Friday, February 23, 2018

New Introduction to Floor Loom Weaving course

I am so excited to bring you the news that this course is now available! The Introduction to Floor Loom Weaving course is my biggest class yet, with almost 4.5 hours of video instruction plus printable PDFs.


I designed this course for new floor loom weavers, or those who simply want to "make friends" with their loom and gain confidence weaving. 
The topic list is huge, but includes loom anatomy, calculations, reading drafts, warping, dressing the loom, the mechanics of weaving, and much more! 


The course is project based so participants will end up with a beautiful 3 shaft double cowl scarf. 

I hope to make follow up classes to take students through 4 and 8 shaft projects in the near future.

If you're interested in this course, visit my Online Weaving School, where you can watch a preview for the class. It is available as a single purchase, or, if you are a subscriber, this course is included in your subscription, simply login to view.

Happy Weaving!

Monday, February 12, 2018

What is krokbragd?

Krokbragd has captivated my weaving heart and mind ever since I first laid eyes on it. So, what is it? And how is it pronounced?!

Krokbragd is a twill weave structure that originated in Sweden. It is woven on 3 shafts and is weft faced (meaning the weft is dominant, covering most of the warp).  It is pronounced "croak-brod".

This weave structure produces bold and colourful patterns. The actual weaving sequence does not change, so the patterns are formed by changing colours. It's quite magical!



The more you experiment with krokbragd, the more you feel that the possibilities are really endless.


Because the weft is packed in, krokbragd produces a dense, heavy fabric. Historically, in Scandinavia, items with this structure were mainly heavy duty pieces such as chair and travel cushions as well as for warmth in the form of bed coverings. It was also used artistically, mainly for wallhangings. It is likely that some wallhangings served a double purpose of keeping the home more cosy, as hangings were sometimes used as door coverings to keep out cold draughts.




If you find this weave structure as fascinating as I do, you may want to visit my free krokbragd tutorials for the rigid heddle loom on Youtube.


Start with the beginner's video here.
From there, you can find your way to the other videos that will help you build on the technique using a heddle rod.


Last year, I wove some samples with 2 heddles for a class I intended to complete for my Online Weaving School. Well, life got in the way, and the class didn't happen, but it's definitely on my list for this year, I'll keep you posted on that one!





Monday, February 5, 2018

Easy, natural hand softener


It's Winter time for many of my students throughout the world, and I know how drying that can be on your hands. If you work with your hands, it's an issue - you will have threads catching on dry skin and if it gets bad enough it may become painful to use and wash your hands - not nice!


So today I am sharing with you an old embroiderer's trick to smooth and silky hands in no time, using  natural ingredients that most of you should have in your pantry. And, it really works!


2 tablespoons white, granulated sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Yep, that's it!


Mush the two ingredients together in a bowl until it comes together.  Now, with both hands, rub the mixture all over the fronts and backs of your hands. There is not set time for the rubbing, but if you do it too long it may over exfoliate and start to hurt - less is probably more!


Wash your hands in warm water (you may need just a little soap to help dissolve the excess oil). Pat your hands dry with a nice soft towel. Follow up with a moisturiser if you wish, though I don't find it necessary. Enjoy your soft and silky hands!

P.S. This towel is the underside of one of my hand woven Lux Hand Towels, the pattern is available in my Etsy shop.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Easy, frugal, bread, onion and tomato bake

This is such an easy and economical dish and had the added bonus of using up some ingredients that might be past their best.


There is no need to be exact with quantities either, it's that sort of dish.

I started with some thick slices of homemade bread that was slightly stale and buttered each slice lightly. Cut into cubes.
I chopped 1/2 a red onion.
I chopped roughly 10 tomatoes that were getting a bit old but still perfectly useable.
All this goes into a bowl together and drizzled with some olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic salt if desired and season with pepper.
I tipped all this into a baking dish and sprinkled with a little parmesan, then grated tasty cheese.
Pop into a hot oven (about 180 degrees C or 350 F) until golden brown on top.
Serve!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Taking each day as it comes

Life can be so up and down, constantly changing, imperfect.

