Wednesday, December 29, 2010

We have a winner!!

What fun we had with our 12 Scarves of Christmas promotion on our Facebook page. For those who missed it, we posted a picture of one of the scarves we have for sale each day for the 12 days before Christmas. We then invited folks to comment on them, and every day someone liked or commented on the post we entered their name in a drawing to win a 50% discount on one of Barb’s or Karen’s creations.

Even better, we sold three of the scarves before the promotion ended! And we made a whole lot of new fans and friends. Our weekly views skyrocketed! One goal for 2011 is to really get a handle on social networking and make this Facebook thing work even  better for us.

So, congratulations to Debra Davis of Brevard, NC, just south of Asheville, whose name we chose in a very scientific method. I’ll be happy to explain it to anyone curious. We have not met Debra in person yet, but look forward to her visit to sutherland. It seems Debra collects yarn, lots of it. Already we’re kindred spirits. And she’s taking a few small weaving classes in January from a local group. The chemistry is palpable.

So, once Debra gets totally hooked on weaving, we’re looking forward to getting her in some of our classes. Following is Karen’s new class list for 2011. We’re going rogue with the scheduling, as we could never stick to the calendar anyway. If you see a class you’d like to take, call or email and Karen will schedule it based on time and loom availability.

AND don’t forget to sign up for Kathie Roig’s Warp it! Paint it! Weave it! class at sutherland Feb. 18-20. See the Dec. 16 post!  This is going to be lots of fun. Kathie paints warps with fabric paints instead of dyes – a lot less mess. Please call if you have any questions.

Barb and Karen feel very blessed to have spent the last year doing what makes them happy and sharing it with friends old and new. Here’s to finding your creative passion in 2011…and doing something about it!

Hardy Holland took Karen’s Weaving I class last January and several others in 2010. This fall he stopped by to show off the overshot baby blanket he wove for a friend and stitched together by hand! Well done, Hardy!

sutherland Weaving Classes

© Karen Donde

For Beginners

Just Weave $95 This class invites students to weave a complete scarf in one day on a loom already warped in rayon chenille. They will learn the basics of loom operation, how to wind bobbins and efficient weaving and finishing techniques. It is perfect for beginners who want to try weaving before committing to an in-depth class, lapsed weavers who need a reminder of how much fun weaving is or experienced weavers with no time to warp who simply want to spend a day throwing the shuttle or weaving a quick gift.

Weaving I-Three Warps, Three Towels $310 + yarn  Warping the loom can be the most intimidating part of learning to weave. The only way to become comfortable with warping is frequent repetition. This in-depth introduction to weaving guides students through planning, warping and weaving three separate projects on three different short warps in eight 4-hour classes. Dish or hand towels are perfect short projects. The first will be a plain weave towel with a solid colored warp and contrasting color weft. The second will introduce twill. The third will feature threading and color variations. Along the way, students will learn about choosing fibers and colors, how looms and other weaving equipment work, efficient warping tips, proper weaving techniques and how to finish handwoven textiles.

Beyond Beginners

Weave a Twill Gamp $215 + yarn  Students who have completed Weaving I, or have basic weaving experience, can explore four different twill patterns by weaving a gamp or sampler. We will review good warping and weaving techniques, and students will learn how to thread different patterns and vary treadling to weave different but related fabrics. Six 3-hour classes.

More Twills and a Taste of Overshot $215 + yarn  A follow up to either Weaving I or Weave a Twill Gamp, this class introduces students to two additional twill patterns and an overshot threading to make a cotton table runner. Students may choose one threading, or use them in the same warp. Lessons include a first look at overshot theory and design, and examples of twill variations. Six 3-hour classes.

Handwoven Lace Techniques $215 + yarn  Students who have taken Weaving I, or who are familiar with warping and plain weave, will be introduced to three different threadings for weaving lacy, open fabrics using fine cotton or fine wool. Choosing from Huck Lace, Swedish Lace or Atwater-Bronson Lace, weavers will create a scarf or series of napkins experimenting with various pattern effects possible with treadling variations.

Drafting & Design $215  For students who are comfortable warping, working from an existing draft and weaving tabby, twill or other basic weave structures, this class helps them learn how to design their own projects and draft their own patterns. Students will be asked to come to the first class with a general idea of a project they want to weave. We will work through decisions about appropriate fiber, yarn size, color and structure for the desired textile, practice planning yarn needs and pattern drafting and weave a project sample. Students will be introduced to computer drafting programs. Students may supply their own yarn or we will order for you from one of our suppliers. Six 3-hour classes.

Color and Weave $215 + yarn  This class introduces some of the many color-and-weave effects possible when color order in warp and weft interacts with weave structure in a gamp or sampler. Students may choose three different color orders and will weave them in both plain weave and twill. With the remaining warp, students may experiment with other weft color orders. Six 3-hour classes.

Introduction to Designing & Weaving Warp Rep $215 + yarn  Warp Rep is a warp-faced (or warp-dominant) block weave in which a thick weft alternating with a thin weft produces color patterns and horizontal (weft-wise) ribs. In this introduction, students will learn Karen’s building-block technique for rep design. They will then thread studio looms with their own designs and weave a variety of treadling variations into a series of mug rugs or coasters. Six 3-hour classes.  Minimum Experience Level: Advanced beginner. Students must be able to read a draft and warp a precise color pattern independently.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Warp it! Paint it! Weave it! with Kathie Roig

A sutherland Handweaving Guest Teacher Workshop

Feb. 18-20, 2011

sutherland Handweaving Gallery & Teaching Studio is pleased to welcome guest teacher Kathie Roig to the studio to teach hIMG_2144er popular and unique method of warp painting in a workshop Feb. 18-20, 2011. The class explores two different methods of painting a warp using fabric paints instead of dye. This spontaneous method of applying color to yarn can be used in either functional or non-functional pieces. Students will learn to paint the warp once it’s already on the loom and prior to dressing the loom, and will be encouraged to experiment with color, texture, and weave strIMG_1059_1ucture. Students must have basic warping and weaving experience. They will need to bring a loom pre-warped according to Kathie’s instructions with a warp she will provide in advance. sutherland classroom looms will be available for rental. Contact us as soon as possible for fee and availability.

