Commissioned tablemats in action

I put this in as as very quick entry, these are the table mats I wove as a commission to match a set of hand made plates.



Let’s talk happy happy

God, talk about doom and gloom…it seems never ending (and then there is lovely Swine flu which crept in the back door when everyone was worried about everything and anything else you could mention).
Not that it will necessarily improve the situation, but I want to talk about something nice, uplifting and positive – Beautiful summer colours (and the other happy nice things is that Hannah is now 6.5 months old, my parents and brother were over visiting, my friend Marjolein will be over for a visit this weekend, and my parents-in-law will be over to see their grand-daughter at the end of May…but none of that has anything to do with weaving.

ooohhh, dyeing and the cold

Well as usual,  I’m a big fat slacker and it’s been ages since I wrote something.

Hannah’s started the creche, she has a cold, she’s given it to me, I’m back at work and feeling like poo (with having the cold, not sleeping as I am feeding her and she has the cold so she is not breathing properly and thus doesn’t sleep for very long…) do you see a pattern forming?

Besides all this moaning and lack of sleeping, I’m trying to find a Brompton folding bike to buy second hand, as I’m fed up with public transport. Don’t get me wrong – public transport in Barcelona is very good and good value for money too – but I’ve been here over 9 years and have never had to rely on it – and now the Tokyo style packed metro, or the dithering bus are starting to drive me insane…(this is “Ruth, The Not Very Patient” talking – I’ve only been commuting for 2 weeks now! Prior to moving house, I walked to work every day)…

Oh, and on the subject of weaving, I have another little commission which is keeping me busy between moans!

I am making more placemats, this time in shades of blue and tan for a lovely customer in the US. It’s actually helping me focus on something other than my cold, Hannah’s cold and the “JOY” of being back to proper paid work!  The colours are selected, the cotton has been hanked, and dyed and now I need to wind it into balls and design the warp…Watch this space for updates! (I think I’m actually getting a wee bit of Friday weaving done!)

I think “SNOW” would sum it up quite 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.

Family project: Flowers, pom-poms and Glockenspiel-bangers

What to do when time is short, looms are not set up and you have lots of loom wastage from expensive wool? The answer is learn to crochet…(or have a mum who is a master crocheter!)
This turned into a real family project;  My mum crocheting and trying to explain to me how to do it (a bit of a lost cause, but never mind!), my dad and I making the wooden pins, myself making the pom-poms (making the centre of the flowers) and my sister providing the beads. My brother’s contribution was to name the wooden pins “glockenspiel bangers”.  Hannah contributed by keeping us all running in cycles to put her doddy back in her mouth, change her, feed her or try and get her to sleep. 

The ones picture below were the prototypes (my cousin is the owner of that now). The first of 8 off the full-family production team is now on Etsy

The ghost of Christmas past! And Saint Brigid’s feast day fast approaching

Bloody hell!

it’s been ages since I’ve written anything here – I don’t seem to have time to do anything anymore! (I bet all the mummies out there are saying “ha!!” – We could have told you so!)

So,  Hannah will be 15 weeks old on Wednesday,  I’ve spent the better part of the past 15 weeks doing little else other than feeding and changing her, and I’m supposed to return to work in a few weeks – I have to say, not a whole lot of weaving got done! Luckily, when I was back in Ireland for Christmas, I did manage to get a few things done, plus I embarked on a project that involved the whole family…but more on that later. First  – “What to do when it’s freezing, the power has gone off, your loom is not set up and you have a few hours free” – Go for a Walk! Collect rushes and make some Saint Brigid’s crosses (Obviously!).

I’ve put the making of these on my blog before,  but as the feast of Saint Brigid is coming up, I thought I’d make some of these as gifts for relatives in the US (who are called Brigid) and to see if anyone on Etsy is interested in them. We were taught to make them in School (perhaps one of the advantages of going to a Catholic school in the vacinity of where Brigid came from!), but I’ve always found they work much better if they are left to dry, and then tightened up again.

Hannah Aoife Casey…Strictly speaking, not a weaving project

Well, if anyone other than my mum, sister and a few friends read my blog on a regular basis, then you’ll know that I’ve been more than just a “bit of a slacker” recently – But this excuse is the best yet – really!

