I don’t often enter things into the fiber arts show at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival (AKA OFFF), because it means delivering the items on Friday morning before everything is set up and returning to pick them up on Sunday afternoon. I like to go on Saturday, when it seems like the whole world is there browsing the booths, watching the competitions, and hanging out under the huge maple tree. But this year I decided to make the trip, having been encouraged by several people to do so. And, what the heck, I’m retired now, so I can make a 100-mile trip just to drop things off, I suppose. I entered the big blanket recently completed, the ruana I had entered into the Hand Weavers Guild exhibition, and the various skeins of yarn from the blanket (attached to the sample I wove on the table loom).
The trip turned into an adventure with son Paul. After I filled out all the forms and entered my items and visited with everyone doing the same, I decided to call Paul. We had begun the search for a ‘new’ (replacement) spinet piano for our house by attending a piano sale the day before. We had not found anything that tempted us at the sale, so now it was time to look at Craigslist. Turns out there was a nice Baldwin spinet in Lebanon. So Paul met me along the I-5 freeway and off we went to Lebanon. Turns out this piano was up in the cascade foothills about an hour from the freeway–but of course we didn’t know that. Lovely people, original owners, but the piano itself had a terrible problem; it was sticky. Half an hour of heavy workout administered by Paul (it is always good to take a pianist when you shop for pianos) led to more stickiness, not less, and so we stepped away. But Lebanon is only 40 miles from Eugene, where there were 4 more Baldwins for sale. After many hours and many miles, we headed back home with a spinet in the back of Paul’s Honda Element. So my little trip to drop off my weaving became a very grand adventure indeed. Especially because, now that we have this improved and tuned piano, I have decided to learn how to play it. Boy does that eat into a person’s fiber arts time. Here is the humble spinet in its new home.
Pianos are like spinning wheels and looms: lovely, complex mechanical devices that enable us to express our creativity.
The next day, while Paul and John and various friends installed the piano and removed the old one, friend and fellow fiber fanatic Catherine drove with me to Canby to enjoy the Festival. Of course we went upstairs to see the fiber arts exhibit and to find out if I had scored any ribbons. Yes indeed! The blanket had 3 ribbons, including Reserve Grand Champion. And the ruana received the “Judge’s Choice” award and a lovely note on the card that said, “I just wanted to wear this”. A week later, I received a certificate and a check from the Portland Handweaver’s Guild for “Best Handwoven” at the OFFF. It was humbling, encouraging and rewarding to receive positive feedback for my work. The show was very well presented, and there was lots of wonderful work on display. Since the theme was “lace” there were exquisite knitted shawls as well as examples of the many other techniques that create lace. In beautiful fiber creations of all types.
Here are the photos of my items: