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Tea Towel Time with Jane in Support of the Maiwa Foundation

Hey kids, I just wanted to share a wee story, some great news and a great pattern. 

I need to thank all of you for your continued support of JST… we feel so blessed each day when we come to work and see your orders.  Most of the staff continue to work from home but Elizabeth, Sharon and I are in the studio Monday to Friday answering questions and providing continued support to our amazing community. AND because of this support we are so pleased to announce that JST will be making a $5000.00 donation to our favourite charity… The Maiwa Foundation… on behalf of all our customers.

As many of you know, the Maiwa Foundation is very near and dear to my heart. I have had the privilege of travelling to India on three occasions with Charllotte Kwon. Those trips have changed my life in ways I can’t even begin to describe. It was on one of those trips that I met Kathy Marshall from Sabahar… and working with Sabahar has also changed my life in ways I can’t even begin to describe. I know there are thousands of voices that echo my feelings about Maiwa and Charllotte.

Last week I asked Charllotte for an update and how we can help.

With 1.3 billion people, India is one of the most populous nations on Earth. The government implemented a strict 21 day lockdown, with just a few hours notice. Our artisans had to make their way back to their homes as they could, walking long distances as transit services and car traffic were shut down. Everyone remains inside their homes. People are not permitted outside, so travelling to work is out of the question.

Our business relationship with artisans has always been a long-term one and we are in regular contact with many of them. The primary concern for each of the artisans we know is not the difficulty of remaining at home but the uncertainty of the future.

The Maiwa Foundation is marshalling its resources for the uncertain future of craft. We also don’t know what the future holds, but we know it will not be easy. We want to be prepared to help where we are most needed. We know that it will be possible to keep hands on the loom, to keep the dye bath going, to plant organic cotton, to harvest, weave, dye and sew. We trust that you share our optimism and thank you for your continued support

If you would like to make your own personal donation to the Maiwa Foundation or learn more, click here.

So Now for the Towel Story!

Last month I was feeling a tad down in the dumps and realized I needed a project to bite into. I couldn’t settle on anything, kept procrastinating and finally found a picture on the JST Instagram feed that turned out to be a design by my friend Sharon Broadley (Colourwoven). I loved the colours and graphic, asked her if I could use it and all of a sudden I felt grounded again and ready to roll.

I changed the colour and weave sequence, changed the graphic a bit, did a sketch and hit the warping mill running… and then I thought about everyone else out there that might be feeling like I was and decided to try Facebook Live… like really! Apparently there are folks out there waiting for someone to make a warp live on Facebook.

So that is how this started… the next day I dressed a loom… live on Facebook Live and then I threaded it, sleyed it and wove one towel everyday for the next two weeks live on Facebook Live at 1 pm PST.

By the time I was finished it had developed into Tea Towel Time with Jane and we had created a fun, supportive, caring community with hundreds of weavers watching and asking questions.

After everything was woven and hemmed I decided that I would make the pattern available to everyone in our community at a price that anyone could pay… whatever you want :). All proceeds from the sale of the pattern will go to the Maiwa Foundation. So pay whatever you want and get your pattern here.

What will become of those towels you ask? 🙂 We’re going to have a silent auction sometime during the month of June and will let you know about that once we get it all set up.

We have also made these towels into a kit so if you’re hankering to make your own set of towels click here. Please note that I used bits and pieces from my stash in some of the towels and those colours are not included in the kit. There is enough yarn in the kit for 12 towels.

You can still view all of the Tea Towel Time with Jane episodes on the Jane Stafford Textiles FaceBook page. The quality of our live feed was not great because we live in the boonies and have very slow internet… but the banter is fun and there were some great teaching opportunities 🙂

Hope you are all well, always thinking about you.

Love Jane

Tea Towel Time with Jane Kit $89.00 CAD

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Handweaving in India, Part 2: Oh, the Fabrics!

Handweaving in India, Part 2: Oh, The Fabric!

