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June 21, 2022 newsletter

Season 2 – Colour & Design Kits

Have you always been tempted to do (or redo) the Colour & Design projects from way back in Season 2? There is something magical about the simplicity and versatility of creating cloth using these basic tools. Once you’ve had a chance to “play” with them – so many “what if” ideas will pop into your head 😉

Each kit comes with a weaving draft so you can follow along while you watch the videos of me playing with so many colour and design elements. Each kit includes enough yarn for a 6 yard warp which becomes your personal canvas to experiment and play on. You will learn how to weave towels on these warps – and on some – magically see that by opening up your sett, you can also weave a scarf or shawl on the same warp. You can even incorporate some of your own stash yarns for your weft. The possibilities are endless.

excerpt from Season 2 on SoW:

Season 2 lays the foundations of Colour and Design for your journey into weaving. We learn about colour theory, graphic, division of space and the architecture of design. All are presented in a way that allows weavers to bring their ideas to reality.

This entire year we will be working with 7 warps that all start at 18 EPI but I change the sett throughout, so it is important that we talk about sett even further to lay our foundation. I provide all the technical information you need to do this on your own looms.


Asymmetry will give you a great foundation. We start out at 18 EPI and 18 PPI and as you will see in the videos, I change it up once we get some of the basics covered. 

And the things we will learn

  • How beautiful asymmetrical graphics are.
  • Fibonacci used as an incremental unit of 10 ends – movement of weight across a Canvas… dark to light. 
  • Graduating colours.
  • The power of a zinger.
  • Training your eye to see square.
  • How to change out a colour in the warp.
  • How to change our sett in relationship to changing our weft.

Asymmetry Kit includes one cone each of Black, Dark Grey, Light Grey, Bleached & Red in 8/2 cotton.

Colour & Weave

Gamps are great for getting a lot of information out of one warp. Colour & Weave is pure magic. How can all these little sequences of dark and light net us so many remarkable little patterns. The patterns themselves are remarkable but the sequencing is very important, it is the source of so much of the “play” in all of my work.

Things we will learn

  • Practice making a warp with different numbers of warp ends in the seven different sequences.
  • How putting in coloured divider threads help us keep each section clean and easy to read.
  • How crazy beautiful these pattern are 🙂
  • How to read a gamp.

Colour and Weave Kit includes 3 cones of Navy, 3 cones of Natural & 1 cone of Apricot in 8/2 cotton.

Fibonacci with Gradation AKA Parrot

The inspiration for Sample #3 was a parrot. It honestly had all these colours in it, it was just breathtaking. All my early inspiration comes from some external source and eventually morphs into something that has my fingerprint on it.

Things we will learn

  • Using Fibonacci in yet another way. I have taken the numbers; 2, 3, 5, 8 and 13 and added a zero to each one e.i 2>20,3>30,5>50,8>80, and 13 > 130. The graphic grows systematically.
  • The power of a line.
  • The idea of same/same. You have two ways to make your warp with the same colours – you get to pick – either way is equally beautiful.
  • Colour gradation plus another element with strong contrast.
  • Clasped weft technique.

Fibonacci with Gradation AKA Parrot Kit includes 1 cone each of Apricot, Pale Orange, Hot Pink, Fuchsia & Peacock in 8/2 cotton.


We are weaving this simple pattern made up of 2 different sized squares with a striping sequence in a very traditional layout. When you watch episode 6 you will start out playing in a very traditional way with the squares and the stripes, but by the time we finish you won’t even recognize this warp. You won’t be thinking traditional tartan or plaid.

Things we will learn

  • Yet another way to use Fibonacci.
  • Working with complementary colours.
  • Challenging our ideas around value.
  • Creating more complex colour by mixing values… One in the warp, one in the weft.

Plaid Kit includes 1 cone each of Olive, Gold, Purple & 2 cones of Red in 8/2 cotton.

