Monthly Archives: January 2015

Competition!

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This week has been momentous in various ways, the most wonderful being that the Weaving Heart Facebook page reached over 1000 likes. It isn’t that long ago when we were celebrating 100 so to see 10x that rocks my world. I never cease to be impacted by the warmth of the response to Weaving Heart and have been humbled by the support out there.
As a way of saying ‘thank you’ there will be a little competition. It’s open to everyone until 12 noon GMT 8th February and all you need to do is answer a few simple questions that can be found https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1wEvjU1IiY76z6qV6bp8MFwQwKDrJ7vdHpeHxwI3mnd4/viewform

You can win a

1st prize: handwoven baby wrap from the ‘Reflexion del Sol’ warp, measuring 3m, with hemmed selvedges, blunt hemmed ends in 80% cotton and 20% linen

2nd prize: A Weaving Heart goodie bag

3rd prize: £20 Etsy voucher for use in the Weaving Heart Etsy shop

Here is the dull part and I would rather stick pins in my eyes than read on but you may be different and that is what makes us fabulous!

Terms and conditions:

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or WordPress.

Competitions close on 8th February at 12 noon GMT.

Winners will be entrant who answers all questions correctly. In the event of multiple correct entries winner will be drawn at random from correct entries.
The winners will be notified by Facebook or email within 7 days of the competition close.
Within 14 days of notification the winners are required to email or Facebook message confirmation of their postal address(es) and acceptance of the prize(s) to Weaving Heart. In the event that the winner(s) does not provide the required confirmation within 14 days their entry will be disqualified and an alternative winner will be chosen.
As a winner, your name and location will be posted on our Facebook page once we have communicated with you to let you know you are the winner.
The prizes will be sent by recorded delivery if winner is resident in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), within 14 days of receipt of address confirmation from the winner. In the event of a winner outside of the UK an appropriate form of delivery will be arranged – Weaving Heart will cover the first £5 of international shipping, the winner will be required to pay for, any outstanding fees or charges including shipping, taxes or any other fees imposed by an outside body. Extra shipping charges to be paid to Weaving Heart via Paypal. The full value of the prize(s) will be declared on any appropriate custom forms.
Weaving Heart will not be liable for any prize(s) that do not reach the winner for reasons beyond their reasonable control.
All entrants must have a valid email address.
All entrants must be aged 16 years or over, this competition is not limited geographically and is open to entrants worldwide.
The prizes cannot be transferred and no cash alternative is available.
Winners name and county may be displayed on http://www.weavingheart.com.
Winners consent to their name and county being disclosed on the Weaving Heart website as stated above.
Only one entry permitted per household
By entering the contest, entrants agree to all additional competition rules.
The decision of the owner of Weaving Heart will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
By entering the contest, entrants agree to be bound by these terms and conditions, which are governed in accordance with the laws of Scotland.
In the event that any terms and condition(s) are deemed invalid, illegal or otherwise unenforceable, they shall be severed from these terms and the remaining clauses will remain in force.
Any automated/bulk entries and entries from third parties will be disqualified.
We reserve the right to change these competition rules without notice.
Contest entry is FREE and limited to one entry per household.
Weaving Heart will never disclose or sell any of your personal information to any third party.

 

Centred

It’s funny isn’t it? You’d think that by the grand old age of 42 I would be less influenced by outside ‘stuff’ and able to hold onto the bigger picture?
Ha! Not a chance…
My most recent offering to the baby wrap Gods (Goddesses?) did not turn out as I’d anticipated and I feel I’ve lost my weaving way a little. I’ve been dragging my handknitted sock clad feet (boy that was a mouthful) down to my weaving shed and indulging in a little self beration.

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They’re ok-ish and I’m happy with the weaving – no mistakes or flaws there but it comes back to being my own worst critic. I’m just a bit ‘meh’ about them.
Then someone leaves me a lovely review in the Etsy shop and suddenly everything is all ok again. The sun is shining, the view is beautiful and my little (hum, anyone who knows me irl would be excused from thinking this is a slight minimisation) rainbow wooly feet do a happy dance in front of the warping board.
Now I quite like the wraps, one has a weft change middle marker.

