Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Wednesday 19th May

Time is creeping up on me again, can you believe its almost halfway through the year?  Another week and the girls will be on half terms hols.  We are planning a visit to the Royal Bath and West Show although it has been mentioned that I will not be allowed to visit the sheep tent this year.  I usually end up talking to farmers and buying fleeces despite the stack I already have - does anyone else have this problem?

This week I am spinning up some Falkland tops, hand dyed by Mandacrafts on Etsy.  These are called "Berry Berry Nice" and hopefully will make some fingerless mitts for someones Christmas present. 

Just off the Glimakra Julia loom are two scarves woven on a multicoloured hand dyed tencel warp, one scarf is woven with a wool and silk weft, again this is hand dyed and comes from Yarntopia on Etsy and the other scarf has a baby alpaca and silk weft which I have hand dyed in soft blue shades.  These are now for sale in my Etsy shop, see the link to the right.

This is the tencel and wool/silk scarf and showing a close up of the scarf above.

This is the tencel and baby alpaca/silk scarf, also with close up of the weave structure above.

These were woven on a four shaft threading for a diamond twill, the same pattern as the jade scarf made last month.

The rugs are now finished, although I am not sure I was very pleased with the results, I think that a lighter cotton warp would be better in future but for now I have to concentrate on producing some more items for the gallery.  I am now warping up the loom with a light green silk warp to make a scarf using a hand dyed laceweight merino weft.  The laceweight merino was purchased from Cold Harbour mill through their new company FibreHarvest. 

The warmer weather is a great time for washing fleece and I do have quite a lot sitting in my garage that really need to be sorted out over the summer, it would be good to be able to get them washed, carded and spun up, so lots of excuses for sitting outside in the garden.

Have a good week.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Tuesday 4th May

So, the loom tie up is completed and yes, it works, I have achieved a larger shed and with the non elastic warp that I am using for the rugs that is essential.  The first rug of the warp run is now completed and I shall take a picture tomorrow and post it.  I am very proud of my first rug!!

The weather here today has been lovely and we are looking forward to a few more days of sun before the next weekend which is supposed to be wet.  So much for weeding out the garden! 

The mad dogs are both confined to quarters with very itchy parts of their bodies and are both having to wear their plastic hoods to stop them chewing their back ends.  I dont know what causes this but every spring we get the same thing, they are sprayed with flea spray, bathed regularly and still they end up chewing themselves raw for a while.  So out with the antiseptic cream and on with the collars, one on loan from a good friend and one I had to go and buy today from the vets.  Fingers crossed this soon clears up as I dont think a large vets bill is a good start to any month!!

The cats freaked out at the sight of the dogs in their hoods and as the two youngest only have short tails due to a birth defect, they tend to look as though they are sporting bottle brushes on their bottoms when they are scared. 

Off for food shopping tomorrow, groan and then round to number two daughter's for coffee and cakes, well you've got to have some consolation for fighting your way round the supermarket!

Monday, 3 May 2010

Monday 3rd May


I hope everyone has had a good weekend, it seems such a short time since the Easter bank holiday and another looms at the end of the month.

This week I have warped up my Julia loom with some rug warp to make lightweight rugs for my kitchen and hall floors.  I am using up some wool from my stash to make these.  I have to admit to still wrestling with the countermarche tye up.  I now understand the theory but the practise is a little more tricky.  I have found a good article to download at an American website full of good information.  This article explains how to tie up the loom and get a much bigger shed or space between the threads.  This is achieved by tying up the upper lamms so that the end of them, the end not joined onto the rod, is only about 2 and a half inches away from the bottom of the shafts.  The warp should pass through the centre of the eye of the heddles on the shafts to give you some idea of height of shafts.  Now, dont do what I did for the next step, as the picture in the article shows the loom from the back and I was tying up from the front!

The next step is to tie up the treadles and ensure that they are all at slightly different heights.  You have to start with treadle one on the left and make this the HIGHEST treadle and then tie up the rest so that each treadle is slightly lower than the next.  I did this the other way around and made the first treadle the lowest so of course with the eighth treadle being the highest the upper lamms were hitting the bottom of the shafts and the shed was not opening properly. 

I now have to go back into the workroom tomorrow and re tie the treadles so that they are in the correct position, I just couldnt face it this afternoon and besides with two smallies home from school its not really fair to be shut away in my workroom all day.  Life is just too short for that.

So think of me tomorrow, I expect the cats will learn a few new words and I shall let you know the outcome.  If this doesnt work to give a good shed then it is back to the drawing board, suggestions anyone.

On other fronts, I am spinning up a very nice cream shetland fleece, a good swapsie from my friend Yarnspider, see, thanks friend.  This is spinning up into a very fine thread.

I am still knitting up a garter stitch shawl in Noro sock yarn, pictures to follow and that will go into the shop later on.

Next week I am heading down to Cold Harbour mill in Devon to collect some very nice finespun merino yarn which will be perfect for weaving in the weft.  Some serious hand dying will be following this.  For anyone interested in seeing Cold Harbour, it is a working spinning mill and they sell lots of yummy alpaca yarn which is spun in the mill and dyed and also some lovely machine woven throws and other accessories.  Well worth a visit and very reasonable to go in.  A lovely cafe on site as well. 

Have a good week.