Tuesday, August 30, 2011

If You Could Choose....

I'd love to say that I've been away, been enjoying house guests  but the truth of it is, we have been dealing with water woes and how to resolve issues with the coming in of it, and the going out of it from the house. Also conscious of the dwindling summer and time to effect a solution!
 All solutions are expensive  of course...

Me, in approx 2004, eagerly heading into a workshop with my table loom all prepped! I was caught  being 'creative'  by friend Gudie Hupfauer.

So to that end I have been thinking of teaching but, 'true confession' time: the idea of standing at the front of a class of students terrifies me! What I would be able to do comfortably is teach one on one here at my home.
I could show the student how to do project planning, wind a warp and beam it B2F on the Louet  (either floor loom or table loom) and guide them through some of the basics such as reading a draft, choosing appropriate yarns. Later we can do finishing  and they can take their work home as  a purposeful cloth such as a scarf or tea towel or table runner.  

So that is how I envision the overall goals but as they say, the devil is in the details! Since I'm brand new to this I would like to ask 'You' that if you could be the student or teacher in this situation, what would you like to see in place?

  • how long would the class session be? 2 hours, 4 hours?
  • how many days or weeks?
  • day time? evening? or weekend?
  • ...and what to charge for my time, equipment and yarn?
I think by the time a student has finished a project they will have a much better understanding if weaving is for them or not.

  • What would you add to the list? What would you like to see included if you were the student or the teacher?
Years ago I had a weaving teacher tell me that I would not be weaving anything of merit for at least the first year and hopefully, I proved her wrong! Now I'd like to help someone learn to weave and get off to a great start. I'm looking forward to your comments or you can email me directly to

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Seeing Red

As my regular readers know I have some back issues and so climbing under looms to do tie up's can take some time for me. So I've been trying to leave a tie up in place on the Louet and create a second project from it. I took the draft from the recent book mark project and made a few changes to the threading and got this:

This shows a network style treadling but when the treadling touches down at 'one' again is the end of the repeat and that is where I added in the centre 'V's as shown in the threading to create a border of sorts at the start of the scarf. I plan to weave the whole scarf now as one big undulation of the pattern and complete with a separate boxes at the other end.

Here you can see its started and underway. I'm using 10/2 tencel sett 28 epi and for my weft I'm using 30/2 black silk. It takes a lot of concentration and weaving to make an inch!  Look at this tidy little world...maybe click to enlarge:

Tencel is known for its high sheen so I was trying to get a picture without the glare and so changed the angle  and got the shine from the silk instead!

The twill diagonal is a perfect 45 degrees too! So my yarn sizes and beat are perfect for each other. Now that's a happy accident!
The second scarf will be the boxes with the 'V's in between each but that is all paused while I wind and load a warp on the big loom.  So I will give you a look at that next and see if we can get the scarves woven off. Its summer and so the great outdoors is calling.... that and we've had no rain for 4-5 weeks and so no real excuses for sitting at a loom right now. Off to a house warming today... to welcome an old friend to her new neighbourhood!  The house warming gift? the usual bottle of good quality (local) wine and a handwoven towel for her kitchen!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Yarn Infusion!

I was quite surprised when I reached for yarns for the last runner project and found that I had big gaps in my supply! Since there was a postal strike looming across Canada at that time, I was *forced* to rely on my reserves  and as a result went with the navy blue 16/2 cotton. It was a warp that needed daylight and an additional light source too. It seems my eyes aren't quite as young as they used to be.  My first choice was a white, or natural or flax coloured mercerized cotton and I was completely out!
So out came my colour charts for Brassards and I went shopping. I built a list and then let it sit over night, then I cut it back to a reasonable amount  :) I have plenty of 8/2 cottons and so decided to stick to just 16/2 cottons for this order.   All these colours are available in 16/2, 8/2, 4/8, 8/8 and even the mop cotton and a 8/2 boucle cotton. Its wonderful to have so many choices and colours... all with great service, and, happily for me, in Canada!

I ordered four cones of each of 16/2 mercerized cotton in white, natural and a colour called flax. They are smaller sized cones of 227 grams. These will be warp for things such as runners, guest towels where I want a better quality look and a bit of shine.

Then I ordered some basic white regular 16/2 cotton. As well as being warp of weft for 16/2 towels, I also use it as weft with some 8/2 projects to help reduce the over all weight of a cloth. These are half pound cones:

Okay! this is filling up my bare spot on the shelves, as those are some of my basics  Now for some colour as  I have a hankering to try more towels in 16/2 . The finer cloth feels nice to the hand, is still very absorbent and they sell well.

So I went with a soft lime green and hunter green, navy blue, brick, creamsicle orange and a colour called honey:

I tried to get a triad from the colour wheel. I have no set plan or draft right now but simple went for colours that appealed to me. I've done other colour arrangements in the past two years and it was time for something new!

So with my order all in place, I did allow myself one guilty indulgence! I saw from their sample cards that they have French linen and I was curious. I've seen Irish, and Eastern European and even Belgium I ordered two cones of 9/2 linen in natural, my preferred colour for linen.

I think you can see the lovely sheen to the cones here, but what you can't see is the nice even twist and then there is the way the yarn feels soft to the touch. Linen usually feels wiry and so this is is a nice feature! I'm looking forward to using this as weft to some of the new cotton I just bought.

So what's going on with the looms? Well, I'm winding an eleven yard warp for ten towels (plus samples) for my large Woolhouse Tools loom which seems to be constantly interrupted by 'Life' but is slowly making progress. More on this project at a later time!

I still have the 12 shaft tie up on my Louet and seem to have settled on an altered version of the bookmark draft. Here's a peek (taken with my cell phone camera). Details to come as its still under way right now. Its the lazy hazy dayz of Summer so nothing is happening quickly it seems!

I see that the local Fall Fairs are coming up soon and we are into the last weeks of summer before the kids go back to school.  It goes by so quickly huh?

Before I leave you for this this time, a small announcement: Treenway Silks has been sold and the business has been transferred to the new owners in Colorado! You can get all the details at the web site  here
Rather than come from the island just off shore from where I live, my silks will have to travel a bit further now...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A New Blog to Watch

Announcing the launch of a new blog: Caboose Coffee where my husband will share tales of his days working the railroad in many parts of Canada.  So if you or someone you know has a love of all things 'railroad', we invite them to drop by for a visit.... and bring a coffee.

Bruce: then... and now.
Thanks ... Susan