It is so nice to be able to step back in time and revisit past journeys through our photos. The digital age has made it so easy to click, click, click and I think I took over 4000 pictures on my first trip to India. While having that many photos is wonderful, it also makes it hard to pick just a few, LOL. In this post I’ll share some of my favourite pieces that made their way home with me on that trip that I told you about in the January 29th post (click here if you missed it!).

Just to remind you, the village is in West Bengal, north of Calcutta. This village is famous for its extraordinary weavers, very fine weaving, Saris and an inlay technique called Jamdani. The majority of the weavers wove on simple 2 shaft looms, with fly shuttle attachments. Warping is an extremely meticulous process due to the fine warp threads and the finished fabric is breathtaking.

The piece below was woven on 2 shafts with reeled silk. The warp was black and the weft was the colour of copper. If you look right down in the bottom left hand corner of the photo below you can see what the cloth looked like when it came off the loom….simple flat plain weave. All of the texture that you see in the body of the cloth was done by using the thumbs to force the warp threads apart after the cloth was taken from the loom. When I first brought it home it had a wide border all across the bottom about 6” wide but over the years I have been adding texture to the piece by demonstrating how the warps threads were moved. I don’t have much space left to demonstrate…so I’ll have to go back and get another one. When I hold this cloth in my hands I realize that another artisan used their thumbs on every square inch of the cloth shifting the warp threads exposing the weft threads.

Handweaving in India, Part 2: Oh, The Fabric!

I have draped the scarf on Mary our wonderful model to show you this simple piece of plain weave in all its glory.

Handweaving in India, Part 2: Oh, The Fabric!

The next piece is an amazing example of beater control. It is woven in plain weave with weft faced bands of 3/1 twill. The warp is like a cobweb, so incredibly fine it almost disappears. A band of gossamer plain weave is woven and then a band of 3/1 twill is woven that covers the warp as it becomes weft faced but because the threads are so fine it has a drape and effect that is absolutely stunning.

You can shift those weft bands into the open space but in the 9 years I have had this piece they have never shifted on their own.

Handweaving in India, Part 2: Oh, The Fabric!

Handweaving in India, Part 2: Oh, The Fabric!

Another of my favourite simple plain weave pieces has several things going on.  The warp is cotton with a silk weft. This scarf is so soft…..it is difficult to describe just how it feels in the hand.

At first glance it is easy to see the horizontal space that is left every few inches, again controlled by the beater but it also looks like there is denting in the warp.  Denting is a technique where you leave an empty dent open in the reed. Those black vertical lines look like empty space but upon closer inspection it is really 3 ends of one colour and then one end of black, there is no denting happening in the piece just the illusion of it. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to use my thread magnifier to figure out what is going on in these pieces.

Handweaving in India, Part 2: Oh, The Fabric!

Handweaving in India, Part 2: Oh, The Fabric!

The last piece in this post is woven on 4 shafts and is plain weave threaded into blocks. Some threads are on 1 and 2 and another block is on 3 and 4.

It can be woven with a simple tabby tie-up where both blocks weave plain weave from selvedge to selvedge like you see at both ends or it can be woven with one block always weaving plain weave while the other block doesn’t weave at all. The is accomplished in the tie up. The threads on 1 and 2 are always changing places but the threads on 3 and 4 stay in the middle and have one pick that floats over the entire block of them and the next pick floats under them. When you weave this way through the entire length of the cloth you end up with stripes where your warp has no take-up because there is never any interlacement through them, just over and under them.
Those stripes are the wavy ones and they were warped in silk where the other plain weave blocks are warped in a very fine wool. The entire weft is the fine wool. There is also a fabulous graphic threaded into those blocks. It is such a simple idea and every part of this cloth, the hand, the drape, the shiny, the matte, the thin stripes, the wide stripes, the colour……screamed take me home! 🙂

Handweaving in India, Part 2: Oh, The Fabric!

Handweaving in India, Part 2: Oh, The Fabric!

I am so happy to be able to share these particular weavings because this cloth and the weavers of this village challenged beliefs that I had carried around since I started to weave 30 years before. They challenged my ideas around sett, use of reed and beater and about what you could and couldn’t do with thread or structure…it changed my entire thought process around design. I had always loved plain weave but I gained a profoundly deeper respect for it than was there before. I will be eternally grateful to these weavers, for their extraordinary skill and vision and for the gift they shared with me during my 10 days with them. Namaste.

