Monthly Archives: September 2015

Quick knit

  
As the ‘Wild Apple’ cardigan is taking oh sooo long to knit, I felt the need to whip up a hat. You know, just to remind myself that it is possible to actually finish something.

Also Mr Weaving Heart hasn’t had a new hat for a while and winter is coming, to coin a phrase.

So I dug out some Falkland top, hand dyed by  Manda Crafts, that has been floating about in my stash for a wee while. 

  
It spun up very easily over a couple of evenings using the lowest ratio on the Matchless; a little bit of a challenge, as I’m so used to spinning laceweight (the spinner’s conundrum – you spend so long trying to achieve really really fine yarn only to then yearn for the days when you were able to make thicker and infinitely more useable yarn).

  
The colours work really well together and are suitably manly (!) so perfect for a hubby hat.

A simple pattern was called for as any fancy pants stuff would be lost in the colours so I simply cast on 80 stitches using 5mm dpns, knit in 2 x 2 ribbing until I got really fed up (it doesn’t take that much where ribbing is concerns to be honest), then switched to knitting in the round for 7 1/2 inches. Finally I reduced the stitches every other row until there were 10 left (that was most probably an error, I think it should have worked out at 8, but hey, who’s counting?), cut off the remaining yarn and drew the tail through them. Hey presto, from fibre to finished object in three days.

  
See, you can manage to finish things sometimes.

Face palm

It’s been one of those days. You know the kind where you contemplate handing in your notice. Oh, I already did that nearly a year ago.

Well, although I don’t have the kind of bad days at work like I used to – I mean in fairness, I could just take the day off really – today has been in the top five of bad days since leaving my ‘proper job’.

I can’t even share the photos either as it’s that time of year again, that is to say, competition time. Some of you may remember or may already be aware of the torture that is the biannual baby wrap weaving Facebook competition that I insist upon exposing myself to. I’d rather walk down the street naked. Except for the fact that it’s really really good exposure and for a business that relies solely upon social media, it’s fairly essential to participate in it.

So to break up my self pity, here’s a photo of some lovely lovely weaving by Mr Weaving Heart. He has been learning to weave and this week attempted his very first wrap, and what a great job he has done too.

  
Isn’t it pretty?

Ok, back to my misery. I started planning this entry a few weeks ago; the deadline is the end of September so I figured that would allow me plenty of time. I really can’t say anything about it at all other than I had it all beamed, threaded and tied on and wove a sample only to discover (thank the universe I sampled) I had mis threaded it, but not by a couple of ends, no, not that simple, only ALL THE WAY ACROSS.

After a few deep breaths, I reached into my soul, found my adult and started again. I felt rather grown up and proud of myself for not having a paddy until I came to sley the reed. 

All the threads had worked their way out of the heddles. ALL OF THEM.

This happened because I did something really bad in a past life I hadn’t allowed a long enough warp section for threading after cutting off the sample, so the sneaky little ends had popped back out of the heddle eyes when I hadn’t been looking. Naughty blighters.

I was beyond angry now. Just kind of quiet and sad, you know the dancing on the edge of hysteria kind of sad. Again I rethreaded them, until after about a quarter of the way through, I realised something wasn’t right. You know the score, I won’t go into any more detail.

By now I saw myself like Sisyphus, that I was doomed to spend my days threading heddles. No longer a weaver, just a threader.

I’d like to finish on a happy ending but so far I’m still threading…

  

Everlasting Constant

While I’m very fortunate to love my work, every now and then, a particularly rewarding project comes along.

  
Just finished and on it’s way to the owner is a custom for someone I’ve worked with before. My brief was to weave a wrap inspired by her memories of the Northumbrian Coast and she gave me some visual clues in the form of a couple of pictures by Gerhard Richter and Jolomo, a Scottish artist.

There were long discussions about weave structure and suitable yarns; we settled on an advancing networked twill thats resembles waves and she was brave enough to allow me to spin the weft from a glorious blend I came across, of merino, silk, milk, faux cashmere and firestar. It’s lovely to spin; soft but not pernickety with a bounce and pretty sparkle.

  
The warp and weft were hand dyed in blues, greens, white and yellow so the whole process was fairly labour intensive but huge fun. Neither of us (least of all me) had much of an idea whether it would work and my customer was taking a huge risk and I felt humbled the faith she had in me.

  
I didn’t have much of an idea how much weft yarn to spin, having not even sampled it (yep, I like to fly by the seat of my pants…) and was a bit anxious as if I ran out, not only would it delay the weaving but there was little chance I would be able to replicate the same shades as the previous dye colours.

  
Fortunately, it all worked out in the end. Phew! I was very pleased with the results, the effect was how I had hoped, the fabric is so incredibly soft and snuggly and it will be one of my more memorable projects; not least because the customer came for last weekend’s retreat and had a go at weaving some of it herself.

  

The Retreat

Gah!! There’s nothing worse for a blogger than writing a post, thinking you’ve saved it and then returning later to tweak it before publishing, only to discover, you didn’t actually save it.

So, I had created the best blog ever, of course, telling you all the ins and outs of the very first Weaving Heart Retreat that was held over last weekend. However, it has vanished in the ether, never to be seen again and I can’t for the life of me remember what I had written, even slightly.

OK deep breaths and I will attempt to go again.

So three very brave women travelled a rather long way to join us here for a weekend of spinning, dyeing and weaving, with a little crochet thrown in for good measure.

They brought with them some children (very sweet), one husband (bemused), a tent (slightly foolish), and lots of cake (utterly delicious) as well as their friendly humour, good spirits and unending creativity. We has a fabulous time.


There we have the Retreaters beautifully modelling various pieces of weaving.


That was the warp dyeing, look at the glorious bundle of colour they made.

  
One of the most popular activities was drop spindling and everyone managed to make a mini skein which was most impressive, particularly for first timers.

  

And a little ‘big’ spinning

  
Lastly, there was an ongoing project throughout the retreat where we all got to have a go at weaving some kitchen towels. On the big loom, because I’ve been so slow it so happened that I have a custom in progress for one of the women who attended so Liz also had a chance to weave some of that which was lovely to see.

  
How Mr Weavingheart measured the success of the weekend? That we didn’t need to summon an abulance at any point.