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Textile Travels

Well howdy everyone.

I’m just ending my first week here in the studio without Jane. It’s been weird and I miss her a lot. I was pretty nervous at first but am actually finding out that I know a lot more that I thought I did. Whew!

I’ve heard from her a couple times. As most of you know, she left for India on Sunday and is travelling with Charllotte Kwon and the Maiwa Foundation for the next 3 1/2 weeks . She won’t get into much detail this week because of the limited internet connection but did say that her first 24 hours in India have already completely blown her away. Her first stop is Bagru, Rajasthan in western India. A village famous for it’s intricately designed wooden block printing and natural dyes using indigo, pomegranate, madder root and turmeric. I can’t wait to hear about what she gets up to! I bet you can’t wait either!

We’re working on the warps for our next workshop coming up fast at the end of February: An Exploration of Colour and Design . There’s one spot available! If you were hoping to take this course, now’s your chance. The other Colour and Design workshop in April is already full. I’m having a blast working on these warps, the colours are all so happy! As I continue to learn about weaving I’m able to absorb more and more information from each workshop – I’m really excited for them to start up again!

So, we’ll do our best to keep you posted on the stories from Jane’s travels, and the goings on here in the studio. And if anyone has a burning desire to share their thoughts and feelings, fire away with your comments.

Until next time ….

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Visits and Upcoming Sale


We’ve got one spot left for our November 8-12 Lacey Places workshop for intermediate weavers. Lace weaves are a time-honoured tradition, appreciated for generations. You will learn: Canvas Weave, Huck, Swedish Lace, Spot Bronson, Bronson Lace and Blended Lace, the structural differences between these often similar looking weaves and why one might be more suitable than another.


One of our greatest joys is when old friends drop by. Joan Churcher from Ladysmith, a weaver and long time friend of Jane’s paid us an unexpected visit on Tuesday and made Jane’s day. She gets all kissy when she sees old friends.

On Monday we also had the Victoria Weaver’s Guild come by. We had a lovely time discussing yarns and patterns. What a treat to have so many friends around!

We’ve just heard that the Tzouhalem Spinners and Weavers Guild are having a month long sale at the Loft Art Gallery in Mill Bay just above the ‘Valley Wines to Vines’ in the Mill Bay Shopping Centre. There will be on-site looms to try out as well as demonstrations of Japanese braiding, inkle band weaving, spindle spinning and basket weaving, for the four Saturdays in November. Great timing for beautiful one-of-a-kind gifts.

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Weaving, Workshops and Contemplations

Jane left Wednesday for Vancouver where she is teaching her Weaving in the Maiwa Tradition workshop. Her students are learning double weave, cording, double width, fringe on four sides, denting with elasticized silk and some contemplations on the Zen of plain weave. Her inspirations come from Maiwa’s elegant and ingenious textiles.

In November we have two Lacey Places workshops here in the studio. The last of the year!  We have been winding the warps and threading the looms for all of the beautiful and exciting samples soon to be woven.

Our October Newsletter went out last week, with information about our discount policy, the JST Towel Exchange on Ravely, some talk about potatoes and Jane’s much anticipated teaching schedule for 2011!

Who knows what we’ll be talking about next week! Stay tuned.

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Fall is a Festival of Colour


Well, the Equinox has come and gone. The days are getting shorter and colder and the studio driveway is strewn with the burnt orange of fallen leaves. We are surrounded by the yellows, reds, greens and browns of the changing season.

So much material for inspiration!

One of our dear friends, Rita John sent us this beautiful photo of seaweed that had washed up after a storm. It was amazing because I had just been putting together a similar colour combo.


Our Honing Your Basic Weaving Skills class was a lovely day of warping, bobbin winding, shuttle throwing, selvedge control, beating and tie-up. Oh, and delicious food too. We had home made onion soup and fresh vegetable sandwiches compliments of Jane’s garden. Yum! It makes me excited for the two Lacey Places workshops that we have planned in November.


Our October Newsletter will be coming out shortly – look for new patterns and the 2011 class schedule!

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Weaving Community

Well, Jane’s back from the Peace. She had a wonderful time teaching her Pushing the Boundaries of Plain Weave workshop in Fort St. John. Twice a year weavers and fibre enthusiasts from all over Northern B.C. and Alberta gather to meet somewhere in The Peace. They gather in the spring and the fall, some driving for up to 4 and 5 hours to have their mini-conference. Jane really felt honoured to have so many women coming from such distances to study with her.

At the end of the workshop the ladies presented Jane with a beautiful book of stunning photography showing The Peace in it’s four seasons.

All the warps for the Weaving in the Maiwa Tradition in October are wound and sent out. They should arriving on doorsteps soon.

That’s all for now, happy weaving!

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Well, Gibsons Fibre Festival has come and gone. For a while it seemed that this might be the last one too, but from the sounds of it, the word went out at the right time. Before the festival everyone knew they might never get the chance to come back which seemed to create concern and excitement for the cause and hopefully drew in a new generation of fibre enthusiast volunteers.

From my position in the background, I helped Jane get all the books, yarn and fibre accessories loaded into the van for her to head off.   She came back, exhausted but brimming with stories, photos of the booth, the rest of the show and her smiling students from the Principles of Colour and Design workshop.

Everyone had a great time and learned a tonne of inspiring techniques.

