Here we are in May, after a long couple of months, and no matter where you live in the world, you have all been affected in different ways by our current situation I actually hate saying the word. During stressful times in my life I have always been so grateful that I am a weaver and have a creative avenue to loose myself in. Being able to access our creativity at such times is marvelous. I’m sure many of you reading this feel the same way.
As I write, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and we have a beautiful little Junco family tending a nest right outside the main studio entry. For the past few months we have watched this little pair of industrious birds build their nest and now mom and dad are busy all day long bringing food to at least one mouth. The grass is growing at least a foot each day, the fruit trees are in bloom, the buds on the grapevines are pushing forth, and when I wake up each morning there are two big fat rabbits eating everything (garumph)… but they are so darned cute. So… I am starting to feel a little more normal with all this life bursting forth around me, and this spring feels so much better than any other spring… simply because of the last few months.
The world is starting open up again… a kind of spring… but a careful spring. Please continue to stay safe.
Sending you tons of love,
Fulford Mist Linen & Silk Scarves
Here on Salt Spring Island, we are so lucky to live near both the ocean and the mountains. At Fulford Harbour you can admire the two at once, especially as you approach the island on the ferry. Lovely deep ocean views complemented by misty mountain tops – so West Coast, so subtle and inspiring.
These elegant scarves are made with two colours of our 30/2 silk woven on our 40/2 linen in a timeless 2/2 twill. The combination of crisp linen and shimmering silk is exquisite.
Each Fulford Mist Scarf kit makes two stunning scarves and includes one skein of 30/2 Bombyx Margaretta Violetta, one skein of 30/2 Bombyx Salt Spring Sky, one cone of 40/2 linen Olive & one cone of 40/2 linen Teal.
We’ve added a new wee video to our “It’s the Little Things” series. This one will help you control your selvedges when weaving a 2 pick colour sequence. Check out other tips and tricks in the series in the JST Knowledge Base on our website.
Spring Inspired Tea Towel Kits
Our much loved bouclé kits weave up quickly and make wonderful gifts. We use them as hand towels in our house.
Last year we created a few runs of special colour ways and Peachy Keen was a hit. We’ve had so many requests for this colour that I’ve made it a regular part of our palette….sweet and juicy, just like my favourite summer fruit. Available in 30/2 Bombyx, 20/2 Bombyx and 20/2 Tussah 🙂
Rustic Elegance Tea Towel Kit
I’ve wanted to get this pattern written up for quite awhile and finally….it’s done. I originally created this pattern years ago for our Deluxe Weavers Retreats and this warp was coveted by everyone in those workshops. This time I’ve created Rustic Elegance Tea Towels using Venne 16/2 Organic Linen so they will last a life time and become modern heirlooms. It is a lovely study in subtle ‘colour and weave’ techniques on Huck Weft Spots. Every towel uses a different combination of colour sequencing on the same treadling. The patterns are amazing. The towels have a rustic yet modern elegance, perfect for a minimalist decor. You could weave this warp as 2 runners or 4 towels, or 1 runner and 2 towels….get the drift :).
Natty Sherlock Scarf
Just letting you know that we only have 5 Natty Sherlock Scarf Kits left in stock. This soft delicious scarf is woven with 1 skein of a wonderful 30/2 Tussar Tweed silk that is no longer available and one skein of our hand dyed 30/2 Bombyx in Chocolate Cherry. Natty Sherlock was designed by Salt Spring Island weaver Mavis MacMillan and is based on a striping sequence using the Fibonacci numerical series….there is always so much information in our patterns. When washed there is the slightest hint of collapse 🙂
It’s The Little Things
We are so lucky to have a wee post from Sandra Crompton. Sandra is the keeper of the Knowledge Base on our website and is one of the wonderful gals cheerleading and responding to your questions on the JST Forum and Ravelry. Just in case you didn’t know about the Knowledge Base…formerly known as JST’s helpline….. you can find it here. Sandra has been managing 100’s of posts each year since I first started saving all my responses to weavers questions AND, Sandra wants you to know how to STASH BUST….it’s great!
