I hope you all had a wonderful festive season and started the new year relaxed with lots of creative ideas and amazing plans for 2024.
I have used the time between Christmas and New Year to make the move into my new weaving studio complete. We, my husband and I managed to finish two lots of steps/entrances to the doors. One entrance even received a proper porch, little roof and large steps. I already lost track on how many times I have walked up these steps by now. It's wonderful to have this grand entrance!
My office is now also moved into the weaving shed and with it everything regarding BB Yarn Supply, including the correspondence course and 8+. The weaving shed now has everything in one place.
All of BB Yarn Supply with all its yarns and accessories is now here, my three looms are finally all in one room and all the Glui7 materials are here too. By the way this is the first time all three looms are together in one room. I can now jump from one loom to the other quite easily. This is now truly a weaving place only (except for the orchids...). My happy place!
I like to have all the looms occupied with something. I am totally aware, that one can only weave on one loom at a time, but I don't like looking at a "naked" loom. So therefore this was the first thing I worked on, making a warp for each one of them. At the moment the small computerised Mecchia has the t-towels for the shadow weave workshop on it. The large computerised Mecchia has a white warp on it for a fabric to make caps. It is the same kind of fabric like the pullover scarves, but only one layered. The Glimakra is about to have a 10m warp for turned twill t-towels wound on. Whenever a visitor is stepping into the studio, there will be something to see and nobody has to imagined how these looms are suppose to work. I am more than happy to give a quick demo and show someone what these looms can do. Over the festive season I already had two interested visitors in my studio.
My plans for the future, probably not quite this year maybe next, would be to open the studio for weavers to enjoy workshops right here. I have three looms to work on, so I'm thinking to give private workshops for one or two weavers at the time. Not just a day, probably from two day to a week long stay, to have time to concentrate on a topic in great length. A week of weaving in a relaxed and peaceful place for you to enjoy. Weaving from morning until night, no interruptions and chores to do. Only the accommodation has not been solved yet, but this can be sorted in the nearby town of Gin Gin. What do you think? Would you be willing to come here for a weaving retreat?
So what is in my weaving studio apart from the three looms? There is a great large table for designing or cutting fabrics. My newest edition is a brand new vertical warping mill from Toika, 4m circumference for easy and quick warping. Cupboards and shelves full of yarns. Reading corner with lots of magazines. A mannequin for testing a new form of clothing or take perfect photos. A tv for presentations or watching inspiring videos. The studio is airconditioned for hot days. Beautiful view out the windows.
Enough writing, I better go and do some weaving.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the photos.
It has been a while! For me it only seems yesterday I wrote the last blog post. But no, it has been 4 months ago!!! And yet so much has happened since.
In May my husband and I made the long journey to Europe and back. We really had the urge to visit our families in Switzerland like so many others after the pandemic. It was absolutely amazing to be able to give them all a big hug, chat for hours and eat lovely swiss food, especially cheese! We indulged in every way or form. It was a very busy holiday, but oh so worth it. Great memories were made. Unfortunately coming home was not so nice. We both got sick the next day we arrived home, most likely Covid and spent the following week in bed. But we were just glad it didn't happen during the holidays and we had beautiful memories to pull from.
Back home we continued with the build of my brand new weaving studio. It is coming along nicely and I will be able to move in soon. Can't wait to finally have my three looms back up and running again. It will be amazing to spread out and have my truly own space surrounded by all my looms and yarns... I think I will call my new studio "BB's weaving shed", as it looks quite similar to a shearing shed.
In August I had the pleasure to give a workshop to the lovely group of weavers in Hervey Bay. The Hervey Bay Spinners, Weavers & Fibre Artists are a very warm and welcoming group of people. And I feel I made a lot of new friends over these couple of days. I drove to Hervey Bay twice for one day of workshop each time. The topic was "Making rag chenille and weaving it back into a mat", twice woven fabric. On the first day I showed them how to set up the loom to weave the rag chenille. Each one of them went home happily to finish weaving the chenille caterpillars. After two weeks I returned to weave the chenille into a lovely soft bathmat or chair pad. A great way to re-use your old t-shirts, pants or other fabrics instead of throwing them into the bin. A little time consuming, but a great way to help the environment and basically going back to what has been done centuries ago. It was a lot of fun and very colourful. Each mat turned out totally different because of the different fabrics used. Not one was even similar looking. Amazing work and thank you Hervey Bay group for having me.
