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…by kittens!


These little fluffies – that’s Magnus at the front and Pippi just behind him – joined our household at the weekend. That means I have been on duty both as hospitality manager and as peace-keeper while they adjust to us and to Polly and Polly adjusts to them. It’s going pretty well, but I have only been able to dash into the studio for short bursts of activity. As I am hosting a taster day on Saturday, my first priority has been to get the table looms warped up, and that’s now done. Next up on the Megado is not more huck – not yet – but a secret thing I won’t mention again. It involves some of the yarns I dyed recently, which are all ready and waiting.

hand dyed yarns

I’ll have to get something else on the go on the Delta, otherwise while I am weaving it I will just have to post pictures of kittens. Poor you.

Distracted…” was posted by Cally on 1 July 2015 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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Reviewing the Situation

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My sample scarf was woven in a 2/24 Nm alpaca/silk blend. I have a few different colours in hand and deliberately chose two – a brown and a soft violet-purple – that are quite similar in value. The grey and blue of the woolly samples have a fair amount of contrast, so I wanted to see whether a more subtle effect would still be pleasing (and visible!)

I stayed with the 14 dent reed and, after some fiddling about, settled on sleying each group of 10 (one 5-end unit in each layer) 3/4/3 leaving no empty dents between groups. My plan is to keep each piece very simple, using one of the pattern options as a detail. For this sample I started with the brown layer on top, then used a pattern area to switch to violet on top for the rest of the scarf.


The finished scarf looks like this (and this is a much truer representation of the violet than the images above).

There are some things I am happy with:

  • The yarn works well with the structure – it has enough ‘stickiness’ for the floats in the lace with a lovely sheen too.
  • The similar values do work well together
  • I get a scarf!

However, there are also a few things I’ve learned:

  • For a scarf of this length, I need to make the colour change a wee bit nearer to the end. You can see I had to fineigle the knot to squeak the pattern into view.
  • Don’t use the steam when pressing: the jets go right through the holes and make them look huge!
  • I may also need to tinker with the selvedges. It’s a bit tricky as I have no spare shafts, so the selvedge ends get switched along with the blocks. The answer may be to designate one colour as the ‘selvedge colour’. I could use a floating selvedge, but I’m not sure it would really help.

On the whole, I’m pretty happy with the experiment.

“Reviewing the Situation” was posted by Cally on 25 June 2015 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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Finished samples

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In the busy-ness of last week’s to-do list I never got around to posting some of the washed and pressed huck samples. So here they are.

They’re lovely and plump and soft :-)

I decided on alpaca/silk as the yarn to try next, so I’ve been tinkering with the sett and am now trying a narrow scarf to see how it turns out.

Saturday’s Meet Your Maker event at DCA was tremendously enjoyable and extremely hectic. I lost count of the number of people who wove their own mug rug, but they all did brilliantly. We got through two four-metre warps, which adds up to a lot of mug ruggage.

“Finished samples” was posted by Cally on 23 June 2015 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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Of course the huck sampling rapidly ran out of control again. This is partly because I am very good at thinking one thing and pegging something entirely different, which then leads on to another train of thought… and so on. However, the result is that I have raced through my warp – there’s about a metre left, or a bit less – playing with shapes more than with structure, which was a bit naughty.

I mentioned only being able to get two blocks on 16 shafts. This is a limitation. However, the individual units can be swapped as mini-blocks too, and the advantage of the three-unit threading…

double huck threading

…which I’m using is that the units are in point order: B-A-B-C-D-C-B-A-B

So I can do this.

double huck points

And this.

double huck points colour change

And this.

double huck diamonds

Those diamonds are plain weave on the face but there is lace on the reverse, and it led me to several different configurations of ‘swapped ends’ – see where the blue lines criss cross on the grey shape? One of the things I like most about this structure is the ease of switching pattern ends independently of tabby ends, as in this earlier example. However, I don’t seem to have photos of the floatier iterations. Or rather, I am sure I took them, but am having difficulty finding them again… The PC has decided all of a sudden to disown the iPad, so it treats it as a new device every time I plug it in which is proving to be a bit of a pain. On the plus side, you have been spared several screens-full of triangular variations.

As I am running out of warp, the next step is to make another one. This time I am planning to use some yarn that I would be likely to use for the ‘real thing’ once I get going. However, I am weighing up two options and dithering between them. The extent of my dithering is quite severe, and I realise that this is always the area where I have the greatest difficulty in decision-making in spite of obsessive sampling! It’s not that I can’t settle on a ‘good yarn for this project’, but that there are so many good yarns I find it hard to choose one set of characteristics over another.

Points” was posted by Cally on 13 June 2015 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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Website updates

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Last weekend I had a bit of a website tidy-up and added a couple of new pages. The ‘Classes’ link on the menu bar at the top is now called ‘Learn’ and it opens up a wee sub-menu:

website menu

I have been writing for Craftsy for the best part of a year now and, as most of the topics I choose are based on the questions I get asked here, I have been meaning for a while to index them somehow. This page is a first pass at that, thanks to the clever folk who produced the Link Library plugin.

website craftsy links

I have also added a new page for our Discover Craft Dundee group, so I’d be feeling quite a sense of accomplishment if it hadn’t then taken me a whole week to get around to writing this post… Ah well.

Website updates” was posted by Cally on 13 June 2015 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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