Wednesday, December 29, 2010

We have a winner!!

What fun we had with our 12 Scarves of Christmas promotion on our Facebook page. For those who missed it, we posted a picture of one of the scarves we have for sale each day for the 12 days before Christmas. We then invited folks to comment on them, and every day someone liked or commented on the post we entered their name in a drawing to win a 50% discount on one of Barb’s or Karen’s creations.

Even better, we sold three of the scarves before the promotion ended! And we made a whole lot of new fans and friends. Our weekly views skyrocketed! One goal for 2011 is to really get a handle on social networking and make this Facebook thing work even  better for us.

So, congratulations to Debra Davis of Brevard, NC, just south of Asheville, whose name we chose in a very scientific method. I’ll be happy to explain it to anyone curious. We have not met Debra in person yet, but look forward to her visit to sutherland. It seems Debra collects yarn, lots of it. Already we’re kindred spirits. And she’s taking a few small weaving classes in January from a local group. The chemistry is palpable.

So, once Debra gets totally hooked on weaving, we’re looking forward to getting her in some of our classes. Following is Karen’s new class list for 2011. We’re going rogue with the scheduling, as we could never stick to the calendar anyway. If you see a class you’d like to take, call or email and Karen will schedule it based on time and loom availability.

AND don’t forget to sign up for Kathie Roig’s Warp it! Paint it! Weave it! class at sutherland Feb. 18-20. See the Dec. 16 post!  This is going to be lots of fun. Kathie paints warps with fabric paints instead of dyes – a lot less mess. Please call if you have any questions.

Barb and Karen feel very blessed to have spent the last year doing what makes them happy and sharing it with friends old and new. Here’s to finding your creative passion in 2011…and doing something about it!

Hardy Holland took Karen’s Weaving I class last January and several others in 2010. This fall he stopped by to show off the overshot baby blanket he wove for a friend and stitched together by hand! Well done, Hardy!

sutherland Weaving Classes

© Karen Donde

For Beginners

Just Weave $95 This class invites students to weave a complete scarf in one day on a loom already warped in rayon chenille. They will learn the basics of loom operation, how to wind bobbins and efficient weaving and finishing techniques. It is perfect for beginners who want to try weaving before committing to an in-depth class, lapsed weavers who need a reminder of how much fun weaving is or experienced weavers with no time to warp who simply want to spend a day throwing the shuttle or weaving a quick gift.

Weaving I-Three Warps, Three Towels $310 + yarn  Warping the loom can be the most intimidating part of learning to weave. The only way to become comfortable with warping is frequent repetition. This in-depth introduction to weaving guides students through planning, warping and weaving three separate projects on three different short warps in eight 4-hour classes. Dish or hand towels are perfect short projects. The first will be a plain weave towel with a solid colored warp and contrasting color weft. The second will introduce twill. The third will feature threading and color variations. Along the way, students will learn about choosing fibers and colors, how looms and other weaving equipment work, efficient warping tips, proper weaving techniques and how to finish handwoven textiles.

Beyond Beginners

Weave a Twill Gamp $215 + yarn  Students who have completed Weaving I, or have basic weaving experience, can explore four different twill patterns by weaving a gamp or sampler. We will review good warping and weaving techniques, and students will learn how to thread different patterns and vary treadling to weave different but related fabrics. Six 3-hour classes.

More Twills and a Taste of Overshot $215 + yarn  A follow up to either Weaving I or Weave a Twill Gamp, this class introduces students to two additional twill patterns and an overshot threading to make a cotton table runner. Students may choose one threading, or use them in the same warp. Lessons include a first look at overshot theory and design, and examples of twill variations. Six 3-hour classes.

Handwoven Lace Techniques $215 + yarn  Students who have taken Weaving I, or who are familiar with warping and plain weave, will be introduced to three different threadings for weaving lacy, open fabrics using fine cotton or fine wool. Choosing from Huck Lace, Swedish Lace or Atwater-Bronson Lace, weavers will create a scarf or series of napkins experimenting with various pattern effects possible with treadling variations.

Drafting & Design $215  For students who are comfortable warping, working from an existing draft and weaving tabby, twill or other basic weave structures, this class helps them learn how to design their own projects and draft their own patterns. Students will be asked to come to the first class with a general idea of a project they want to weave. We will work through decisions about appropriate fiber, yarn size, color and structure for the desired textile, practice planning yarn needs and pattern drafting and weave a project sample. Students will be introduced to computer drafting programs. Students may supply their own yarn or we will order for you from one of our suppliers. Six 3-hour classes.

Color and Weave $215 + yarn  This class introduces some of the many color-and-weave effects possible when color order in warp and weft interacts with weave structure in a gamp or sampler. Students may choose three different color orders and will weave them in both plain weave and twill. With the remaining warp, students may experiment with other weft color orders. Six 3-hour classes.

