ANWG: Arriving

It was a beautiful day for a drive.  Washington is an unusual state: the western side (between the mountains and the sea) is rainy and foggy, the eastern side is desert.  As I drove I passed snow on the ground at the summit of Snoqualmie Pass, and a few hours later was in high desert with Canyons.

One of the joys of traveling by car is that you can take little side diversions.  This is the Wild Horse Monument.  Up at the top of this ridge are a line of giant metal sculptures of wild horses running.  I didn’t linger too long, because I wanted to get to ANWG!

Gonzaga University is in Spokane.  (The name makes me think the college president should be a wild-haired muppet with a hooked nose, but I may be dating myself a bit there.)  It’s a private christian college, judging from the icons and statuary.

As was walking to my dorm, I was struck by a wonderful smell and realized that there lilacs blooming!

The dorms we’re staying in have these amazing open-air common areas on every room.  The rooms are very dorm-ish.  Plastic-covered mattresses, particle-board furniture, and the funk of academic desperation.  One of the two beds in my room is set up loft-style, about four feet of the ground.  I dithered for a bit over which bed to take, and decided to opt for the adventursome option.  If I fall out of bed one morning, I’ll let you know.

The folks running ANWG seem very organized and friendly.  They got me squared away in no time.  I put my name down on the list for internet access.  I should have a password sometime Friday, according to the student host.  I arrived too late for the cafeteria dinner, and by the time I carried my luggage up to the room and checked the schedule, I discovered that I had time to either (a) go get food before all the restaurants closed or (b) check out the dealer’s room.  Which would you choose?

Yep, me too.

I chatted with the friendly folks at the Glimakra Booth and checked out the two-heddle set up on their Amelia rigid-heddle loom.  I met two new woodworking vendors with lovely wares.  Northwest Looms had teensy shuttles and beaters for fine-silk tapestry, and Hokett Would Work had an innovative skein-winder that you drive with your foot!  I drooled over the yarn blockers at the Bluster Bay booth (I love the finish they put on their wood) and checked out the fine hand-dyed silk (60/2 and 120/2) at RedFish.  I told the Just Our Yarn folks that some of their varigated 60/2 silk had totally saved my bacon on my sample exchange project for the Complex Weaver’s Fine-Thread study group.  Then I had a delightful exchange at the Village Spinners and Weaving booth with Jennifer Moore (who weaves doubleweave) and met Sheila  O’Hara who teaches Jacquard weaving and had some of her artwork with her.

As for shopping, I confess that a 24-dent reed jumped into my bag as did a very nice book on tapestry.

Tapestry is my focus this conference.  I have signed up for three classes: One on designing a cartoon for tapestry (because my designs to date have been surprisingly hard to weave), One on a four-selvedge Navajo warp (because I don’t know how to do that and four selvedges sounds intriguing), and a multi-day workshop on tapestry techniques.  I’m going to get over my fear of tapestry this week, or decide that tapestry weaving is not for me once and for all.

P.S.  I got lucky on dinner, Pita Pit was having their summer hours and was open late.  I got a Babaganoush pita with Taziki sauce.  Yum!  The place was like a cool, hip Subway with healthier options.  Why don’t we have one of these where I live???

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