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Another has a twinkly addition of some gold thread, very subtle but who doesn’t love a little sparkle?

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The final wrap doesn’t (yet) have any additions but is simply 4.2m of silk/merino buttery softness but with a strength that’s quite reassuring

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So there we have it. Who knows how I’ll feel tomorrow but maybe if I stop the naval gazing just a bit and focus on things outside of me I may become the middle aged (in a good way) grounded person I know is in there somewhere…
Whoever you are today, enjoy it and be gentle with yourself, go on just a little bit.
PS I’ve just realised the last photo is the wrong one and due to my non techie skills and the joy of wordpress I’m not sure how to change it without messing up the format. So here you go, THIS is the merino loveliness.

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Repeat after me…’it is ok to make mistakes…It is ok to…’. Heavens Above!

Down the crochet rabbit hole…

I’m being sucked further and further into the world of crochet (aren’t I great at making it seem like it’s nothing to do with me?!?) and inadvertently started a CAL or Crochet ALong where a new part of the pattern is released each week. So far I’ve completed part one

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The next part will be published on Sunday. It’s over 20 weeks (!) see let’s see if it keeps my interest that long…

Happy Shawl

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Instead of the poncho, I used the yarn to make a shawl. It’s all finished and had its first outing to the weaving shed today.
I needed something cosy to wear to keep me warm when weaving but I hate sleeves of any kind while throwing the shuttle, they get in the way and are generally irritating.
A shawl seemed like the perfect solution but I didn’t want a really grannified one and came across this pattern on Ravelry (sorry, useless blogger moment, I can’t remember what it’s called) with a cute picot edging.
The yarn is undyed blue faced Leicester aran weight from West Yorksire Spinners and is gorgeously soft and snuggly, comfortable enough to wear against your neck.
It was a very quick make and easy to do in a powercut (!!).

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In the dark

Oh heavens, I was planning on writing a heart warming post that started as follows:

There is a quote from Louise Phillipe: ‘In the darkest dark, stars shine brightest’

Well it has been very dark in Caithness this last weekend due to an extended powercut after severe gales and ‘extreme weather’.
My Facebook feed is full of kind offers of help and support to those without electricity but for me, my stars have been my husband and our dogs.
Since moving to the Far North, we have become accustomed to regular powercuts, often lasting several hours but our lights go back on fairly quickly, certainly before the freezer gets a chance to complain anyway. This one, however has been a little challenging as it lasted the best part of 3 days for us although longer for some poor souls…

However, to be completely honest, I’m an awful wimp when it comes to any kind of discomfort and was pretty miserable while it lasted. I know that I am lucky to have access to things like unlimited clean water, a safe house and plentiful food but I. Hated. It. And didn’t feel grateful for those things at all. Bah humbug and off I stomp in a tantrum.

I’d love to be the kind of person from whose lips fall inspirational sayings and float around in a cloud of peaceful joy but it just isn’t going to happen. The fact that I managed to get out of bed at all during the power cut was a miracle beyond belief. The day was spent swinging from wanting to kill all the (most likely extremely hardworking) electricity engineers for not sorting out our supply immediately (do they not know how important I am?!?) and wanting to break down and sob on the doorstep of someone who still had power in the hope they would take pity on a random stranger and let me in to get warm.

In my dark, my star definitely did not shine brightest, in fact it went out with a fairly pathetic phut.

Thankfully the snow arrived after the power was restored, I dread to think how I would have managed if it had been the other way around. So we are surrounded by very pretty scenery like this, that kind of makes up for it. Well, a tad.

