Happy New Year!
Now that the awful 2020 is gone, I wish you all a prosperous 2021. May this year be better than the last, in every possible way.
I am totally aware that a new year isn't exactly a new beginning. It is basically just another day. A butterfly doesn't know that it is New Years day. It keeps flying looking for a mate if it is New Years eve or New Years day. Just because it is a new year, doesn't mean we are going to have a covid-19 vaccine and the world will turn back to normal. Unfortunately not. Patience is needed and life as it is now, will stay that way for a while to come. Some call it the new normal. But even then, what is a new normal? Can we go back to the normal we used to have? Do we want to?
Over the festive season my husband and I got in contact with our relatives from overseas, as we usually do. But this time it was different. One could hear the sadness in their voices, the despair, the helplessness and the longing for this crisis to be over. One relative even compared the situation over there as living through a war. One friend lost his job, he is a pilot with all his heart and is now driving a bus in a city. All this was heartbreaking for us to hear. And then comes the realization how good we have it here. Especially here in Queensland! We are so so grateful for living far away from the rest of the world and not being affected by this pandemic as much as anywhere else. I hope it stays that way (touch wood).
You probably wonder why I'm writing all this. Well in one way this blog is an outlet for me, for my thoughts and feelings to let go. Nothing to do with weaving really. On the other side, I can show you how I cope with the situation and therefore maybe help you. You might feel the same way and sharing feelings always seems to make things better. Or maybe just by reading this you will feel better, realising that we all go through the same process.
Here is what I do: I go for a walk every morning and afternoon. No matter what, sunshine or rain, I walk. This helps me clear my head, sorting thoughts in my mind and tanking up on sunshine, vitamin D. Back home I usually fill my day with work, which of course helps me not to think as much about the current situation. The best work is always weaving and if you have the chance to do some, I think it is the best relaxation method ever. Seeing the fabric grow, using different colours to make you happy and the fact you are producing something useful is priceless. Yes, this makes me happy and what else is there better in this current pandemic than doing what makes you happy?
I looked at my yarns from BB Yarn Supply and let my imagination go wild. There is a suitable project for every yarn in my shop. Of course there are many more projects you could do with these yarns, the list below are just some of my ideas. Yes, I do have more, many more ideas. But I restricted it to one project/yarn. See list below:
- Tussah silk yarn = Double weave scarf with 4 shafts, 16epi/layer
- Organic cottoline = Colourful T-towels, 20epi
- Linen yarn 16/2 = Huck lace placemats, 20epi
- Bambu 7 = Scarf in crackle weave, 16epi
- Pearl cotton 10/2 = Apron fabric in twill, 28epi
- Rug warp yarn = Rag rug made out of old clothes or bed linen, 5epi
Can I also remind you, that some old colours from the tussah silk range and pearl cotton 10/2 are still 20% off. Not many colours left, but still this is a really good offer. In Tussah silk there is only one colour left, the navy blue. It is one of my favorites and I can't really understand why this hasn't been sold yet. Don't you like it? Maybe it is a sign for me to make something with it myself.... or did I just make you feel tempted to go and have a look. I'll give it another 2 weeks, then navy tussah will be mine. ;-)
I hope I was able to make you feel inspired and maybe grab some of the yarns and rush to the loom to weave. I sincerely hope so and I am pretty sure this will make you happy.
Now to something a bit more private: Last year has been filled with all the worry about the virus, but for us, my husband and I, it has also been an extraordinary busy time. Next to work, business and household, we have decided to build a house. When we started this, the virus didn't even exist. But in hindsight it turned out to be the perfect time to build during lockdown and restrictions. You see, we are owner builders, meaning we are building the house ourselves. It is a lot of hard work, but amazingly rewarding. But this is another story to tell one day. The new house is 400km from Brisbane, so we couldn't just stay there and build for months. We had to take the time, a week here and two weeks there to make it work. Therefore the house is nowhere near finished. While I am away building, orders have to wait until I am back in the office. Some of you, dear customers, might have already experienced this issue last year. It will probably be mostly the same this year. I will do my utterly best to get your orders to you as quick as possible and I thank you already for your patience.
