Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the words of Garrison Keillor...."it has been a quiet week in Lake Woebegone".  It has been quiet here too as students and staff take most of the week off to get ready to spend the holiday with friends and family.  This year I am here to hold down the fort and to celebrate Thanksgiving on the quiet side and to give thanks for all the bounty that we've been  given for the past year.  Thank you all for making this year so special!
Not too much new going on in the barn but Lynnette is getting ready to weave curtain fabric for the DAR Museum in DC in this lovely blue color.

Alison is weaving some shawls for the studio sale with a wool/silk warp...hand-dyed by yours truly...and chenille for the weft.  They are absolutely lovely!

More of the shawls in a bronze color.

 And a sneak preview of what is going on in the upholstery shed....

This lovely settee arrived a few months ago from one of my client's and we all fell in love with it.  Ellie was excited to get it "undressed" as it's age and provenance were somewhat of a mystery.  We wove the red embossed fabric and trim to match but more on that later.

When Ellie removed the show fabric she found springs...that weren't original to the piece....and some very interesting fibers underneath the fabric.  Here is tow linen used as the first layer of padding.

On the back there was some very old handspun, handwoven linen fabric and some very French looking webbing.

Another great find was this tiny fragment of yellow silk which was probably the original show fabric.
Underneath the tow linen was an even coarser handspun/handwoven linen fabric.

And under that was what appeared to be some kind of dried grass or hay covering matted cow hair.

And underneath that was this hand printed wall paper! Talk about using what one has on hand.

Since uncovering all of these treasures, Ellie has been in touch with a colleague in England about the mysteries of this settee and it is his idea that it is mid 18th c. and very definitely French.  There are many things to research about the original style of upholstery, where it was done, etc. but it is going to be quite an exciting project.  We'll keep you updated about the progress on our Eaton Hill

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Joann Darling grows some flax!

This fall our student Joann Darling was honored with a grant from the Vermont Folklife Center to document the process of growing a field of flax and processing it all the way through to a piece of woven cloth. It was a very ambitious undertaking and we were happy and excited to share our knowledge of flax production with her. In the early spring Joann readied one of the fields on her farm and sowed it was a rare variety of flax. The summer weather was perfect for growing this year and by late August the field was ready for harvesting. A group of willing volunteers arrived to help with the pulling and the first stage of the process had begun. We'll keep you posted on how things progress!
The flax field.

Isn't it beautiful!

The bundler's.
Joann with her harvest.

Two of the happy harvester's.

Breaking the flax.
Grand-daughter, Lily, with one of the flax bundles.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Quiet of November......

November is here and the pace of life has certainly slowed down.  We've had no new students for three weeks now but our regulars are busy finishing up projects and getting ready for the Christmas sale.  Eaton Hill has also had a brief reprieve so we  have had time to catch up from the busy summer and fall and weave some dishtowels ourselves!  Here are a few of the things on the looms at the moment....and in the upholstery shed.  Stayed tuned for a newsletter coming your way in a few last!

Cotton Baby Blankets

Alpaca Silk & Chenille Scarves

Cotton Worsted Trim for the next upholstery project.

Sandra's weft face rug.

Susan's Wool Silk Scarves in M's & O's.

Worsted upholstery fabric.

The start of our dishtowel inventory!

The current upholstery project (by Ellie) with our handwoven worsted wool in a herringbone.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


In record time, both Barbara and Linda (of the previous blog post) finished the sewing of the center seam and hemming their overshot panels woven here in early October. It was a great exercise in planning and weaving to scale so that the two panels joined together in the middle. A job well done!
Barbara's finished coverlet!

Linda's finished covelet!