Sunday, 29 July 2018

Meet Nancy, Coco and Carmen

Nancy, Coco and Carmen are three ewes (female sheep) from the Cariboo whose fleece I've spun and woven into beautiful blankets. I'm proud to present these on behalf of both the wool producers and the weaver. All three of these blankets are a little heavier in weight than my usual wool blankets. They're woven in simple diamond twill patterns and expected to last for decades of use.

Nancy and Coco are both Icelandic sheep from Fox Mountain, just north of Williams Lake. Long-time blog readers may remember Nancy from an earlier post with her rich, very dark brown fleece. The pattern I wove is a series of large and small diamonds from one end to the other.

SH232 | Nancy 2 | 100% wool | 180 cm x 143 cm (71" x 56") 

Coco's fleece is what I call butterscotch pudding, which is a warm, creamy brown that blends well with the black, greys and white in my first blanket with her handspun wool.

SH233 | Coco 1 | 100% wool | 180 cm x 135 cm (71" x 53") 

SH 233 | Coco 1 | Detail

And Carmen is from Tyee Lake, a little further north of town. I believe she has some Friesian blood but I can't recall the details. What I do remember is her incredibly long and silky fleece. After some quick carding of the raw fleece, it was a dream to spin. This is another very beautiful blanket.

SH234 | Carmen 1 | 100% wool | 178 cm x 127 cm (70" x 50") 

SH234 | Carmen 1 | Detail
All three of these blankets have sold to very enthusiastic buyers.  The Coco blanket was the first to go - at the Williams Lake Farmers Market in September.  Then the Nancy and Carmen blankets sold on the first day of the UNBC Artisans of the North craft fair.  Thanks, everyone!

Monday, 2 July 2018

"It's Exactly What I Want"

One of the spinners at our spin-in two months ago mentioned to me that she really wanted one of my Georgian Bay blankets. She visited my studio in early June and we went over the colours for the rows of water, rock, trees and sky. I wanted to ensure there were no shades that she really didn't want, and that her blanket reflected her own memories of Georgian Bay.

She added some sandy light brown for beach and wanted a touch of light green for deciduous trees and reds for maples in the tree layer. And grey around the cloud edges at the top to show an approaching storm. At the bottom, we agreed that I'd add a little wool/mohair I had left to make the whitecaps stand out a bit - they actually look a little frothy and very authentic.

Here's the finished blanket with, I think, fifteen colours in total.

I always say to anyone who's ordered something that there's no obligation and they have to love it before they buy it. I like to have the item ready for presentation and on display on a special rack for the person's arrival and viewing. After a short silence as she admired it, I heard:

"It's exactly what I want."

Nothing more needed, I was thrilled (and a tad relieved). We had fun looking over the blanket together and talking about it.

Even though we'd chosen colours and discussed the blanket design, I was still winging it a bit and drawing on my own memories. So to hear that this blanket will be enjoyed and appreciated by someone else with special Georgian Bay memories is wonderful for me.