How domesticated am I!???

Eh, no – I didn’t do any “housework” really, but I did make a carrot cake that turned out rather delicious, I finished one warp, finished beading another scarf and started another… this one has to be called “The big blue” there are no other words for it!










Uploaded to Etsy – This extra long shawl in wool & silk, gorgeous dark teal mohair and coffee brown viscose chenille  . It weighs a ton! Is lovely and drapy (the silks and chenille viscose work on this), and has that lovely springy softness of a slightly 3d weave. Was a total pleasure to design and an utter pain in the arse to weave (Why in the name of God do I keep going back to Irish mohair for a warp?! Matt has promised to remind me the next time I do this…mainly as he had to listen to me grumble every evening!)









And I finished hemming and beading this one – Which was a funny experience as Hannah kept telling me she wanted to eat the beads “Me want eat them” (you have to think of Cookie Monster when you read that line) despite the fact that I told her REPEATEDLY that they weren’t sweets and you couldn’t eat them! it’s fluffy, colourful and soft – Sari silk, mohair boucle hand-dyed wool in the warp, with single twisted raw silk in the weft.

And finally – the big blue…







I only started weaving it last night, so no pictures of “progress” but to follow

The sniffy nose

I have a sharp sense of smell at the best of times, but pregnancy seems to augment this sense…off the chart in fact – to the point where you can smell an ant’s fart from 100 paces…And I have a head cold right now!

Ironically, I seem to have become re-attached to 2 perfumes by Guerlain that I’ve had at home and hardly used in the past year or so – L’instant Magic and L’instant de Guerlain, now – “PUFF”, they are back in my nose’s good books. But neither of them are exactly subtle.
They smell like Japan on a warm summer evening to me (eh, not a city, more of a “floral countryside” warm summer evening – before anyone makes a smart comment),  an intoxicating mix of jasmin and orange blossom that I could happily sniff at all day.  Like a young girls’ yukata come to life in gorgeous rich, vivid floweryness. The L’instant de Guerlain is slightly lighter in scent…I wish there was some kind of Blog option for Scratch-and-sniff.
I have a little cloth beside my loom with some perfume on it…I’m starting to wonder if I’m getting addicted to it – but without a doubt, these scents are influencing my current colour pallet.

I’m pregnant, I have a cold and Hannah has started school….I have LOTS of excuses!

But I don’t really care if anyone wants a reason for my silence, shit happens – and blogs aren’t top priority when you are throwing up every day, your 3-year-old has hit “toddler-dom”, school, wakeful nights and tantrums all at once…and recently I have a sinus head cold to make me feel like crap.
There have been a couple of other pregnancy related maladies to complain about but I’ll keep those to myself (those who can guess what I’m talking about, can chuckle or commiserate, as they see fit)

But I did manage to fit in some weaving! (HA!)

I may I had started the first of these warps, a scarf, 2 neck warmers and a shawl. They’re off the loom now and being finished as time allows (and as far as I can stay awake in the evenings).  I also bought some gorgeous buttons and silk / viscose lining to finish the neck warmers – luxury a go-go and warm taboot.


Friday Weaving

My cold and chest infection are abating and I’ve actually had time to do some weaving. Not much, but a few hours is better than nothing, so I won’t complain.
I’m hoping to get 2 scarves (skinny, bright autumn / winter scarves) out of this warp. And to make sure the colour and texture variation of the weft keep them fresh and distinct.
There are two wool boucles in the warp – and one is noticeably much softer than the other. This is a bit disappointing, they both cost the same. The slightly rougher one is pure wool, with a lovely mix of colours, but I guess you can’t have jam on your egg.

Rain forecast for this weekend, and Carrefour are delivering this afternoon, so hopefully I’ll get more weaving done. I should (could) do some housework, as that has been sorely lacking recently. But arse to that. The thought of hoovering doesn’t exactly inspire me right now – the dust bunnies will be free-range for another weekend.

Oh, and the potty training has been a great success, Whoopee!
Well, so far, it’s been a big success…we’ve been at it a week, and after day 1 she seemed to have fully grasped the concept – We’ll see if this continues and what the verdict is going to be after several long bus, plane and car journeys for these weddings we’re off to in June and July.
Not to mention church services, and wedding receptions.
I might have changed my mind after all that.

