The weather is predicted to get much warmer this weekend here in Ireland – yippee! It’s definitely warmer, but for a cold-blooded person (part reptile perhaps) like me, it’s still not cardigan free weather. At least not in this office anyway. I’m currently wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt, under a short sleeve t-shirt, with a wool cardi on top and I’m considering putting a hat and a pair of fingerless gloves on too 🤣 I should point out, that I know it’s me, the front door is wide open and it’s definitely warmer outside.
I briefly mentioned the ongoing Explorations in Colour project that the Handweavers Guild of Cork members are working on last time. Colours were picked at random, from Red, pink, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple, to ensure we end up with a rainbow of squares to exhibit.
For some strange reason, I’ve had an urge to make birds nests. I can’t say I know where the ‘need’ and I do mean need, came from, but I know I’d gone to bed dreaming of them for a couple of nights in a row (maybe it means something, ideas anyone?).
I can hardly believe a whole year has passed again, Yarndale 2014 seemed like only yesterday and I almost missed it this year, due to the distraction that is Olann and.
Hubby needed to take a course in the UK, which we were able to time beautifully to coincide with the annual pilgrimage to Skipton and we’re lucky to have family in Yorkshire too. Handy for staying over and availing of all the Yorkshire bargains, my family are obsessed with bargains – 25% off a meal here, a free coffee there. It’s really funny and the subject of many a jest, but every little helps after all.
We caught the ferry in the wee small hours of Friday morning to give us a couple of days to spend in Yorkshire with the family. Saturday included a road trip around the dales, exploring some beautiful places and happening upon the Holmfirth Food Festival too.
Rising bright and early, we made our way to Skipton on the misty Sunday morning, stopping off for breakfast on the way (as you do). Despite arriving by 11am, the marts was already filling up and parking was at a premium.
Heading straight in as we’d pre-booked, we were handed our Show Guide, which contains details of what’s on over the weekend, all the exhibitors and a few lovely little knitting & crochet patterns. This years programme also contains a great interview with John and Juliet of John Arbon Textiles who won the best stand award at Yarndale 2014.
Having just closed a yarn shop, it’s fair to assume that I might have a few balls and hanks hanging around the house, so purchases could seem just a little extravagant. There’s so much to tempt you though that resistance is futile. I did buy a couple of books and some fibre to spin. I also bought some good old fashioned rug wool to use with my stash of weaving yarn. There were a couple of books and magazines too, but my hubby has it all with him in the UK to save me carrying it on the plane and he’s not coming home for a while yet. So it will be like Christmas when he does 🙂
You really have your pick when it comes to Yarndale, there’s stalls selling everything from fibre and spinning wheels to yarn and patterns. You can even enquire about purchasing an alpaca or two if you want. Setting a budget, is probably the safest option and then leave your bank/credit cards at home too. Bare in mind that there are bargains to be had, with many of the vendors offering ‘Yarndale Show Deals’ and ‘Special Prices’.
There are classes and workshops, but it’s better to book ahead as they fill rather quickly. Grabbing a bite to eat will no doubt involve queuing and seating near the food area is very busy. There are chairs set up in pens on almost every row throughout the marts though. So you can stop and rest your tootsies or even eat your lunch.
There’s a great atmosphere, with many attendees bedecked in their woolly creations and many of the stalls have garments on show for you to see in ‘the flesh’ and try on before choosing.
I could rattle on for ages about the things to see and buy, but maybe I should just let the photos speak for themselves? I took so many, but the lighting has meant loads of them are unusable 😦
The day went by all to quickly ⏰ but not before we’d managed to head back into Skipton town for a walk around in the gorgeous late September sun ☀️
With so many lovely places to stop for a bite to eat it would have been criminal not to partake of a cup of tea and a slice of cake before heading back down to South Yorkshire.
L👀k at that cake.
We took the scenic route back to South Yorkshire, enjoying the stunning views and beautiful Autumnal sun.
So.. I was checking out a few things on Ravelry, as you do when you’re trying to decide (avoid) what you’re going to do next and I stumbled upon something I never knew you could do.
