Saturday, June 23, 2012

Carpets, Napkins, a Throw and Dishtowels.....

The last two weeks of June have been a bit quiet but we are all relishing the extra time to get out in the gardens and attend to other spring chores. We did still see some projects come off the looms and here they are.....
Susan Witham worked hard this winter on mastering both linen and satin weaves. Here she is with her 7 yards of linen napkins in an assymetric coral stripe.
Joann Darling was another new student this spring and her first project was to weave rag rugs with a linen warp. In her other life, she sells her handmade soap at local shops and the farmer's market and is intent on growing her own flax this year to process into linen.
The finished rag rug.
Stevie's next project is to reproduce a bed blanket from a fragment of an old three color bird's eye. She hand dyed the yarn to match and we look forward to see the beginning of her weaving.
Taylore has been busy at home weaving this late winter and she brought her dishtowels to lunch one day as show and tell. They are all woven with different weft color combinations in her usual choice of bright colors.
Here is Amy Danielson, daughter of Karin Danielson - one of our former students from long ago, with her
finished warp faced carpet in a Silas Burton design.
Mother, Karin, threading up a stair carpet to match a piece that she had woven 15 years ago. Amazingly enough we were still able to find the same yarn in the same colors.
 Here is Barb Morse, from southern NH, who heard me speak at the NH Weavers Guild in March and was inspired to come up and try weaving a wide width on a barn loom.
She choose a four harness huck lace pattern which she wove in two shades of cottolin. The finished piece will be a lightweight throw for the summer. It was beautiful!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Late Spring in Vermont

warm enough to keep the outer door open most days...

Susan Osterman's baby blanket

Sandra's linen scarves

some fabric for David Mamet's tailor in California

Joann working on her first project...rag rugs

Sylvia and her cotton summer blanket

Sylvia weaving

Somehow it has already become the beginning of June here in Vermont. The trees are all leafed out, hay growing vigorously in the fields around the school, and we are eating lunches outdoors under the shade of a tree more often than not. It's such a perfect time of year here...everything still fresh and new...warm days interspersed with some cool rainy ones, and all of us busily working in our gardens every chance we get. There have been some nice things on the looms lately. Susan Osterman is weaving a cotton baby blanket in's lavender, it's soft, it's thick and cuddly. Meanwhile she is making plans for her next project, another summer blanket in wool and cotton. Sandra wove several herringbone twill linen scarves in neutral tones of linen. She was cursing her persnicketty warp, as thread after thread pinged into oblivion, but such are the trials of fine linen weaving! Her scarves are pretty darn lovely in my opinion. We made some fabric for David Mamet's tailor in California to construct a hunting jacket with...fine worsted wool in a houndstooth check, and a lot of fun to weave! Joann Darling is a new local student here. She's an herbalist and an amazing gardener who has been doing wonderful experiments with natural dyes from tree barks and common plants...she's been working to tend the dye gardens here, and learning to weave as well. Her first project was a run of rag rugs for her house, and she had a great time working on them. Here are also a few other photos of Sylvia working on her summer blanket too... ...and on we go into summer. This week Kate and I are traveling to Cooperstown, NY to present a talk and slideshow on the work Kate's been doing with the calender press. We are refining our glazing experiments, and soon we'll be getting our indigo vats fired up for the warm season. Things have been busy here and I've had a hard time keeping up with this blog, but I'll try to keep you all informed about things here at the school. Until the next time, enjoy June's beautiful soft weather.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sally and Sylvia Return!

Two of our favorite students came back this May....Sally to weave a 6 H singles linen for curtain panels and Sylvia to weave a full sized summer blanket out of hand-dyed cotton/bamboo. Alison had dyed the yarn for Sylvia ahead of time in the most delicious colors of mango, peach and straw and Sally had sized her singles yarn at home using our wheat flour receipt. So they were all set to get their warps made first thing Monday morning.
Here is Sally...her warp on the loom ...making good headway so far.
Sylvia winding bobbins...her colorful warp in the background.
A close-up of Sally's curtains.
Sylvia at the loom...she was weaving three 100" panels to sew up for her blanket so she had many hours of weaving still to go.
No week at the school is complete without some hardships...though these hardships are always good learning experiences...(we hope!) Sylvia's challenge this week was on the physical level with bruised ankles from the treadles....
While Sally's challenge was with loose threads...due to the crankiness of the wiry, sized singles. By the end of her warp she had a regular wind chime effect from all the clanging metal hooks. But this was a learning experience too and all in all both Sally and Sylvia went away happy!