Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016 Was ... Fun!

We are all looking back today at a very complex year on this planet, but I will keep this to Cariboo Handwoven's year of 2016. The best word I have to describe it was "fun!"

The year began with the final steps in setting up and beginning to use my new Leclerc Colonial 8-harness loom.

It took the prime spot in my studio and the old Colonial moved to the other wall. I like both looms and both locations, and the little contrasts between them are actually quite helpful and refreshing for my body.

I wove a lot of blankets and towels this year and sold most of them from my studio, through Alison in Ottawa, in some local venues, and in three fall craft fairs in BC.

I learned a lot in helping a new weaver start from an immediate fascination with everything in the studio to getting his own 36" floor loom and making some beautiful things. Jon has been fun to weave with and I can't really say I'm teaching him. I'm just showing him some things now and then, and soon he's a step or two ahead of me. Our collaboration has boosted my own weaving and outlook.

I've learned a lot about some weave structures, particularly in combining twills and figuring out how to design the warp (lots of trial and error). And it's become a bit easier for me to show my work at craft fairs and put myself out there.

As well, I learned something for myself when I was recently asked if Cariboo Handwoven is a hobby or a business. Gee, good question. Well, it's much more than a hobby and it's certainly a business. But it's not a business in which I want to compromise the fun part just to grow. I'm producing at close to my maximum level anyway, so growth and increased sales are not really a significant goal. My primary goal is having fun - learning and experimenting while I work (if you can call it work), meeting people and hearing their feedback and stories, and thinking ahead to what's next.

I can't close 2016 without thanking Alison in Ottawa for all she has done again for Cariboo Handwoven and me; Jonathan for all his great questions, ideas and collaboration; and Pat, my husband, for putting up with all my wacky ideas, brief (I hope) episodes of angst, and time away this year. And to all of you with kind comments and heartfelt compliments - thanks to each of you.

May everyone's 2017 be filled with peace, joy, interesting challenges and successful pursuits of their own fun.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Twenty-Two Tony Two-Twill Towels

Towels have been selling well at various craft sales and local outlets, and from both my studio in BC and Alison's house in Ottawa. I wove a lot of towels this summer, as I can never have too many in stock or too much fun in making them, and now I'm really glad I kept pumping them out.

The Station House Gallery asked for more towels last week, so I beamed a warp with Jon on Monday and finished weaving all of them by Friday. Cold winter weather helped make that happen - nice to be weaving away in my cozy, sunny studio.

The lengthwise blue stripes have what I call fuzzy twill lines (threaded 1234 1234 5678 5678), then the reds in the middle have typical clean twill lines (threaded 12345678). I experimented with various diamonds and treadlings, and just had a lot more fun with towels again.

And here are some samples of my latest 22 two-twill cotton towels. All are machine wash and dry, long-lasting, and every one an original!

Please let me know if you're interested in any towels, either ASAP or next year.