All About Stripes

The stripe has an ancient history but hasn’t always been loved. For much of history the stripe was used to label one as an outcast of some sort, a leper, a prisoner or a prostitute to name just a few. Stripe had to wait for modern times to be seen as loveable.

Things we will learn

  • That big division of space come first, even with stripes.
  • How to create repetitive sequencing with narrow and wide stripes.
  • How to work with colours of very close value and still see graphic.
  • How to use up your stash.
  • Learn the power of a zinger, even a thread or two.

All About Stripes Kit includes 1 cone each of Butter, Nile, Pale Limette & 2 cones of Lemon in 8/2 cotton.

Muted Colour Gamp

This is the first of two colour gamps in this workshop. Don’t let the word “muted” fool you, we take this warp and bring brilliance to the muted warp colours by overlaying all those bright colours from the other samples you have woven so far. You will have so much fun doing this.

Things we will learn

  • Arranging muted version of the primary and secondary colour wheel in gradation from light to dark, laying them all on a natural background.
  • Weaving the colours solid on solid and alternating on alternating.
  • Bring the loud members of the family to the party to brighten things up.
  • Working with textured weft yarns.

Muted Colour Gamp Kit includes 1 cone each of Forest, Natural, Navy, Raspberry, Gold, Purple & Cayenne in 8/2 cotton.

Primaries and Secondaries

This gamp we work with primary and secondary colours in purer hues on a black background. We will weave it very much like the last gamp but this is the first time we delve into twills.

Things we will learn

  • The power of a black background.
  • How black keeps other colours clear.
  • How the balance of colour changes in twills because we see more of each colour due to the float length.
  • How colour and weave patterns appear in twills when we alternate colour in the warp and weft.
  • We have been developing our technique to control our beater throughout this whole workshop and now we will use this control to weave twill and plain weave at the same sett.

Primaries and Secondaries Kit includes 1 cone each of Black, Emerald, Royal, Light Purple, Red, Orange & Lemon in 8/2 cotton.

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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 6th, 2021 newsletter

Tea Towel Time with Jane New English Garden Kit

One of the wonderful things about designing kits is that sometimes a customer asks if we can do it in their favourite colours….. English Garden is one of the outcomes.  Roslyn Wallace is a weaver here on Salt Spring and she had woven the original colourway of Tea Towel Time with Jane, had a blast but then wanted to recreate it in colours from her rose garden. We played with a few colour variations and Voila….. it is stunning. These collaborations always leave me with a big smile on my face.  Thanks Ros 🙂
Level of Difficulty: Beginner
Weave structure: Plain weave, 2/2 Twill, Basket Weave, Turned Twill, Broken Twill, 1/3 or 3/1 Twill
Each kit weaves: 12 towels. Finished dimensions: 21″x 27″ hemmed.
Loom requirements: Shafts: 4 or 8
Reed: 12 dent
Weaving Width: 26″

Each kit includes:
Weaving instructions (including draft)
2 cones of 8/2 cotton- Nile
2 cones of 8/2 cotton- Hot Pink
2 cones of 8/2 cotton- Magenta
1 cone of 8/2 cotton- Navy

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Ask Jane

Hemstitching Tea towels (from the JST Knowledge Base)

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. :^)

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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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.

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A Weaver’s Challenge: 30 Tea Towel Designs in 30 Days

A few days before we broke for Christmas one of my dearest friends and longtime JST employee Susan Brown (25 years) called to say she was coming in to show me something.  She told me a wonderful story and Susan has graciously agreed to share some of it with you.  Once again, it reinforces the lessons in the previous few blogs.  I hope you’re inspired by Susan’s story and you give it a try yourself 🙂

30 Tea Towel Designs in 30 Days

For the month of October an artist friend of mine, Gail Sibley painted 31 paintings in 31 days. Yes, one per day! I was so inspired but I am not a painter. I decided to draw 30 tea towels in 30 days for November. It turned out to be a very worthwhile endeavour. First I went out and found a lovely little square (don’t you just love square) sketch book and then gathered all my pencil crayons. I loved the discipline of drawing one tea towel a day but must confess there was a night or two when bedtime came and no tea towel had appeared in my sketch book for that day. I am happy to tell you that every night but one, I managed to make it happen.