If your guild or weaving group would like to do something similar, send me an email and require about workshops. Due to the demand and my current situation I have decided to be available again for in person workshops from beginners to advance. Or you can attend the weaving seminar in 2024, where there is going to be another exciting 2 day workshop. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Last but not least I would also like to announce that the colour theory and twill drafting courses are now also available in print version. It is a little bit costly but would give you the option of having a piece of paper in your hand, rather than reading it on your computer. Go to www.bbyarn.com or click on one of the links below to get straight to the right page.
That would be all from me. I hope this blog post was interesting to read and I wish you happy weaving wherever you are and whatever you are doing right now.
So far I have always talked about yarn, fibre or any business matters in this blog. This is therefore a quite different blog post. I am really excited to finally show you what I have been working on for the last couple of months. (Drumrolls...) Please welcome the first parts in Drafting theory and the whole course of Colour Theory for weavers. These two topics are sections out of BB Yarns Weaving correspondence course from level 1. Instead of having to do the whole course with all its five subjects, it is now possible to do the drafting and colour theory separately.
Have you ever thought you would like to design your own drafts, but wouldn't feel confident enough to give it a try? Well this course will show you how. Or maybe you would simply like to brush up on twill drafting? After working through all the exercises you will happily design your own twill draft and maybe even go to the loom and weave it.
It is easy to just copy a draft out of a book or magazine. But to actually design your own pattern and weave it? That is using the whole design options of a weaver!
Learn how to draw your own draft and you
- learn how to read a draft
- can change a draft to your liking
- and make it your own
The first two parts of Drafting theory include everything about the weave structure Twill. This is such a huge and important part of drafting. It deserves two separate parts just to talk about all the twill patterns. The theory works itself through from the very simple one line twills to undulating twill, turned twill, herringbone twill and lots more.
This two part course starts with simple instructions on how a draft works and how it is built. My drafting theory is based on the drawdown, the designing section of a weaving draft. From there we work out the threading, treadling and tie-up. This way it shows how a draft is created and how you can design your own draft. And you are not limited to shafts or treadles.
Every twill pattern is described to its potential and what it is best used for. After each chapter there is an exercise for you to work through to get your own experience in designing the specific twill. Solutions for the exercises are given in an extra file. Each twill description also includes many examples for your own study. All exercises are added in a separate file in a printable version for your convenience.
For more information go to www.bbyarn.com or simply click on the link below Drafting
Have you ever felt like breaking out of the same old colour scheme you have been using? But you don't feel confident enough? Would you like to learn more about colours and how they behave?
Well this two part colour theory course will certainly change your mind and hopefully give you the ability and security to leap out and use more colours in your work.
This course is based on Johannes Itten's colour theory and the 7 contrasts. The course is ideal for textile designers and each contrast has special notes on how the theory can be used in weaving. It is eye opening for what a slight difference in a colour can do. What things to avoid and where the harmonious colours hide. What is the trick to make sure the fabric ends up to be balanced in colour?
The course uses water based paints for easier and faster experimentation with colours. Each contrast is explained with lots of examples and has various exercises to complete and work on.
Work yourself through this course and receive colour confidence!
Learn the laws of colour for
- new knowledge in your textile work
- being able to remix colours from a sample
- able to distinguish differences in colour
- most important get confidence in new colour combinations
For more information go to www.bbyarn.com or simply click on the link below Colour theory
Looking forward to hear what you think about these new learning modules. Are they helpful and would you like to know more?
