Monday, February 22, 2016


I didn't realise how long it was since I'd posted on my blog.  Oops.

I've had quite a run of contracting work, so let's blame my lack of words on that shall we?

I do know that after Christmas the creative muse left me for an extended holiday - battered by Christmas and all that entails, and a less than optimum working environment.

After a rather peculiar end to this latest contract I felt the urge to make something.  I wasn't sure what.  I started knitting my beautiful lambswool hand spun into a jumper, but it's not quite right (so is consigned to the naughty corner for a time out).  I looked at my warp dressed loom (yes, I got one - he derseves a post of his own though) but didn't feel inspired.

The only thing that tickled my interest was having a play on my blending board.  I grabbed the first bag of scraps I came to and remembered how much fun these are

I tried taking a picture at night - how dull these look.  However, in the daylight...


I didn't know how I wanted to spin these and ended up playing around with coreless corespinning.  I've yet to find anyone else referencing doing this with rolags - please point me to anyone who does.

The resulting single seemed to my inexperienced eyes, rather rope-like and overspun.   Being coreless, it was still very soft and squishy.  I wanted a bit more give in the yarn and thought that I would like to ply it with something to help counteract the extra twist..  I grabbed a reel of thread and some machine embroidery lurex type stuff

And just quickly thread plied the single

I gave the skein a bath and snapped it a few times to encourage the twist to even up a little, then let it dry hung in the gentle heat of the airing cupboard

Finally, here's my finished skein - soft, poofy and squidgy!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Another first

My son finished his A level exams today, so went out to celebrate with his cohort this evening.  It's the first time I've seen him a little worse for drink!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


As predicted, I finished my weaving within the week, despite working over 42 hours in my day job.  I took it to the woolly day at Twyford (which I highly recommend - the second Saturday of the month - just comment if you are interested and within reach of Leicestershire - I'll get details to you!)

I was bowled over by the lovely comments and support of my fellow fibre fans.  I was encouraged to cut the work off the loom and knot a fringe - do you want to see how it looked?  If not - too late!

Sally wanted us to play with colour and texture - I think I gave it a good go.  I discovered I'm not keen on eyelash yarn or yarns with ends sticking out, but I love the effect of slubby yarns in the weave.  Plies of different colours tend to give a diagonal stripe effect as do random dyes.

Here's the weaving before it came off the loom

and here I am wearing it.  I'm going to wait until I've showed this to Sally before weaving in the ends so she can see the variety of yarns that went into it.  I've steamed it and will trim the fringe to even it up.  Is there anything else I should do?

I'm still pondering what loom.  Do I get something simple to start and then aim for something more for my big birthday next year?  Hubby asked me what I intended to do with whatever I wove, as he knows I like the things I produce to have a purpose.  I think that's a great question.  What do you use your own woven cloth for?

Maybe I need a course or a play day - suggestions for those would be great too and I'd be willing to travel for a weekend away

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


I did a tiny, decent thing the other week.  The smallest act of kindness, but something that anyone could have, would have, should have done.  The only reason I'm talking about it is because of the huge reward it precipitated - the most divinely dyed sock yarn from Verity of TrulyHooked.

She offered me the choice of any yarn in her Etsy, but I had to leave the choice to her as every yarn I looked at I thought 'yes, this is the one', only to look at the next and think 'wait, no, this one'.  The only one I rejected was a chartreuse - so not my colour.  I was thrilled to receive the above in her Antique colourway.    I think it is the shades of fading rose petals - so lovely!

Not another hobby!

I blame Sally.  And my husband.

At the Guild of Long Draw Spinners Sally ran a workshop to introduce novices to weaving  I was unashamedly the first person to sit down at one of the looms and 'have at it' -  and found I couldn't, wouldn't stop.  I didn't have a clue what I was doing, so both Sally and Maggie were very patient in their explanations to me,  The idea was to play with colour and texture, so that's what I did.  Luckily both Sally and Eileen had brought a wide variety of yarns to sample.  (By the way, I really dislike the white textured stuff in the photo - it makes the weaving look like a threadbare towel.  The ribbon yarn above it though, I love!)

My first weave since making a tiny purse at school 40 years ago! 

I did try very hard to leave the loom alone for someone else to have a go, but when I noticed that no one else had done so, I went back.  I wove all day.  Then Sally did something incredibly kind - she lent me her knitters loom for a month!  (It's not her only one I hasten to add).

I took it home, I sat in the kitchen and wove all evening.  When I was madly into papercrafts, I did lots of swaps of yarn and thread samples - I ended up with boxes of small amounts of novelty yarns all wound onto embroidery floss bobbins.  They were ideal for this.  So the weaving went on.

  The next day a friend came to visit.  I showed her the loom and she had a go.  For two hours.  Not the only one hooked then.  When she went, I must confess I took her work out so I could say that the whole thing was woven by me.  And I started again.  And did a bit more in the evening.  And the following two evenings because while I was at work all I could think about was the weaving waiting for me at home.  Oh, and how my shoulders and upper arms were a bit achey.

A riot of colour and textures

I'm not sure if this is an infatuation or the real thing. Only time will tell I suppose.  I do know that I've found myself thinking about buying my own loom and wondering what type I should get.

Sally wasn't expecting to lend her loom out, so she didn't bring all of the equipment for warping up etc.  I'm going to have woven to the end of the warp before the month week is up, so what do I do then? At least there's another woolly day on Saturday (why yes, I am a guild tart, glad you noticed) where I can get advice as to whatever I need to finish everything off, sort out the numerous ends etc. 

I am looking forward to seeing the whole thing unfurled

So, if you've been paying attention, you might be wondering why I'm blaming my husband for this sudden interest.  It's not that I'm looking for interests to take me out of the house and away from housework (never had that problem). The short answer is that he knows me too well.  When I started knitting he predicted I'd end up spinning, despite my protestations.  When I took up spinning, he told me I'd want a loom next.  Maybe I'm a good wife who doesn't want to confound his expectations?!

Monday, June 08, 2015

Thank you Facebook

I was really pleased that Facebook reminded me of the shawl I knitted for my friend today as I've never got a picture of it being worn before.  I had a beauty shot of it here, but here's Sarah modelling it - doesn't the blue look great against her hair? If you didn't know, Sarah is the creative talent behind Babylonglegs, where you can find lovely yarns and fibres that she dyes in her studio. Sadly for everyone else, she no longer stocks this yarn base, so I'm very privileged to have had the joy of knitting with it

Friday, June 05, 2015

Bounce bounce bounce

Following on from my playing with colour, I spun up the hidden depths batt so that the greens would have something neutral to pop against.

So,there's 238 yards of approx DK.  The green blue pop is at the beginning/end of my yarn and stems from what was on the bobbin before I spun up the green rolags.  I love how it looks in the skein, but I'm not sure I'll be using it at this point

What do you think?  I love the colours flickering in and out and I'm so curious about how it will knit up.  I'll have to decide what to make first though - any suggestions?