Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Weaver's Dream Auction!

What is going on?
The Burlington Handweavers & Spinners Guild proudly host their 6th annual auction of fibre and equipment. Saturday March 20, 2010.
Where is it?
Burlington Art Centre
1333 Lakeshore Rd, Burlington, Ontario, Canada
What time?
Preview: 11:00am - 12:45pm
Auction: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
What's for Auction?
Sale features an amazing assortment of weaving and knitting fibres, equipment, accessories and books. A fabulous opportunity to build your fibre stash, buy classic reference books, purchase a new-to-you loom, spinning wheel or that new reed you have been hoping for!!
Catalogue: www.weavingworld.ca/bwg.htm Click on 'Coming Events'
Don't miss this!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

What's Weaving on the Web?

Weaving on the Web #3 by Ruthe Stowe

As published in Fibre Focus magazine, Toronto 2009.

This column focuses on the ever-expanding wealth of computer resources available for weavers and spinners (all fibre people) and provides tips and techniques for maximizing their use. Your opinions, ideas and suggestions are most welcome. If there is anything you would like to see here in Weaving on the Web please send me an email at ruthe@weavingworld.ca . I’d love to hear from you.

I hope you all had a great summer. I spent my summer weaving! I’ve shown a picture here of my tea towels entitled "Landscape of Daffodils", for the brilliant yellow color. I’m looking forward to a new season of Weaving on the Web and I want to mention a few new things I've discovered on the web recently.
I know that many of you subscribe to email Listservs such as the Weaving List where you read other people's notices and ideas and either answer or not. We read, enjoy and then 'lurk' until we see something that inspires us to join in. Lately there was a vibrant discussion about the “future of fibre” on the Weaving List inspired by the essays by Stanley Bulbach (Bulbach, 2009, see references below). Lists and forums have become a large (and positive) part of our weaving world! Everyone is getting into the act and this is one of the many great things that the internet offers to a special interest group like weavers and fibre people in general! Handwoven now offers a new eNewsletter, Weaving Weekly and Spin Off Magazine has created Spinning Forum, a new online community just for spinners (see reference links below). Have any of you subscribed to these? I would be interested in your opinions about any of the online social networking tools so that I can explore them and present the ideas to you here in Weaving on the Web. I hope you have a lot to say so I'll have lots to say!
One of the new networking sites that I mentioned in Weaving on the Web (Stowe, 2009, P. 22) was Weavolution. Wow! It is up and running now, brand new! At Weavolution you can participate in a forum discussion about any number of topics, connect with weaver’s Guilds, join a “Group”, display your own weaving “Project” to the public and other weavers, show your patterns and “Drafts”, meet people and even shop. It seems to be a good “one-stop” networking center of activity for weavers. When you visit the site, you can click on the Tabs across the top that take you a variety of places within the Weavolution site. Weavers from many locations have become members and there is a growing Canadian presence. I added my own Guild, the Burlington Spinners and Weaver’s Guild, to the Guild listings (click on the Resources Tab and look for the List of Guilds). If you are member of another Guild, you can easily add the Guild there (once you are a member at Weavolution). I have also created a Group called “weavingworld.ca”. Just click on the Groups Tab to join my Group. If you enjoy online social networking in the area of weaving you may be enticed to start participating at Weavolution. You could spend a whole morning or afternoon there and you wouldn't be bored! If you are already a member at Weavolution, I would be interested in knowing about what you are doing there and how it has benefited or helped you.
By now I trust you have had a chance to check out some of the interesting weaving and fibre blogs and other websites that I have mentioned in previous columns. I hope the new fall season brings new inspiration to all of you in your weaving and fibre pursuits.
Ruthe Stowe
Email: http://www.blogger.com/application%20data/qualcomm/eudora/attach/ruthe@weavingworld.ca
Website: http://www.weavingworld.ca/Blog: http://www.weavingworld.blogspot.com/
Bulbach, Stanley, Where is the Voice of Fibre Art Today? An essay in Fibre Focus, the magazine of the Ontario Handweavers & Spinners, vol. 52, #1, Spring 2009, pp. 27-29. Link to essay: www.bulbach.com/library/ontarioHandweaversSpinners-1.pdf. Website: http://www.bulbach.com/
Handwoven – Sept/Oct 2009 Notices, P. 9 & P. 59. Print magazine distributed bimonthly. Published by the Interweave Press LLC, Loveland, CO. Publication for weavers and fibre people. http://www.handwovenmagazine.com/
Spinning Forum - a forum for spinners. http://www.blogger.com/application%20data/qualcomm/eudora/attach/www.spinoffmagazine.com
Stowe, Ruthe, Weaving on the Web. A column in Fibre Focus, the magazine of the Ontario Handweavers & Spinners, vol. 52, #1, Spring 2009, p. 22. Link to column: http://weavingworld.blogspot.com/
Weaving Weekly - an eNewsletter for weavers by Handwoven Magazine. Subscribe on this page: http://www.blogger.com/www.interweave.com/weave/ look in the sidebar on the right.
Weavolution – a social networking website for weavers. http://www.weavolution.com/