Like this post? Please feel free to share their beautiful work on Pinterest using the graphic below!

Handweaving in India, Part 2: Oh, The Fabric!

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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.

Jane

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

Crust

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

Filling

  • 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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May 2017 Newsletter

Mercerized Cotton, the end of an era

We’ve carried mercerized cotton for over 25 years. However, recently UKI has changed their policies and small stores like ours have to buy 20 cones per colour per weight in order for them to deal with us. Unfortunately we cannot afford that inventory or space.

Whilst we’re sad to let the entire range go, let’s turn that frown upside down by offering you the chance to purchase every last 500g cone that we have left at 25% off. We only have full cones left and we will not be winding down to 100g balls. Take advantage of this offer while it lasts because once this stuff’s gone there ain’t no more!

Take me to the mercerized cotton

Color & Dirt Collectors

It’s taken weeks but you’ve finally finished your latest beautiful creation. Just give it a quick wash and it’ll be ready for its glorious debut… but the dye has run! The yarn was supposed to be colour-fast! You stupid washing machine, how could you do this to me!!!

Fear not, for ye shall soon achieve dye-run-redemption via the wonder of Color & Dirt Collectors. One sheet added to your wash water, whether you wash by machine or by hand, will grab any fugitive colour lurking around in your yarn. They are truly amazing!

Color & Dirt Collectors available for purchase on the JST website very soon… hopefully next week.

Maiwa delivery

Maiwa supports traditional craft through an ethical business model. Working mainly with India, Maiwa is involved in the trade of embroidered, blockprinted, handwoven, and naturally dyed textiles.

Maiwa encourages the highest quality from craftspeople, knowing that the rare beauty of a skillfully produced piece will command higher prices in the open market.

Higher quality gives the artisan a measure of trade protection as the work cannot be cheaply copied. Fair compensation for such work elevates the craftsperson from the realm of unskilled labourer to that of artisan.

We’ve taken delivery of new Maiwa garments – dresses, shirts, beautiful quilts, table linen, napkins, yardages – all in naturally dyed organic cotton and linen.

Saturday opening

The JST store is now open on Saturdays 10 – 4 for the whole of summer. Come in, browse around, say hi to Klare.

Jane Stafford Online Guild Episode 5 update

In this episode I have taken the opportunity to have a guild meeting. I explain how I decided on the guild model and how it works. There is some info on how to find pdfs and volume control on Vimeo and I introduce you to the Online Forum.

We have a section called unfinished business 🙂 where I review frequently asked questions from episodes 1-3. I go over counting the cross, tucking tails, jump the bump and dive the dip, great selvedges with alternating weft threads, dealing with the problem of a broken hemstitching thread and floating selvedges.

Then we get into the first segment of project planning. So much information in this episode. Hope you enjoy it. Remember to post your thoughts on the Forum.

That’s my kind of thing, sign me up!

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March 2017 Newsletter

Oh My Gosh….we are waiting for Spring – we can hardly wait!

I hope that you have all survived the cold and snow and if you are lucky to live in warm places….well……how lovely, we are so happy for you!
I should not complain because I spent February in India travelling around with Charllotte Kwon from Maiwa and 22 intrepid travellers visiting some of the most amazing artisans on the planet.
We had lovely warm weather in India and it was hard to write home and tell Grant and gang about it while they were under so much snow.  For all you real winter dwellers out there, it is hard to understand how wimpy we can be out on the wet west coast.  We try to be strong but we whine a lot :^).

IMPORTANT NEWS ABOUT FIBRES WEST

It is coming up really soon!!!!!!!….next weekend to be exact.  JST is bringing a big booth with all kinds of great yarn for weavers and knitters and looms for you to try out.
While we try to bring a good cross section we can’t bring everything so if you have special requests please let us know by March 13th at the latest.  For instance we don’t bring our mercerized cotton because we just don’t have room for all those weights and colours but we will bring your special orders with us if you get them in online.
If you want to order for pick-up at Fibreswest all you have to do is enter our home address in the address bar and you will be able to choose pick-up as an delivery option.
No delivery charge for pick-up.   Our address is 142 Richard Flack Rd., Salt Spring Island, B.C. V8K 1N4.

