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August 2019 Newsletter

Happy August Kids!

We are enjoying such a gentle summer here on Salt Spring…not too hot, we’ve even had some rain and we are surrounded by flowers. This summer I set myself a goal to practice my photography skills and my focus is flowers. Some gals might like flowers and wine but I like flowers and silk. I gave myself a flower budget and started visiting all the different farms on the island that grow great flowers. Gaia has always been my greatest source of inspiration and she has had me jumping with joy the past few weeks. Sweet Peas and Buddleia with Old Man’s Beard, Natural, Princess Pamuk and Margaretta Violetta 🙂

Tide Pool Silk Colour Way

Flowers are not the only thing I’ve been looking at. Tide Pool is a limited colour way that found its way out of our dye pots last month for the ANWG Conference in Prince George. We have 2 sets left in 30/2 silk. It was so beautiful that we have recreated it in Tussah with 3 colours….oh my, oh my, oh my….we have 5 sets of the 20/2 Tussah and we’ve called it Low Tide.

Bolero Boucle Blanket Kits

This is it! The last bit of inventory in our soft & cuddly Bolero Blanket Kits, never to be made again! These really are the most amazing blankies I have ever made but our bolero yarn has been discontinued by our supplier 🙁

Limited stock of Yarns to Dye For!

Last year I thought about adding these exquisite yarns to our hand dyed silks and our fine linen line but we can barely keep up with our regular dying so I got Grant to wind the big cones down into 100 gram cones so I could share them with a few of you. If you really like them we will make them part of our regular inventory in natural.

A Little House Cleaning

We accidentally ordered 20 cones of 16/2 Venne organic cotton in the colour Anemoon. We currently do not stock this yarn so if anyone out there is looking for a exquisite fine organic cotton here you go. Someday we will stock all these yarns but we have to make room.  You know how it is 🙂

JST Master Sett Chart

Jane’s Master Sett Chart has been revised. We’ve added a few more yarns and more options. It encompasses more than 40 years of weaving experience, trial & error and extensive sampling with many of our yarns. This chart is an invaluable treasure trove of weaving advice. You can download your free copy right here!

It’s The Little Things

Egads I have a knot in my warp! No worries, we’ll show you how you can fix it on the loom! You can also use this technique for a weft skip.

We love to hear from you!

Like what you bought from us? We’d love to hear about it and you can do so by leaving us a review right below the item!

You may have noticed that all of our products, newsletters & blogs can now be shared through Social Media or sent via email. Simply click on your favourite way of sharing and pass it on!

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July 2019 Newsletter

Summer is definitely here on Salt Spring. We are starting to harvest a bit of the garden. I say a ‘bit’ because we have been sharing the biggest part of it with the deer. These deer have been training for the Olympic high jump. I was able to grab this beautiful cabbage before they got it and they apparently don’t like zucchini. The tomatoes and basil are on the front deck and they can only access that through the dining room….ha ha…we’ll have lots of tomatoes and basil. Mind you, we better not leave the back door open. 🙂

50 Best Summer Songs of All Time That You Should Listen To – Time Out

Travelling Looms!

We have 2 Louet Erica 30 just waiting to be taken on a trip this Summer. We’ve reduced the price hoping they can travel along with you! Erica is a sweet little loom with a large shed of 4.5 cm (1 ¾”), built in raddle, comes with a 10 dent stainless steel reed and weighs 7.7lb (3.5 kg) at 2 shafts. She’s super compact and easy to use!

Planning on sampling this Summer? Check out our lovely wee Purl & Loop looms that are perfect for using up some of your stash. They won’t take up much space in your luggage!

Minute Weaver is for the absolute beginner! A teeny micro mini loom that is designed to self teach the very basics of weaving in 30 minutes or less. It is teeny tiny and super quick. The results are micro 2” squares that can be stitched together for a larger project. Might be considered a shot glass or demitasse coaster. 

Wee Weaver is designed to demonstrate the basics of weaving in less than two hours when using a dk, worsted or bulky weight yarn. Each loom comes with a colour photo instruction pamphlet, a wooden tapestry needle, small metal tapestry needle, a wooden comb and a pick up stick that all store in a little reusable cotton carrying bag. How great is that!

Stash Blaster 8 EPI is the next step up from the Wee Weaver. It is very similar to the original loom except there are 8 slots per inch for the warp. This lightweight loom is made of 1/8″ birch wood. The loom measures approximately 6″ x 7 1/2″ with a work area of 5″ x 6 1/4″. 

