Archive for December, 2009

Happy Christmas

My resolution to post more often has failed. My dear husband has fallen over my lovely pink Dell laptop and shattered the screen. At the moment I am plugged into the TV!. I can use his but it is broken as well and is very slow. I am getting a ‘little man’ to come and collect it to sort it out.

So have a lovely Christmas and I will keep up with posts but will not write for a few weeks!!

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I have repeated my long gaps between posts for which I apologise. The longer I leave it the harder it is to write anything. I am making a New Year resolution. To post at least twice a month however short. This keeps me in touch with the weaving  blogging community which I value and very much enjoy being a part of.  So there !! Now stick to it Deborah!

 I have not been idle  though. I have  been totally immersed in weaving some Christmas presents. My  London-based daughter is moving flat from dull South London to the East End on the border with up- market Islington, though really its Hackney. It is a much more vibrant area and near her friends, who are all involved in the rag trade or design world.  It is also close( dangerously close) to the Handweavers Studio and in September (way back now!) we went there together and I bought some 2/16  Mercerised cotton in sort of Neopolitan  ice cream colours lavender,grey, cream and  pale blue.  My daughter persuaded me to buy the colours. The yarn has a lovely silky sheen and the colours looked beautiful together.

 When I got home I decided that the weight and delicate shades which were way outside my usual palette  were demanding to become something rather special. All I could come up with were a series of  dressy scarves for my daughters-in-law and  my sister for Christmas presents.

I am still fascinated by the different threading possibilities in weaving.  My Art school trained daughter keeps telling me to keep things simple and to rely on colour, but I am continually drawn to try out a new pattern. So,  still in thrall to my threading compulsion I have woven 3 scarves each on a separate warp with different threadings and tie-ups. Not economical I know but fun! I have used Stricklers book on 8-shaft patterns.

Scarf 1. This one is for my sister Judith who lives in the depths of mid-Wales where  she and her architect husband are designing , converting and building an eco house. They do not dress!!!! So I will present her with a scarf for evening wear in pastel shades!!!!

 I used a pattern from the 8-shaft patterns, No 94. It is a point twill from “A German Weaver’s Pattern Book 1784-1810” by Christian Morath. This fascinated me. I love the idea of  re-creating an old pattern. It also had the possibility of 2 different treadlings on the same tie-up. The main pattern is made up of small diamonds with the alternative at either end. I imagine it was used on self coloured linen originally.

The epi was 36 and I used all 4 colours in a striped warp. I tried each colour for the weft but finally decided on the silver grey. The blues and pinks were too pretty pretty for me! I realised when  I started weaving that the grey stripe plus the grey weft rather dulled the other colours but the finished scarf is quietly ‘eveningy’. I think I will insert some lavender and pink beads into all the fringes. 

Scarf 2. This one is for Weze (Francesca Louise) D i L Number3!  It is 84″ long and the stripes are wider. I omitted the grey but used it as weft. Using the 8 shaft book this is pattern 160.  It is a point twill “seperate-leg M and W” I like the way the pastel shades blend into each other.


Scarf 3. This one is for D i L number 1, Julia! She is a conservationist and allotmenter and bird watcher. She rarely dresses up!!  I was running out of yarn so mixed the warp and found I had to add some white cotton as the cream ran out on me. The weft is grey and still 36 epi. The pattern is 189 a Herringbone Plaid.

As the twill diagonals travel across 2 warp threads at a time the sheen of the mercerised cotton reflects the light and gives the impression of silk ( I like to think!)  The colours are in fairly wide blocks and give a hint of change in the warp but it doesn’t come out well in this image.  It is still on the loom and about 72″ long.

Here are the first two scarves hanging not very professionally They still need the fringes finishing

There isn’t time to weave any more  before Christmas so DiL 2 Tess will benefit from a bought present and my own daughter Zoe is getting a loom from me once she has moved into her flat. This isn’t really a Christmas present but something she would love. As she is single has no children she misses out on grandparent gifts and I both want to give her something special as well as create a weaving friend!

Next topic. Spinning.

 I borrowed a Hedgehog Drum Carder from the Guild for a month and managed to prepare a bagful of fleece. It made me feel a drumcarder would be useful though I don’t take my spinning as seriously as my weaving. I also wondered whether I should have a modern wheel as my antique wheel makes a noise and may be worn. It does spin a fine thread which I like. I was interested  to read Dot’s post  this month  fibre2fabric.blogspot.com     about her antique wheel . It has many similarities to mine  I would love to know more about my wheels age and history.

This is my spinning wheel.


All I know is that it belonged to my great-aunt who lived in New York and wove on what is now my   Bergman loom. She would have been working around 1930-1950s.







This is the flyer with 7 hooks. Similar to Dot’s and over a similar distance 6.5 cms. The bearings at either end of the flyer are leather

 There was one bobbin with the loom and I have 3 more made by a woodworker but not as beautifully as the original. Importantly they work OK.

This is the footman attached to the metal hooked crank and shows the peg in the upright attached to the wheel.  This is much simpler than Dot’s





The treadle is plain and functional It is at present attached to the footman with a bit of old string! I will improve this!!!!



To finish…my mother-in-law left bags full of  knitting yarn when she died several years ago. I have saved it all and it takes up a lot of space. I decided last week to convert it all into a blanket.  Mother- in- law would approve , she never threw anything which might be useful away, and saved all ‘money- off vouchers’ and bought endless things she didn’t want because tgey were reduced!!!. I can sit in the evenings by the log burner and crochet as many stripes as I can manage. Its a good alternative to pastel weaving!!

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