Having taken Jane’s Colour and Design workshop the previous year, I drew on what she had taught in the class. Often I selected a few colours to start with, sometimes outside my usual pallette and then proceeded to work on the graphics. At times I forced myself to try layouts that did not come from my ‘go to’ designs. That was hard but very rewarding most of the time. While drawing a tea towel, the ‘what if’ question often came up which usually led to the following day’s design. Coming up with a different design each day was not always easy but when it wasn’t, I asked myself ‘what if I just changed one element of a previous design’ and presto, there was a new design.

A Weaver's Challenge: 30 tea towels in 30 days

Drawing 30 tea towels in 30 days was fun, challenging, educational, interesting and (as I said), very worthwhile. There are designs that I don’t like so much, but there are definitely designs that I like and some that I can’t wait to try. Who knows, I may do it again or something like it!

-Susan Brown

A Weaver's Challenge: 30 tea towels in 30 days

Ready to sketch?

The best part of this challenge is that you can start it any time you like! Don’t be afraid to customize it to fit your own preferences – for instance, if you aren’t  ready to commit to 30 days, try sketching 7 Tea Towel Designs in 7 Days. Who knows, you might enjoy it so much, you decide to keep going!

We’d love to see your design ideas, feel free to share them with us in our Ravelry group or on Instagram using the #janestaffordtextiles hashtag.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog & newsletter  to get future posts delivered via email!

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A Weaver's Challenge: 30 tea towels in 30 days

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November 2017 Newsletter

It’s Blankie Season… YAY!

At this time of year we always love to encourage blankie weaving… we need to stay warm up in these parts!

To this end we’ve done two things.

1) We’ve produced a free leaflet to download: Quick yarn requirements for Shetland, Mohair and Alpaca

2) We are giving a 10% discount on our favourite blankie yarns:

This sale lasts until November 18, my milestone birthday when I’ll be 40… again!

Don’t forget to review Episode 9: Making a Mohair Blankie….. Yes! of the Online Guild which was all about making blankets with brushed mohair.


Clockwise from top: 1) Shetland warp, brushed mohair weft, twill, 2) Shetland warp, Shetland weft, plain weave, 3) Mohair warp, mohair weft, plain weave, 4) Shetland warp, Shetland weft, twill, 5) Shetland warp, natural alpaca weft, twill.

Are you Confused about what the Online Guild is?

I have had a few calls lately from weavers interested in the Online Guild who weren’t quite sure what it’s all about.

The Online Guild is a series of one to two hour lessons released every five weeks. This is the first year we have done this and it has been hugely successful providing support for new weavers and weavers who have been at it for decades. There is a theme to each episode and each episode has been broken down into mini videos and indexed. You can watch them over and over…. play, stop, rewind, repeat… they never ever go away.

I chose the guild model because when you are a member of a guild you have access to a library. If you pay your yearly dues you get to borrow from the guild library. That is how our guild works. The videos are the library and as long as you are a member you get to watch them 24/7, 365 days of the year.

Your membership starts from the day you sign up. If you sign up today you get access to every single video in the library plus you get every video we release for the next 12 months. That means you can do some serious binge watching 🙂

The programme for 2018 is Colour and Design. Colour and Design has long been my most popular workshop resulting in hundreds of students on wait-lists. I have decided to tape the entire workshop and offer it in episodes which will allow you to weave along through the months and experience everything you would if you were actually in my studio. We will offer the kits to support the samples or you can delve into your own stash as you wish. I can guarantee that you will be liberated around making decisions in regards to colour choices and design choices through these episodes.

