Wednesday, September 2

FO, well kind of: woven tea-towels

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Shock horror, these tea-towels are even a little bit bright for me! Yes, even steelbreeze has her limits! ;)

Yeah, there were supposed to be three, but I decided the cloth was a bit warp-dominant / sleazy, so the third bit became a sample and the first bit of weaving became two slightly longer tea-towels. Yeah, yeah, I know, I should probably have woven a sample first and resleyed it afterwards instead of the other way around, but hey, it was a fun learning process and I learnt how to resley! The sample is still in the washing pile. It's amazing how patterns that looked great on the loom, have sunk and altered since washing, and patterns that looked like nothing much on the loom have blossomed into something more interesting. I was just enjoying mucking around and didn't really make notes of what patterns I was doing, it was just a bit of fun. Seems the "wrap around an inch and divide by 2" rule isn't a hard and fast one - general opinion on Rav is that 28 epi is too loose and I should try 32 - 40wpi - so the sample has three different epis across, 32, 36 and 40 (which was the blue edge). Noting it here so I can come back when I need to!

One of the nicest bits was when I did two tabby picks the same - so I might just double up the warp for the next one. I seem to have plenty left.

Yes, I'm taking to weaving in exactly the same way as I did for machine knitting. Try and do double jacquard in the first three months - or in this case, use a very fine cotton which is more suitable for more advanced weavers. In other words, try and conquer Mount Everest on your first attempt, having never climbed a hill. Well, it's one way to learn a hobby - try something difficult and then spend the next few years working your way up to actually figuring out what went wrong. Heh - I'm stubborn enough!

So, the towels are finished, but I'm thinking the next ones will be better.

Haven't had much spare brain power for knitting/crochet lately. The weather's on the turn - crisp, autumnal mornings and lots of rain - so the urge will be back soon, I'm sure!

Current mood: enthralled

Tuesday, August 25

AGWSD Open Day

Well, the guild of weavers, spinners and dyers runs a biennial summer school that runs all week. This time it happened to be at Moreton Morrell college, which is about a 30 minute drive for me. So I thought I'd pop in and have a look! As per usual, I completely failed to get my camera out (but there are some smashing photos on their twitter feed)... I had a quick go on a Saori loom, which is a very simple two shaft loom... oh, I want a floor loom that compact! I was quite taken with it. As I understand it, Saori is very simple freestyle weaving, where you just add bits and bobs and do manual pick up patterns as you feel like it. Another stallholder (Don Porritt I think) had lots of lovely shuttles and an ingenious raddle that would fit my Louet loom - not awfully enamoured of the built-in one yet, although to be fair the warp spaghetti I produced was my fault - maybe it'll grow on me (the raddle, not the spaghetti!). He also had a foot-powered tapestry loom - very ingenious! There were some gorgeous handwoven garments for sale.

There was also a display of projects for the Certificate of Achievement - there were three or four I think. I thought there might have been more, but having picked up the syllabus for weaving it's quite a longterm thing. Maybe something to think about in the future. There was a gorgeous woven scarf in summery colours and some tapestry weaving.

After lunch the workshops were open for all to take a look. Dawn Willey was teaching a rigid heddle class - it's amazing the things you can do on a RH loom, it's not just tabby. There was a class where they'd been making flat braids, a knitting class, a wet felting class and a shibori dyeing class. Lots of amazing work.

Then I attended a short talk about the online guild - alas I didn't realise my watch was 5 minutes slow so I missed the first bit! Might be an option for me - although there's one in Coventry it clashes with my MK meeting, and it seems to mostly be spinners. Plus I can't always guarantee I'll make that saturday anyway.

I have had some financial problems this month - hassles with losing passwords for one bank, and because of the St Malo trip the current account with another bank is VERY empty at the moment - so I resisted buying anything. I've since managed to top up my current account (had to go into the bank and reset the passwords AGAIN) because £30 isn't enough to fill up the petrol tank these days. When I got home from the bank, I discovered my current account card had been compromised - nothing had been taken, but I can only use my card for in person transactions. Talk about things all coming together at the same time! I'd say bad things happen in threes, only I don't have an account with a third bank so it can't possibly...

Having taken some advice from the expert weavers on Ravelry, I've decided to cut the weaving off the loom and resley with a few different epis. I'm trying 40 - 36 - 32. There's enough on there that I can play about with that and see the effect it has. The tabby wasn't quite right, and the general opinion is that the epi I chose wasn't tight enough. Hopefully I'll finish resleying tonight.

Work is very busy again at the moment, so the brain is somewhat distracted at the moment. I managed to machine knit a project for the Dream Week on Saturday afternoon - it won't win, but at least it's funny! I'm trying to add a nice crocheted border to the machine knit shawl, but the one I picked, I couldn't figure out the instructions. Hopefully the brainpower will return soon!

Current mood: tired

Friday, August 21

FO: Garter stitch chevron scarf

The colours are a bit off in this shot - typical British summer morning, overcast!

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For the pattern, see notes here.

Thursday, August 20

FO: "Handpainted" socks

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Finally finished the socks last night, ie finally got around to weaving the ends in. Yes, knitting is happening here, just rather slowly.

Himself came home to water coming through the ceiling last night. One of the toilets is leaking again (it's the one we use least). I'm beginning to think our living room is cursed - so far we've had the bath, the shower, and now the loo leak through it. More painting!

Current mood: annoyed

Tuesday, August 18

Free pattern: Garter st chevron scarf

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Yarn: Katia Art yarn, 2 balls.
Needles: 8mm
Multiple of 11 sts

Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Row 2: *K2tog, K2, Kfb in next 2 sts, K3, K2tog, rep from * to end.

Repeat until you run out of yarn. This could be worked in any suitable yarn. Hint - I put a stitch marker on the patterning side, because after a while I got fed up of having to keep finding the start to figure out which row I was on.

There's some handknitting been going on, and I did finish up a shawl on the knitting machine. It needs steaming, and I'm toying with the idea of a crocheted border. Got to admit, the weaving is just too tempting, and I haven't even figured out what to knit for my dream week project yet either. Only two weeks to go now. Nothing like a bit of pressure!

The back is a lot better. Now the left knee is playing up a bit. Maybe my gait is changing and using muscles differently?

Current mood: lethargic

Wednesday, August 12

St Malo

Didn't take many pics this time, think the Cog has more:

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St Laurent sur Mer, aka Omaha beach

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St Malo harbour at sunset

I seem to have twisted my left knee somehow at the start of last week. After a gym workout last night it finally seems to be on the mend. Which is good, because it's impossible to straighten my legs fully whilst driving! It's also made sitting on the knee chair quite uncomfortable.

Monday, August 10

Muggy

I've been away, we had a lovely week away in St Malo. We stayed in a hotel "intra muros" - inside the old city wall. Think cobbled, narrow streets stuffed with little shops and pavement cafes. Lovely! Weather was pretty good, too - and we walked lots so I'm hoping I offset all of the good food. Tried my French out on various waiting staff with mixed results (deux vin rouge got us orange juice at one point). Also my first ever driving on the "wrong" side of the road. Dinky little attic room - only downside was noisy seagulls who like to get up earlier than I do!

I finished the cabled socks before we went away, they are just waiting weaving in and a photo. Took the blusa queen crochet with me, which has grown quite a bit. Slept badly last night - it's so humid!

Current mood: hot