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
It’s been one of those weekends and it’s not over yet:
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
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)
I got my warp threaded ….so I guess I should say it’s been a productive weekend after all!
I’ve no idea when I last posted – I’m sure I posted a few things…”in my imagination”…
Never mind. I’ve not stopped running, worrying and weaving since I last posted. I’d wish there was less of the worrying, but then I’d probably be dead, so maybe not – so I’ll not complain too much about that.
To cap it all it’s bloody boiling in Spain now, it has been boiling since the first week in July and we’ve yet to see what August brings. ARSE. Things can only get hotter, (not better) where the heat in concerned, and there was me having high hopes of a cooler summer after such a lovely raining spring.
Anyway, the hell-like weather aside, I’ve been weaving and weaving and weaving – and I’ve got enough on the boil to keep me going until September. This is excellent and tiring and inspiring and exciting and a wee bit worrying too! (That’s “weaving worrying” something totally aside from “every-day Ruth Worrying”).
I’ve just finished an excellent commission for a fine silk and mercerized cotton scarf. Finished with real semi-precious stones (turquoise, lapis lazuli and amethysts), it has a mind all of its own and bounces and moves with the body when wearing it. A real delight to weave and trim – and now to flip things over, I’ve wound on a 270 inch warp (almost 7 metres!) of hand-dyed cotton and just begun weaving 2 extra place mats and 8 napkins to match a set of 6 place mats I wove for a client 3 years ago. I have to say this project has been in progress for a while now. I had no pictures of the original placemats and had little memory of the colours. So one had to be sent to me as a reminder – then I had to dye up yarns…then the client decided on 2 extra place mats and napkins (and maybe a pot-holder or 2) rather than a 2.5 metre table runner… A new dining table was the culprit in all this, which allowed for 2 more places but didn’t allow (width wise) for a full width table runner. It’s been a long process, but good fun too, as the client really wanted something to match what she had for her new table, but wasn’t sure about the runner.
In the end we worked it out – So – 2 new place mats and 8 napkins, and some pot-holders…and a huge warp, (I was sitting in my nighty at midnight winding it on – I started at 10.30pm and it still wasn’t fully wound at midnight!)
When that is done, there is another scarf commission – this is still in the design process, and we need to work out colours, weight and texture – It’s fantastic to have such a lovely variety of things in the pipeline and I don’t remember when I’ve had so much fun with continuous and varying projects. And after that linen wash-mitts. You see?! Variety! I have a feeling it will be mid-end September when the linen get’s put on though.
And today heralds the beginning of visitors and travels, basically we are travelling or with visitors every week between now and mid October. Our washing machine and air-con are going to die. Still, it does mean I have an almost endless supply of baby-sitters, so I’m really not complaining at all.
In between all that (yea, I know – life beyond weaving…what’s that!?), we went to Bergerac to visit friends for a long weekend; Hannah has decided that she no longer wants to breast feed – her choice entirely (HURRAH!) at 1 week short of 22 months she shook her head when offered just before bed. That was the end of it. Unfortunately 2 weeks after this lovely evolution she decided that she was not going to bed peacefully any more, and (to up the ante), she was waking up at least once, if not twice / thrice in the night. Leaving all the lights in her room ON when she goes to bed seems to settle her a wee bit more. But it’s been an exhausting 2 weeks. I’m also trying Flower Remedies…basically I’ll try anything! I’ve found that my body and brain don’t function so well on 2 hours sleep. We’ve no idea what brought about this sudden change, but we’re all having to work through it. I’m praying to any diety who’ll listen that she returns to her cheeky “bugger-off and let me sleep” personality ASAP!
wow, I really need to get my act together! How long!!??
Right, so updates (for anyone who still bothers to read this blog). Well, as usual, lots has happened, and nothing at the same time. Hannah now has 2 teeth (see photo) and has been dubbed “Hannah-2-teeth-McCasey”:
I eventually got my warp tied on, have 6 place mats woven and am now working on the table runner:
I eventually got around to putting a sale up on my stock in Etsy:
I’ve started working out the threading plan for some baby blankets / Christening shawls…. So I’m considering this all to be progress…
I also discovered (a few weeks ago) a brilliant dyeing site. Yea, I know – the WHOLE WORLD knew about this lady before me, but still, I have to say something as I found this to be an excellent source of information. I usually rely on my friend Neki to tell me whats-what when it comes to dyeing, as she’s the guru – and in an attempt to find an easy way to dye some yarn that I had (as Neki gave me the hard way to do it), I did some googling and found this site. As it turns out Neki was right – there is only a hard way of doing this (sorry for doubting you), but at least I discovered this site. What I’ve not done yet is sort out the scarves that need to be photographed to go up for sale on Etsy (new ones). I’m hoping August brings more opportunities to get things tidied up- weaving-wise. Not to mention the fact that I plan to finish this warp this weekend, get it washed, cut and sewn and the new warp wound, beamed, threaded and weaving by the beginning of next week! (Amazing what delusions of productivity and grandeur you can have when your parents-in-law are staying and someone else can take care of H.)
