Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Big Cotton Blankets in Blues and Green - Part 1

Any followers of Cariboo Handwoven on Facebook know that I've been busy weaving big cotton blankets in the last week. The warp includes three shades of blue and a fresh green, and to that I've added various purples and mauves, burgundy and other greens.  When I unrolled the front beam after the warp was used up, I was really happy with what was falling into my lap. Then, unrolled on the floor for cutting, the blankets looked even better. Washing has taken them to their next stage of completion. The last stage is use!

Here are four of the blankets - all are machine hemmed. I'll post the next four blankets soon after the two to be fringed are ready for washing and all the final steps.

C196 | 100% cotton | 176 cm x 137 cm (69" x 54") | Sold

C199 | 100% cotton | 179 cm x 136 cm (70.5" x 53.5") | Sold

C200 | 100% cotton | 178 cm x 136 cm | 70" x 53.5") | Sold

C201 | 100% cotton | 179 cm x 136 cm (70.5" x 53.5") | Sold

Friday, 27 March 2015

A Winter of Spinning

Not being the type who can easily sit still and watch a screen of images for long, I enjoy spinning wool and other fibres through the long winter nights. It seems to make any TV or movie watching more productive and satisfying for me. The only exception is if I become engrossed in watching a really good thriller!

This morning I washed my winter stash of freshly spun wool and alpaca. Here it is out drying on the line.

The white skeins are an old supply of beautiful wool and mohair blended into a gorgeous fleece that was a joy to spin. The rest of the white is local alpaca from the Magnowski family of Heritage Valley Fibres. The dark brown is wool from - I don't know where. On the far left is a beige skein of plied beige and white that will be a nice little border or transition in a blanket.

I always wash spun yarns before using them to set the twist and clean them of any remaining dirt or grease. They pile up on a chair back until they go downstairs for washing and then out on the line. I look forward to using them in more wool blankets.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

"Still cold here in Ottawa. Couldn't cope without my beautiful blankets."

I know I have a few fans in Ottawa. My sister, Alison, tops them all but Susan is one of those close in second place. Susan is amassing a nice collection of deluxe Cariboo Handwoven blankets. She likes mohair and brushed wool, and so some of her blankets are on the fuzzy side and extremely cozy.

Here is one of hers that I remember well from last year.  It's two shades of brushed wool alternating with Shetland wool, in wide stripes of soft shades of greens. I would expect that it's softened up nicely with use and looking even better than when she bought it.

When I saw Susan's Facebook comment, I wanted to share it widely. Thank you, Susan - hope to see you this year!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Towels in Blues, Greens and More

I'm on a bit of a happy towel binge lately, to replenish supplies here in BC and in Ottawa, and to experiment and try things. It's very easy to experiment with new colour and weave structure for towels. If it doesn't work - it's just a towel. But they inevitably all work - somehow and for someone. And I think this latest project really proves that.

These towels are an exciting blend of blues and greens, many with burgundy, purple, plum or yellow. Every one of the 21 towels was a success, in my eyes. Not one is anywhere close to a dud. This is one exciting project and I'm really thrilled with all the results.

As usual, these towels work well in the kitchen or bathroom, they're 100% cotton, and they can be machine washed and dried. Most measure about 60-70 cm long (24-28") and 57-58 cm wide (22-23"). Cost is $30 each plus taxes.

I learned, or relearned, a few things about designing my own threading draft to combine the diamonds and zigzags, and that was another success with this project. Now I have what I need to expand these towel designs into big cotton blankets. I already have one blanket order in the works.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Sunflower Towels

A friend and former colleague has many of my towels from over the years. She designed my Cariboo Handwoven logo and I guess we could agree that we have high regard for each other's work.

Recently, she ordered a set of towels in a sunflower theme. She wanted yellow, gold, green and blue, and I suggested a little dark brown. I omitted any gold because my shades were too orangey, but I did enjoy working with the other colours.

She wanted two hand towels for her kitchen and matching small cloths for washing up and anything else.

Her response?
The towels are absolutely divine, thank you! They add to my sunflower-theme kitchen dreams and that is priceless to me. :) 

Always nice to hear. That's why I do this. 

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Cotton Blanket in Florida

A long-ago high school friend bought one of my cotton blankets last year when I saw her. She just sent me a photo of it in its new setting along with some lovely comments.

Recognize the blanket??  I designed one of the bedrooms in my new Florida house around the colour scheme of your beautiful handiwork.  I am really pleased with the way the room turned out and I thought that you might like to see that your blanket had a 'place of honour' as I said it would.

Her cotton blanket at the foot of the bed includes soft yellows, beige and cream, and she has done a fantastic job of creating a new room around it. Pretty thrilling for me! I'm also glad that after all that time in Florida she is still spelling it "colour" and "honour." :-)