Monday, July 06, 2015


After some additional swatching, and reflection, I expect that eastern cross stitch was the stitch used in the classic "Jersey" shirts produced in the Channel Islands for seamen and fishermen.  Perhaps ECS was also used in the heavier Guernsey shirts, but it makes a glorious fabric for general outdoor wear.

Eighty years ago we could buy knit wool sport shirts! Today, they have been replaced by knit cotton and polyester.  And while I love my knit cotton rugby shirts, when cotton (and linen) are wet, the are not nearly as warm as a knit wool.  And, knit synthetics are not safe around open flames.  No, knit wool is the right fabric for working and playing away from central heat.  And, ECS is the best stitch that I know for finely knit shirt fabrics.

And eastern cross stitch produces a warmer and more weatherproof (keeps out wind and wet) fabric than modern Weldon's stockinette.  (Knit with hand held, pointy needles)  At the very least, there are many little stitches in a finely knit shirt, and Weldon's methods are a lot of effort for a few stitches.

I do not expect anyone to accept anything that I say.  I expect everyone to THINK and test everything.  Swatch, and test heat flow though the fabrics. Swatch, and stitch the swatches into garments and test how they perform.  I expect my students to be adventurous and creative.  I expect my students to never accept the current technology as the end point.  If you are EVER satisfied with the current technology (spinning, knitting, weaving) then you do not belong here.

Our current hand made textiles are not as fine or produced as quickly as the hand made textiles of times past. That proves that we do not need power equipment to work faster.  That proves that we do not need computers to work better.  We can do better than we are doing by improving our skills and refining our tools.  It is not easy, but my students are not lazy.  If you think it is too much work, you do not belong here.

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