News & Notes from Cameron

Spinning Yarns – from Nepenthe to Bali, by Way of Long Beach - January 2010



myNepentheMy Nepenthe, signed by author Romney (Nani) Steele, arrived this month, and what a feast it is. MyNepenthe "celebrates the magic and history of place through food and the Fassett family". Nepenthe, in Big Sur, was the childhood home of designer and author Kaffe Fassett, who changed the world of knitting with his first book, Glorious Knits, written in 1985. An extraordinary colorist, he continues to inspire, create and teach. Nani Steele, Kaffe's niece, is a gifted storyteller and chef and her book is full of photos of the family, Big Sur, Kaffe's textiles and, of course, food! Yes, you can get the book cheaper from Amazon, but why not order a signed copy from the Phoenix Shop in Nepenthe instead?


I shared My Nepenthe with friends and colleagues at the National Needle Arts trade show in Long Beach, CA. Kaffe Fassett designs for Rowan and Westminster, so it was only fitting that his niece's book should be enjoyed at the Westminster booth!



Another booth at the trade show that created excitement was that of the Spinning and Weaving Association (SWA). Deborah Jarchow did a stellar job organizing the booth, and recruited members of the Designing Weavers Guild to help out. SWA introduces the joys of our craft to a broad audience, and as a result more retailers are bringing spinning and weaving into their mix of offerings.




CA_Fibers_jan_2010California Fibers met in late January, where member Michael Rohde presented a wonderful program on textile artisans of Bali. He passed around lots of fabulous handwovens and batiks which of course we all went crazy over. On February 5th, California Fibers will celebrate the opening of our next exhibit, Liminal Spaces, at Visions Gallery in San Diego. The exhibit runs from February 5th through April 25th.

Unique Signage from Curious Creek- December 2009


Earlier this month I visited my friend Kristine Brooks in San Diego, the talented hand dyer who founded Curious Creek Fibers.  No doubt about her location...I turned the corner and was greeted by a tree adorned with glorious purple yarns drying in the late afternoon sunlight. I'm sure that UPS has no problem finding HER studio! During the Christmas season I reflect on life and count my blessings. How lucky I am to have found the fiber community, which gives me so many lovely friendships and wonderful adventures!

The Coronation Carpet - November 2009


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Photos: Coronation Carpet

The Ardabil and Coronation carpets - two stellar examples of Persian carpet weaving - are on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through January 18th .   I urge all fiber enthusiasts to grab the opportunity to visit the museum, as these carpets are rarely exhibited due to their size and sensitivity to light. I am told that the Ardabil carpet is the more famous of the two, but  found the Coronation carpet to be much more intriguing. The fanciful motifs include jaguars and dragons peeking out from the foliage. On a "serious" carpet, it's fun to see such whimsy!

A Colorful Adventure with Loom and Shuttle - October 2009


The first weekend of October brought me to  San Francisco and Berkeley for a three-day series of workshops sponsored by the Loom and Shuttle Guild. Thanks to Southwest Airlines' still generous baggage policies, I brought suitcases full of yarns for Color in Cloth, Spice It Up,  and Hands On Color. Over 40 people participated in the Saturday seminars, and then a smaller group met in a member's beautiful home overlooking the bay for the  two day Hands On Color (above).   Over the last decade, many weaving guilds decided to broaden their reach into all things fiber,  but Loom and Shuttle made the decision to stay focused on weaving. As a result, serious weavers from all over the Bay Area support this guild.  I worked with  all skill levels - what they had in common was a respect for one another  and a love of the craft.  I'll look forward to seeing many of these weavers at the Conference  of Northern California Handweavers in April 2010!

Stripes and Scottish Sheep - September 2009

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I enjoyed a fun Saturday early in the month with the Creative Weavers Guild in San Diego, CA. There were familiar as well as new faces - as I was a juror of their 50th anniversary exhibit at the Mingei Museum several years ago and have presented previous programs. We explored both the left and right brain in two seminars - Ready, Sett, Go and Simply Stripes. Later in  September,  my husband and I visited Scotland for the first time - we toured Johnstons of Elgin, a cashmere spinning and weaving mill that was founded in 1797! Sadly, no photos were allowed there, but I did get plenty of pictures of Scottish sheep breeds as we toured the countryside.