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October 31, 2023 newsletter

Holiday Gift Weaving Ideas

Shhhhhh – I know none of us want to face the inevitable…especially since today is Halloween…but Christmas isn’t that far away if you plan to give any of your handwovens away as gifts. We thought that giving you a ‘heads-up” with suggestions for your “seasonal” weaving might prevent from weaving like crazy during the week before the big day.

We’ve put together different kits that make perfect gifts at this time of year……

Christmas Crackle Placemats are the perfect seasonal project if you plan on having a festive table – nothing will help you (or a delighted receiver of these as a gift) create a festive look as Christmasy as your tree.

Twill & Grace Placemats could be woven in different colours – check out the note at the bottom of the Twill & Grace kit web page.

Holly & Berry Tea Towels are the perfect seasonal touch for your or someone else’s kitchen. Kits are available in both regular 8/2 cotton and 8/2 cottolin.

Lots to choose from and everyone loves receiving a handwoven tea towel to brighten their kitchen or a set of placemats for their festive table!

Christmas Crackle Placemats

Project Specs

Level of Difficulty: Intermediate
Weave structure: Crackle Weave
Material: 8/4 cotton and 8/2 cotton
Each kit makes: 8 Placemats and a short runner

Loom requirements:

4 shafts, 10 dent reed, weaving width: 16.2″

Twill & Grace Placemats

Project Specs

Level of Difficulty: Advanced Beginner
Weave structure: 4 shaft Twill
Material: 8/4 cotton & 8/2 cotton
Each kit makes: 8 Placemats plus
a wee bit more if you want a short runner

Loom requirements:

4 shafts, 12 dent reed, weaving width: 16.6″

Holly & Berry in Cotton or Cottolin

Project Specs

Level of Difficulty: Advanced Beginner
Weave structure: plain weave & (Atwater) Bronson Lace
Each kit makes: 4 tea towels

Loom requirements:

4 shafts, 12 dent reed, weaving width: 24″

School of Weaving

M’s & O’s goes on a Date with Huck and Colour and Weave!

These towels are a blend of ideas from one structure M’s & O’s with another – Huck and adding an overlay of Colour and Weave. You can learn more on how to influence M’s & O’s by using Huck theory at the School of Weaving in Season 7 Episode 9.

Watch the preview here!

Start your free 7-day trial!

All David and Spring looms are in stock and ready to ship. Once ordered the looms generally take 5 days to reach our customers!

Here to help

Have a weaving question? Find us on the Jane Stafford School of Weaving Forum and on Weave with Jane Stafford at Ravelry.

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October 25, 2022 newsletter

Garlic or …..

Now, do I have your attention??? 😉  We love growing our own garlic and enjoy having it handy in the kitchen. IMHO – there is no better place to store it than in a basket I’ve woven after being coached by Salt Spring’s basket weaver extraordinaire – Joan Carrigan. But … these baskets can also be made in different shapes and hold other things – use your imagination to create a basket that will hold almost anything. The kit makes 3 baskets,  so – you could weave 3 for yourself or … IF you can part with them, you could have 1 or 2 made and waiting to be gifts 🙂 They are so much fun to make and I loved weaving something that has a human history that is as old as our time on this planet.

Learn how to weave a basket with Joan and Jane

There are two ways that you can learn

-as a subscriber (and for free) of Vimeo’s Joan’s site (she has some very informative videos)

-or…if you are a member of the School of Weaving – by watching Season 2 – Episode 9 on the School of Weaving. You can download the PDF there.

Christmas Crackle Placemats & Runner

Everything moves in a circle here at JST. I was doodling around with Crackle and was inspired by the colours that Arlene Kohut had used in the Just Monk’ing Around Tea Towel Kit Berry Bowl version that I had to try them on the Crackle. Then I asked Rebecca Logan to bring her wonderful graphic sense to the pattern and weave them up the way she wanted to. I love this type of collaboration. The patterns are always the result of many weavers joining minds. How cool is that! I hope you enjoy weaving these wonderful placemats.

Loom requirements:

Shafts: 4

Reed: 10 dent

Weaving width: 16.2″

Each kit includes:

Weaving instructions (including draft)

3 cones of 8/4 cotton – Merlot

2 cones of 8/4 cotton – Dark Brown

3 cones of 8/2 cotton – Cherry

Are you planning to get seasonal tea towels woven for your kitchen or as gifts? Then, now is the time to get that warp up and ready to weave those festive towels. And…have we got a choice of kits for you! You can have fun weaving with solid red with Just Monk’ing Around in Berry Bowl or choose either green or red for the Holly & Berry Kit now available in regular cotton!

