Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Four More New Wool Blankets

Four blankets are presented together below. All are 100% wool and woven in undulating twill, which creates lovely waves of gentle movement to the eye.

The first one I wove with my handspun wool that came from the Wenger Sheep Farm nearby. It has muted grey tones from natural variations in the fleece. And it's extra wide because the handspun is washed before I weave with it, so it's done all its minor shrinking before becoming part of the blanket.

The next one in the fall colours of heathery orange and gold is currently my Cariboo Handwoven photo on Facebook and has received many likes and compliments.

The last two are in blues because I can never have enough blue blankets (or towels) available. Each blanket has two harmonious shades of blue added to the greys and cream.

Here they are!

SH159 | 100% wool with approx. 50% handspun from the Wenger Sheep Farm,
Williams Lake, BC | 176 cm x 133 cm (69" x 52.5") | $350

SH163 | 100% wool | 193 cm x 128 cm (76" x 50.5") | $275

SH163 Detail

SH166 | 100% wool | 183 cm x 127 cm (72" x 50") | $275

SH167 | 100% wool | 173 cm x 125 cm (68" x 49") | $275

SH167 Detail

If you'd like more photos or information on any of these blankets, just let me know through a comment either here or on Facebook, or email me at: cariboojane "at" shaw "dot" ca.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Cariboo Handwoven's New Equestrian Collection

Many of my wool blankets are woven in earthy colours: shades of browns and greys, often with cream and black. As much as I revel in weaving bright colours for cotton towels, I often yearn to return to these wool blankets to ground me. I've always loved the beautiful neutral tones and they are so very compatible with the entire equestrian world: horses, tack, a lot of rider apparel and even the footing we ride on.

Blog readers may already know about "Blankets Aren't Just For Horses!"from an earlier post (it's a favourite).

It therefore seemed logical that my latest project of Shetland wool blankets begin a new Equestrian Collection, which I've been promising myself for years. All those browns and greys with accents are so harmonious with the horse world. And so two blankets are presented below, both woven in undulating twill; this pattern creates lovely little waves of subtle energy.

The first blanket is in charcoal, near-black (not a pure black but with a little softness) and greys, with narrow cream stripes:

SH164 | 100% wool | 180 cm x 125 cm (71" x 49") | $275

SH164 Detail

The second blanket is in warm browns:

SH165 | 100% wool | 173 cm x 125 cm (63" x 49") | $275

SH165 Detail

And now - let's go riding!

Monday, 5 September 2016

Four New Shetland Wool Blankets in Undulating Twill

It does seem a little odd to weave wool blankets in August, but it wasn't unbearably hot in my upstairs studio, and I was keen to have lots of blanket fringing to take on some recent travels. Totally worth it! All of these blankets are woven in undulating twill; the first one has waves going from one corner up to the next, and the three others have the waves of different sizes going back and forth in a nice way.

Here are four of the blankets, now ready to go from my studio. Please feel free to contact me at "cariboojane" at shaw "dot" ca if you're interested in any.

SH158 | 100% wool | 163 cm x 128 cm (64" x 50.5") | $250

SH160 | Wool with handspun wool-mohair | 168 cm x 137 cm (66" x 54") | $330

SH161 | 100% wool | 175 cm x 128 cm (69" x 50.5") | $275

SH162 | 100% wool | 190 cm x 129 cm | (75" x 49") | $275

More blankets to come, and more in undulating twill!

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Fringing Travels

Not being one to sit around for too long without doing something, and with some quiet visiting coming up on my calendar, I wove six wool blankets earlier this month and brought four with me. Three are almost done, just one left to finish up sloooowly. :-)

Here are the blankets, all Shetland wool.

SH163 | SH161 | SH162

All blankets were woven in undulating twill which gives them beautiful wavy lines. But they're so stiff (and a bit whiffy from the raw wool used right off the cones) that I'm dying to wash them when I'm home. They will soften up and smell much better after then.

