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 🙁
All the kids at JST wish you a holiday season filled with joy and laughter. We wish you health and happiness in the coming year and look forward to going on new weaving adventures together in 2020. Thank you for all your amazing support and enthusiasm. xoxox Jane
We’ve had a very busy 2019 and all our staff are looking forward to a much deserved break over the holidays.
The studio will be closed December 24th to January 5th. Cut off for shipping is December 23rd at 1pm PST. Orders received over the holidays will be processed on Monday, January 6th
It’s The Little Things
Chaining Your Warp
You’ve made your warp and now you need to get it from the warping mill or board onto the loom. Learn how to chain your warp and keep all those threads in place!
This month we shine the weaver spotlight on Jae Koscierzynski from Michigan. Like so many students that came here over the years, Jae was an inspiration to me. Throughout my career as a teacher I have been so blessed to have such wonderful students.
Doing towel or sample exchanges was always a big part of the retreat scene here at JST. When students did exchanges based on the overlaying of ideas in the workshops the results were fabulous, unique and so inspiring. The whole was always greater than the sum of the parts.
Thank you to Joan Sheridan of Heritage Spinning and Weaving for being such a wonderful friend and for sending me so many talented students. You must be so proud of Jae, I sure know I am.
I was introduced to weaving several years ago by Joan Sheridan. She owns Heritage Spinning & Weaving where I teach knitting. As an engineer by trade, she thought I would enjoy weaving. I’ll admit I didn’t take to it at first. I loved everything about weaving a project except the actual, well, weaving. Figuring out the amount yarn needed, love it! Warping, beaming, threading, sleying, and hem stitching – love all that too. It wasn’t until I took Jane’s Colour & Design class that I learned to love throwing the shuttle. Until then, I couldn’t follow someone else’s pattern without boredom setting in about 2 inches into the project, but I didn’t know where to start or have the confidence to try my own ideas. After Colour & Design, I am always weaving. I now have more ideas to try on my loom than I will ever be able to weave in my lifetime!
I wove this scarf after a sample exchange with several other class members from one of the last in-person Pushing the Boundary with Plain Weave I sessions. We had been together the year before in Colour & Design and did a towel exchange. We enjoyed taking what we had learned from C&D to make towels and wanted to do it again. However, we admitted that perhaps Cramming and Denting, Rep weave, and the like weren’t well suited for towels. Instead, we all committed to providing 3 samples at least 24″ long. The “rules” were to take something from Colour & Design and combine it with something from PBPW.
I gave away my samples and apparently did not take any photos before I did! The scarf is warped with 16/2 cotton – black. It is sett and woven at 20 epi/ppi except at the edges which are crammed at 40 epi. This sett is the same as the warp that is used for Season 3 – Episode 8.
I used 30/2 Bombyx silk for the supplemental threads and for the warp, Black Magic, Violet Ice, Ariel’s Voice, Lime Light, Gold Rush, Tiger Lily, and Persophone’s Pip.
The ratio of each color for the supplemental threads is based on the Parrot Sample from Season 2 – Episode 5. I started with colors I had in my stash to create a color gradient, similar in concept to the Parrot Sample as well.
I originally thought of using black as the dividers and natural as the back ground. I’m glad I went the other way as the bright colors pop more against the black background. If I were to do it again, I would perhaps pick a different color for Gold Rush or Lime Light. In the skein, they look distinct but in the actual warp, the colors are very close and I would aim for more contrast.
I chose to keep the middle section simple since that portion is scrunched up around the neck and isn’t easily seen.
From my sampling, I also realized that the floats had to be kept short to avoid snagging while wearing.
At each end I wove the colors to be square – one with a pattern of “bricks” and the other solid colors with small dashes from the supplemental warp. Choosing how to weave the ends was the hardest part. I had several more ideas that I wanted to try using this graphic and warp structure. As always, the warp ran out before my creativity did!