On the 8th of October, I went to the hospital for a blood test and was told by the doctor to wait for the results…by 3.30pm that afternoon, my baby girl was delivered by emergency c-section (so much for my great ideas of a natural birth and no painkillers!…HA! Pre-eclampsia can scupper all kinds of plans, but so long as you and the baby survive it, then the plans don’t matter)
And the other piece of weaving news is that I’ve been greatly inspired in the last few days, and am now raring to get weaving again – now my husband just has to help me assemble my loom and find all my yarns in the packing crates…oh yes – did I mention that we also moved house the same week as we had a baby?

My friend Birgitta (another weaver) delivered her baby boy Quiran Magnus one week after Hannah – Now we’re just waiting on Nula of Noolibird and Lyanne in Malaysia

Holy Cow, Batman! (or something like that)

What a month!

I can’t believe it’s now the 25th of September…tomorrow is a good friend’s birthday, and I almost forgot; I’m 35 weeks pregnant with a Spacehopper for a belly; I was told 2 weeks ago that I had “signs of pre-eclampsia” and had to take it easy (HA!…try moving house, being heavily pregnant and finishing a project at work, while “taking it easy” – that phrase alone stressed me out!); I was awarded something lovely about my blog from another weaver (It’s even nicer to see that someone other than my mum read’s my blog!!); I got a message from another BCN weaver and my friend Silvia just told me about another beautiful exhibition in the city – Alphonse Mucha en the Caixa Forum (see images above). All of this from the comfort of my own sofa, with my feet up on the coffee table – you have to love the internet!

Actually, I’m going a bit crazy already and thinking of starting to knit something as I’ve been told that “taking it easy” includes “no weaving”.
I should point out here that my knitting skills are dubious, to say the least. I’m a weaver, not a knitter, and although I know the theory of knitting (i.e.,  plain, pearl and “what you do with knitting needles to make those stitches”) I’m not altogether sure I’d produce anything that wouldn’t be shameful to look at!  For beautiful knits, look at these from Perfectamity on Etsy – (I was just making lots of “ooohhhhh” noises when I saw them). My mum has knit and crocheted clothes for our soon-to-arrive new family member – she’s one of those people who can knit / crochet an entire baby’s wardrobe while watching an old movie on TV, never miss a stitch and then russle up some booties or a hat out of “the odd wee end bits of wool left over”…mmmmm, I’m feeling any potential knitting project from me is doomed before I even start! (eh, did I also mention I can’t read a knitting pattern?)
SOOO, my grand plan is to knit some mitten style things (without thumbs) – how hard can that be? – then see if I can make it to some kind of booties or a hat. I used to love knitting dolls clothes (about 30 years ago!), so maybe I’ll manage something for my own baby! If not, at least it will keep me busy on the sofa with my feet up for a wee while…and my mum can unravel the wool and make something useful if it really is atrocious!

Oh, and I have a baby’s bedroom to design…actually I’ve got loads to do – I just need to stop blathering and get on with something.

Watermelon Cotton

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.

Coconut Soap

I’ve turned into a big slacker of a blogger recently – Well, a lot has been going on, (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!) Building works in our new apartment, a baby on the way, the “dilema” of what buggy to buy, (that’s resolved actually – Boots had a offer on the Maclaren 4 Seasons, and it took us no time to get it ordered and delivered to my parents, thanks to my brother and sister who have bought it for us.)
And then there is my weaving…
I have 2 scarves that need finishing – the worst part of any weaving project for me is the finishing and so I’ll find any distraction to keep me from getting off my bum and just doing that hemming, fringing etc…SO the latest distraction was finding “Coconut Soap” – “Jabon de coco” in what is called “The 100 pesetas shop”. Pesetas no longer exist as a unit of money, but old habits die hard, and calling shops “The 70cents shop” sounds a bit weird.
Anyway, back to coconut soap – has anyone else heard of this or used it? I’m very curious! It says on the wrapper that it’s for delicates – silk and wool. I’m very curious to try it, but still have a linen warp on and nothing of wool or silk which needs washing right now, but I’d love to hear from anyone who uses this.