Friday, October 28, 2011

Netra and Patricia's Annual Autumn Visit

Netra working on her blankets

Patricia at the loom

the Krokbragd rug on the loom

the triangles we used to run the three harness set-up

This week we had two longtime students weaving in the barn. They always come together for a week of weaving in October; they choose their projects well in advance and pay the extra fee to have us wind their warps and dress their looms, so they can just arrive (Patricia drives up from Virginia And Netra from north central Pennsylvania) and begin weaving right away.

In this case it's a good thing. Netra's project is a long warp to weave the fabric for two twin bed blankets...a twelve yard warp! So she's been really busy weaving her straight 2/2 twill block in navy and edelweiss 8/3 wool. It's classic Scottish Wedding Blanket stuff and very beautiful.

Patricia decided to weave a krokbragd rug. It's set up with three harnesses (using triangles instead of a rollerbar or pulleys). It has a heavy linen carpet warp, and a weft of New Zealand wool (about 570 yds per pound). It's slow going, because it's beaten in pretty well, and she's carrying two, sometimes three, colors at once on ski shuttles.

This is Patricia's ninth annual week with us and it's Netra's eleventh! We love having them back every year and we always know it's October when we get to spend our week with them...both delightful women with much collective weaving experience and life wisdom.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Overshot and Stripes

Gail's overshot on the loom

Linda's warp - so colorful!

Linda's striped moreen on the loom

Linda weaving with the skarne in the background

Gail and Linda were here last week, both of them working on some pretty intensive projects.

Gail came up from Newburyport, MA to learn about overshot and weave a small piece to get the hang of things so she can try the same thing on her own loom at home. She chose the Mary Ann Ostrander pattern from the Green Book, and it's a beauty! Our method of warping using a skarne (spool rack for multiple spools) was new to her, so she had this to learn as well as overshot threading and weaving. It was a lot of work for five days.

Linda came from Youngstown, OH to learn about warping with multiple spools to weave a length of striped moreen. It's an incredibly challenging thing to learn, as you must manage picking a cross with many different colors coming off the spools. The visual depth perception of this process is tricky, and the fine 2's/20 worsted is somewhat sticky and difficult to work with. At the end of the week her fabric was gorgeous, though, and worth all the effort of the warp-building.

Definitely not work for the faint of heart! These were two very determined students.

Friday, October 14, 2011

2012 Weaving Class Calendar

OK! Autumn is really here and we've been working hard to develop our curriculum. Here's the new schedule for our 2012 Weaving Class Calendar. We're trying something a bit different beginning in January - “Theme Weeks” - so that students can choose from a wider range of topics in any given week. We will offer these theme weeks two weeks out of the month and the beginning and intermediate classes on the other two weeks.

And just know that while we always set a date for each theme, mostly because we've found that it helps people to organize their own schedule and a commitment to attending, we can be flexible about it. For instance, if the course you wanted to take is posted for a certain week, but you can't attend during that week, you can schedule the course you want to take for a week that you can attend. We always try to accommodate your scheduling needs.

I've also installed a link to this schedule in the sidebar so that students can refer to this throughout the year without having to dig through the archives to find it. If you have any questions, please comment, call us, or send us an email.

Jan. 9 - 13
Clothing Fabrics Week: Scottish Tweed; Herringbone, Checks & Houndstooth

Jan. 23 - 27
Linen Week: Singles Linen, Spot Weaves, Checked Linen

Feb. 6 - 10
Warp Faced Carpet Week: 4 Block Rep Weaves, Venetian Carpet, Ikat Dyed Jaspe Rugs

Feb. 20 - 24
Household Textile Week:
Fancy Bedcover, Shaker Towels, Fabrics for the Kitchen and Pantry

March 12 - 16
Clothing Fabrics Week: Singles Linen, Striped Linen, Cotton Checks

March 26 - 30
Weft Faced Carpet Week: Krokbragd, Khilim Tapestry, Rag Rugs

April 9 - 13
Rio Grande Weaving: Rio Grande Blanket, Rio Grande Rugs

April 23 - 27
L’Amour de Maman - French Canadian Dowry Textiles:
Couverture d’Mariage, Ikat Dyed Jaspe Rugs

