Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fall students - 2014

We had the most amazing foliage display this year in Vermont and it was an added blessing to the students who came to weave with us. Some of our old favorites….Lem and Jessie Hudson,from Delaware and Penny Scroggins, from Texas choose this time of year to come get their Vermont weaving/foliage  fix.   Jonathan Miller and his partner, Paula took the train up from NYC so that he could weave a piece of tweed and it turned out that both he and Paula had many friends and acquaintances with Norman. Judy Fox, a returning student from this spring came back to explore overshot by weaving a colorful pair of runners for her house. Kathy Olwell and Debbie LaRosa - returning students from last spring came to weave beautiful throws for children getting married and Debbie Cummings came up from PA with her husband to weave dishtowels and a throw. Our new monthly student, Jerusha Fox, from Burlington wove a bold piece of cotton houndstooth for a skirt and is now working on a piece of tweed for her husband.
Jessie Hudson weaving an overshot rug.

Lemuel Hudson weaving a warp faced carpet.

Jon Miller weaving a length of Scottish tweed.

Detail of Jon's tweed.

Judy Fox weaving an overshot runner.

Back-side of Judy's fabric.

Kathy Olwell and Debbie LaRosa return to weave throws!
Jerusha Fox weaving cotton yardage for a skirt.
One of our last lunch's outside!
Debbie Cummings in a red phase…..throw and dishtowels.
Penny Scroggins, back from Texas, also weaving red …..worsted moreen for upholstery.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Big Bertha becomes a Draw Loom….

One of the highlights of this summer was the arrival of a new barn loom from CT….left to us in the will of a former student, Douglas Carl. It was the longest most beautiful loom that we had ever seen and there were quite a few mysteries about where is originally came from and why the extreme length. Word spread about this unique loom and at the end of the summer we received a visit from Pat and Victor Hilts, who came up to VT just to see it. They were excited about the possibilities, their excitement spread to us, and before we knew it, they were back in October to help us build a draw loom attachment. Pat had built one on her barn loom in Wisconsin and was eager to see if the length of this loom would be work in our favor to set up 20 pattern shafts. And so the work began. It was a group effort all around and even Craig Evans, a former student from way back who had come to visit Norman, lent a hand. Through the whole process the big question in everyone's mind…..especially Pat's!…was is this going to work?? As you can see….it certainly did! We will be offering classes on "Big Bertha" starting in the winter so if you have ever wanted to weave some really complex patterns….give us a call!
Big Bertha….our new barn loom before….

Some books and photos to guide us on our way.

Pat and Justin deciding on how the attachment would be built.

First step…adding the 5 Shaft Counter Marche for the ground harness.
Justin starting work on the couper box.
Placing the couper box in positon.
Adding the levers to the couper box using sewing machine bobbins and washers.
Justin tying up the ground shafts.
The pattern levers in place.
Justin at the drill press.
Adding the draw levers.
Justin spent alot of time in this position!
Kate threading the pattern shafts on another loom.
Pat and Kate carefully moving the threaded warp to beam on.
Penny Scroggins, Sandra and Pat helping with the beaming.
The warp on and pattern shafts hung.
Justin threading the long eyed heddles on the ground shafts.
Craig Evans and Justin mounting the front bracket.
Justin adding the holder for the draw cords.
Craig starting the tie-up of the upper levers.
The cross shed…believe it or not, it's supposed to look like this!
The first bit of weaving to see if it really works.
A little tweaking to the ground shafts to make them behave better.
And our first pattern in process!
The front and back sides.
The "crew" ~  Victor Hilts, Norman Kennedy, Craig Evans, Kate Smith, Justin Squizzero, and Pat Hilts.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Vermont Folklife Grantees in 2014

This year we received four grants from the Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury, VT for students to work in a master/apprenticeship situation. Joann Darling received a grant to process textiles from her homegrown linen, Rose Diamond worked on weaving Scottish style Tweed from Vermont sheep that she spun and dyed herself, Ada Schenk pursed the weaving of household textiles (Ada is 12!) and Norman Kennedy received a grant to work with a student to create a handspun, hand-dyed warp weighted blanket. The following photos show the finished projects and all the hard work that this grant process supported. Joann and Ada have been re-funded for another year so stay tuned to see what work they continue to explore in the next 12 months.
Norman and the finished warp weighted blanket.
Detail of Norman's blanket with indigo, cochineal and rhubarb dyed yarn.
Ada and Julia (of the Folklife Center) admiring Rose's bolts of tweed.
Ada and her rug, placemats and blanket.
Rose showing Julia the raw fleece that she used to spin and dye for her wonderful tweed fabric.
Close-up of Rose's tweed fabrics.
Rose explaining the color choices that she used in making her fabrics.
Joann showing Julia the linen dishtowels that she wove from her homegrown, handspun flax.
Julia admiring Joann's dishtowels.
Joann, Julia, Rose and Norman sharing their thoughs about the value of the Folklife Grants!