So come and visit us at the Cloverdale Exhibition Grounds March 17th and 18th.

JST’S ONLINE GUILD UPDATE!

Flowers aren’t the only thing Blooming around here :^)

We have had a remarkably upbeat, positive response to our Online Guild.  Episodes 1 and 2 are now streaming….and I can’t believe I get to say this…..but, all over the world!!!!!   We have members in Ukraine, South Africa, England, New Zealand, France, Australia, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, USA and Canada and maybe other countries that I haven’t noticed.   I am overwhelmed by the support and encouragement exhibited so far.   Episode 3 will air March 16th.  So far we covered the importance of making good warps in Episode 1, dressing a loom from beginning to end in Episode 2 and Episode 3 is all about, good posture, shuttle handling, great selvedges, mending broken warp threads, finding that wonderful rhythm at the loom and hem stitching.

If you haven’t had a chance to sign up for JST’s online Guild…all you have to do is click here.    The 2017 Membership is $75.00 $99.00 for 10 videos released every 5 weeks.  Each video is 1:30 – 2 hours long and will stream to you over and over and over as many times are you want, as long as you are a member of the Guild.  Take the opportunity to ask questions and become part of a growing community that shares its love of weaving and learning about it on our Online Guild Forum.  You can read all the posts here but you must be a member to participate.  All this for $7.50 $9.90 an episode.

I just thought I’d share a few reviews from the JST Online Guild Forum…..a place for all members to become acquainted and ask questions.

Episode 1….Loved it! The instruction on counting the warp threads was worth the cost of the year’s subscription. I’m dragging my feet on warping my next project because I want to watch episode 2 first!  Elizabeth

I learned so much about warping that I had missed in other classes. You stressed some of the important little details and reviewed them several times. I also learned more about counting the threads . Thanks for all the excellent instruction. Margaret

Absolutely love these video’s! Now I have Jane in my studio anytime I want! 😉  I think this was a fabulous idea to create this online Guild, so many helpful tips and learning moments! And as usual, I had big smiles and chuckles as I watched Jane in her unique teaching style!  Mary

Episode 2……
Wow, never did back to front warping! I love it and was able to dress my loom with cotton boucle With NO problems! Thank you so much! I have a Renewed desire to weave again 😊 Valerie

I love episode 2 as much as episode 1!  Thoroughly enjoying this and finding it immensely helpful, especially as a newbie weaver Janet

Thanks Jane lots of good tips to improve the threading experience. If I can get them to work on my loom my back will be thanking you. Jennifer

Photos from India

I know this newsletter is getting a bit long but I really wanted to share some photos from India.  Travelling with Charllotte Kwon and seeing India through her eyes is just one of the most remarkable experiences anyone could have.  To see the work that Charllotte, Maiwa Handprints and the Maiwa Foundation do in India is life changing.

This was my third trip assisting Charllotte and I just want you to understand that I am not an intrepid wanderer or traveller, but I would follow Charllotte Kwon anywhere simply because of the good work she does, for the fact  that she is so much fun to be with and that I always learn so much about so many different things.  I am indeed and very lucky girl.

I am always happy to share stories from my trips…… if you’ve ever been on Salt Spring and have dropped in, you’ll know that I’ll talk till the cows come home!  But for today I think I’ll just post a few of my favourite photos from the trip.  Thanks for reading and for all your support.

Happy Weaving

Jane

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JST’s June Newsletter

It’s Almost Summer!

The JST studio has undergone a major re-design, highlighting our Hot Line of Hand Dyed Yarns and expanding collection of Maiwa products! If you are in the area, come by and see the new look. For those of you farther away, here are a few pictures:

 

 

News from Louët

For those of you with Jane Looms, Louët now offers Jane bags for protecting your loom and easy transport. We sell these bags through our online store.