Stash Blaster Placemat The largest of all Purl & Loops looms is the Placemat loom. The grooves are cut at 4 EPI so you can make thick absorbent placemats with this puppy. With this open sett, you could weave mini rag rug placemats or use it for tapestry technique. The loom itself is 18 x 13 and will give you a finished project approx. 16 x 12. 

Swatch Maker 3 in 1 The most versatile of all the little Purl & Loop looms is the 3-in-1. It offers 3 different ends per inch 8, 10 and 12 all from one single portable loom. It has a handy little ruler along one side and comes with a wooden tapestry needle, metal tapestry needle and a threading needle that all store in a reusable cotton carrying bag. 

Huckleberry Waffle Kit has been restocked!

We’ve replenish the Huckleberry Waffle Kits with our favourite GOTS certified organic cotton from Venne in Holland with our 2 colour ways, Spring & Fall. Each kit comes with 8 cones of organic cotton to weave 9 towels! It also includes Jane’s design process and all the tie-ups and treadling sequences to create some pretty wonderful patterning.

Summertime Weaving Projects

JST Cotton Boucle Tea Towel Kits are a fun and quick weaving project to put on the loom with these summer colours Summer Sea & Delphinium. Each kit inclues 5 cones of cotton boucle to weave 6 beautiful & absorbent towels in Plain Weave. Pattern included!

It’s The Little Things

This month’s installment of ‘It’s The Little Things‘ Jane demonstrates how to count your warp threads at the cross. Easy peasy!

We love to hear from you!

Like what you bought from us? We’d love to hear about it and you can do so by leaving us a review right below the item!

You may have noticed that all of our products, newsletters & blogs can now be shared through Social Media or sent via email. Simply click on your favourite way of sharing and pass it on!

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June 2019 Newsletter

Huckleberry Waffle

Have you ever made a warp that seems to get the better of you? It seems like an awesome idea when it is an idea, but then it makes its way to the loom and you stand there saying….what was I thinking?

It all started with The Harvest Splendour Tea Towel Kit from last fall. It is a 3 stripe design with 2 side sections threaded with alternating curry and brass from our organic 8/2 cotton collection with a centre of lovely stripes in reds, plum and burnt orange. While I wove those towels I got so excited about the colour and weave patterns that popped out in the side sections. My next warp was an entire warp of alternating brass and curry from selvedge to selvedge….wow….what a lot of brass and curry! I tried to love it but it was too much.

After a couple of weeks of doing nothing I added a few zinger stripes of plum, but it still seemed wrong. Around the same time my friend Sharon was weaving waffle weave. She had woven an entire yardage for a bathrobe. It looked great so I went home and rethreaded my loom to a waffle threading and started to play with all kinds of sequences and different treadlings and tie-ups, it was just what this warp needed…some texture to go along with the colour.

Three towels later I noticed that I was running out of warp….how that happened is beyond me….I never make short warps. I was just getting in the zone and it was over….so I made it again playing with different colours and another 8 yards later I had 9 new towels…each one different, using repetitive sequences in Waffle, Plain Weave, Twill and Huck all on one threading.

I have written the pattern describing the design process and it includes all the tie-ups and treadling sequences to create some pretty wonderful patterning. They are all woven in organic 8/2 cotton which was so fitting as I wove them over the Easter weekend and it was Earth Day.

We love Venne’s GOTS Organic yarns, here’s more kits!

It’s The Little Things

We’ve had weavers ask us how to read a draft so we’ve made a little video explaining the basics and the different types of drafts you might come across.

ANWG Conference 2019 – Prince George, B.C.

JST is coming to ANWG with armfuls of silks! We’ll have a booth in the Market Hall, come by and say hello. Market Hall will be open from Thursday June 13th to Saturday June 15th. 

JST Online Guild members’ meet-up is on Saturday the 15th at 12:30pm. We’ll meet at the Prince George Civic Centre’s outdoor Plaza. Grab a lunch and come meet Jane and fellow guild members. Everyone is welcome!

We love to hear from you!

Like what you bought from us? We’d love to hear about it and you can do so by leaving us a review right below the item!

You may have noticed that all of our products, newsletters & blogs can now be shared through Social Media or sent via email. Simply click on your favourite way of sharing and pass it on!

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May 2019 Newsletter

Two custom colour ways in silk

I do believe Spring is here to stay. In honour of her return and because we’ve had so many requests for this colourway… we’ve done another small run Playing with Pastels and Cheryl, our wonderful hand dyer, has created a very small run of West Coast Wonder inspired by the water that surrounds and nourishes us.

