Monday, 4 December 2017

Feedback on a Georgian Bay Blanket

After my interview with Sheryl MacKay on CBC Radio's North by Northwest in late October (starts at about 1:45), I received an order for a Georgian Bay blanket. The one that Sheryl was admiring in the interview sold by noon that day, but I planned to make another on my next blanket warp anyway. And off it went to a CBC listener in British Columbia, who grew up on Georgian Bay and knows and loves it well.

Georgian Bay blanket - Water below and rock with lichen above

Georgian Bay blanket - layer of trees with sky and clouds above

I was really touched by the buyer's comments in an email:
The photos do not do your weaving justice. The richness of the colours, the touch of the fibers, the textures created and the amazing patterns have brought your vision of the bay into reality. I think that you've truly captured many senses experienced by being there. This will certainly be a focus in our home and a topic of discussion for years to come. Thanks for your dedication to detail.

Thank YOU!  (And I know my photos aren't great but I'm not trying to be a photographer also. :-) )

I hope you enjoy your blanket for many, many years.  I think you will.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Three of My Best Wool Blankets

Today I delivered three wool blankets, all generously sized, fringed, soft, and ready for years and years of use. They cover a range of natural shades of wool from the Wenger Sheep Farm north of Williams Lake, BC. I know the Wengers from years of fleece sales and spinning tales, but they no longer have sheep and so their last fleeces were really special to me.

These three blankets have a warp of Shetland wool threaded in a series of diamonds in what I call smooth and rough twill. Each blanket is woven with a variety of the five shades I spun - from white through light grey, two browns and a dark brown.

This is where I stood back and thought - "Wow, I love these blankets!"

Three wool blankets with handspun weft from the Wenger Sheep Farm

Wenger Blanket #16

Wenger Blanket #17

Wenger Blanket #18

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

"The towels are here!"

I mailed six towels earlier this month ...

Georgian Bay Towel

Shades of green with narrow stripes of Tuscan gold (left) and mauve (right)

Different twill weaves in soft shades of greens and blues

... and received this in reply:
The towels are here! And they are gorgeous! How lovely to have seen them (or their near neighbour) on your loom!! Thank you Jane. I look forward to seeing you again.
Yup, that's a big reason I do this! :-)))

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Cariboo Handwoven Travel Shawl = Very Stylish Blanket Scarf

My first set of travel shawls was a bigger hit than I ever imagined and four sold quickly from my studio. The fifth one was displayed in the local Artwalk in September for the silent auction and sold there, and the sixth was the first item to go at the UNBC Artisans of the North craft fair last month.

Somehow I am actually in fashion for once. Travel shawls are really just the very current, fashionable and practical blanket scarves which are in vogue now. Just Google "blanket scarf how to wear" and there are many ideas on how to fold a square into a triangle and go from there, or tie a rectangle as a big scarf or even wear as a loose jacket with a belt. All styles look great.

I was particularly inspired when this big cotton blanket left my studio in September:

It's fringed, has a complex pattern of herringbone and small diamonds, and I wove it with burgundy, dark purple and navy. The new (young) owner wrapped it around her neck in a very stylish and inspiring way. Fringing cotton blankets is a bit trickier than wool ones because the cotton is slippery and it's a more taxing task for the hands and wrists. But a fringed cotton blanket makes a great blanket scarf and I want to make more in other fibres, like silk and bamboo.

As for my latest travel shawls, here are the last four, all woven in waves of undulating twill, with only three available now ... let me know if you're interested in any.  They each measure approximately 150 cm x 80 cm (60"x 32") and are fringed.

Travel Shawl #7 | 100% wool | $150

Travel Shawl #8 | 100% wool | $150

Travel Shawl #10 | 100% wool with approx. 50% handspun | On hold

Travel Shawl #11 | 100% wool | Sold

Saturday, 11 November 2017

"Thank you for all you do to make the world more beautiful."

I received this utterly amazing compliment just a few minutes ago. I am so touched, so inspired, and so grateful that the new owner of a travel shawl wrote me with her especially kind words.

I didn't even get a photo of it! They sell too quickly!

Thank you so much.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Fall Craft Fairs

Cariboo Handwoven has lots going on during the rest of 2017. I'm really looking forward to two fantastic craft fairs. First, on October 28-29 next weekend is the University of Northern BC's Artisans of the North event. This will be my second year there and my booth will be back in the spectacular administration building - yay!

Hours both days are 10-4 with free admission and free parking in UNBC's big parking lots. Here's the website for more info.

Next will be the annual Medieval Market in Williams Lake at the Carson campus of Lake City Secondary School. This is a favourite event for many. The dates are November 25-26 and doors open at 10:00 am. The small admission fee goes towards the students' fundraising efforts.

I'll have lots of wool blankets, big and small cotton blankets, cotton towels in hand and bath sizes, along with some sets of hand and bath towels.

I'll also have blankets and towels for sale in local venues, and I welcome studio visitors if they contact me to arrange a day and time.

This is a fun and special time of the year. Enjoy!

Monday, 16 October 2017

Towel Sets

Continuing on the topic of towels ... my original order for two bath and hand towel sets as a wedding gift created a lot of interest in similar towel sets. I also received an order for hand towels and a fair bit of support and interest that I was finally back in the studio. Of course I promised myself not to try to make up for two months away, but it's hard to stick to that. The fall craft sale season is coming up, I have tons of ideas swirling around in my head, I've been thrilled to be back, and I'm seeing several studio visitors every month while making plans for more.

The original requestor of the towel set received seven bath towels to view and select from,  then I wove the 'closey-matchy' hand towels. Here's a bath towel next to a hand towel being woven. The stripes matched perfectly when the hand towel was finished and washed.

More bath towel photos went out by email to the second interested person, and same thing:

Finished set of one hand and one bath towel

Accompanying set of hand towel and bath towel as a second set, with test hand towel on right

The towel with the brown on the right was a test for a bathroom of blues and brown, but we decided it was a bit of a red herring so it's available on its own.

Here's what the latest recipient of towel sets said:

I was just thinking today that I wanted to send you an email to let you know we love the beautiful towels. The blues are going to be absolutely perfect in [the] bathroom. 
The sets are fun to make, especially when I know interested people are waiting to see them. No one is ever obligated because I do not want pressures or expectations for the potential buyer or the weaver herself. But I do get great ideas through the process - thank you all!