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Sunday, August 27, 2006

On the Road swatch swap

Today, I handed out my tire tracks in the sand samples to the weavers. We only had three thrumbags (a name we give to those who didn't finish their samples on time). Everyone who came was upbeat and their samples turned out to be really nice and the stories were great. I made a shirt to wear with the map of Arizona on it. A nice top that had two ink stains on it from work (not from crafting!) and it was too good to just toss out. So I joined the dots! and made a road map with little figures for important events and places on it. medium_2006-08-27_002.jpgThe territorial prison and the turquoise house we had in Yuma, the strawberry bed we enjoyed in Wellton, tubing down the Salt, the London Bridge, the petrified forest where we camped, the cabin we stayed in Payson, the land we almost bought in Potato Patch, the graveyard in Bisbee where many relatives are buried. Stuff like that. I ran out of space and didn't put the Grand Canyon on, but if I open my mouth real wide and turn my head a little to the right, that's about the right spot.
We decided on a theme for next year:
We're all gonna DYE; you don't get out of this warp alive.
Anything goes as long as you dye the yarn, the warp, the finished cloth. Somehow. Many are going to try the shirbori on the loom technique. I am leaning that way, too. I do have a painted warp in some bag somewhere I could use in a pinch. But I really would like to try something different. I have a year to think about it.
This year's hostess decided she would pass the job on to someone new after this year. The last minute-ness of the details of the swap didn't work for her schedule. I stayed to help her organize the detritus that always plagues committee meetings. I hosted the swap for five or six years and it was a pain to keep it all confined to one box and deal with the thrumbags and the last minute people. I also hated that everyone was so sloppy with their paperwork. I retyped them for years. The hostesses after me said NO WAY and the paperwork has gotten a little better. I can actually read all the drafts! I hope we can get someone to volunteer to handle it for next year. I love my sample books and I really do refer to them when I need some inspiration. It's more than that though. These are fabrics made by friends. I was in the Cross Country Weavers sample exchange and it was okay, but it was just another sample book. Not a running chronicle of the weaving lives of women I've known for more than 20 years.
Then the hostess and I talked grandbabies. Our favorite conversation. She has one and one on the way. I have two. We commiserated over how to achieve balance between offering sage advice and butting in. We could have talked for hours comparing stories of successes and failures on the issue, but by this time we had packed my car up and were melting in the humidity outside.
A most excellent afternoon.