This past year we have woven each one of the seven samples on 27 yard warps creating a amazing library of visual ideas which will be shared throughout the season. Each episode will be one sample. The first two episodes will be laying out the process. My ideas just don’t float out of my head… I have a process that brings all my designs to life and I am so happy to be able to share it all with you. No holding back 🙂

We have years of episodes in the works so the online guild will be the place I can deposit all my knowledge for weavers anywhere in the world. My staff call it “Jane’s Brain Dump”. Too funny!

I am trying to keep the cost of this similar to what you would pay for guild dues, $75.00 for the entire year. This means it is accessible to everyone and I am accessible to everyone. We also provide a forum where all members can post questions and create a dialogue within a like minded community, all walking down the same road to become strong, independent, happy weavers.

I hope this little babble has cleared up any confusion you may have had about we are doing around here. Come join us today and Happy Weaving,

Join The Online Guild

The next Online Guild episode

Release date is November 16, we’ll be tackling wet finishing. In a washing machine, by hand in the sink, I collapse fabrics, we go over fringe twisting and, believe it or not, ironing! That’s a good way to finish up the year… with finishing.

Introducing the new Erica table loom by Louet

Named after the great weaving teacher Erica de Ruiter, a specialist in three shaft weaving, the Louet Erica 30 Table loom is small and very portable. For over 40 years Erica has done research on weaving with three shafts: twill, huck, M’s and O’s, honeycomb, thick and thin, padded weave, Krokbragd, supplementary warps, block weaves, color-and-weave, and much more.

The Louet Erica loom is an attractive alternative to a rigid heddle loom: it is easier to operate, the warp tension is more even, it has a large shed of 4.5 cm (1 ¾”) and you have flexibility in the number of threads per cm. The option to expand it to 3 or 4 shafts will make it an even more interesting alternative.

The loom is made of unlacquered beech and laminated birch. It comes complete with built-in raddle, stainless steel reed (10 dent), 200 Texsolv heddles (150 mm) and lease and tie-up sticks. The folded size is 55 x 48 x 16 cm (22” x 19 1/8” x 6 3/8”) and it weighs 3.5 kg (7¾ lb).

At this point the Erica loom is available with in a 30 cm (11.75″) weaving width. In early 2018 a 50 cm (19.5″) weaving width version will be available, along with a floor stand, accessory package (unfinished warping posts, 2 flat shuttles, and a threading hook) and bag.

Our first shipment will be leaving Holland in mid-November, arriving in north America early December, just in time for Christmas (fingers crossed!).

Pre-order the Louet Erica 30 Table loom

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Colour & Weave Inspiration : Plain Weave and Twill

Colour and Weave Inspiration

During the past few weeks some great cloth has walked through our doors and I just have to share it with you. All of these pieces are based on Colour and Weave Technique…. basically working with dark and light colour combinations in simple cloth. In my workshop Colour and Design we do a Colour and Weave Gamp…. Dark/Light over and over, Dark/Dark/Light/Light over and over, Dark/Dark/Light over and over. There are 7 different combinations of Dark and Light. That is what Colour and Weave is all about. As striped fabrics with all the colour in the warp and just one simple weft you get amazing striping sequences but the real magic begins when you weave with dark and light in the weft. In our camp we basically follow the striping sequence in the warp to get the weft sequence. Charlotte had a opportunity to weave a very special gift and we wove the gamp exactly how it is in class but without the dividers. She choose JST’s 2/20 Tussah Silk in Double Chocolate and Glacier sett at 20 epi and woven at 20 ppi. to create this amazing scarf.  The hand and drape of this cloth are evident in the photos below.

Tea Towels


I am the lucky recipient of yet another tea towel…. that must make around 500…. but who’s counting and no one can ever have enough tea towels. Not when they are as beautiful as the ones I have….. I don’t mean to brag…. just sayin!

