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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!

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Sabahar Part 3: The Weavers

Whenever I get home from India or Ethiopia I struggle to stay in the other place for as long as I can. I want to savour every minute of my time away but alas I get sucked back into my other world with all its demands and all my good intentions get put on the back burner. One of the wonderful things about working with Sabahar is that even when I’m not there, I stay in touch with Kathy weekly and that makes me think I’m still there 🙂

So here we go with the 3rd of 4 posts about the Weavers, Spinners and Dyers of Sabahar.  

Sabahar now has 2 weaving studios where 30 weavers work 5 days a week along with another 65  weavers who weave from their homes close by.  

Sabahar 1 is a bright busy studio that hums with the sounds of shuttles and beaters and produces 100’s of metres of handwoven cloth each week.

These are a modern version of a traditional Ethiopian style loom. The 2 harnesses are suspended from a metal frame
And the warps sit on the floor in their bundles.
Several yards of the warp are released from the big warp bundle where it travels around a post at the end of the loom approximately 7 feet away from where the harnesses and reed hang.
After it turns the post it is attached to the previous warp behind the heddles.
There is no tension device other than a hole in the end of the cloth beam and final tensioning is done by tightening the warp around a post.
The weavers weave as far as they can possibly reach by pushing the harnesses back on the frame above. The treadles are attached from the harnesses and they can be kicked back as well. It really helps to be tall working at these looms.
The warps are tied on to existing warps behind the heddles and pulled through. Well…they actually aren’t tied, they are plied.
This leaves a join rather than a knot.
This is the easiest way to thread the looms because they do not have heddle eyes like we do

The harnesses are purchased from the heddle maker who makes the harnesses for all the weavers in the area. When you think about how fine all the warp threads are…nothing heavier than 20/2 cotton…it really is awe inspiring to watch.

The other style of loom looks much more like our looms. A traditional frame with back beam and tensioning device. There are 4 of them fitted with makeshift flying shuttles. These looms are saved for all the wider fabrics like blankets and table cloths.

Some of the weavers work from home. Just like us, they give up space within their homes 🙂 Their looms are constructed with spare timber and are extremely simple.

The fabrics that are woven on these looms are extraordinary!

The pride of the weavers is so evident. I can’t find the words necessary to express my admiration and respect for all their achieve.

In this studio, warps criss cross through each other with a jumble of cords hanging from the ceiling. All very orderly 🙂

In another small home the looms are part of the furniture.

Sabahar 2 was created in an effort to provide some of these weavers with another option. Kathy has rented a house in a newer area that is close to the existing weavers. Here they can come to work in a bright, clean and spacious working environment with running water. This space eliminates some of the stress for the weavers working and living in such small quarters.

They have new looms and lots of bright light. A few of the looms are 4 shafts and they have more treadles 🙂

Both the weavers and winders are so happy.

I hope to finish my final post in a few weeks. It will be a summary of my time at Sabahar this past March and goals for the future.

Thanks for reading.

Cheers,
Jane