The Hatbox is almost here!!!

A Reminder to all that the classic spinning wheel will be here this summer. Contact us today to reserve your Hatbox by Sending us an email or give us a call at (250) 537-9468.

New Line of Super Fine Alpaca

We have expanded our selection of Alpaca to include a line of 5 natural super-fine baby alpaca colours:  Cream, Camel, Charcoal, Smoke, and Black. You can purchase any of these colours at our online store.

 

New Harrisville Shetland Colours

JST now has added three fabulous new colours in Harrisville Shetland to our line; Silver Mist, Loden Blue and Aegean

Let the colour inspiration begin!

Weavers’ Corner

We have a couple weaving projects that have been shared with us in recent months and we now pass onto you.

Barbara Mitchell wove this amazing quadruple weave scarf from 12 gauge bambu. Barbara took my workshop Inspiration from the Sari at a Maiwa symposium a few years back. In that workshop we did a double weave version of this and Barbara blew the top off the box with her four layer scarf. To top it all off she wove this on her 8-shaft Jane Loom.

 

Kathy Ready recently took Jane’s Lacey Places workshop and was inspired to weave this beautiful scarf out of humble 2/16 cotton. We studied colour and weave effects on Huck Lace. Simply stunning!

 

Don’t forget that we offer FREE SHIPPING on yarn orders over $200.

Thinking about placing a large order? Ask about our group and guild discounts.

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.

 

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Silk and Cotton Revolution

Weaving Through India (aka) Inspiration from the Sari – 2 Spots Available

Last Chance to take this workshop with Jane in Vancouver!

 

October 20, 21, 22 & 23

In January of 2011 I travelled to India with the Maiwa Foundation and had the great privilege of observing some of India’s finest weavers. I visited again with Maiwa in early 2014. This workshop has been created based on the extraordinary pieces that I observed and brought back.

Students will need to have solid basic weaving technique and a four or an eight-shaft table loom for the workshop. Warps will be prepared in advance and sent to the students before the workshop. During the workshop students will migrate from loom to loom creating samples of six different exquisite fabrics, all inspired by the beautiful saris we saw on our travels. Students will also receive all their weft materials so that bobbins can be prepared before the workshop.

“India’s tradition of clothing itself with uncut cloth has created a weaver’s paradise. Everywhere I looked I saw magnificent coloured and textured cloths. Often the simplicity of the handloom techniques led to the most sensual and ingenious of fabrics.”

Students will learn about supplementary warps used to create patterned borders over a plain weave structure, stripes, and double weaves. In addition there will be unusual embellishment techniques such as the use of sequined yarns.

We will contrast India’s handloom techniques with the craft-loom approach taken in the west. There will be a slide show: a weaver’s perspective on an incredible tradition.

All of our warps are 2/16 cotton base with a 30/2 silk weft from our Hand Dyed Hot Line.

Good Reason for Trying Organic Cotton

 

Did you know that regular cotton production uses more herbicide and pesticide than any other single crop grown on this planet?  It’s True.  Cotton covers 2.5% of the world’s cultivated land yet uses 16% of the world’s insecticides.

These chemicals pollute the air and surface water.

Cotton is grown in many countries where there are no rules to protect the farmers who spray those chemicals.  The spraying often leaves them with severe health issues.

Residual chemicals may irritate consumers’ skin.

The cotton used in these samples was grown in Egypt where there is great momentum in regards to growing Organic Cottons.  It is certified by GOTS, The Global Organic Textile Standard which was developed through collaboration by leading standard setters with the aim to define world-wide recognized requirements that ensure the organic status of textiles.  From harvesting through manufacturing GOTS provides credible assurance to the consumer that the product they are purchasing was manufactured using environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing.

If you feel you can’t afford to make your entire project out of Organic Cotton why not try to use organic cotton for the weft or make every 2nd or 3rd project out of Organic Cotton.

Blending delightful Organic Cotton with exquisite 20/2 Silk (Bombyx or Tussah!)

