Saturday, August 7, 2010

Camp-Tastic! (Another Summer of Converting the Kids.)

Last month was Hill Country Weavers' Summer Camps for Kids month and, as usual, it was a smashing success. I popped in one afternoon to check out what the campers were up to and I must admit I was humbled. These young designers were weaving like old hands at the four harness loom, creating amazing fabrics with groovy color combinations. The kids learn knitting, too-- as all children everywhere on the planet should if you ask me-- but perhaps because weaving remains a mystery to me it was the sight of all that loom work that left me dumbfounded and inspired. I really do need to sign up for one of those Weaving for Knitters Classes* soon.

Leading the camp were Corinna and Taylor-- not the first year these young women, both past attendees of camp when they were younger, ran the show. I asked them both to share a bit about their experiences with the camp.

Corinna started out as a camper when she was around eight. She's 21 now. She made the transition from camper to helper when she was in middle school and by 8th grade she'd signed on as a teacher at camp. These days she spends most of her time at Carnegie Mellon University where she's majoring in dramaturgy and minoring in French. She weaves and knits but admits weaving is her true love. "I love seeing the different projects the kids come up with," she says. "Everyone gets to be their own designer."

Taylor started out at camp when she was 12 and moved up to helper the very next year. She's 18 now and just graduated from high school-- any day now she's heading off the the College of Charleston in South Carolina. Corinna calls Taylor-- who first picked up needles and yarn when she was eight-- a "knitting prodigy" but she loves weaving, too. "It's fun to watch the kids finish a whole project in one week," she says, adding, "It's interesting to see how it evolves, how they learn the whole process."

Over the years, these talented young teachers say they've both learned how to explain things better. "You have to really understand the process to be able to explain it," says Taylor. "It also helps to 'get' what they don't so you can understand how to explain that, too."

I was totally blown away-- by how calm Corinna and Taylor were in a room full of young weavers, by the progress everyone was making, and by the projects they were working on. But don't take my word for it, check out these pictures. But first-- that * up above? If you want your own camp experience there are lots of great classes coming up including Weaving for Knitters on August 12th. Call the store to hold a spot.

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