The glass is ALWAYS half full…and my other little passion

So, today – on the 19th of August, I feel kinda exhausted. It seems to be a continual state of being these days, with one thing or another. Hannah is not sleeping brilliantly; we have some noisy neighbours who seem to think it’s ok to watch action movies with all the windows open at 2am (don’t get me wrong, “Die Hard” is one of the best films ever made…but not at 2.30am with the volume up,  In August, In a city, With the windows open)…but more on that to follow.
May those neighbours suffer something horrible really soon and stop being so f-ing noisy” is my latest middle-of-the-night prayer…

Still, all my gripes and complaints considered, I have to put myself in check and shut-up. It seems like China and Pakistan have taken the place of Haiti (remember that “Act of God”?) for undescribable suffering.  I have health, family, a roof over my head and food on the table.  And my loom (of course). And so to weaving, which has been non-stop for the past 4 months and still no end in sight to projects.

My glass is most definitely half full and I should remember that before I go off on one, (as I do frequently)

So, there are at least 3 projects not on here yet:

  • Bronagh (not really finished, but off the loom)
  • Replacement placemats and napkins (not really finished either but off the loom and I need to get my finger out and stitch them as they need to be sent to the customer!)
  • Autumn Chocolate – just warped and wound on the loom, but not yet threaded.

All of this has involved a lot of dyeing and both Bronagh and Autumn Chocolate are very woolly. Definitely autumnal overtones are in the air – despite the heat of August.
No pics of the place mats here yet.  I’m hoping to get Autumn up and running very soon – but not tonight, as we’re off to the movies – again! I love cinema (not quite as much as weaving, but I have to pack in my trips to the flicks when I can, so when family babysitters are in residence, we go out – a lot!)- tonight we’re off to The Expendibles, as I can’t stand chic-flicks but can sit through any amount of stupid action – (NOTE, so long as I am WATCHING  it, not LISTENING to it while trying to sleep). I think Matt (Mr JustWeaving), is very happy to have a wife who pre-buys tickets and books babysitters  for Bourne or Bond movies, but refuses to watch anything weepy.
I suspect this “other little passion” is not a common trait amongst fellow weavers – (I also lack a cat and a kaftan).

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The 87 bus – and Strictly-Come (baby/toddler)-Dancing

I’m probably not supposed to say this,
But it’s been an exhausting few weeks for a variety of reasons, and now I kinda feel knackered mentally and physically. I’m not sure you’re supposed to put that on a blog though!
The good news is that I’m definitely out of my rut – good news for me, bad news for housework – we’ve got dust-bunnies surfing up and down the corridor.
Commissions seem to be like 87 buses – you wait and wait, and when they do arrive you get 3 at once. Well, I don’t have 3 but 2 on at the same time is quite enough to keep me busy and a little stressed. A beautiful silk scarf, and table runner, 2 extra place mats and napkins for a set of 6 placemats I wove several years ago (that’s a bit of a mega project that has me reeling even to just think about it). All this mixed with the following (in no particular order):

  • Hannah’s “end of year School Performance” (when they told me I laughed my head off…Ten 18-24 month olds in a dance routine…that sounds more like herding cats than a dance routine, but full credit to those who will try to achieve this!)
  • Hannah falling of the swing in the park and badly grazing her elbow and bumping her head (mmm, didn’t I feel like a great mother…especially when the detol made her howl even harder…it took 3 chocolate buttons to get her to calm down, and lots more for me to calm down!)
  • Imminent visit from friends from Sweden (did I mention that I’ve neglected housework for a wee while now?! – OHHH CRAP…and this will coincide with Hannah’s dance routine extravaganza)
  • Tax declaration which needs to be done before the end of the month and I’ve still not made an appointment yet.
  • Trying to collect the invoices from the builders for suing the previous owners of the apartment for the cost of replacing all the beams in the ceiling (when reading this one, it should be accompanied by hysterical laughter)

There ya go – how about that for a couple of weeks of hypertension? For good or bad, aside from all that, I’ve coaxed Hannah into only feeding twice a day, just before bed, and once in the morning. So far, it’s going very well for all involved. Gentle efforts to cut it down to one feed were met with very dirty looks, lots of crying and bottle throwing. I don’t think either of us are quite ready to totally quit (especially when the dirty looks and bottle throwing start up), but I’d hoped to totally stop breast feeding by the end of the summer at the latest. I’m no Leche League-er and I’ve been feeling the need to reclaim other parts of my life again – the gym, cava, red wine – In lieu of too much cava (boohoo) I went running for the first time since early pregnancy (ehh…about 28 months ago!). It bloody killed me. 30 minutes running and my thighs feel like they’ve been beaten with iron bars.
I’m going again tonight.
God help me.
And while all this is going on, I’m about to start threading up a 2/60s (or 60/2s if you count that way), silk and mercerized cotton warp for the delicate scarf.
Just under 1000 ends.
May God help me with this too –
Pictures to follow. The warp is sheer, delicate lusciousness. Turquoise and teal 2/60s mercerized cotton, navy and vine purple 2/60s and 2/40s fine spun silk. Velvet ribbon. It’s oozing sensuality – the trick is to keep that feeling.

Life in Colour – there is no other way

As I work away with wool and black and white, I can feel a revolt coming on – it’s like working with linen and thinking that mohair is a good idea  – (actually, no – it’s  not like that, for that is insanity).

