Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Ask Me Almost Anything About Advancing Twill

I've been enjoying advancing twill patterns in my blankets and towels over the years. An article a year ago in the premier issue of Heddlecraft encouraged me to work with it again for a towel project. When I say you can ask me almost anything, I have to emphasize 'almost' because this blog's title is meant to be a bit silly ... and readers know by now that I absolutely adore alliteration. :-)

So, if you want to know anything more than the little I share here - definitely go to Heddlecraft or explore advancing twill another way.

In these towels, I designed the threading for the 26" width and used different treadlings with a twill tie-up of 3-2-1-2 for the eight harnesses. It's exciting to create different sequences and see the results. The selvedges took a bit of a hit in their quality, and I had to do some manual improvements at the end of certain sequences when the edge thread was not being woven in. If I missed it for awhile, that edge thread forms a small loop, but is likely to shrink in with washings and not be too prominent. The antidote to that problem is to use a floating selvedge, I know.

Anyway, here are some of my experiments ... using bright colours in cold and dark January to brighten things up.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Letting Go

I recently learned that letting go of some of my work can be surprisingly hard to do.

It all started when an artist friend wrote me awhile ago and said: "Whenever I sell a painting ... it's always a little bitter/sweet ... but more sweet than bitter by far, knowing my craft is appreciated."

My philosophy has most often been that the more work that leaves my studio, the more fun I have ahead to replace it. That motivates me even more than I normally feel (which is a lot). To me, it's less the bu$ine$$ part of Cariboo Handwoven and instead feeling that my work is in demand - which makes me happy.

But when this blanket recently left my studio ... after the buyer examined it closely to make her decision ... I remembered my efforts in the two-shuttle weaving, adding some very compatible handspun wool, and struggling a bit with the fuzzy mohair on the shuttle bobbins.

The blanket came out beautifully and extra long at 195 cm (77"). Then it received many compliments but just never found a new home until now.

When I packaged it up and carried it out to the buyer's car with her, I realized what the artist meant: that bittersweet moment. Now I get it.

I know this blanket has gone to a good home, and can be returned easily for handwashing which I always extend as part of the sale. Farewell, and thanks for the memories!

Monday, 2 January 2017

"You Are Always In My Kitchen"

A friend sent me this to begin my new year with a lovely thought:
You are always in my kitchen.  Had a bunch of people over for dinner tonight so was in kitchen a lot today, and using your towel which made me think of you. Such a lovely little reminder.
I think I'll go and weave more towels now - such inspiration!