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February 13, 2024 newsletter

Chocolate Box

Shameless, Chocolate Cherry & Violet Ice in our 30/2 Bombyx silk

Doesn’t February make you think of Valentine’s Day? Are you craving chocolates but still sticking to your New Year’s resolution? We have a calorie-free treat for you that you can wrap yourself in as you think of chocolate 😉 We think that you will find that our low-cal Chocolate Box colourway can brighten your day, and give you a sugar-free way to dream about creating a Valentine’s scarf.

Of course, we are talking about our February Colourway of JST’s fabulous silks. We’ll bet you will never look at these silks together without thinking of this colourway as a box full of Shameless, Chocolate Cherries wrapped in a Violet Ice ribbon!


New Kit Tulips

Can’t get enough of pinks and red around Valentine’s Day? This new version of our Cotton Boucle tea towels has got you covered! We’ve created a towel that will make you smile as you weave a bright spot for your kitchen. This kit weaves 8 towels – you’ll have lots to share with friends and family as a bright pink “hug” to hang in their kitchens.


From Our Inbox

We have the perfect project to share with you all for Valentine’s Day! Lorraine Whale from Blaine, Washington sent us a wonderful report on the shawls she had woven for the brides in her life. Our Elizabeth was happy to chat and help Lorraine choose the yarn for her youngest daughter’s wedding shawl as well as another wedding shawl for her good friend’s daughter.
Woven with Love: Shawls and the Enchantment of Weddings
Ah, it’s almost Valentine’s Day and I have a love story to tell. So, last week I was sitting with my husband, pouring my heart out about how much joy weaving shawls for my daughters’ weddings brought me. I’m going on about how it would not have been so enjoyable without an amazing partner. And what does he say? “ Aww.” Now he thinks I am talking about him. Sinking back into my chair I contemplate how to respond to that, without hurt feelings. Don’t get me wrong, he is a wonderful partner, but I meant JST, my go to yarn supplier and giver of great advice.

Summoning my courage, I told him what I was thinking and we both erupted in laughter because that was not what he was thinking, but let’s be real, one must give credit to where it belongs, the fabulous folks at JST. So consider this my valentine to you JST – a tale of fiber romance that I hope brings a smile to your face.

Now let me tell you all about the shawls that I made for love with your help. In 2019 my first daughter got married and I wanted to make a shawl for her, and the bridesmaids. While I sourced the cashmere for her shawl elsewhere, JST gave excellent advice on yarns for the bridesmaids’ shawls. I decided on a 20/2 Salt Spring Skies colour silk warp, and an Navy 18/2 merino wool weft, sett at 24 epi. The pattern that I chose was from Handwoven May/June 2014 in an article entitled American Snowflake Shawl by Jan Josifek. Photo by Jody Goodwin Photography www.jodygoodwinphotography.com

Fast-forward to winter 2022 and my youngest daughter was getting married. So what you do for one, you do for all, so it was time to start shawl planning. She wanted a light blue shawl and with the help of JST we found this Zephyr Ice Blue colour that was perfect. I wove her shawl with a 30/2 White silk warp and a zephyr, sett at 26. I used design # 70110 from Handweaving.net. For the bridesmaids, I used the same pattern, and zephyr ice blue for the warp and Zephyr Marine Blue for the weft. The Selbu mittens were knit using the same materials by the talented Lori Mae. The photograph is by Tara Hill Studios www.tarahillstudios.com.

And just when I thought my wedding shawl-making days were over, my good friend’s daughter announced her wedding and I eagerly said, let me make your wedding shawl. It was a fall wedding and the groom was wearing an ultra suede suit in mahogany. I panicked. How will I find a match? I did what I now know to do. I called JST and discussed it, and we came up with a 30/2 Chocolate Cherry silk, which I used for the warp, and a 16/2 cotton in a light brown colour to tone down the sheen of the silk against the ultra suede. It worked perfectly at a sett of 30. The pattern was a variation of the one I used for my daughter’s wedding from handweaving.net number 70110.

So here’s to you JST, the unsung heroes behind my woven tales of love. With your support my project visions are transformed into tangible expressing of my affections. Thank you for all you do.

Happy Valentine’s Day
Lorraine


David and Spring looms are in stock and ready to ship to you!


