Colour variations

Last week I finally finished the warp which began with the snow. I have been snatching a few hours of weaving here and there between teaching and marking, which have been the dominant activities lately, so it seems to have taken forever. But I have a nice selection of colour combinations, all based on the same pegplan and treadling order with just a few variations in block length and shuttle sequence.

Once this fabric is finished my intention is to turn it into cowls, and possibly a few purses, for the Craft Scotland Summer Show – one of several events I’m looking forward to this summer. And a new warp is on the loom, just in time for the next round of marking to begin!

In other news, I really enjoyed a trip to Cumbria last weekend to explore the colour triangle with Eden Valley Guild. They are a very welcoming and proficient group of weavers, and meet in the most idyllic venue too! You can see some pictures of the workshop on their guild website. I have also had the opportunity to see a wee exhibition Scottish Voices by the British Tapestry Group in St Andrews, and it was well worth the visit. I am looking forward to their Sound and Weave exhibition in Dumfries later in the year – not least because it ties in so well with the theme of the Aural Textiles project.

Colour variations” was posted by Cally on 28 April 2018 at

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Make It Green Journal

Early last year I made a commitment to the Green Crafts Initiative. Over the years I have been working on various aspects of sustainability in my creative practice, most recently with my education and explorations in ecological methods of natural dyeing.

This week I was interviewed by Craft Scotland for their Make It Green Journal and you can read the conversation here.

“Make It Green Journal” was posted by Cally on 31 March 2018 at

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Time, Blocks, Marking

Before I left for Newtonmore, I had just had time to make a warp from my newly dyed yarn.

So when I got back, I put it on the loom.

I wanted to try out a basic pattern of blocks using four-colour double weave. So I did. I should have read my notes from Marian’s workshop first!

I was pretty pleased with how it was going, until I noticed that I had some doubled ends at the edges of a few blocks. I cut off a sample and finished it, to see whether it bothered me.

On the plus side, I do like the way the BFL shines in the midst of all the merino. The fact that glints happen to be golden is even better! But the doubled ends do bother me, so I needed to rethink my arrangement of blocks (and read my notes). So here we have…

…threading take two. Weaving has recommenced and currently looks like this.

Progress will be slow, however. The season of marking is upon us and I have a *lot* of it this time.

My guilty secret is that I actually enjoy marking; at least, I enjoy this kind of marking. These assessments are formative, so there’s a chance the students may even be interested in the detailed feedback I give them. (Exam marking, on the other hand, is completely soul-destroying, because the only thing anyone cares about is the score.) The difficulty I have with marking is not that I have to do it, but that it is very intense and tiring. You have to immerse yourself in someone else’s mental map of the subject for an hour or more…reflect on it…respond to it…then drag yourself out of it and dive into a different one, over and over again. Time passes in a most peculiar stop-start way. And many, many chocolate biscuits are eaten.

But the warp isn’t going anywhere. It will wait for me.

Time, Blocks, Marking” was posted by Cally on 24 March 2018 at

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So the snow melted and I made a warp out of some of my recently dyed yarn.

But I didn’t have time to get it on the loom before heading into the Highlands, where I was taking part in a workshop in the village of Newtonmore.

It’s a lovely journey on the train, and even more so when one is feeling extra-thankful not to be driving.

There was plenty of snow on the hills, and still a bit on the ground in the village…

…and a whole lot more fell while we were there…

…which made the workshop all the more interesting, as our task was to record and interpret the sounds of the Scottish landscape for the Aural Textiles project. There was much crunching of feet on snow and quiet listening to the dripping of the thaw. We – ten of us in total, including seven textile artists and designers of different disciplines – spread out to gather and record our sounds, and then reconvened in the village hall where we learned to filter out noise and visualise our recordings as spectrograms.

I’ll be working on this project through the spring and summer, so there will be more updates to come – here and on the Aural Textiles website. You can also follow @auraltextiles on instagram (check out the picture of our name badges…)

And now I really need to get that loom warped!

Newtonmore” was posted by Cally on 11 March 2018 at

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