Meet My Enablers – the Cone Family!
My little tale goes like this ……. I’ve made a promise to myself that my stash can no longer continue to expand, so – before I can give myself permission to order the linen that I crave from JST, I have to use up some stash. I found part cones of several cottolin coloursthat have been aging in place for years, and decided it was time to do something with them. After playing with different graphics and – thanks to the Cone Family – I was able to calculate how much yarn was left on each cone. In order to do that, I needed to know how much each empty cone or tube weighed, which I found in the above photos. In Canada, we are fickle to our systems of measurement and flit back and forth between them. In this case, I weighed each colour and deducted the Imperial weight of the cone from the total. I checked the JST Cottolin webpage, and confirmed that there were 3,000 yards in one lb. I divided 3,000 by 16 to get the resulting number of yards per ounce – 187.5. Math is my nemesis but for some reason I really had fun getting down to the point where I knew how much yarn I had to work with.
The green was the colour I was concerned about most, so …… these are the steps I took:
My green cottolin weighed 3.10 oz Minus the tube which weighed .40 oz Weight of yarn only 2.70 oz
At that point I could convert my green into yardage –
2.70 oz X 187.5 yds. per oz = 506.25 yards of green available for my project.
I did that with all the colours and then adapted my graphic to the results.
After winding my warp to include a few tea towels plus a shawl (which will help use up bobbins of silk) I still have enough of the cottolin to mix with cotton in the tea towels. Now can I go online shopping??????
While supplies last
I’ve done a little house cleaning and put a few odds and ends in the sale bin. Hope you find something you might need 🙂
Hi kids, it’s that time of month again when I have the privilege of featuring a member of our Online Guild. This month, I’m delighted to introduce you to Kate Watt, who lives and weaves in northern Maine. Kate has given us a window into her story and her journey using “what if” as her guide. I was delighted to find her posts on Instagram where I could see the imaginative structures she has created combining Clasped Weft and Log Cabin.
My name is Kate Watt and I live in northern Maine. I became mildly interested in weaving about 10 years ago. An attractive online ad for a used 4 shaft counterbalance loom caught my eye and I jumped at the opportunity. I didn’t live near any guilds and I didn’t know anyone who could teach me to weave. Instead, I started learning what I could through books, videos and online forums. There were many frustrating moments, but there was something different about weaving. With weaving, both sides of my brain are in full use. I love the math side of weaving but I also get joy from playing so creatively with color! I was puttering along trying to learn the basics, but still feeling like I was “playing” and not actually weaving. I averaged about one warp per year. That all changed after joining the Online Guild. I now feel like a real weaver. I’m still playing, but it’s with a lot more skill thanks to Jane! I never realized how much fun and excitement I could get from plain weave!
One of the projects that I particularly enjoyed was one based on the Log Cabin samples featured in Season 3 Episode 3. I wound the warp with 8/4 cotton, as Jane did in her samples with colors I had in my stash. Clasped weft has always intrigued me, especially after watching the Parrot episode (Season 2, Episode 5). Jane demonstrated how to get a clean line with clasped weft and I had never thought about using it in that way. I had this beautiful warp in 8/4 cotton and matching colors of 8/2 cotton. Then I started asking myself “What if?!?!”
I started with the idea of just weaving the log cabin on the one side of the warp and leaving the other side all one color. In order to do this, I wove one pick natural 8/4 cotton. The next pick was black 8/2 cotton clasped with natural 8/2 cotton. In order to keep that clean line, I made sure to beat on an open shed and pull a little to the right or a little to the left to get that clasp to line up just under the red divider line. Jane demonstrated this really well in the Parrot episode. I continued to alternate the 8/4 pick with the clasped pick in the log cabin pattern. This was slow weaving, but it was so exciting to get a pattern like this with “plain weave”.
If it worked so well on the log cabin section, why couldn’t I do the reverse? This time I wanted to weave the solid black grid lines, but keep the log cabin side all natural. This was easier than the log cabin sequence. It was just 5 picks with the clasped weft followed by a square woven of 8/4 natural, repeat.