With every episode that Jane presents, I learn something new. But the best lesson she has given me is to be fearless and just see what happens. It may not turn out as I expect, but I still end up with a piece of cloth that has something to teach me.
For the past few months we have been busy working on the program for 2020. Twills on 4……Oh My, Oh My, Oh My……it is so exciting. In January of 2020 we start diving into the world of twill structure and will overlay it with everything we learned in Colour & Design and Pushing the Boundaries of Plain Weave. This strong foundation will allow us to take 4 shaft Twills to a new level.
We start the year off learning to draft on graph paper and then we weave a sample exploring our 3 standard twill tie-ups and bring all the repetitive sequences we learned in Colour and Design to Twills (yes, Asymmetry, Plaid, Parrot and Colour and Weave Sequences start playing on Twills).
Episode 2 is very special because we have Bob Keates co-creator of Fiberworks PCW presenting his programme for Mac and PC.
In addition to building on our Colour & Design gamps, this year includes 4 amazing twill gamps: one using small threadings, one using big threadings, one exploring point twill and an awesome colour and weave gamp on twill that will blow your mind. Each of these gamps explores tie-up possibilities, treadling techniques and colour and weave ideas in the weft.
We also delve into the power and beauty of Basket Weave. One entire episode explores Basket Weave as a vertical design element with other twill threadings. This allows us to frame our twills or just have 2 different structures vertically in our cloth…..so many ideas. Twill and Basket Weave are a fabulous combo, they are like an awesome bottle of wine and a great chunk of cheese. Yep, everything still revolves around food 🙂
Towards the end of the year we will apply the rules of Shadow Weave to all the twill threadings we’ve learned and then we’ll do the same with Weft Faced Twills.
Weaving is all about systems and this year we’ll be looking at twill as a system. It is very liberating to look at it this way….to learn that we can use all this theory to create new, stunning, modern renditions of old classics. The twill family is a big happy family and they all like to party together.
If you haven’t guessed it by now….I LOVE WEAVING…..and I LOVE SHARING IT ALL WITH YOU!
Come for the ride….we’re going to have a blast.
Twills on 4!
To learn more about the JST Online Guild click here
We may love the colour BLACK and FRIDAYS may be our favourite day of the week but here at JST we’ve decided to have a
Colourful Weekend Sale!
This weekend is the perfect time to say THANK YOU to all our customers who keep us inspired and motivated through the year.
As we head into our darkest time of year, may a colourful warp inspire your weaving and nurture your soul.
The fine print! Sale prices limited to in-stock yarns & kits only Not valid with other coupons Spend over $250 and you’ll receive free shipping! Receive additional 10% off & free shipping when you spend over $500. (Some Exceptions Apply) Sale starts 12:01am Friday November 29th, 2019 Pacific Standard Time and ends midnight Monday December 2nd, 2019 Pacific Standard Time
Heavenly Check Scarf
We’re giving away another pattern! This simple classic scarf in 12 gauge Bambu is fun, fast and easy to weave. The scarf was designed by Eben (Jane’s son!) and has long been a studio favourite, available as a kit in three beautiful colourways or design your own by downloading the free pattern! A great beginner project.
While all of our yarn is on sale, this is a great time to treat yourself to a few of our favourites 🙂
Cashmere 750 yds/cone Regular C$49.00 Sale C$44.10
Ten of Jane’s favourite silk colours, perfect for your wishlist!
We asked Jane which silks she would want with her if she were stranded on a deserted island. She asked “how many skeins do I get??”….we said 10. Here is what she came up with:
My favourite sample from Season 2 of the Online Guild was the Muted Colour Gamp (Season 2 Episode 8) so I choose 6 colours to match the colours in that warp….and my favourite part of weaving that warp was weaving the hot crazy colours from Parrot (Season 2 Episode 5) on top of the muted colour ways. So I chose 4 colours from that sample….I could weave these colours together forever!