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Weaving on the Web #2

Weaving on the Web #2 - by Ruthe Stowe (assisted by Margaret Stowe)
as published in Fibre Focus Magazine Toronto Summer 2009

Twitter, RSS, Podcasts, Videos and Lists (hhhew…)

In the last issue we discussed online social networking and blogs. In this article I'll look at a few more of the new online tools available to weavers and fibre people for communicating our thoughts, creative ideas and news to our friends, family and peers using the internet.

There seem to be new web tools springing up all the time and new words for us to figure out. Take “Google” for example. The word doesn't have a meaning outside of its internet usage. Then there’s “Twitter”. It seems to be all the rage these days. It used to mean the chattering of birds but now it means something completely different and it’s becoming a household word. Twitter happens to be an acronym for (Typing What I'm Thinking To Everyone Reading). Basically it's for communicating quick thoughts or news items. “What are you doing?” Your posts or "tweets" must be short (140 characters) and sweet! Folks "follow" your twitter posts (also referred to as status updates) and can view your “tweets” either at Twitter or on other webpages (more on that below). People are finding creative uses for twitter. News networks use Twitter to broadcast news headlines. Musicians use Twitter to let others know where they are playing. If we apply the same thinking to our weaving world we may find that Twitter is a good place for us to let others know quickly about upcoming shows, sales and meetings or we could simply use it to let our friends know about current projects we're working on. It's mini-blogging, as they call it. It is like broadcasting your own personal news headlines and you can even display your “tweets” on other webpages, like your website or blog if you have one. If you haven’t already done so, go to www.twitter.com and sign up.

A very handy way to use Twitter is with an RSS feed and that brings us to another new acronym “word”, RSS Feed. Others “subscribe” to your Twitter RSS Feed and you can subscribe to theirs. Now what does that all mean? Here’s a little bit about RSS Feeds and don’t worry, it’s easier than you think.

This picture shows what your Feeds look like in your Favorites menu if you are using Internet Explorer. (You can also see from the picture that I have already subscribed to the WeaveCast RSS Feed and to the Weaving World Twitter RSS Feed, as well as the BBC News).

This is what the RSS Feed logo looks like on a webpage.

RSS: (Really Simple Syndication) - a way of seeing updated web content such as blog entries, news headlines, podcasts or Twitter posts. You will see the RSS logo on webpages that offer RSS Feeds. Keep your eyes open for it. You can “subscribe” to an RSS feed by clicking on this logo, then “ Subscribe to this Feed”. All of the feeds that you’ve subscribed to will show up in the Favourites menu of your browser. Just click on it and any new items or posts will be displayed right in your browser. So you don’t always have to go looking for a website to see the news headlines or your friend’s new blog posts. It comes directly to you.

Twitter is an excellent place to learn how RSS feeds work. It’s easy to set up and use with Twitter. If you subscribe to someone's Twitter "feed" then all you have to do is click on your Favorites then click on Feeds and lo and behold your friend's Twitter posts will instantly appear on your browser window.

