Bamboo, I love you…

Yes, I love weaving with bamboo! I first started working with it this past summer almost by accident. I was working with my sales rep from one of my suppliers discussing a couple of items that were on long-term backorder and on a whim I switched my yarn selections from the backordered 3/2 mercerized cotton to the in-stock bamboo. A cone of natural and black 5/2 bamboo showed up at my door later in the week and I had to figure out what to do with the yarn. I decided to start with the basics, plain weave, so that I could learn how the yarn and resulting fabric behaved.  I drafted a scarf pattern that ended up being a best-seller at the League of NH Craftsmen Summer Fair in August:

Log Cabin Bamboo Scarf Black Ivory

Bamboo scarf with log cabin borders

This item was the first design to sell out at my booth this year, which was a delightful surprise. The silky-smooth feel of the bamboo is what really appealed to my customers. It is lightweight and has a subtle sheen. I don’t know about you, but I really dislike having a heavy garment around my neck. I guess that is why I generally prefer lightweight yarns for my wearables (fine alpaca/silk, 8/2 lyocell, and bamboo being my favorites).

I started weaving a few more of these this log cabin bamboo scarves this week in ecru and black and also have a warp ready to go in lavender and black bamboo. To see these works in progress, please check out my Instagram page.

New in the shop this week are some diamond twill towels in a colorway that I’m calling “Flower Garden”:

 

Flower garen kitchen towels.JPG

“Flower Garden” Diamond Twill Kitchen Towels

I’m reserving six of these for my online shop and six will be heading to the Sarah Orne Jewett Museum Shop for their seasonal holiday sale, South Berwick, Maine, which beings in November.

Signing off for now. The bamboo is calling for me.

Be well,

kate k.

 

Loom for sale & new kitchen towels

NOTE: The loom has been sold! Thank you for looking! Updated Nov. 2017.

My husband and I are “right-sizing” our home and belongings over the course of this year. As such, I have attempted (not for the first time) to make do with the yarn options that I currently have on hand in lieu of placing large orders of cotton, tencel, or bamboo. A diamond twill kitchen towel that I designed this summer has worked out really well to help me work through small cones of 8/2 ummercerized cotton. I generally work with between 4-6 colors in the warp for each colorway. Here is one of my latest combinations:

Jewel tones diamond twill towel

Diamond twill kitchen towels in jewel tones

I will be sending some of these towels off to the Sarah Orne Jewett House  in South Berwick, ME for their annual seasonal holiday sale. However, if you can’t make it to Maine in November or December, I have reserved a few of these gems for my online shop inventory.

 

In an effort to forward our “right-sizing” goals, I am also looking for a new home for my small Harrisville Designs direct tie floor loom. If you’re interested in learning more about the loom, please visit this document. It is a great little loom for novice weavers, or for those interested in doing demonstrations. Here is a picture of me working at the loom during an artisan fair:

Me with Harrisville loom

If you have any questions about the loom or the kitchen towels shown above, please contact me. It would be lovely to chat.

 

Three reasons why I love to wind warp chains

Hello, friends. One of my favorite steps in the weaving process is winding the warp. I will admit that I was less enthusiastic about this necessary step when I was limited to using a warping board. I found the board to be fatiguing; perhaps if I had a wall-mounted warping board it would have been less so, but I always ended up perching the thing on the floor and it was just a major chore. Then my husband got me a warping reel!

warping reel

Blue 8/2 cotton on the warping reel

This is a Harrisville Designs (made right here in the lovely state of New Hampshire) reel and I really like using it. I confess that I often have more warp chains waiting to be put on the loom than is really necessary. Here are my top three reasons why I love warp chains:

 

  1. It is relaxing! People at art shows often comment that weaving “must be so relaxing.” I rarely find this to be the case (weaving and especially warping the loom require a fair amount of attention to detail) with the exception of winding the warps. Sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I prefer the quiet or, weather permitting, I open a window.
  2. Get off yer arse! As I approach my fiftieth birthday (yikes!) I find that it behooves my hips and backside to take frequent breaks from sitting at the loom bench and stand up for a while; why not wind a warp if I’m just going to stand around, right?
  3. Play with color: Winding warps takes me back to my finger painting days, in many instances. Obviously this isn’t always the case (it is a function of the design, really, and many of my warps are monochrome), but it sure is fun to play around:

 

Warp chains

Warp chains are my eye candy

 

These chains will (someday soon) be more of my diamond twill kitchen towels. But until I finish my overshot table runners that are on the loom, the chains will have to wait:

 

Black snowballs overshot

Black and ivory overshot on the loom

I like weaving these small centerpiece-sized table toppers and, based on customer interest, I’d say that there is every reason to weave smaller items like this. They look really pretty on a dining table, especially on top of a simple clean cloth. They also pair well with smaller furniture pieces, like the one I have here on an antique bureau:

 

 

12027737_859571657490205_4221108498203680945_n

Overshot in brown and ivory

I took a big leap recently and ordered myself some custom-woven ribbon labels for my handwoven pieces. Pictures to follow, once I actually cut some cloth from the loom!