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The wisdom of sons

I’ve realised I’ve made a mistake in the proper poncho (so called as it’s made from real wool). Not just a ‘tink back a couple of rows’ mistake, but a ‘I need to start again mistake’. It requires a decision, one about whether to start again or to relinquish the whole thing to the WIPs drawer never to emerge again.
Which takes me to a story. Once upon a time, in a far far away land (ie Nottingham) I started knitting. Now as a child I was fortunate enough to have a very lovely Nanny (not the paid variety, it’s what we called our Grandma) who, along with my Mum, taught me to knit. Well tried to. I was not that interested once I discovered that it took longer than half an hour to make a jumper.
However, it left me the legacy of knowledge of the basics, that is to say, how to cast on and knit (not purl).
Years later, after a life changing visit to Skye, I picked up the needles again and the rest is history. The first thing I knit was a very ropey garter stitch scarf, with holes and the problem of how to cast off. With the help of a book and the blessed Internet I learnt more essentials and decided, with a whiff of arrogance and a touch of over confidence that my next project would be an Aran jumper.
Not just any old Aran jumper, a Rowan Aran jumper involving vast quantities of rather expensive yarn and a pattern marked ‘experienced’.
Bare in mind, prior to this I thought a cable needle was something rather painful that nurses used. I bought some needles in the right size then discovered I needed different needles for the ribbing, stitch markers, a cable needle or two plus I needed to learn how to read a knitting chart. Easy right?!?
Surely I, as an educated professional could manage this without a problem? I gainfully set off on my journey and cast on. The ribbing looked lovely and poor old hubby was required to put on his admiring face regularly.
However, by the time I was several inches in to the cabled part, it didn’t look quite right. Being my first proper project though, I decided to ignore this fact and carry on regardless; maybe once it was all sewn together and ‘blocked’ (whatever that meant), it would look alright.
Now in Nottingham there is a lovely department store with a large Rowan Yarn section and display models of some of their patterns, including, at this time, a copy of the sweater I was making. It looked like the pictures, not my slightly grubby knitting.
I returned to the pattern, re read all of the symbols and just couldn’t work out what was wrong.
One evening, I finally had a Eureka moment! I realised I’d been reading the chart from left to right. As you may well know, knitting charts, for some obscure reason (probably so the Knitting Gods can have a good chuckle at people like me) they are to be read from right to left, like Arabic.
The only thing was, I was on the last sleeve – gulp. I calmly put down my knitting and said ‘oh dear’ (actually I suspect it was slightly more colourful than that).
I didn’t know what to do. Should I just finish as I had been doing, surely no one else would be the wiser? It looked ok, just not like the pictures. No one would know. Except me.
I asked the advice of those around me (no doubt already a bit worried following my immediate reaction). My son poked his head up from his DS and said the now infamous words
‘It depends how committed you are’ and returned to his games console.
After some more choice phrases, I undid the lot and re knitted it. I’m quite proud of that now and I’m very fond of the jumper.

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Back to the poncho; to be honest, and applying that principle, I’m not that committed. Off to the cupboard it goes.

Well hello 2015

According to Ravelry, Christmas Eve is the day that most WIPs (Works in Progress in knitterspeak) are finished. I imagine a hoard of knitters, crochters and weavers frantically beavering away to get that last handmade present finished. Well, I didn’t meet that particular deadline but I have already tucked this year’s first FO (finished object) under my (knitted) belt. Meet the Ripple Blanket

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2.4m by 1.4m of snuggly acrylic (I know, I know) loveliness.

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I’m gradually adding to my collection of luridly brightly coloured accessories in the conservatory. It all started a couple of years ago when I was having a relapse with M.E. and feeling a bit low, so I decided I needed a bit of colour in my life and the crochet manmade yarn adventure began. I do love wool, you, as a loyal reader know this by now, but you can’t beat something that can be thrown into the washing machine at the drop of a hat (or cup of tea) without worry. The cheap as chips yarn is a bonus too.
For all wool purists out there (I know at least one of you!) you’ll be relieved to know that the next WIP is a poncho in Blue Face Leicester wool. Undyed. Phew.
Meanwhile on Sarah there is a purple and green warp that has turned into a Caithness inspired piece, with little wooly clouds of Jacob fleece

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Handspun ‘Caithness Stone’ weft

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