To finish this off I leave you with a picture of my dog. Poor Lucky had to undergo surgery on her tail late January. She had a lump on her tail which started to grow inwards and we were worried it could eventually effect her use of the tail. So we had the lump taken out. But look what they did to her tail! She looks so silly. But the wound is healing very well and thank goodness the hair already starts to grow back. The lump came out to be benign, which we were very relieved about.
Happy weaving and thanks for reading
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful festive season with family and friends, lots of laughter and beautiful sunshine in your hearts. My husband and I took two weeks off over Christmas and New Years and used the time to do some work around the house. There is still so much we need to do, small jobs everywhere and with all the rain the weeds started to grow like crazy. But of course there was also time to go out and visit friends and neighbours. Overall a very nice change from all the office/computer work and weaving. I am back now with new enthusiasm and energy.
In this blog post I would like to talk about the tencel yarn. BB Yarn Supply has the Tencel 10/2 and 20/2 on stock. Both are available in their natural white colour, ready to be dyed or simply used in white. They come in 100g spools and have the reasonable price of $17.90
What is Tencel? Well, the name Tencel is really a brand name. The real yarn content is lyocell. Lyocell is basically a kind of wood pulp which is 100% cellulose fibre, like cotton or linen. The wood pulp is then chemically processed to create the yarn. A similar process like a rayon fibre. The only difference is that Tencel is a registered trademark and might be slightly different than a rayon or viscose yarn. I find the Tencel yarn quite special, it is a bliss to work with. It is what I call a slippery yarn. The reason why I say this is that the yarn has a very smooth surface and has absolutely no fluff. But it still feels soft and luxurious to touch. Tencel yarn has an absolutely gorgeous drape and feels light and cuddly on the skin. A very suitable yarn to make scarves or shawls and not having to go over your yarn budget. One of the main attributes of Tencel is how well it takes the dye. It is really easy to get a beautiful bright colour with most cellulose dyes. This yarn is therefore ideal for warp dyeing or painting. Just recently the Handwoven magazine presented (November/December issue) a project with Tencel 10/2 and dyed warp. See below.
Handwoven magazin November/December 2022, pp 54-56
The sett I would use for Tencel 10/2 is 20-30epi and for the Tencel 20/2 I recommend 28-45epi. Both yarns make beautiful products in any sort of weave structure. But I would say this yarn is probably best used for a scarf, shawl or yardage. Tencel can of course also be mixed with any other yarn, for example have the Tencel in the warp and another yarn in the weft. Here are some examples:
Leno in Tencel 10/2
Twill yardage for a sofa cover
Huck lace in Tencel 20/2 for a shirt
I hope I was able to inspire you a little bit with my Tencel ideas. Should you be interested and would like to try out the Tencel yarn, use the link below or click on any picture to get straight to the Tencel page on BB Yarns online shop.
Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. Always happy to hear from you.
To finish this off, here is a little visitor from our veranda. This fellow sits on my shoes in front of our window every night and has a feast from all the insect that get attracted by the light. Isn't he handsome?
Thanks for reading and happy weaving until next time.
In this blog I would like to introduce the new organic linen yarn NeL 16/2. Yes, I finally managed to put this new yarn online with all its glory, all colour pictures and description. Putting a new yarn into my online shop is always very time consuming. I do everything myself, which is my own choice to do so, not complaining. It really never made sense to me to have a website and not being able to service it myself. So everything on there had to be manoeuvrable by me. I had to learn how to do it and being able to change it when necessary... And I am sure it takes me three times as long as when a website designer does it. Hey I can do it... but I really don't want to bore you with all the website details.
The new organic linen NeL 16/2 is a beautiful yarn. It is of course a 100% linen yarn made out of organically certified grown flax. The yarn has an amazing shine, wrong... it glows. I love the colours there are available, bright and happy. But the best got to be the smell. Ahhh for me it smells of summer hayfields and sunshine. (Warning: Please don't smell it if you have an allergic reaction to hay). The linen yarn is a very strong yarn and can be used for many things. Actually its tensile strength is even higher when woven in humid weather. Like now. We just experienced another rain period over the last couple of days and the linen yarn loves that. When the yarn is able to suck up the humidity, it is more flexible and not as stiff. The linen yarn is not just used for weaving, there are so many applications. It can be used for stitching, tatting, embroidery and even bookbinding.