May 7 - 11
Upholstery Fabric Week: Harateens & Moreen, Plain & Striped Rep Weave

May 21 - 25
18th C. Clothing Fabric Week:
Calimanco & Camlet, Siamoise, Cherryderry, Irish Stuff, Bombazine, Ducapes, Gros de Tours

June 11 - 15
Clothing Fabric in 2/1 & 3/1 Twill Week:
Bombazine, Tickings, Dimity, and Denim Cloth

June 23 & 24
Natural Dyeing with Wool & Silk

June 25 - 29
Weaving From Historic Draft Books Week: Venetian Carpets by Silas Burton, Dimities & Diapers from John Hargrove, Point Twills from German Draft Books

July 9 - 13
Silk Week: Ikat Dyed Scarves, Irish Stuff & Bombazine, Cherry Derry & Ducape

July 21 & 22
Natural Dyeing with Cotton & Linen

July 23 - 27
Linen Week: Singles Linen, Spot Weave, Checked Linen

August 4 & 5
Indigo Dye Intensive: Block Printing, Paste Resists, & Shibori

August 6 - 10
Stripes: Calimanco, Siamoises, Striped Moreens

August 20 - 24
MultiHarness Week:
Point Twills from German Draft Books, Satin Weaves, Luxury Fiber Throws

September 1 & 2
Dyeing with Local Plants

Sept. 3 - 7
Rio Grande Weaving Week: Rio Grande Blanket, Rio Grande Rugs

Sept. 17 - 21
L’Amour de Maman - French Canadian Dowry Textiles:
Couverture d’Mariage, Ikat Dyed Jaspe Rugs

Oct. 1 - 5
Household Textiles Week - Bedding:
Fancy Bedcovers, Overshot Coverlet, Scottish Wedding Blanket

Oct. 15 - 19
Clothing Fabric Week: Scottish Tweed, Herringbone, Checks & Houndstooth

Nov. 5 - 9
Household Textile Week - Towels: Shaker Towels, Hucks & M’s & O’s, Dimities & Diapers

Nov. 26 - 30
Warp Faced Carpet Week: Khilim Tapestry, 4 Block Rep, Rag Rugs

Dec. 3 - 7
Weaving Dishtowels & Scarves for Christmas

Friday, October 7, 2011

Student Update

Mel contemplating her work

It's such a wonderful and curious thing to see what someone will come up with when they choose the colors of yarn for their project. I am always intruiged and surprised to realize (yet again) that we all see color differently, and we all gravitate to our own unique combinations of color and effect when we plan our work.

Mel Donovan came to weave with us for a week after having been away from working on a loom for quite a number of years. I proposed she do a short cotton dishtowel warp, 5 yards long, enough to have a good experience of weaving and to make four towels, but not so long as to be difficult to set up and weave off in a week for someone who's been away from weaving for a while.

The weave structure was fairly straightforward, a simple 2/2 twill, but the challenge in the threading was to learn the technique of changing the twill direction on each color change in the warp sequence. She then chose different wefts and combinations of weft stripes for each towel, yet further experimentation with her color palette.

Her towels were beautiful, and not like anything that I've ever seen anyone else weave so far! She picked a few colors which we had hand-dyed here at the barn, and so her work has this lovely abrash and depth to it, as you can see in the photographs above.

We hope you had a good week, re-learning some weaving techniques, Mel, and look forward to seeing you back someday!

In other news, Taylore is back for a month of weaving, and we have two new longer-term weekly students, Rose Diamond and Susan Witham. Rose is the recipient of a Vermont Folklife Apprenticeship Grant and will be studying here for four months, and Susan got a VSAC grant and will be here for six months! These grants are a great resource for Vermont residents who wish to study with Vermont artisans. We are happy to have both Rose and Susan here as they both add to the general bustle and liveliness at the barn.

I've included links to both of these organizations in the right-hand sidebar of this blog (under"Financial Aid"). The Marshfield School of Weaving is now an approved teaching entity for both of them.