Introduction to Designing & Weaving Warp Rep $215 + yarn  Warp Rep is a warp-faced (or warp-dominant) block weave in which a thick weft alternating with a thin weft produces color patterns and horizontal (weft-wise) ribs. In this introduction, students will learn Karen’s building-block technique for rep design. They will then thread studio looms with their own designs and weave a variety of treadling variations into a series of mug rugs or coasters. Six 3-hour classes.  Minimum Experience Level: Advanced beginner. Students must be able to read a draft and warp a precise color pattern independently.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Warp it! Paint it! Weave it! with Kathie Roig

A sutherland Handweaving Guest Teacher Workshop

Feb. 18-20, 2011

sutherland Handweaving Gallery & Teaching Studio is pleased to welcome guest teacher Kathie Roig to the studio to teach hIMG_2144er popular and unique method of warp painting in a workshop Feb. 18-20, 2011. The class explores two different methods of painting a warp using fabric paints instead of dye. This spontaneous method of applying color to yarn can be used in either functional or non-functional pieces. Students will learn to paint the warp once it’s already on the loom and prior to dressing the loom, and will be encouraged to experiment with color, texture, and weave strIMG_1059_1ucture. Students must have basic warping and weaving experience. They will need to bring a loom pre-warped according to Kathie’s instructions with a warp she will provide in advance. sutherland classroom looms will be available for rental. Contact us as soon as possible for fee and availability.

The class runs 1 pm-5 pm on Friday, Feb. 18; and 9 am-4 pm Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 19 & 20, 2011. Workshop fee is $250, plus a $20 IMG_2150supply fee. Class is limited to 10 students, and full payment in advance is required to hold your space. If the class must be cancelled for any reason, fees will be refunded.

For more information or to register, email  or call Barb Butler: 803-513-1814.

Monday, December 13, 2010

sutherland’s “12 Scarves of Christmas” on Facebook!

In celebration of sutherland’s first anniversary, we invite our friends and followers to enjoy a little contest feature we call, “The 12 Scarves of Christmas.” Starting today on our Facebook page through Dec. 24, we’ll post a picture of a different scarf or pashmina available for sale at sutherland. Think of it as a little inspiration for your own or your true love’s holiday gift giving.

Every day you leave a comment (a nice one we hope) we’ll enter your name in a drawing on Dec. 26 for a coupon worth 50% off one of Karen’s or Barb’s creations. One entry per day, please.

Featured items may be purchased in the studio or over the phone at any time, so if you have your heart set on one, best not wait! Call or email for prices.

Enjoy the pictures and good luck!


PS: Each day we’ll also offer another gift idea available at sutherland. Feel free to share them with anyone you think might be interested.

And here’s a peek at the 1st Day’s scarf.barb scarves 001

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Accidents

The latest things off my loom are the results of other plans gone awry. But sometimes you succeed despite yarn and color challenges. I am still experimenting with beiderwand and how to turn the draft for faster weaving and more drape. While at the Southeast Animal Fiber Fair last month, I stopped in to see our friends at Just Our Yarn, looking for some pattern threads to go with some of their hand-dyed tencel skeins I had on hand. We pulled out this gorgeous deep red violet color of a very soft cotton from Habu that I’ve used before. It would make a beautiful pattern weft for the next beiderwand scarf. I snapped it up, without another thought.

Back at the studio that afternoon I couldn’t wait to wind the warp. It dawned on me briefly that when turning this draft, the pattern weft would now be in the warp, alternated 1 on 1 with the tencel. I gave it the old “Is this strong enough for warp?” test, before winding the two yarns together. Mistake Number 1. What was glorious on the warping board turned into a nightmare when trying to wind it on the beam. The cotton was just too fluffy, the double-weave sett too dense. I persevered (stubbornness mixed with the thought of wasting this hand-dyed beauty) and once on the beam, it threaded fine. I started weaving the beiderwand pattern and it was beautiful. But about 8 inches into the scarf, the cotton fluff started clogging up my 15-dent reed and those devilish little cotton warps started breaking. One, then another. I fixed them and kept weaving. Then a few more, and finally two snapped in the space of a quarter inch. I gave up on the turned beiderwand for now, but was determined not to waste either the cotton or tencel.

I lifted the pattern shafts, put a cross in all that cotton and pulled it away from the tencel, winding it on a kite stick on the floor under the warp beam. Then I decided to just weave the remaining tencel in plain weave. Probably would have enough for two scarves. I used the remaining cotton on the ball for weft and started weaving (very fast I might add). After about 48 inches of scarf, I ran out of the cotton. I toyed with the idea of using some of the warp ends I’d been saving, then thought better of it. Who says a scarf has to look the same on both ends? I used some stripes of the warp yarn and a little bamboo I had on the shelf to weave another foot or so. It’s a bit short, but I liked it so much I decided to keep it for m012yself.