The class runs 1 pm-5 pm on Friday, Feb. 18; and 9 am-4 pm Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 19 & 20, 2011. Workshop fee is $250, plus a $20 IMG_2150supply fee. Class is limited to 10 students, and full payment in advance is required to hold your space. If the class must be cancelled for any reason, fees will be refunded.

For more information or to register, email  or call Barb Butler: 803-513-1814.

Monday, December 13, 2010

sutherland’s “12 Scarves of Christmas” on Facebook!

In celebration of sutherland’s first anniversary, we invite our friends and followers to enjoy a little contest feature we call, “The 12 Scarves of Christmas.” Starting today on our Facebook page through Dec. 24, we’ll post a picture of a different scarf or pashmina available for sale at sutherland. Think of it as a little inspiration for your own or your true love’s holiday gift giving.

Every day you leave a comment (a nice one we hope) we’ll enter your name in a drawing on Dec. 26 for a coupon worth 50% off one of Karen’s or Barb’s creations. One entry per day, please.

Featured items may be purchased in the studio or over the phone at any time, so if you have your heart set on one, best not wait! Call or email for prices.

Enjoy the pictures and good luck!

Karen and Barb

PS: Each day we’ll also offer another gift idea available at sutherland. Feel free to share them with anyone you think might be interested.

And here’s a peek at the 1st Day’s scarf.barb scarves 001

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Accidents

The latest things off my loom are the results of other plans gone awry. But sometimes you succeed despite yarn and color challenges. I am still experimenting with beiderwand and how to turn the draft for faster weaving and more drape. While at the Southeast Animal Fiber Fair last month, I stopped in to see our friends at Just Our Yarn, looking for some pattern threads to go with some of their hand-dyed tencel skeins I had on hand. We pulled out this gorgeous deep red violet color of a very soft cotton from Habu that I’ve used before. It would make a beautiful pattern weft for the next beiderwand scarf. I snapped it up, without another thought.

Back at the studio that afternoon I couldn’t wait to wind the warp. It dawned on me briefly that when turning this draft, the pattern weft would now be in the warp, alternated 1 on 1 with the tencel. I gave it the old “Is this strong enough for warp?” test, before winding the two yarns together. Mistake Number 1. What was glorious on the warping board turned into a nightmare when trying to wind it on the beam. The cotton was just too fluffy, the double-weave sett too dense. I persevered (stubbornness mixed with the thought of wasting this hand-dyed beauty) and once on the beam, it threaded fine. I started weaving the beiderwand pattern and it was beautiful. But about 8 inches into the scarf, the cotton fluff started clogging up my 15-dent reed and those devilish little cotton warps started breaking. One, then another. I fixed them and kept weaving. Then a few more, and finally two snapped in the space of a quarter inch. I gave up on the turned beiderwand for now, but was determined not to waste either the cotton or tencel.

I lifted the pattern shafts, put a cross in all that cotton and pulled it away from the tencel, winding it on a kite stick on the floor under the warp beam. Then I decided to just weave the remaining tencel in plain weave. Probably would have enough for two scarves. I used the remaining cotton on the ball for weft and started weaving (very fast I might add). After about 48 inches of scarf, I ran out of the cotton. I toyed with the idea of using some of the warp ends I’d been saving, then thought better of it. Who says a scarf has to look the same on both ends? I used some stripes of the warp yarn and a little bamboo I had on the shelf to weave another foot or so. It’s a bit short, but I liked it so much I decided to keep it for m012yself.

The fun thing about those JOY colorways is that you can weave almost any color into them and they look good. I pulled out some turquoise and blue silk I’ve had for a while and decided to weave them together in an ombre pattern. Here is the result. Happy accident number 1.

The remaining cotton warp is now on my studio loom being threaded into a point twill, 018at a much more open sett and in an 8 dent  reed. We’ll hope that ends in happy accident number 3.

Happy accident number 2 was the result of not wanting to move heddles around on my teaching looms at the studio to accommodate that beiderwand project. (I wove that at home.) With an empty studio loom and time, I decided to stop planning and figuring and just wind a warp out of leftover bobbins. Because they came from Barb’s stash (thanks, Barb) they were mostly silk and bamboo. I gave only minor thought to the order an022d started winding stripes. As soon as one bobbin emptied, I started another. Here’s a pic of the warp on the warping board. I thought it reflected Meagan Chaney’s tiles pretty nicely.

Barb dubbed it the ugliest warp she’d ever seen. You can’t see the audacious pink stripe in this pic. Again, I persevered. After our first sutherland Weaver’s Study Group meeting last month, I decided to weave some honeycomb in this scarf which I threaded into twill blocks. That looked nice but was a bit heavy, so I wove the center portion in 1/3-3/1 twill to make pleats. Then 004I finished off the other end in honeycomb. Barb still wasn’t convinced. So I washed the thing, which made both the honeycomb and the twill pleats do their thing. Then I decided to stitch the honeycomb ends into tubes to more closely match the width of the twill pleats. Ta da! Happy Accident number 2.

As for the short scarf, I haven’t photographed it yet. It’s around my neck today.  


