Thursday, February 16, 2017

Houndstooth sampler placemats


I present you with the newest lesson on my Weaving Lessons channel!

I haven't really delved into colour and weave in any previous lessons and I thought it was high time to explore these fascinating techniques with you.


Like much of rigid heddle weaving, houndstooth is deceptively simple. The weave structure is plain weave, the wow factor comes from the threading of colours. The lesson includes detailed video instructions as well as a printable PDF with extra information and calculations.




Perfect for beginner weavers and a quick project for the more experienced, I hope you can join me for this one!



Thursday, February 9, 2017

A little glimpse into creative family life



I filmed this yesterday afternoon because it felt like a bit of milestone. In steaming hot weather, with a pedestal fan blowing on us, my 9 year old, set up and weaving mostly independently on the rigid heddle loom while I was weaving at the floor loom. It's funny how things can happen so naturally and then you suddenly realise you're living a dream moment. I posted it on Youtube, thinking it would probably be largely overlooked as viewers seem to prefer my instructional videos to anything else.

But what a response! Quite a few commented that the video had brought tears to their eyes, for different reasons. For one subscriber, it was that her parents had never invested the time in her that she craved. For another, the video brought back wonderful memories of her own creative homeschooled upbringing. Many commented on the simple beauty of the video. 

Wow, was I surprised. And so pleased. It reminds me that I am so blessed to be able to share with others in this way. It encourages me that, even if I feel like I don't do a good enough job as a parent, others think I do. And it gives me joy, that God has much work for us to do, if only we will co-operate, love and trust.

I hope you are all having a most blessed week, until next time :)


Monday, February 6, 2017

Project patience

I am working on the most beautiful shawl. After a run of towels I felt the need to weave something really beautiful. I love shawls, the drape, the practicality, the loveliness, so it wasn't a hard choice. I had this stunning tencel that I had hand dyed ages ago and wound into a warp ready for a scarf.


But, I changed my mind and decided I needed it for the shawl instead! Plenty of time and unwinding later, I was ready to wind a shawl warp instead. The warp went onto the loom like a dream, in fact tencel itself is rather dreamy.

The threading is the part that takes me the longest and I'm hoping my speed will increase eventually. After pusing myself to work late one night, I finally had the reed sleyed and the warp tied on. I was ready to weave!
Except I wasn't.
I had put the reed and beater on backwards. Yes, I actually did that! Untie the warp, unsley the reed, remove it, turn it around, re-sley the reed, re-tie the warp and presto, I really was ready to weave this time.

I chose another hand dyed tencel that I thought would contrast well and began. Uh oh. The tencel I had chosen for the weft was variegated. The pattern got lost in the busy-ness of the warp. I realised this was a possibility when I chose it as weft but decided to chance it anyway. It took me a couple of inches of weaving to realise it wasn't going to work. Enter un-weaving (not nearly as fun as weaving, trust me!)

So.... (this is starting to read a bit like a drama and it sure as heck started to feel like one!) I chose a lovely mercerised cotton in Peacock as the weft and away I went. Ah, much better.
Then I realised. Some selvedge warp threads had broken and fallen away from the reed. When had that happened? I had no idea, but it was definitely a problem! My selvedge on that side was looking quite un-perfect. 


Fortunately this was a fairly quick fix and I was back into the weaving. I'm about a quarter of the way through now, I wonder what other treats and surprises the next three quarters has in store for me!