This Colourway includes 10 skeins of either 30/2 Bombyx Silk or 20/2 Bombyx Silk in Ariel’s Voice, Autumn Spice, B.B. Blue, Buddha Berry, Dragon Fruit, Favourite Wine, Grantius Green, Lime Light, Starfish, Tiger Lily.
Heddles for Sabahar:
Thank you, thank you, thank you. What can I say but Thank YOU! I am so happy to forward this update below on our Heddle Drive for Sabahar. We had such a generous and heartfelt response to our request for help. Small gifts can make such a big difference in our world.
Update from Sabahar:
Kindness makes the world a better place
Our weavers were the beneficiaries of 50,000 professional heddles, and they are so excited!
We are continually amazed by the collective power of kindness. Jane Stafford of Jane Stafford Textiles, has become a dear friend, mentor and advocate for Sabahar. She first volunteered with us in 2016. Jane and her son, Eben, spent two weeks in Ethiopia showing our weavers new techniques that would create different textures and save time. Jane returned in March 2019 for another 3-week stint with us. She paid for her own airline ticket and donated her time! We learned so much! The new texture of our tea towels and the Mescot scarf are direct results from Jane’s assistance.
Jane gets it. As a world-renowned weaver with so many years (or rather decades!!) of experience, she knows exactly what we need to improve our weaving. When she returned to her home in Salt Spring Island, Canada, in March, she was even more determined to help us! She wrote beautiful blogs about the work we accomplished together and then started a crowd funding campaign to raise money for the purchase of professional heddles for our weavers.
The handmade heddles that our weavers currently use often stick together and are time consuming and frustrating to weave with. High quality heddles reduce the time for warp set-up and speed up the weaving process. This means the weavers can produce more in a day and make more money for their household.
Through Jane’s efforts and generous donations from many of her friends and fellow weavers, Sabahar has already been able to buy 50,000 heddles and related equipment and will be able to purchase approximately another 50,000. The campaign raised more than Cnd$7,000. To give you an idea, a standard loom uses about 1,400 heddles and a wider loom uses 2,000. The availability of these heddles will make a huge difference for more than 60 of our weavers.
Words can’t express how amazing this support is, and how thankful we are.
Once Jane started this campaign, so many others joined with their kindness. Texsolv, a weaving product manufacturing company in Tosse, Sweden, offered us a discounted price for the heddles. We were able to buy significantly more through their generous support.
Helen Pankhurst, another great friend of Sabahar, then kindly offered to bring the 22kg of heddles to Ethiopia.
All of this happened really fast. The campaign ran in March 2019 and the weavers received the heddles last week.
Thank you to Jane Stafford, Texsolv, and Helen Pankhurst for your assistance. A huge thank you also goes out to all those who donated to the funding campaign. This critical intervention will give weavers not only the technical ability to earn a better livelihood, but also the feeling of being appreciated, connected and supported by the global weaving community.
Getting Help on the Website
If you’ve visited the website recently, you may have noticed a small icon that looks a bit like this:
Click on it and you’ll be presented with help documents relating to wherever you happen to be the website:
If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for then click Ask, type in your message and we’ll try to reply as soon as we possibly can:
Finished looking, changed your mind or clicked on the icon by mistake? Just click the X:
If you see something in the documentation that’s incorrect or if you think that we should add documentation for other parts of the website, please let us know. We’d be super grateful! 🙂
A Few Weaving Project Gift Ideas
We are all so busy at this time of year making special gifts for the special people in our lives. Trusting in the end result gives us a bit of breathing space :). If you’re stretched for design time maybe one of the kits below will help you reach your goals a little sooner. Happy Weaving!
It is such a pleasure to shine the spotlight on Barbara Mitchell this month.I have known Barbara for many years and have always been blown away with how she takes an idea and runs wild with it. Her weaving is a journey of discovery, she is a master of same, same but different, overlay, overlay, overlay, pushing the boundaries of all she weaves. Thank you Barbara for sharing your thoughts 🙂
My name is Barbara Mitchell, and I have been weaving continuously for more than 30 years. Some years more than others as my life circumstances changed from being a stay-at-home mother with three pre-schoolers, through working full time, moving several times across Canada, and now living happily in retirement from outside work. Guilds have always been a big part of my creative journey, so it was a no-brainer to join Jane’s Online Guild, particularly since many of my local home guilds are also participating and we can share our creative experiences, and support and celebrate each other.
