Weaving Workshop with Maryanne Moodie

Do you ever feel like things happen for a reason? I have a new friend and I think that our friendship was meant to be. Remember when I posted about how much I love the work of weaver Maryanne Moodie? I was so inspired by her art and by seeing the beautiful new-to-me things that she was doing with yarn, so different from knitting and crochet, I was compelled to get in touch with her. I contacted her about a commission. I wanted a piece of her art and mentioned that since I dye yarns maybe it would be neat if she could incorporate some of my yarns into my piece! As it turns out Maryanne was starting to teach weaving workshops around the time I got in touch with her and was looking for another small business to work with to source yarn for her classes. It was perfect timing! 

Maryanne invited me to join her for a workshop she was teaching in Brooklyn this past weekend. I jumped at the opportunity to take a quick trip to such an exciting city. In a crazy twist, as I was anxiously searching online to figure out where to stay in one of the worlds biggest cities I got an email from a friend of mine who lives in Brooklyn (I didn't even know that she was living there!) and get this, she's friends with Maryanne too! So, it was settled, Chris and I made a whirlwind trip to Brooklyn, we stayed with my lovely friend and gracious host Garity and the whole experience was just perfect. 

 Images by   julia stotz   for  Design Love Fest .

The above images show how beautifully Maryanne sets up the tables for her workshops. Gorgeous balls of TFA yarns grouped in lovely colourful combos around flowers and her beautiful looms. The atmosphere in the class is so positive and uplifting. Maryanne talks about good vibes a lot, and it's contagious. Her attitude towards sharing her skills and inspiring others is very refreshing. Her mission is simply to get people hooked on weaving and to pass on her love of the craft. She believes in supporting each other as a community and sharing knowledge. She's an amazing teacher. I left her class feeling incredibly energized and excited, I still don't feel like I've fully come back down to the real world.

Above is the assortment of TFA yarns that I sent to Maryanne for my piece, and then the finished object. Recognize any of those colours? It's mostly Green Label Aran weight. I'm so used to working with my colourways and seeing them in a specific way, it's so neat to see them through another artists eyes, to see how she chose to use them, what colours she featured more prominently and how she placed them. I am in love with the finished piece. Her weavings are so textural and tactile, it's impossible not to run your fingers over it. They add so much life to a space. 

Our trip was short, Rowan stayed home with his grandparents and it was our first time being without him. We couldn't handle more than a few nights apart, though my mom did a great job of sending me updates and photos. He had a great weekend and I think missed us a lot less than we missed him! 

I feel like I am overflowing with thoughts and ideas about fiber art and craft. I have a lot more to say on the subject but think that I have to give it all a bit more time to sink in so I can sort through what I'm thinking. Maryanne talked a bit about how when she started weaving she only made extremely useful things and wouldn't call it "art". I can relate. For years I've been calling myself a knitter, a dyer and a designer, but never an artist. Why not? 

I am so excited about this new skill that I've learnt and the possibilities for creating a different type of art out of my beloved yarns. I was nervous about contacting Maryanne initially, because I didn't want to be a bother and I didn't want to be so bold as to suggest a collaboration, but I am so glad that I sent her that email. There is so much to be gained from collaborating and exchanging ideas with other artists. 

Thank you Maryanne!