Before I go any further, I should point out that you’ve probably been able to do it forever and I’m just late to the party as per usual.
As we all know my newly discovered obsession is weaving, well that and sewing, spinning, etc, etc. Anyway, for the purposes of this post it’s weaving.
I love Ravelry, it’s an invaluable tool for so many different aspects of fibre crafting and I know there’s weaving on there, but I’ve only been able to find it in the past, by looking at the finished projects from people signed up to the groups I’m in.
Until today that is.
I’ve just discovered that I can look at all of the finished weaving projects listed on Ravelry☺️🎉 ✌️
Here’s how –
Click on to the people tab along the top of the Ravelry home page and you’ll find yourself here. Where you will find lots of useful places to explore.
There’s your Friends Activity, where you can check out what your Ravelry friends have been up to.
The section – A Random Assortment of People’s Favourites or their ugh’s (projects people they’ve scored with the lowest satisfaction) is great for inspiration, or not as the case may be.
There’s show us your FO’s and lastly at the bottom there is a section called ‘Your Neighbours’. This is a great feature because these people and you have some of the same patterns in your libraries, therefore must have similar tastes. I often begin a search here first if I’m looking to knit something new, as there’s a good chance one of my neighbours might already have a design listed in their favourites or their library that I’ll like.
The section we’re looking at today is the ‘Show us your FO’s’.
Click on the search the finished FO’s tab.
Here you can click on the weaving projects and 💕 voilà 💕 – access to all of the finished weaving projects on Ravelry.
Better still, you can search the colour scheme of the piece.
The weight of yarn used (great for stash busting)
and what the project was, eg clothing, accessory, etc.
Of course you can also search peoples knitting, crochet and machine knitted finished projects too.
The only problem I can see, is that I’m going to be so busy looking at other peoples work, I’ll get none of my own finished 😳
I’m dying to tell you all about my trip last week to Saorimor in Wales (that’s Rosie looking resplendent in her woven top outside her studio), but I’ve had this post sitting half completed in my drafts folder for some time now and probably should just finish and publish it first.
It’s pretty obvious at the moment that I’m a little hooked by weaving, not sure why it’s taken me so long to find my weaving mojo, but now I have, there’s no stopping me. Having said that, I’m still knitting and crocheting away in between and I’ve even got my eye on a sewing pattern that wasn’t available in Cork earlier today 😦
Some of you probably saw photos of pink/orange weaving on Instagram a couple of weeks ago?
Having only really woven the table runner previously with itchy, scratchy, coarse wool, I was keen to find out what weaving with softer knitting yarn would be like. Traditionally, knitting yarn is too soft and has too much ‘bounce’ to be used in tapestry weaving, but lots of the modern looms available have been designed with just this in mind. It’s also what led me to purchase my loom in the first place. I’d hoped my ever increasing yarn stash, would eventually begin to decrease, as it’s definitely quicker to weave a large piece of cloth than knit it, but it would be less bulky than crochet.
Unfortunately though, as quick as it is to weave, there’s just no getting round having to warp your loom. I’m sure I’ll get quicker at it, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a quick process. There are youtube videos that make it look like it takes minutes, there’s even one called ‘warping your rigid heddle in 10 minutes’ – total utter 💩detritus💩 for me anyway.
For this project, a scarf, I really wanted to use a yarn that I’ve knitted with to be able to compare the finished fabrics. I opted for the Cotton Premium sock yarn from Opal, that I used to make a pair of socks earlier in the year. The sock yarn is as we know, rather thin (4ply) and so I decided to use a finer reed than before. My 40/10 gives me 40 ends to each 10cm or 4 ends per cm – oh yes, I’m begining to sound like I know what I’m talking about 🙌🏼 Having warped up my loom and wound some bobbins, I knuckled down to a spot of weaving.
I love the texture of plain weave (under one warp, over the next and repeat) and to be fair, I’m not sure I’m ready for twills, waffles and dogtooth checks just yet. The first thing you’ll notice, is that having used the same multicoloured yarn for both the warp and the weft, a sort of chequered pattern forms where the same colours in the yarn cross.
