Niddy noddy

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Zero inches.

Not even any cm.

But I've been busy and out and about and, in particular, to the Knitting and Stitching show. I'd missed a few years, went last year, saw and bought gorgeous STUFF - and so too this year.

I saw the Water Aid knitted river, pictured above.

And these. Aren't they extraordinary? They are entirely embroidered, the first by Helen Parkinson and the second by Owen Davies. I'm not sure that I'd want to own one and I know I wouldn't want to make one, but they are rather marvellous.

One of the best things about the show is that it is so varied, and as well as the above, and some lovely quilting (which I couldn't photograph), there were graduate shows which included this artwork in paper (or could have been silk - the artist, Marion Glover, wasn't there at the time for me to ask):

This is a picture I liked made in felt, by A Scolding:

There was also an exhibition of the most exquisite shibori dying by Hiroshi Murase:

I bought some fibres I had specifically been after:

alpaca and silk noils for spinning and some lovely lovely hemp for plying - I'll use these for weaving or knitting.

I'm going to use some of the hemp to have a go at this string bag

And finally, some gorgeous Christmas pressies. These are made by Thai hill tribes, and sold by a couple in England who run the charity established by their daughter who died tragically young.

These bags were only £11.00, they are beautiful and a really good - and fairly traded - cause - have a look if you're thinking about Christmas shopping. Or if you're not.

There is some info about Stephanie, who founded the charity, here and further info. about it is available by email from

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Well only 2 cm more woven since my last post (I've switched to metric because 2 cm sounds more than 1 3/4 inches).

A lot of weaving measurements still seems to use imperial - one piece of weaving equipment, a reed, is bought in various imperial guages ( number of dents - gaps - per inch) but is purchased by length, a certain price per metre. Weird.

I wont be weaving at home any more this week as we'll have a friend staying in the guest room.

BUT I have finally finished - lined, with fastenings and labels - a set of bags I started over 2 years ago.

I did finish one of the set nearly a year ago so that I could give it to my niece for her birthday - and I did an earlier post about that here - so wont repeat myself.

It was a very satisfying project - not a difficult weave once the loom is set up, they were made on a basic 4 shaft table loom - and the variety is created mainly through the range of bits and pieces I used in the weft, which included bits of fabric, ribbons, novelty yarns, chenille and gimp. They were made almost entirely by using up bits and pieces I already had. Which is my other overall textiles aim at the mo - along with finishing projects.

But I'm pleased with myself - and good timing for Christmas.

Here they are:

Thursday, October 04, 2007

catching up

I've just checked when I last posted. Early July - almost 3 months ago, and it feels like a lifetime.

Well, the purpose of this blog was partly to keep me going with my textiles and to get me motivated to FINISH PROJECTS.

My weaving class has just begun for the Autumn and - having not made time to plan a new project - I have been finishing off bags which (I can't believe this) I initially wove in about 2005....... I know I made the handles in May 2005, because I did a quick blog about it. I am feeling duly chastened and committed to doing more finishing.

Hence this new post. I have some weaving on my loom which was started at least 18 months ago, and I think probably more like 2 years. Or more.

probably more...

I am weaving a throw for the futon which sits in our dining room and sometimes serves as an extra bed. I quite like the blanket which is covering it at the moment but its not big enough.

This new throw follows colours I used on one of my favourite cushions which developed out of a project I did as part of a City & Guilds course in weaving and design.

The design board was based around "Living Forms".

I found a little bit of twig covered with wonderful lychens - I particularly liked the combination of soft greenish greys, dark slatey blues and a hot bright sulphury yellow.

I don't think I'd have thought to put these colours together, but was really pleased with the weaving designs which I based on the colour scheme.

So these are the colours in the throw. The yarns are mostly cotton, or cotton / silk / linen mixes.

My loom at home weaves up to only 24" wide - so I am using a technique of weaving a number of layers at once. The layers can be joined at the sides - or on only one side or the other, as the cloth is woven. I'm weaving 4 layers - the top layer is joined to the 2nd at the right, the 2nd joins the 3rd at the left, the 3rd joins the 4th at the right - so, once woven the cloth will open out into one piece 4 times the original width.


Here are the two edges of the weaving:

Its such a wonderfully clever technique (and a very old one), and its not at all as complicated to weave as it sounds (though it does need a loom with 8 shafts) - but it does grow more slowly than plain single weaving.

This is no adequate excuse for taking so very very long over it.

Neither is the fact that my loom is in the spare / guest room.

I hope to post once a week here, even if its just one line recording how much I have woven in the past week.

Today I wove over 5 inches.
This despite the fact that I spent far too long obsessively searching (and re - searching in the same places) for my weaving notebook which - though I didn't need it right now - does have useful notes of previous projects and workshops.

It was only about 10 minutes after giving up the search, when I had been weaving, relaxing, thinking, drifting... that I realised where it must be.

Who knows what I might realise and remember if I manage to start weaving regularly at home again?