Here is one wrapped around a little garden angel. In this blanket, the soft tones of rich dark gold and reddish-rust go really well on the warp of browns and greys.


All this fringing progress would not be as quick and efficient as it's been without my handy fringe twister. Many weavers will recognize it.

I used one for many years but it actually wore out and broke. I thought I could manage with twisting all the fringes manually, but a weaving friend ordered one for me as a surprise gift. Now I wonder how I could ever do without one!

These blankets and more will be posted when they're finished and ready to leave my studio.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Latest Project of Small Cotton Blankets

Cariboo Handwoven's small cotton blankets are intended mostly for babies and children, but they are lovely little lap blankets so they're good for all ages. I totally enjoy making them, particularly if there's a little one in mind who might use it for many years. And my early blankets are being passed on to the next generation.

All of these cotton blankets are about 140-145 cm (55"-57") long and 92 cm (36") wide. They machine wash and dry really well. Other than the first one below, all are woven in what I call waffle squares which is very comfortable - not too hot and not too cool. Price for each is $115.

Here they are!

CS271 | 100% cotton | Twill pattern

CS272 | 100% cotton

CS273 | 100% cotton | Private collection

CS274 | 100% cotton

CS275 | 100% cotton

CS276 | 100% cotton

CS277 | 100% cotton

CS278 | 100% cotton | Sold

CS279 | 100% cotton
Do let me know if you're interested in any of these cotton blankets, and I'd be glad to send you more photos and details.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Caring for a Wool-Alpaca Blanket

A local buyer delivered his wool-alpaca blanket to me for hand washing. It was a gift in late 2014 from his wife who had bought it at my Station House Gallery show. I can remember exactly where on the west wall it was hung ... beside its partner blanket that also went to a local home.

Anyone with a wool blanket is welcome to return it to me for hand washing. That's easy if you're local - but a bit more difficult, although possible, if it requires transport. I also provide hand washing instructions for those who wish it, but most people are happy to hand over their blanket to me.

I am ALWAYS curious to see how a blanket has aged with use. My biggest fear in selling my work is that it won't stand up to reasonable use for a long time. Blankets should look well for at least 20 years, and I hope even longer.

So when I first saw this one, I looked to see how the cloth was wearing - any pills? No. How are the fringes, any unravelled? No. Has the blanket stretched out of shape at all? No. Is it aging well and was it good value for the price? Yes, I believe so.

Here it is drying on the line in the Cariboo sunshine.

A210 | Shetland wool and alpaca blanket | Private collection

Hand washing wool blankets tends to plump them up and freshen them nicely. Officially, I have to recommend dry cleaning since it is foolproof, but hand washing is gentler and I think helps extends the blanket's life.

I'll arrange to return it this week. The owner will appreciate my TLC, and I certainly appreciate the opportunity to make my own observations.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Towels, Towels, Towels

It may be a silly title, but it's a big part of my weaving life lately - designing, playing around and weaving towels. Both looms have seen some long warps for towels.

Jon and I have each woven a few towels in waffle squares on the old loom. They're warped at 28" wide to allow for ample take-in from this weave structure. I've woven many blankets, small and large, in waffle weave over the years, and these should work really well as absorbent, quick-drying towels. This is the weave structure I call waffle squares.

On the new loom, I continued with more towels in advancing twill. I finished a commission for two table runners ...

... then wove more towels in a variety of colours and patterns.

Next project, I combined advancing twill and straight twill diamonds in the latest set.

Straight twill goes down the centre with advancing twill on each side.

And my latest project is to combine a towel and small cloth in a set, which has been requested too many times to remember. Good idea!

Towels are fun to design and to weave, and Cariboo Handwoven towels are popular as gifts because they're so unique while working well throughout their long lifetime. Summertime is best for weaving with cottons; I'll surely return to the wool blankets when the weather starts to cool.