Projects, stories, memories and myths of knitting and crafts

Monday, 25 October 2010

Hello (after a long unintentional sabbatical)

Along with moving house and settling in, the last months have been divided between knitting, sewing and now weaving and spinning too.

I attended several wearing school classes where I learned to weave on a four shaft loom. In my first class I made a piece which was sample pattern squares.

I made this bag with the sample squares. I am very pleased with it and carry my weaving paraphernalia in it.

I have sold the rigid heddle to an excellent home where it is very loved and moved on to a beautiful old four shaft Harris loom at home.

Here it is with the first project that I made on it. It was a surprise so that was another reason that I did not post it. This is a close up of the pattern. It is wool and baby wool so is lovely, soft and thick. Very warm too!

Here we are wearing it together.

The next project on the loom was a birthday scarf for another friend. It is made of wool, cashmere and silk. It is fine and soft and was a dream to work with. This project was the most fun.

In between this I started and frogged so may knitting projects. I can't seem to find anything that I enjoy. When we went to France I started the Featherweight cardigan. It seems to have met all the criteria of enjoyment. I have completed most of it.

I am attempting to weave the front band currently but the warp threads have been a real challenge. First the weaving did not hold and grinned all over the place. That means that they slid close to each other  making holes that look like big gaping grins in the fabric. It is not as pretty as it sounds.

Finally I have settled on this warp which is also proving to be a challenge but is at least holding. I have yet to see if it will be a success. I would really like to combine knitting and weaving for this project.

I am also knitting some fingerless gloves as the weather dictates I will need them if I continue to weave at the studio during the winter. I am not very enthusiastic about them yet but I am sure that as the temperature drops, this enthusiasm will change. They are knitted in Patons Fairytale 4ply.

On a different note,  I have Meghan from the 'Stitch it' podcast and Cecile at the knitting group, to thank for enabling me in other fybery pursuits. As the 'Tour de Fleece' started and I could not find anything that I want to knit along with the hand cyclists so I decided to try spinning and bought my first spindle and natural brown BFL fleece. 

The spinning was perfect to play with in-between unpacking boxes and great fun too.

This has led to the purchase of several more spindles and I now own five, three of which are just beautifully balanced. I have not used my little turkish spindle yet. 

This is the leaf that Borneo carved for me and it has become the spinning bowl. 

I am spinning cashmere - the white, falkland tops- blue and green and BFl with silk -  pinks and oranges. Of all the crafts that I am practicing at the moment, this is the one that has stolen my heart.

Here is my first ever ball of 'spun and navaho plied at the same time' on the spindle. I love youtube. There is a fabulous video of this technique. I have now spun 300 yards of this and am on the final bits.

I am knitting a small shawl with it, making it up as I go along. I want the pattern to show off the yarn which I feel this does quite nicely. It will look great when it has been blocked. I am still deciding if I want to make a lacy edge.

I have been looking at spinning wheels...

I also finished my Abigail Bury tapestry too. It is now framed had has pride of place on the wall in the sitting room. I loved every minute of the hours that were put into this piece. 

I have spent a considerable time searching the web for another that I like and have failed to find anything. It appears that I am very difficult to please at the moment and I really want to love what I am doing. 

I have been feeling a little homesick lately so decided I would design my own tapestry with a South African flavour related to the Xhosa people which is the area that I grew up in, the Eastern Cape. 

This is the draft.

It is not very big but feels the right size for a first design attempt. I started this and am having great fun. We will have to wait to see how it turns out.

I have been busy over the last couple of months and have had a great deal of fun in between some very difficult times. It is what makes life manageable and I am very grateful that I am blessed with the gifts that offer me this joy. 

Love what you do.