Monday, June 2, 2014

Getting there, and - getting there

This last weekend, I attended NwRSA's Conference 2014, held in Salem, OR at Willamette University. This conference has been held annually since 1985, and has evolved from a big spin-in to add two full days of workshops as well.

(click on photos to embiggen)

The Hatfield Fountain - of course I liked it, it has birds! 
Mill Stream
Willamette U is a beautiful campus, complete with a stream running through it with resident ducks and several beautiful common areas. The academic buildings are mostly newer. The dorm I was in? Not so much; it appears to date from the late 1800s and is about as perfect as a human would be at the age of 120 - uneven creaky floors, questionable electricity and plumbing (and the electricity clearly added after the fact), no elevator or AC. My punishment for asking for an individual room was to have that room on the top floor with two double flights of stairs as access - not a big deal until I tell you my thought process for packing was "I'm not getting on a plane, I can take whatever I want!" The stained glass over the front door was lovely though, and the carved banisters on those stairs were too.

One thing I learned: I am too old for communal showers. For sure.

The conference itself was a fun experience. I have been to similar gatherings in the (rather distant!) past, and always enjoyed them - this was a bit smaller than I had anticipated, with somewhere around 135 registered attendees (I am told that is unusually small). The benefit to me was that I got to know almost everyone at least by sight by the end of the weekend. There were likewise fewer vendors, which was probably good for my bank account - especially since I have a different event coming up in just three weeks! I did pick up some books I'd had on my wish list for a while, one of which is out of print and a bit hard to locate - Deb Menz's Color in Spinning. Bonus time: it's double autographed!

And honestly, most of what I learned is that I know more than I think I do. More than once I found myself explaining to someone else what to do, or helping to adjust a wheel to accommodate whatever was being worked on. The classes I took were good (working with mohair, art yarn creation, knitting with unspun silk), but not as much of a stretch for me technically as I had thought they might be - which was nice actually, because I could focus on the product and not worry about being able to do the process once it was explained.

Art yarn - building blocks, and...

Art yarn constructed!

Knitting with unspun silk - a rather painstaking process...

On Saturday there was a luncheon and fashion show, with some amazing work displayed. Maybe someday I'll have something worthy of showing!

And I think the funnest part was the spin-in - the gym was full of people with wheels working on projects, with lots of visiting.

All in all a great time, despite the fact there was a big accident the morning we were driving down so my four-hour trip to Salem took 6 1/2 hours to get there - ugh. Very glad I went, as I somehow agreed to be on the committee hosting next year's conference, which will be May 28 - 31, 2015 at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. Keep an eye on the guild website for details coming soon. And as a side note - even if  you don't attend many meetings, if you're in the area (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana) and interested in fiber arts, guild membership is a good resource for information and pretty inexpensive at $25/year. (How's that for a little advertising?)

Speaking of getting there - while I was gone, Joe emptied the studio in preparation for new carpet which is due to be installed late this week! I am excited, though when he brought up replacing the carpet I was apprehensive at the amount of work involved to clear the room out. God bless him, he took that on for me. Once the carpet is installed, I can commence Ikeacizing, and then move back in - the end is in sight!

Joe dodging the camera

I had forgotten how big this room is!

It actually echoes in here now!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds fun! I'd like to put it on my calendar for next year. Along with moving to Your art yarn looks fab!