Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hooked on Hooked in the Mountains

Well, I am back from my virgin experience with Hooked in the Mountains. It was everything I hoped it would be - and more. The trip itself was "worth the drive to Acton" as we kept saying. Doesn't this picture of the mountains look like a rug?

These are the mountains. Easy to see why you would get hooked.

I knew the show would be amazing. I knew the Round Barn would be the best venue ever. And I knew that my traveling companions - Jennifer, Mary (Jenn's mom) and Elaine - would make the trip even more special. But there were surprises along the way that made it even more than I could have imagined. And, according to those who have done this more than once, it is a little different every time.

Having a guide for your first time is a very good thing. Jenn's narrative about what would be overwhelming was not an overstatement, but spot on every time. I really had to pace myself so that I didn't go overboard on the first stop, which was a wonderful yarn store. I did end up going a bit overboard and bought some lovely cotton blend yarn for a long t with short sleeves. I consoled myself that the pattern was free. And there was more yarn to come.

Dorr was incredible!! It would have been overwhelming if I were looking for wool. But I was content to wander about, touching it all and looking at the other fiber arts, like braiding and applique. Little did I know this was a foretelling for later acquisitions.

The show was unbelievable - as the Brits say, I was gobsmacked. Jennifer has posted some pics which you will see on her blog. Some are ones I chose - but some are different. I guess every visitor is drawn to something different. In this post, I am going to share the three that were vying for my "viewer's choice" vote. (I couldn't decide and didn't vote.)

This was a very large piece by Jenn Lavoie. I think it was six feet high and is obviously a corn field.
Her foliage was unbelievable, along with the perspective of the design and the colours that she used in every element. This was on the main floor of the barn. And I discovered another of her masterpieces on the lower level.

This was her rug of Hawaii, which was absolutely magnificent as a whole, but it was the "sum of the parts" that made it so much more.

The textures she used, the movement she created - breathtaking!

I couldn't resist introducing myself to Jenn and telling her how much I admired her work. She, like everyone else I met, was extremely humble. She asked me to email her and add myself to her newsletter list, which I fully intend to do.

The other piece that was vying for first place in my head was a very large punched piece, which I was unable to capture well enough as a single shot. Instead, I took pictures of various elements. I don't think I have ever seen a punched piece that had so much texture and movement before. Every one of the pictures below demonstrates how amazing this rug was.

The yarn colours were amazing, the detail incredible - the more you looked, the more you saw.

(I hope that Jennifer or Elaine did a better job of getting the overall piece - so I can link you to it at some point.) I also hope that Jenn did a better job than I did at getting the details of the rugs. If you go to her blog, you will see that she took pictures of each of the cards next to the rugs. Since my camera has a very short battery life (old technology, don't ya know), I couldn't use my juice for other than the rug pics.

I took quite a few more shots, which I will meter out over the next few days. There were many that made me smile or outright giggle, which I think is always a good thing. There were some that had hidden messages. There were some "series" rugs which were awesome. And there were alternate technique rugs which were fascinating.

We were also lucky enough to hear two presentations on the Saturday morning - something new that has been added to the show - and something that I would love to see continued. It's like hearing "living legends" talk about the craft. I felt like a groupie, getting to see and hear women I have admired for years "in the flesh".  I did restrain myself and not ask for autographs, but it took some effort. This was definitely one of the things that turned amazing into perfection.

My purchases while in the Barn - one at the silent auction - and two from a vendor - are all things that will require me to stretch into new turf. My silent auction item was a full set of Amy Oxford punch needles, which I got at an incredible price. My other two purchases from Camp Wool are wool applique patterns - one for some stand alone Santas and a runner - the other for a wool purse I have admired for years.  Hopefully, I will be able to share finished projects from both.

So my fiber addiction continues to spread. New horizons. New challenges and new adventures.

Just like my virgin voyage to Vermont.


ArtyMarti said...

Beautiful pieces, and amazing talent. I'm sure you are inspired.

Marzipan Road said...

I'm going down this weekend and can't wait!!!

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