Well, just as I was getting used to sitting on the sofa looking at Ikea kitchens online and grumbling about the “consumer society” approach to buying things for new babies, I was nicely brought back to weaving by a lady from Australia – I never thought when I first made a set of place mats for my mum from balls of hand dyed crochét cotton and mop string that they would travel so far!
Anyway, I set to work on Friday afternoon (yep, that would be “Friday weaving” again), and on the way home from my proper paid job I decided to get some more mop cotton for the weft (filler), just to make sure I had enough for the job. Finding mop cotton in August in Barcelona is no easy task! But eventually I found a little old merceria that opened in the afternoons who brought me out of brown box of balls of cotton and I was all set.
Anyone out there ever read any books (or listened to any radio) set in the Victorian / Edwardian era??? Anyone out there have any clue what the hell “Brain fever” actually is / was? Well, I kinda think I’ve got a bit of brain fever, as I’ve been itching to design some new things…This might sounds silly, or even simple, but I’m not very good at “down periods” so I try to keep something on my loom at all times.
A new warp for a table runner is about to go on, with a lovely new colour selection based on the southern Mediterranean…Think aqua blue sea and ceramic glazes; White villages (Santorini and Andalucia); terracota pots; green olives. But this is my “filler warp” while my brain gets into gear to come up with something else. Unfortunately for my husband this is always quite a messy process… you won’t be able to see the floor in the living room, and you can forget the idea of doing any housework this weekend!
OH, yes – and it’s been a pretty disastrous Friday the 13th…no chainsaw massacres but one of those days when just about everything that could go wrong, went wrong.
Well, I’ve not been online for a while, which makes me look like a slacker…I’ve got a very good excuse, really I do!
My cotton warp is made and on the loom and have started weaving. The colours are based on colour forecasts for Summer 2008 for interiors, beautiful powder pinks, fleshy tones, pale green and blue. To be honest the colours make me think of buildings I’ve seen in pictures of Miami (never been so I can only say I’ve seen it in pictures!) and now every time I sit down to start weaving, I have U2’s song “Miami” in my head!
So…I reacted to my wooly feelings and went a bit plain with my linen – great stuff, good results: Then, I seemed to hit some kind of Spagetti Junction loop and decided on Friday, (yes..that would be “Friday Weaving”), that I should use some of the lovely mohair I had, along with some of the even lovelier mohair / wool bouclé that I have, based on the colour forecasts I’d seen.
Well, may God help me (because no one else will), I must have gone completely INSANE! I should have given the mohair to my mum or sister, they knit!
Some photos of this mind-boggling fluffy warp
It’s threaded, reeded and weaving now, and it’s actually “felting” itself on the loom just by the weaving action. I have no one to blame but myself, I knew this would happen, it’s not like I haven’t woven with mohair before! But somehow the “Mohair Pixie” comes along, gives you amnesia regarding your experience with previous mohair warps and convinces you that a mohair warp would be a grand affair altogether…mmmm…plain weave linen sounds like heaven right now.
Well, after what seems like “my year of wool” (in fact it was only 4 months!), I knew I’d be heading for a reaction, and it came in the form of linen last weekend. Out with the winter wool, and in with the spring linen.
I wanted to do something relatively quick and satisfying, so I put on a shortish warp of pure linen, and the results are now on Etsy – 3 pure linen and 5 cotton and linen wash mitts. They really feel beautiful, the mix of linen and honeycomb weave gives a lovely texture, while the cotton ones have a gorgeous warmth to them.
I’ve pointed out to my husband that there’s not a bit of “green” in sight!
The truth is, I used to hate weaving with linen, but I learnt by trial and error that so long as the linen warp has at least 2 ply and a good twist, it can be as fine as sewing thread and it will not break. A little patience with the tension and a big damp tea towel draped across the shed and you can handweave metres without one flaw. Nothing like learning the hard way to get the gist of something!
I should be getting off my bum and actually doing some more weaving, but I’ve managed to thread-up, reed, tie-on and get weaving in a relatively short period of time, (given that I’ve got a paying Day Job that gets in the way of weaving). I’ve made the warp long enough to weave two scarves – if I can get a bit of “Friday weaving” done, things might actually get done this weekend!