Saturday, May 13, 2023

In The Kitchen

home made current scones

 For most families today the kitchen is the heart of the home.  It is a centre of warmth, literally and figuratively.  It is a place to prepare meals and gather informally as a family to share more than just food.

It is often the room that makes or breaks the sale of a house.  In the kitchen, efficiency, and esthetics are both important. 

For weavers, the kitchen is an inspiration to create cloth that is both beautiful and practical.  At some point in their career every hand weaver discovers the joys of hand woven tea towels.  

valentine inspired tea towel

So, what makes a good tea towel?  It must be absorbant and washable.  It should be of a practical size, not so thick that you can't use it to dry the inside of a glass and not so thin that it won't stand up to heavy use.  The colours should not fade with washing.  (The tea towel in the scone photo has been drying dishes for 10 years).  Cotton, linen (or a mix of the two) are the fibers of choice for absorbancy.  

classic twill tea towels

Weave structures that create small skips add to the absorbancy of the cloth.  Twills, huck and basket weave are good choices.  

waffle weave
simple dish cloths

dish cloths

Linda's apron
Dish cloths can be another opportunity to bring some colour and design into the kitchen.  Cotton is the ideal fiber.  Try a weave structure like waffle weave that creates a thick absorbant cloth with deep cells.  Just make sure you allow for the dramatic change in size when you first wash them.

What about dressing up the chef with an apron made from hand woven yardage.  It might be decorating in the extreme but you could match your chef's outfit with your tea towels.  You might want to reserve this special apron for baking rather than making sphagetti sauce.

Meanwhile back in the studio 

making the warp for a studio project
We have added a sunday afternoon open studio day to our schedule of regular events in order to accomodate our members who work during the week.  It takes place from 1 to 4 on the last Sunday of the month.  Drop in with whatever you are working on, borrow a book, pick up some yarn, make a warp, use the large carder or just come for a chat.

The next open studio day will be June 25th because we will be spending the afternoon of May 29th at the Qualcium Beach Family Day event.  The event runs from 1 to 4.  We will be there with our looms and spinning wheels and more.  Come along and try your hand at braiding or just stop by and say hello.


Monday, May 1, 2023

Where Did April Go?


Terry's bunny family

It's May!.  Where did April go?  Easter is just a memory and all of the chocolate has disappeared!

The bunny family have abandoned their egg distribution business.  They gone back to looking cute while eating the plants in the garden. 

The smallest is waiting for her new spring wardrobe which Terry promises to finish soon.  

The rest of us have been busy learning and being creative as illustrated by the show and tell at our April meeting.

Below are a few of the designs that resulted from the Make Mine a Combo course.  We looked at design principles and colour theory then designed and wove a piece to illustrate what we had learned.  Most of the designs were based on different stripe arrangements. 

balanced monochromatic colour scheme
The photo to the right illustrates a monochromatic colour scheme with equal proportions of the 4 greens.  There is a subtle twill pattern that gives the look of texture in spite of the smooth yarns.  The pattern shows up on the dark stripe making it more prominent than the paler stripes.

complementary colour scheme

The stripes in the orange and blue piece look symmetrical at first glance but they are not.  The designer had fun using a point twill threading and treadling to make large and small diamonds that add a new dimension to the piece.  The diamonds appear then disappear depending on the weft colours.

asymmetric design

The final piece in the series is clearly asymmetric.  The warp stripes are based on a mathematical formula.  The series of dark stripes on the right is echoed on the left.

The warp is a split complementary colour scheme while the weft is a single colour.  The weave structure is summer and winter.  The colours are the opposite on the back of the cloth.

We have also been busy with wet felting using a resist to create a hollow form.  That form can be transformed in many ways.  Darrell Giraldeau taught us how to turn it into a very cozy tea cozie.  She also showed the more advanced how to use the same basic technique to make a felted purse complete with a felted wool strap.

felter's felting

This one-day workshop took place in the guild studio.  It involved a lot of towels, plastic wrap and soapy water

purse in progress


felted tea cozy

In May we are making baskets and working on studio projects.  The studio projects include rosepath runners and overshot coasters.  The blanket pictured below just came off our large Fanny loom which is waiting for a new project and the knitting group is working on a mini-afghan.  

stripped blanket with over-dyed wool