Tuesday, 10 December 2013

It Was A Disarster Darling

With getting ready to move house I was behind before we'd started today.  I was supposed to clean my new loom up so that we could get started first thing.  But the loom had stayed in the shed for the week while I'd packed and in the couple of hours free at night I'd spun yarn in preparation for all the weaving I was going to be doing.

    Extremely dirty loom in need of love and affection

The loom was so filthy.  Heather and I rubbed it down with wire wool, we wiped it over with a damp cloth (Heather did more work that I did). I really don't know where the time went but we seemed to be at it for hours.  

We decided to use up some cheap acrylic yarn first in our weaving just to make sure that we didn't dirty our precious handspun.  Heather showed me how to use the warping board. I'm so embarrassed to say that I couldn't wrap the wool under and over and count at the same time! I felt like such an imbecile.  Finally, it did click, and to be honest it shouldn't be difficult for anyone, I don't know why I couldn't do it.

     Threads (all 112 of them) on the warping board

So we knotted the thing to within an inch of its life, place it on the loom and immediately the threads all stuck together and tangled up.  The yarn (which an old friend had kindly given me for free) was useless, all messed up and knotted.  We gave up.  We were tired dejected and the enthusiasm from the morning had disappeared,  so we all went home.

No image of loom tangled, threads cut and put into bin. 

Lesson learned - check the yarn for your warp thread before you start.  I can feel all you weavers shaking your heads and pursing your lips in my direction.  I can even hear a tut or two.  But I plan to make every mistake there is to make, I might even do them twice. 

I will go back and have another go, but just at the moment, I'm not speaking to it.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Eclectic Dye Day

Yesterday was the trial run of our dyeing day and it went better than I'd imagined in my dreams when people were horribly burnt and everything felted.

We started off with coffee and cake so priorities were maintained.  This cake - which needs no words.

We began with acid dyes, everyone chose their colours, we soaked yarn and fibre and then we painted.  Some chose delicate shades, others were bold but we were all pleased with what turned out. It's interesting how spinners, knitters and weavers will paint their yarn, or fibre with their chosen project in mind.  


Here Heather shows her two skeins, Heather was dyeing with a view to weaving her yarn.

We then dyed using natural dyes, mordanted with copper and alum.  I don't like copper but I had some from a sample kit so we had a go.  I preferred the yarn mordanted with the alum, the shades are delicate and beautiful, I've stolen these images from Jennie (thanks)

The day was busy but productive, we've got ideas for the next workshop and we're hugely excited.  So you ladies who said they're coming at the beginning of Feb, get your creative juices flowing, we're ready for you!

Thanks to Heather, Jennie, Tamzin and Ginny for their images!

Monday, 2 December 2013

Moving House again.......

I'm so pleased to be able to report that I'm moving house again since it is one of my favourite things to do..... (Jeremy Paxman voice) ..' In the world'.

Here is a photo from the last time we moved, almost a year to the day.  This was half an hour in, stolen from my daughter's Instagram page. Poor Ginny, no-one should make their mother look like this.

So I've begun by hitting the chocolate, followed by the dregs from the alcohol cupboard in an attempt to keep my chin up.  This may result in my new Blog Regularly mindset to be slightly knocked off course, but I will try!

So tomorrow we are back weaving at Wickerwool. My new loom will arrive and hopefully Heather will be able to set me off.  I've been spinning crazily all weekend, I stole some of my own fibre - the Pollyanna dyelot and have spun as thinly as I could because I'd like a delicately woven scarf.

As I've said previously, I'm a complete novice so I'll be interested to see how Heather uses it.  The single looks like this which is slightly affected by the kitchen lighting but you get the effect.

I'm waiting for Spin to Weave by Sara Lamb to arrive so I can check what I'm doing is right but hopefully tomorrow I'll be making my own tentative steps as a weaver.

We're also dyeing tomorrow for our own yarn to weave, it's an open invitation, pay for your materials but come and share your knowledge for a donation of £3 (for scones and cake). We're there from 10am

Cedar Farm Galleries
Back Lane
L40 3SY