Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Lots of New Wool Blankets

I'm continuing through the finishing process for the 11 wool blankets: washing, drying, pressing, labeling, photographing and posting on my Picasa webpage. Here are two drying on the line - W008 on the left with 50% handspun Romney wool from Wenger Sheep Farm ($280) and B123 on the right ($190). Both blankets are 100% wool. Let me know if you're interested.

Friday, 25 May 2012


Anyone making original products for sale needs to seek, consider and use feedback as much as possible. Artists and craftspeople must create, #1, things they like to make and of which are proud. However, they need to have fun extending their natural boundaries while realizing that what they consider not the greatest success could be someone else's idea of perfection.

A friend came to my studio today to look at blankets.  His wife had checked my website and blogs, so he had a fairly good idea of what they were looking for.  They both were interested in the big green cotton blankets, and he immediately admired the only fringed one, noting the more traditional fringe style (the rest are machine hemmed).  Hmmm, helpful feedback.  We had fun pulling out blankets to observe the patterns and see them fully stretched out.

He ended up taking three blankets home with him to share with the other decision-maker :-) and to test them out together in their home.

I appreciated JM's feedback today - thank you.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Three New Blankets in Ottawa

My sister in Ottawa has three new blankets for sale, starting with two of 100% wool:

On the left is B120, which is greys, cream and a soft sand-coloured wool.  On the right is B119 which is all greys (it was drying on the line in my last blog).  B120 is almost six feet long; B119 is a little shorter.

The green cotton one she has is CG120 and it's also large: over six feet long and as wide as I could weave on my loom - 52 inches finished size (that's 1.85m x 1.32m).

Please feel free to let my sister or me know if you're interested in any blanket, especially if you're in or near Ottawa!

Friday, 18 May 2012

More Blankets Ready

I often enjoy checking my blankets on the line after I hang them up to dry - just taking a moment to stand back and see them in a new perspective.  It's especially nice to see them wave a little back and forth in a gentle breeze.

Here are two of the 11 from the last batch: the one on the left has 50% Romney wool from Wenger Sheep Farm (W008) and the one on the right is also 100% wool (B119).

Have a great long weekend!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Evolution of a Blanket Warp

I finished 11 blankets yesterday.  The front beam was so bulked up (on the left) that I could hardly get my knees in while seated on the bench to weave.  By then, you can see that the back beam on the right was almost empty.

As usual, the final blanket brought in all I've learned through this project.  Not only does a weaver learn about the fibres and weave structure differences, but the design process is fun. This time I kept a record of the blankets I wove:

  1. The first blanket is always my chance to test the warp, find and fix any threading errors, and just get acquainted with the new project.  It's like an introduction for me.  For blankets, I always start with a fairly basic design with the least-precious weft fibres I will use.  This first blanket is B118 which I blogged about on April 23.
  2. The next blanket has weft of grey handspun Romney wool from Wenger Sheep Farm.
  3. Then I used a lighter grey handspun Romney wool from Wenger Sheep Farm that morphed into dark brown (ahem, when I ran out - but it looks great).
  4. I then used up almost all the rest of the grey wools from the warp with some black introduced.
  5. Onto a new wool colour that I had stored away - it's a gentle sandy light brown, and I added a little of the very last light grey, and some black.
  6. Then I wove with some recently discovered brown handspun that I must have spun a long time ago. But it's quite nice and the blanket looks great - it will be quite heavy in weight.
  7. Back to the sand-coloured wool with some white - now being fringed.
  8. Over to my big stash of cream handspun wool/mohair.
  9. More cream handspun wool/mohair in a broken twill pattern instead of the smooth diagonal lines that all the previous blankets have.
  10. And more cream handspun wool/mohair in a combination of straight and broken twill blocks - wow.
  11. The grand finale: Grey, cream and sand wool in short blocks of broken twill to make a very long blanket (approx. 2.5 m finished) as the warp kept going and going until completion.
Let me know if you're interested in any of these blankets when they're finished!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

More Towels

One item I love to make is cotton towels. They are fun to weave and worth any experiment once I know the best twill sett for the cotton I use, which is 24 threads per inch.  From there, I start to have fun with bright colours some times, more neutral colours other times.  Many people can't think of using them to dry dishes, so my towels sometimes begin their lives as little table mats.  But they are great for the kitchen or bathroom, or even throwing in your pack for a day trip to use as a small picnic cloth.  Or, any more ideas?

I'm threading this new cotton towel warp of alternating greens, reds and purples, and two shades of purple on the small loom.  The threading order changes and there are twill stripes within the larger colour stripes.  Here is the warp halfway threaded through the wire heddles and sleyed through the reed.  This will be another interesting experiment. :-) 

The big loom has ten woven blankets wound onto the fat front beam and one more left to go ... once my next wool order arrives!