Friday, March 27, 2009


Our Guild had a practical day today, making braids together. We were told to bring some thick yarn with us. I took some wool and cotton yarn but compared to the others mine was fine though it is far from my finest yarn. It just takes longer to finish the braid but I'm pleased with the result.
We were shown to make 2 different braids today.This is the first braid we made. Starting with 3 colours. Two groups of 3 double threads at each side (mine was 2 yellow and 1 green) and in the middle a group of 2 double threads (mine was red).The threads are clamped to the table so that you have a hold from where you can start braiding.
I was so busy learning the braiding that I forgot to take photos so I have made a new braid and taken photos at most stages trying to explain how this braid is made.I have used slightly different colours on the left (yellow/green) and right (dark yellow/blue) set of 3 double threads, hopefully showing what is happening to these threads.
These outer sets are threaded by bringing the under thread over the top thread, see in the drawing. This "fixing" is done each time after a change in the braiding.The red threads go from the centre again to the side, repeating all sequinces again until braid is finished.

The second braid that I made was this one, I will just place the photo:

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Spring at last!

Sunshine, flowers and lots of buds in the garden. Although the temperature is still low, it just shows what is in store for us very soon!

I have not much weaving to share at the moment as I'm busy preparing myself for next month's Online Guild workshop Roots, woods and bugs: working with the red dyes.

At the moment I'm rewinding larger skeins of worsted and lambswool into smaller skeins. I have 1 kg of each yarn and I'm hoping to end up with lots of different colours red at the end of April. There should be enough yarn together to make a project. I already have something in mind but I will have to wait and see if it will work out the way I intend it to go.
I'm planning to dye with madder, redwood, sandelwood and cochineal. I also have dye extract from Pure Tinctoria that I want to use for the first time in this workshop, in particular red Lac but may be some more red colours.
So watch this space next month :-)

Bradford days

Cally has in this post said some nice things about Doni and myself. I feel flattered to have been named by her. Reading blogs of people you have met make them even more interesting to read.

The link between Cally, Doni and myself is that we all started the Bradford course together in 2005. With a group of 15 individuals we began the course but as we progressed we bonded and became more of a group for the duration of the course, and beyond. Something special we have shared together with the ups and downs of the course. Our group was the last of the HNC Handwoven Textiles course, now changed into HNC Woven, Knitted or Embroidered Textiles. If you want an insight of the Bradford course do go and read Nigel's blog together with his photo albums. He is a current Bradford student and describes his Bradford process here in a unique way.

Starting my blog at the beginning of this year was for me a way of getting focused again on textiles and weaving in particular after a period where focussing in general had not been easy. Blogging has learned me so far to really look at what I have woven and how to describe this. A great learning curve that will continue to grow.
For my blog to be named by Cally was a surprise, I'm no longer hiding but in view of a bigger audience.
For me to name other blogs, I would have to choose, and many already have been named by others. We would keep going around in circles. So I choose to leave it at this. ;-)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Creative Spinning workshop

I've just come back from my creative spinning workshop by Jane Deane and Alison Daykin.
It was a great workshop, I've gained so much! I've now been shown how to create a yarn, not just spin a yarn.
I had taken my object with me, my Azurite stone.
We had to look at it and think what was inspiring about it, was it the colour, the texture or the shape? We spent yesterday morning working with this in more depth, also drawing and colouring before we started spinning after lunch.

These are the results of my spinning. I'm very pleased with the yarns. The top purple (it looks blue but is more towards purple in real) yarn is a slub yarn. Is it not great to design and produce your own yarns like this. It is now a matter of finding the time to blend and spin the fibres into yarn and making enough for a weaving project.

The blue is in fact more toward the purple. My first yarn was more an Indigo blue but did not match the Azurite at all. In this photo you see the blue and purple yarns I made (here the purple yarn is the same as the yarn with the stone), I just cannot get the colour right in the photo. They are both a bit darker for real.

Here a close up of the slub yarn.

There are 3 different coloured green yarn, this is the darkest of the 3 but the photo shows it up much lighter than it is.

If you are also interested in doing a Creative Spinning workshop, Jane and Alison will be teaching this at Summer School in August this year. I can highly recommend this!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Spinning Blue/Purple

I have been busy spinning this week
to empty my bobbin as I need all of them empty for this weekend. This is space dyed merino wool that I bought years ago and I have enjoyed looking at the lovely colours until I decided to spin it up. It was only 50 grams but I now have 198 meters yarn for weaving.

This weekend I'm going to the workshop Creative Spinning with Jane Deane & Alison Daykin at De Spinners. Amanda Hannaford will also be teaching a workshop there. Really looking forward to meeting all the other spinners.

Tonight I've been busy baking as a surprise to take with me.

We have to bring a picture or an object for inspiration.
I'm bringing this:

This is a stone that I have had for years which has 2 totally different sides. I believe it is an Azurite. The blue is a really deepblue colour with some sparkle and the green layer has many colour variations from pale to dark with some brownish red. That should be inspiring for some lovely coloured yarns hopefully!