This towel was designed by Sharon Broadley after she saw a flock of White Sussex Chickens at Salt Spring Cheese during one of our workshops. Inspiration lurks everywhere on Salt Spring Island. This towel just makes you smile. Sharon’s borders are Dark/Dark/Light/Light in the warp & Dark/Dark/Light in the weft with a couple of red zingers all on a bed of beautiful white cotton. Plain Weave kids…. just perfectly wonderful plain weave. JST’s 2/8 cotton sett at 18 epi and woven at 18 ppi. Take a look at that corner, looks like little chicken foot prints :^)

The Benefits of Sampling

Sampling is one of the best things a weaver can do. In the end you gain knowledge that you can use again and again. You save money by spending to a bit to learn and practice on and in the end you are generally very happy you did it. There are many different reasons to sample but the most important in my mind is getting your sett correct. Nicole Onetto is a new weaver who has taken sampling to heart. She sees the benefit of sampling in her end products.

Recently she has been weaving blankets…. first just Harrisville Shetland and then Harrisville Shetland Warp and Mohair Weft and now she has sampled to get the best fabric possible using Shetland and Alpaca. Nicole’s goal was to create a very special blanket for her son and she has done it.  Her journey took her through many samples, testing for sett and ‘colour and weave’ ideas on Twill. What happens when you take all those wonderful dark/light sequences you’ve played with in plain weave and overlay a 2/2 twill on top. The results are stunning.

We have draped Nicole’s beautiful blanket on Mary our lovely mannequin. You can see how this fabric would make a stunning coat or poncho.

Nicole’s sampling provided her with the knowledge she needed to make the best use of the yarns she wanted to use. Harrisville Shetland at 12 epi, JST’s Prime Alpaca at 12 ppi. 2/2 twill weave structure.

I want to thank all my wonderful students for sharing their fabulous work. Bang On, Far Out, High Five, Gold Star to my wee Charlotte, Sharon and Nicole. You kids make teaching a joy!

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JST September Newsletter

Hello Lovelies,

It is that time of year again….the time when we start to talk about registration for the upcoming workshop season in 2017.

We will open workshop registration on October 12th at 9 am. Registrations will be taken over the phone only at (250) 537-9468.

A New Year a New Format

There are big changes in store for weavers at JST in 2017.

For many years I have wanted to teach my workshops in sequence. I have wanted to work with a group of weavers for an extended period of time.  To offer workshops that build on previous workshops and therefore build weaving knowledge on a strong foundation.

I have been asked repeatedly if I would ever offer my workshops with a home study component that would allow the weaver to stay focused and work on a series of assignments that would cement the knowledge gained in the workshop…..

So we’re doing it.

This means….you have to take the workshops in order.  If you have never taken Colour and Design then you have to take it first.  If you have taken Colour and Design then you can take Pushing the Boundaries of Plain Weave 1.

In 2017 I am offering 7 runs of Colour and Design and 3 runs of the 2nd workshop, Pushing the Boundaries of Plain Weave I.   In 2018 we will offer 4 C&D,  3 of PW 1 and 3 of PW 2,  and in 2019 I will add Twills on 4 into the mix and after that Units Blocks and Profiles.  It is a long term plan to shift my teaching to sequential learning.  We will also be offering mini workshops online starting in 2018.

With every one of these workshops you can also have the optional extended home study component which will run for 6 months after your workshop.   We will provide participants who sign up for this option with an online forum where we can all continue to share and learn together and I will provide assignments that will help you solidify what you have learned in the workshop.

What do you get from Colour and Design?  You get a tool box that helps you make decisions.  Decisions about choosing the proper sett…based on the type of cloth you are trying to create, the cloth that you envision. You will learn to think about your weaving as a canvas.  We learn about division of space and about creating great colour combinations that are inspired from nature.  You also hone your weaving technique in this workshop.  It is important to learn good solid weaving technique, to have great selvedges, to be able to weave with ease and without hurting our bodies.   These are the things you learn in Colour and Design….it is often referred to as a life changing workshop.  I hear those words again and again and I truly believe that learning about Sett, Colour and Design is the first thing a weaver needs to learn to set them on a life course for independent thinking and creativity in regards to woven cloth.  It gives weavers the necessary knowledge to make decisions with CONFIDENCE.