This week, we started back homeschooling. Traditionally, Australians take a longer break over Summer but considering our disrupted year last year and the girls needing a solid routine, we decided to start back early. We had some new books to start on, the girls were excited about that too. 


I did a lot of pre planning again, hours of work actually, so I felt confident to start the new year. The first day went fairly smoothly apart from one girl needing an attitude adjustment (this is something we are consistently working on with this child). My youngest girl surprised me by getting stuck into her work with gusto and really enjoying it. 

Fast forward to Friday morning and, following a social engagement yesterday, the girls were late to wake and get started. After a fair bit of pushing on my part, we started our homeschool morning. It wasn't very long before there was a complete meltdown and tears from the little one. I was disappointed, I had lessons prepared. However, experience has taught me that there is no point in making an overtired, unreasonable child sit and the table and work, so it was back to bed with her, and there she stayed for the whole morning reading. The upside is she finished one novel she hadn't completed last year and got through another short novel. She was still learning, it was ok. I was able to continue the planned lesson with the other girls.



Plan A is a beautiful thing to the eyes of a homeschool Mum who has spent the time preparing, planning and researching. But, very often, plan B just has to do, and usually it is enough if we accept it as such. It's not easy to let go of hopes, but often it's the only solution.

Running a business has been very much the same. Last week was huge, I released a new pattern, there was a huge amount of activity in my online weaving school, it was all very busy and exciting. This week, the complete opposite with practically no sales, very little activity and even social media has been very quiet. A newly released Youtube video has received very little attention.


Plan A for the business is that I can make a living doing this, that all the hours I put in will finally be worth it. The reality (plan B)  is, I have to keep pushing on and endure the good times with the bad and keep hoping. 

Many times I have wanted to give up on things that seemed too hard - whether it's homeschooling or my business or something else. But every time I want to throw the towel in I say to myself "wait until tomorrow". When tomorrow comes, I'm usually good to go again, the new day gives new perspective. 

I love the words of one of my favourite saints, Padre Pio - 

"Pray, hope and don't worry".




Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year, new pattern!

Happy New Year to you all! What an exciting time to be alive :)
Although I spent New Year's Eve in bed with a stomach upset, today I feel well and reinvigorated. 

Today I launched a new Etsy pattern and thought I would share some details of the process for you.


I started out with some gorgeous Australian Merino from Bendigo Woollen Mills and dyed it with Landscape dyes. I had a vision of the colour I wanted and it was almost spot on. It's a very hard colour to photograph though, it's not as dark as it appears here. I planned on having the colours split in the dye pot to give a subtle variation in colour and it worked out beautifully.


I absolutely love lace knitting and wanted to create something similar on the loom. A scarf that was light and airy with a pretty pattern and warmth and softness for wearing. 


I wanted all the finished details to tie in well with the design of the scarf, so the hemstitching was pulled extra tight to create space and the fringe was twisted. (See how different the colour looks here to the first photo!)


The end result is so beautiful! I was admiring myself wearing it in the mirror until my daughter came along and asked to try it. Well, it looks sensational on her, just the perfect colour, so she may get to keep it.


The PDF pattern for the scarf is now available in my Etsy shop, ready for you to download and start weaving! 



Wednesday, December 27, 2017

CONGRATULATIONS!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I had a beautiful, quiet and relaxing day with my family.

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway, there were just over 1000 entries and if I could, I would give each and every one of you a prize, but then that would place me in bankruptcy, so I'm obligated to stick with just one winner!

A big congratulations to Christine Rose, who won the Ashford Rigid Heddle loom and a one year subscription to my Online Weaving School. I've been in touch with Christine and she is just thrilled to be the winner. 


Playing Santa Claus was fun, I hope I can do it again sometime!