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Weaving His Way Back into Notoriety

I’m not really a Conan O’Brien fan, and was only half paying attention when I first caught his new American Express ad. Here he was walking into a shop in India, picking up a cone of silk and tasting it. Then he’s winding it, presumably a warp, weaving it on a loom with a fly shuttle (well, we see only one pick), crushing berries for dye and standing waist deep in red water either dyeing or rinsing.

Next time I paid more attention. Still kind of missed the point of the Amex ad, but enjoyed all the weaving references. Maybe we should show this in a loop when explaining how much work goes into our fine handwoven cloth. The slogan: “When every detail counts.”

Even if you’ve seen the ad, here’s a longer online version, which is even better.



Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Slow Weaving in North Georgia

I’m an occasional tapestry weaver. I learned enough from my wonderful tapestry teachers Rita Landau and Betsy Snope (both members of Archie Brennan’s and Susan Martin Maffei’s Wednesday Group) to finish the three tapestries I needed for HGA’s Certificate of Excellence in Handweaving Level I. I even managed to write a tapestry primer for Handwoven Magazine in spring of 2009, with careful editing by my tapestry mentors.
030A few other tapestries have come off my loom since, including a puffin tapestry that’s currently exhibited in the Blue Ridge Fiber Show. The puffin had been on the loom almost two years. In the course of finishing it, I realized my tapestry skills had become a bit rusty. A new member of Tapestry Weavers South, I headed off to a mountain camp/conference center just north of Toccoa, GA, last weekend to take a refresher workshop sponsored by TWS with Tommye Scanlin and Pat Williams.

The weekend was filled with excellent instruction, beautiful inspiration, entertaining conversation and even a visit from master tapestry bobbin maker John Moss, who brought a whole box full of the brass-tipped beauties for us to try and buy. What a treat, as I’ve always had to order these and wait for my order to reach the top of his list. I added three more to my collection, and only about five remained by the end of the weekend.
Though Tommye and Pat are good friends, this is the first time they have taught a workshop together, and they complement each other nicely. With no TV and limited cell-phone coverage, the 15 of us, about half of whom were from Atlanta, enjoyed an intensive 2 1/2 day study of tapestry and design, interrupted only for meals and sleep. Our evening sessions gave us insight into Tommye’s and Pat’s design processes, a slide show of their work and influences and an amazing show and tell by some of the students. My roommate wove the piece above in sewing thread. (Note the pen for scale.) Conversations continued into the late night. Here are the finished samples most of us cut off the loom on Sunday. Mine is third from the right.
035On the drive home, I was visualizing a tapestry design I’ve been thinking about for a while. I’ll need to do some photography to put the pieces in place, but am now excited to get the next warp on my tapestry loom. Yes, it’s very slow weaving, but it’s also addictive, especially with the support of my new weaving friends pictured here. That’s Tommye and Pat in the center of the second row. Between weaving for sutherland, teaching and going to school, I’ll do my best to keep the tapestry skills tuned.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A CRAZY Three Weeks!

September is always a busy time as people return from vacation, get the kids back in school and get back to work, refreshed and energized. Here at sutherland, the pace is usually a little more relaxed. We weave a while, teach a while, chat with visitors and pack up customer purchases.
Then, suddenly, it was Sept. 23, and Daryl Lancaster was arriving on a late afternoon plane to teach workshops at Haywood Community College and at sutherland, and to judge the Blue Ridge Fiber Show produced by the Western North Carolina Fibers/Handweavers Guild. That show opened, by the way, Oct. 2 at the NC Arboretum. Barb and I were Daryl’s hostesses for the six-day visit, and we had a blast showing her great places to eat and fun things to see in Asheville. Barb already posted a picture taken from our Play with Color! class at sutherland. We had a seat available so I was lucky enough to sit in. Who knew you could make so many different yarn wrappings in one day.
Speaking of the Blue Ridge Fiber Show, I’m proud to say that one of my entries, a beiderwand scarf in the thinnest yarns I’ve ever u090sed shared the People’s Choice Award with another entry. While Daryl selected the other handweaving prize winners, the People’s Choice Award is voted on by guild members who attend the opening reception. Recognizing the talent gathered for the reception, I was honored. I titled the scarf New Mexico sunset, recalling my trip to Las Cruces and Albuquerque last summer for Convergence. Here’s a photo I took of it at the Haywood Community College photo studio, where I’m completing the lab for my Studio Craft Photography class. I was rather pleased and am grateful to the teacher for suggesting a different angle on the shot.
While Daryl was touring the fun textile places in Asheville with Barb on Wednesday before her departure, I was busy with students in the classroom. I also was preparing for two days of my Just Weave: Weave a Scarf in a Day class at the Arboretum. I had offered to teach two sessions of the one-day class in conjunction with the BRFS, which involved hauling three warped looms and a big bucket of yarn and supplies out to the Arboretum. I had two students on Saturday and three more on Sunday, just one short of a full house. All five wove lovely scarves and, I believe, caught the weaving bug so I’m hoping to see them in the sutherland classroom soon. Here are a few pics from those classes.
The following Tuesday was the BRFS opening reception, which also meant the drawings for the seven BRFS raffle prizes that were in residence at sutherland all summer. We raised more than $1,000 to support the prize fund and the artists whose work won awards. I shipped off two of the raffle prizes to good friends in New Jersey who had ordered tickets by mail. Honestly, I stirred the tickets and had other people pick the winners. The tapestry donated by Tommye Scanlin was won by Kathe Todd-Hooker, from Albany, OR, whose own tapestry won Best of Show at the BRFS. The handwoven shirt by Liz Spear was won by a guild member who needed a different size. As Liz had generously offered from the beginning to give the prize winner something that fit, I jumped at the chance to purchase the shirt that Liz had on display. I had determined (about five minutes after the shirt arrived in the studio last spring) that it fit me perfectly.
The day after the reception, we welcomed Wence and Sandra Martinez to Asheville. They were here for the opening of sutherland’s special exhibit of Wence’s contemporary tapestry rugs. Friday morning they spent a little time at the Arboretum for a BRFS demo showing their rugs and talking with visitors. That night Wence, a Zapotec Indian, regaled guests at our opening reception with stories and pictures from his home village in Oaxaca, Mexico, where he learned to weave from his father and grandfather at age 9. We also learned how Wence and Sandra, a painter from the US Midwest, met, married and opened a studio in Door County, WI. That studio is where Barb first met them. Now they winter in Mexico at a B&B they recently opened, so the 11 rugs they brought with them will be on exhibit at sutherland through the winter. Here are some snapshots of several of them now hanging in the studio. (Sorry had to pull the album. An images-for-sale service hijacked them. Please know these are copyright protected images.) If you’re in the area, you have to come in and see the ACTUAL RUGS.

