I finished my colourful hat over the holidays, it was a quick and easy knit. Now I wonder if we’ll get any frost so I can try it on without boiling my ears! I normally wear fleece headbands in the cold because it’s easier to fit with long hair; what usually troubles me is wind hurting my inner ear, not so much the temperature, and knit fabric tends not to block the wind. But they are also very boring – so what else to do with all that chunky, funky handspun? (yes, I’m asking!)
It’s a bone-cold, lazy (ie exhausted) indoorsy type of week with no social duties whatsoever, yay. I’m knitting a hat from an old handspun skein for no particular reason, G is finally updating my webserver and in return I’m rebuilding the website for his gun club.
It’s always fun to see how a handspun or handdyed yarn knits up, sometimes they need crochet or weaving to show off, other times they really seem to be their prettiest as a skein. I had some which were too small for the pattern, but if I like the fit, they may become headbands for my delicate ears.
I began writing a typical “status of the year” report, slept on it and decided I really couldn’t be bothered and had no profound learning experiences to impart.
I created this post 2 years ago with the intention of writing a series devoted to different procedures. But my woad crops failed and other stuff happened, as per usual, and here we are. So while waiting for black paint to arrive some time in the distant future; in between holiday house chores, I have a bit of green for you.
For the last couple of months I’ve spent a lot of time weaving on the computer. Making endless variations of patterns for all 12 shafts, exploring how to enlarge them (rather than just choose a thicker yarn), working from scratch or from downloaded files.
But I wanted to see what it looked like with yarn rather than pixels, so I made a narrow wool warp and planned to do maybe 50 cm of each draft to have a bit of fabric for a sample book and perhaps sew some pincusions or whatever. I should have doubled it in length however because of course I continued learning and developing after I had begun weaving, so after a while my samples became 30, then 25 cm long and as I got to the part where I needed to cut and rethread after each draft as well as running out of yarn, even shorter. Threading errors began to appear because I hurried through, etc. etc.
Had I known how many years it would take to completion, I might never have accepted those first 5 dorset/suffolk fleeces, but here we are closer to completion than not, at last.
Every time I do a post about these, I also look for the original post, the very beginning of the project, and once again realize that it’s nonexistent. I got the first 3 fleeces before the blog began in 2012, so I never recorded the scouring etc. in here, the next two landed the year after, where I probably thought I’d already recorded it so thought nothing of it. Continue reading
I’d like to begin this week with a warm welcome to all the new subscribers that seem to be adding my blog these past few weeks, whether you’re actually here to read or just hope to make somebody read yours. I’m afraid you’ve chosen to join me for the slow season, as my back has been out of commission again and my head then needs to adjust to sitting tasks only, with not much to show or tell just yet. I hope some of you will stick around for later antics!
This also coincided with planned weaving, carding and spinning work, which means I spend an inordinate amount of time just sitting here thinking about them, making endless weave drafts and colour samples. I need to find a plugin/app/whatnot that makes swatches from photos because just using the sampler in PS does not give me the vibrant shades I see with my eye/mind and it takes too long. Any suggestions? I prefer one that is installed, rather than having to upload single photos to a website each time, as I tend to work in batches. Oh, and it needs to be for Windows – I found a really cool one, Mac and i-things only. Continue reading
Last year weeds happened to my orange cosmos (it always starts growing very late for some reason – then blooms into October where it’s too wet to collect seeds properly), this year slugs have overrun our entire property, so I had one plant. For that reason I had a handful of flowers in the freezer from last year and collected all summer from my one little very brave specimen to get enough for a reasonable amount of wool. Continue reading
I’m about a month later than last time, but the leaves are still green, acorns have mostly fallen off or will in the strong wind which is now dominating our days.
Oak leaves are a bit pesky to harvest, they don’t let go if you rip at them, the tiny side twigs however are easily torn off. So you need to grab individual leaves and pull backwards to leave them undamaged, a test in patience. There are already buds at the base of each leaf, the tree surely doesn’t mind that I grab the old ones just weeks before they fall anyway. Continue reading
Since I’ve spent so much time telling you how little I could do, I’d better counterweight that with a little progress update from the good days. Among other things I managed to grab some more photographic weather, so I now have a gazillion horse- and sunset photos to process and compile into little galleries now that it’s getting colder. Continue reading