Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Where to Start?

There are many changes afoot at sutherland Handweaving. For one we’ve expanded, taking extra squar028e footage on Pattiy Torno’s floor for a new dedicated weaving classroom! At right are some pictures of students working in the space. Today the classroom was buzzing all day, with Hardy and  Donna threading their twill gamps from 10:30-1:30 and Mimi making up a lesson and weaving her twill towel, number 2 in the Weaving I project towels. Emily, also making up a lesson from the Weaving I class, came in this afternoon to weave 029her twill towel. Monday, Caitlin was threading Towel 3 in the Weaving I class with 8/2 cotton, warp stripes and a point twill threading.

Soon our classroom will have shelves to hold all the supplies, equipment, warping boards and other weaving necessities. Once I bring in a small desk for my laptop and tea mug, maybe an apple, if I’m lucky, and a chair to watch everyone work, I’ll be very close to weaving teacher nirvana.

Upcoming classes include another installment of our weekend Just Weave: Weave a Scarf in a Day class, April 23, 24 & 20195, during the CURVE studios & garden Spring 2010 Open House. May 6 we begin a five week installment of “More Twills and a Taste of Overshot,” which allows students to weave two twills and an overshot pattern as a gamp, or to select one of the patterns for a pearl cotton table runner. This is a 5-8 pm class on Thursdays.022

So what’s left in our original two-room studio? We’ll post pictures and tell you more as construction gets going, but for now we’ll just say we’re sprucing up the “gallery” side of the business to improve the browsing and shopping experience for our retail customers. You’re not going to recognize the place. We plan for everything to be finished by the CURVE open house April 23. Be sure to stop by our Twilight Party from 5-8 pm that Friday to check out our new and improved space, visit the garden and enjoy some great food, drink and music.

It’s finally SPRING!   

Sunday, March 14, 2010


One thing I’ve learned about Barb during our 3 1/2 months in business here at sutherland is that she is very very patient. She loves winding on 60/2 silk for a pashmina, weaving it in plain weave with 120/2 silk for weft and then hemming and beading both ends. It makes her happy.

But I came into the studio today to teach a new student, and as I was pointing out the different parts of a loom, something caught my gaze above the secretary we use as an office. The swift was stuck up there with something on it. As I looked closer, I realized even Barb’s patience has its limits. She had just started winding what we refer to as a “skanky skein” of fine yarn into a ball when I saw her on Friday. Apparently it never got better, because there are the remains in a tangled mess still on the swift perched above our desk.

I had to laugh. I know this was hand dyed (not by Barb) yarn on the expensive side and it would have been painful to cut it off and toss it. I expect Barb may take another stab at untangling it, or maybe she just needed to work up the courage to let it go.

Either way I couldn’t resist snapping these pictures and sharing them. We’ve all been there. If we didn’t need the swift, I’d tell Barb to just leave it up there.

Love ya, Barb.



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

They’ve Graduated!

The inaugural class of Weaving I-Three Warps, Three Towels at sutherland Handweaving has graduated, and just look at003 their final projects on our last day of class. We started with plain weave and a heavy weight cottolin and moved on to straight twill in the same yarn for the second towel. For the final towel in the class, I challenged them to create warp stripes with point twill threading using finer yarn, 8/2 unmercerized cotton.

Boy did they get creative with color and pattern! All thre005e looked so distinctive, and the students’ technique and understanding of warping had charted significant improvements since the first towel. Congratulations to Donna, Martha and Hardy.

Next up for two of them is a Twill Gamp class that starts March 18 from 5-8 pm. With another Weaving I student starting this weekend, the stud004io looms are again all booked until the Monday Weaving I class finishes April 5. If there’s enough interest we’ll start another session of Weaving I or Twill Gamp on Mondays.

Please let us know right away if you’re interested in these or any of the remaining classes on the spring schedule. The looms don’t seem to be staying idle for long!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

You've done this too, right? Also known as 'What Happens When You Do Not Like What Is On Your Loom'

The snow started falling on Tuesday morning just before dawn. Twelve hours and eight inches later, I had done just about everything I could not to weave what was on my Harrisville 48" loom. I know you have been there. Confess it to yourself if you cannot say it out loud, but you have been there. All weavers have been there. You have this great picture in your head what you want a piece of cloth to look like and it just does not happen when you start to weave. That was me on Tuesday. It is Thursday night and I have not even opened the door to my home studio today. I was at sutherland today weaving, but that was fine as I love what I have on my Baby there. But here? At home? I am going to have to force myself to get in there and just finish.
The biggest problem was I did something I do not do very often--I put enough warp on the loom for two scarves. What was I thinking? Obviously some alien took over my mind for a brief period, there is no other way I can explain the madness. I honestly wove what I thought would be the "lesser liked" scarf first so I would have something to look forward to, but it became painfully obvious the second scarf would be the "I really do not like this at all" piece. You've done this too, right? I sure hope so.
I talked it over with Karen via email and she offered the excellent advice to rethread, resley, etc and I have to say I am not that kind of girl. Those ideas are not options for me. I know, I know, that can be my next New Year's resolution. Be flexible in my weaving.
So, here's the thing. Instead of weaving on Tuesday I did something else I have wanted to do for almost a year. I had taken a class with Barbara Zaretsky of Cloth Fiber Workshop ( fame on block painting on fabric. Great, you say, because you think I am going to use something I made in class. You would be totally mistaken. What I did do is use some cloth I had purchased while I was there. I saw it and just had to have it. You've done that too, right?
Where was I? Oh yes, I had decided to make a pillow for Bill's chair with the fabric. Now I could not use the fabric and not do something to make the pillow special for my favorite art benefactor! So I pulled out my marudai and made what I think is a lovely braid for the trim using yarns from Habu( I had never done Kumihimo of this magnitude and it turned out rather nicely I think. I am pleased with the look and may even make another one as I have enough fabric.
And one thing led to another and I went from pillows, to Cloth Fiber Workshop, to kumihimo, and then to Habu. And suddenly I am online looking at Habu's website and have placed a huge order for some more fabulously fine silk yarns.
You've done this kind of thing too, right?
I think my Harrisville is missing me.