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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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Handweaving in India

Handweaving Around the World: India - on the Jane Stafford Textiles Blog

A few weeks back I received a request for information about the beautiful textiles on the back wall of the studio in the videos. Laurel asked if I could share some information about them…. how they were woven, where I found them, interesting facts about them and about my travels.

Handweaving in India: some of the beautiful handwoven samples on display in the JST Textiles studio

What a great idea… those textiles are hanging on the wall because they provide me with more inspiration than I could use in a lifetime and they are all woven in India.

In 2011 I was invited by Charlotte Kwon of Maiwa Handprints in Vancouver to go to India and assist as a weaving facilitator at a Masterclass she was hosting in a village some hours north of Calcutta. That trip changed my life in more ways than I can say. I have been back to India several times since and have also worked in Ethiopia. I’m actually going back to Ethiopia in March to continue working with some of the very fine weavers at Sabahar and I’ll certainly post about that little adventure.

Going to India confirmed what I have always believed…..that we can weave the most beautiful fabrics on the simplest of looms. If our technique is top notch and we train our hands and eyes we can accomplish great things. If we question our beliefs about right and wrong (or it must be done this way) we come to understand that there are a million ways to approach things and everyone needs to embrace what works for them and that is dependent on the resources we have on hand.

There are 8 million handweavers working in India every single day. Their use of pattern is like a language, it has great cultural meaning and is miles deep. The fabrics created are extremely different between villages, regions and states. This means you could spend a lifetime learning about cloth in India.

I could go on and on but I think I’ll start with the warping process in the first village I was in. I’ll add a new post every other post.

Remember, in rural India weaving is a village affair, imagine walking into a village where 1000’s of weavers are busy at work. I was in heaven.

A simple 2 shaft pit loom. Notice that the beams are all made from giant bamboo. The weavers sit on the ground with their feet in a dugout where the treadles are.

Handweaving Around the World: India

This is a reeled silk warp being prepared. In this village they start by making a gigantic sectionally wound warp and the warping reel will hold warp for many looms. Once it is all on, the weavers bring their thread beams in and wind off enough for their sari or whatever they are weaving.

Handweaving Around the World: India - on the Jane Stafford Textiles Blog

Handweaving Around the World: India - on the Jane Stafford Textiles Blog

Handweaving Around the World: India - on the Jane Stafford Textiles Blog

The thread beams and harnesses are taken outside when there is bright sunlight to thread them.

Handweaving Around the World: India - on the Jane Stafford Textiles Blog

Then the beam and harnesses go back onto the loom where they are sleyed and weaving begins.

What a blast!

Handweaving Around the World: India - on the Jane Stafford Textiles Blog

Hope you’ll come back for more.

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Handweaving in India - on the Jane Stafford Textiles Blog

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A Weaver’s Challenge: 30 Tea Towel Designs in 30 Days

A few days before we broke for Christmas one of my dearest friends and longtime JST employee Susan Brown (25 years) called to say she was coming in to show me something.  She told me a wonderful story and Susan has graciously agreed to share some of it with you.  Once again, it reinforces the lessons in the previous few blogs.  I hope you’re inspired by Susan’s story and you give it a try yourself 🙂

 

30 Tea Towel Designs in 30 Days

For the month of October an artist friend of mine, Gail Sibley painted 31 paintings in 31 days. Yes, one per day! I was so inspired but I am not a painter. I decided to draw 30 tea towels in 30 days for November. It turned out to be a very worthwhile endeavour. First I went out and found a lovely little square (don’t you just love square) sketch book and then gathered all my pencil crayons. I loved the discipline of drawing one tea towel a day but must confess there was a night or two when bedtime came and no tea towel had appeared in my sketch book for that day. I am happy to tell you that every night but one, I managed to make it happen.

Having taken Jane’s Colour and Design workshop the previous year, I drew on what she had taught in the class. Often I selected a few colours to start with, sometimes outside my usual pallette and then proceeded to work on the graphics. At times I forced myself to try layouts that did not come from my ‘go to’ designs. That was hard but very rewarding most of the time. While drawing a tea towel, the ‘what if’ question often came up which usually led to the following day’s design. Coming up with a different design each day was not always easy but when it wasn’t, I asked myself ‘what if I just changed one element of a previous design’ and presto, there was a new design.

A Weaver's Challenge: 30 tea towels in 30 days

Drawing 30 tea towels in 30 days was fun, challenging, educational, interesting and (as I said), very worthwhile. There are designs that I don’t like so much, but there are definitely designs that I like and some that I can’t wait to try. Who knows, I may do it again or something like it!

-Susan Brown

A Weaver's Challenge: 30 tea towels in 30 days

Ready to sketch?

The best part of this challenge is that you can start it any time you like! Don’t be afraid to customize it to fit your own preferences – for instance, if you aren’t  ready to commit to 30 days, try sketching 7 Tea Towel Designs in 7 Days. Who knows, you might enjoy it so much, you decide to keep going!

We’d love to see your design ideas, feel free to share them with us in our Ravelry group or on Instagram using the #janestaffordtextiles hashtag.

Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog to get future posts delivered via email!

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A Weaver's Challenge: 30 tea towels in 30 days

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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.