Wence and Sandra spent a few hours Saturday and Sunday in the studio talking with more visitors, then did a little touring in Western North Carolina before continuing on with their journey. What fun they are! We decided a field trip to their Oaxaca B&B should be in our plans.
So we’re now in mid-October, prime leaf-peeper season, and back to the day-to-day. The mountains and hillsides are looking beautiful and truly inspirational. Our next event is the start of the new sutherland Weavers’ Study Group on Oct. 24 from 2-4. We already have a nice participant list, but there’s room for more! If you’d like more information about what we’re studying or how it all works, just email me. Or just show up on the 24th.
Then it’s only three short weeks until the River Arts District Studio Stroll on Nov. 13-14. It’s almost more excitement than we can stand, but we’re loving it!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Never in Our Wildest Dreams

I love Fall. Everything about this time of year makes me happy. I especially love the way the sun falls through the woods and makes long shadows of even short trees.
Last year this time Karen and I were experiencing a few sleepless nights planning the opening of sutherland. Never in our wildest dreams did we think ten months after opening we would be hosting Daryl Lancaster for a workshop.
This past week Daryl not only taught a color class at sutherland, she also taught a garment construction class at Haywood Community College, and was a judge at The Blue Ridge Fiber Show opening next week at the NC Arboretum.
I had taken a half day class color class taught by Daryl at Midwest Weaver's Conference 2009 at Grinnell College, so this time I sat out and manned the studio. I admit I did sneak in from time to time to see what the students were doing. I also listened to Daryl's lecture, inspirational in her instruction as always.
It was fun to see how each student was progressing through Daryl's assigned color exercises. The last exercise requires each student to use a photo as inspiration for a color wrap which could be used as a warp. The photos show some of the students work(for some reason I am unable to load them all), but really do not adequately depict just how beautiful their work was. One of the members of the class expressed her true dislike for the color orange at the very beginning of class. And, yes, hers is the one with the rock striations and blue sky. Just goes to show you the magic Daryl has in making everyone recognize proportion and balance int he scope of color.
The Daryl story continues in the next blog installment....

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cathy’s New Baby Wolf Loom

Cathy has been taking weaving classes at sutherland since last spring. As soon as she finished her first scarf in the Just Weave class, she was hooked. While working her way through warping and weaving three towels in the Weaving I class, she started asking about buying a Cathy's new loomloom.
As Schacht Spindle Co. dealers, we offered to order her a Baby Wolf loom, which is what she’d been weaving on at the studio. She shopped a while, thought a while, and finally decided to treat herself to a brand new 8 shaft Baby Wolf. We ordered it and it arrived this week. Cathy was in this morning and I helped her with the final assembly. Then her wonderful husband came over and helped her swaddle the new baby in a blanket before loading into the back of his truck for the ride home. He also made it her birthday gift!
Cathy was so excited to get this loom that I gave her the tracking number so she could follow it during shipment from Colorado. We both puzzled over why it went from Atlanta to Winston-Salem before coming back to Asheville. She emailed me when she learned it had been unloaded in Asheville.
Tomorrow she returns to continue her Twill Gamp class and talk about plans for her first 8-shaft project, a 1/3, 3/1 twill block threading woven to make long vertical pleats. She had been eyeing a similar one I have hanging in the studio.
How nice to send a new weaver home with her first loom. I feel like a delivery room nurse.
Thanks again, Cathy.
Also we hope to see friendly faces tonight at the CURVE studios & garden Open House Twilight Party from 5-8 pm. There will be snacks, wine, Wedge beer, soft drinks and lots of lively conversation while you’re enjoying all the new work by CURVE artists.
PLUS, Daryl Lancaster is in this weekend for workshops at Haywood Community College, sutherland and for judging the handweaving entries at the Blue Ridge Fiber Show. She will be at sutherland tonight selling and autographing copies of her various monographs. You will find the titles at her website.
And, she brought enough materials for a few more people to attend the Play with Color! workshop at sutherland on Monday, from 10am-4. So there are still a couple of seats available. But call ASAP.
Happy Fall!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Yes, we are mentioned by Daryl!

Girls’ Day Out…

I’ve mentioned before in previous blogs how much I love living very near NYC. I wish for time to see everything, read everything, experience everything, and eat everything I’d like to try in this world, alas, there are way too many things to do, see, experience than anyone can possibly hope to fit in in one life time! But I keep trying…

I’ve also mentioned in previous blogs that I have lunch once a week, during the “school” year, with a handful of assorted teachers from the local school district. It started when I was diagnosed with cancer, and has continued for nine years, and now, almost all of the teachers are now retired and able to do things during the week they could never have done before during the school year. So four of us headed into NYC on Wednesday, we all met at the Museum of Art and Design on Columbus Circle.

