Now (September 13 2021) ’til this Thursday (Septe3mber 16, 2021)!
Autumn if my favourite season of the year. It has always made me happy for many reasons…the weather is cooler, the air is fresher, for me it has always meant the beginning of things as well as the end of things. Starting school was one of my favourite things….the garden’s demise is definitely one of my favourite things….I mean….just how many tomatoes does one family need and at this time of year our freezers can’t take one more container so we are happy to see Jack Frost!
Mostly, autumn means more time for the loom. So I hope you take advantage of our little sale and stock up for winter. Sending tons of love,
Sale prices limited to in-stock yarns & kits only. Not valid with other coupons. Spend over C$250 and you’ll receive free shipping! Receive additional 10% off & free shipping when you spend over C$500. (Some Exceptions Apply)
Sale starts Monday, September 13th, 2021 and ends Thursday, September 16th, 2021 11:59 pm PDT.
School of Weaving Kits
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Simple Collapse Weave Pucker Up Scarves Under the Sea
Ask Jane just below!
These scarves are a great introduction to simple collapse weave. The kit provides enough silk and merino to create 2 stunning scarves with finished dimensions of 12″ x 75″ plus fringe. All you need is a simple 4 shaft loom a 10 dent reed and a weaving width of 18″.
This Kit contains the weaving draft and instructions along with:
If you are subscribed to School of Weaving, check out Season 3 Episode 6 Simple Collapse Weave and you’ll learn how to use active yarns (shrinkers) and inactive yarns (not so shrinky) to create highly textured fabric. Our perfectly wonderful plain weave is woven at a ridiculously open sett in 30/2 silk and 18/2 merino. We continue to push our technique to another level….learning how to control that crazy open sett and stabilize the fabric during the fulling process. If you loved Denting and Cramming & Denting, I’m pretty sure you’re going to love this one too. I know I sure do.
Things we will learn:
-how to use two different yarns to react and create a collapse -how to weave with a very open sett and control it all -how to manage the distortion that will occur in the weaving -how to full and finish your silk and merino scarves -how to deal with your hemstitching
Jane has been asked sooooo many questions over the years on all the “how to’s” of weaving. We thought it would be a good idea to share them with our readers. Here are a couple for this week from JST’s Knowledge Base 😉
Hemstitching Tea Towels
Do you hemstitch tea towels even when they are going to have turned hems? Or do you just machine stitch the ends after removing them from the loom? I’ve always machine stitched the ends but am wondering if I could skip this step if I hemstitched on the loom…will hemstitching encased in a seam hold up to lots of machine washing?
I don’t hemstitch for a towel with a turned hem. I do just what you do….machine stitch the edge and then I double fold and pin. Sometimes I hand stitch, sometimes I machine stitch, it depends on my patience level on the day. I even have a few towels that I have never gotten around to hemming, but I still use them. When those are in use I loudly proclaim that hemming of any kind is highly overrated. :^)
I am making a wool afghan and I can’t seem to limit my draw-in. I am letting the yarn be loose but I am drawing in almost three inches on each side, going from 46″ to 40″. I am not sure what the wool is. The epi is 8, it probably should have been 10. The ppi is 10 to 12. I am using a twill and floating selvages. Any suggestions before I begin the next afghan.
You have your answer….if it is sett at 8 but you are beating 12 then add those 2 numbers together and you get 20…because you want it balanced divide by 2 and you get 10 epi and 10 ppi. That will help your draw-in immensely….because the warp ends are so far apart in your first throw they have lots of room to pull together hence your draw in. The next time you use this yarn sett it at 10 epi, weave it at 10 ppi and you will notice that your draw-in is much less. Good luck, you are on the right road.
Abraiding or unplying broken ends
I will share another trick I have used many times to help prevent broken ends. When you see a warp thread abraiding or unplying, get out your glue stick and give that yarn a little swipe. I swipe my finger actually and then my fingers swipe the yarn. Let it dry for a minute and then weave away…..nothing will happen to it now, you have avoided the dreaded broken end and the glue washes out when you finish the cloth.
Part 2 of ‘In Praise of Good Selvedges’ is at the bottom of the newsletter.
“Come to the weaving side, come come…chirped the little weaving bird. And slowly, bit by bit she came :)” An excerpt from my new book entitled “How to turn your office manager into a weaver”. ha ha ha. Elizabeth has designed her first boucle towel….and I’m over the moon.
You may have seen this warp on the mill a few weeks back on FB and Instagram…well here is the end result. A lovely asymmetrical graphic with colour and weave on one side and a little check on the other side. Each towel uses a different colour and weave sequence in the weft. I don’t know….maybe there is something wrong with me…but I never get tired of colour and weave.
Enjoy 🙂 Jane
Level of Difficulty: Beginner Weave structure: Plain Weave Material: Cotton Bouclé Each kit makes: 9 Tea Towels
2 Navy & 1 Nile x58 2 Navy 5 Magenta 20 Pale Limette 5 Magenta 20 Pale Limette 5 Magenta 30 Pale Limette
Total Warp ends 261
A note on hems…
We weave our hems 1.5” in a different colour before starting the towel, this makes turning our hems easy. Each towel is woven approximately 30” long.
This linen scarf is so wonderfully light and luscious. It billows like a sail in the wind and the light shines through this delicious cloth. Woven in our fine JST 40/2 linen, making it strong and very easy to weave.
Canvas Weave, such a lovely delicate lace weave. It has an interesting characteristic, double threads coming out of the lace areas showing up in the plain weave areas in both warp and weft. The vertical lines are coming from the double 2’s and 3’s in the threading and, where you see them horizontally, they are from the 2 picks in 1 shed. See treadling units A & B. Canvas weave must have a floating selvedge so you can put 2 picks in the same shed.