The fun thing about those JOY colorways is that you can weave almost any color into them and they look good. I pulled out some turquoise and blue silk I’ve had for a while and decided to weave them together in an ombre pattern. Here is the result. Happy accident number 1.

The remaining cotton warp is now on my studio loom being threaded into a point twill, 018at a much more open sett and in an 8 dent  reed. We’ll hope that ends in happy accident number 3.

Happy accident number 2 was the result of not wanting to move heddles around on my teaching looms at the studio to accommodate that beiderwand project. (I wove that at home.) With an empty studio loom and time, I decided to stop planning and figuring and just wind a warp out of leftover bobbins. Because they came from Barb’s stash (thanks, Barb) they were mostly silk and bamboo. I gave only minor thought to the order an022d started winding stripes. As soon as one bobbin emptied, I started another. Here’s a pic of the warp on the warping board. I thought it reflected Meagan Chaney’s tiles pretty nicely.

Barb dubbed it the ugliest warp she’d ever seen. You can’t see the audacious pink stripe in this pic. Again, I persevered. After our first sutherland Weaver’s Study Group meeting last month, I decided to weave some honeycomb in this scarf which I threaded into twill blocks. That looked nice but was a bit heavy, so I wove the center portion in 1/3-3/1 twill to make pleats. Then 004I finished off the other end in honeycomb. Barb still wasn’t convinced. So I washed the thing, which made both the honeycomb and the twill pleats do their thing. Then I decided to stitch the honeycomb ends into tubes to more closely match the width of the twill pleats. Ta da! Happy Accident number 2.

As for the short scarf, I haven’t photographed it yet. It’s around my neck today.  


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Weaving His Way Back into Notoriety

I’m not really a Conan O’Brien fan, and was only half paying attention when I first caught his new American Express ad. Here he was walking into a shop in India, picking up a cone of silk and tasting it. Then he’s winding it, presumably a warp, weaving it on a loom with a fly shuttle (well, we see only one pick), crushing berries for dye and standing waist deep in red water either dyeing or rinsing.

Next time I paid more attention. Still kind of missed the point of the Amex ad, but enjoyed all the weaving references. Maybe we should show this in a loop when explaining how much work goes into our fine handwoven cloth. The slogan: “When every detail counts.”

Even if you’ve seen the ad, here’s a longer online version, which is even better.



Thursday, August 26, 2010

As it should be…

I had an economics professor back when I was in college – the first time – who used to talk about “hog heaven.” I can’t quite remember what constituted hog heaven from an economics standpoint. It had something to do with supply and demand, and it seems the elasticity of one or the other was involved. Basically it described a state where everything was humming along happily.

Now while today’s economy may be a long way from hog heaven, I found myself in that blissful state today. I had returned from design class at Haywood Community College, where I have finally enrolled in the Professional Crafts-Fiber program, albeit on a limited schedule. After lunch I parked myself in my sunroom overlooking the Western North Carolina mountains and went back to work on my tapestry loom finishing a piece for the Blue Ridge Fiber Show in October.

Meanwhile at the studio, I have two students coming in for class on Saturday, and I am weaving a scarf also intended for the Blue Ridge Fiber Show. It’s turning out even better than I’d hoped, but I won’t share pictures of either until after the show is judged, just in case the handweaving judge should happen across our blog.

So while I was weaving today, listening to my Josh Groban CDs and snacking on a few pieces of dark chocolate (for my health, of course), I was thinking about these projects, being in school again and all the exciting things coming up on the sutherland schedule this fall: new classes; the start of a new study group at sutherland (more about this soon); the CURVE studios & garden open house and twilight party the last weekend of the September, an in-studio workshop with Daryl Lancaster on Sept. 27, new displays and furnishings we’re adding to the gallery side of sutherland, a special exhibit of contemporary tapestry rugs by Wence and Sandra Martinez that opens Oct. 8 with an artists’ reception (more about this later too) and being able to share it all with my good friend and studio partner, Barb.

Suddenly I started remembering Professor Kuhlman and hogfunnysmilingpig heaven, and how that seemed like a pretty good description for my current state of mind. I don’t have a clue what hogs had to do with it, but here we are, me and the hogs, lovin’ life.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I’m on TV, but don’t blink

Remember when I told you about QVC coming to our studio to do some filming about Asheville for a jewelry designer? Well the segment aired on Aug. 8, and here’s a link to a very brief peek at me at the loom now on UTube. CURVE studios & garden got a nice plug, and that’s our studio mate and CURVE owner Pattiy Torno quilting.

Constance Williams next door got a speaking part, but then she’s president of the River Arts District Artists. The other clips about Western North Carolina are fun to watch too.

Seriously, don’t blink.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Blue Ridge Fiber Show Entry Deadline is AUG 13!