New 16/2 Linen from Venne

Last month I dropped in on René and Mischa van der Venne in the Netherlands and spent a wonderful couple of days hanging out with two marvellous people AND exploring a warehouse of organic yarn. We are committed to expanding our line of organic yarn. This month we have added 16/2 GOTS certified organic linen in 21 colours. GOTS stands for the Global Organic Textile Standard. The aim of the standard is to define world-wide recognized requirements that ensure organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer.

The process of making our sample cards

Why do we charge $5 for our sample cards? We thought we’d better explain why and the reasoning behind it. All sample yarn is cut by hand. All the sample cards are punched by hand. The length of the yarn is such that you can compare, side-by-side, any thread with any other thread. We don’t use sticky tape to adhere our yarn to the sample card – tape stiffens and becomes brittle over time – we thread the yarn into the sample card. Two Salt Spring gals are responsible for constructing our sample cards; let’s here it for Christine and Susan! 🙂

The JST Helpline is dead, long live the JST Knowledge Base!

If you’ve not used the JST Helpline before, it’s a compendium of as much knowledge about weaving as we could squeeze onto the interwebs. But it hasn’t been used as often as we thought it could be. So we’ve relaunched/revamped the JST Helpline. It is now called – cue drumroll – the JST Knowledge Base.

We want to make it the first place to go when weavers encounter a problem. Having a problem with your Jane loom? Check the Jane loom section of the JST Knowledge Base. Maybe you’re asking yourself can I wind two threads at a time? Or perhaps you’ve pondered the question, how do I tie-up a sinking shed loom? 

Or try searching the knowledge base. You should see suggestions appear and become refined as you type.

If you find the article useful, give it a thumbs up. If you felt like the article didn’t hit the spot, click thumbs down. Either way, leave some feedback and we’ll be able to refine the article for other weavers.

Linen spring cleaning

Spring is a great time to have a linen sale. The following are all 10% off, whilst stocks last…

16/2 Wet Spun Line – Bleached
16/2 Wet Spun Line – Natural
30/3 Wet Spun Line – Natural
33/3 Wet Spun Line – Bleached
40/2 Wet Spun Line – Bleached

And, we have some large cones of 5/2 warp twist cotton that need to find a new home. These are 10% off too 🙂 There is a lot of yardage on these puppies, it is a fabulous yarn but unfortunately we have to buy it on these huge cones and that seems to put weavers off… so if you’re interested in any type of production work that requires a lovely natural cotton at 2100 yds. per lb… this yarn is for you.

Warp Faced Weaving is up next on the Online Guild

You don’t want to miss the next episode which airs May 23rd. Warp Faced Kits are available on our website!

How heavy is cone?

It depends.

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March 2019 Newsletter

The Great Snow Storm of 2019 follows on the heels of The Great Wind Storm of 2018

I know that so many of our readers put up with snow four or five months of the year but we don’t get too much of it and when we do it is a lovely treat… for a couple of days 🙂 After a couple of days it becomes quite apparent that we are wimps out here on the west coast of Canada – a snow conversation around here starts like this… “Hey Honey, where’s the snow shovel?” “Oh, I think it’s down in the orchard under all the snow.” We got 18 inches worth of white stuff and we never did find the shovel. But all the whining aside it was peaceful and beautiful, until it wasn’t anymore.

The Producers!

We’ve had multiple requests lately on making a repair heddle and how to read a reed substitution chart. The easiest way to do this was in a little video, so here you go…

How to make your own repair heddle.
Do you only have one weaving reed? Don’t let that get you down! Here’s how to use the handy dandy Reed Substitution Chart. It will help you access the many possible ends per inch with only one reed!

Fibres West 2019

A lot of people are asking if we’re going to Fibres West this year. Alas, we are not. Jane has the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia and work with the weavers of Sabahar once again. It was a chance that was too good to pass up. The JST crew refused to go to the show without her! Boo yah! We hope Brenda and all the vendors at Fibres West have a fabulous show so please go support them.

Spring cleaning!

We’ve given our website a facelift! We’re always trying to make things more user friendly and cleaner looking. We’ve updated a lot of our photos, the next thing we’re going to tackle is the Online Guild forum and make it easier to use.

Next Online Guild episode

The next Online Guild episode airs on March 14. Come and learn all about log cabin.

The Coneheads are coming!

We have a brand spanking new cone winding machine. Grant has read the manual and is ready to rock and roll. This should mean we’ll have fewer gaps in our inventory.

