Monthly Archives: April 2016

Claigan, a beach of a wrap


I thought I’d share a little of our design process with you. We’ve just released some new wraps from a warp inspired by Claigan Coral Beach, Skye.


This is a warp woven by Mr Weaving Heart and it’s been a collaboration from start to finish.

As the main control freak  weaver and someone who likes to think they know more about our customers’ preferences, I get overall design approval. However, I get that it’s important Mr Weaving Heart has an input too – the trick is balancing how much…

So he chose the Claigan Coral Beach on Skye as the inspiration because we have spent many happy holidays there and Skye is really where the whole knitting/spinning/weaving started.


We visited Claigan in the middle of  February (as you do), with our lovely son, Adam, who was going through his dyed black hair and piercings stage (that didn’t last very long thankfully). 


With white sand (made from hundred of millions of tiny shells) and crystal clear blue water it looks straight out of somewhere very hot like the Maldives. Except it isn’t, it’s freezing, something I confirmed after I decided to go skinny dipping while Mr Weaving Heart and Adam looked on in shock. Sea swimming during winter in Scotland must be one of the most exhilarating things you can ever do!


Anyway, enough ‘flu-inducing rememnising and back to the wraps.

We chose mercerised cotton for the warp, as it has a jewel-like quality and perfect for the clear water and that kind of translucent light Skye is famous for. As for the draft, well it had to be pebble weave really didn’t it?


There are three wraps from the 10m warp; 

a 2.3m ring sling piece in gold bamboo


a 4.2m (size 5) wrap with taupe tencel weft (the pebble weave works perfectly with the tencel, adding a grippyness you don’t usually get with tencel) 


a 2.6m (size 2) blue Egyptian cotton wrap


All are now for sale here

WOOL!!! We luffs it

It’s been a while, dear reader, to be honest I’ve been recovering from the Edinburgh Yarn Festival and also having a busy time with easter visitors and the biannual weaving competition that I continue to insist upon putting myself through (definition of insanity: doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome…).

However, I have just sent off Mr Weaving Heart with the last wraps of the most recent warp and am taking a little time to just, well, go ‘phew’.

Here is a little peak of the contents of his parcels; this is ‘Bunny Hops’ and was woven in a crackle weave draft by Sally Breckenridge and can be found on handweaving.net; I love this one, it just flowed and went ‘right’.

  
  
So having waved cheery bye to it, I am having a quiet day spinning some beautiful alpaca pencil roving I found at EYF. It is very soft and the colours gently graduate from dark to very light pink to green. 

  

I have a woven blanket in mind for it after being inspired by Sara Lamb. She is the author of Spin to Weave, a book that was available at no extra cost as I have Amazon Unlimited (if you read a lot and have a kindle and are into yarny stuff I can’t recommend it enough as lots of books like this are available) and whilst I can’t see the photos in their true technicolour glory, it was a great read and made me consider planning my spinning a little better. Rather than just spinning fluff because I like it, and ending up with tons of nearly 100g skeins of never-to-be-used yarn maybe I could a) buy enough fluff for a whole project and b) spin specifically for said project. Genius! How has it taken me six years of making yarn to realise this?

  
So I have 500g of this lovely alpaca and am really enjoying the spin. I’m going for slightly thicker than my usual and will ply half (?, need to work out quantities maybe?) for warp and use some singles for weft. I think it will be gorgeous!

I also discovered a bag (only 100g, I foresee another unusable 96g skein in my future…) of Welsh mule fleece so it’s soaking away in the kitchen sink. I scour my fleece very simply and it is generally failsafe. I put it in a lingerie bag (I had no idea these existed until I started washing fleece, who on earth bothers to use one of these for it’s true purpose? Why??) and soak with a squirt of washing up liquid, in the hottest water our poor little boiler can muster, topped up with kettle water if it’s having a very bad day, then rinse before it goes cold (you don’t want the lanolin to solidify again) and repeat. Do this until you’re satisfied it’s clean enough. I like a little bit of the oil left in, otherwise it can become very flyway and static when combed. Rinse (maybe with a slosh of white vinegar), just chuck it into the washing machine and spin if you’re brave enough. It’s ok, really, it works. Then dry, usually the cat helps with this part.

  
  
OK that’s quite enough. Thanks for staying with me. I don’t know how frequently I will be blogging right now as my health is a bit crap. I’ve developed all kinds of odd symptoms and am currently being investigated for MS so we shall see how that goes. Cheery bye for now!