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I had never thought about blending cotton with silk until I went to India.  Over and over I saw fabulous fabrics made with cotton warps and woven with silk wefts.  I have been working with these blends since my return.  It allows us to take our 2/8 cotton out of the kitchen where we tend to use it just for towelling and more durable cloth.  The other thing I have come to learn is that we can open up our setts to create more drapey fabric and still have incredible durability and stability.  Have you ever tried to weave 2/8 cotton at the most recommended sett of 20 epi  and 20 ppi?   I don’t know about you but it is really hard for me to even come close.  We sett it at 18 and 18 and it is a lovely weaving experience and makes a great absorbent towel.   So….the next step was to take it down to 16 epi and 16 ppi and it was an even better experience and creates an even lovlier simple cloth.   So THEN…we changed the weft to 2/20 silk and oh my goodness….we have an exquisite fabric, with exquisite drape, cooler than 100% silk but with the lustre that only silk can add to a textile.

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Summer on Salt Spring

June 2014

Workshop Availability

We have just had several spots open up in Pushing the Boundaries of Plain Weave for the June 30th to July 4th run. Farm Stay is also available.   I know that isn’t very far away but if you’ve wanted to take this workshop now is the time because we will not be offering Pushing the Boundaries of Plain Weave again until 2016.    There are new workshops on the horizon for 2015.  We also have 2 spots in Terrific Twills Sept 8-12 and 2 for Terrific Twills Sept 29-Oct 3rd.

Maiwa treasures now available on Salt Spring at JST

Travelling to India always leaves me wanting more.  We are committed to assisting Maiwa continue their amazing work in India by stocking a small but lovely collection of their inventory.  We have carpets and leather bags from Jawaja,  beautiful scarves from the cooperative Women Weave and Ajhrak table clothes and bed covers from the Kutch Desert.  If you are coming to a workshop prepare to be dazzled.  If you need a special gift hopefully you’ll think of us.

Another story from India

I am absolutely blown away by the block printers of India.  I had no idea about the work that goes into printing a piece of fabric and I really don’t think many artisans in the west truly understand how much work is involved.  Precision work, remarkable hand-eye coordination, repetition, speed…..these artisans have such skilled hands it is hard to imagine without seeing.

 

In Rajasthan  A thick slip is made from mud with a high clay content.  It is then printed directly onto fabric to create a patterned resist.  Then the fabric is dyed and dried in the sun.  The mud resist is removed by washing, then it is resisted again with additional pattern, dyed,  dried,  and washed. Resisted again, dyed, washed ……get the picture!   So much work involved to put pattern onto one length of cloth.

 

 

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Easy Summer Weaving

Everyone loves our boucle tea towel kit.  Each kit comes with 5 cones of boucle cotton and enough 4/8 cotton to weave hems on 6 thirsty towels.  We have put together  several colour ways that will make any dishwasher or kitchen happy.  Heck you could even take these towels to the bathroom to dry off.    Check them out here.

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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Summer Sizzle

August 9th, 2012

Where has this summer gone?  We have been so busy with retreats and the garden that I really haven’t noticed the days clicking by.  We have had a very mixed bag of weather here in B.C. but we are finally pulling ahead of the slugs, beetles, deer, rabbits and oh I almost forgot…..the tent caterpillars that have invaded us this year.  During the June Twills on 4 Retreat, my whole class got into picking them off the raspberries every night. Despite all their efforts (the caterpillars) we have harvested a bumper crop of raspberries which will last the whole winter.

Every night now we are feasting on fresh greens, potatoes, tomatoes, summer squash, peas, cabbage, carrots~the garlic and onions are hanging to dry~oh my!  Each day provides us with the opportunity to be eternally grateful for our bountiful lives.   This also means that all our retreat guests are going home with extra big smiles on their faces.  This is the first summer we have had our chef Rosemary Harbrecht cooking for retreats.  I just can’t tell you how amazing it is to go to the table during our retreats to see what a French Trained Chef can pull off.  Don’t ever think you will be able to come here to weave and go home having lost weight!  It isn’t possible…but you’ll be very happy.  I don’t know if Rosemary has ever had such rounds of applause or so many hugs at her other jobs :^)

Organic Cotton Patterns

We have created two lovely sets of tea towels from our new Organic Cotton.  They are very soft and absorbant and we are so proud to be able to sell this quality of cotton.  It is certified organic,  spun and dyed  in Holland by the same company that produces our very high quality cottolin Venne.  These two sets of organic cotton tea towels are now available as patterns on our store site.   This 2/8 cotton is sett the same way you would sett our regular cotton but is grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides.  It is the perfect yarn for those specials gifts that are easier on the planet.