An amazing example of what the linen yarn can be used for would be this costrel made by Wayne Robinson. Wayne is reproducing all sorts of medieval and Anglo-Saxon leather works. For more information on his work go to https://leatherworkingreverend.wordpress.com/
The linen yarn can also be quite temperamental and sometimes be declared as stiff and not cooperating. I remember in my early weaving years, I beamed a linen warp very neatly on the warp beam only to discover next day, that the whole warp has unravelled itself. Well, I always keep saying, linen is special and has its own character. Treat it as such and you won't be too surprised when it does not want to behave. But what you can achieve with linen is always worth the trouble. A linen product is very unique and special with its shine and long-lasting quality.
When weaving linen and there is dry weather, it is advisable to have a water spray next to you. Spray it directly onto the warp and you will even notice how the thread pulls itself together. Once moist, it seems to be handled much better. Whenever you use water, just be careful not to spray towards the reed. Most reeds rust and cleaning them is not fun.
The new organic linen from Venne comes in cute 100g cones. Even though this linen is certified organic it has a great price of $15.90 natural and $16.90 bleached and coloured.
There is still some of the old linen 16/2 yarn from Borgs Vavgarner available. You will find this yarn in the On Sale section on the website and it is 20% off. The colours still available are Lavender, Magenta, Basil, Orange, Hickory, Shamrock and Ultramarine. Press on the photo below to get straight to the page.
It has been cold in our neck of the woods. We had the coldest ever day with a top of 11 degrees! Our wood fire heater was on all day long. A couple of days ago it was only 5 degrees in the morning, Oh my was that cold. Thank goodness for the sun, which brings some warmth back during the day. Look, I know it can get much colder than that in some parts of Australia. But not in Queensland. We are definitely not used to such cold weather up here. Anyway, the wattle and casuarina trees seem to like the colder weather and have started to flower. The gold and green from the wattle trees is spread all over our property. The casuarina tree or she oak looks a bit like an autumn coloured tree. But if you look closer it has an extended needle with some reddish pedals on it. Isn't nature just extraordinary?
That is it from me. Stay safe and be good. Looking forward to hear from you.
Time seems to fly right now. I didn't even get to write a blog post in May and meanwhile it is already past middle of June, winter solstice. I will have to catch up on writing, because I really want to manage 1 blog/month this year. That means a lot of writing is coming up for me and a lot of reading for you.
Yes, you have read correctly, there are going to be more than one seminar, to be precise there are going to be two. After my little promotion in the last blog post in April, I had an absolutely amazing response for the fabulous weekend ahead. There were so many of you who would love to be part of it. So many, that I would have had to decide who gets in and who doesn't. I couldn't help it and started looking for another solution. A discussion with my husband opened up an idea: Why don't I have two seminars in a row. Two exactly the same, same place, same workshop and same talks? This would open it up for double the amount of weavers to be able to participate. I immediately contacted the Brookfield retreat host and she said yes. The Brookfield retreat is now booked for a whole week. Seminar 1 will be held from 11.-13. October and Seminar 2 from 14.-16. October. One is more for weavers who are not working and can attend during week days. The other seminar is for long weekend lovers. Your choice. There will be one day in between the two seminars, where the cleaning crew will come in to clean and change the bed linens. I will be the only person staying there the whole week.
On offer this year is:
- Deflected Double Weave workshop, two days from 9.30am-4pm, learn how to design DDW, weave a row of samples (warp supplied) and explore colours within this weave structure
- Have a go at being your own textile photographer, learn and explore tips and tricks of photography by having a go
- Take your freshly taken photos and make them presentable for an exhibition entry or an online shop like Etsy
- Talk by Jenny Jackett on how to make up your handwoven fabrics. What to look for before cutting into it
- Being able to browse through BB Yarns extensive yarn supply and purchase what your heart desires
- Relaxed gathering with like minded people or enjoy a dip in the pool or get soaked in the spa
There are going to be a couple of changes:
- The workshop itself will be held in the newly renovated garage, made into a workshop/presentation room. The room has much better lighting and suitable flooring.
