Some time ago I bought two skeins of Manos des Uruguay Silk Blend from I Knit in London and then couldn't find a project for it. Stupid, I know but I just didn't like the way the yarn knitted up and the business of the colours.
However, weaving uses the yarn differently and the colours seem to react differently. I decided to mix the Silk Blend with a ball of Cascade that I had left over from Max's jumper - the colour of the Cascade matched on of the Silk Blend colours. Too good to be true!
This is the result:
It is very difficult to get the colour right but the first picture is probably the most accurate. However, the silk gives this scarf a wonderful shine.
After the first scarf I made last week in a laceweight it was wonderful to be using a thicker yarn - it takes a lot less time!
One day I'll work out how to take decend "drapey" photos of scarves.
Some years ago I was sent two skeins of lace weight wool, one burgundy red and the other pale blue, both of them a lovely merino/sillk mix from Black Cat Fibres. With the burgundy I made a lace shawl called Heartland but it took me so long and was so frustrating tricky pattern) that I never used the pale blue. I even considered gifting the yarn to someone more likely to use it.
Fortunately I didn't! As you all know by now my weaving loom arrived and was set up a week ago and, of course, I immediately set to work. The blue yarn seemed like a good idea and I warped up the loom faithfully following instructions from Ashford (which are very good by the way). I chose a 2x2 twill and set to. I seem to remember taking breaks for meals and to sleep occasionally but it has to be said that laceweight takes a long time to weave!
Today my scarf is finally finished and off the loom. I made plenty of mistakes which you are welcome to notice and comment on but I'll leave you to find them.
My next project on the loom uses a thicker yarn and will involve shorter weaving times - backache is not something I want to live with for the rest of my life!
This is an Ashford 4 shaft table loom and arrived all the way from New Zealand on my birthday which was extraordinary service when you think about it! I would also like to add that we bought it from (or via) Tricotin.com - the service was excellent and, unusually for France, it was much cheaper buying it there than any other company we could find.
Guy & Max set it up on Monday and Guy filmed the process. Take a look - five minutes won't kill you...however, because of the music you have to watch it on YouTube so go here
(Whilst you're watching, check out my cardigan and Guy's jumper).
So they set it up - as you can see I took on a sort of foreman role - and then it was up to me. I managed to warp it on Tuesday with some merino/silk laceweight and have started on a scarf, which, naturally, I think is gorgeous, beautiful and brilliant!
There is a problem taking photos of a weaving project: because you keep winding on to the front roller the work never seems to get any bigger. Oh well, it has grown but this is the photo so far:
I've used a herring bone pattern and it is coming along nicely. It is now well around the first roller so I'm guessing I've done about 80cms. Only another 1.20m to go! I have a slight concern that there won't be enough yarn - that would be tedious. More photos when it's off the loom.
In the meantime a huge thank you to all of you - you know who you are.
It does eventually come to anyone who is 49 years old. THAT birthday. I believe mine was last Wednesday as I share it with Robert Burns; but to be honest the last days have been a bit of a blur so perhaps I missed it.
Guy was over from Vancouver and I woke up on the day with a ridiculous amount of excitement - the sort that's reserved to youngsters turning 10. The first shock was the most stunning vase of 50 roses - grown locally and cut the previous day - from Max.
A week later they were still beautful. Not bad for a man who jokes he married a girl with a January birthday so that he wouldn't have to give her fresh flowers! (Joke...mostly)
Then a beautiful pair of Canadian slippers from Guy and his girlfriend. This house has tiled floors and my early morning coffee run always leaves my feet freezing cold so these are extremely welcome. Suede slippers lined with woollen fleece. Perfect.
I was aware that a collection was going on amongst my brothers/sisters/in-laws to buy me a loom. It was ordered and sent from Ashford in New Zealand and to everyone's astonishment arrived on my birthday itself. How about that! However, although it sat tantalisingly on the dining room table I wasn't actually allowed to open it until after the weekend - because we had a party.
You may recall that last year we held a Burns Night Supper. Well, we did it again but this time with my two brothers, their wives, my sister-in-law and her husband, all three of our sons plus English and French friends. Although we were celebrating Burns and my birthdays, we also took the opportunity to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary which, all being well, is on 27 February. I can't believe it's been 30 years but anyway.
The evening was wonderful. The various traditional Burns Supper addresses and replies had a topical twist. We danced the night away, the haggis was bought in to great ceremony and this year with a piper to accompany us. Joyce had made a delicious cake.
Unfortunately I don't have a photo of Jean-Yves playing but there we are! Maybe someone will send one to me.
Anyway, just as I thought it was all over our friends from France (English and French) presented us with the most wonderful gift - a SmartBox which for those of you unfamiliar with the concept is a sort of hotel voucher but we get to choose the hotel/date. It is always complicated for us to get away together as we have dogs, chickens, geese, ducks etc but this was where generosity and thoughtfulness combined - Joyce and Tricia, as part of the present, will come and house/animal sit while we are away. True friends indeed.
These are photos of some of the work done at The English Armchair Abroad, showing the piece when it was delivered to me in all its glory and then after I've done the work.
I think you will agree that even the most hopeless looking chair has surprising possibilities!
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