I used both clasped weft experiments on one of the samples. It’s not the best division of space, but I can see several ideas I would like to explore in the future.
A third section of clasped weft that I experimented with is my particular favorite. I wanted to incorporate the log cabin with a similar spacing to the black grid lines. I started with a pick of 8/4 black. Then I clasped 8/2 natural on the left with 8/2 black on the right, hiding the clasp under the red divider line. I repeated these two picks to create a log cabin block on one side and a solid black line on the other side. Then I did a section of natural in 8/4, and then went back to alternating the clasped weft pick with 8/4 in black.
After looking at the finished sample, I think this clasped weft section would look great on the end of a scarf. I think I would widen the black stripes in the warp to match the log cabin squares. There are really so many possibilities.
The selvedges are a little uneven in the clasped weft section, but with practice I think they could look better. Or if you were using the end fabric for something sewn, it wouldn’t matter what the selvedge looked like. The clasped weft technique really slows the weaving down, but it opens up so many creative options. And because this was all “plain weave” it could easily be accomplished on a rigid heddle loom as easily as a 4 shaft loom!
With the rest of the warp I played with sequences from the Colour and Weave gamp: DDD/L, 4D/4L, DLDDL. And for the last little bit of warp I wove 2 samples with 8/2 boucle.
Most of my weaving with the guild projects are just samples for my education in weaving. All of them could be functional, but they are really just experiments. If I were to weave them again I would be more careful about planning my division of space. I find them a little busy for my style, but there is so much potential for future projects contained in these sample. I’m trying to add to my “body of work” as Jane has referred to it. This keeps me from looking at a project and being disappointed, but rather I am still trying to find my unique “style”. I’m getting closer with each warp!
I don’t think I’m the only one wondering where February went…..like really…..I know they say time speeds up as you get older but this month flew by – at warp speed! I have been weaving away all month getting all kinds of things in order for March when we are filming more episodes of the Online Guild. We’ve also been busy writing a few new patterns and putting kits together to tempt you as you will see below. I know that winter is not over yet, but I feel so happy staring up at the sky, patiently awaiting Spring which is just around the corner. I picked up a glorious box of Dahlia bulbs from the post office last week and I’ve got a million seed packs in my cart at West Coast seeds. The garlic is sprouting in the garden and the hazelnut tree is loaded with catkins, one of the earliest sources of pollen for the bees. Next to weaving….the garden is where it’s at! 🙂
Need a snuggle or perhaps a huggle….that is what my kids called a hug and a snuggle 🙂 Our wonderful Linda Pickett has shared her fabulous Ruckle Beach Harrisville Shetland Blankie with us. The kit allows you to weave 2 lovely shawls or one wider throw. Harrisville Shetland is one of our favourite yarns, it is easy to weave, fulls like a dream and comes in a stunning array of colours.
Need something to brighten up your days? Ganges Sunrise……..orange and many times pink 🙂 The main village on Salt Spring Island is called Ganges, named after HMS Ganges, the flagship of the Royal Navy’s Pacific Station between 1857 and 1860. Now that you’ve had your history lesson let me tell you how pretty this harbour is at sunrise….it is gorgeous.
These lovely scarves are perfect for spring and summer! Woven with 30/2 silk on a 40/2 linen warp in alternating bands of 1/3 and 3/1 twill, they have gorgeous sheen, iridescence and drape with a slightly crisp texture that will only get softer and more shimmery with wear. This pattern requires only 4 harnesses, but there are 8 different tie-ups required for weaving. If you have an 8 shaft loom, you’re stylin’, but if you have a 6 treadle loom, we’ve provided a tie-up system to ensure your success!
We always have spools of 30/2 silk kicking around so we did another version adding 2 more colours…..Favourite Wine and Buddha Berry. We have provided a 2nd product that has these 2 colours in them. The pattern includes both versions.
