Friday, April 15, 2016


I had to take 3 months off after suffering a fractured tibia stepping out onto the parking lot and slipping on the ice,  where I teach weaving. It's great to be back and be among my students again...we missed each other and the weaving class environment. 

In the time I was off, many of the students were busy working on their weaving projects at home. A couple of them even said they had made samples before they wove their final projects...that made me feel so proud of them! 

Wendy Hayden writes: 
When starting a new project whether it's a new weave structure, pattern or fibre, sampling avoids problems with a long warp.
As part of preparing for a series of cotton towels using the small overshot pattern called Helen Cooley's Bouquet, Wendy Hayden wove a 2 1/2 yard warp with 138 ends to test sett and experiment with varying weft thicknesses: 8/2, 8/4, 2x8/2 and boucle. 16 epi sett did not produce a square block either before or after wet finishing. Warp resleighed to 18 epi and when wet finished the flower pattern block is sufficiently square.

Before making a cushion, Susan Abrams made a sample, after which a friend sewed it into a bag for her. 

My thoughts are turning towards retiring though, as its becoming clearer that the physical energy required to teach is taking its toll on me. I will teach until the end of the Fall 2016 , the last class being sometime in the first week of December. I am sure the TDSB will find a wonderful replacement, and I hope that many of the regular students will keep up their weaving camaraderie ...for the relationships we have formed are the glue that keep the weaving classes going, and contribute to our loyalty to the program. I'm counting on returning and experienced students to keep the good feelings and enthusiasm burning in my absence. The new teacher may be much younger (hopefully) so many of you may already have more experience and will be a great help to other students (and perhaps the teacher) as everyone makes the adjustment. 

Debbie Harris wove this merion burgundy and navy scarf for a friend. She found that there were long floats at the edge because of the pattern. To avoid that, we could have altered the pattern so that the edges were in plain weave and not in pattern, like the rest of the scarf. 

Along with the change of instructor, there will be other changes too, the main one being that inventory will no longer be available in the class, meaning, I must remove all inventory. I do not plan on continuing to sell yarn upon my departure, though I will continue to sell looms and equipment. As some of you know I am starting to sell off yarn - at the moment the knitting yarn is 50% off (any yarn not on cones). Come the Fall, there may be further discounts so keep posted. As far as I know, there are no weaving only retailers in Toronto, so you may want to stock up before the Fall session is over. 

Hellen Skelton wove this on her countermarche loom with yarn from a 'surprise box' that she won in a draw in the weaving class. 

On sale at the moment are six   15" Dorothy table looms ranging in price from $150 to $200. Let me know if you are interested. 
Toshiko Shindo wove these rep weave place matts on her Jane Louet loom. 

Subtle Technologies Symposium
My studio is featured as one of the ones on the Mobile Studio Tour. You can visit 3 different studios. However, students and past students are invited to an Open House at my studio on May 15 between 2-5pm. Please rsvp if you plan to come:, at which time I will give you the address. 

Elizabeth Evans writes:
You may already know about Etobicoke Handweavers and Spinners Guild’s 50 Mile Coat project. I’m sending you a flyer just in case.  Please let your students know about it and anyone else who might be interested.  I hope you will be able to come by and see us sometime.
Using only fibre and natural dyes that are locally raised, we are spinning, weaving, felting, inkle weaving, cutting and sewing a coat between April 23 and May 15.   You are invited to come and visit us anytime during this project.  We are planning to have someone from the guild working on some aspect of the coat during gallery hours between April 25 and May 15.  We are beginning the project on April 23 and 24 with a Spinzilla where people are invited to help us prepare the fibre (no experience required - we will already have cleaned the fleece) and begin spinning it (bring your spinning wheel or spindle).  Bring your lunch to the Spinzilla.  You can follow the project at our website where there is a blog and a calendar of events.  Please extend this invitation to anyone who might be interested.  Some of our sponsors will be at the Spinzilla with merchandise for sale.


Image + Cloth
June 13-16 2016
An emerging multi-award winning textile artist and weaver based in Hamilton, Joanna Schleimer’s weaving focuses on creating delicate, personal and nostalgic woven textiles using fine thread. She is inspired by textiles that have had a life before, handed down to loved ones by family members. All of her work echoes this reverence and respect for the past and previously cherished textiles.

In this workshop, weavers will will explore various woven image-making techniques including inlay, brocade, boutonne, embroidery and tapestry techniques as well as digital printing in a sampler-like fashion.
Workshop details:   Burr House, 528 Carrville Road, Richmond Hill. 9am-4pm. $350. For more details, contact Line Dufour at 

Weaving + Wire
Sayward Johnson

Sayward Johnson creates wire woven canvases,  applies patinas and explores other textile techniques as surface embellishments.
In this workshop, participants will prepare and warp the looms with copper wire,  explored 4 & 8 shaft patterns, as well as different surface treatments. The workshop will take place as a ‘round robin’. When samples are removed, registrants will experiment with fold-forming, dapping and various methods for manipulating the metal fabric. A variety of patina options will also be explored (green, black, brown and heat), as well as how to finish and seal the pieces. While the main focus of the workshop is weaving with wire, registrants  can also choose an additional option: “Intro to Knitting with Copper Wire”.


The Textiles Department of Sheridan College is pleased to announce that they are running TWO 3-day Natural Dye workshops this May and June. Please click on the links below for course details, including dates, cost, and online registration are included in the links below. These courses are open to the public and no previous experience in dyes and/ or textiles is necessary.

Natural Dye Printing
Instructor: Thea Haines…/TXTL78002__NaturalDyePrin…
Dates: 3 days: May 11/12/13 (Wed, Thurs, Fri)

Alternative Methods to Dyeing: Rust Dyeing, Ecoprinting, and Botanical Transfer Prints
Instructor: Janelle Guthrie…/TXTL78003__AlternativeMet…
Dates: 3 days: June 3/4/5 (Fri/ Sat Sun)

Proceeds for our workshops are to raise funds for extra curricular activities for the Sheridan textile students. The funds would be used by students to attend conferences and trips, increase public awareness of Sheridan’s Textile Studio, our sustainable efforts, and connect with the local textile community.

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