Wednesday, 27 March 2013

First Shetland Wool Blanket in A New Home

This Shetland wool blanket is in Ottawa and will be on display at the Open House on April 13. The new owner and I had some contact through the winter about colours, and I mailed her some fibre samples. She asked for two blankets to be set aside, and it seems like this one is her choice:

It looks great on her couch - thanks for this photo!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Fibres West

Today I attended Fibres West at the Cloverdale Exhibition Grounds in BC's Lower Mainland.

Fibres West is an annual two-day festival of workshops ... (that's a dyepot) ...

... with demonstrations of carding, spinning and lace making, and a huge trade show where I met a lot of great people and learned a ton.

There was a preponderance of beautiful hand-dyed fleeces and yarns, and many of the vendors had eye-catching, irresistible goods for sale.

My car is a little heavier with some beautiful wool fleeces of silvery Shetland, dyed heathery Romney and richly dyed mohair rovings. I cannot wait to dig into this stuff when I'm home; I certainly have a good supply to last me awhile at the spinning wheel to weave some great blankets later.

What a super experience to be immersed for most of the day in such a blend of interesting people and fibres.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Green Tablecloths and Blankets

A friend asked me to weave a large tablecloth in a similar rich blend of greens as his Cariboo Handwoven towel. His desired size was six feet long by 52-53" wide, which is the exact maximum width I can weave. We enjoyed the process of designing the colour combinations and weave structure. He's a painter and really knows colour, and he kindly lent me his book "Making Color Sing" after we met.

Here are the cottons ready for warping:

The warp has wide stripes and will be woven in twill herringbone, diamonds and arrows.

The greens will blend well for both tablecloths and lightweight blankets, some of which will be approximately 50% cotton and 50% wool. I'm looking forward to the weaving and finishing processes.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Next Shipment to Ottawa

My sister's next open house in Ottawa is planned for Saturday April 13. Here is my latest shipment, which went out today:

The shipment includes:
  • 5 wool blankets (most are Shetland wool)
  • 2 Shetland wool and alpaca blankets - one is extra long at 228 cm (90")
  • 5 cotton Memories Blankets in bright colours
  • 1 cotton blanket in gemstone colours (ruby, emerald, sapphire)
  • 8 cotton handtowels

I got this great idea to interlock the blankets to reduce creases. I doubt I'm the first person to think of this, but I thought it was rather brilliant. :-)

This shipment will add to what my sister already has available. It should be another great open house.

Thank you!

Friday, 8 March 2013

New Memories Blankets

Recent posts have presented the new set of bright Memories Blankets on the loom, then washed ... and they're now ready for sale. All blankets are 100% cotton, machine wash and dry, and 110 cm wide by approximately 150 cm long. Each is priced at $115, plus any additional taxes and shipping costs.

Some are going to Ottawa next week for my sister's open house in April, and some are staying with me.

Memories Blankets are well-used and well-loved by owners of any age. They are a really nice gift for a new baby, and from what I hear, kids cherish them for a long time. They are also very suitable for a senior, as a lap blanket, for example. I look forward to making more!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Waffle Weave - Before and After

Waffle weave is widely known as a representation of the tasty waffles that go under sticky syrup. This weave structure has interesting variations, however, and one of my favourites is easy to weave and fantastic for soft, drapable cloth, whether for cotton towels or blankets. I call it waffle grid.

As with most, if not all, woven fabrics, washing is a very important final step. Washing enables the cloth to do its thing. I often see commercial waffle towels that do not appear to be washed - they are going to really transform (and probably shrink) as soon as they see water and soap.

So, my example below is first, the "before" waffle grid pattern on the loom:

And after washing:

This close-up shows a purple stripe that is formed of two close shades of purple, with denim blue weft going across. It makes a rich, beautiful blend of colours.

Photos of completed Memories Blankets are coming next.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Bright Memories Blankets

I'm almost halfway through weaving eight bright Memories Blankets. They're 127 cm (50") wide on the loom and I'm weaving them about 1.7 m long. They are 100% cotton, and they machine wash and dry well and last for a long time.

The interesting thing about this weave structure, which is a type of waffle weave, is how the cells pull together  during washing. They are barely visible when the cloth is still on the loom, but the washing is rather magic.

The next blanket has wider stripes of dark purple and dark blue separated by narrower stripes of lime green. It's a nice combination.

I posted one of these Memories Blankets photos last night on my Facebook page, and I really appreciate the nice comments I've received. Thank you.