 

Our First Basketry Retreat at JST

In May we had the pleasure of hosting a Wicker Basket Workshop with the incomparable Joan Carrigan.  She took over our classroom with dyed willow reeds, wild crafted materials and spray bottles.  As you can see, the results were exquisitely beautiful!    Many of these students had never made a basket before and look at what they created in just 2   days.  We will be offering many more workshops like this in the new year.  Watch for the 2013 class lists that will be coming out in the October Newsletter.

Our next visiting instructor is our favourite spinner Cheryl Huseby-Wiebe.  She will be teaching us how to use colour in our spinning to dazzle and delight!  Check out her class description here!

There are 2 spaces left in this workshop running September 28th and 29th.

Maiwa Symposium “Inspiration from the Sari”

There are also 2 spots left in Jane’s workshop “Inspiration from the Sari” which is part of the Maiwa Symposium in Vancouver.  The dates for the workshop are October 23rd to 26th.  Here is a photo of the samples you will weave during this workshop.  They are pretty darn spectacular.  Doubleweave inlaid with sequins, cramming and denting, stitched doubleweave with supplementary warps….oh my!  If you have taken Pushing the Boundaries of Plain Weave with Jane you are ready for this workshop…….she will  push you even further!

 

Speaking of the “Inspiration from the Sari” workshop, these photos show Sheri’s Ward’s creative use of her left over warp after taking this workshop last fall.  She wove off the rest of the warp and turned the fabric into Speaker Covers.

And this delightful bit of craftwork is from our very own little Charlotte who spun, dyed and crocheted almost all the yarn in this sweet baby blankie for her friend Sylvie’s brand new daughter Elora Mae.  The orange border is dyed Mikado.

The sizes of the squares are based on the Fibonacci sequence to make a cubed Fibonacci Spiral.

 

And Speaking of Fibonacci, here is another wonderful link to information about our favourite Italian dude.

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On the Road … to Social Networking (kicking and screaming the whole way).

Big Announcement!  JST is on Facebook!!!!!!!!  Haven’t you been waiting your whole life for this to happen?   Come be our friend, we’d love to keep you up to date.

This weekend JST is off to the Vancouver Island Weaver’s Retreat at the Grand Hotel in Nanaimo!  The Vendors are open to the public, so come check us out!

Over to you, Charlotte (my roving reporter):

I’d never been to a fibre show before so I thought I’d tell you all about my experience.  On March 17 Jane and I went to Fibres West in Abbotsford and man, we had a blast.  Maggie from down the road came to help us get ready.  We work really well together, even when things get tough.

It took the three of us a full day to get the books, yarn, shuttles, winders, bobbins and what not all packed up into Jane’s trusty minivan.

Our first stop was to Maiwa on Granville Island to see Charllotte, Sophena, Dani and Tim.  It was the first time Jane had seen everyone since she left India.  It was so lovely to visit the beautiful Maiwa loft and for me to meet the wonderful team behind the Maiwa Foundation.

After some coffee, seeing more photos of India and planning Jane’s next Maiwa Workshop, we headed over to Abbotsford to unload and set up the booth.

It was great that we were able to get into the trade building at 2:30 because it took over 5 hours to get it all unloaded and displayed beautifully.

I got to see so many of you that I’ve only met on the phone or through email.  It was such a treat to make the connection between everyone’s smiling faces and sweet voices!

One evening a whole bunch of us went to a fabulous restaurant in Ft. Langley.  Thanks Christa for inviting us!  And many thanks to Brenda of Penelope Fibre Arts for putting in all of her time and effort to organize the event!  It was such a great weekend!