All posts by Ann

Black Sheep Towel Exchange!

Zoom meetings are a great way to keep in touch while we’re socially distancing, but we find ourselves missing seeing each other in person at Guild meetings, study group meetings, conferences and social gatherings.  If we can’t gather together in person, at least we can weave towels to mingle in each other’s kitchens! We invite you to join us in this towel exchange
  • Towels must be woven from cotton, linen, hemp, or any combination of these fibers.
  • Finished size is to be between 18” and 22″ inches wide, and 25” to 28″ long. Please plan ahead to address shrinkage and pull-in.
  • Please finish with a hem, either hand-sewn or machine-sewn.
  • Closer to the due date, we’ll provide you a form to fill out for each towel asking for information on you and your towels, including loom, draft, yarn info, inspiration, etc.
  • Hang onto your finished towels until the May 2021 meeting; we’ll collect them at the meeting, or if we’re unable to meet, we’ll tell you where to mail your towels
  • When you turn in your towels, we’ll be asking you to tell us your color preference: warm colors, cool colors, neutrals or potluck.  We’ll do our best to honor your preferences.
  • You’ll get three towels from three different Black Sheep weavers at the June 2021 meeting. If we’re unable to meet in person, we’ll arrange another way to get your towels to you.
  • Want to get back more than 3 towels? Go ahead and turn in more! Please make them in multiples of 3.

Please email Ann or Ange if you are interested and we will add you to our TowelTalk mailing list where we talk about all things towels and cheer each other on!

–Ann McDonough and Ange Mirer

November 19, 2020 – Laura Fry

The November Black Sheep Handweavers Guild program will feature Laura Fry as she discusses her evolution as a weaver. Laura is certified as one of Canada’s Master Weavers. She is the author of Magic in the Water and The Intentional Weaver: How to Weave Better.

Laura Fry. Orange painted warp fabric

Laura Fry has been weaving for 45 years, 44 of those as a production weaver. She shut down her business in December of 2019 and ‘retired’ from making and selling textiles as her primary focus.

She has taught, written about and researched about weaving for all of those years and continues to learn – both from her own mistakes and the journey of others who explore this fascinating craft.

A few years ago she became an adjunct teacher for the Olds College master weaving program, which eventually led her to set down as much as she could about what she knew about making textiles. This became The Intentional Weaver, her second self-published book.

For the past year she has concentrated on weaving down her yarn stash. And barely made a dent in it! But she persists.

Laura Fry. Close up of finished towel with gree, blue, and salmon as warp, black as weft in a birds eye twill.

Laura Fry. Monochromatic grey, black, taupe fabric with beautiful drape

October 15, 2020 – Daryl Lancaster

October Black Sheep Handweavers Guild program will feature Daryl Lancaster, a handweaver and fiber artist known for her award winning handwoven fabric and garments. Daryl will lecture on how to combine warps and structure for a one of a kind fabric. This will be a Powerpoint presentation. While the focus of the presentation will be on 8 shaft looms, the theory can easily applied to 4 shafts, or more than 8 shafts, if you are inclined.

The lecture will start with some basics on weaving yardage, what to weave and how to sett it. The most important part though, is finding out what you’ve got, and how to make it work for you. Learn how to know what’s on the cone, or in the skein, and see how far it will go! The focus here is on 8 shafts. With 8 shafts you can magically combine structures and different yarns and create some inspiring and truly unique fabrics. Lots of drafts and lots of examples.

Daryl Lancaster, a hand-weaver and fiber artist known for her awardwinning hand-woven fabric and garments, has been constructing garments for more than 50 years. She gives lectures and workshops to guilds, conferences, and craft centers all over the United States. The former Features Editor for Handwoven Magazine, she has written more than 100 articles and digital content, frequently contributes to various weaving and sewing publications and writes regularly for Threads Magazine. Daryl maintains a blog at www.weaversew.com/wordblog Find her at www.Daryllancaster.com.

CNCH 2020 Burlingame Grant Available!

The Black Sheep Handweavers Guild is pleased to announce that we will be providing a $250 grant to one of our members for the Conference of Northern California 2020 Burlingame Conference.

All members of Black Sheep Handweavers Guild are encouraged to apply for the grant.

  • Grant applications are due on September 30, 2019.
  • Grant recipient must be a member of good standing as of September 30, 2019 for the 2019-2020 guild year.
  • Grant recipient will be announced at the October Guild Meeting.

For more details, please review the Grant Application.

Please send your completed grant application to grant [at] blacksheepguild [dot] org by September 30, 2019.

If you have any questions about the grant, please do not hesitate to ask any of the board members or email grant [at] blacksheepguild [dot] org.

Unnamed #4

Unnamed #4 (aka Design 84)

It’s not a very inspiring name, but I fell in love with this Bertha Gray Hayes pattern. To me, it looks a little like Mickey Mouse on a slant. The ears and the asymmetry take me to a happy place.

The draft came from Weaving Designs by Bertha Gray Hayes Miniature Overshot Patterns (page 179). If you haven’t seen Bertha Gray Hayes’ overshot designs, you are in for a treat. The collection contains over 90 original designs, all drafted by hand and woven on a small Structo Loom on 4 harnesses.

I have really been enjoying myself with this draft. The draft has a repeat of 38 threads and 38 treadle sequences.  I’m glad I wound on extra warp because it took me a little bit to get the sett right (I went to 16 epi instead of 18), correct a mistake in my tie up, and then find the rhythm of the treadling sequence. Now that those are fixed, it’s been a joy to watch the fabric grow with each person’s yarn.

What you see above are the tail end of Teddie’s square (teal) and Ruth’s square (cinnamon) building.

As for Ruth’s question, my yarn is a handspun Blue Faced Leicester single that I dyed teal.

Introduction to Katazome Workshop

We are pleased to announce a workshop with Karen Miller on the art of Japanese Stencil Dyeing.

Dates: July 14-15, 2012
Time: 9AM – 5PM both days
Cost: approx. $175 + 35 materials fee / student (depends on number of students)
Location: Amazing Yarns, 2559 Woodland Place, Redwood City, CA

Japanese fabrics have been made for centuries using intricate paper stencils and a resist paste made of rice flour.  Authentic Japanese fabrics using this technique are very expensive and almost unobtainable in this country. You will learn how to make these lovely fabrics yourselves, dyeing them with indigo and/or colored dyes. On the first day we will carve two stencils from Japanese paper, and apply silk mesh to strengthen them.  While the stencil is drying we will make the resist paste.  We will use some of my stencils to apply paste to fabric so it will have time to dry overnight. The second day we will learn how to use a variety of traditional pigments, to produce multicolored images on silk or linen. Students will use their own stencils to paste silk scarves to dye and take home.

Please contact Ann McDonough for more information or to sign up for the workshop.

A $100 deposit is required to hold your place in the workshop.