The slacker returns

yea – no need to say it…6 months?! They passed in the blink of an eye.

It’s no consolation but I had some great and passionate ideas for blog entries over the past 6 months…here’s a summary of my mental rants that never made it to a keyboard in their full glory:

  1. Complaints and bitches about low crafty sales online…my mental note to self on that – and others, if I’d bothered to make a blog post  – was – “don’t make crap” followed by “For GOD sake, take better pictures” and finally “pick a reasonable price” – would be a good start
  2. Super crappy postal services to the USA – yep, this was at an all time low in December (just when you needed it most) and doesn’t seem to have improved. There is a lot I could say about this, but I don’t know if it’s worth it or not. “Post to the USA is severely delayed due to extra security.” This has been in place since  end of October and shows no sign of improving…triple and quadruple ARSE… but there we have it.
  3. Christmas snow, mega freezing weather (eh, -20ºC is “normal” for Canada, but not for Northern Ireland). We made it home, we had a lovely Christmas, so no point in whittling on about that one.
  4. Finding a brochure for an exhibition at a local museum for the merchant seamen, only to end up spending quite a few evenings (late nights and early mornings) – A picture of my great-grandfather’s brother (eh, or cousin) appeared in the brochure. This would have been a nice rant, as I collected a lot of information on my families history, and a lot of links – free and with small fees – which provided a lot of genealogical information…maybe I’ll come back to that one later.
  5. SCHOOLS – and the school process for Spain. Mmmmm, this one is still quite recent in my rant-memory, so it’s pretty fresh and might provoke further unsolicited outbursts, ranging from “HOLY CRAP we have  2 weeks to visit 10 schools, make a decision and complete paperwork for school applications” to “so, Catholic Schools are all PRIVATE and the starting price is 300euros a month…even if I’m a practising Catholic and the school is right in front if my apartment…and ‘officially‘ it’s one of the 10 available schools for H in our catchment area  – but although the schools are Catholic, catechism is not taught DURING normal school hours and would be ‘extra escolar’ and would be effectively an evening class, as the CATHOLIC school doesn’t want to offend all the people who want their children to have a CATHOLIC education without the “CATHOLIC” part – How in the name of Fxxk does that work?” (“Hello, I’d like to be a vegetarian but I don’t want to give up meat, can you sort something for me?”) ……As you can see, still too fresh in my memory so I won’t go there.  I’ll come back to the School saga later – it’s not over yet!
  6. Weaving – So this blog is supposed to be about weaving so I should maybe mention it. I did a lot before Christmas, and was lucky enough to have some modest success with it too, but since Christmas things have stagnated a bit, mostly due to points 4 and 5 above – alternating between school chaos and family history websites my loom has a wee bit of dust on it.

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.

I think “SNOW” would sum it up quite well

Well,

we went back to Ireland for Hannah’s Christening, and had a lovely time…then it started snowing. MMmmm, and holy crap – did it snow! Don’t get me wrong, it snows every year at my parents, but this seemed more like snowfalls of 20 years ago. It started on Monday the 2nd of February and it snowed for a week.  My mum woke me up yesterday morning to tell me that we should leave early for the airport…it was snowing again.

I took these pictures last Monday,  a few hours after the snow started to fall.