This turned out to be a rather long blog. I hope you enjoy it and thank you for reading. Looking forward to hear from you soon.
I wish you all a very peaceful and safe festive season. May Santa Claus bring you lots of creative goodies this year to cheer you up after this crazy year.
BB Yarn Supply will be closed from the 19th of December to the 3rd of January.
Online orders can still be placed but will only be processed on the 3rd of January.
Thank you for supporting my business, every order received is valued and I am looking forward to another great year with you.
Can you believe it? Christmas is only four weeks away. And then after Christmas, this year will shortly come to an end. What an year it has been. It is safe to say that this has been a dreadful but extraordinary year. An year we won't forget and hopefully won't ever happen again. If you reading this, then you are safe and healthy like me and very grateful for that.
If anything learnt from this year it is that we should live life at its best. Do not think, yes, I will do that in a couple of years or when I retire. No, from now on we should all enjoy everything we have to live for and what we have or can (allowed to) have. Get yourself something that brings a smile to your face. Like this luxury gadget you have always wanted but thought the money should go on travel expenses. Well no more travelling at the moment so therefore you can now support the artists and buy the beautiful piece of clothing or jewelry you always wanted.
The situation we live in at the moment needs and relies heavily on everything Australian Made. (Which is a good thing that came out of this virus.) Here is where my offer comes into place. This year I sell all my finished handwoven articles for a very special price ready for Christmas and with free shipping. There might be a piece you like and would love for yourself. But I am sure there are also pieces for someone in your family or friends who love a handmade article to treasure for Christmas. There are placemats, shawls, scarves, bags, hand towels, mats and even a sarong for the summer beach. All these pieces are handwoven, handmade with love and very unique. There is only one of each and nobody else in the whole wide world will have the exact same article. Isn't that a treasure?
All these handwoven pieces were made as a single piece and not meant to be woven ever again. Sometimes the warp was longer than expected and I was able to change and weave something different. Or it was meant to just be a single piece to try out a new pattern. Or it was made for an exhibition and didn't sell. All pieces are perfectly produced by me and should last a lifetime for you.
These handwoven products are available on my website. Once sold, they will disappear. Go to www.bbyarn.com click on collections and then Handwoven articles and you will see the "treasures". Here is the link: https://www.bbyarn.com/collections/handwoven-articles
Or you can buy the same pieces through my Etsy shop. Go to www.etsy.com and search for HandwovenbyBB (one word).
All pieces are offered with free shipping! And should arrive at your doorstep before Christmas.
Please support Aussie made this Christmas and buy one of my beautiful pieces. Thank you!
Stay safe and happy weaving
I can't believe Halloween is nearly upon us and Christmas not that far away too. Unbelievable. The festive season this year will definitely not be as usual. I am pretty sure it has something to do with the hovering pandemic which just does not want to go away. Maybe the fact that we are not suppose to gather and have a happy Christmas party. And what about the warm hugs? Oh how I miss a good hug!
Instead of thinking of what we miss and cannot have, we should look at what we have. So this is the moment when I am going to tell you that there are 7 new fantastic pearl cotton 10/2 colours. Yes!
I base my business on yarns with a certain colour range. I like bright and happy colours and all my yarn ranges do reflect this. My idea always was that I have a certain colour range in stock, so that you, the customer, can always order and re-order the exact same colour again and again. That is also the reason why I offer a free sample card for all my yarns. Unfortunately my idea does not comply with the companies who dye the yarns. Sometimes the colour range changes without notice and there is no other way for me as to adapt. Alas.
Well the company who makes the pearl cotton in the USA has changed directions in their production and reduced/changed the UKI pearl cotton colour range. Unfortunately some of the discontinued colours are in BB Yarns 40 colour assortment of pearl cotton 10/2. There are 7 discontinued colours in the range. I tried to replace them with similar looking colours, hopefully adding another touch of happiness to it.
The discontinued colours are Crab col.#163, Willow green col.#138, Mountain col.#137, Nassau col.#157, Red hot col.#172, Daffodil col.#144 and Oak col.#116. These colours will be available as stock last for 20% off. Therefore a 100g spool will only cost you $13.50. Go to www.bbyarn.com and look for the pearl cotton 10/2 20% off product or simply click on one of the colours below.
