Sunday, August 12, 2018

Blurry pictures but a great experience

A couple of weeks ago, my SO and I visited the Columbus IN/Nashville IN area. We had been to Columbus before, liked the town, wanted to see a bit more of it. One stop was Shabby Sheep and Ewe, where I made a few purchases. Gotta help the local economy AND the local yarn stores.

Nashville was a bit of a bust. It used to be an artists colony, now is definitely more of a tourist trap; although much of what is for sale is handmade, it's more crafty than arty. However, we did find the Clay Purl and the Brown County Weavery. The former had moved, so the address in the visitors bureau directory was incorrect; I had to call them to get their location. The weavery must be new, as it was not in the directory at all; we just happened to stumble upon it. Needless to say, more money was spent.

By then I had reached my usual self-imposed limit on fiber expenditures. That cap was blown away after visiting Homestead Weaving Studio. In October, there is a studio tour. I had picked up a map for it, checked for weaving studios, and called one that was near the Story Inn ("One inconvenient location since 1861"), where we had eaten lunch the day before. The weaver, Chris Gustin, sounded reluctant but she let us stop by, and we made it worth her while.

Chris' husband Bob initially greeted us and let us in the studio. My-oh-my. Chris is a production weaver, creating two or three rugs or shawls a day, with October being her big revenue month, although there are online sales as well. She has 25 looms she keeps busy, some of them set up for classes.

Bob builds "nail looms" using cotter pins instead of nails; a couple of those found their way home with me. Much of the material Chris weaves with is recycled, with the exception of all those spools of warp yarn. It looks disorganized, but she knows which shelves hold which threads.

The two of them have a repertoire of stories, including one about Raymond Burr and his sheep breeding efforts. Chris purchased a lot of roving from his estate; one 8-oz package remains.

Chris and Bob were generous with their time and expertise. Visiting this studio was one of the highlights of our trip, the other being the Story Inn. Sometimes you have to get off the beaten track to find the gems.

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