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Sample from Season 2 Episode 6, Designing Plaids


Here to help

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November 21st Newsletter

Jane’s Essential Silks

Ten of Jane’s favourite silk colours,
perfect for your wishlist!

We asked Jane which silks she would want with her if she were stranded on a deserted island. She asked “how many skeins do I get??”….we said 10. Here is what she came up with:  

My favourite sample from Season 2 of the Online Guild was the Muted Colour Gamp (Season 2 Episode 8) so I choose 6 colours to match the colours in that warp….and my favourite part of weaving that warp was weaving the hot crazy colours from Parrot (Season 2 Episode 5) on top of the muted colour ways. So I chose 4 colours from that sample….I could weave these colours together forever!

This Colourway includes 10 skeins of either 30/2 Bombyx Silk or 20/2 Bombyx Silk in Ariel’s Voice, Autumn Spice, B.B. Blue, Buddha Berry, Dragon Fruit, Favourite Wine, Grantius Green, Lime Light, Starfish, Tiger Lily.

Heddles for Sabahar:

Thank you, thank you, thank you. What can I say but Thank YOU! I am so happy to forward this update below on our Heddle Drive for Sabahar. We had such a generous and heartfelt response to our request for help. Small gifts can make such a big difference in our world.  

xo Jane

Update from Sabahar:

Kindness makes the world a better place

Our weavers were the beneficiaries of 50,000 professional heddles, and they are so excited!

We are continually amazed by the collective power of kindness. Jane Stafford of Jane Stafford Textiles, has become a dear friend, mentor and advocate for Sabahar. She first volunteered with us in 2016. Jane and her son, Eben, spent two weeks in Ethiopia showing our weavers new techniques that would create different textures and save time. Jane returned in March 2019 for another 3-week stint with us. She paid for her own airline ticket and donated her time! We learned so much! The new texture of our tea towels and the Mescot scarf are direct results from Jane’s assistance.

Jane gets it. As a world-renowned weaver with so many years (or rather decades!!) of experience, she knows exactly what we need to improve our weaving. When she returned to her home in Salt Spring Island, Canada, in March, she was even more determined to help us! She wrote beautiful blogs about the work we accomplished together and then started a crowd funding campaign to raise money for the purchase of professional heddles for our weavers.

The handmade heddles that our weavers currently use often stick together and are time consuming and frustrating to weave with. High quality heddles reduce the time for warp set-up and speed up the weaving process. This means the weavers can produce more in a day and make more money for their household.

Through Jane’s efforts and generous donations from many of her friends and fellow weavers, Sabahar has already been able to buy 50,000 heddles and related equipment and will be able to purchase approximately another 50,000. The campaign raised more than Cnd$7,000. To give you an idea, a standard loom uses about 1,400 heddles and a wider loom uses 2,000. The availability of these heddles will make a huge difference for more than 60 of our weavers.

Words can’t express how amazing this support is, and how thankful we are.

Once Jane started this campaign, so many others joined with their kindness. Texsolv, a weaving product manufacturing company in Tosse, Sweden, offered us a discounted price for the heddles. We were able to buy significantly more through their generous support.

Helen Pankhurst, another great friend of Sabahar, then kindly offered to bring the 22kg of heddles to Ethiopia.

All of this happened really fast. The campaign ran in March 2019 and the weavers received the heddles last week.

Thank you to Jane Stafford, Texsolv, and Helen Pankhurst for your assistance. A huge thank you also goes out to all those who donated to the funding campaign. This critical intervention will give weavers not only the technical ability to earn a better livelihood, but also the feeling of being appreciated, connected and supported by the global weaving community.

Getting Help on the Website

If you’ve visited the website recently, you may have noticed a small icon that looks a bit like this:

Click on it and you’ll be presented with help documents relating to wherever you happen to be the website:

If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for then click Ask, type in your message and we’ll try to reply as soon as we possibly can:

Finished looking, changed your mind or clicked on the icon by mistake? Just click the X:

If you see something in the documentation that’s incorrect or if you think that we should add documentation for other parts of the website, please let us know. We’d be super grateful! 🙂


A Few Weaving Project Gift Ideas

We are all so busy at this time of year making special gifts for the special people in our lives. Trusting in the end result gives us a bit of breathing space :). If you’re stretched for design time maybe one of the kits below will help you reach your goals a little sooner. Happy Weaving!