Happy days because the new colours are Natural, Avocado, Mint, Teal, Royal blue, Red and Light yellow.
I can imagine you all look for the pearl cotton sample card at home right now and check out the colours. Which one stays, which one goes.... Many of these discontinued colours were favorites and I can't understand why they have been taken from the range. But that's how it is. And don't worry about the sample card. A new card will soon be available to order from the website. Just go to www.bbyarn.com go to products and click on sample cards. Or you can simply send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your mail address mentioning the new cards. All sample cards are for free and sent out immediately.
I thought while I am having to change the pearl cotton range I might finally change the numbers to the proper UKI pearl cotton numbers. They are totally different numbers than before. But these numbers are well known throughout the weaving world and can be found in all the weaving magazines, especially the Handwoven magazine. Most weaving kits with pearl cotton do also use the UKI pearl cotton numbers. This way it will be much easier for you to follow the instructions from the kit or magazines, as the numbers match perfectly. I will of course leave the old pearl cotton numbers on the website and you will find these in brackets after the new UKI number.
Pearl cotton 10/2 is one of the most versatile yarns in weaving. There are so many creations you can make with this yarn. It ranges from t-towels to apron, table cloths, fabric to wear, curtains... I could go on and on. Yes, I admit, it is probably my most used yarn in weaving.
With having seven beautiful colours with 20% off wouldn't this be the best way to give someone the perfect Christmas present? You can either weave something and give it as a gift or you could also consider some spools to be the perfect gift for another happy weaver. Maybe your mum is a weaver and would be happy to weave something with these colours for you? Can I make you feel tempted? Go to www.bbyarn.com
The sett for the pearl cotton 10/2 I normally use is 24epi for plain weave and 28-30epi for twill. But as usual it really depends what you intend to make, so don't stick to these suggestions. Make it the best for your own creations.
I hope you stay safe and I'm already looking forward to write about something else exciting next month.
Happy weaving everyone
- Wind your own yarn on it and re-use the spool yourself
- Send the empty spool back to BB Yarns for re-use
- Recycle the spools in your household recycle bin
To encourage the recycle process I would like to offer for every 10 spools to be returned back to BB Yarns a free 100g spool of pearl cotton 10/2 or bambu7 colour of your choice. The spools of course would have to be in good condition for re-use. So if you have 10 empty spools at home, think before you throw them into the recycling bin. Send the 10 spools to BB Yarn Supplies address with your choice of colour in pearl cotton or bambu7. You will find the address on our website www.bbyarn.com
While winding the yarns I sometimes feel a knot slip through my fingers. These knots are unfortunately unavoidable and come from where the yarn was produced. Some type of yarns have more knots than others. Bambu7 is one of the yarns which can have a knot or two in it. But I would like to assure you, when I wind these yarns off and feel a knot, I always add a minimum of 2g of yarn more onto the spool. This is courtesy of BB Yarns to make sure you can work around these knots. This way you will be able to cut the knot out and won't loose any yarn from the 100g you have ordered and paid for. My promise to you, dear customer, is for every knot I feel I automatically add 2g of yarn more to the spool.
To use this opportunity I would also like to inform you that most of BB's yarns are also available in small 8-10g spools. These little spools can be very handy when you like to try out a different colour or use it as a supplementary colour to your weaving. But these spools are also very handy for stitchers or bookmakers. BB Yarns also offers these small spools in colourful boxes with 18 spools in it.
This is it from me this month. I hope this was informative, not too boring and you enjoyed the read. Let me know if I missed something. If you would like to add any comment on this topic, please do so.
Stay safe everyone and happy weaving
This month in my blog post I would like to introduce a new product to my shop: The thread counter
Those of you who have been to my workshops/classes or talked to me on the phone, know that I only sell accessories for weaving which are extremely helpful and make life in weaving just this little bit more efficient and easier. The thread holder is one of these gadgets which I have sold all over Australia and New Zealand to many happy weavers. To have a look at the thread holder click on the image below.