It’s The Little Things
Is your warp separator paper getting under your treadles? Here’s a little trick for you 🙂
JST Online Guild
We forgot to link Fiberworks PCW Weaving Software website on our Online Guild newsletter last week! For those that were looking for the link, you can click here!
Remember, the demo software is free to try out! Download it while you watch the episode with special guest Bob Keates, co-creator of Fiberworks as he takes us through this introductory workshop for both Windows & Mac versions.
Hi kids – it’s time again to introduce you to another weaver who has delighted me by taking lessons learned from our Online Guild and turned her cloth into her own unique design. This month, please meet Linda Fleming from Texas. Linda’s shawl incorporates Log Cabin, Clasped Weft and Colour and Weave – all from Season 2, Colour & Design. It is indeed a wonderful amalgamation of techniques representing one Online Guild season. Thank you for sharing your process with us Linda – the results are stunning.
I have always been fascinated with weaving; however it was not until about 15 years ago that I met someone who knew how to weave. I learned to weave from her and once I started, the weaving bug hit me hard! I love to see the pattern develop on the loom when first starting to weave a project. It always feels like magic.
I was inspired to make this shawl after watching Season 3, Episode 3 on log cabin. I had woven a shadow weave baby blanket in the past, but had never woven log cabin. I was intrigued by how simple it was, but what an impact it made. I chose some yarns from my stash that were just looking for a project. They are 8/2 American Maid Naturally Colored cotton from Lunatic Fringe. I love how the colors darken over time with each washing. I used the dark brown and the natural with a sett of 18 EPI.
I made a sketch of what I wanted the two ends of the shawl to look like and then I was going to just wing it for the rest. I divided the warp into sections with log cabin on the ends and the stripes in the middle. I also added a purple zinger on each side of the stripes.
I started weaving using my schematic and then I thought, hmm, what if I do some clasped weft?
I wove further and decided I really like an asymmetrical look on scarves so I started putting in small stripes using the weaving sequence dark, dark, light, dark. They were so much fun that I just finished off the shawl with the stripes.
This warp was so much fun that I was sorry to see it end! This is what I have enjoyed the most about the Jane Stafford Guild. I have realized that I do not have to follow a pattern to the letter. I can play with the warp, and it makes the final product so much more interesting.
I hope you have all had a restful holiday season and are diving into this new decade with positive intentions and hope in your heart.
Two New Silks Colours
Everyday at JST we get to enjoy the spectacular array of silks on our display shelves. It never fails to brighten our day. Its funny how we sensed something was missing though, so last year we came up with 2 New Colours and Ta Da! We nailed it! Stormy Teal and Electric Aubergine round out our silk colour offerings perfectly. How did we ever get along without them? Hope you agree that they are 2 new welcomed additions to our Hand-dyed Colour Line.
Linda has been busy weaving these luxurious silk/merino scarves. The drape and hand are absolutely stunning and can be woven on a 4 shaft loom. They are based on the first episode of the Online Guild’s Season 4….all about 4 shaft twills and they put into practice many of the sequencing ideas presented. Each kit makes 2 scarves and we offer the kit in 2 colour ways, the top two are Chocolate & Vanilla and the bottom two are Melting Ice.
OOPS! We started this little project last October to re-launch Arlene’s Tea Towels for the holiday season…ordering all the yarn, getting new photos taken, working on the pattern… The only thing is, the yarns didn’t arrive until December 28! Best laid plans…. well, we think red and green are beautiful throughout the year so here they are – the Holly & Berry Tea Towels!
And hey….here’s an idea….why not get a head start on 2020’s Holiday Season and be early rather then late!!! Like Us!! That way, you’ll be the first in your guild to have your Christmas weaving done early…..ha ha.
My little heart is broken….Brushed Mohair prices are going through the roof. I’m never going to give it up because it is a major source of my dietary fibre….it seems to get into everything! BUT…the prices are going up on the 5th of February so if you’re into making Mohair Blankies you might want to stock up now.
Present price: C$28.00/100g, New price: C$35.40/100g 🙁