- There are only going to be 10 spots available for each seminar. Although the house could hold more, the experience from last year showed that 10 was a good number, regarding house and bedrooms available
- The 10 spots are only available for overnight participants. No more day visitors.
- Last year I prepared all the food in advance. Living 450km away from Brisbane has put a stop to this idea. Therefore the dinner for both nights will be delivered from a local restaurant.
- This year the option of arriving the evening before will be available for long distance travellers. The cost for one more night will be $50. Last year we figured out, that the traffic around this area of Brisbane in the mornings is horrendous. You will now be able to avoid this and arrive early.
If you are interested in participating in this years seminar, you better be quick. Last year the seminar was booked within 4 days. Just saying. Interested? The link below will take you to the website where you can download the registration form. It is a pdf file which can easily be filled in and sent back with payment to me via email.
Email address: email@example.com
It has now been 6 months since we have moved out into the country. Still loving it! Even though it is certainly much more work than living in the comfort of a city, we wouldn't change a thing. Every morning I get reminded of why and what for we have moved here. I usually get up every day around 5.30-6am and go for a walk with Lucky my dog along Michelles Road. Lately we have been greeted by the most wonderful sunrises. I reckon this is the most beautiful thing to wake up to. Every day it is different, sometimes red/orange, then there could be clouds, next day it has fog and the day after it is like pure gold on the horizon. I am amazed every day how different each sunrise is. Never the same. It also makes me enormous grateful to be alive and to experience such a wonderful thing every single day. Here are some impressions I was able to catch.
Happy weaving everyone
As promises this year I really try to have a blog post out every month with news from BB Yarns weaving world and what's happening up here in Horse Camp. Can you believe it is already four weeks since my last scribble?
This month I have shipping cost news: Because I had to restrict my posting days to Monday and Wednesday only, I thought I make it fair with arranging the shipping costs with an amazing deal for you.
- All orders over $150 have free shipping!
- All other orders have a straight shipping cost of $9.95.
No more adjusting to the weight of the order. All shipping costs are now very straight forward and easy to deal with. These prices are only valid for standard shipping costs. The prices for express shipping have not changed and still vary depending on the weight of your order. But be aware that even express orders will only be posted Mondays and Wednesdays. I simply can't just drive to the post office quickly to drop the parcel off asap.
The next news is that I can now reveal that there is going to be another weaving seminar this year! I have again booked the Brookfield retreat for a long weekend in October, 14. - 16. 10. This year the workshop is going to be all about "Deflected Double weave" and again we will have great talks on Friday and Saturday night. A special talk will be by Jenny Jackett showing us her tips and tricks about "Making up Handwovens". There will also be a follow up on the photography talk from last year and taking it one step further on how to make up the photo on your computer. If time permits we will even venture into how to create an Etsy shop. Next to all this there is a pool, spa and a beautiful garden to enjoy with plenty of food and I am sure there will be a glass of wine. The most common feedback I've got from last years seminar was that it was simply a great time to enjoy with other weavers, have time to weave and chat together, relax and enjoy each others company. Did I catch your interest? If so let me know via email, text or phone and I can put your name onto the list to receive the registration form first up. Last year the 12 spots available were booked within 4 days! If you really would like to be a part of this, you need to get in contact with me now.
- Ph.: 0402 973 655
- Facebook: BB Yarn Supply
- Instagram: bbyarnsupply
- Or simply write a comment on this blog post
Easter is here! Traditionally I will be dyeing eggs with onion skin on Good Friday and finally be allowed to eat chocolate on Sunday. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter celebration and maybe even find time to do some weaving over the coming days.
Happy Easter everyone and don't eat too much chocolate!