Archive for the ‘40th Anniversary’ Category
We began our 40th anniversary series of drafts with a beautiful 16-shaft twill design from Barbara Elkins and end the year with a lovely baby blanket woven on a rigid heddle loom and designed by Leslie Ann Bestor, the new Weaving Manager for WEBS. It is a set of bookends that describes the weaving community in so many ways, touching on the breadth of experience, fibers and looms available.
The Bouquet of Hearts Baby Blanket, woven with Valley Yarns Longmeadow, showcases both the simple beauty of plain weave and the ability to add intricate details that rigid heddle looms do so well. Brook’s Bouquet is a technique of wrapping small bundles of threads to create lace-like windows in the cloth. In the blanket, the motif is a heart, but you can graph out and add your own motif – anything from the baby’s initials to other shapes.
Another key piece of the design, says Bestor, was to encourage weavers to work beyond the width of their looms and weave panels that can be seamed together. The seam can be done by hand or machine, invisibly or as a decorative accent. However it’s done, putting woven panels together expands the width – and the possibilities – of your loom.
We couldn’t have asked for a more amazing year of celebrations, and we’ve finished the year with some of our favorite products and projects!
Thank you to Dream in Color! When our Valley Yarns Charlemont in their hand dyed shades arrived we were stunned by how luminous the colors were and you must have been too because there are almost none left!
Our thanks to Edie Eckman for the College Park Shawl, and Gudrun Johnston for the Tirrick Shawl, two perfect seasonal layers! And the adorable Clivia hat and mitt set, one of the few unisex patterns we carry!
We were honored to have Sally Melville design the Long Collared Vest, and we couldn’t get enough of the project bags from Della Q or the exclusive, custom print bags from Stitched by Jessalu! Thank you!
Just when we thought there couldn’t be more to be thankful for our friends at Rowan surprised us with three wonderful designs in Fine Art, the Verdant Lace Shawl, the Cable and Lace Stole/Scarf and the Lace Panel Cowl.
And we couldn’t be more thankful for three beautiful weaving drafts to end a year of celebrating a company founded by a weaver and started with the intent of creating weavers. The Bouquet of Hearts Baby Blanket by our own Leslie Ann Bestor, the Celebration Overshot Runner woven by Ute Bargmann and the Optical Twill Rug designed by Jason Collingwood.
As an added treat we have a short film about the history of our company for you to enjoy! Thanks for being a part of our first 40 years!
As we approach the end of 2014 we still have a few exciting 40th Anniversary projects to share with you and one of our favorites is the Long Collared Vest by Sally Melville. We were so thrilled when Sally expressed an interest in being part of this year’s celebrations! Working with the Burgundy color of our Berkshire Bulky she has designed a cozy knee length vest that we all wanted to curl up in when it arrived in the office.
The large shawl collar hugs you around the shoulders and neck while the textured bodice stitch helps to give the vest structure and visual interest. And just for fun there’s a decorative button band on each side of the ribbing that makes a great place to showcase your favorite decorative buttons. The Long Collared Vest is a great winter knit and the perfect layering piece. With over 3 dozen colors of Berkshire Bulky to choose from which will you cast on with?
The Tirrick Shawl, designed by Gudrun Johnston in our 40th Anniversary Charlemont hand dyed by Dream in Color, is a lacy semi-circular shawl knit from the widest edge in five wedge sections, with each section decreasing until you end up with just a few stitches. Based off of a simple Shetland lace pattern with a background of stockinette, not garter as is most common in Shetland lace patterns, this shawl is sure to fly off your needles as each row goes faster than the last!
Gudrun was born in Shetland in the 70’s while her mother was running the successful knitwear design company, The Shetland Trader. Gudrun has revived the use of The Shetland Trader name and often includes aspects of her Shetland heritage in her designs, mostly utilizing traditional lace patterns in a contemporary context. Gudrun is local to WEBS, is one of our favorite customers,and has even taken classes with us!
Weaving a rug is one of the great satisfactions of a weaving life and we are happy to feature the striking Optical Twill Rug from Jason Collingwood in our series of drafts celebrating WEBS 40th Anniversary. Jason is known internationally as a teacher and weaver, and continues the family legacy of rug design and weaving.