This pattern, adds to the overall effect of the weaving and makes it look a lot more complicated than it really is 💃💃💃
The finished scarf is over 1½ metres long by about 25cm wide and the material feels very different to that of the socks. The socks are much softer and have a squidgyness that the scarf just doesn’t have. The scarf took approximately 1¾ 100g balls of yarn and is light, incredibly warm and I love it, even the mistakes.
Of which there are a few 🙈 🙈 🙈
Technically I could have fixed them and if it was a piece of knitting I’m sure I would have, but for some strange reason they just don’t seem to bother me as much.
Rather oddly I’m also loving tassels as a way of finishing off my weaving too and they’re not something I would have been too fond of in the past. Maybe it’s because I know they’re functional, who knows?
On the loom next, is a cotton something or other, but it’s going to be a gift if it works out – possibly. Blues might just end up being the completely wrong colour though, if you catch my drift 😉
You might have noticed by now, that my knitting needles haven’t been getting much use of late?
Don’t worry, I’m not ready to put them away just yet, it’s purely an enforced pause due to the dreaded hayfever season. Sadly, along with thousands of other people I suffer horrendously at this time of year. To add insult to injury, I become sensitive to everything including dust, wool, my dogs and even the Vaseline you can dab on the outside of your nostrils to catch the offending pollen particles 😦
My poor puppy, ♥Errol♥ is having to make do with sitting on the sofa with me rather than on or next to me and the knitting, which is mostly pure wool, as it tends to be my favourite, is staying in my project bags most of the time.
However, a life without fibre, is in my opinion just not right and happily, I still seem to be able to play in other ways, with just the odd sneeze here and there 🙂
I’m rather ashamed to admit to owning quite a lot of fibery equipment that, in most cases, has never really been used. Some of them were ‘complete bargains’, gifts, specially made (sorry husband), or bought with the best intentions, but a lack of time to learn how to use them.
Weaving, is something I love and have been fortunate to attend a couple of tapestry weaving classes now and I always get far too carried away when I do basic weaving with the children I teach. Since Christmas we’ve made wall hangings and Gods Eyes and I’ve bought Hula Hoops to try and use them for a group project at some stage.
So it probably will be of no great surprise for you to hear that I own a few looms? One of them is a little bit intimidating (a floor loom, disassembled and stored) and falls into the ‘absolute bargain’ category. I also own a peg loom (thank you husband), several tapestry frames (husband again) and a Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom that I’ve been dying to play with if only I could find the time.
Cue hayfever and cut to the loom →
Along with the ‘complete bargain’ loom, there were several boxes of weaving yarn, warp thread, tools and equipment, which all just added to the ‘deal to good to pass up on’ feel of the transaction many years ago. The yarn is mostly the heavy weight, rough rug weaving type of thing that makes your neck itch just looking at it. I love the colours though and find the more than slightly rustic look of the yarn, quite appealing, I just don’t see myself wearing it.
At this point, I could lie and say “I’d checked the thickness of my yarn by wrapping it round a ruler to see how many strands it took to make a inch (WPI’s) and then selected the appropriate reed – that’s the plastic bit that determines the set (lay man term – spaces) at which your warp (up and down) threads run through your finished fabric. I didn’t though, I took the picture after. Instead I winged it and used the 7.5dpi (I think I barely understand what this means myself, certainly not enough to explain it yet) reed that came with the loom, which is basically the one for medium thickness yarns
Having warped my loom, which took much longer than it should have, I was able at last to get on with some weaving. I completely forgot to take photos of the process which was more experimental than anything, but happily it ended up being usable.
I didn’t make my warp long enough for my table runner to stretch the full length of my kitchen table, because it’s purposefully over long and rustic. If you’re wondering, my ever suffering hubby made it for me, it’s based on my dads work bench which I loved and reminds me of him every day ♥
The weaving was an experiment after all, even the pattern ended up being a happy accident, one which just evolved and then I repeated.
I think it’s rather lovely, even if I do say so myself.
Look at those tassels too (don’t look too closely at my edges please).
I found I’d enjoyed myself so much I couldn’t resist warping up the loom again. This time I’m using sock yarn and I’m hoping to make a scarf.