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February 2019 Newsletter

Alpaca Lace, Tweed and Prime Alpaca. 25% off sale

Our beautiful Alpaca yarns have been lonely for too long so I have decided to let them go at great savings. All remaining stock will be discounted until these beautiful skeins and cones have found a new home. Now’s the time to add some to your stash.

100% Super-fine Alpaca made in Peru. 1330 yds/lb. Available in 1/2 lb skeins – 664 yds/skein. We carry this yarn in two styles, Prime and Tweed. All colours are naturally occurring. It truly is a heavenly fibre. In plain weave the prime Alpaca weaves up beautifully at 10 epi and the Tweed is fabulous at 8 epi. Both variations full beautifully.
Lace weight Baby Alpaca. This yarn is spun from the finest quality of alpaca fibre. It knits or weaves to a luxurious, supersoft hand. It is beautiful as a weft on a silk warp. After you finish your project all it needs is a gentle wash in warm water, a rinse and hang to dry. Finish off with a nice steam press.

880 yds/100g cone.

More Bouclé Blankies

Do you remember those gorgeous blankies from last newsletter? Well I just couldn’t stop working on them. The first lot were soft and subtle in their colour ways and you know me… I love hot and humid, LOL. So here you go… two limited edition colour ways: Salt Spring Berries and Carmanah Caress.

Coming up next on the Online Guild


Get set to learn about Cramming and Denting in the next episode airing February 7th. It is the perfect technique to follow on the heals of Denting which we did in January.

Latest Blog

I have had a few requests to write a bit about the weavers of India and those beautiful fabrics you seeing hanging in the studio during the videos. I will add a new post to these threads every month and you’ll see just why I’m always talking about these artisans. They are so inspiring.

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January 2019 Newsletter

Happy New Year Kids

We were so ‘on it’ with the Christmas newsletter except we had hurricane winds that completely shut down our little island on December 20th… WOW…  what an event. Alas, you are getting that newsletter today. We were without power for seven days and three hours… but I really wasn’t counting 🙂  Then we had a ruptured water line that got fixed on New Year’s Eve, so all in all it wasn’t quite the restful holiday that any of us were hoping for. BUT… we are all well and groovin’ into the New Year.

Grant’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese

(c) Can Stock Photo / Hannamariah

For the past two years my sweetheart, Grant, has been whipping up some pretty delicious lunches for our in-house workshops. We have been promising to share a few for some time… so here goes.

Mohair Blankies

For years I have been wanting to make a mohair blankie with a mohair bouclé warp and weft… and finally… I’ve made two. Oh my goodness I can’t tell you how amazing they are. To hold one of these blankies is to hold a soft curly cloud. Cheryl (our ab-fab dyer) hand dyed the yarn in several soft neutral colours and then I went to town. I warped the way I demonstrate in the Online Guild Season 1 Episode 10 and it was oh so easy… the bouclé is easier to warp than brushed mohair. I used some heavier mohair bouclé as accents to divide the space. We’ve made a limited edition of this very special project…. just six kits of each colour way. Have a peek.

Thank you and best wishes

I just want to take a moment to thank you all for a fabulous year, so from everyone here at JST…… We wish you health, happiness, peace and joy.

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December 2018 Newsletter

Stocking stuffers

We experienced a mini-disaster here on Salt Spring Island. The storm of Thursday Dec 20 brought down numerous trees and power lines. We have no power and the road is blocked; a situation that’s unlikely to change for a number of days, if not weeks.

Grant is taking his chainsaw to Richard Flack Road to try to clear a path to Langs Road. Eben, Jane’s eldest son, reported 47 felled trees on Langs Road, which connects to the main road.

Thankfully we haven’t heard of any fatalities.

Business as normal is not possible.

Fulfillment of any orders placed yesterday and onwards will be delayed by an unknown amount of time.

My apologies. Have a safe holiday period and all the best for the new year.

Blog

Our blog has two number posts since the last newsletter; here they are in case you missed them:

Weaver Spotlight: JST Online Guild Member Linda P.
Design for Weavers: Colour Theory & Practice

If you want to subscribe to the blog, you can do it here:
https://jst.link/blog-signup

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November 2018 Newsletter

Take this opportunity to stock up on all your favourite yarns. This weekend only, all yarns 10% off.

Stocking stuffers

The festive season is just around the corner… if you’re looking for some great stocking stuffers for the weavers in your life we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite products.