EIGHT DAYS!!  That’s when all entry forms for the 2010 Blue Ridge Fiber Show have to be received by the committee! I want to encourage all of you who weave, spin or felt to enter a few pieces of your work. The show is non-juried for entry, which means no one will judge whether or not your pieces can be included. If they meet the criteria, they’re in! For those unfamiliar, this is a production of the Western North Carolina Fibers/Handweavers Guild. Traditionally it has been one of the biggest non-juried fiber art shows in the region. You don’t have to be a guild member to enter and you don’t have to live in Western North Carolina! This show has attracted international entries.

The deadline for receiving entry forms is Aug. 13...yes next week! For guild members, that is BEFORE the August guild meeting. However, your entered pieces do not have to be delivered until the end of September. (Are you reading between the lines, here?).

Your entry form does not require a fancy photograph. Just fill out the one-page form, describe your pieces and send with a check for $30 for every two items entered. You may enter two pieces in each major category: weaving, spinning or felting.

Although the items are not juried for entry, the pieces will be judged for several awards, which include many CASH PRIZES. You may enter in either the amateur or professional category. You’re a professional if you sell your work or teach.

I would love to see entries from all our weaving students! I’ve included a link to the entry form. Click on it and print the form to remind yourself. Then fill it out and send it in so it arrives by Aug. 13. If you need help or advice, come see me at the studio. I’m there tomorrow through Sunday and again next Wednesday. If you have any questions email me.



Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Convergence Reflections

Now that the laundry is done, students are back on the studio looms finishing their classes, and the boxes I shipped back from Convergence have been emptied, it’s time to reflect o005n the inspiring but exhausting experience last month in Albuquerque. Convergence is the biannual conference of the Handweavers Guild of America and attracts weavers, spinners, dyers and basketmakers from around the world.

I hadn’t attended since 2006 in Grand Rapids, where I met Barb by the way. So I got there early to warp a rented loom for my 3 day workshop and didn’t leave until they were kicking us out of the exhibit hall at 4 Sunday afternoon. I spent a lot of time in vendor hall where I picked up some books from the Unicorn booth, a few skeins and cones of unusual yarns I want to try, several tubes of Bockens 8/2 cotton for classes…on sale (it pays to shop on Sunday) a new ondule (fan) reed for Barb, and my personal indulgence, a Randall Darwall scarf that begged me to take it home.

My workshop was outstanding. Robyn Spady calls it Pictures, Piles, Potpourri and Perplexing Curiousities. If you are a structure person, and ever have a chance to take it, don’t hesitate. There were 13 u082ncommon structures, on 32 different looms and 31 participants. Still, we all managed to weave all 13 samples. The sample notebook of all the structures is worth way more than Robyn charges for a supply fee. I warped one of the handwoven velvet looms. Actually I just threaded, beamed the ground warp, sleyed and tied on. Robyn had already done the heavy lifting, bringing the velvet pile warp on a secondary warp “beam” she had fashioned from empty wire spools she got from Lowe’s. Here’s a picture of the pile warp set up. It worked pretty well, but we had some tension issues as the sampling continued.105

Other neat structures that I’ll definitely spend more time with include a fantastic supplementary warp and weft that I will subject to one of my differential shrinkage experiments…definitely making a SAMPLE first; a corkscrew twill that begs further study; and beiderwand. 132I’d always been curious about beiderwand, and now the next thing on  the loom will be a scarf that tests the structure with fine yarns: one of  those beautiful hand dyed skeins of 30/2 Tencel from Just Our Yarn (met these creative ladies in vendor hall) for ground and a 111soy silk I found at another booth as the pattern weft. Yes, I’m sampling first.

My other Convergence classes included a behind the scenes tour of the Juried Fashion Show with Daryl    Lancaster, where I collected a bunch of clothing construction tips…and got to see inside some of these beautiful pieces. Sunday morning I attended a seminar with Rosalie Neilson all about designing warp rep with curves. When pressed, she said getting real curves takes more than 8 shafts, but her design techniq148ue will be very useful and her work is gorgeous. Here are a few samples.

While in New Mexico, I spent time with good friends from New Jersey, reconnected with other friends I usually only see at conferences and met some fun new people. As a personal highlight, I got to spend a few days with my sister and her family in Las Cruces, and then drove north with her to tour Santa Fe and Albuquerque before the conference began.

Kelly was also around while I spent Tuesday afternoon w016arping that velvet. I was so focused, I didn’t notice her taking pictures with her phone. She posted them on her facebook page with some interesting descriptions of what I was doing. Here’s Kelly at our Monday lunch spot in Santa Fe.