Just a head’s up, the Postal Service is a bit slow at the moment, so order NOW to get your kits and yarns to weave before the holidays!

Just Monk’ing Around Berry Bowl Towels
also in Kiwi or Surf’s Up

School of Weaving Episode 9 live this Thursday!
Block Analysis 8 Shaft Kit

Want to be ready?
Buy the whole kit here!

Level of Difficulty: Intermediate
Weave structure: 8 Shaft Bronson Lace
Each kit makes 3 scarves

Kit includes: Weaving instructions (including draft), 3 skeins of 20/2 Bleached Tussah and 2 cones of 8/2 Bleached cotton.

You will need approximately 200 yards of Dark Grey 8/2 cotton for your motif isolation threads. They can be any darker colour you want. Choose from your stash!

From Our Inbox

As well as being a productive weaver – Karyn Davis of New Zealand is a gifted photographer of her world travels and backyard. I’ve had a peek at the blog link that Karyn has listed at the bottom of her email to us. We love hearing from our “kids” from near and far. I also love hearing how someone like Karyn – who is isolated from a local weaving community – has been able to learn and grow while belonging to our School of Weaving.  She has methodically worked from Season 1 and learned her new skill, one step at a time. She is paving a good solid foundation in weaving while reaping the rewards as she masters her new David loom. 

I have been working my way through Jane’s videos for a couple of years now – I started at the beginning and am currently part way through Season 6. I haven’t made all of the things, but I have loved those that I have made. When I began learning from the videos I had been weaving for a couple of years on an old Ashford 60cm 4-shaft table loom that I bought used for $50. The videos are perfect for me as I live in a rural area with no weavers nearby.

A year ago I decided that it was time to change to a floor loom, but which one??? After a lot of research (Jane, thanks for your wonderful loom videos in Season 1) I decided to go with a Louet 110cm David III. It finally arrived at the end of June and I put it all together. I had seen the Season 5, Episode 1 video on Turned twill, so decided that this was the place for me to begin learning to use my beautiful new loom! I decided to play with the full loom width and all 8-shafts – I used 5/2 mercerised cotton sett at 15epi to make a baby blanket for the brand new granddaughter of a friend. She chose the colours, I sent her some design ideas created on my computer and off I went! The dimensions of the finished piece are 97x126cm (108cm in the reed). I am REALLY pleased with this piece – the colours are gorgeous, the patterns are great, it was fun to weave and the finished fabric is SO soft. And as always, the magic is in the water!!

Thanks for your fantastic videos, Jane. I look forward to continuing learning from them,
Karyn Davis

My weaving adventures
Warp 30 – 1st piece
Warp 30 – 1st piece completed
Warp 30 – 1st piece completed

Don’t be shy – share your creative designs with us 🙂

We’d love to see how you’ve taken what you’ve learned through the School of Weaving using JST Kits and/or our yarns and made it your own. Send us your photos, including the story behind your cloth. Click here to share your information, photos, and adventure with us. With your permission, you might see your work featured in a future newsletter!

We offer FREE shipping on all Louet looms within Continental North America. We also offer the option to pay a $1000.00 CAD deposit on your loom with the balance due when the loom ships out to you. This gives you the flexibility to make smaller payments toward your balance, at your convenience.

Here to help

Have a weaving question? Find us on the Jane Stafford School of Weaving Forum and on Weave with Jane Stafford on Ravelry.

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November 2nd, 2021 newsletter

Now that Fall is fully with us – you know what’s next…

Can you believe that Christmas is next month? I’ve heard the slight hint of anxiety slip into the voices of several of my fellow weavers, including staff! I know that some of you have friends and relatives that look forward to a new tea towel each Christmas, but you have just been too busy with other weaving projects to plan a warp and get it on the loom. So… we thought we would feature some of our very Christmassy tea towels in this newsletter along with some warm and cuddly scarves that also would make wonderful gifts. Sorry….you still have to wind your warp and get it on your loom – but all the planning has been done for you 😉