I timed everything just right on my own commute in, and arrived a good 45 minutes ahead of schedule. I wandered through the Time Warner building, looking at all the windows of the shops, they weren’t open yet, taking notes on a couple of design details I’d like to try, and I wandered through Borders, which was open also taking some notes of books to add to my wish list. I went out and sat on a bench along Columbus Circle, near the museum, to wait for my friends. The weather was glorious, the traffic around the circle entertaining, the vendors hawking their tours, bike rentals and handsome cab rides were all out in force. The horse driven cabs were of course gorgeous, I was fascinated watching how the drivers deftly managed to weave in and out of traffic alongside cabs and buses and crazy commuters, while the horses, in all their ribboned finery, just clip clopped along paying no mind… (Did I think to get a picture?)

I love the Museum of Art and Design, their themed exhibits are alway interesting and thought provoking, great to see with a group of women friends, especially this group, a retired art teacher, music teacher and the Gifted and Talented program teacher. The discussions are fun, and meaningful, and provide great lunch talk. This exhibit in particular. The exhibit was called Dead or Alive, and all of the artworks were created using something that was once alive, but is now dead. Dead bugs, animal bones, Dandelion seed pods (I’m still trying to figure that one out, they are so fragile), dried sardines, silk cocoons, lots and lots of feathers, lots of social commentary, lots of decorative works, and my favorite, was a loom, sitting in the middle of the floor, in one of the side galleries, near it a pile of mouse skeletons, and on the loom, a beautiful grey cloth, upon close inspection (and after reading the wall description) turns out to have been made from mouse fur. OK, I know that’s weird, but seeing a loom in an art exhibition is actually quite an anomaly, and seeing beautiful competent, usable cloth made from something so odd and revolting drew me in, in a way I can’t quite describe. Of course I wasn’t allowed to take a picture, the guard was standing three feet from the loom, but many of the works are in a virtual tour of the museum on their website, and the link for this image is wonderful. The thumbnail from the site appears here.

We all went to lunch in a sort of average uninspired trattoria calledRINO, (we are always trying new restaurants), my salad was good, avocado and shrimp, you can’t go wrong with that combination, and we headed off to the theater. Brief Encounters just opened, I believe it is still in previews, fresh from “sold-out” performances in London, and I can say it was a lovely way to spend a Wednesday afternoon, the show is an interesting concept, and full of British humor and timing, and though the show overall seemed a bit silly, I’m glad I saw it and again, it made for interesting dialog afterwards.

The premise of the show is a stage recreation of an iconic black and white masterpiece from 1945 of two strangers who meet at a train station, fall madly in love, and realize that they can’t continue their passionate affair, as they are both married, with children. So clips of the film, seamlessly woven into the stage production, and some clever special effects, and some occasionally hilarious choreography and flawless British timing, made for an original piece of theatre, though in this day and age, the passions of two lovers captured in a period black and white film, are pretty lost on a contemporary audience. I am thinking the cast, many from the London show, mostly British, was thinking maybe their audience was mostly dead. The director Emma Rice claims that the 1945 David Lean’s masterpiece film “Brief Encounter” is “almost part of their DNA in Britain”. Since I doubt most Americans have ever seen the film, (or at least I hadn’t), the premise of the show was sort of lost and came across as silly.

We all headed downtown after the show, and stopped at Thalia, a lounge on 8th Avenue around 50th. We had wine and cheese, and Warm Molten Chocolate Cake for dessert, with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream and a scoop of pistachio. Can I say I died and went to food heaven? I highly recommend this restaurant, it is definitely on my “need to return” list. (My new favorite cheese is called Humboldt Fog!)

The day got even better. I walked my friends to Port Authority, where they all headed back to NJ, and I headed over to 35th and Park to the September meeting of the Textile Study Group of New York. I rarely am able to get in to the meetings, but I had to attend this one. The speaker was Iris Apfel, one of my fashion heroes, who calls herself a “geriatric starlet”. Iris is 89 years old, and is considered a world class shopper, who spent her life collecting and mixing items, both high and low end, current and vintage, and has a collection of garments and accessories that has the MET salivating at her doorstep. A retrospective of her closet was mounted at the MET in 2005, titled Iris Apfel, Rare Bird of Fashion (I own the book of course), which then traveled to museums around the country, where I finally got to view it at the Nassau County Museum of Art. She and her husband Carl founded a legendary textile design company, Old World Weavers, which they ran until they retired in 1992. Old World Weavers restored many of the fabrics in the White House during the administration of several presidents. Can I say that Iris Apfel is probably the most interesting person I’ve ever heard speak, and I am so glad I was home long enough to be able to catch her lecture and I’m really really grateful to the Textile Study Group of NY for making her appearance possible.

So I’m home now, preparing for the next trip, to Asheville, NC the end of next week. All the handouts, pattern paper, interfacings, and monographs have been cut, printed and shipped ( a big thank you to my son Eric for lending a hand), and the house is quiet, it is a lovely Saturday and I’m onto the next scarf warp on my loom. I’ve gathered the colors, using a more neutral palette, again drawing from one of my forecast palettes from Handwoven Magazine, and I finished the warp wrap, and will have lunch and start winding the warp.

Tomorrow I will be giving the keynote address at the North Jersey Chapter of the American Sewing Guild’s Birthday Bash at the Barn in Clifton, which should be lots of fun, and I get to dress up in my handwoven clothes, and put on some make-up, and get out of the house for a few hours. I have the tendency to not get out of my pajamas on days where I don’t have to go anywhere… :-)

Stay tuned…

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Going, Going, GONE!

