The MERA Schoolhouse hosts an art exhibit every month, this month the Schoolhouse Weavers are exhibiting their craft.
As the title says, weaving has been going on at the schoolhouse for 20 years, since its inception in 1998. While weavers have come and gone, the tradition continues.
There are many items on display, many of which are for sale. With Mother’s Day quickly approaching next month, why not get a unique one-of-a-kind gift for mom. And be sure to bring your appetite, as the Steady Way Community Cafe serves up delicious lunches, baked goods and coffee.
Recycled Shopping Bags
Scarves & Wraps
Blankets & Pillow
While taking these pictures today, I got to meet this adorable kid:
I thought that the modified star motif in the dishtowels I recently wove resembled more of a snowflake than a star, so with that in mind, and with the popularity of Christmas in July (although not with me), decided to weave a set of classic red and white towels.
I had the best intentions of having these towels done in July, and they were woven in July, however the hemming only just got done, oh well. I ended up with three towels that are 19″ x 29″ and one generous bread basket size. I do love the contrast between the red and white.
A few years ago my husband and I purchased a piece of property outside of McDonald Corners, Ontario (that we are now getting ready to start building on). One of the things that drew us there (at least for me) is an organization called MERA (McDonalds Corners-Elphin Recreation and Arts).
From May to October there is a lovely farmer’s market with live entertainment. An artist is featured artist every month in the Dean Hall (and this area has a lot of talented artists). There are workshops (stained glass, basket making, felting to name a few), music concerts and much more, but it was the Schoolhouse Weavers that I was most interested in. I have learned a lot from this group, it has given me more confidence and allowed me to progress with my own weaving.
The MERA Schoolhouse Weavers would like to make more progress too, by purchasing more equipment, such as an 8-harness loom. To help achieve this goal they are selling raffle tickets. First price is an antique coverlet woven by A. MacGillivray Grant in 1912 (currently on display in the Dean Hall). Second price is a multi-coloured rug woven by Ankaret Dean, a schoolhouse weaver. Third price is a silk scarf woven by Lise Loader, also a schoolhouse weaver. The draw will be held on November 18, 2017 at the annual MERA Christmas sale.
As these items cannot be shipped, ticket sales are limited to the Ottawa area, and members will be located at various events to sell tickets. If you are interested in purchasing a ticket, please let me know.
close-up of coverlet
Angus MacGillivray Grant, Weaver
I like to go to the Leclerc website every so often to see what new free weaving drafts they may have posted and was intrigued with the October 2016 project, Huckaback Scarves.
The picture provided didn’t show a lot of detail, but I decided to give it a try. I used 2/8 tencel from Brassards, the colour code on the label is 11646, but I can’t seem to match it up with what is currently available.
The only modification I made was to the length. It states a finished length of 50″ plus fringe, I prefer some much longer and made a 4 yard warp. I also made sure to weave a 1″ border on each end in plain weave to match the edges of the scarf and to give it some stability. I used just under one spool for this scarf.
Below, the colour of the scarf closely resembles the colour of my husbands tractor in the background, completely unintentional.
Below is the scarf with what remains on the spool.
Life seems to be busy right now, but I have managed to weave a couple of towels in a draft call Modified Star. A point twill threading and treadling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2) makes these towels a breeze to weave (when compared to something like overshot).
As usual, I used Venne 2/8 organic cotton for the warp and weft, but used 2/16 for the borders. The warp colour is Royal Blue and white for the stripes, the weft was white as well.
2/8 organic cotton- royal blue and white
warp on the loom and weaving progressing
finished towels showing stripes
Some time ago I came upon this blog and the beautiful scarf, which I new I had to weave, and now finally have. It is woven in a 2/8 Tencel, the warp is silver and the weft is midnight blue. On the loom the width was 8″, off the loom it is just under 7″. The finished length is about 70″, not including the fringe. I am always amazed how much Tencel changes with wet finishing, from stiff and almost board like, to soft and drapey with a beautiful sheen.
A quick shop update.
Now available Cottage Sock Yarn from Fleece Artist, colours currently in stock:
Also new, Handmaiden’s Marrakesh and Sea Lace available in 600g cones. While it may seem indulgent, buying yarn on cones allows you to wind off exactly what you need for your weaving or knitting projects, meaning much less waste of those valuable silks. Create individual hand-dyed warp chains in your desired length for sectional beaming.
Happy knitting and weaving,
Or a shawl. Or a very big scarf.
A few years ago I purchased a skein of hand-dyed boucle from Hidden Touch Yarns, they were a vendor at the OVWSG annual Christmas sale. It has been languishing in my yarn cupboard ever since, waiting to be turned into something.
As it turned out, I had a couple of cones of mohair left over from a throw I did a couple of years ago, I thought the colour of the mohair would go nicely with the boucle.
I decided on a plain rectangular shawl, similar to one I done a couple of years. The mohair was used for the warp, sett at 6 ends per inch, width in the reed was about 27″, and the warp length was 3 yards. I did one pick at each end with the mohair and hemstitched each end as well. The boucle was used for the weft. It was woven plain weave throughout.
Mohair can be difficult to work with, it wants to stick together. I googled for ideas on how to stop this from happening. I read where spray starch may help. I also read where someone suggested mane detangler for horses. I tried the spray starch and a detangler (just not for horses), I would not recommend either one. But what I did find was that if the warp is wound on nice and evenly, you keep your warp very tight, advance your warp frequently, and do a direct tie-up for your harnesses, things move along a lot better.
I may not do another mohair project for awhile, but I am happy with the result. Now, if I could just get a good photograph, this isn’t as long as it looks.
Our booth is set-up and ready to go for the sale tomorrow.
Continuing with overshot, I wove two table runners (or maybe more accurately, one loooooong runner, and one table square/topper) in the Whig Rose design from A Handweaver’s Pattern Book by Marguerite Porter Davison.
I used Venne organic 2/16 cotton in cream for the warp and tabby weft. 2/8 organic cotton in Brick Red was used for the pattern weft in the red runner, and a 2/8 mercerized cotton that shall remain nameless was used for the green one. The organic cotton is a high quality cotton with great twist and is wonderful to weave with.
At 54.5″ long, the red runner would suit a long harvest table (which must of been what I was thinking, hence its long length), it would look great as the centrepiece of a holiday table setting. The green one is 20.5″ long and would make a great table square for the centre of a smaller table.