the lovely woven scarf of Noro-ness

This weekend, I had a bit of an accident and hurt my neck and shoulder, so spinning was right off the agenda and the painkillers made my head a bit fuzzy so after a few mistakes I gave up on knitting.  So I tried weaving which kind of worked out…

…My favourite thing about Noro yarns are the colours, they are just beautiful, my particular favourites being the muted ones.  I’ve had some Kureyon in my stash for a while now, left-over from some fetching mitts that I knit and I planned to make the scrappy lengthwise scarf with it, which I’ve also had queued for a while.  The thing I like about the scrappy lengthwise scarf is that it looks woven.  Hmmm, are you seeing where I’m going with this?

Yes! Exactly! I have a loaned loom and I want to make a scarf that looks woven and knitting it would take a while, whereas weaving it would take a day, tops!  Hmmmm.

I imagined that the colour changes of the warp thread and the colour changes of the weft would make a woven thing of beauty.  So with the help of Ian (knit a man a pair of socks and he is then completely beholden to you, yes?) I set about warping the loom with the Noro.  The funny thing about weaving is that men are much more willing to become engaged in the activity, unlike knitting.  So much so, he has said things like “when we do this next time…” and I have witnesses.  By the way this is all boding very well for a knitters loom for Christmas don’t you think?  So anyway, I digress, in no time at all I was weaving away.

I had a few problems, firstly, the warp thread on one side broke, but I carried on regardless.  I don’t know for certain, but I suspect that the tension and friction were too much for the Noro as further along the same thing happened on the other side.  The second thing that happened was, that the weft began to slope down towards the end with the broken warp thread, I need to look up as to why this happened.  Anyway, I carried on regardless, admiring the colours and kind of hoping for it all to come right after a wash.  When the warp thread broke on the other side I decided to stop, I was quite near to the end and I think the craft gods were telling me something.   Despite all of this I love it still and think that I was absolutely right about the colour changes being perfect for a woven scarf.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the beauty of handmade means not having to be perfect to be lovely.

Ta da!

First woven scarf

Canard aux framboise is finished, so named because the colourways are eider and raspberry, take a gander (hee hee, pun fully intended).

I’m quite proud of my first attempt in fact, it turns out I love weaving and will absolutely be getting my own loom soon.  I can’t thank Sonia enough for generously loaning me hers and Jen for having the patience for teaching me.

One of the best things about weaving is the instant gratification of being able to weave a scarf in a half a day as opposed to knitting one in a month, I’m not what you call a fast knitter.  In fact I think the only scarves I will knit in future will be cabled or lace ones, I’m already thinking of yarns that I have that I can weave into scarves.  In fact much of my leftover yarn from knitted projects could be used in this way as weaving seems to use much less yarn than knitting.  This scarf took only 2 x 50g balls of Jamieson’s Shetland heather, actually there’s a little bit left over of the eider.  It’s 3 inches wide and 76 inches long, which looks good with this yarn but a chunky yarn I feel would suit a thicker scarf, personal preference, that’s all.  The cloth feels very rustic and is, I would say pleasantly scratchy, but then I quite like a scratchy yarn.

The only tedious part of this scarf was weaving in the ends up the sides.  It’s right up there with mattress stitching seams on flat knit jumpers.  Which, probably explains why anything designed to be knit flat ends up languishing on my Ravelry queue forever, with little hope of really being knit up as, to me the idea of adapting patterns from knit flat to knit in the round seems as tedious as mattress stitching.

Today, I am actually going to work on one of my cardigans, I haven’t lost my love for sticks’n’string, for that would be crazy unthinkable.

ttfn x

Practicing, forgotten purchase and 4th parcel

Last night I crafted like a woman possessed or obsessed, either way.

I practiced more weaving and began to get into a rhythm.  It occurred to me that just like in knitting, if you relax into it and don’t fret too much about tension and getting everything just so your hands naturally work to create an even tension.  Because, look…

…the edges are getting neater, still not perfect, but definitely better.

Then I practiced some more on the drop spindle to get something that vaguely resembled spun yarn, this is going to take some work I think.  My drafting is a bit, how can I say…


This is the fruits of my efforts from last night.

A bit thick and thin all over the place but hey, I’m enjoying the practice, so much so that when I eventually looked up from spinning I found it was one o’clock in the morning and way past my bedtime.  Talk about time flying by when you’re having fun.

So I was having so much fun last night I forgot to show you an adorable purchase I made yesterday in a little craft/gift shop a couple of doors down from Onabee.  Here he is

He’s a tea for two rabbit and he needs a name really, I shall have to put my thinking cap on.