Holly & Berry Tea Towel Kit

Level of Difficulty: Advanced Beginner
Weave structure: Plain Weave & (Atwater) Bronson Lace
Material: 8/2 organic cottolin
Each kit makes: 4 tea towels

Loom requirements:
Shafts: 4
Reed: 12 dent
Weaving width: 24″

Each kit includes:

Weaving instructions (including draft)
2 – 250g cones of cottolin – Natural
1 – 100g cone each of cottolin – Rich Red or Forest Green
(depending on colourway chosen)

Christmas Stripes Tea Towel Kit

Level of Difficulty: Beginner
Weave structure: Plain Weave
Material: 8/2 Organic Cotton
Each kit makes: 7 Towels

Loom requirements:
Shafts: 4
Reed: 12 dent
Weaving width: 23″

Christmas Stripes kit (makes 7 towels) includes:

Weaving instructions (including draft)

2 250g cones of 8/2 organic cotton- Linen White

1 100g cones of 8/2 organic cotton- Gift Green 1

100g cone of 8/2 organic cotton- Light Stone Grey

1 100g cone of 8/2 organic cotton- Burgundy

1 100g cone of 8/2 organic cotton- Kentucky

Merino and Silk Scarves – Melting Ice

Level of Difficulty: Advanced Beginner
Weave structure: 2/2 Twill Weave
Material: 20/2 Bombyx Silk, 18/2 Merino
Each kit makes: 2 Scarves

Loom requirements:
Shafts: 4
Reed: 12 dent (or use your reed substitution chart)

Each kit includes: Weaving instructions (including draft)

1 100g skein of 20/Bombyx Natural

1 100g skein of 20/Bombyx Rainy Day

1 100g cone of 18/2 Merino Shale

1 100g cone of 18/2 Merino Pewter

Merino and Silk Scarves – Chocolate & Vanilla

Level of Difficulty: Advanced Beginner
Weave structure: 2/2 Twill Weave
Material: 20/2 Bombyx Silk, 18/2 Merino
Each kit makes: 2 Scarves

Loom requirements:
Shafts: 4
Reed: 12 dent

Each kit includes: Weaving instructions (including draft)
1 100g skein of 20/Bombyx Violet Ice
1 100g skein of 20/Bombyx Double Chocolate
1 100g cone of 18/2 Merino Suede
1 100g cone of 18/2 Merino Vanilla

Ask Jane

Warp stripes more dominant than the weft stripes in Plain Weave – why? (from the JST Knowledge Base)

I am a member of a weaving study group in Halifax, NS and our members have taken Jane’s Colour and Design workshop. When studying our design samples, we noticed (specifically in the plain weave asymmetrical design) that the warp stripes were more dominant than the weft stripes. Why? Would the same thing happen in a balanced twill? Well, that is a very good question and I’m not entirely, absolutely, perfectly sure about this, but here is my theory: The warp is under more tension than the weft while weaving so when you look up close at how much of each thread is showing we see more warp. The weft does more dippy, divey stuff and gets hidden more. We have come to this conclusion because it happens in balanced twills too. I hope this helps and I’m glad you are studying your samples.

image of Asymmetry sample below: warp direction and weft direction →

Looking for a gift for the holidays?

Give the gift of learning, an all-access subscription to
Jane Stafford School of Weaving.
 Over 45 weaving lessons with a new episode every 5 weeks
Choose between 1 to 12 months!

Here to help

You can always find us on the Jane Stafford School of Weaving Forum or on Weave with Jane Stafford at Ravelry.

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December 2018 Newsletter

Stocking stuffers

We experienced a mini-disaster here on Salt Spring Island. The storm of Thursday Dec 20 brought down numerous trees and power lines. We have no power and the road is blocked; a situation that’s unlikely to change for a number of days, if not weeks.

Grant is taking his chainsaw to Richard Flack Road to try to clear a path to Langs Road. Eben, Jane’s eldest son, reported 47 felled trees on Langs Road, which connects to the main road.

Thankfully we haven’t heard of any fatalities.

Business as normal is not possible.

Fulfillment of any orders placed yesterday and onwards will be delayed by an unknown amount of time.

My apologies. Have a safe holiday period and all the best for the new year.


Our blog has two number posts since the last newsletter; here they are in case you missed them:

Weaver Spotlight: JST Online Guild Member Linda P.
Design for Weavers: Colour Theory & Practice

If you want to subscribe to the blog, you can do it here:

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November 2018 Newsletter

Take this opportunity to stock up on all your favourite yarns. This weekend only, all yarns 10% off.

