I’m not quite home yet, but I am in the next best place — my Dad’s house in California — where I can slob about in sundress and flip-flops while doing laundry and generally getting organised for the transatlantic return. A packing endeavour like no other will be required to accommodate all my weaverly purchases, so it’s a good thing we have a few days to work on it.
Since I’m in marshalling mode, therefore, it seems like a good idea to try and marshal some of my impressions as well. I did the whole Complex Weavers and Convergence weavathon in Albuquerque — seven days in total — so my mind is teeming with new ideas and new projects, but the most fun of all was had meeting people. People who weave! Amazing! So let’s start with those.
CW was first, and of all the people there I think I had only met two in person before, both colleagues on the Journal Editorial Committee, but there were several I had been in contact with: on Journal business, through this blog, through their own weaving blogs and through various online communities. The very first such person I met was actually someone else from the UK: Wendy Morris, who recently became the proprietor of Handweavers and — even more recently — the president of Complex Weavers. I have shopped in her store and she has written for the Journal, but we had to go all the way to New Mexico to meet for real! I also met Stacey Harvey-Brown (weaver, blogger and juror of the Convergence yardage exhibit) having done lots of work with her for the Journal (see forthcoming issue for her really useful guide to types of looms) but never having met face-to-face until last week.
Then there were a few North Americans there too… I think the first of the ‘online’ weavers I met was Alice (in the lift after the plenary talk!), then Barbara, Bonnie, the person I think of as @amyfibre (I had to check: “Are you Amy as in amyfibre?” says I), and not only Sandra but Sandra’s wonderful scarves as well. Of course there were heaps more people whom I had known only as names at the end of WeaveTech posts or who were completely new to me, but all were friendly and approachable and full of enthusiasm for weaving. I was also really touched at how many people spotted my name badge and said, “Oh Cally, I love your blog!” If that was you, then thank you for making my day 🙂
All in all, CW was a great environment for meeting people and it was enormously exciting to be involved in such a passionate weaving community and to be drinking in so much new information. OK, so my overloaded brain crashed once or twice, but it was worth it.
Convergence also brought me into contact with many new people, but overall it was less of a community experience. There were simply so many people there (2,000 is a figure I have heard bandied about) that it was rare to bump into the same person twice. In fact whenever I saw someone I had met at CW, I just about fell on them in relief — new acquaintances were suddenly my oldest, dearest friends! However, there were still some fun meetings: on the first evening I spotted Daryl at the Fashion Show (not very hard, as she was standing in the aisle just in front of me and wearing one of her gorgeous handwoven dresses); an email from Dot gave me an excellent excuse to track down Laverne, who was hanging out at the Weavolution stand; and finally I had a very special rendezvous with a longtime e-buddy, and here is the proof:
I’m not going to link directly to Lynne’s blog as this is a lady who likes her privacy, but she has given me permission to post this special pic — and anyway, if you read weaving blogs and/or are interested in e-textiles, then you already know fine who she is, don’t you? Lynne also gave me a gift to take home, but more on that later…