Level of Difficulty: Advanced Beginner Weave structure: Canvas Weave Material: 40/2 linen Each kit makes: 2 Scarves
We can make this kit in any colour you like! Simply, put the Lavender Lace kit into your cart, on the checkout screen in the “notes” section let us know what 40/2 organic linen colour you would like us to make the kit in.
In Praise of Good Selvedges: Practical Tips for Weavers – Part 2
Thought #5: Find the Sweet Spot!
It is so tempting to weave just a little further before we advance the warp. We all do this, but it is a bad habit and it is a habit that is detrimental to your selvedge. When you weave too close to the beater you force your warp into a situation where it has to open its mouth too wide. It is yawning, and when it yawns, it pulls on the weft yarns at the selvedge. You don’t notice this until you advance your warp and then you go—oh heck—look at that. My selvedges are messed up, it must be the tension on my warp, or maybe it is the yarn I’m using that is slippery or heck, it must be the stupid loom’s fault……WRONG! It’s a bad habit. If you get into the good habit of advancing your warp frequently you won’t be putting your warp into that stressful situation which makes your weft sloppy at the selvedge. SO CUT IT OUT already! Weave in the sweet spot…..that perfect little space in the middle where Goldilocks lives and everything is juussst right!
Thought #6: On Temples.
Now I don’t mean to be boastful and all, but if I may say so, I do know how to get perfect selvedges. People compliment me on my selvedges all the time. They might think I need a good haircut or some new shoes, but I always get the nod on my selvedges. I have never used a temple in my life. I appreciate their role in rug weaving and ikat weaving, but for the general run-of-the-mill type weaving that I do, they simply aren’t necessary. The temple’s main purpose is to prevent draw-in. Now, I think that a little bit of draw-in is desirable—and necessary to aid in even weaving…selvedge to selvedge. A little bit of draw-in is like having good firm walls holding up the roof of your house. Your selvedges are the walls of your cloth and the rest of the warp is the interior studs. Your weft is the floor of your house. Your beginning hemstitching is the basement, strong and tight for you to build on. I don’t use floating selvedges unless I absolutely have to, like in a twill. (Or in a basket weave or canvas weave—these two weave structures both have two picks in the same shed.) With some weave structures, you do need to employ different threadings to make the selvedge structurally secure, but in most weaving, you don’t need to do anything except use your good shuttle handling technique, a proper throwing sequence, good bobbin winding skills, and diligent warp advancement to get those great selvedges. If you would like to see a demonstration on hemstitching click here to watch our little video!
Thought #7: Sibling Rivalry at the Edge!
One side of your weaving is often better than the other—and it is usually the side opposite your dominant hand. So, right-handed weavers often have a better left selvedge, and left-handed weavers often have a better right selvedge. The reason is, your dominant hand is often more confident and has greater control as compared to its non-dominant sibling. So, your right hand is controlling the left selvedge, and the left hand is controlling the right selvedge. (This is, of course, not always the case, but it often is.) If you want to get both selvedges the same, you need to pay careful attention to your hands, to see if one is doing something in some way different from the other. Maybe it is a little wrist action before you throw your next shot. Or maybe your finger sits differently on the bobbin on one side and not on the other. Your job is to patiently and quietly pay attention to what the good hand is doing, and try to send that—knowledge—to your other hand. Remember that your mind is controlling the whole show.
Thought #8: What should I be looking at?
When I weave, my eyes are moving back and forth between three different spots.
When the shuttle hits my right hand, my eye is watching the left selvedge. That’s because the right hand is controlling the tension on that left selvedge. My eye then travels to the centre of the loom and watches as the beater comes down with its weft yarn. (I am often looking at the negative space in my weaving to get the proper picks per inch. If you are weaving a balanced fabric, then the negative space should always be forming a square. It is easy to watch for those squares.) Just before the shuttle heads to the left, I give the shuttle a teeny weeny little tug. My finger works like a brake on the bobbin and this little tug pulls out any sloppiness that might be at the edge as the weft yarn turns the corner. While my shuttle travels across to my left hand, my eye is focused on that rightside. Then my eye goes to centre again to watch what the beater is doing. At the selvedge, I give that little tug, as before. (I actually have a name for this. I call it Intentional Weaving. That is, I’m not just sitting there, banging away, beating the living daylights out of my cloth. I am placing each weft yarn as its own event, carefully—and I am watching the selvedges form right before my very eyes.) In general, I don’t fart around with the selvedges, manhandling them with every pick. It is all done through controlling the yarn on the bobbin and controlling the shuttle with our hands— the most wondrous tools we have.
Thought #9: Pass the torch!
When I put a shuttle into any new weaver’s hand for the first time, I am mindful of how I do it. If you teach someone good technique right from the start, you are giving them one of the greatest gifts you can. We all know how hard it is to change bad habits. If you learn to weave with bad technique—well, changing it later on can be quite difficult. Palms to the sky! Hold your shuttle with your palms up. That is what I always say to my students. Use the shuttle that fits your hand well and feels good, because you will be more confident with it. Go slowly at first, gain confidence, and then bring up your speed. If you start to lose control, slow down until you find your comfort zone again. It is just like driving a car.
This is Molly who used to work here after school when she was in grade 8.
In a Nutshell.
If you start with a good warp AND wind a good bobbin AND Weave Intentionally AND pay attention to sequence—you will have good selvedges—without the need of extra tools, expensive shuttles, or pirns. If I can get great selvedges out of a seven-year-old student within an hour, you can have good selvedges too. The easiest way to get there is to practice. Put on a narrow warp, about 12″ wide, with yarn that you have no to emotional attachment to and that you aren’t planning to give away as a present and try some of the techniques above. By the end of that warp, your selvedges should be perfect!