What do you get from Pushing the Boundaries of Plain Weave 1?  You get a bigger tool box in regards to technique and sett.  We learn to look at our reed as a design tool by exploring weft faced fabrics and warp faced fabrics.  We learn about cramming and denting and supplementary warp and we overlay all these ideas on the systems we learned about in Colour and Design.  We learn that a good weaver is able to adapt their technique to suit different weaving situations and yarns.  We learn to weave linen with confidence and without fear.  It is a powerful 2nd step in the programme.

So…….  here are the dates that these workshops will be offered.

January 9-13th – C&D
February 27- March 3rd – C&D
April 3 to 7th – C&D
May 1-5th – C&D
May 29-June 2nd – C&D
July 24-28th – C&D
August 14-18th – C&D
September 11-15th – Plain Weave 1
October 16-20th – Plain Weave 1
November 4-10th – Plain Weave 1

Farm Stay Update

For the past 8 years Grant and I have opened our home to provide Farm Stay to all of our students.  Unfortunately we are no longer able to do this as we have had endless problems with water this year and we are quite certain this will not change in the near future.  Randy up at Green Acres Resort is willing to set aside cabins for our students.  Rosemary has opened her own little kitchen right in the heart of town and you will have several opportunities to drop into Rosemary’s and pick up picnic dinners, deserts, etc.   All accommodations at Green Acres do have kitchens so you can prepare your own meals if you choose.  There are also many other wonderful places to stay on Salt Spring and we have a list on our website.  In years past we have always picked our students up at the ferry and brought them home….well…we will still offer this service but we’ll take you to Green Acres instead with a stop at Rosemary’s wonderful shop called “Yum” or the grocery store.   If you stay elsewhere you will have to bring (or rent) your own vehicle.

Tuition Fees.  The workshop itself is $850.00.  This includes all materials, binder, sketchbook, pre-warped looms and a delicious lunch each day plus snacks, tea and coffee.  You also get a 10% discount on all yarns purchased at the workshop.

Optional Extended Programme: 6 months of mentoring and 6 assignments $150.00.  Mentoring will happen through a private online forum with scheduled postings.  (You do not have to commit to this right now, we will review it all at the end of the workshop and if you think it is right for you….then you can commit then).  This option is meant to be fun, exciting and stimulating, NO STRESS is allowed.

We will open workshop registration on October 12th at 9 am. Registrations will be taken over the phone only at (250) 537-9468.

A $350.00 deposit will be required and the balance will be due 60 days prior to the workshop start date.  All fees are in CDN $’s.

Thanks for reading this rather long letter…but I needed to fill you in on a whole lot of stuff.
Hope you’ve all had a wonderful summer.



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The Start of Another Wonderful Year

Welcome to 2014 Everyone!

We started the new year off with a wonderful group of weavers joining us in our first Colour & Design retreat for 2014.

We had such a fun time learning how to design our cloth,  create a beautiful graphic using horizontal and vertical lines to divide the space and expand our colour sense to make exquisite fabric and bring our individual creativity to life.  A fascinating, inspiring week full of learning, experiences, great connections, delicious food and lots of chocolate!

The March 3 – 7 Colour and Design workshop is currently full, but we have been informed that one of our students might have to cancel. Would you like to have a shot at getting this spot if it opens up?  Just send us an email or give us a call and we’ll put your name on the wait list.  Then you’ll have advanced notice if the spot does become available.




Our Pushing the Boundaries of Plainweave June 30 – July 4 and July 28 – August 1 workshops both have two spots available.




