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

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Fairy Princess or Pixie queen…either way I never win

I have a 4 day weekend coming up and I have great plans to get some weaving done. I’ve just finished making a warp, it’s on the loom and I’ve started threading (pics to follow), but I suspect that the company I’ll be keeping on this long Hallowe’en weekend, will ensure that little or no weaving gets done…It doesn’t matter whether she’s the wellie-wearing fairy princess, or the barefoot pixie – I never win!

 

 

 

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.

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!

Read your subtitles!

As important a phrase as “eat your greens” and “brush your teeth” – it’s just that it’s not bandied about as much.
 
The Danish programme – “The Killing” is breathtaking. Anyone contemplating watching (oh God, I can hardly say it),  a REMAKE, is doing themselves a big disservice…and watching something dubbed is nauseating – (unless it’s a cartoon in the first place, in that case it’s forgivable).  It’s been hard to focus on weaving when Nanna Birk Larsen’s killer was running around (eh, in 2007!) and our domestic disputes usually started (and ended) with discussions on who the killer might be.

Back in the real world… 
Weaving is coming along nicely, I have another warp in the planning and I managed to photograph the two spring / summer wedding scarves I was making (see previous dyeing / warping pictures below).  Updated pictures to follow.

When I started writing this there was a royal wedding happening, but only  a few days later and all the umph seems to have gone out of that theme now…ahh, how quickly things pass! I’m not what you would call a royalist, but you can’t not wish people well on their wedding day…and be a bit curious and gaupy about all this! My mum said that the bride wore Carrickmacross lace – Sr. Aloysius taught us carrickmacross lace making in primary 7 (age 11) an experience and a half to be sure! I think I still have a couple of lace doilies I made as samplers, lying around my parents house! I very much doubt I could have been a lace maker though – it just looks a right state when you wash it…not my cup of tea at all.

What have I been doing ? – no idea

Life seems to pass in  a whirl these days – without any Walnut on top (for those of you who know UK chocolates, you know what I mean).

It’s just been busy, family visiting (still here), work, finding schools, taking Hannah to the park – and then when there is that precious hour after dinner in the evening, all I want to do is crash in front of the TV. Some little part of my brain keeps screaming “GET UP! – this is burning less calories than SLEEPING and is WAY LESS productive!”…but the part of my brain that is the majority shareholder after 9pm is not interested in how many calories I’m burning, nor productivity nor anything else that would make a valuable contribution to society. It’s interested in lying on the sofa with the remote control.

I have been weaving though – inspired by spring – and the 2 wedding we’ve been invited to in June and July in England and Wales respectively –  (the expense of which I won’t think about as I just start to tremble) – and also by the overwhelming sense of deep PINK that has been coming through the air (eh, sorry  – Honeysuckle).
So, I got my dye pots out, my pixeloom fired up, and I got to work.

I worked on a random warp, with the idea of weaving 2 scarves – which I’ve done. Both have come out longer than I’d calculated as I forgot to account for the fact that the warp yarns had already shrunk due to the dyeing process – yea, I know – ARSE – but anyway, they are looking quite good. Lots of cherry blossom / spring time / sakura / honeysuckle flavours going on. And at least one of them will go with my Boden jacket and dress for the wedding(s).

TODDLERS…and other weapons of mass destruction

An update is long overdue – and to avoid this being very dull and just a whole pile of words, I’d better put some pictures in here too.
(SWEAR-WORD), it’s been a bit of a hectic to say the least. (Is my life any other way?…Would I want it any other way…?!) Yea, well – it would be good to not be running around like a lunatic all the time, but I’m not sure what that feels like!
Where to start?
I’ve finished “Tokyo Autumn Chocolate”. Mohair, mohair-boucle, lambs wool, ribbon, velvet ribbon – all in honeycomb weave. A very sumptuous, fluffy, warm experience! The client was also very happy – so that’s what counts.
I’ve put on a lovely linen warp, that feels like a “purge” – a truely cleansing experience after the sensory over indulgence of mohair. A joy to thread up…now I need to get weaving

