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JST Blog June Weaver Spotlight!

Hi kids,

This month I’m happy to introduce you to another member of our Online Guild – Arlene Kohut. Arlene is a wonderful weaver who enjoys the design possibilities of layering elements into the fabric that she weaves. You may recall Season 2’s episode on Stripes where I showed you 2 tea towels that Arlene designed layering striping and Bronson Lace. In this blog post she takes us on her journey exploring this season’s Twills on 4’s Simple Two Stripe sample.

If you would like to see more of Arlene’s weaving, you can follow her on Instagram @inkohootsweaving.


My name is Arlene Kohut. I live in Victoria, British Columbia. I started weaving 10+ years ago after my son’s Grade three teacher brought a rigid heddle loom to class for the students to weave a class project. I was able to weave a couple of inches since I was a class parent helper. Once I realized that cloth could be created from fibre woven on a loom, I was hooked. 

In the past I had taken ‘Twills on Four’, the in-person class with Jane. So in January 2020 when Jane posted her first Online Guild class of the year, Season 4 – Episode 1 – Introduction to Twill & Simple Two Stripe Sample, I watched the videos and took notes. Once the video session was complete I reviewed my notes and doodles and had an ‘a-ha moment’. I kept seeing “borders” and I was intrigued with mixing plain weave and twill together. I just wanted to play on a warp ASAP.

I decided to skip the samples for this guild session and go right to weaving towels. My stash did not have enough Charcoal 8/2 Cotton but there were two cones each of Olive and Natural. My brother is having a big birthday later in the year and he likes green so why not make towels? I made the warp wider than suggested by Jane and wove a couple of inches of each technique that she demonstrated on her loom video (so I would have a condensed sample for myself). Then I started playing with what I learned from this episode.

My first sample where I could see borders and different patterns that I could incorporate into a towel.

Then a towel woven in Olive and using a fibonacci stripe sequence, continuing in the 2/2 twill pattern throughout. Just the colour changes in the stripe sequence:
 

2 Natural
3 Olive
5 Natural
3 Olive
2 Natural

Another towel using Olive weft and a natural for the border. Then changing the twill direction every one inch for the centre part of the towel and finishing off the towel with the same border on the other end.

This towel has the same border as the towel above but I used natural as the main towel colour. In the centre of this towel I used a direction pattern change every four picks creating a zig zag effect in the centre of the towel.

For this towel I played around with colour and design. I have a graphic below in my notes.

Lastly, I found some matching 2/16 cotton in a similar dye lot and switched to a slow clasp weft weave. This idea came from a fellow weaver, Kathy Ready. The two us throw ideas at each other so I gave Kathy’s idea a try. I found this design appealing and it gave me more ideas. So………

I made a second longer warp of 2/8 cotton. Going back to my stash I chose Chocolate for the dark side and a strand of Ivory and Beige alternating for the light side (because I only had a cone and a bit of each). Then I started to play again…….

These are some of the towels from this second warp. I used basket weave for the border on the top left towel, which I will try again. I like the colour that was created by using a strand of the Ivory and Beige. Unfortunately, I could not capture this colour on a photo. So you will have to take my word. 

AND I played some more. I am not use to just weaving with neutral colours so I had to add some colour in this lot of clasp weft towels.

What have I learned from this session? Weaving these towels were fun while trying to decide where to put a border and what type. I love the texture that occurs when using plain weave in between four picks of 2/2 twill. Changing twill direction makes its own zig zag pattern. Basket weave for a horizontal border, who would have thought. This session has given me lots of new ideas to play with and I still have more ideas to try in the future.
 
Below, I have included my rough notes for the second sets of towels and a photo of three stripes that I wove on the last little bit of warp. I will keep this bit of weaving for future reference.



Learn more about the JST Online Guild Weaving Lessons

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JST Online Guild Weaving Lessons

Twills on 4 is coming your way in 2020

For the past few months we have been busy working on the program for 2020.  Twills on 4……Oh My, Oh My, Oh My……it is so exciting. In January of 2020 we start diving into the world of twill structure and will overlay it with everything we learned in Colour & Design and Pushing the Boundaries of Plain Weave. This strong foundation will allow us to take 4 shaft Twills to a new level.

We start the year off learning to draft on graph paper and then we weave a sample exploring our 3 standard twill tie-ups and bring all the repetitive sequences we learned in Colour and Design to Twills (yes, Asymmetry, Plaid, Parrot and Colour and Weave Sequences start playing on Twills).

Episode 2 is very special because we have Bob Keates co-creator of Fiberworks PCW presenting his programme for Mac and PC. 

In addition to building on our Colour & Design gamps, this year includes 4 amazing twill gamps: one using small threadings, one using big threadings, one exploring point twill and an awesome colour and weave gamp on twill that will blow your mind. Each of these gamps explores tie-up possibilities, treadling techniques and colour and weave ideas in the weft.

We also delve into the power and beauty of Basket Weave. One entire episode explores Basket Weave as a vertical design element with other twill threadings. This allows us to frame our twills or just have 2 different structures vertically in our cloth…..so many ideas. Twill and Basket Weave are a fabulous combo, they are like an awesome bottle of wine and a great chunk of cheese. Yep, everything still revolves around food 🙂

Towards the end of the year we will apply the rules of Shadow Weave to all the twill threadings we’ve learned and then we’ll do the same with Weft Faced Twills.  

Weaving is all about systems and this year we’ll be looking at twill as a system. It is very liberating to look at it this way….to learn that we can use all this theory to create new, stunning, modern renditions of old classics. The twill family is a big happy family and they all like to party together. 

If you haven’t guessed it by now….I LOVE WEAVING…..and I LOVE SHARING IT ALL WITH YOU!

Come for the ride….we’re going to have a blast.

Twills on 4!

To learn more about the JST Online Guild click here