You can receive all kinds of "digital content" in an RSS Feed including pictures, audio (spoken word and music) and podcasts. Wait a minute! What’s a podcast?

A podcast is simply a Blog with sound (always), pictures and video (sometimes). There are all kinds of podcasts about every possible subject on the internet including weaving. You can also find mini-documentaries, radio shows, interviews and news programs. Below is a list of some weaving-related podcasts that I found easily. Podcasts also use RSS Feeds, so if something interests you, go ahead and subscribe.

The Art of Weaving Colonial Williamsburg Podcasts:
WeaveCast is an internet-based talk radio show about handweaving. You’ll want to subscribe to this RSS feed for sure! It’s available at:
www.weavecast.com/ or from the WeaveZine website: http://www.weavezine.com/
Voices on Cloth: there are some interesting podcasts on this link by Karen Selk and others:
You can find podcasts with videos about knitting at this link:
Learn how to work with silk hankies and how to spin with them in this video:
The Amateur Traveler goes to Oaxaca Mexico to meet Felipe Hernandez, a 4th generation weaver:
Here’s a video I found on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7bra3Fjtnk. This is a beautiful video showing spinning, dying and weaving in the remote village of Rajasthani India. Amazing!

You can also find lots of videos relating to weaving, knitting and fibre arts at www.youtube.com/. Simply enter the topic you are looking for in the search window and surf away. The accompanying picture shows one of the many videos about weaving I found on YouTube.

Many of you have joined (or subscribed to) a 'list'. A List is an email-based community where you ask questions (there are no dumb questions!) and discuss fibre things (or not!). They are fun. You don't have to contribute, you can just read and 'lurk' until there’s a discussion that intrigues you. Feel free to jump right in and contribute your two cents worth. For fibre people, there is a Weaving List, a Spinning List, Knit List etc. You can join special Tech lists also: WeaveTech, Tech Knit and Tech Spin. (These Tech lists don't allow any chat about other things - just serious business!)
Tip: I recommend that when you join a list, sign up for the 'digest' form of receiving the communications - that way it is all in one email.
You can find a whole list of 'lists' on my website under "Fibre Related Mailing Lists":

I hope that I have helped you to understand some of the terms, and inspired you to explore these new, fun multi-media internet tools. If you have any questions about the Web, I will try to answer them in a future issue, with humour. Don't forget - there's no such thing as a stupid question! Email me at: ruthe@weavingworld.ca
Here is a link to my blog: www.weavingworld.blogspot.com/ You can also keep abreast of weavingworld website updates on Twitter. Here is the url www.twitter.com/weavingworld. Subscribe to my Twitter RSS feed by clicking on the orange RSS button.

Have fun with podcasts and videos and see you on Twitter!

Ruthe Stowe

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Weaving on the Web 1 by Ruthe Stowe

Weaving on the Web 1 by Ruthe Stowe - (w/ Margaret Stowe)
as published in Fibre Focus Magazine Toronto Apr 2009

Times have changed. Language has changed and the new language of technology and the internet is certainly upon us. When I first heard the word "blog" it sounded like an insult! But it's not. The purpose of this column is to try to make some sense out of the new words that we come across almost ever day on the computer. The words that I have chosen, to start with, are: Social Networking, Blog, Podcast, Video, YouTube, Ravelry, Weavolution, WeaveCast and WeaveZine. You see what I mean? Do you understand what they're saying? Ravelry (sounds like what you do to knitting when you made a mistake two inches back!) is a knitting and crocheters community. The last two, WeaveCast (a podcast for handweavers) and WeaveZine (an online magazine for weavers), are the brainchildren of Syne Mitchell, who also writes for Handwoven in a column called Weaving the Web. Weavolution is a new social network for handweavers.
But down to business.

Online Social Networking
I want to start with online social networking because most of the other words fall into this category. Everything we do online to publicize and talk about our work and interests involves social networking. We might define social networking as the interaction of people according to some common interest or goal. Online social networking is when we interact on the internet, that world we all seem to live in these days. It’s an exciting world for sure and if you have a special interest, online social networking can greatly expand your knowledge and enjoyment.

