Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Post Card from Squam: Day 3

Friday, June 7

Hello! How are you doing? I'm feeling good, but it was good timing to have a break from highly structured activities this morning. So classes went all day yesterday, but today there are only classes in the afternoon. (They'll be continued tomorrow morning.) So although we still had to get to breakfast on time, we didn't have to be worried about being ready with supplies, etc.

Everyone's been talking about the weather. Although Wednesday and Thursday were pretty nice, it was obvious something was moving in. It rained Thursday night and threatened to continue to rain all Friday (which it pretty much did). So much for renting a canoe for the morning! It also got a lot colder over the day. So I started like this:
Day 3's outfit includes the Zig Zag skirt and
Spring Sprout socks.
(My shirt says "I'll Grow on You.")
but added more layers throughout the day and ended it like this:
Added for warmth, the Mariah hoodie and
Bias Asymmetric Scarf.
That's a lot of knit wear to be wearing all at once!! The skirt was well received and I tried to convince them all that it was less work than a sweater. They weren't buying it. I also got a lot more people today asking about the lace coat. Now they are reporting that they were looking it up on Ravelry or that others in their cabin are showing it to them. What a lot of fun!!

The teacher, Christine Mauersberger, demonstrating
how to fold a Blizzard Book.
There were two optional sessions Friday morning, one on crochet and one on intarsia design. But the crochet teacher got stopped at the border (coming from Canada) and Elizabeth managed to find someone to pull together a class at the last minute. The class was on paper folding a "blizzard book." Now there's something I can get into!

Here's the story behind the book:
The Blizzard Book is made of one sheet of paper which is folded in such a way that it creates multiple pages, each of which have a pocket. According to Hedi Kyle, back in the mid-nineties snow began falling in Philadelphia one January morning. Soon, everyone on the east coast was staying home as the predictions for a major storm came true. This, the Blizzard of 1996, became a perfect day for Hedi to work in her studio. As the hours passed snow accumulated outside of her studio while folds accumulated inside. Towards the end of the day it occurred to her to manipulate some folds a certain way. This resulted in the creation of a structure which more or less bound itself. Months later when Hedi heard talk of "Blizzard Babies" conceived during the storm, she began to think of her own creation on this day as the Blizzard Book.
Doesn't that sound like a great project!? The one that we made was sized to fit business or credit cards.
Project in process
The teacher demonstrated the whole process (there were about seven steps) and then we started in on it.
There were no tables set up (they didn't need them for
the crochet class that was planned) so we pulled out
some benches to use.
Between the four of us sitting at the same bench, we made it right through and finished at least two books each. We also got a hand out for how to size the starting piece of paper to fit any final dimensions.
Those are my own business cards inserted. I happened
to have some on me so I could try the book out right away.
It's a really neat project. (If you google "Blizzard book" you can find instructions and videos if you're interested in making your own.) My mind immediately went to making one out of two sided paper and making some out of fabric and, and, and... But don't do it outside on a rainy day. The paper was so damp it wouldn't even fold properly! It kind of just bent. But we managed, and it was a lot of fun. The class was only an hour long, so we had a nice break before lunch. A little time to knit and relax with a fire going before jumping into the afternoon class:
I took the picture above all sneaky like, or at least no one noticed it even though I was making no secret of it. A couple minutes after I took it, someone said, "Hey, let's take a picture of us knitting!" I laughed and said, "Done!" But I offered them a second chance to look at the camera and give us a smile:
We're missing two people who were staying in the cabin; they were probably at the talk about intarsia design. I'm not sure we ever had a time we were all there and could take a picture.

After lunch, I had to find my way to the opposite end of camp. It was through the woods and along the lake and up the hill, but then I found the "classroom":
Isn't this a great setting to learn the ancient art of tablet weaving?

There were only six of us in the class (compared to 10 in the previous class) and I thought it was a good size. John [Mullarkey, the teacher] started with some lecture about what we were going to do and alternated lecture and hands-on portions throughout the class. It was really good, although I have to admit by the end of the first lecture, I was really ready to get my hands moving!

We started by threading the tensioner. We worked in pairs so that while one beginning weaver managed the cards and wrapping the threads, their partner could manage all the threads coming off of four cones simultaneously. My partner? Casey, rock-star coder of Ravelry. I, of course, had to mention the only other Casey I knew (the puppet from Mr. Dressup), but of course he had heard of him before. Then it was enough talk and time to get busy.
See how one strand is looped around an extra peg?
That's not how it's supposed to be... :/
I guess I did too much talking while working, because I ended up doing John a favour by making not one mistake but two so that he could demonstrate how to fix them! Oops. I made the one pictured above and I also made an extra loop without a card. Both of them are fixed with scissors and an extra knot. (I was "fortunate" to go around an extra loop so I had extra length to use. If I had missed a peg, that would have been a lot harder fix.)

But we got that all sorted out and "finally" got to some weaving. By the end of class, I had some practice stripes and the start of the alphabet.
John graciously let us take the looms back to our cabins for the night when the class broke up for dinner. Although he said it shouldn't be done when other stuff is going on (he turns off the TV, music, and anything else while he does this method), I boldly attempted it while we were all hanging out in the living room that night.
I managed to get to the letter U before I ran out of room. I also learned to "unweave" as I messed up the letter R the first time around. But I managed to fix it (yay!) and kept going. The strap is 34" long and I put it out at breakfast the next morning where it garnered some attention. (Later, John thanked me for doing that and I know he sold all his looms at the Fair so I may have had something to do with that!! Or John could just be really nice (which he is).)

Once I took off the first sample, I restrung the cards so I would ready for class the next day:
This time I did it right. ;)
A little bog with the lake in the background. This scene
caught my eye every time I walked by as I went to and from
the dining room.
A couple people in the cabin went to the evening's talk. It was a fiber artist who embroidered and stitched on fabric, but I just couldn't leave the warm cosy cabin! We had a fun night talking and knitting. And it was a late one!
Part of the Squam garden. Pompom alliums and a
little mouse popping up to say Hi!

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