What I love about this rug is that Jason has set it up as a simple 2/2 twill and then shows how to add motifs that reverse the direction of the twill. His version has a central motif with two smaller ones at each end, but the instructions show how you can vary the size and placement of the motifs to create a unique rug.
The rug features Collingwood Rug Wool, an exclusive line offered by WEBS, with 36 beautiful colors. The broad color range allows you to match the decor of any room. And the wool is spun specifically for rugs so it will hold up to any tap dancing hordes that inhabit your home.
The other feature of this rug that I find so beautiful is the edge finish. Jason uses a half-Damascus edge which creates a braided look along the edge that matches the braided fringe. The result is a professionally finished edge that looks beautiful and will wear well.
One of my goals as a weaver is to ‘clothe’ my house with handwovens. I’ve made the piles of dishtowels, some lovely table runners and blankets and I’m working on the design for lace curtains. This rug would look great in my front entry and I may have to wander past the rug yarn today and contemplate colors. What have you woven for your home?
About designing the draft Ute says, “I’ve known Barbara Elkins as a weaving wonder since the 1980’s. I wanted to create a design that reflected my respect while celebrating this wonderful 40th anniversary. This runner is an overshot name draft derived from the phrase: WEBS – 40 Great Years for Weavers. I hope it conveys my best wishes for the next 40 years!”
She also suggests, “Wind a 2-yard warp of 368 ends. This includes 1 floating selvedge, Use the last warp end on the left as your left floating selvedge (do not thread through heddle, but sley in its own dent). And you will have enough warp to weave a sample to practice your beat and familiarize yourself with the treadling. I suggest this!”
Our friends at Rowan have pulled together three great patterns knit in Rowan Fine Art to help us celebrate this year. The Verdant Lace Shawl is a wonderful wrap knit in a simple eyelet pattern, perfect for keeping you cozy without being too warm. The Lace Panel Cowl is knit flat with a provisional cast on to make it easier to join into a cowl, and with a simple 8-row lace repeat this one will fly off your needles. Finally, the Cable and Lace Scarf has an intriguing stitch pattern that alternates between cables and lace, and can easily be made wider to be worn as a stole.
Any of these pattern would make a wonderful and quick Holiday gift or just a little something special for yourself! Which color of Fine Art will you use?
Our yearlong celebration of WEBS 40th Anniversary has included a wide variety of fiber-related events, special yarns, drafts and patterns. One of my favorite parts has been the 40th Anniversary Weaving Contest, which focused on WEBS’ beginnings as a weaving store.
The concept of a contest sounded great to us – show us the beauty you can create with our yarn. However, we had no idea what kind of a response we’d get and as the months passed by with only a few responses, we felt like the kid wondering where the party guests were and had everyone forgotten? And then the floodgates opened and we were overwhelmed with the huge outpouring of ideas that had been developing on the looms of our weaving friends. We ended up with more than 140 entries from 30 different states across the country!
Aside from the sheer volume of entries, we were amazed and impressed by the skill of the weavers and beauty and workmanship of their pieces. Although we specified four categories for entries, the works spanned everything from scarves, shawls and clothing, to towels, table linens and curtains, to decorative and artistic wall hangings, rugs and bowls.
What I found equally fascinating were the stories that came with the pieces. I grew up surrounded by classical music so I was delighted when I read that Deborah Lewis-Idema designed the cloth she wove for her beautiful jacket using the first four measures of Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata. Another design, from Cindie Kitchin, came out of a weaving guild challenge. They each pulled the name of a country out of a hat and designed something inspired by that. The result is her lovely Iranian Tiles Scarf.
The 40th Anniversary Weaving Gallery Show will present all of the weavings that were selected as finalists in the contest. Free and open to the public, the show will take place at WEBS retail store at 75 Service Center Rd, Northampton, MA. The show will kick off with an opening reception from 6 – 7:30 pm on October 16th and then be open from 10 am – 5 pm on October 17 & 18. Please join us to see the exquisite beauty and to celebrate 40 years of WEBS and weaving.