Reading too much

The sad truth and hard reality of hand loom weaving in Ulster, especially around south Down / South Armagh.
I actually spoke to John McAtasny in 1994/1995 when I came home from art school and was looking to buy a loom. He called as he saw my want ad in the local paper – not because he had one for sale, (he wasn’t going to part with the ones he had!) but more for curiousity…like a ping in the darkness to a fellow soul involved in a dying tradition.

All tied up! – And “Only eat what your great-grandparents would recognize”? – ehhh, maybe.

My warp is tied up! Now is the time I should be weaving, but I’m here – (as I keep saying, you can blog, or weave…not both).

Well, my cold is worser and worser and it now resides in my bronchial passages, and I’m writing to you now under the influence of some serious drugs. But sitting at my loom requires a wee bit more energy than even the drugs can muster.
However, a quick minor curiousity…I read something I partly agree with, and partly think is rubbish – i.e., “Only eat what your great-grandparents would recognize”. The idea being, to eat healthy wholesome foods, that are fresh, natural and nutricious.

A great concept – and in principle, to be followed. Sitting on the sofa, drugged up to the eyeballs, I had time to ponder this – Imagining myself on Fathom, 100 years ago – What would my diet be if I followed this concept?

On the “Excellent” plus side: Seasonal= gooseberries, raspberries, wild strawberries (a few bushes, but exist), blueberries (by the ton!), blackberries (also by the ton), cob/ hazelnuts.  Lamb, eggs, fish & shelfish (salmon, mackrel, trout, herrings – fresh and smoked/salted- and maybe perch, oysters, muscles, cockles,  winkles), chicken, pork and rarely, beef.  Apples and pears infrequently (they don’t grow on Fathom mountain, but they do grow in N. Ireland)

On the “Good” side: Fresh milk, buttermilk, butter, some cheeses, porridge, potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage, leeks, rubarb, wheaten bread, soda bread, “brack” (kind of sweet bread) …honey maybe

On the “inevitable” side: Whiskey,  stout / porter (i.e., Guinness, Murphys), Poteen, Navy Rum.

On the “realistic” side: The daily fare would have been potatoes, porridge, carrots, buttermilk,  onions and cabbage. An irish strew, made from mutton a few times a week. Fish, probably on a Friday.  Everything else would have been very dependent on season and availability. And in hard times, availability might have been very low.

All sounds very healthy, right? (I think so too), but see what is missing?
tomatoes, oranges, grapes, brocolli, cauliflower, green beans, kiwis, avocadoes, pomegranite, peppers,  yogurt, asparagus, ….GARLIC, CHILLI – ANY KIND OF SEASONING??
And a lot of other things my drugged-up brain can’t think of now.

When I read the list I wrote of what my great-grandparents might have eaten (and I’ve spent longer than I should have done recently, thinking about great-grandparents!), I was impressed, and realised why these “Fathom-ites” were so long lived. But it doesn’t change the fact that they would have run screaming from an avocado and thought a pomegranite was the spawn of the devil.  Seasoning would have been rare and potatoes, carrots & porridge would have made up about 80% of their daily foods.

Thanks, although I love my irish foods, I’m also glad of new flavours
Even so, my healthy diet didn’t save me from this crappy cold, did it? So much for, garlic, organic pomegranites and cherries…(moan moan)

Potty Training, head colds and warping

It’s been one of those weekends and it’s not over yet:

  1. We started potty training yesterday – after 4 pairs of knickers in less than an hour I was dispairing of the whole thing, and started thinking that Carrefour nappies weren’t so expensive, and we could pay for them until she was about 8 without any problems…today has proved to be much better, with 3 poos and all but one pee in the potty. The offer of a chocolate button for every accurately aimed and delivered poo and pee seems to work wonders
  2. I’m dosed with the cold. A nasty head cold that is hurting my throat, blocking my ears and nose and generally making me feel miserable. That and the fact that I’ve not left the apartment since friday evening (i.e., potty training duty)
  3. I got my warp threaded ….so I guess I should say it’s been a productive weekend after all!

at last I uploaded – Spring & Summer fruits!

at least that’s what the colours read like! Raspberry, cherry blossom, honeysuckle, hot pink, fuscia, fuzzy peach…
either that or a list of cocktail names!

They’re now on Etsy and the next warp (in slightly darker shades of pink) is on the loom.  As we’re potty training this weekend, I have my doubts about how much weaving will get done – we’ll see