31 October, 2011

Looms at Leola's Studio


I visited Leola's Studio in Whippletree Junction near Duncan, British Columbia, Canada.


table loom, warping mill

Leola herself

Here is Leola Witt-McNie at one of her looms.  She kindly let me weave part of a chevron twill dish towel on another loom when I said, "I'm a tourist and I would like to try weaving."

I concentrated.  I treadled 1, 2, 3, 4 over and over.  I left what I hoped were consistent amounts of slack in the warp and beat in carefully.  I re-discovered shoulder muscles.

Then Leola wove.  The treadles went 4, 3, 2, 1, reversing the chevron of the twill.  The eye, Leola said.  She put it at the centre of the towel.



Leola suggested I take a photo of her Cowichan sweater to post because Americans might not know what one was.  Authentic Cowichan sweaters are made by First Nations knitters in a place very close to Leola's location.  If Vancouver Island has distinctive, locally-produced, commercially-available clothing, this is it.



more looms than you could shake a lease stick at!

29 October, 2011

one hundred, thirty-third skein


This skein is a repeat of a yarn I've spun before where five strands are plied together in order to create a structure good for knitting cables.  Blue Face Leicester wool, undyed, possibly spun too thin for me to finish the first Entwined mitten properly and knit another to match.  We shall see.  Two and a half ounces, 107 yards or so.

28 October, 2011

100 Mile Suit blog

Here's an blog link, http://100-milesuit.blogspot.com/.  I think it's interesting first, because they made a suit almost entirely within a hundred miles and second, because the blog records correspondence between the suppliers, craftsmen, and organizer.  You hear ideas in their own voices and get a sense of the process.

Coordination of the work seems to have been as much of an accomplishment as production of the suit was.

26 October, 2011

A Vest at Nanoose Edibles Farm


This is Barbara Ebell of Nanoose Edibles Farm.  Do you see the vest she is wearing?  It is made of local wool.  Before she and her husband bought their farm and started raising vegetables, fruit, and chickens, the owners before them kept sheep.  One of the members of that family handspun and handknit the vest for Ebell out of the home flock's wool.

This makes me happy, to see wool with history and a sense of place, to see clothing that doesn't have thousands of miles under its belt.

Nanoose Edibles Farm is located on Vancouver Island in Nanoose Bay, B.C., Canada.  Note, the vest is part of Ebell's personal wardrobe, not her product line.  She sells organic food.


21 October, 2011

one hundred, thirtieth, thirty-first, and thirty-second skeins


A skein of rose red BFL from Gale's Art, a skein of natural Wensleydale probably from Louet, and a skein of BFL from Fleece Artist in an un-named red.  All fresh off the niddy noddy, though only the Fleece Artist skein is fresh off the spindle.

19 October, 2011

Fibre Flax Seed at Richters Herbs

I talked to a Canadian handspinner about flax and found that Richters Herbs in Goodwood, Ontario sells fibre flax seeds by mail.  The variety is called Evelin.

You might remember I purchased fibre flax seed this past spring and gave away small amounts to people I expected were likely to grow it for the experience and possibly save the seed from year to year.  Myself, I didn't have a twenty by twenty foot patch of ground to sow.  According to the seller's directions that was the minimum space needed to grow enough flax for a handspinner to work with.

Directions on the Richters website say the minimum area needed is twenty square feet or two square meters.  If I remember my elementary school math correctly, that is about a five by five foot patch.  This is a considerably smaller and more manageable-sounding proposition.

I have heard back from two of the people who grew seed.  One had a lovely large fresh green bundle of stalks that she brought in to show our guild.  Her bundle was about a double handful in size.  Another used her flax stalks, grown in a pot, as part of a workshop to teach people about flax.

04 October, 2011

Paddle to the Sea

I am watching the National Film Board of Canada piece Paddle to the Seaa film I saw many times in school–and am admiring the boys' sweaters in it.  (In a hurry?  Skip to the 4:20 and 20:00 minute marks.)