dead and "in my culture, men are responsible for filling gas tanks," and such, and then i headed north.

i got up there faster than the clever phone said i would, so i pulled into a gas station to fill. which is when i discovered that i didn't have my purse. apparently That Girl had packed up a bag full of weaving books and notebooks and pens and a camera and a sweater in case it was cold there, but she neglected to grab my purse. so now i had an empty gas tank - the light was staying on, rather than blinking on and off - and no means of filling it. and i wasn't going to be able to pay for my weaving course when i got there. nice start. but happily, in my head, i was able to add it to husband's grudge book entry, because as i was leaving he was going on and on about how i had to look for sabin and her friend and send them home from the sledding hill so they could eat dinner, so it was technically his fault that i didn't pick up my purse.

my clever phone guided me to the address and i saw a little building, all lit up, so i followed some other people in. i was a little surprised how smoky it was inside and by the wave of alcohol fumes coming off the woman by the door who greeted me. then she slurred, are you going to walk with us? walk with you? i was confused. and i had gone into the little clubhouse of a gangforening - a walking club, apparently for old smoking alcoholics. they probably even use those sticks, tho' i got out of there before i found out.

there was a time when that would have totally defeated me and i would have hurried home as fast as possible, embarrassed and confused and a little bit hurt. but i got back in the car and consulted the clever phone again for the address. i took a trip around the block and discovered that the area was dotted with all kinds of little association clubhouses. and finally, there was another one with lights on (across the street from the walkers - why couldn't they just TELL me that, by the way?) and i found it.

this time, it was much more obvious that i was in the right place. there were things like yarn and looms and combs and shuttles and nice people welcoming me rather than stumbling over to me and looking at me like i may have come from another planet. it felt a bit like coming home.

there are two rooms packed full of looms. i only had the macro lens on me, so i'll have to share a shot of them next time. there's a little kitchen and a little library and storage for many, many combs and shelves of yarn and spinning supplies and those thingies that help you turn a skein of yarn into a ball of yarn (must learn the term for those). it's a whole, sweet little old house devoted entirely to weaving - can you imagine anything more fantastic?

and everyone was so nice. the teacher is an artist who makes his living as a weaver. he has a studio in frederiksværk and i'm looking forward to going there at some point to see his work. the first thing i will weave is a sampler where i will learn different patterns - 8 different little 20cm x 20cm squares, which will then go into a book that i will make, to use as reference for my future weaving. the teacher had a big bag of yarn that he had been given, so i could choose three colors from it for my sampler. hmm, guess what colors i chose?

no surprises there. my first task was to take the yarn from skein to balls, using a winder of some sort (i will learn the technical terms, i promise). one issue is that i'm learning all of this in danish and i didn't really have the vocabulary for it in english to begin with! so much to learn!

the light blue was hopelessly tangled, so i ended up having to do it by hand, which took the better part of an hour. the other two went as they were supposed to and in no time, i had them wound into balls. what was most fascinating about the process was the way my teacher handled the skeins of yarn. it was so clear that he had a level of comfort with them borne of years of working with fibers. i felt a little bit in awe.

by the time i had it finished and we had talked through my pattern and how many warp strands i will need to set up on the loom, it was time to go. i'm so excited to learn this from the very beginning - including how to set it up! even just talking through the pattern with my teacher made me understand better some of what i'd been reading. i'm definitely a person who needs to be shown things rather than only told them!

what's really wonderful about the group is how nice everyone was. they all talked to me even tho' i hadn't met them when we were all back in kindergarten. they were interested in how i had found them and where my interest in weaving came from. i could feel some of the spirit of camaraderie that i had been hoping for (and didn't find) with the local art association i joined last year. it felt a bit like coming home.

and i so want a loom for my birthday. it already feels like an eternity til next tuesday.


spudballoo said...

OOOh I love how the tangles turned in those balls!

Baaaaad husband and That Girl. So how did you square it with not paying, did you glide home?

Fabulous shots, looking forward to learning to weave with you!

Where will you put a loom?

Elizabeth said...

Fantastic to read about this new adventure. I am really happy for you that they are nice people. The pictures are stunning.

Dave King said...

When the archangel Gabriel asks me what I most regret, I shall say that I did not learn to weave. Reading stuff like this is next best, though. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

It sounds wonderful! And the way you describe it is fantastic, I can almost feel the warmth coming from your weaving group all the way over here in South Africa!
I'll bee keeping an eye out to see what you make...

Cyndy said...

You never cease to amaze me. Really.

Sandra said...

This is quite an undertaking! I can't wait to see what you come up with.

Good luck on the sale of your house and your move to the farm. I know you are a farm kid so it won't be too big of a shock for you. A new adventure for us to follow.

d smith kaich jones said...

Great yarn - I'm so sorry, i couldn't resist. But really, quite fabulously written and I laughed right out loud at the smoking alcoholics. Loved this!! Glad you made it home!

:) Debi

arlee said...

such delicious colours and weights all those threads---would love to twangle my hoofies in there and wrap up in them :}

Liz Fulcher, The Fragrant Muse said...

So did you have to show a little of the gams for gas or what? A loom for your birthday sounds about right. Husband certainly owes you after making you forget your purse and all.

WV: inflog. Husband created an inflog over Sabin just when you were about to leave the house.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

How wonderful! I've always thought weaving was the most beautiful art. Good for you for learning. I'll look forward to reading all about it!!

Eva said...

Those pictures are awesome! It sounds like a great time.

Eliane Zimmermann said...

one of my dreams too... gorgeous pics!!! make my dream even become more vivid.

Deb G said...

Now this makes me want to pull out my little table loom!