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July 27, 2021 newsletter

Pretty Pansies

New Colourway for Huck Towels

There are people in your life that stay near and dear to your heart long after they’ve passed, and Granny Pam is one of those people. She was lovingly known to my kids as G.P. and was one of my first students when I moved to Salt Spring 33 years ago. She was 70 when she took her first class with me and she wove until she was 94. In her last decade of weaving she had difficulty making warps and choosing her colours, but she wanted to have something on her loom at all times. So I started to make her warps, one every week. She didn’t want long warps, just long enough for a few pieces so she could stay busy warping her loom. She loved the process of dressing the loom.

Early on I learned that Pam liked strong colour….she would call pastel warps ‘insipid’ which always made me smile. To this day, every time I make a pastel warp I laugh and tell myself that GP would insist it was ‘insipid’.

Jane and Pam, 2011

One of our favourite kits is the Huck Towel kit designed by Arlene Kohut and seeing that it is Lace year at School of Weaving, we thought it would be fun to reissue it in a new palette. So guess what, we chose GP’s palette from our Boucle Towel Kit! There is nothing insipid about these colours 😉 There are a riot of purples and pinks drifting off to pale orange which remind me of a bed of pansies. Elizabeth was given the task of adding more Huck & colour sequences to the pattern and voila Pretty Pansies….GP would be proud. 

Design for Weavers:
Colour Theory & Practice – Part 1

Colour is my day long obsession, joy, and torment.
Claude Monet

Colour is the child of light, the source of all light on earth.
From “Colors: The Story of Dyes and Pigments”

My weaving colour choices are an emotional response, a response to some stimulus that has moved me—a flower, a painting, a picture in a magazine. I see something that I love, and then I interpret it in coloured yarns.

Sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong; sometimes it looks stunning, sometimes—less stunning. But the great thing is, there’s always more yarn and there’s always another opportunity to try again and make it better. You can watch me in Season 2 – Colour & Design on my School of Weaving videos as we explore colour theory throughout 10 lessons.

Talking Colour

Colour is a big subject, and it has a vocabulary all its own. In designing, I work most with three aspects of colour:

  • Hue
  • Value
  • Saturation


Hue is easy. It’s what we naturally think of when we think of “what colour” something is: red, yellow, blue, green, orange, purple.
Another way to think of hue is where the colour sits on the colour wheel:


If you were a painter, you could easily achieve a wide range of colours simply by adding black, white, or grey to your hue. This changes the lightness and darkness of a colour. This changes its value, which is the lightness or darkness of a colour.

If you add white to a colour, you have a tint:

If you add black to a colour, you have a shade:
If you add grey to a colour, you have a tone:


A hue at its purest and clearest, as it would appear in the colour wheel, is said to be at its maximum saturation.

As you add grey to a hue, the hue becomes more desaturated—making it less clear and more muted. In the picture below, the outermost ring is the pure hue at its most saturated. As you move into the centre of the circle, the colour becomes increasingly desaturated.

Watch for next week’s newsletter when I’ll lead you into actually applying this colour theory as you develop your own weaving style.

2 thoughts on “July 27, 2021 newsletter

  1. My question is:
    I am setting up my second hand Louet Kombo 40 4+4 loom. I bought the book Handwoven scarves 1999 Interweave Press. The book had a contest for scarves from many different weavrs. I made one pattern years ago. I warped the same pattern ready to repeat the pattern, but moved and moved.The pattern is a log cabin variation from Erica De Ruiter. The pattern is using only two harness. The draft is included and the beginning is below.
    2B 3B 1A 5B 5B
    3B 5B 5B 1A

    The thread is a thinnish cotton, I am not sure of the coding, but it was in all of the weaving shops……The book looks like my scarf with heavy warps and some heavy wefts…..
    My questions are:
    1 Can I be successful with texsolv heddles instead of metal ones? It looks very hard to switch them.
    2 I think that I put 5 threads in one heddle/dent???? Is that too much?

    1. Hi Penelope, I was able to dig out a copy of that book from my stash – it certainly looks like an interesting way to weave Colour and Weave. To specifically answer your questions…

      1) Yes, you can use the Texsov heddles (they are awesome) and
      2) Yes, the yarn is so thin you wouldn’t have difficulty putting them through 1 heddle/dent.

      Happy weaving.


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