Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hot Off the Press

Watch your mailbox for the first volume of our newsletter. In it you'll find this year's schedule of upcoming classes, workshops, and events, along with photographs, an introduction to our staff, and mention of what's been going on at the school. We plan to publish biannually, a summer and a winter edition. 

There have also been some recent updates to our course listings on the school website. We now offer several long-term study weaving intensives, which are described in more detail there.

If you'd like to be on our mailing list and aren't, send your contact information to us at :  kate[at]marshfieldschoolofweaving[dot]com. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mary Margaret and the Checked her own words

beaming on!

making a few adjustments

extended birdseye patterm

another view of the plaid

Today is the end of my sixth week at the studio.  During this time I have completed a summer blanket/winter sheet and a set of linen napkins.  I have also dyed the wool for my current blanket. The summer blanket/winter sheet had a cotton warp and a wool weft.  What I learned most from this blanket was how to (and how not to) throw a shuttle.  Because the blanket was wide and the warp was fine, I broke a lot of threads.  But I am also getting better at darning!

The linen in my napkins was even more fine than the cotton in my first blanket.  The warp was white and the weft was natural.  This provided a challenge in threading the warp through the heddles.  Each napkin had a different pattern.  I had so much fun choosing and experimenting with these patterns.  This project taught me a lot about the structure of twill fabric. I cannot wait to finish and wash all of my napkins!

Now, I am enjoying working on my wool blanket.  The indigo and pomegranate dyed yarns came out even better than I had hoped.  I love the horizontal and vertical stripes in this blanket.  This may be my favorite piece so far!

I will be keeping you up to date on my projects and all that I am learning, but now I'd like to get back to my blanket!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Great Projects on the Looms This Week

Sandra weaving her runner and Mary Margaret at the warping board

Jackie working on a new run of dishtowels

Lila is learning tapestry weave

Karen finishing up a throw made with her own handspun  yarn

Sandra's overshot runner

Stevie beginning a new wool throw

Susan working on a run of small cotton blankets

Pat's wool and cotton rug

There's been so much activity here this week, and all of it pretty exciting work, so we wanted to give you a peek.

Mary Margaret is gearing up for her third project, a hand dyed wool singles blanket (which we'll follow up on in detail next week), by winding spools from skeins, and then building her three-section warp. 

Jackie is working on a run of 8/2 cotton dishtowels, in some bold and beautiful colors. She's doing a plain twill stripe with different wefts for each towel to experiment with what varying color combinations will do, with some very handsome results.

Lila, our 13-year-old apprentice, is working on a tapestry bag right now. Norman showed her the basics before he left on his winter sojourn, and she's designed her own diamond patterns, with a few different degrees of difficulty and problem solving to work out, all part of her learning process. Her great eye for color is definitely at work in her choices of yarn for this piece.

Karen is here for the month of February, learning more indelibly how to build a good warp. She processes, spins, and dyes her own wool, and has been using her own yarn to make a number of very beautiful, earthy, twill stripe throws, the texture of which are quite wonderful and one-of-a-kind.

Sandra spent quite a bit of time dissecting the weave structure out of a wonderful cotton shawl that a friend had brought her from South American travels. She figured out how to reproduce the pattern (albeit with different yarns) and is currently making an exquisite runner using this lovely overshot weave.

Stevie whipped through another gorgeous throw this week, using up odds and ends from her stash of yarn to come up with a reverse twill block pattern in shades of berry, pink, purple, and white.

Susan has been working on a run of small cotton blankets using a chunky organic cotton yarn that we've hand dyed for her. They're each a different color - one purple, one red, one green - with bold herringbone stripes...incredibly handsome.

Pat has been working on a calimanco stripe rag rug warp. Her first rug was with cotton rag weft, but the last two she experimented with using a chunky carpet wool, first with plain weave and then with a reverse twill block. The results are quite wonderful...and somebody's feet are going to be very happy.

It's pretty cool when there are so many interesting projects going on all at once...very inspiring for everyone to see each day, and to reconfigure in their own ways to come up with new projects.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

An Update on Our Intern

Mary Margaret working on her linen towelling

Summer Blanket/Winter Sheet fresh off the loom

fine linen tea towels in twill and bird's eye patterns

next project in the pipe - indigo and pomegranate singles wool warp for a blanket

Mary Margaret finished her first blanket a week or so ago. It was truly beautiful, laid out on the floor of the studio. Her color choices were very elegant and quite in keeping with a traditional colorway. At night she's been working on darning and stitching up the center seam.

In the meantime, she had dyed the wool singles yarn for her second blanket. We set up an indigo vat one day, and then the next day she dyed the other half of her yarn with natural pomegranate, to come up with a beautiful soft british khaki.

For the last week and a half, she's been working on a run of fine linen singles tea toweling, which has been a real challenge...dealing with linen is always tricky in some way, but she's been doing a great job of learning how to deal with it, and her towels are lovely. They'll be off the loom this week.

Her next project, which she's been building the warp for this week, is a heavier wool blanket than the first one. She's going to be weaving an extended birds eye pattern in a simple two-color plaid.

We'll keep you posted...