Lastly, which is quite appropriate really my 4th parcel finally came. It’s a lovely book by Lucinda Guy called Northern Knits because I love the traditions and history of the knitting of Scandanavia and the northernmost islands of Britain.

Well that’s me for now, ttfn x

First steps of new fibre adventures

First things first, as promised pics of finished socks

He loves them, a lot.

I’m feeling a bit left out on the sock front and I know I said I wasn’t going to start anything new but look…

…pretties from Onabee, the new shop in Kensington.  They are shouting knee high stripey socks with plain toes, heels and cuffs to me.  They will be house socks obviously as they are Pear Tree merino 8ply and the plain sage colour is Heirloom merino 8ply but they should be soooo soft and snuggly, or, of course I could make long mitts, either way, nomnomnom.

So today was all about learning to weave with the lovely Jen who if you remember wove me the beautiful box of crayons scarf.  She is such a patient teacher and had me weaving in no time at all look…

Obviously I need heaps of practice before I’m as good as Jen at keeping the edges even but I really enjoyed it.  It’s kind of soothing and grows really quickly, very addictive.  Jen also demonstrated her spinning wheel and drop spindling, I’ve had a go at drop spindling since I got back tonight and gosh she makes it look easy, it’s way harder than it looks and my attempts are abysmal, still I will persist and get good at it, if only for the reason that I love the feel of the fibre through my fingers.  Here’s my third attempt, playing with the lovely fibre donated from Jen’s significant stash…

Please excuse the horrible photobooth picture but it’s kind of hard to hold a camera and a drop spindle at the same time.

Anyway, I had the most amazing day, so thanks Jen a billionty.

Finished sock and fibre distractions

Last night I cast off the second of Ian’s socks and washed them, they’re blocking (sort of) now.  By sort of I mean, they have been pulled to shape whilst damp and are drying flat, they’re socks for goodness sakes and it was late and I was too tired to faff, pictures to come.

Now I’ve decided that that’s all the knitting for others I’m going to do for this year, and as this year has only 4 months left I better get my skates on and finish what I’ve got still on the needles, namely Clapotis, Manu and Coraline.  I’m going to finish Clapotis first because everyone at Richmond SnB has finished theirs and have been turning up to SnB looking very fine and pretty while I look longingly on.

As well as work and feeding and looking after my lovely menfolk I will also be having new yarny adventures too, so that may distract me a little from my mission but I’m going to give it my best shot.  Yes, it has already been mentioned that my two cardigans will be finished just in time for the lovely 40 degree summer that I love so much, NOT!

Anyway talking of new yarny adventures here’s what I bought yesterday in a fit of giddiness.

A beginners drop spindle and niddy noddy and I have a new love, they are washed and carded tops mmmmm soooo soft.  I’m trying not to pet it too much because I don’t want to spoil it before I dye and spin it or spin and dye it, I’m still undecided which I’m going to do first.  But anyway, sooo pretty I bought it all at the Handweavers and spinners guild in Coburg which is quite near me, handy yes? Or not if you were hoping I was going to start being frugal and not splurging too much on yarny goodness hmmmm.  Ooopsie!

Where was I? Yes, carded tops, I am going to confess to being a bit of a germ-phobe and so probably not going to be bringing into the house, dirty fleeces.  So I think carded tops is the way to go really.  I have 2 teenage sons and well, nuff said, there is only so much I can cope with.

Also today I am going to visit lovely Jen and Katie and pop into the new yarn shop Onabee near them. Jen has promised to teach me how to turn this…

into a pretty scarf for moi using this…

It’s on loan from the lovely Sonia.  I haven’t bought one…

…yet ;o)

So there you go, I will of course keep you posted.  So much to do and so little time, I can’t believe I’m halfway through my week off, nooooo

Talented Friends

One of the very best things about knitting and the stitch and bitch movement is that you get to make friends with some extremely talented people.  One of my very good friends from stitch and bitch, Jen (Ravname Binkaboo), offered to weave me a scarf after I much admired hers.  I had purchased some Noro Kochoran as the colours remind me of crayola crayons and the Jo Sharp Silkroad Tweed in a teal colour and the resultant scarf is just beautiful.  She calls the scarf “Box of Crayons for Mel” and as you can see she is one very talented lady especially as weaving is just one of her many talents.

I absolutely love it, so thank you very much Jen.

Btw, it has inspired me to take up weaving and I am currently on the lookout for looms, I’m thinking if I sell my treadmill I will have funds and space, yay!