The (Linen) bit in the middle

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!


Colm and the dragon’s, (fluffy, tufty,) teeth

It’s Saturday again – it felt like it took a year to get to this Saturday, but I’m sure it will be Monday before I know it. Luckily, it only took me 15 minutes to put my latest scarf up on Etsy, and (so far) it hasn’t taken too long to get images up on wordpress today…mmm, something’s bound to go wrong somewhere!

Colm” is the latest addition to Etsy – and while the real Colm is either recovering from a night out at Dundalk races or on his way to Shannon, his scarf name-sake is having it’s label sewn in and its washing instructions printed out. The sample version of this scarf was called “Colm’s dragon teeth” as the tufts were combed up to sit out more, but the full version recently off the loom hasn’t been given such pointy little “spud grinders” (as they would say in Hancock’s Half hour!).
More images on My Etsy Weaves page

The Great Green-ness

My husband has just been commenting on the prevalence of green in my recent designs (scarves both on and off the loom)…mmm, this is true. But what can I say – “Green” is like air (as far as I’m concerned)! How do you exist without “GREEN”???
(Besides, green’s in the colour forecasts for autumn / winter 2008/2009 so I’ve got a good excuse as far as I’m concerned).

And there’s more…On the latest project

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!

Friday Weaving and a rainy day

I read the phrase “Friday Weaving” on Sweet Georgia’s blog site a while ago, and it made me feel the weekend approaching! Between the time I finish my grown-up work and the time we head out to buy tonight’s dinner, (as Friday food is always a take away), I’ll be “Friday Weaving”…Well “Friday Threading” as I’ve got 410 ends to thread up and reed before a weft thread comes along.
On an aside note, it looks like it might start raining – a rare treat in Barcelona. The city is heading for a drought with water supplies at only 20% and we’re not anywhere close to July or August yet. I’m praying the heavens open and it bins it down all weekend (but I doubt too many other people feel the same way about torrential rain!)

The latest Project (and the best excuse for not doing the ironing)

It’s not that I get around to doing the ironing more than once every 2 months anyway, but I’ve currently got the “Leaning Tower of Ironing” hiding in the wardrobe and after receiving a small commission on Friday evening, it’s probably going to need to be rewashed before it gets anywhere close to an iron.

So, my wee commission.
I’ve been asked to make a scarf for a lady in Ireland who is about to turn 70 and has a preference for shades of green and brown (earthly, mossy colours). I’ve spent this morning rooting through kilos of home-dyed cotton and my diminishing hoard of raw silk. The resulting hues look like “The Mournes in Yarn”, (or Cooley), but as that’s where this lady hails from, I think it will be fine.
Gold and Green on the warping frameGold and Green

See what I mean?!

Carlingford Lough from the Flagstaff - view of Mourne Mountains and Cooley Peninsula
These were taken last October, from the top of the Flagstaff, looking out onto Carlingford Lough. On the left of the lough you see the Mountains of Mourne, and on the right you see the tip of the Cooley Peninsula

Background Noise

Recently I seem to be finding a lot of references to people listening to WeaveCast whilst they are weaving, in fact I received my latest installment today which made me think about it. I have to confess, although I love listening to these, I don’t actually listen to them when I’m weaving. For about 2 years now, I’ve been listening to BBC Radio 7 online, and when I run out of things there, I move to Radio 4 and Radio Ulster (also of the BBC). I sound like some kind of ad for BBC Radio! but I’ve looked around and haven’t found anything to beat it. I never thought I’d spend my weekends and evenings listening to Agatha Christie, Tintin or Sherlock Holmes, followed by some political comedy on Radio Ulster or Radio 4, but I’m starting to think I’ve moved into “granny-dom” already, where I look forward to “Hancock’s Half Hour” on Tuesday evenings!

I feel better for saying that! I was feeling like a traitor – but what can I say…I don’t listen to WeaveCast whilst weaving, I don’t have a cat and I can’t be bothered with tie-ups or peddles (yea, I know, tantamount to heresy for a weaver).

This is just about weaving!…And everything that surrounds it

I pestered my husband to help me come up with what I should call my blog (this is a big step for me), and after several suggestions, (“Weave Chimp” was one I discounted), he asked “so what will your blog be about?” – my response was “JUST WEAVING!”…hence, this is all this blog will be about – my weaving, and everything that relates to that in my daily life.
To be honest, this could generally include, felting, dyeing, making a mess in the living room, dyeing the cooker, dyeing the bathtub, asking my husband to make lunch, cook dinner, wash dishes and everything else I’ll avoid while foothering with my loom… you get the idea. I don’t think I’ll ever be a Domestic Goddess, but no one will ever be able to say I’ve lost my Inner Child, (provided you equate “Inner Child” with “Big Mess Maker”).
I don’t remember when I started weaving, I had a small ridged heddle loom from an early age, but discounting my adventures with that, I would say I’ve been weaving since 1991 when I was introduced to 16 shaft Harris table looms and some beautiful monster dobby looms at Winchester School of Art – Alas and Alac I am stuck now with only an 8 shaft loom, but one benefit is that it forces you to think harder about what you want to achieve and how you can go about doing it with only 8 shafts… (ohh, the perverse pleasures of weavers!)