Stocking stuffers

The festive season is just around the corner… if you’re looking for some great stocking stuffers for the weavers in your life we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite products.


We’ve started a blog last month, here’s the two articles you may have missed this month:

Design for Weavers: Fibonacci & Division of Space
Weaving Architecture: Step 1 of the Design Process

If you want to subscribe to the blog, you can do it here:

Online Guild update

Just wanted to let you know that we’ll be releasing our wee promotional video on December 6 about what’s coming your way in 2019. Pushing the boundaries of plain weave is the workshop we’ll be featuring. If you’ve been wondering about denting, cramming & denting, log cabin, warp-faced, weft-faced, double-weave, collapsed weave and supplementary warps then you won’t want to miss next year. Sign up before December 7 and you’ll get it at the current price of C$75 / year.

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December 2017 Newsletter

While shepherds washed their socks by night…

The three wise men didn’t arrive bearing a Quadcopter, a Nerf Gun and a Nintendo Switch. And they’ll certainly not be buying them from us because we’ll be closed from Dec 22 and returning on Jan 3, 2018. All orders placed during this time will ship on Jan 3.

This newsletter I give you the gift of the recipe for my favourite caramelized pear tart and a suggestion if you are struggling for a last minute gift idea. That’s it! Peace, hugs and love.


Last minute gift idea

As so many of you know my travels in India have changed me forever. You know how much I love and hold dear the work that the Maiwa Foundation does in India for textile artisans.

One of my favourite projects is the Pink Bike Donation. A donation for a pink bike supports schoolgirls of the Jawaja leatherworkers and weavers cooperative (AAJ – Artisan’s Alliance of Jawaja). A donation of $100 (Canadian) purchases a sturdy, well-built, bicycle for one of the female schoolchildren of the village. This lets the girls travel the long distances to get to school and they don’t have to start and end there day walking in the dark. The bicycles are pink and girls’ style and extremely sturdy so the boys of the village aren’t interested in them, otherwise the girls would never, ever get a look in!

Jane’s favourite caramelized pear tart


  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2-3 tablespoons cold water


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 pounds pears, peeled and halved
  • 1 cup whole blanched almonds
  • oven proof skillet or heavy pan

Put flour, ground almonds and sugar in a food processor and combine. Add butter and process until just crumb-like. With the machine running add yolk and 2 tbls water. Process until dough comes together. Add more water if necessary. Wrap and chill for 20 minutes.

Slice butter and arrange on bottom of skillet to cover completely. Sprinkle an even layer of sugar, then almonds. Core pears, and pack into pan, curved side up. Then place on medium heat on stove and cook until butter and sugar caramelize. About 20 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll out dough to cover the pan. Roll dough onto rolling pin and place on top of pears. Tuck edges of dough around pears. Poke dough with fork.

Bake in preheated oven at 425 F for 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around edge of pan. Place a large plate over pan and invert. Serve warm or at room temperature.

With my apologies to all you metric bunnies.


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December 2016 Newsletter

It is a snow day on Salt Spring Island!

We don’t get much of this white stuff but when we do I revel in it.
There is a quiet that accompanies it and it slows us all down.

It has been a very busy year, so many classes, so many happy weavers, a fabulous trip to Ethiopia to work with some of the most remarkable weavers and the production of JST’s Online Guild.  I am so very grateful for all of it.  I could never accomplish all we do without such amazing supportive staff and friends and customers.  Thank you all.

I wish you all peace and moments of tranquility in this crazy world that is ours, it really is all that any of us could ask for.

My very best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season and a Happy New Year.

This year our recipe is….Coffee with a lot of Bailey’s!

Holiday Hours.  We will be closing on Dec. 22 and will be back in the studio on January 2nd 2017.  All orders placed during this time will ship on January 2nd.

There is still a day or two left to enter our December 21st draw for one cone of every colour of 2/8 cotton.

And you have until December 31st to take advantage of our special offer on JST’s Online Guild.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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JST Christmas Newsletter

Holiday Greetings from JST

We would like to thank you all for such a wonderful year.  There has been much weaving  and merriment within our studio walls this past year.  It is our priviledge to teach such wonderful students and to be able to carry on the age old tradition of making cloth.  Thank you to all our customers from near and far.  We wish you all a peaceful, kind and generous holiday season.  We are so blessed for all we have in our lives.

