New England Braids – Classes October 22-24, 2010

Participants of the Methuen Braid-In 2008

Create a family heirloom! New England Braids is excited to announce a special weekend of rug braiding to be held at St. Basil’s Conference Center from Friday, October 22 through Sunday, October 24, 2010. This weekend of workshops is open to all levels, including those who have never tried rug braiding.

Although a braid seems like such a simple thing at first, the braided rug design options are endless — fabrics, textures, colors, patterns, rug shapes, number of braiding strands, and more. New England Braids’ weekend of classes offers an opportunity to immerse oneself in a traditional art, meet new people, relax, and improve skills. Attendees who are new to the craft usually start by making a small oval mat and then graduate to a larger project. Experienced braiders may choose to master advanced projects such as special shapes and corners. Everyone benefits from observing the skills of others as they learn the craft.

The event will feature speaker Delsie Hoyt. Delsie is the fourth generation of women in her Northeast Kingdom family to braid woolen rugs. She was inspired by the complex artistry Great Grandmother Nettie drew out of this simple craft over a century ago. Despite her use of worn clothing and remnants, she created stunning overall patterns in her rugs, using the dyepot to express her sense of color. Her innovative pinwheel design breaks all rug-making conventions, and Delsie tries to carry forward that spirit of experimentation and playfulness in her own work.
For more information about Delsie Hoyt visit Kingdom Moon Rugs.

Turtle, runners, and unusual patterns

New England Braids teaches the basic techniques in making a traditional braided rug from planning to completion. Participants will be guided step-by-step through the process of making a braided rug from strips of wool fabric. Learn about types of materials, tools, and how to figure quantity of materials needed. Also covered are how to braid, starting the rug, lacing, following color patterns, adding new colors, tapering and butting the last rows.

New England Braids at Methuen, MA will be held at St. Basil’s Conference Center, 30 East Street, Methuen, Massachusetts, October 22-24, 2010. This weekend is open to all levels of rug braiding abilities, including those with no experience. A fee of  $225 includes: 2 nights lodging, dorm style, 6 meals, 3 days of Rug Braiding classes. For more information please call Carol Broadbent at 603-332-9038 or email carolbraids @ gmail .com.

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