Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Friday, 28 June 2013

Just Came Back: Adventures at Olds Fibre Week 2013, Part 2

For the past few years, I've taught yoga for spinners and restorative practice for fibre artists at Fibre Week.  For five days, before and after the regular classes, people have the option of attending a forty-five minute class in gentle yoga and meditation.  (I'm beginning to think the classes should be called, "Yoga Light," and "Meditation Light.")  The morning class, which begins at 8 am, at the start at what is a very long day, is designed to help attendees keep themselves safe as they spin, weave, knit and felt all day.  Long hours at loom, wheel or bent over tables can cause many problems, so the morning practice works to correct that. This was our yoga studio:

Pretty fancy, no?  That's Kathy in the photo, an early arrival to morning class.

The 4:45 pm session, which starts shortly after classes end, is a gentle stretching class, with simple meditation practice.  For many people, yoga is scary stuff and meditation seems further out on the spectrum of actions they may wish to try.  I coax them along; Legs Up the Wall, Shoulder Rolls and Chocolate are part of that process.  At an event like this, with full day classes, a rush for meals, social events and shopping, it is difficult to fit in everything, so I was very pleased that I had somewhere around 30 to 35 visits minimum in the sessions, with several repeat participants.  (I arrived to practice on Sunday morning to 8 eager yoga students.  This was after the big Saturday night social activities so I was gob-smacked that they had hauled themselves out of bed that early, assuming they made it to bed at all.)  

I may or may not have visited the vendors:

Left to Right:  Hound Design Top Whorl, John Shannon Top Whorl with Turquoise Inlay,  a Tabachek Bottom Whorl, and a Danware Plying Spindle, made by Vanessa's father.  Vanessa attended my yoga/meditation sessions every day, despite the fact that she was in Level 3 of the Master Spinner's Programme, a very heavy level.

Lonna's book on supported spinning will get new support spindlers off to a good start; Lonna also supplied me with wonderful fibres for my Beginning Spinners' class.  Jill Holbrook made the turquoise support spindle, with sea shell; these were spindles designed for her classes in spindle spinning.  The pottery dish was a gift from Joan Ruane, my room-mate and a wonderful teacher.  The dish keeps my tahkli spinning nicely.  The beautiful sample niddy noddy is a gift from my friend, Roberta, who came for a visit.  She showed up with a copper pipe tapestry loom which she was giving away.  It's on its way home to me, courtesy of my patient and kind friends, Jeremy and Susie, who hauled supplies from home for me.  (I had promised not to send them home with my stuff. I lied.)  

I visited the college greenhouses; I walked the grounds of the campus and photographed the flowers.  These are "Catch Fly" flowers (the photo is hazy because of the rain).  Apparently, they work only on flies because the mosquitoes on campus were prolific:

I am in the process of transitioning into teaching the Master Spinner Level classes.  The "Rah, Rah, Let's Go!" teaching style I use for my beginners' classes won't work for teaching to a curriculum, so I spent Monday and Tuesday visiting the Level 1 and 2 classes, instructed respectively by Dora and Leslie.  Here's Dora's Level 1 class, opening a Shetland fleece:

I flew home on Wednesday, tired but happy.  All was well at home.  Morris marked my arrival by throwing up in his crate; Mickey attacked my feet in my sleep, so things are getting back to normal.

I thank all the people who welcomed me with open arms and made Fibre Week such a wonderful experience for me and so many others.  You know who you are.  (Hey, Jean!) I would especially like to welcome the young people who are moving into the fibre arts.  They include, but are not limited to, my friend, Susie, who helped with the Fleece Show, and who is a very talented spinner, knitter and teacher, Noor, who taught the Beginning Weaving course for the first time, and managed to keep 12 new weavers on track, and Lena, who raises her own sheep, including Yvetta, a Jacob, whose coat is now travelling back to my home, where I will put it to very good use.  

I am grateful for all the pleasure, challenges and learning opportunities that Fibre Week has brought to me over the years.  Congratulations to the Master Spinner Programme on its 25th anniversary.  May it have years of success to come.



  1. Thanks for the nice compliments Deb :) It is I who should be thanking YOU for telling me about Olds and for sharing your spinning knowledge! Great pics as well, I'm really enjoying support spindling. And the bead spindle that Jill Holbrook made is one of my new favourites. Wish I had more supplies up here in Edmonton so I can get more practice. See you soon!

  2. You didn't buy enough at the FW vendors? I'm shocked, just shocked. Feel free to dip into my stash--poke around and grab something.
    Enjoy the football game. Safe trip home to you and Jeremy.