I have been blessed with boundless curiosity, layered with a mathematical/scientific approach of investigation, and a pragmatic determination to create items that are both beautiful and useful. Like Jane, my weaving journey follows a path of planning, weaving, finishing and reflection.
It is the reflection phase that spurs my curiosity on to the question “What if . . ., what if . . ., what if . . ?” and the scientific approach that says, “Keep the constants and change one variable, now change another variable, and so on” building on top of the known and venturing into the unknown.
I love this season of the JST Online Guild “Pushing the Boundaries of Plain Weave” and it led me to work on a series I call “Pushing it Further”.
After completing the given exercise in Episode 1: Denting, I thought, “what else can I do?” What if I created two layers of denting, where the open areas on one layer, are layered over the woven areas of the second layer, and vice-versa? No empty dents in the reed, but the warp threads of one layer sitting in the empty dent space of the other layer?
My first sample with Bambu 12, put a dark layer over a light layer, sett to an open 20 ends per inch. It was a disaster great learning experience: the warps just floated out into the open areas, and it looked like a poorly sett piece of cloth, with very little structure. I also felt like the contrast between the light side and the dark side was too stark. I also realized that the only thing holding the two layers together were the crossed threads at the selvedges, and the floats over the open dents of the edge layers contributed to the lack of structure in the cloth.
Learning from this I made my next piece using Zephyr wool/silk, sett at 20 ends per inch. I still put the woven cells of one layer above the open dents of the second layer. I also interlaced the layers, bringing first one layer to the top and then the second layer to the top to add structural integrity, and offset the layers by letting one layer start on its own for the first block, double layers across the rest of the warp finishing with the second layer on its own at the opposite selvedge. This produced a wonderfully squishy ribbed-like fabric when finished, very light and airy.
Finally, I opened up the fabric to sley 10 dents of warp for layer 1, leave 10 dents open, sley 10 dents of layer 2, 10 dents open and so on across the warp. Woven as interlaced layers, leaving open spaces in the weft, and fulling well in the finishing. The result is a beautifully open lacey scarf.
For Episode 3: Log Cabin, the nice, square grids prompted me to add little huck lace squares inside the white squares in the centre of the towel. I love how the warp and weft floats of the huck lace echo the horizontal and vertical lines of the log cabin. Squares layered on squares, inside the log cabin frame.
Then I thought, what if I could isolate the log cabin cells, so that they look as if they are not attached to the selvedges, but seem to float in the centre of the cloth? And what if these cells could be side by side, but act independently of each other? Then I layered in another element, supplementary warps threads from Episode 8, which gave me this:
So, why would an experienced weaver choose to follow the videos and exercises in JST Online Guild?
Because as I watch the videos and try out the projects, I learn something new or I am reminded of something I used to know, or I see a different way to do something that I just have to try!
Because Jane’s enthusiasm is so contagious!
Because it gives me the perfect platform to spark creativity and challenge myself. It takes me from the known to the unknown, and pushes me to become a better weaver.
As I write down my “What if” questions in my idea journal, I have a frame of reference to continue to plan, weave, finish and reflect.
Handwoven gifts are GREAT gifts! There is still time to weave lovely, personal items for the special people on your list this holiday season. Here at JST, we make this easy for you with our selection of beautiful kits. Whether it is a beautiful and useful tea towel, cosy scarf or a stunning mohair blanket, there is something here for everyone on your list!
Wishlists are the perfect way to let your loved ones know how they can support you in your craft this holiday season. The fun part of these lists is that you can also ‘share’ them on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter as well as email them to your favourite people. Simply go to your JST account to start creating your wishlist!