So, we’ll miss it next year for sure, but here’s hopin’ that we haven’t seen the last of it.

Jane’s next teaching venture is a Pushing the Boundaries of Plainweave workshop Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Fort St. John. She’ll also be teaching a Warping with Sticky Threads seminar on Friday evening. All this means she’ll come back on Monday totally pooped and in need of a good snooze. However, the garden, the studio and the fam will be calling and I bet she won’t stop for one second.

Our Monthly Newsletter went out yesterday.  For anyone that’s not on the list, click here to read about the latest shenanigans at JST.  If you’d like to be on our email list, send us an email and let us know you want in on the fun.

And, guess what! I made my first warp and dressed my first loom last week! I made towels out of bouclé cotton at 12 epi and 12 ppi in plain weave on a Jane Loom. I’ll have some finished pics once I’ve taken it off the loom. For now, look at this!
Until next time, happy weaving! Charlotte.

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A Few notes and a Joke

Last week was awesome. On Monday, 7 students participated in a one day seminar called “Honing Your Basic Weaving Skills”. We went over making warps quickly, efficiently and most importantly, VERY WELL. Then we dressed a loom Back to Front and discussed the pro and cons to the many methods of warping looms. Bobbin winding which is often under-rated was demonstrated and good shuttle handling, posture, and shedding sequence was practiced by everyone.

By the end of the day everyone’s selvedges were straigthening out and weaving was much faster and fun and the cloth more even.

On Tuesday, some of the same gals returned and we added some new ones to look at “Project Planning 101”. We went over all the questions you need to ask yourself when designing your projects, starting with…

1. What do you want to make?
2. What do you want to make it out of?

….and then we went from there. Everyone provided a scenario and therefore we learned a great deal answering everyone’s questions. The math is not so daunting when you think about it in a logical sequence.

Wednesday was a wild and wooly affair. We made a 4 yd. brushed mohair warp and had it on the loom by noon and then we beamed another 45″ brushed mohair warp that was 7 1/2 yds. long. That was rolled on by 1 p.m. After lunch we went over winding bobbins so that yarn doesn’t stick and exits the the shuttle easily. Again good posture, shuttle control, shedding sequences were demonstrated and then everyone sat down and wove on the mohair warp. It is amazing how easy it is to manage difficult yarns when you know a few tricks and are willing to adapt your technique a little bit to suit the situation.

We just can’t weave everything one way. Just like cooking, sometimes you have to change ‘this a little’ and ‘that a lot’ for the recipe to work.

Thursday was a very special day. Susan Brown and I led 5 women through a day of self-discovery based on readings from “The Creative Habit”, “The Four Agreements”, “The Path of Least Resistance” and several others books that have meant a great deal to Susan and I. It was a very powerful and personal day with a goal of addressing our creative needs.

Thank you so much to Sasha, Crystal, Sally, Lynne and Susan.

This week we are getting revved up for Cheryl Wiebe’s “In Pursuit of the Rainbow”, dyeing workshop this weekend. Looms are getting squished into corners so dye tables can come out. It should be a very colourful 2 days, even if the sun doesn’t shine.

Well, that’s what we’ve been up to in the last few weeks. The studio is a wonderful place to host these workshops so let us know if you want to learn something specific and we’ll try to rustle up a workshop for you. Actually, more than a workshop. We are trying to create wholesome learning experiences that feed the soul on many levels.

My friend Dawn Russell is always sending me great jokes and I have to leave you with this one. Read it with all the theatre you can muster.


A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband.

Suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen.

‘Careful,’ he said, ‘CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh my GOD!

You’re cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW!
We need more butter. Oh my GOD! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER?

They’re going to STICK! Careful . CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL! You NEVER
listen to me when you’re cooking! Never! Turn them! Hurry up! Are you
CRAZY? Have you LOST your mind? Don’t forget to salt them. You know you
always forget to salt them. Use the salt. USE THE SALT! THE SALT!’

The wife stared at him. ‘What in the world is wrong with you?
You think I don’t know how to fry a couple of eggs?’

The husband calmly replied, ‘I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I’m driving.’

Have a great week,

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Festival Season is Mad

Spring is sprung and weavers are in their gardens. However, it is also a time for travel and festivals. In my studio on Salt Spring Island I teach Pushing the Boundaries of Plainweave, July 22 to 26 and again on August 5 to 9. Also August we will be at the Gibsons Landing Fibre Festival, vending and teaching Collapsible Fabrics from the 19-23.

This year, I have the privilege to teach at the Maiwa Textile Symposium for the first time. On October 1-4 from 10 to 4 in the Maiwa Net Loft on Granville Island in Vancouver, BC I will be teaching Weaving in the Maiwa Tradition.

I have always been so inspired by the exquisite handwoven fabrics that are produced for Maiwa. They bear witness to the beauty and elegance of plain weave, elegant use of colour, great design, and ingenuity. This workshop has been developed based on loom-controlled techniques used in Maiwa’s handwoven textiles. They are simple structures pushing the boundaries of plain weave in fine yarns. Students will weave eight fabrics over four days.

Students need basic weaving skills and their own table loom. Warps will be prepared in advance and sent to the students before the workshop. During the workshop students will migrate from loom to loom thus gaining access to a wide variety of structures and weaves.

Registration for this starts Monday June 22 at 10 am. Go to for more information