Saturday, 26 July 2014


Here is a new blanket from my Deep Forest series. It has two shades of rich green set in warm browns and a little silvery and medium grey.

SH067 | 100% wool | $250

12th Batch of Shetland Wool Blankets

My twelfth batch of Shetland wool blankets has the same weave structure and basic design as the 11th set.  However, they are quite different. This set of blankets is in darker tones with new colours in the weft for added variety.

Here are the first four, with the last three coming soon:

SH066 | 100% wool | $250

SH067 | 100% wool | From the Deep Forest Series | $250

SH068 | 100% wool | $250

SH069 | 100% wool | $250
Please feel free to contact me if you're interested in any of these blankets.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Twenty Towels

Another towel project has opened my eyes to an exciting new twill pattern and some enjoyable experimenting. Most of these towels have distinctly different patterns on each side, but they all look great. Here are some samples:

All towels are generously sized at approximately 58 cm (23") wide by 63 cm (25") long. They're 100% cotton and can be both washed and dried by machine. And they last a long time!

This experiment will transform into the twill pattern for my next set of Shetland wool blankets - can't wait to get started on that.

Friday, 18 July 2014

"Blankets Aren't Just For Horses!"

My sister and I both love handweaving and horses. Alison has many of my blankets and towels in her home and we both own horses. We may live at almost either ends of the country, but we are in touch frequently and she is a huge supporter of Cariboo Handwoven and a major help to me.

Alison thought of "Blankets Aren't Just For Horses!" as a way of attracting horse lovers to my wool blankets that are often in horse colours. She has a brown, grey and charcoal blanket in twill blocks that she calls her equestrian blanket, and I know one blanket owner who was attracted to hers because the accent stripes are her barn colours. So there is a lot I can do as a weaver to bring good memories to horse lovers through my work.

I decided to take Alison's idea to a new level.

Diana Vestergaard of Art Equidae photographed my horse, Blair, one rainy morning - his forelock was soaked when I brought him in and it still looks rather wet.  Diana also did the graphic design for three layouts for postcards and ads. As an experienced rider and horse lover herself, Diana got some really good shots of Blair - and it didn't hurt that she's kind of partial to him and to thoroughbreds in general. I am so delighted with her work! Then she developed all the design elements, using blanket colours for the banner and ingenious ideas like that.

The reverse side of the postcard has some information and two of my favourite quotations.

I'll be using these postcards to showcase my work, and I hope to post in tack stores and distribute other ways to catch interest.

Thank you so much, Alison and Diana. You two have been great and I really appreciate all you've done to help Cariboo Handwoven.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The Progression of Cloth Development

The life of a piece of cloth begins and ends like any life - conception, birth, life and death. Some of the details differ but the similarities are interesting. The varied stages for cloth may be more extensive than most people would imagine.

My handwoven cloth begins as an idea in my mind. I might see something in nature - a combination of colours, a pattern or even just a feeling - that inspires me. Ideas also come from magazines, industrial upholstery, another weaver's work - of course, and endless other sources. Inspiration usually requires a period of incubation before I'm ready to take it further. This stage can include combining cones of colours and leaving them out in my studio to observe and judge for myself, with impulsive or thoughtful changes made. Incubation can take a few days or a few years.

Once the idea has pretty well gelled - and it never totally gels until I see the new woven cloth before my eyes - I'm ready to warp the loom and weave.

More about that process is posted on the "how" label at the right of this blog, and particularly on the five links for "How Long Does It Take To Weave A Blanket" and then the HLDITTMAB ones. These posts take a reader through more details of the warping and weaving processes.

I always like to see the growing front beam of new cloth.

Then the long stream of finished cloth is unraveled from the front beam of my loom and unrolled on the floor for cutting. Fringing or hemming follows, then a careful system of wet finishing the cloth and finally pressing.

The cloth is now born and ready for its life. Once it has found a use, it will soften and become even nicer, whether it's a wool blanket or cotton towel. I enjoy seeing well-used blankets and towels, whether in my home, or when visiting family or friends and spying something I've made - often long ago. I like to check the condition of blanket fringes and how well towels have weathered countless washings.

I haven't seen any of my blankets looking old yet, as the ones I've seen look great after 20 years and more. Towels, however, age beautifully and start to wear thin after about 15 years. Then they're great as rags. I know mine are really useful at the barn and I just gave a freshly washed old one to a horse-owning friend for her own use.

The idea for a blog on cloth production has incubated for some time, but many aspects of life itself are prominent in my own life now. I just realized that!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Scarves in Navy and Reds

After the fringing was completed on my travels, Cariboo Handwoven has seven scarves in navy and three shades of reds and burgundy combined with a variety of weft yarns and colours.  The first three scarves are quite deluxe - long lengths to wrap around the wearer's neck a few times and woven with luxury yarns. The others are also fun to wear and woven with cotton or Tencel (derived from wood pulp cellulose).

Please contact me if you'd like more information on any of these scarves.

S022 | Cotton with wool and cashmere | 168 cm x 24 cm (66" x 9.5") | $120

S022 Detail
S023 | Cotton and silk | 165 cm x 24 cm (65" x 9.5") | $120

S023 Detail
S024 | Cotton with baby alpaca and silk | 186 cm x 26 cm (73" x 10") | $120

S024 Detail
S025 | 100% cotton | 153 cm x 26 cm (60"  x 10") | $80

S025 Detail

S026 | 100% cotton | 163 cm x 26 cm (64" x 10") | $80
S026 Detail
S027 | 100% cotton (reds with black stripes) |
165 cm x 26 cm (65" x 10") | $80

S027 Detail

S028 | Cotton and Tencel (blue is darker) |
 113 cm x 26 cm (44.5" x 10") | $60

S028 Detail