Convergence is an expensive proposition, but this trip was well worth it. I asked a few HGA board members at dinner one night where the 2012 Convergence would be and was given the party line, “Well, there WILL be one.” They remained mum on location except to say the executive staff was negotiating with four sites and they didn’t want to muck up negotiations. Look for the site announcement in Shuttle, Spindle and Dyepot or join HGA’s email list.

If you’d like to peek at the workshop sample notebook, just let me know when you’ll be in downtown Asheville and I’ll bring it to the studio. Pique, corduroy  or beaded leno anyone?


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Little Respite with Spot Bronson

The spot Bronson shawl,which I put on the loom to take a respot bronson shawl bamboo 195spite from some frustrating differential shrinkage experiments, is finished and hanging in the studio. What a nice project. Aaahh.

Barb was right. Experimentation and design is exciting, but sometimes you need to just weave something that turns out simple and pretty. This one has a Bambu 12 warp and 16/2 bamboo weft. It feels lovely.

Now I am making final preparations for Convergence, the biannual international weaving 003conference next week, organizing my travel plans and winding my workshop warp. I am taking a three-day workshop with Robyn Spady that includes all kinds of interesting structures. I get to warp the loom for velvet, which I have woven before for my Certificate of Excellence Portfolio. I swore I would never do it again, but Robyn assures me she has a simpler set up for the pile warp, so I said I was game to give it another go. It’s a round-robin workshop, so I’ll get to weave samples of lots of different and less common structures.

I’m taking a couple of other shorter seminars and will spend the rest of the time touring exhibits and galleries, visiting weaving friends and shopping at vendor hall. This is only my second Convergence, so it’s all still a bit overwhelming, but I will take lots of pictures and bring back notebooks full of inspiration and ideas.

If you’re coming to Albuquerque next week for Convergence or Complex Weavers Seminars or American Tapestry Alliance conference, give me a call.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Finally, something that works!

I’ve been experimenting a lot on the loom lately, with less than stellar results. Barb said I just need to put something on that’s fun and that I’m sure will work. So I dug into the Bambu 12 stash and found this new wine color I just ordered from Silk City. I played with weft colors a bit and, advised to “make it more red,” found a tube 001of bamboo in a red-orange color in Barb’s stash.

I had my doubts, but it really lights up the spot Bronson pattern, so I’ve “borrowed” this tube from her.

In other sutherland news, I’ve just compiled our fall 2010 list of weaving classes. Until I figure a way to make it accessible on this blog, just email me if you’d like a copy. I know, we need a website…we’re working on it. The first class is a 2-day Warp Rep workshop Aug. 14-15, so get in touch right away if you’re interested. Looms need to be warped ahead of time.

Also coming up soon is a one day workshop with Daryl Lancaster Sept. 27 titled Playing with Color. This is a no-loom color & design class, and Daryl’s always fun. Register early, because we’re confident it will fill. I’m starting another Weaving I class Aug. 22, and a new class that delves deeper into design, project planning and drafting Sept. 15.

Back to my spot Bronson…

Monday, June 14, 2010

June 2010 RAD Studio Stroll…Whew!

Twice a year, the second weekends of June and November, the artists in the Asheville River Arts District sponsor a Studio Stroll, when all of the more than 150 artist members with studios in the RAD (including sutherland Handweaving) open 10 am-6pm both Saturday and Sunday. The first stroll was in 1994 and attracted about 200 people to the 25 or so artist studios at the time.

For those of us at CURVE studios & garden, opening the doors is a daily thing, as we’re always (save 5 holidays a year) open 11 am-4 pm. Nevertheless, Barb and I geared up for the “thousands” of strollers we were told to expect this past weekend. And there may indeed have been thousands, despite heat and humidity that was far abovjune 2010 stroll 001e the norm for our mountain climate in early June.

When I had time to catch my breath from helping children and adults weave on the demonstration loom, I snapped a few pictures. One is of the crowded front room of sutherland’s handweaving gallery, where Barb was weaving two more tencel/bamboo pashminas, answering tons of questions and ringing up a few sales. Trust me, she’s back there.

Another captured the nicest group of college-age kidjune 2010 stroll 008s who took turns weaving and sharing their amazement at the patterns made by a simple twill treadling on an overshot threading. They were all working in the area as camp counselors for a Lutheran summer camp, and this was how they decided to spend their one day a week off.

Finally there was Thomas, a young man who sat down to weave on Saturday, caught on in an instant and shared his thjune 2010 stroll 003oughts on color theory as he pulled bobbin after bobbin out of the basket, loaded them in the shuttle and made up his own treadling patterns. He had so much fun, he asked his mom and aunt if they could come back Sunday. And they did. (Notice the shirt change in the two pictures.) Thomas wove another 20 minutes or so before relinquishing the loom bench to a couple more young men who wanted to try.