The needles with ball-point is another article which is just this extra help when it comes to fixing your fabric after weaving. These needles come in three sizes and fit to all of your beautiful handwoven work, fine or coarse. Once you have used these needles, you don't want to ever give them away again. These needles are also very handy for fringing or knotting edges. Click on the image below to get more information.
But now to the thread counter: This gadget is mainly used for counting your picks while weaving. It is extremely difficult to count the picks accurately with a measuring tape and a magnifying glass next to it. Most likely you will loose count at least once. That is exactly where the thread counter comes into place. All you have to do is put the counter on your fabric, look through the glass and count from one end to the other. Each thread counter has marks in metric or imperial. All you really have to do is hold the glass still and count. It is that simple.
Do you wonder why it is so important to count the picks while weaving? I believe to have a stable beat in weaving is one of the most hardest skills to learn. You might start the day weaving with an easy steady beat, but through the day the beat might get harder and harder without noticing. I had a student once who made a scarf. We calculated the weft material and only had the exact amount available. But middle through weaving the scarf she ran out of yarn. Why? Because her beat got harder and harder. She started with the right picks/inch, but through the day it seemed she pushed it ever so a little bit tighter. I then gave her a thread counter to use and it never happened again. Her finished scarf was very one sided, one side quite heavy and the other light and fluffy. A lasting example to keep. So therefore counting your picks is very important. What if you want to weave a product with the same amount of threads in warp as in weft, called balanced? How are you going to make sure you are keeping the beat balanced all the way through? Can only be done by counting. Why not make it easier with a thread counter!
Another great way to use the thread counter is for analysing a fabric. Have you ever come across a fabric and you desperately wanted to know how it is made? With the thread counter you can easily identify each thread and figure out the weaving pattern by yourself. A thread counter is a "must have" if you consider analysing fabrics.
I have two different thread counters in stock for you. One has built in led lights which you can turn on when using. This is my favorite and I use it all the time, every day. This thread counter even comes with a case and it sits in the tray next to my loom.
The second thread counter is foldable and fits in any pocket. This gadget is very handy to take anywhere, fabric store, weaving meetings or even a museum.
Here are the specs for both thread counters:
Thread counter with led light and case (batteries included)
- Metric & imperial scale measurements
- High quality die cast metal construction
- Glass lens with superior optics
- 10x magnification
- 3 LED's for illumination
- Protective zip up storage case supplied
- Dimensions: height 5cm, width 5.5cm, length 18cm
- 8x magnification
- Biconvex glass lens (silicate glass)
- Lens diameter: 20mm
- Open window/foot: 20x20mm
- mm / inch scale: 20mm
- Dimensions: height 4.3cm, width 3.4cm, length 3.7cm
- Weight: 28 grams
All I say is that I could not be the weaver I am today without a thread counter, thread holder or even the needles. Try it out yourself and you will be surprised.
To order some of these accessories go to www.bbyarn.com
That is all from me this month.
Stay safe and happy weaving
Sometimes things change and all we can do is try to adapt.
While we all try to adapt to the "new" world where social distancing and repeated hand washing are going to be a constant, other things start to change. My yarn supplier seems to think it is funny to suddenly change the colour range of their yarns. I know, I know, they don't do it for fun. There are many different reasons for these changes, for example unpopular colours, difficulty dyeing the colour or simply cutting back on the range of colour. Well this is what happened to the tussah silk yarn Nm 20/2. Five colours of my now long lasting tussah colour range suddenly were no longer available. But the good thing is, there are five new colours here!
The colour which are going to disappear are:
Lilac col.# 2577
Raspberry col.# 2534
Mandarin col.# 2536
Navy col.# 2571
Carob col.# 2551
Some of these colours were quite popular and it's sad to see them go. But because I need room in the cupboard for the new colours, I have decided to take 20% off the regular price for these five colours. It is a bargain and if you are interested, you will have to be fast to grab a bobbin for this price. The regular price for a bobbin of 100g of tussah silk is $40.90. The run-out colours will go for $33! Be quick. You will find the 20% off colours separated from the normal silk range and it is called Tussah silk yarn Nm 20/2, 20% off Or simply go to www.bbyarn.com
The quality of this tussah silk is still amazing, old colour or new, it's the most luscious fibre of them all. Tussah silk is a wild grown silk in its natural environment, not controlled and not indoors. That is why it often has a more natural look to it. The natural colour tussah silk is never as white as controlled grown silk because this silk is exposed to the weather until it is harvested. When it is dyed the colours never tend to be as lustrous as controlled grown silk, it keeps that natural look to it. This is the specialty of tussah silk and that is why we like it.