I love weaving, and I love colour, the two are irrevocably tied together for me and this sums up what I mean by COLOUR – What I FEEL by the word COLOUR!!! It’s like Chocolate and coffee and nice red wine and majul dates all at once – every taste bud tingling from what your eyes can see. (mmm, from all that one can deduce that I really like my food)

Neki and I eventually caught up – and while she bemoaned her lack of linen (and I’ve got cupboards about to explode with the stuff), we went to see the Mariano Fortuny exhibition at the Padrera on Passeig de Gracia. It was the aforementioned Mr Fortuny who was inadvertently guilty of steering me towards the course I took…leading to textiles and Japan. A very tatty old book about him existed in our school library, and finding it was full of colour and luxury and velvets and pleats I became a bit obsessed! This then led to an interest in Miyake and all his pleats, and the next thing you know I was wondering what happened in Japan with regard to textiles.

On a completely non-textiles note, it was a strange coincidence that this week I got in touch again with an old friend from Japan – another gaijin who is now married and still living there with two children taboot…He’s moved to Tokyo though…no Inaka for him any  more!
Now, I just need to find some one who can tell me if Kanebo still make those pine bath salts and I think I’ll feel that all is right with the world this week…(until next week raises its own set of questions and I’m flumaxed all over again.)

The week that was (and it did include some weaving)

So, I’m now addicted to “Gavin and Stacey” (Lush!), there was a blizzard in Barcelona on Monday (Not so Lush – I’m really NOT exagerating), we ordered a new bed (a fancy, “lift up” Pikolin thingie), and I got around to doing some weaving…And the results were not as expected.

The column on the left shows before washing – the right is after washing – click to enlarge and view each in more detail. I’d had high hopes for the chenille samples, which were a bit disappointing, but had not expected to be surprised by the cotton/linen/wool (grey with coloured flecks) or the sample with very long floats – oh boy! Well, I’m happy with 2 out of 5 – that is the point of sampling I suppose.

Now I need to re-thread and get on with more of the same.

As for the Blizzard…well, I’ll put some pictures up about that when I get re-threaded!

Another long gap

I had such grand plans to update this during the Christmas holidays – and here I am, back in Barcelona, after 3 weeks of Ireland and Derbyshire, and I am sitting in front of a computer again for the first time in that whole period…It’s been a bit hectic with Hannah being ill (one trip to the hospital with a strange rash), snow, more snow, quite serious sub-zero temperatures and then a bit more snow…been one of those holidays!
So as I write this, H is going through a basket of yarns, listening to “Happy and you know it clap your hands” and I’m trying to plan a wool warp and a quick dyeing session for tomorrow. I’ve got some things to upload onto Etsy, but I’ve decided to focus on sampling for a month or two – and a nice lambs wool warp is the focus of my attention right now – that and SOMETHING useful to do with thrums (left over weaving yarn) – photos of that to follow – Hannah has just velcro-ed herself to some single spun linen.

I should have put these up ages ago – after my fed-up-ness with suggestions in Handwoven, I went on the hunt to find something to do with my lefts overs, and having discovered the pin loom (I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I discovered it in Handwoven), I thought that some of the longer thrums would work with this – especially if they were wool and could be felted afterwards. So, “Project 1 – What to try and do USEFULLY with thrums has been launched” – God knows how it will go, or if it will ever be finished, but I’ve got to start somewhere. The idea is to weave up little rectangles with the wool thrums I have and then stitch them together and felt them – or felt them and stitch together (depending on how I feel on the day). I’m not sure how much I’ll have, but hopefully enough for a warm cot blanket or a throw.

I bought a set of 3 wooden picture frames from Ikea and used the pattern layout from the Pin Loom (eloomanation.com) reference page. Matt put in the tack pins for me – total cost, 4euros for making the pin loom…the cost of them on Ebay is quite scary, so I would suggest to anyone thinking of trying this little project to check out the eloominations page – for the cost of a wooden picture frame and a few wee nails, you can’t really go wrong.

When I was home in Ireland at Christmas, I also got my dad to make me a raddle and a “mobile warping set” so I can get some things done at home, if I don’t have time to make a warp before I go back. I’m not sure this was what I’d originally intended to blog about here, but it seems like a good time to mention it. He put together a raddle and 3 sets of warping pegs from bits of wood he had in the garage, some wood glue and some tack nails. I was very impressed! The warping pegs are brilliant, they can be fitted onto a table or work surface with g-clamps and it means you can make the warp as long as are short as you like. Not quite as convenient as my warping mill (also home made), but almost as convenient / inconvenient as a warping board.

Rebirth – in gentle golds and soft wools

 So after a lot of debate I decided to get back to what I love – colour and structure. Klimt had more than a small hand in the influences for this belt, but I have to say, I’ve not taken one photo that actually does this justice. It is such a gorgeous blend of warm colours. I’ve just put it up on etsy…let’s see if anyone else thinks it’s worth wearing.  More about this on my Esty Weaves page.

Crochet Mad! (but especially to go with a woven shawl)

It has been a bit depressing, looking at all the beautiful things on Etsy and looking at the pile of scarves I need to get finished, the 2 baby blankets and all my shawl flower pins that have been carefully wrapped in plastic awaiting finishing – but, I’m getting there!

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Hannah has been co-operating this weekend, and as well as making a beef and guinness stew for dinner I also got some pins finished – unfortunately it is taking me ages to get them on to Etsy, and further more has anyone else ever thought that Etsy is lacking a European grouping for shipping options? (I feel a twit now, I’ve just found they have put up a European Union option…ah well, you live and learn)