It all comes out in the wash.

For some, having a large floor loom is not an option, but that doesn’t mean large projects are not. Jordan has a 32″ Leclerc Iris that suits just about any project. This week she made a first attempt at a multi-panel blanket.

This Roughrider fan dream-come-true was was woven in two separate panels, counting each warp shot so that the stripes could be matched up. There was a moment of panic when the two pieces weren’t exactly the same length, but once an additional warp thread was stitched through a selvedge on each side and the piece was washed and dried, one would never know without looking closely.

The finished piece.
Is this going to work?
On the loom.

Chunky to Chunky

To the spinning purist, it may seem a sacrilege to spin anything other than natural fibres. But to new spinners or those who may not have access to quality prepared fibres, the advent of super chunky yarn has opened up new avenues of hand spinning.

This yarn is made from 90% acrylic/10% wool super chunky roving. The wool content makes it easy to spin and the acrylic makes it machine washable.

From super chunky yarn to a super chunky plaid, this little baby blanket should see a lot of use both because of its design as well as the fibre it’s made with.

Many Hands, Many Blankets

For several years after the move to our current location, our 60″ loom sat dormant. But once one blanket came off that loom, it’s been warped over and over. Several ladies pool their stash, select colours that work together and the loom is warped with length enough for several pieces. Even though the warp is the same, every blanket that comes off the loom is unique—just like the ladies who weave them!

Kumihimo Helps

Kumihimo.jpg

This is Jairus. He’s in first grade. Sometimes he has trouble sitting still and paying attention. Sometimes he gets easily frustrated and has trouble expressing his emotions.

Jai likes to watch his aunt, Guild member Jordan N., spin and crochet. He’s enthralled with the workings of a spinning wheel and sometimes, Auntie Dodie, as he calls her, lets him help her treadle.

After seeing how interested he was in fibre art, Jordan set to thinking about what she could teach Jairus that would:

  1. Be easy enough for him to learn so as not to get him frustrated.
  2. Quick to do so he could see a result right away, and;
  3. Would hold his attention.

Jordan introduced Jairus to kumihimo—a Japanese form of braiding. At first, Jai wasn’t really interested in what Auntie Dodie showed him. He told her it wasn’t what he expected. But once she explained that he could weave a bracelet to give to someone, he perked up. After a brief explanation on how weaving works and a trick of counting through breakfast, lunch and supper instead of just 1, 2, 3, Jairus figured he could try the braid on his own.

He took to it right away and was fully prepared to skip supper in order to finish his little project. Through an evening, to everyone’s amazement, Jai was able to sit still and concentrate. To his own amazement, he was able to create something of his own.

What we do as fibre artists goes far beyond making textiles. Not only do we pass on our craft from generation to generation, but we have a simple tool in our hands that can make a far greater difference than simply clothing someone.

Jairus went home with a bag full of yarn. Mostly pink, because it’s it favourite. And red and purple—because they’re almost like pink. He also went home with a great sense of accomplishment and a new tool to help him cope with some of the intricacies life has thrown at him.