It was a near-perfect weekend for a long drive to central Pennsylvania, where two friends and I took a class at Tom Knisely’s new weaving studio called Red Stone Glen. It’s a bucolic setting, far from the rush of nearby Harrisburg–except on Saturday nights when there is some kind of race car track nearby that makes quite a racket until about 9pm. In the stillness of the woods it is quite a surprising background sound!
This is the main house, where the weaving classes take place and where you can shop.
Isn’t this just the spot to have lunch and admire the view across the valley to the distant hills.
Julia, Clare and I were taking a class on the taka dai with Rodrick Owen and Terry Flynn, in the smaller farmhouse down the long driveway from the main house. We had a large room for the three of us upstairs on the right side of the house. The room goes from the front to back of the house. We had a private bath in that room as well. The mornings and nights were chilly, but I was determined to have coffee outside each morning–totally worth it!
The back of the farmhouse has some lovely views as well.
There was fog each morning.
Oh yeah, and the class we took was great! We were so busy working that I didn’t take enough time to get photos of that! This class took place in the farmhouse.
Rodrick is watching Clare braid.
One of the staffers took a photo of all of us together on Phyllis’ phone. Those are all of Rodrick’s braids on the table!
Rodrick always travels with a treasure trove of the braids he has made over the years.
When you’re not working in class you can shop on the lower level of the main house. These are the samples from the book 18 towels on Four Warps.
Here are three of the four braids I’ve made lately (one has gone awol, but I hope it’s still somewhere in my studio). The braid on the left is one of the first braids to make since it is plain weave with a color and weave effect known as log cabin. I made that on Clare’s taka dai during the summer.
The braid on the right is unfinished because I plan to put it back on the taka dai today to continue making it. It is a twill such an interesting pattern.
The middle braid was quite a bit harder. I was making some weaving mistakes and getting an interesting pattern….you know the adage “a mistake made over and over is a new pattern!” Well, I wanted to make the example in Rodrick’s book, so in the 2nd half of this braid I have corrected my mistake. The beginning of this braid is a technique called braiding from the point so that there is no fringe at this end. Terry Flynn helped me with that, and she also helped me learn how to do a hemstitch finish at the other end. This is a technique that Terry figured out how to add to the ends of braids.
This is a close up of the correct part of this braid.
You can see how it has two lattice work areas in different colors that weave through the background color. All these braids were made with 60/2 silk on cones from WEBs. I don’t have a lot of color choices in my stash, and I was not particularly happy with these colors.
Figuring out how to get a wide variety of colors without taking out a 2nd mortgage is a challenge in making kumihimo! For the moment I will have to make do with what I have!
Take a look at the Red Stone Glen website and see if you don’t find plenty of temptations in their class choices. I hope to go back in March!