Hi everyone,

Daryl Lancaster is printing out handouts and materials today for her Play with Color! workshop at sutherland Handweaving Gallery & Teaching Studio on Monday Sept. 27. She needs a final headcount, so if there are any of you who were thinking about attending, but haven’t contacted us yet, please let us know right away. The materials she ships for this class are substantial, so we don’t want her to ship more than necessary. However, neither do we want anyone who planned to attend to be left out. In addition I just placed a listing for the class in this week’s Mountain Express, so please sign up quickly.

Here’s another description of the workshop. If you’ve never taken a class with Daryl before, I promise you’ll get more than your money’s worth and will leave energized and inspired—whether you’re weaving, knitting, crocheting, sewing, quilting, felting, printing, dyeing, painting or doing whatever it is you do with color.

Karen and Barb

PS: To be removed from this email list just hit reply and let us know!

Daryl Lancaster

A one-day, hands-on workshop

Monday, September 27, 2010

Play With Color!

Through a series of creative exercises, participants will learn to confidently place yarns of different colors and textures together to make beautiful warp combinations. This is a fun, hands-on class, and participants will be asked to bring a bag of assorted odds and ends of yarns to use and share. Based on the Color/Fabric Forecast Column from Handwoven Magazine, participants will experiment with palettes based on mood using photos for inspiration, and see illustrations of how to translate them into handwoven fabrics and ultimately a garment. For more information about Daryl Lancaster, visit

10 am-4 pm Limit 10 participants Pre-registration required $120 + supply fee

Educational & fun for:





Fabric Printers

Daryl Lancaster received her BA cum laude degree in Fine Arts in 1977 from Montclair State College, Montclair, NJ and has been actively working since then as a weaver/fiber artist. Comfortable with the sewing machine for more than forty years, she spent 10 years as a production craftswoman, selling her handwoven clothing in craft markets and galleries throughout the United States. She teaches garment construction and related topics to weavers and other fiber enthusiasts across North America. She was the Contributing Features Editor for six years, for Handwoven Magazine and wrote the Fashion and Color Forecast Column. She currently writes a monthly column for the online Weavezine Magazine.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Mexico Sunset and Northern Lights

So, we have been very busy.

Karen has been working on two very detailed pieces; each for entry into The Blue Ridge Fiber Show later this month. The piece Karen is holding in her left hand(on the right in the photo) is the one to be juried; it is quite fine yarn for her and is woven in Beiderwand. If you put those two things together you get a lot of picks per inch, hence lots of time at the loom. I love anything orange, so you know this makes me most happy. The other piece Karen is holding is what she wove with the extra warp. I love the window pane effect with the various colored weft colors used. Fellow studio mate, Pattiy Torno, has already placed dibs on it.
The second piece Karen will be entering into the BRFS is a tapestry of a puffin. I will post a photo as soon as I have one. For now you must take my word it is amazing. Karen really doesn't like to admit it, but she is a tapestry weaver. Just ask Madelyn Vanderhoogt if you don't believe me.

As for me I have been working on a rather large commission piece for installation on a client's dining room table. As inspiration I used the couple's painting in that room as well as a recently commissioned painting by fellow CURVE studio and garden's artist Constance Williams installed in the area adjoining the dining room. The warp is 60/2 silk and the weft is 60/2 hand dyed silk in a multitude of colors mirroring the colors in the home and paintings. It measures 19.5" x 120". I must say when I took it off the loom yesterday it was a delight to see how it turned out. When I placed it on the couple's table today it was magical. Will make final installation Monday when I have hemmed it and finished the corners with beads. Photos to follow.

And speaking of photos-I need to work on how to make the photos in the blog work with my writings. I am failing in this aspect miserably. Think I will ask my daughter.

And for anyone interested the rug hanging on the wall behind us in the photos is woven by Wence Martinez. He is from Mexico and will be having an Exhibition opening at sutherland October 8. We would love for you to join us for this event. More on that later.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Don’t Miss Daryl Lancaster at sutherland!

We are thrilled that Daryl Lancaster will be teaching a one-day workshop at sutherland, Sept. 27, while she is in Asheville to judge the handweaving entries at the 2010 Blue Ridge Fiber Show. Titled Play with Color!, this workshop is a fun, hands-on class that helps participants learn to place yarns of different colors and textures together confidently for warps or other fiber art projects.

Daryl is famous for her beautiful handwoven yardage, her skill at tailoring it into garments that are beautiful inside and out and her willingness to generously share all her secrets through teaching. Believe me, her energy and enthusiasm will leave you breathless, but armed with many more ideas and information than you ever dreamed.

This is a no-loom, tabletop workshop. Space is limited and alancasterForestFireFrontLGlready filling, so if you’d like to attend we need to hear from you as soon as possible. We’ll need your registration fees in advance to save you a seat. Just to whet your appetite, I’ve included an image of one of Daryl’s beautiful garments.

Daryl Book Signing!

While Daryl is in town, she will be a special guest at sutherland during the CURVE studios & garden Fall 2010 Open House Twilight Party, Sept. 24, from 5-8 pm. She has agreed to ship down an assortment of her monographs and will sell and autograph them during the party.

No charge for this event. Just come on over, meet Daryl, snap up your autographed books, enjoy some snacks and libations and tour the other artist studios at CURVE.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

As it should be…

I had an economics professor back when I was in college – the first time – who used to talk about “hog heaven.” I can’t quite remember what constituted hog heaven from an economics standpoint. It had something to do with supply and demand, and it seems the elasticity of one or the other was involved. Basically it described a state where everything was humming along happily.

Now while today’s economy may be a long way from hog heaven, I found myself in that blissful state today. I had returned from design class at Haywood Community College, where I have finally enrolled in the Professional Crafts-Fiber program, albeit on a limited schedule. After lunch I parked myself in my sunroom overlooking the Western North Carolina mountains and went back to work on my tapestry loom finishing a piece for the Blue Ridge Fiber Show in October.