Thomas made a big impression on us. We hope his fascination with weaving continues.june 2010 stroll 011

By the way, during the weekend more than 20 people signed our guest book to receive email updates about future classes. That’s a lot of potential new weavers, and we hope to see many of them in our upcoming classes. A new schedule for fall will be out in a week or so. Contact us if you’d like to receive it via email or snail mail. Or stop by the studio. You can see the finished community sampler our guests wove this weekend.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Inspiration and Experimentation

Some days creative inspiration lands in your front yard. We’ve frequently seen hot air balloons in the skies near our home on weekends as a take-off and landing location is just across the highwa007y. This weekend though, my hubby called from the patio, “They’re right over the house.” On this day the breezes blew two of the four balloons in the sky that day right into the field across from our clubhouse.

The picture washed out a bit as the sun was very bright, but the colors, patterns, shapes and unmistakable sound of the balloons launched the day into creative high gear.

So how coincidental was it  today when the differential 011shrinkage shawl I’m weaving at the studio gave me a hint of what’s to come -- just the slightest little balloon-like poofs.

With two students coming tomorrow for the More Twills & a Taste of Overshot Class, I had to fold up my loom and roll it out of the way. I turned it so the cloth beam faced out so the students could see the progress on this undulating twill with tencel/cotton blocks framed in black merino. I’ve been experimenting a lot lately with dimensional fabrics from various weave structures. Not all these experiments have succeeded. So I was thrilled to see that with the loom tension released, my shawl is already beginning to puff up into the “undulating bubbles” I wanted.

Now I can’t wait to get it off the loom and drop it in the shrinkage soup to see how it finishes.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Celebrating Weaving Greatness

When I was asked to chair a fund-raising raffle for this fall’s Blue Ridge Fiber Show, I was tempted to hit the floor and Army-crawl out the door. I’m glad I didn’t, because we’ve just put up an exhibit of raffle prizes at Sutherland donated by some of the top names in the fiber field, locally and nationally. These pieces are, as  you certainly would expect, beautiful.

The Blue Ridge Fiber Show is a biannual show sponsored by the Western North Carolina Fibers/Handweavers Guild. It is a very large, unjuried show, attracting entries from around and outside the United States. Cash prizes are given in several categories, which means fundraising is critical to its success. The raffle is only one of several fundraisers for the show.

Here is a picture of the raffle items on display at 020sutherland. It doesn’t do them justice, especially for the framed items, so please follow this link to the BRFS website for detailed descriptions and much better images.

We will be selling tickets here through June 13, (Studio Stroll weekend)  then the whole exhibit moves to Textures-For the Finely Crafted Home, in Waynesville, NC, through July 14. Textures is owned by fiber artist and raffle donor, Suzanne Gernandt, and her husband. After that it goes on the road again to Earth Guild where the BRFS committee is holding a trunk show as another fundraiser. Then it returns to sutherland until the drawing during the BRFS Opening Reception in October. The pieces and tickets also will be at every WNCFHG meeting through September.

Feel free to share the link with anyone you think might be interested in winning one of these beautiful prizes. Tommye Scanlin has posted details of the raffle and her piece in progress to her blog, and I’ve already had two emails from people around the country wanting to purchase raffle tickets through the mail. We can do that!

If you’re in the Asheville area, please stop by sutherland to see these beautiful pieces in person. Buy your tickets early and often! They’re a bargain. $1 each, 6 for $5 or 15 for $10. You can enter different drawings for each prize, and you do not have to be present at the drawing to win.

By the way, at our May Web Chats AT sutherland this Friday 10am-noon, I’ll be showing my Certificate of Excellence in Handweaving Level I samples (all 40 of them) and answering questions. That would be an excellent opportunity to buy your raffle tickets. Just email or call to let us know you’re coming.

Friday, May 14, 2010

When Weavers Move…or why they don’t

Last week I was finally able to move the rest of our New Jersey things to Asheville. That included many  weaving things I had been missing. My most familiar and tiresome lament at sutherland over the past 5 months has been, “I have that, but it’s in New Jersey,” whenever we decided we needed something for the studio.

So now it’s no longer in New Jersey. I just don’t know which box it’s in. I had my home studio looking pretty good before the movers arrived. New cabinets in place and yarn shelves at the ready. As the movers carried in boxes and asked for direction, I kept sending them upstairs to my weaving loft. Later I went up to assist in placing some bigger items and gasped. Where did I get all this stuff?

So here’s a look at what awaits me at home, which is probably why I’m lingering at Sutherland today. I know it will eventually all get put away, and I’ll undoubtedly look around and decide, “Now what I really need to get is…”


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Where to Start?

There are many changes afoot at sutherland Handweaving. For one we’ve expanded, taking extra squar028e footage on Pattiy Torno’s floor for a new dedicated weaving classroom! At right are some pictures of students working in the space. Today the classroom was buzzing all day, with Hardy and  Donna threading their twill gamps from 10:30-1:30 and Mimi making up a lesson and weaving her twill towel, number 2 in the Weaving I project towels. Emily, also making up a lesson from the Weaving I class, came in this afternoon to weave 029her twill towel. Monday, Caitlin was threading Towel 3 in the Weaving I class with 8/2 cotton, warp stripes and a point twill threading.