There are also some spaces in our Twills on Four workshops:

September 8 – 12 – Three spots

September 29 – October 3 – Four spots and

November 10 – 14 – One spot left.




Bragging Rights

Jane’s eldest son, Eben has been chosen as one of the scholarship winners in the Student Exhibition at Circle Craft.   His mask sculptures are metal, bone and cloth (his own weaving) and are on display at Circle Craft January 25 – February 25.  If you’re on Granville Island, they are definitely worth checking out.


Just days after our first workshop finished, we whisked Jane off to the airport for her second trip to India with Charllotte Kwon.  Jane is spending some time with the weavers who make the exquisite Maiwa wool carpets.  It looks like she’s having a wonderful time.  We’ll keep you posted on her adventures!

Don’t forget about our Group Discounts

If you’re a member of a guild, have a group of weaver friends or are just a prolific weaver yourself, remember our discount policy on yarn orders.  If you purchase $200 or more of yarn we will pay your shipping costs.  If you buy $500 or more of yarn we’ll pay for your shipping costs and take off 10%.

Mailing List

We want to expand our mailing list.  If you like getting the Old Ladies with String Digest, even if you’re a young lady or a gentleman, please spread the word.

Remember the Helpline.  We are always there for you.

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2014 Schedule


It’s October, and you know what that means!  It’s time to post JST’s schedule for 2014.

Our 2013 workshops are coming to a close and it has been quite the year.  So many workshops, so much success and so many people on the wait lists.  Keeping those wait lists in mind I have decided to do three each of our foundation series workshops:  Colour & Design, Pushing the Boundaries of Plainweave and Twills on Four.  With two workshops on Units, Blocks and Profiles.  This has filled up the whole year!  In 2015 we will be offering a few new workshops and more multi-shaft workshops.


If you have never been to a workshop at JST we encourage you to start with Colour and Design.  This foundation workshop gives you the confidence and skills to design your own woven cloth.  Many long time weavers have taken this workshop and commented that they wished they had had this course years earlier in their careers.  It is the perfect workshop for newer weavers.  If you have difficulty making decisions about sett, colour or how to use it in your weaving this course is for you.   Colour and Design is being offered January 13-17th, March 3-7th and April 7-11th.


Pushing the Boundaries of Plainweave aka Awesome Weave will blow your mind.  If you thought that plain weave was plain, you must take this course.  You will be delighted to find out the immense diversity of this humble weave structure.  This workshop also teaches weavers how to adapt their technique to different situations, how to weave linen with ease, how to perfect the selvedge.  It could also be called “Exploration of Sett” as we travels the realms of balanced cloth, warp faced cloth and weft cloth and the many points in between.  Pushing the Boundaries of Plain Weave is being offered June 30th-July 4th, July 28th- August 1st and August 18th-22nd.


Twills on Four is the next step once you’ve taken our Colour & Design and Plainweave.   The possibilities available with just 4 shafts, 3 tie-ups, infinite variation of threading and treadling net the 4 shaft weaver a bounty of amazing pattern.  If you truly understand the potential of 4 shaft twills you will be ready to accept the infinite variations with 8 and more.  Twills on 4 is being offered September 8th-12th, September 29th-October 3rd and November 10th-14th.

The next step along the road is Unit’s Block’s and Profiles.  This intermediate workshop helps us define the those three words in the title and opens up the world of block design.  By the end of your 5 days you will be able to design your own block profiles and interpret them in many different structures.  Units, Blocks and Profiles is being offered May 5th-9th and June 2nd-6th.

We hope these offerings will be of interest to you.  B&B will be offered for all workshops on a first come first serve basis.  We can accommodate up to 5 weavers in our home.  To register for any of these workshop just give us a call at 250 537-9468.

Don’t forget about our Group Discounts, they’re particularly lovely.