There is a growing amount of online social networking about weaving. You can discover some of it by following the links at the end of this article. Types of online networking include email, subscribing to a mailing list (like the Weaving List), joining a discussion forum, making a website, creating a blog, creating a Facebook and/or MySpace page, putting videos on YouTube or subscribing to a podcast. We can take advantage all of these online tools to pursue our interest in weaving. We all use email and some of us have Facebook pages. These are great for personal exchange but most often websites and blogs are used when you want to call attention to your work, interests or ideas.

There are tools we can use for social networking, regardless of our skills. However, before we talk about these tools let’s look at how your social network may develop. It could result from a contact you make in your real-world social life. For example, you may meet someone at an art show with whom you have interests in common. This may lead to an email exchange; or you might check out the person’s website or blog to find more about them. Maybe you are on a committee and in between meetings you discuss your activity or upcoming issues on a listserv mailing list or blog. While searching the internet for interesting things, you may discover some beautiful pictures of natural dyes from the Far East on someone’s website or blog. Learning, investigation and exchange; that’s what it’s all about!

So there are various ways we can use online social networking to further the fibre cause! You might have noticed that I have used the word blog quite a few times already. A blog is an excellent example of a social networking tool, so it’s a good word to look at next.

Blog" is a contraction of the term "Web log". Simplified, it is an online journal, or diary, that you write in which is stored, on the internet, for public viewing on the Web. It can also be a collection of information or pictures. It is used as both a noun and verb; "to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog". A blogger is someone who does that.

Tell the story of your life, post your travels, post book reviews, display our work, publish your own articles, stories or anecdotes or expound your ideas and opinions. These are some common uses for blogs. The great thing about a blog is that it is so easy to create and use. The blog is the website of the people, so to speak. Any one can make one. You don’t have to have any special coding skills. A blog can be just text or can include pictures, videos, slideshows etc. Most blogs have a similar look, with a menu column and a content column. To create one you simply go to one of the popular blog sites (links at the end), click on “create a blog”, then after registering simply click on buttons to create, and post to, your blog. Posting is when you add a new entry to your blog and posts are usually shown chronologically by date. You can also make your blog interactive by inviting comments and ideas. Blogs are “social” things, you want people to come and read it.

Special interest blogs are blogs built around a topic of interest. People from all over the world post special interest blogs and there is a large blogging community of weavers and fibre people. That’s because blogging offers the weaver or fibre person a place to show your work and exchange ideas with an “easy to use” interface. One way to find blogs about weaving is to do a google search. To avoid coming up with thousands of websites, focus your search on your main interest. ie: handweaving, weavers' blogs, spinning blogs, knitting etc. Try going to a popular blog site (links below) and do a search there. You could also go to a blog you’ve heard about (like the one below) and look for links to other weaving blogs. At the Weaving Finlander blog you would be in luck!

The Weaving Finlander
Website address: palttina.blogspot.com/. Below is a screen shot of a blog by The Weaving Finlander, Kaisu, a textiles design student, living in Lapland, Finland. She displays her work, writes about textiles and invites comments. It has a typical 2-column blog layout. This blog has a comprehensive list of weaving blogs so be sure to visit and bookmark this page! And leave her a comment. Now, that’s social networking in action!

If you’re curious about blogs, just go to one of popular weblog sites and create a blog for yourself. Why not? It’s easy, and fun! Who knows what creative ideas keeping a blog might inspire in you, or someone else. Whether you create your own blog or whether you read and enjoy other people’s blogs, good luck and happy blogging!


Popular blog sites:
· www.blogger.com/
· www.wordpress.com/

A couple of blogs about weaving and spinning:

· wordpress.com/tag/weave-of-the-week/
· spinninglizzy.wordpress.com/

See you next time for Podcasts, Videos, and YouTube.

Ruthe Stowe

Ruthe Stowe is an active member of the Burlington Weaver’s Guild and has been the editor of the Guild Newsletter since it began. She is an avid weaver and creator of the website http://www.weavingworld.ca/ which she started in 1996 especially for weavers.