Soon our classroom will have shelves to hold all the supplies, equipment, warping boards and other weaving necessities. Once I bring in a small desk for my laptop and tea mug, maybe an apple, if I’m lucky, and a chair to watch everyone work, I’ll be very close to weaving teacher nirvana.

Upcoming classes include another installment of our weekend Just Weave: Weave a Scarf in a Day class, April 23, 24 & 20195, during the CURVE studios & garden Spring 2010 Open House. May 6 we begin a five week installment of “More Twills and a Taste of Overshot,” which allows students to weave two twills and an overshot pattern as a gamp, or to select one of the patterns for a pearl cotton table runner. This is a 5-8 pm class on Thursdays.022

So what’s left in our original two-room studio? We’ll post pictures and tell you more as construction gets going, but for now we’ll just say we’re sprucing up the “gallery” side of the business to improve the browsing and shopping experience for our retail customers. You’re not going to recognize the place. We plan for everything to be finished by the CURVE open house April 23. Be sure to stop by our Twilight Party from 5-8 pm that Friday to check out our new and improved space, visit the garden and enjoy some great food, drink and music.

It’s finally SPRING!   

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sale of 35 year weaving collection

Doris Boyd’s Legacy: April 24 Basement/Carport Sale Features Lifetime Collection of Weaving & Spinning Equipment, Yarn & Books

When South Jersey weaving teacher Doris Boyd died last December, she left behind a loyal legion of weaving students who will never forget her enthusiastic spirit, patient guidance and the incredible volume of knowledge she shared with us. She also left a collection of weaving and spinning equipment that includes 21 floor looms, from a 22” 4-shaft Harrisville to a 46” LeClerc 4-shaft rug loom; many accessories including shuttles, lease sticks, loom benches, a warping mill, a drum carder, a spinning wheel; hundreds of cones of yarn and three bookcases full of a wide variety of craft books.

Those of us who studied with her and treasured our time with her know she would like nothing better than for her collection to make its way into the hands of weavers, new and experienced, who will continue to produce beautiful yarn and cloth and teach others to do the same.

On April 24, from 9 am-2 pm, Doris’ husband Howard will hold a sale of Doris’ weaving collection at their home, 232 Oakshade Road in Tabernacle, NJ. This will be an excellent opportunity for new and aspiring weavers to pick up a studio full of equipment for below-market prices. Everything must go, and no loom is priced higher than $300. An antique barn loom is free. All magazines are 10 for $1, practically free.

Members of the Pineland Weavers will be on hand to answer questions and help with the sale. The list of items for sale can be found at the local guild website: Please help us spread the word about the sale.

Some rules and logistics:

  • Sales will not be considered prior to April 24. (NO EARLY BIRDS!)
  • Parking is at a premium. PLEASE CARPOOL!
  • Looms must be carried up wide cellar steps to the outside and put in your vehicle, unless you make special arrangements for pick-up later.
  • Cash only. All sales final.
  • For more information about the equipment or sale, please contact: Naomi Cannon, 856-429-8604.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


One thing I’ve learned about Barb during our 3 1/2 months in business at sutherland is that she is very very patient. She loves winding on 60/2 silk for a pashmina, weaving it in plain weave with 120/2 silk for weft and then hemming and beading both ends. It makes her happy.

But I came into the studio today to teach a new student, and as I was pointing out the different parts of a loom, something caught my gaze above the secretary we use as an office. The swift was stuck up there with something on it. As I looked closer, I realized even Barb’s patience has its limits. She had just started winding what we refer to as a “skanky skein” of fine yarn into a ball when I saw her on Friday. Apparently it never got better, because there are the remains in a tangled mess still on the swift perched above our desk.

I had to laugh. I know this was hand dyed (not by Barb) yarn on the expensive side and it would have been painful to cut it off and toss it. I expect Barb may take another stab at untangling it, or maybe she just needed to work up the courage to let it go.

Either way I couldn’t resist snapping these pictures and sharing them. We’ve all been there. If we didn’t need the swift, I’d tell Barb to just leave it up there.

Love ya, Barb.



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

They’ve Graduated!

The inaugural class of Weaving I-Three Warps, Three Towels at sutherland Handweaving has graduated, and just look at their final projects on our last day of class. We started with pla003in weave and a heavy weight cottolin and moved on to straight twill in the same yarn for the second towel. For the final towel in the class, I challenged them to create warp stripes with point twill threading using finer yarn, 8/2 unmercerized cotton.