Holiday Hours

JST will be closed from December 22nd- Jan 3rd. 
Our last shipping day is Monday, December 21st. We must receive your order by noon on the 21st in order to guarentee that it will be shipped that day. We will re-open and resume shipping on January 4th. 

Rosemary’s Corner

Every year we like to share with you a recipe that Rosemary has served at retreats through out the year. This Christmas we decided to share 2 – one sweet and one savoury – that you can use this holiday season.

Happy New Year 2016!

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JST 2014 Christmas Edition

JST 2014 Christmas Edition

As we come to the end of 2014, I would like to thank all of our customers and students for another fabulous year. A great deal of learning transpired in our studio over the last 12 months and I hope every student departed with a greater sense of self confidence and that their passion for weaving was fanned into a glowing fire.

I also want to thank my team. It takes a team to create what we do here. So thank-you to Grant, Charlotte, Cheryl, Joni, Kristin, Lorrie, Rosemary, Sandra, and last, but certainly not least, Susan. You are the best!

JST Holiday Hours

We will  be closed from Tuesday, December 23rd until Monday, January 5th, 2015. That means there are still a few more days to fill your stockings with a cone of yarn or two …  maybe even a gift certificate … How about a loom?  Check us out at JST.

Rosemary’s Delectable Recipes

Once again, we are bringing you a holiday treat this season; Rosemary’s much requested scone recipe:



Handwoven’s Teacher of the Year Award

I have had the great honour of being awarded Handwoven’s Teacher of the Year. This would not have happened without your votes, so I sincerely thank you. The award comes with a $500 weaving grant from Ashford and Foxglove Fiber Arts, so a big thank-you to Richard Ashford and Cindy Howard-Gibbons. I am going to forward this grant to my favourite weavers in Jawaja, Rajasthan via the Maiwa Foundation.



We send you heartfelt wishes for good health, happiness, and the wisdom to acknowledge our great riches.


We look forward to working with you in 2015.

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December Newsletter

Happy Holidays from JST

There are so many more things I would like to get into this newsletter but Charlotte is going on holidays in about 2 hours.  Can you believe that!  Without Charlotte none of this computer stuff would ever happen, so I would like to publicly thank Charlotte for being at the keyboard, multitasking, staying late and coming in early and so much more.  I would also like to thank Susan Brown who has been by my side in this business for over 20 years offering her sage counsel, Cheryl Wiebe our multi-talented dyer, spinning teacher and sample card maker, Sandra Crompton who brilliantly manages Jane’s Helpline and Ravelry, Scott Kavanaugh who gives us endless tech support with a smile and last but certainly not least Rosemary Harbrecht who has made our retreats this year just so much better with her wonderful culinary creations.

I would also like to thank all of you who read The Old Ladies with String Digest from top to bottom.  We are honoured that you choose to support us and we look forward to helping you all in the coming year. Wishing you PEACE, HAPPINESS and the Strength to deal with what ever life tosses your way.

Happy Holidays,


Please Note:  the studio will be closed after Friday December 21 and will reopen Wednesday January 2, 2013!

The Countdown Begins

There is still over a week left to participate in our Win An Awesome Christmas Present Contest.  All you have to do is a make a purchase between now and December 21 and your name will be entered in our draw for a $500 Gift Certificate to JST!  AND, we’ve decided to add a 2nd prize ~ a two day workshop including farmstay.  The winner of this prize gets to attend Cheryl Huseby Weibe’s Know Your Fibre, Know Your Wheel slated for January 27 & 27th, 2013.


Thoughts on Good Selvedges

There are many different ways to handle your selvedges.  We employ special threadings, floating selvedges, denser edges,  all in an attempt to get that perfect straight edge.   You can use regular shuttles, open bottom shuttles, end feed shuttles or temples to aid you in your journey.   I have trained a lot of weavers over the years and I have come to feel that some of the thoughts below are quite important so I’m sharing them with you.  To read the full article click HERE.


Deluxe Weaver’s Holidays

We’ve had such an overwhelming response to our Deluxe Weaver’s Retreats that we’ve decided to add another one.  It will run Sept. 30 – Oct. 5  2013 and is already half full from our wait lists!  If you’d like the opportunity to spend a week weaving  beautiful projects and cooking delicious food, give us a call soon!