Blog

We’ve started a blog last month, here’s the two articles you may have missed this month:

Design for Weavers: Fibonacci & Division of Space
Weaving Architecture: Step 1 of the Design Process

If you want to subscribe to the blog, you can do it here: https://jst.link/blog-signup

Online Guild update

Just wanted to let you know that we’ll be releasing our wee promotional video on December 6 about what’s coming your way in 2019. Pushing the boundaries of plain weave is the workshop we’ll be featuring. If you’ve been wondering about denting, cramming & denting, log cabin, warp-faced, weft-faced, double-weave, collapsed weave and supplementary warps then you won’t want to miss next year. Sign up before December 7 and you’ll get it at the current price of C$75 / year.

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Septober 2018 Newsletter

Welcome to Septober

Fall is my favourite time of year. It brings cooler weather but with bright sunshine; the garden is overflowing; the apples are pressed into juice (this year we did our apples and pears together and it is fantastic. Just sayin  ).

And of course with autumn comes Thanksgiving Day. I usually do feel thankful every day of the year, but on the Thanksgiving Weekend (which we just had in Canada) I do reflect a little more deeply on all the blessings I have in my life. I have so many:

  • I have a wonderful and supportive family,
  • I live in a wonderfully supportive community,
  • I have an amazing staff running my business.

And, not least, I have been able to spend my life weaving and fostering our little business.

Few of us would be doing what we get to do (weaving and spinning and knitting) without all the farmers who grow the fibre in our yarns. When I think about it, we have silk rearers, flax growers, cotton farmers, and shepherds shepherding all those beautiful hoofed beasties – the alpacas, the angora goats, the numerous breeds of sheep – all working for us. Then there are all those hard-working folks who turn the fibre into yarn and all the dyers who pour their colourful hearts into it. An army of artisans stands behind every cone of natural yarn, and I am thankful to all of them.

A few weeks back I was cleaning up some really old files and I came across my very first order to Henry’s Attic back, in January of 1992. I was reading the list of yarns on that order and I realized that we still sell all those same yarns. Now, I have never met either Henry or Samira, but I feel like I know them somehow after all these years and I’m thankful to them because they have been at this forever, too. Then I started to think about all our other yarn suppliers and the mills we have been dealing with for all these many years and there are so so many. I am grateful for all these long-lasting partnerships, alliances, and connections.

And then there are all my students and customers and members of the Online Guild, we would not be here without you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for trusting in me and supporting me personally and JST as a business. I am so grateful.

Harvest Splendour tea towel kit

A few weeks back Joan and I were wandering around the yard marvelling at all the fall colours. We started to collect little piles of leaves, twigs and Japanese maple helicopters  , it was such a beautiful pile. When we got back to the studio I was looking at all the amazing colours and decided to design the Harvest Splendour Organic Tea Towel Kit.

I started with a 3 stripe overall division of space but after I wove them I decided to make the sides a bit narrower and the centre stripes a bit wider. I know this will give you more curry and brass to play with while weaving and I love those zinger accents in the weft.

I also decided to weave these in Venne Organic 8/2 cotton, it was a no brainer… it was Mother Earth who provided such brilliant inspiration and therefore I needed to honour her by using the kindest yarn we sell. Organic cotton is kind to the earth, plain and simple.

Blog

We’ve started a blog – I have it on good authority that they’re quite the rage. Here’s the first two posts:

In Praise of Good Selvedges: Practical Tips for Weavers
Weaving Philosophy: Find What Works For You

If you want to subscribe to the blog, you can do it here:

https://jst.link/blog-signup

Mohair price increase

The price we’re paying for mohair has increased. We’re going to hold off increasing our prices until Nov 1.

If you were thinking of making one of our mohair blanket kits – Spring StripesThree Stripe or Two Stripe – then now is the time to buy it… unless you foresee a slump in the worldwide price of mohair.

 

Jane appears on the Weave Podcast

Jane chatted with Weave Podcast host, Sarah Resnick, about the Online Guild and weaving in general.

Listen to Episode 36: Online Weaving Guild with Jane Stafford.

 

 

Online Guild price increase

When I first envisioned the Online Guild I budgeted to present one hour of video each month. All the filming we have done in 2018 and for 2019 has produced videos that are 2-3 hours long! I have completely blown my budget. But how can I cut anything out? I just can’t!

Alas, after much number crunching the Online Guild dues are going up to $99 (Canadian) starting December 7, 2018.

If you’re not already a member Online Guild, you can Join the Online Guild before December 7 at the original rate. If you are a member, unfortunately our system doesn’t allow renewal in advance.