Not sure on what to add to your Wishlist? How about a JST E-Gift, this way you can pick your own gift!
Wanting to get a friend an E-Gift? Choose your $ amount and we’ll send it off for you in an email addressed to them or you can print it out to give yourself!
Here are some great stocking stuffers! And yes, with a very large stocking, that umbrella swift will fit! And don’t forgot about those little wee ones in your life that has been watching you weave, this is a perfect time to introduce them to your world of weaving with one of our Purl & Loop looms!
Need to fill your own Christmas Stocking? Add them to your Wishlist and share!
This month we shine the Weavers Spotlight on Sharon Broadley! Sharon has taken the ideas from last episode, Season 3 Episode 8 (Simple Supplementary) and overlaid them on all she learned in Season 2’s Colour and Design. Her exploration netted her 7 amazing scarves woven on 2 warps.
It is truly amazing to see where our members have taken the online lessons and created their own designs.
I am so happy to share her beautiful work with you.
Enjoy reading Sharon’s blog!
I got my first loom along with some ‘how to weave’ books 25 years ago and completed Level 1 of the Canadian Guild of Weavers Master Weave Certificate. I was largely self-taught until moving back to Victoria in 2008. Since then I have taken many workshops through my local Guild, at Maiwa (Vancouver) and with Jane Stafford. Recently, I’ve even had the pleasure of graduating to Jane’s assistant in a couple of her workshops.
I love everything about weaving. If I have to pick just one thing, it is colour interaction. I am fascinated with the way seemingly clashing colours often make the best palettes. Currently I spend most of my weaving time working in plain weave and playing with colour. I like the rhythm of weaving this simple weave structure but I also like that it can be made to look more complicated with a few warp and weft ends added in strategic places or by mixing a number of different fibres together.
Kitchen towels are my go-to project: they provide an excellent canvas for experimentation and in the end they still dry the dishes even if they don’t turn out quite as expected.
Using the colours from the Muted Colour Gamp on Natural Ground from Season 2 – Episode 8, I used 16/2 cotton with 7 gauge Bambu for the supplementary warps sett at 20 epi, I experimented with supplementary ups and downs as per Jane’s lesson.
At the same time I wove square in places and wove with various striping sequences in other spots.
Sometimes my design ‘decisions’ are based upon the fact that my bobbin ran out and I was too lazy to wind another, so just grabbed a bobbin with a different colour from nearby. Having said that, I most often use the Fibonacci numbers. I hemstitched on loom and twisted fringes before washing.
For my second set of scarves, I had just made some towels that reminded me of licorice all-sorts and I really liked the hot pink and orange combo with the tiny black and white stripes; I added apricot for the third main colour.
I made this set of scarves a little wider in the reed and spaced the supplementary warps further apart using watermelon and cerise 7 gauge Bambu.
After I wove 2 scarves in varying striping sequences, I changed out the supps for some fancy ribbon yarn I’d bought on a trip to Linton Tweeds in Carlisle, UK. This is a mill that weaves fabric for many couture designers, including Chanel, so it is entirely possible that this ribbon once appeared in one of Chanel’s creations.
I used the ribbon warp in a few spots as weft and I love the way the ribbon-y bits got caught in between the wefts and formed teeny tiny loops.
After I’d woven for 20 inches or so, I was worried that the ribbon yarn might be getting too loose and I was also concerned that the ribbon warp might run out before I got the length woven. So several times I got off my bench, went to the back of the loom and gently pulled on the groups of ribbon supps to stretch them out just a bit. Afterwards I noticed that there was one spot where I might have pulled a little too hard as it seems tighter than the rest of the scarf…but ultimately I don’t think it detracts from the weaving.
I usually weave the first scarf on the warp using the same colours as the warp, but after that anything goes. Many times, as I’ve been weaving, I think oh-oh I’ve gone too far this time but by the time the scarf has been washed and pressed, what looked potentially ugly or just plain wrong on the loom, ends up being my favourite.