Meanwhile at the studio, I have two students coming in for class on Saturday, and I am weaving a scarf also intended for the Blue Ridge Fiber Show. It’s turning out even better than I’d hoped, but I won’t share pictures of either until after the show is judged, just in case the handweaving judge should happen across our blog.

So while I was weaving today, listening to my Josh Groban CDs and snacking on a few pieces of dark chocolate (for my health, of course), I was thinking about these projects, being in school again and all the exciting things coming up on the sutherland schedule this fall: new classes; the start of a new study group at sutherland (more about this soon); the CURVE studios & garden open house and twilight party the last weekend of the September, an in-studio workshop with Daryl Lancaster on Sept. 27, new displays and furnishings we’re adding to the gallery side of sutherland, a special exhibit of contemporary tapestry rugs by Wence and Sandra Martinez that opens Oct. 8 with an artists’ reception (more about this later too) and being able to share it all with my good friend and studio partner, Barb.

Suddenly I started remembering Professor Kuhlman and hogfunnysmilingpig heaven, and how that seemed like a pretty good description for my current state of mind. I don’t have a clue what hogs had to do with it, but here we are, me and the hogs, lovin’ life.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Have I mentioned?

This past week I began on a journey of weaving about which I am most excited. The journey began this past spring when a couple came into sutherland during The Studio Stroll in the the River Arts District and asked me to weave them a table runner. Not just any table runner, mind you. They desired a true art piece for their dining room table.

So, after months of acquiring over a hundred skeins of hand-dyed 60/2 silk to "paint" the picture of the piece I have in my mind, I have been to dress my loom. This has been tedious. And if you know me as a weaver, there is nothing I love more than tedious. First, I had to add 400 more Texsolv heddles to shafts 5 through 8 on my Harrisville floor loom at home as my warp has 1050 ends of Habu silk which is finer than human hair. Next I have had to wind each of those 104 skeins of yarn into balls before I will be able to wind them on to individual bobbins. Then there has been the winding of said 1050 warp ends on the warping board and then onto my back beam. I admit I had Karen help me with the latter task and it was a huge help! Then the task of threading began. I am half way through this and plan to finish this up tomorrow. Warping back to front on my big Harrisville requires a fair amount of leaning into the loom, hence neck and back fatigue. I am up and down a fair amount to give my body frequent breaks, which helps immensely.

I am hoping to be able to start weave this commissioned project by the end of this coming work week. I am excited to see the shuttle flying back and forth with these beautiful had-dyed silks.

Thought I would include some photos of the beginning of this piece. The photo with the pencil shows the entire warp, all 1050 threads, and just how fine they really are.

Oh, and have I mentioned I am excited??

Monday, August 16, 2010

Barb in the News

The Sunday Living Section of the Asheville Citizen-Times features an Asheville Artist Portfolio feature each week. I thought it was Barb’s turn to be featured and submitted information and photos to the editor.
The editor liked the idea, and Barb’s Portfolio was in yesterday’s paper! Here is a link to the story online, but they didn’t include the photos that ran in the paper. So if you can find a Sunday Citizen-Times, pick it up and look inside the Living Section.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I’m on TV, but don’t blink

Remember when I told you about QVC coming to our studio to do some filming about Asheville for a jewelry designer? Well the segment aired on Aug. 8, and here’s a link to a very brief peek at me at the loom now on UTube. CURVE studios & garden got a nice plug, and that’s our studio mate and CURVE owner Pattiy Torno quilting.

Constance Williams next door got a speaking part, but then she’s president of the River Arts District Artists. The other clips about Western North Carolina are fun to watch too.

Seriously, don’t blink.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Blue Ridge Fiber Show Entry Deadline is AUG 13!

EIGHT DAYS!!  That’s when all entry forms for the 2010 Blue Ridge Fiber Show have to be received by the committee! I want to encourage all of you who weave, spin or felt to enter a few pieces of your work. The show is non-juried for entry, which means no one will judge whether or not your pieces can be included. If they meet the criteria, they’re in! For those unfamiliar, this is a production of the Western North Carolina Fibers/Handweavers Guild. Traditionally it has been one of the biggest non-juried fiber art shows in the region. You don’t have to be a guild member to enter and you don’t have to live in Western North Carolina! This show has attracted international entries.

The deadline for receiving entry forms is Aug. 13...yes next week! For guild members, that is BEFORE the August guild meeting. However, your entered pieces do not have to be delivered until the end of September. (Are you reading between the lines, here?).

Your entry form does not require a fancy photograph. Just fill out the one-page form, describe your pieces and send with a check for $30 for every two items entered. You may enter two pieces in each major category: weaving, spinning or felting.

Although the items are not juried for entry, the pieces will be judged for several awards, which include many CASH PRIZES. You may enter in either the amateur or professional category. You’re a professional if you sell your work or teach.

I would love to see entries from all our weaving students! I’ve included a link to the entry form. Click on it and print the form to remind yourself. Then fill it out and send it in so it arrives by Aug. 13. If you need help or advice, come see me at the studio. I’m there tomorrow through Sunday and again next Wednesday. If you have any questions email me.



Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Convergence Reflections

Now that the laundry is done, students are back on the studio looms finishing their classes, and the boxes I shipped back from Convergence have been emptied, it’s time to reflect o005n the inspiring but exhausting experience last month in Albuquerque. Convergence is the biannual conference of the Handweavers Guild of America and attracts weavers, spinners, dyers and basketmakers from around the world.

