Friday, August 20, 2010

vacation = procrastination

We've been on vacation for two weeks. Camping in beautiful New Brunswick. First to Grand Manan Island and then to Campobello Island. Ah, the beauty of the Fundy Bay.

baby & mommy head to the beach


For all the lovely time on vacation, there has been not one moment spent in the studio. Family time came first. But we're back and it's time to get down to work. There is a runner on the loom now, the Olive/White one to match the one I took off as a wedding gift commission last month. When that comes off, there is a rug to put on.

The rug is a commission for a sweet little girls room. It will be fun to do. The yarn is ordered, and I anxiously await it's arrival at the post office. But not to anxiously, of course. I have to get the runner off first. Hopefully that will all be complete early next week.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


There is no greater satisfaction than delivering a commissioned item on time.
I finished the table runner (white/white) and delivered it yesterday. I wasn't able to get a photo before of the fringed runner, mostly due to lack of time. But I did get a detail shot. It was lovely. Subtle. Elegant. One-of-a-kind.

photo taken before washing. detail shot.

Now I have the white/olive one to finish. I started it and it's completely different! I love that my choice of weft (yarn that weaves into the loom) can have such dramatic outcomes, even when the pattern is the exact same.

Next project ready for the loom is a blanket. And not for anyone in particular. Just to add to inventory. That will be nice.

Friday, July 16, 2010

the rag rug

me with some of my rugs
left to right: blue with blue threads (2x4), burgundy with stripe (runner) ,
checker board (4x6), burgundy with stripe (runner)

When I was a student learning weaving, I was mesmerized by rugs. Of course, the easiest ones for me to work on were rag rugs. So, away I went. Designing and playing within the boundaries of rag rug territory. I loved it.

Now, I don't get to make them as often as I used to. They are a lot of work, but well worth it. Here are a few of my favorites from over the years.

the one that started it all
Rainbow Rug (3x5)

blue rug with mauve dyed threads (2x4)

The rugs I made were cotton warps, some dyed cotton threads and broadcloth rags. Now, technically, that would be strip weaving...since the cloth is bought new and cut to use. But the technique comes from rag rug I stick with the name rag rugs.

These days, when I make one, they are cotton threads in solid colors (stripes usually) and then broadcloth strips...sometimes even flannel, which makes for a really SOFT rug on the floor. They are always machine washer & dryer safe. Very easy to live with and seem to live forever...or at least the ones in my house don't seem to show wear. They just get softer and softer with time.

So, how much would one cost?? Good question. I charge $25 per square foot. The sizes I usually make are 2x4, 3x5 and 4x6. I've made hall runners too that were 2x8. Width is my limitation on the 4 ft is as wide as I can go.

I don't keep rag rugs in stock. Too much money tied up in inventory that might not suit a persons house. Instead, I make them special order to fit a specific room. Interested? Message me!

Monday, July 12, 2010

threading the loom

This is probably the most time consuming part of weaving. Threading the loom. But it's worth the extra time to make sure I don't make any mistakes in the pattern. Even when I'm doing a simple 1-2-3-4 threading, mistakes can occur if I go too quickly.

I thread the loom from front to back. Most weavers do it the other way round. But I was taught front to back and that's how I roll with it. In fact, I often do my color designing "in the reed" (the comb part) as I thread. I always have the colors picked out and counted out ready to go, but sometimes as the last minute, change my mind on how they should be arranged in the reed. It's fun!

through the reed

Today I'm threading a cotton warp (the threads that go through the loom) that will be a table runner. It's a commissioned wedding gift. So I need it done this week. The pattern is a broken twill that will make lovely diamond "W" shapes. I'm making two: one white/white and one white/olive. We'll see which one is best when they're both fringed, washed and ironed. My gut says white/white. But who knows?

Photos to come of finished project.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

wedding season is upon us....

my wedding day June 7, 2008

It's funny, but every spring, usually starting in May, I start to get requests for wedding gifts.

"Do you have any table runners?"

"What about at throw?"

"Can you suggest something you have in stock that would be a good wedding gift?"

hand woven guest towels

Ultimately, the wedding is usually sooner rather than later which can make selections harder. But these requests are something I enjoy fulfilling. What a wonderful gift to give to a young married couple, something hand made.

hand dyed and woven table runner

Some of my favorite wedding gifts that I've made over the years are overshot blankets, wool blankets, table runners, and pillow sets.

overshot blanket - cotton and wool

Are you going to a wedding this summer and want to take a gift that won't be a duplicate? Contact me for hand woven gift ideas. This summer I actually have a few good gifts in my cupboards ready to go!

store window featuring my hand woven work and teddy bears

Saturday, June 12, 2010

rub a dub dub

I just took bath mitts off the loom and am in the process of sewing them up. Bath mitts, if you're unaware, are wearable wash cloths woven in cotton & cotton chenille. Very soft! And the best part is that they are washer/dryer friendly! I love creating woven items that can easily be added to a busy life.
Bath mitts are for everyone! Men, women, kids alike. I usually bundle them with a locally made soap by Lavish. Their soaps are so nice!

