Looking at the calendar

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I’ve been beavering away to meet assorted deadlines, and now suddenly there is a breathing space. Not a very large one, mind you, but time for me to sit down with the calendar and plan what lies ahead. There are several things on the horizon in November, including a couple of highlights.

Over the weekend of the 12th and 13th I’m going to be weaving in the National Museum in Edinburgh as part of their Styling the Nation event. The two days are going to be packed with activities marking the launch of their new galleries of Art, Design and Fashion. I went down on Tuesday for a recce and I’m really excited about it. I’ll be setting up the Magic Dobby in the Grand Gallery, which is one of the city’s most fabulous spaces. So I need to get myself prepared! I’ll be taking along samples and notebooks as well as some finished work to help me explain the process of weaving, and I will also have some interactive content…

First up, though, a new linen warp tied on to the last one.


I’m not, or my knees are not, a big fan of tying on warps, especially on the Megado which is where it would be most useful. However, I’ve discovered that the Magic Dobby gives my knees plenty of room and as the castle is narrow and deep – it’s a bit like threading in a tunnel – the balance is tipped more in favour.

And from the end of November until Christmas Eve there will be another Tea Green pop-up in the Old Flour Mill, so I need to get busy with some scarves. As well as the new work I have on the go already, I’m planning a small limited edition… Not sure exactly what that will look like yet, but it has already started:


Looking at the calendar” was posted by Cally on 15 October 2016 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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Guess what

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The alpaca/silk warp is finished and I’m taking a break from double huck on the Megado. But not from zig-zags!

I have been mulling over ways to use up all the small bits of hand-dyed merino/silk I have accumulated over the last 12 months. My current favourite scheme is to use it for bright patches of colour on otherwise undyed scarves. At first I was going to go for triangles, but the zig-zags called to me… and they yield triangles on the back anyway. The coloured area is in double-faced twill (which, coincidentally, Meg is weaving with at the moment too) and the rest is straightforward 1/3 and 3/1 twill.


I suppose the Random Walks could be thought of as a zig-zag project too, in a fashion. I’ve a new one underway which uses coin tosses to determine the path. It is slightly wider than the last one – six inches rather than four – and to accommodate the larger size I have bought some old industrial bobbins on ebay.

Guess what” was posted by Cally on 27 Sept 2016 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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We have a magnetic whiteboard on the wall near the computer, and I like to use it for my to-do lists. A list I can see whenever I walk into the room is more likely to prod me into action than any number of diaries, planners, apps etc. Unfortunately, Magnus can reach the whiteboard from the bookcase – there isn’t really any place in the study where there isn’t a bookcase – and, once he had removed all the magnets, he moved onto solvents.

Rather than encourage his habit of licking off the marker pen, I now have to manage my to-do lists in other ways. And I must admit it isn’t really working! At any one time I have half a dozen scraps of paper on the go (in addition to the diaries etc) and I can still avoid looking at any of them. I really do need to find another location for the whiteboard, although the range of places I can reach and Magnus can’t is surprisingly limited. It’s a good thing he is a champion snuggler.


I have finished the first Random Walk. Each lifting sequence was determined by rolling a pair of dice. I’m using linen singles for the warp and linen/stainless steel for the weft. The result is pleasingly crisp but not ‘stiff’.

I’m not yet sure whether it should all be seen, or only part of it be seen, so I’ve been experimenting. This piece happens to be just the right width to wind onto a bobbin from my spinning wheel.


Whiteboards” was posted by Cally on 22 Sept 2016 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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Thanks to Neki’s house-purging I now have a grand total of 90 lags for the Magic Dobby. A license to go slightly bananas, in other words.

I have been experimenting with

  • different yarns
  • different lifts
  • different random processes

It is all about ‘random walks’. More on this later.



The teeny tiny piece at the bottom is very promising.

Randomness” was posted by Cally on 13 Sept 2016 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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Highland Guild

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The weavers of Highland Guild worked hard yesterday! I had driven up north with a boot-ful of looms – having also sent several warps on ahead a month ago – and we spent the day looking at ‘Colour from a Different Angle’ using Goethe’s (or Albers’s) triangle.

There is a lot to enjoy in Goethe’s work on colour, but the thing I find most interesting about the triangle is the way it facilitates creating sub-groups of colours associated with different themes and moods. It’s a great way to work if you are starting from an inspirational idea that is not visual, such as a piece of music. So we spent most of the day examining these sub-groups and testing out the theory with coloured card and then on the looms (see images above).

The day flew by and at 4 o’clock we were reviewing a glorious selection of samples. The whole set is not represented here, as some of those who had brought their own looms weren’t yet ready to cut off.



For me a side benefit to the trip was the opportunity to cadge a night’s bed and board with my friend Christina and to catch up with all that she is doing – which is quite a lot, as she is a prolific weaver, spinner AND dyer! I can safely say that I have never been in a house with more spinning wheels, or even half as many spinning wheels for that matter.

I was a bit starey-eyed by the time I came to the long drive home (and the A9 is nobody’s favourite driving experience because of the few impatient drivers who make it dangerous for the rest). But it was a fine evening, the Cairngorms were on good form, and there was no one to critique my singing along to Queen’s greatest hits. Home safe in time for a glass of wine, an omelette and Beck: perfect.

Highland Guild” was posted by Cally on 11 Sept 2016 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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