I hadn’t attended since 2006 in Grand Rapids, where I met Barb by the way. So I got there early to warp a rented loom for my 3 day workshop and didn’t leave until they were kicking us out of the exhibit hall at 4 Sunday afternoon. I spent a lot of time in vendor hall where I picked up some books from the Unicorn booth, a few skeins and cones of unusual yarns I want to try, several tubes of Bockens 8/2 cotton for classes…on sale (it pays to shop on Sunday) a new ondule (fan) reed for Barb, and my personal indulgence, a Randall Darwall scarf that begged me to take it home.

My workshop was outstanding. Robyn Spady calls it Pictures, Piles, Potpourri and Perplexing Curiousities. If you are a structure person, and ever have a chance to take it, don’t hesitate. There were 13 u082ncommon structures, on 32 different looms and 31 participants. Still, we all managed to weave all 13 samples. The sample notebook of all the structures is worth way more than Robyn charges for a supply fee. I warped one of the handwoven velvet looms. Actually I just threaded, beamed the ground warp, sleyed and tied on. Robyn had already done the heavy lifting, bringing the velvet pile warp on a secondary warp “beam” she had fashioned from empty wire spools she got from Lowe’s. Here’s a picture of the pile warp set up. It worked pretty well, but we had some tension issues as the sampling continued.105

Other neat structures that I’ll definitely spend more time with include a fantastic supplementary warp and weft that I will subject to one of my differential shrinkage experiments…definitely making a SAMPLE first; a corkscrew twill that begs further study; and beiderwand. 132I’d always been curious about beiderwand, and now the next thing on  the loom will be a scarf that tests the structure with fine yarns: one of  those beautiful hand dyed skeins of 30/2 Tencel from Just Our Yarn (met these creative ladies in vendor hall) for ground and a 111soy silk I found at another booth as the pattern weft. Yes, I’m sampling first.

My other Convergence classes included a behind the scenes tour of the Juried Fashion Show with Daryl    Lancaster, where I collected a bunch of clothing construction tips…and got to see inside some of these beautiful pieces. Sunday morning I attended a seminar with Rosalie Neilson all about designing warp rep with curves. When pressed, she said getting real curves takes more than 8 shafts, but her design techniq148ue will be very useful and her work is gorgeous. Here are a few samples.

While in New Mexico, I spent time with good friends from New Jersey, reconnected with other friends I usually only see at conferences and met some fun new people. As a personal highlight, I got to spend a few days with my sister and her family in Las Cruces, and then drove north with her to tour Santa Fe and Albuquerque before the conference began.

Kelly was also around while I spent Tuesday afternoon w016arping that velvet. I was so focused, I didn’t notice her taking pictures with her phone. She posted them on her facebook page with some interesting descriptions of what I was doing. Here’s Kelly at our Monday lunch spot in Santa Fe.

Convergence is an expensive proposition, but this trip was well worth it. I asked a few HGA board members at dinner one night where the 2012 Convergence would be and was given the party line, “Well, there WILL be one.” They remained mum on location except to say the executive staff was negotiating with four sites and they didn’t want to muck up negotiations. Look for the site announcement in Shuttle, Spindle and Dyepot or join HGA’s email list.

If you’d like to peek at the workshop sample notebook, just let me know when you’ll be in downtown Asheville and I’ll bring it to the studio. Pique, corduroy  or beaded leno anyone?


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Revised Fall 2010 Class Schedule

I am back from Convergence, and will post some pictures and impressions soon, but first I need to advise you of revisions to the Fall 2010 Class Schedule at sutherland. We’ve juggled our work schedules a bit, so basically everything that was offered on Sundays, will now be offered on Saturdays. I found a few corrections along the way.

I am unable to post a link to the schedule, so please email if you’d like to receive a MS Word version. First class is a Warp Rep workshop Aug 14 & 15, and there is pre-warping involved. So call me ASAP if you’re interested!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Library

I returned last weekend from a trip to Seivers on Washington Island, WI exhausted but very happy. I traveled with a fellow weaver and we took "Weave, Cut, and Sew" by Mary Sue Fenner. It was so much fun to see 8 of us returning from last year's class and to meet the 2 new students. May Sue, as always, provides wonderful instruction mixed with an abundance of enthusiasm. I admit this year I did not weave the fabric with which I sewed: not enough time and I really need to learn to sew so I just wanted to concentrate on that aspect. Those who actually wove and sewed a complete project while there simply amaze me. Candee's yardage was woven with the more red portion along the bottom of the jacket and the backs of the sleeves as the selvedge of the fabric and then incorporated it into the jacket.

As you know, when attending one of these types of classes all manner of discussion arise. One of the 'new' members of the class was Rina, an art teacher and wonderful weaver and seamstress. We were chatting one day as I was helping her with some problem on the loom, when she happened to mention to me she has a lovely weaving store nearby and gets all her yarn from there. Upon further questioning, she told me she only buys yarns as she needs them when planning a specific project. I was aghast! Seriously, I asked? I am still amazed as I write this that there is a single weaver who actually does this. I am sure her husband must love her very much since she is the only hold-out on the planet who does not own a stash. When I used the term stash she looked at me like I had suddenly sprouted another head. So we further discussed the necessity of her acquiring a stash so as not to make the rest of us look bad. If she follows my instructions her husband may still love her, but he will certainly not like me!

My sewing turned out rather well and I promise to post photos of my projects when Bill gets home to take them. I am pleased with my accomplishments from the class and feel much more at ease in front of my sewing machine after this year's class. I am looking forward to wearing the fruits of my labor.
So, I am back in the sutherland studio this week warping for my next project when I overheard my studio mate, Pattiy Torno talking with a customer. Pattiy was showing them one of her wonderful quilts and her fleece stash, when the customer up and called the stash her library. Eureka! I love a new use of a word.

And as for me, I came home from Seivers with 2 small cones of purple and grey variegated mohair and silk yarn from Habu to add to my library.