Saturday, February 25, 2012

Penny's Third Week

Penny taking the first half of her blanket off the loom

Penny's unerringly classic sense of design

Penny's venetian carpet finished and off the loom

We had a really wonderful time working with Penny during her three week stay. She's such a truly authentic person, and a delight to spend time with, for she has many interesting stories to tell of her adventures in life, and has a lively frontier spirit and a wit to match it! It really feels like you are a part of our weaving family here, Penny.

So here's her carpet, all finished up...she has such a feeling for traditional colorways that are easy on the eyes and comfortable to live with, in that they will settle into any environment and become part of it, a gentle presence, much like Penny herself.

During her third week she wove off a blanket for a traditional trundle bed, in ivory and indigo single-ply wool processed by Green Mountain Spinnery. It was the closest thing Kate could find to what this kind of traditional twill blanket would have been made with, and while it was a bit of a challenge to work (springy, sticky, and a bit easier to break than the plied worsteds), Penny managed admirably, and finished the whole thing in a week, a testament to her perseverance and patience (not to mention her great desire to have a blanket!).

Come back soon, Penny. We miss you already.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"I'm as happy as a tick on a dog" quoted by Penny Scroggins on her stay here at the school.

Our long term student this winter is Penny Scroggins who has come all the way from Fredericksburg, Texas to brave the Vermont winter and weave three projects for her 18th c. log home. Last fall when she was here for a week, Penny made a dishtowel warp for a gold and black houndstooth and that was the first thing that we put on the loom. Penny has a fabulous collection of 18th c. furniture and she wants to weave cloth that compliments her collection.

Here is the finished warp of eight towels.

The next project was a Venetian carpet to go in her living room and we decided to use our new "Broadview Farm" carpet yarn for this rug and to dye it in five different colors. Winding the skeins is the first step.

Penny wants to learn all the processes involved in making this carpet so she jumped right in to help with the dyeing.

The finished warp on the scale.

Her beautiful carpet finally on the loom. Stayed tuned next week for the final project!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Remembering Isabelle ~ A Tribute to a beloved companion ~ April 2010 - January 2012

One morning in the spring of 2010, as I arrived to work at the school there were two feral kittens sleeping in the entry way to the barn.  They scampered off at the sight of me but when Lila arrived she set about patiently capturing them and from that day on they were part of our life at the school. We named them Rosie and Isabelle...

They quickly settled into life at the barn and found all sorts of cozy places to sleep...mostly baskets of yarn...and they never were very far from each other.

                                               Isabelle's favorite play toy.

                                 The thrum basket....after a hard day at play.

                                The looms became her favorite play places....

                                                   and sleeping places......

                             and some students were very forgiving, like Elena.

                     Even as they grew to adults they still loved to sleep together.

A year ago this past December I moved them up to my house to be with their brother, Hazel, and they were my most faithful companions. Unfortuneately last weekend Isabelle disappeared at night and we have not seen her since. She will be remembered fondly by all who came into contact with her both at my house and at the school.