They also have made lovely hostess gifts, teacher gifts and just because gifts!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pillows Pillows Everywhere!

Sometimes I find that I have hand woven fabric left over from a project, or yardage of sampling that needs a purpose. In those cases, I make pillows of all different shapes, sizes and textures. Here are just a few of the most recent.

hand woven felted wood pillow (red/charcoal/black)

hand woven variegated texture pillows

hand woven wool pillows (blue/green)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Grade 3 Here I Come!

I got a really interesting email this winter asking me to be a part of the new Grade 3 Social Studies text book in New Brunswick. I thought it was spam. But then it turned out to be legitimate! How cool. So, after I realized I'd need a photo of me in the studio - something I just didn't have at the time - I called Dad and asked him to use his new found photography skills to help me out. It didn't take long to do and was fun to get new shots of the studio with me working away.
They emailed me last week to say it goes to print in June! How exciting. Students, and maybe someday Connor, will learn about craftspeople in New Brunswick and I will be one of them.

I can't upload the page from the text book they sent me, but I'll share the photo that I submitted.

Friday, May 28, 2010

MORE *unbeweaveable blankets

fringe detail

I just found some photos of other blankets that I've made in the last few years. I want to share them. I love making blankets because there is no reason for any two to be the exact same. I've redone only one blanket pattern in the last five years. And have never repeated any others. There are too many options!

birch and khaki blanket

birch and khaki blanket detail

blue and brown blanket

blue and brown blanket detail

vibrant green blanket

vibrant green blanket detail

Customers can choose the colors (maximum 5) for their blanket and then I get to choose the pattern. They are all 40" X 75" woven (finished 38" x 72" plus fringe). If you would like one, they are $250 CAD with a $75 CAD materials deposit.

Bound weave

I've recently acquired a new camera and have been snapping photos of my studio and my work left, right and center! I thought I'd take some pictures of the work that hangs in my studio as inspiration. Most of it is work from my student days.

Bound weave was a stressful learning curve for me. Mostly because I prefer to weave items that I can get off the loom quickly. That's why I'm a production weaver. But I had to learn patience to do bound weave.

Bound weave sampler

Bound weave rug sampler

Next was needle felting. I really enjoyed needle felting. It's dangerous if you don't know how to use the super sharp needle, but I survived! I enjoyed the 3D possibilities as well as how you could paint with yarn on felt. So many lovely ways to use fleece!

Sunset on the Kennebecasis

Before I can even think about a new project, I find myself staring at my yarn closet. I've recently "spring cleaned" it and now it's more organized to style of yarn. It used to be by color, but I had too much of certain colors for that to work and not get tangled. The sad thing is that I'm not supposed to get more yarn until I use up what I've got. But at least I've got lots of good stuff!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Across the Ocean

The bulk of my work for the last year has been in blankets. Here's the one I did last spring for a friend from high school. Her brother commissioned it for her birthday. Nice brother! It's now living in her home in Ireland.

This blanket is called "Oromocto Lake". It was first woven as a commission for a wedding gift. The woman who ordered it lives at Oromocto Lake in New Brunswick. She asked for blues. This blanket is more than blues, it's bliss.


After almost a year, yup a year, I have completed the project that was on my loom. It's a beautiful blanket woven in tan, burnt orange and brown heather yarns. It's for a friend and I'm so glad that I will get to deliver it in person rather than by mail. Much more fitting indeed!

I don't have a camera to snap a full length photo. However, I used the web cam to shoot a close up detail of the blanket.

close up detail shots

Now that the loom is empty, I don't know what to put on. I think it should be bath mitts. A local store, Botinicals, has been asking for them and I didn't have time. They're also a fast project to weave off - but they do require sewing. I guess I could do that after the babe is sleeping for the night.

Or I could put on another blanket....the choices are endless! It's nice to be motivated to weave again.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

bad blogger

I've been super busy being a first time mom, that I have completely ignored my weaving studio for the last few months. On the bright side, I have a lovely son. On the downside, I'm struggling for creative balance so I can do some fun stuff too.

The only weaving project that I've worked on was to be a participant in the new New Brunswick Grade 3 Social Studies Textbook being printed this summer. I will be featured in the text book as a New Brunswick artist, along with two other artists - a glass blower and a sword maker. Very cool.

I'm hoping this week to get into the studio after the babe is in bed. Fingers crossed!