   

The pile of woven “thingies” in the spare room (you need to say this like Mr Tumnus “Spare – ooom”) seems to grow ever bigger, with 2 baby blankets in white chenille; 2 scarflets; a shawl and a set of place matts.
Christmas Presents:
Yep, the season of total insanity is soon to be upon us, and I’m determined not to panic – which means that everyone is getting some kind of charitable offering (“you’ve given a present of a goat to a family in XXX”). And something small to go with it. For the “something small”, I’m voting for handmade wash mitts (hence the linen warp). This will have to suffice as I suspect we’ll be carting H’s presents halfway around Europe and I’m not in the mood for “being of good cheer” and carrying a whole pile more crap besides.
To add to my irritation for the festive season, Etsy seem to be sending out lots of peppy-preppy-perky-plastic emails about gearing up for the Holiday Rush – While it’s true that crafters are on Etsy to promote their wares and sell things, I couldn’t help feeling that all the hyper-genki mails were more about Etsy counting in the cash than really motivating designers for the designers’ sake – or even the sake of good design. After all a % of nothing is still nothing, so “sell sell sell!” (even if it is crap? Isn’t there a chance of flooding the market with any old rubbish?)
I’m probably just getting cranky over nothing, but I’ve been deleting these mails within minutes of opening them. I’ll get my mum or Matt to give me a pep talk if I think my motivation is lacking – and if Hannah, cleaning the apartment (HA! I laugh derisively here), cooking, “the-day-job”, family, sleeping or watching-TV should get in the way of weaving then maybe it’s one of those days when that’s what’s meant to be…I read a brilliant blog title a few days ago “so much to do, so little motivation”.
Or maybe it’s a toddler in the house that is teaching me the ways of obstinate belligerence.
Bloody hell – It’s not even December and Christmas has my blood pressure up already.
Now I need to mention my other non-weaving projects that are non-the-less crafty:
A cover for the sofa (as Hannah has plastered the 2 year old IKEA one in mushed biscuit, milk, juice and other things we won’t mention).

Making and covering a head-board for our bed and one for the spare room. I bought enough fabric to match the curtains in both rooms, and a lot of foam…Now the roll or foam just gets moved from the hallway, to our room, to the spare room depending on how much in the way of other things it is. Action is needed. Luckily its covered in plastic so my tardiness is not effecting the foam!
Framing the collection of prints, drawings and Chinese stencils we’ve collected from our wandering that now sit in the spare room (I’m talking a lot about our spare room here – I never realised how much credit it deserved!). We did frame the collection of pen-&-inks and watercolours we’ve amassed from the cities we’ve been to, and they look lovely in the hall (all positioned just out of reach of very small fingers), but I discovered an old art portfolio bursting with Chinese stencils, shadow puppets from Malaysia and Singapore, prints from art galleries, 3 scrolls from a Sunday junk market in Ueno and gawd knows what else from the days when we just thought “ash, let’s go to Berlin for the weekend” – yea – I know – those days are definitely OVER!
At some point I need to finish painting the window frames – but as these are over 100years old (really!) and we can’t actually decide if we should have them replaced or taken to an acid bath to strip off all the old paint, I’m not really rushing into this one. And I doubt it would get started before 2011…It’s in the big picture but not now, only when I happen to see the window/door in the kitchen – about 10 times a day – and I think…”mmm, that’s a bit of a state”!
Somehow I need to persuade Hannah that 12 hours of playing/park at the weekend is not really possible. 2 year olds aren’t really so easy to convince though, they have their own plan on how the universe works, and DaVinci, Galileo and Stephen Hawking can all go and boil their heads – as far as toddlers are concerned the universe revolves around THEM! (And usually this is pretty funny to watch).
A lot of pictures are needed with the blog entry as it’s a lot of old waffle and pretty damn boring to read otherwise.