posted in: Blog | 6

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

Creative Commons License


posted in: Blog | 1

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

Creative Commons License


Highland Guild

posted in: Blog | 2


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

Creative Commons License



When wool is not lovely

posted in: Blog | 4

The Campaign for Wool are on tour in Scotland this week, “celebrating Scotland’s wool industry” with visits to various mills, weavers etc. It’s great to have that energy behind a revival of interest in wool, which truly is an amazing fibre. But last night I was at Dundee Rep to see The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil. They have produced a stunning revival of a very compelling play, and it is a potent reminder of the deeply unhappy side of Scotland’s history with wool: the Highland Clearances. If you have a chance to see the play, grab it!

Latest double huck pattern is pinwheels. Can you see them?

huck pinwheels

The colour’s disappeared in that picture. We are still on the same blue warp, though I think (hope!) the end is not far off.

When wool is not lovely” was posted by Cally on 6 Sept 2016 at http://callybooker.co.uk

Creative Commons License


Seeing squirrels

posted in: Blog | 1

Yesterday S and I drove across Perthshire to the far end of Lochs Earn and Tay. It’s beautiful country and it was a lovely day just for a drive, but we did have a particular purpose. Our destination was Wildgrass Studio at Wester Lix, home and workplace of the photographers Dave and Gill Hunt.

Dave teaches workshops in product photography so it seemed like an excellent way to get some ‘staff development’ for my underpaid staff and his boss. It was. We both learned an enormous amount about camera, lenses, lighting, composition, software… even though we were working in their wonderful conservatory gallery/studio and constantly rushing to a window with cries of ‘squirrel!’ every time a red squirrel dashed past.

Alas, I have no pictures of speedy squirrels to show you (check out their Facebook page if you need a squirrel fix) but I can share a baby bunny.

baby bunny

Back at the mill we have some Goethe warps going on to table looms for the Highland Guild workshop (now fully booked)…

warping for workshop

…and some zig zags looking rather funky under cover of the loom.

zig zags underneath

Seeing squirrels” was posted by Cally on 28 August 2016 at http://callybooker.co.uk

Creative Commons License


1 2 3 4 99