Boy did they get creative with color and pattern! All t005hree looked so distinctive, and the students’ technique and understanding of warping had charted significant improvements since the first towel. Congratulations to Donna, Martha and Hardy.

Next up for two of them is a Twill Gamp class that starts March 18 from 5-8 pm. With 004another Weaving I student starting this weekend, the studio looms are again all booked until the Monday Weaving I class finishes April 5. If there’s enough interest we’ll start another session of Weaving I or Twill Gamp on Mondays.

Please let us know right away if you’re interested in these or any of the remaining classes on the spring schedule. The looms don’t seem to be staying idle for long!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Alice Schlein Visits sutherland

Our floor has never looked better than when Alice Schlein spread her jacquard triptych on the floor for better viewing by the 042group of 15 weavers, friends and spouses who gathered at sutherland to hear about her latest book.

The studio was buzzing with decades of combined experience represented by the people who gathered there last Friday morning. We saw many other samples of Alice’s beautiful jacquard and dobby weaving and learned that this self-taught weaver decided to write her new book, The Liftplan Connection: Designing for Dobby Looms with Photoshop & Photoshop Elements, because so many dobby weavers were interested in the design techniques described in The Woven Pixel, which she co-authored with Bhakti Ziek. Several guests of this special Web Chats AT sutherland helped lighten Alice’s load, buying up copies of The Liftplan Connection, The Woven Pixel and even Alice’s very last personal copy of Network Drafting. Alice graciously autographed every one.

The event also brought together friends, former teachers and students, and even two of the newest weavers enrolled in Weaving I at sutherland. Barb and I were so thrilled with how everything worked out that we will try to plan more visits by notable weavers who live near Asheville or may be traveling through Western North Carolina. If you have a suggestion for a special Web Chats guests, just let us know!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Waiting for the loom delivery

…warps in hand! The second session of Weaving I began at sutherland today with three new students and one from the Sunday class who decided Mondays work better for her. Even though delivery of the three new Wolf Pups we ordered from Schacht Spindle Co. got delayed by snow from Ontario to Indiana to Colorado and finally to Asheville, NC, we started our first class focusing on planning, estimating warp and weft needs, drafting and winding our warps.

I had promised our Schacht rep my students and I wo010uld be eagerly awaiting the arrival of the delivery truck, warps 009in hand. She said, “I’d love to see that.” So I snapped these pictures today of the students and their warp chains. The looms are expected Wednesday or Thursday, so the students will begin warping next week.

This also means sutherland Handweaving is now a Schacht dealer. While our space does not permit us to carry a lot of inventory, we will be able to order looms and equipment for students or anyone wanting to order from Schacht. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Our Storefront Has a Storefront

Our signs have arrived, so we’ve loaded our front door with information to help our CURVE studios & garden visitors understa015nd all that goes on in here and hopefully entice them in. I snapped this picture yesterday afternoon during the 3 hours of sunshine we got between winter storms.

Last night we had a lovely Web Chat AT sutherland in the studio with a couple of our friendly area weavers, learning more about their work, looking at wonderful show & tell pieces and hearing more about the wonderful rich history of weaving in Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina.

We already are taking reservations for our very special Web Chat AT sutherland Feb. 26, from 10 am-noon, featuring a book sale and signing with network drafting guru  Alice Schlein. Alice’s newest book is called The Liftplan Connection: Designing for Dobby Looms With Photoshop® and Photoshop. We’re very excited to have her discussing her latest research and seeing some samples of the work. We’re expecting a big turnout, so please register in advance, as we may need to borrow some floor space from our studio neighbor. Just email us at  There is no charge to attend the web chat, but Alice will be selling copies of her books.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

We’ve redecorated at sutherland

Barb and I (with Pattiy’s assistance) were busy rearranging the furniture at our studio today to make the shop more comfortable for shoppers and make room for more looms and students.

Even stripping a screw that held our scarf rack to the freestanding wall couldn’t stop us. Pattiy and her vise grips to the rescue. Then we hoisted the large, heavy angled wall through the studio, out Pattiy’s door and into the CURVE space next door that will soon be occupied by encaustic painter Constance Williams. We moved the bookcase of yarn to the open corner, the secretary (our office) into the corner where the bookcase was and a new three-sided wire display rack into the space where the secretary was.

A little vacuuming and merchandising later and our new look was ready for business and classes. It’s a good thing, because three new looms are on the way for the three Weaving I students who will start class on Monday afternoons this month. Whew!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

And We’re Threading…

It’s the second session of the Weaving I Three Warps Three Towels class at sutherland, and three of the four students are here threading towel 1 today in a straight draw.

We hope to get these warps wound on the beam, and tied onto the front by the end of the day. Our students could even be weaving later. Welcome to Lennie, Donna and Martha. Our fourth Weaving I student will rejoin the class in a few weeks after a little vacation.

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