If you’re a member of a guild, have a group of weaver friends or are just a prolific weaver yourself, remember our discount policy on yarn orders.  If you purchase $200 or more of yarn we will pay for your shipping costs.  If you buy $500 or more of yarn we’ll pay for your shipping costs and take off 10% before taxes.

Mailing List

We want to expand our mailing list.  If you like getting the Old Ladies with String Digest, even if you’re a young lady or a gentleman, please spread the word.

Remember the Helpline.  We are always there for you.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!  How can it possibly be 2013? Well … it is!  We wish you all the best.

Wicker with Nature’s Bounty

Do you love beautiful baskets?  Have you ever wanted to make one of your own?  Did you know that in just two days you can make a basket?  We have one spot available for Joan Carrigan’s workshop next weekend, Saturday January 19 and Sunday January 20.  The workshop includes a gourmet lunch each day and if you’re coming from off island we also have space left for farmstay.  Give us a call 250-537-9468.

Know your Fibre, Know your Wheel, 2 Spots Left!

Do you really know your wheel, do you?  I mean, really?  No seriously, do you?  Do you know how and when to use your whorls? Do you know how to balance the tension between your flyer and drive band?  Do you know when to adjust your treadling?  Can you go from spinning a downy wool to tussah silk in 60 seconds?  (that last part is a joke).

Well, if you’ve answered no to any of these questions, run to the phone right now and sign up for Know Your Fibre, Know Your Wheel on January 26 & 27 (Sat & Sun).

Everyone’s a Winner!

I did some thinking over the holidays and realized that I need to spend my advertising budget in a different way.  Instead of giving it to a big magazine, we’re going to give it to you!  Every time you place an order at JST, no matter what size, your name will go in a draw box.  Each quarter, some lucky person will be the winner of a $250 gift certificate.  Yes, we’re trying buy your loyalty!  (typical Jane humour).  We support you on the phone, with our helpline, on Ravelry and now we reward you when you support us.

By the way, our $500 Win Yourself and Awesome Christmas Present went to Roz Wallace of Victoria, B.C. and our second place spinning retreat went to Linda Knowles of Vancouver.

Who knows, you might be the next person to win!

Natural Dye Workshop

We are so happy to tell you that JST is hosting a very special Natural Dye Workshop being offered this summer by Charllotte Kwon August 28, 29 & 30 and there are only twelve spots.

Charllotte Kwon is the owner of Maiwa Handprints Ltd. and the director of the Maiwa Foundation. Through Maiwa, Charllotte also runs a textile archive and research library located on Granville Island. Under her direction Maiwa has produced four documentary films and a number of print publications. She also guides Maiwa’s substantial web presence.

Charllotte travels extensively each year to research handcraft and to supplement her natural-dye research. Always looking to extend natural dye use, she also teaches dyeing workshops with artisans around the world and has planned a series of natural dye masterclasses to bring exceptional practising artisans together.


Colour & Design

In June 2012, I taught my workshop Colour and Design at Olds College in Alberta.  I had 12 wonderful students who decided to do a tea towel exchange so that they could put into practice some of the theory they learned in the workshop.  I have photographed all of the towels and created a new document for the helpline describing their design process and showing all the towels.  If you liked the information on selvedges, then I’m sure you’ll like this.

Dyed Yarns

We just wanted to give you an update on our dyed yarns.  They’re coming along quite beautifully.  Cheryl is working on the final set of samples and hopefully we will have them ready to roll by our next newsletter.  13 exquisite yarns in 32 exquisite colours.

Don’t forget about our Group Discounts

If you’re a member of a guild, have a group of weaver friends or are just a prolific weaver yourself, remember our discount policy on yarn orders.  If you purchase $300 or more of yarn we will take 10% off your total before taxes.  If you buy $500 or more of yarn we’ll take off 10% and pay for your shipping costs.

Mailing List

We want to expand our mailing list.  If you like getting the Old Ladies with String Digest, even if you’re a young lady or a gentleman, please spread the word.