It is quite easy to weave with the tussah silk and it tends not to be too slippery because of its more courser touch. I usually have a sett of 16epi for a plain weave scarf, but depending on what pattern, it can be up to 20epi. My scarves are mostly woven balanced, meaning it has the same ppi as epi. The picture below is a scarf with tussah silk Nm 20/2 in warp and weft in an Echo threading and 4 colours in the warp. The warp colours are deep navy col.# 2547, purple col.# 2543, snow peas col.# 2574 and hot plum col.# 2532. The weft colour is teal col.# 2545.
Interested in the new colours? Go and have a look at the regular tussah silk range. The new colours are called Cerise, Chestnut, Deep navy, Hot Plum and Poinsettia. Press on one of the new colour names and it will take you straight to the tussah silk range.
Should you have any questions about the tussah silk range, new colours, old colours or simply need some more information about the yarn itself, don't hesitate to send me an email on email@example.com
Looking forward to hear from you.
Dear Weavers and lovers of a handwoven product
How does the Abba song go.... "I have a dream...a song to sing" Well I actually do have a dream and maybe even a song to sing. My dream has been brewing for a long time. This idea (ideas) has been in my head for as long as I can weave. Eventually over the last couple of years I collected all the courage I had and started working on it. My thoughts were that if I don't do this now, I will regret it one day. Even if it doesn't turn out the way I want it, I have at least tried. Courage, courage...
So here I am: I am launching my own designer line, my brand of handwoven products called Glui7. This designer line includes all my functional handwoven articles produced on a production level. I call it "Glui7 Uniquely Handwoven".
It is a collection of articles 100% handmade, unique and produced with love. Each article is made by my hands, the fabric woven on my looms and finished in my own studio in Brisbane. All articles are produced with the highest quality and only available in limited editions. Every product is made out of natural fibres and tested for durability and functionality. That is
My first product available for sale is the messenger bag made out of handwoven cotton fabric. This is a very modern and functional messenger bag. The bag features are:
- Colour stripes on flap with matching coloured straps and lining
- Cable for power bank with USB connection from inside of bag to outside
- Exchangeable flap and straps
- Foam padded for extra strength and form
- Magnetic closures
- 7 inside pockets including zipper pocket for valuables
- And lots more
For more information go to www.glui7.com
So here we are, I've done it!
This is only the first article of hopefully many to come. My head is still full of ideas and I can't wait to put them all together to show you. I am truly delighted to produce these handwoven products for you. I want everyone to see, that real handmade products are still here and "the throw away society" can be avoided. Handweaving is one of the oldest craftsmanship and it is still alive. At the end of the day it is also an art form. With my products you will be using and wearing a piece of art with you every day!
Please visit my new website www.glui7.com and send me your comments. I would love to hear what you think. And of course the Glui7 messenger bag is ready and can be bought straight from the website or give me a call on 0402 973 655.
Please stay safe and happy weaving everyone
I hope this blog finds you safe and well within your comfortable home. What extraordinary times we live in at the moment with this covid-19 pandemic. Who would have thought at the beginning of this year, that we all suddenly have so much time on our hands? Luckily for us Australians, we escaped the worse and never had to encounter a total lock down. I feel for the people in Europe, especially Italy and Spain which have been locked into their houses or mainly apartments for now over 7 weeks! If you are a weaver over there, I guess there is no escaping, you will have to weave all day.... I also feel for the people in the USA which are doing it so tough at the moment. Please stay safe!
How am I coping with this isolation? Well, I have to say, for me not much has changed. I am a typical introvert and therefore not so much confronted with being alone. And I also work from home. So life has not really changed much for me. It only gets different, when I get out of the house. I am also in the not so risky age group for this virus. I therefore volunteered to do the shopping for my elderly neighbours, which is an experience by itself. To find specific items on a shopping list from someone else can really open up your eyes to new things! I did not know there are so many sorts of soy sauces available....