Be well, friends.

 

 

Log cabin placemats

Hello, friends. I’m continuing to weave custom order requests that I received at the League of NH Craftsmen Summer Fair in August. These log cabin bordered placemats were a new design for me so I was especially pleased that they found homes at the fair. I’m weaving a set of eight mats for a client in brick red and ivory cottons. Here is how they’re shaping up:

 

 

 

log cabin mats on loom

Weaving placemats

I designed these so that there is a machine-stitched hem on each end. Placemats that live in my house tend to need machine laundering, especially after pizza night, so I like to make items such as these washing-machine-sturdy. I hang mine up on a drying rack and, if I’m feeling snazzy, run a hot iron over them to give them a bit of polish at the table.

Next up after the placemats will be another custom request for an overshot runner. My client requested a black runner in this well-loved pattern draft:

Snowballs off the loom

Overshot runners

I’m really looking forward to working with black as a pattern weft. Pictures to follow! You may have ascertained that a lot of my work is the result of custom order requests. I welcome custom work! If you have a special request or would like to inquire about one, please drop me a line. I’d love to chat.

Be well,

kate k.

Codman Estate wrap-up; this week’s weaving

My first year at Codman Estate Fine Art & Crafts Festival, Lincoln, Massachusetts, was very enjoyable. The grounds are lovely (I recommend a field trip if you live in the vicinity) and the show was well-attended and well-organized. Kitchen towels found new owners as did table runners. I’m especially pleased that this Whig Rose table runner in colonial blue found a new home:

Whig Rose in blue on loom

This week I am continuing to weave a rather sizable (for me) custom order of two dozen kitchen towels. The weaving is proceeding well (I’ve worked this pattern in a variety of color combinations for over seven years now). Here is a look at this towels in process:

 

Colonial blue towels on loom

Farmhouse plaid kitchen towel in colonial blue and unbleached cottons

I’ll be updating my shop listings this week. There are still several waffleweave washing cloths available in addition to some kitchen towels. I’ve just sent off new work to two fine craft galleries this week, too, Littleton Fine Craft Gallery and Nashua Fine Craft Gallery. If you are leaf-peeping in New Hampshire this fall and fancy strolling around a fine craft gallery, I highly recommend a visit to any of the League of NH Craftsmen Fine Craft Galleries!

Thanks for stopping in & be well,

kate k.

 

A quiet house; this week’s kitchen textiles

Hello, friends. The house is quiet this week with the exception of the sound of the loom and the warping reel. (My husband noted this week that he likes the sound of the warping reel. I confess I hadn’t really considered the “sound” of the reel but by golly, there is one, now I’ve had my attention drawn to it). Both of our boys are back to their respective campuses for the academic year. And sadly, my longtime weaving companion of fourteen years, Ingrid, has crossed the rainbow bridge. She was so good at making sure that I took frequent breaks while working at the loom. Here is a photo of our beloved Norwegian Elkhound:

Ingrid

I’ve been keeping busy working on custom requests such as these colonial blue waffleweave dishcloths:

 

Dishcloths

Waffleweave dishcloths in colonial blue cotton

The diamond twill dishtowels are in the finishing stage right now and up next are some farmhouse plaid kitchen towels in colonial blue and ivory, also a custom request. They’ll look something like this:

 

Blue farmhouse plaid towel

Farmhouse plaid kitchen towel in ivory and blue

 

I have been working on the online shop feature for my new site here, and it is coming along. I plan to add more to it after this weekend’s show at Codman Estate in Lincoln, MA. Until then, if you have any questions or comments about my work or just feel like saying hello, do contact me here!

Be well,

Kate K.

 

 

 

Codman Estate Fine Craft Show 2017

September is right around the corner and I am gearing up for the Codman Estate Fine Art & Crafts Festival on September 9, 2017 in Lincoln, MA. Codman Estate is part of the Historic New England collection of homes. Here is a photo:

 

Codman Estate

Codman Estate, Lincoln, MA

I plan to have autumn-inspired kitchen textiles available in my booth (I’m in booth 4), table runners, and a few scarves. Here is a photo of one of the towels I’m working on for the show:

 

Autumn towels on loom

Autumn inspired kitchen towel

I’m working hard to get this new website working! So far I am a pleased with the features that are available to me and the ease of use.

Thanks for stopping in!

Be well,

Kate K.