But I also know that with all this going on around us and we sitting in isolation, can have some strange effects on a human being. Things can be turning in our heads. Scary thoughts won't leave us and news have to be checked a million times a day to be sure one doesn't miss a thing. And news are always negative. I try to keep remind myself about the positive side of this pandemic. So here are my positive things:
- I can finally work on things I left in a box and forgotten about ....
- I can catch up on forgotten chores inside the house like clean the pantry or windows, hurrah
- I can still go for a walk with my dog every day
- I have a supporting and loving husband
- Keep in contact with family and friends with smart phone
- I can order everything online if I need to, thanks for the internet
- I can weave and have plenty of yarn to do so (my yarn stash will last for years of isolation if needed)
- I have a garden which is full of weeds and needs work, hurrah
- I have lots of work to do with my yarn business and weaving correspondence course
And here we are at the topic, the weaving correspondence course.
I know that by now with several weeks of isolation behind us, we now have completed all these leftover chores, have a weed free garden, are sick of the walkways in the area, chatted with too many people online and are now looking for something else to do. Well I have something else for you. How about learning to weave in a professional way? This is not just a course where you learn to weave and that's it. This course gives you much more. You will learn how to draw your own draft, there is colour theory for weavers, you get to know all the yarn fibres and their attributes and much more. You will also complete real woven products and not just samples. Within the course you weave t-towels, runners, aprons, bath mats, table mats, scarves and much more. All designed and woven by you.
The course has three levels, beginners, intermediate and advanced. The first level has 4 weaving projects, the second level has 9 and the third level has 18 weaving projects to complete. So much weaving! The course is put together into modules (so called packages) which are full packed with studies and exercises to work through. Once finished with the package, the assignments have to be sent back for review and to apply for the next package. Each level of the course has 18 packages. There is lots of information packed into each one of these packages. Some packages even include a DVD with small videos on it with instructions for a specific technique or example.
This course is not just an easy way to learn to weave, it really is very comprehensive. The information you achieve through this course gives you the professional knowledge of the weaving craftsmanship. Some participants mentioned to me, that they feel like studying an university course.
I have started writing all this down over the last couple of years, because while giving workshops over weekends or with continuous groups, I have been asked so many times, if what I teach could be done over correspondence. This was asked by people who work full time and only sometimes have time for their hobby in the evenings or weekends. It was also asked by people who live remote and aren't able to attend any workshops anywhere. So one day I finally sat down and started typing. And here I am now. At the moment we have about 50 participants all over Australia and New Zealand. These participants are all at different stages of the course and happily working on the course whenever they can. The course is made so that there is no time limit and each package can be worked through in their own pace.
The course is for any weaver at any stage. There are some pretty advanced weavers doing this course and they all tell me, that they pick up new and handy things by reading and working through the packages every time. The course can also be there for new inspiration. Sometimes a weaver can get stuck and feel like doing the same thing over and over again. This course can make you think outside the square and open eyes for new designs and ideas.
I have been working and writing on this course now for a while. I write whenever I have time to do so. It can be quite time consuming to put all this information together. Sometimes I start writing and soon realise that the topic is much larger than I thought it would be. Therefore ending up with pages and more pages. Most of the time I also weave the weaving projects to be sure they turn out the way they have to. At the moment I'm also working on putting some extra courses together like colour theory, drafting or weaving projects only. These would be courses where you can work on weaving projects only and won't be bothered by any theory. Or you may only be interested in colour theory or would like to learn how to draw your own draft only.
There is still heaps to be done. But I thought I introduce the weaving correspondence course here in this blog. Because right now would really be the perfect time to start something like that. Plenty of time and weaving is really relaxing and rewarding. In this uncertain time, you would have a very certain occupation to look forward to. And at the same time you can further your knowledge, learn something new.
Should you be interested, please don't hesitate to send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on this blog. You can read more about the course on the website www.bbyarn.com The enrollment form can also be downloaded from the website.
Should there be a participant from the course reading this blog, I would very much appreciate a comment!
Please everybody, stay safe, keep weaving and think positive