A Very Quick Show and Tell

I’m in the middle of a dyeing session, so this is a quick summary of some finished projects.

First up is a Mobius neck warmer/cowl (I’m not too sure how small it can be and still be called a cowl).  This was knitted in garter stitch from my first coreless core spun yarn and is in Shetland and Mohair:


Second up is the crepe yarn, finally finished.  On the right is the skein I finished months ago, and on the left is the skein I finished a few days ago:

crepe finished

Finally, is some more coreless core spinning.  This time in Blue Faced Leicester and bamboo fibre.  This started as some dyed Blue Faced Leicester tops (not my dyeing).  The colours were perfect and the top looked lovely.  However, try as I might I could not persuade it to draft.  I tried fluffing it, attenuating it, stripping it down… but as soon as I tried drafting it the fibres refused to budge.  In the end I concluded I’d need to card it before spinning it.


I’ve read about breaking tops into parts and sorting by colour to create a gradient.  This is what I started to do, I stripped the top into thin lengths, then pulled these apart.  I sorted them roughly into piles, then sorted through again, until I had seven piles in a range of colours.  However, the piles were not all the same size, so I went through my commercially dyed BFL tops and found two with similar colours, that I added in differing amounts to the piles.  Then I added black gold bamboo (which is a lovely charcoal colour) to provide a consistent base (and tone the colours down slightly) and some contrast colours in bamboo and BFL.  I created 7 batts, on the drum carder, from these piles.  I’ve been spinning them for a little while now, and finished them yesterday:



A Shawl for Time Travel

My assistant Harriette is of the opinion that she would rather be the assistant of a certain time travelling Doctor.  Since taking on the role of my assistant she has felt herself to be severely underworked and believes that if she were travelling with the Doctor she would have been enjoying lots of adventures and still be back in time for a photoshoot.

Today, in her second assignment in two months, she is modelling a time travelling shawl with 78 glittery bowties scattered over a swirling, corespun, time-vortex background.






Harriette likes the finished shawl and plans to pack it for travelling with the Doctor. The only thing it needs to finish off the look: a TARDIS shawl pin.

An Introduction and 3 Finished Objects!

Firstly, I’d like to introduce Harriette.  She’s my new assistant and will be modelling finished articles on my blog.  Within hours of starting her new job she was demanding a new hand-sewn skirt – so I suspect she may be trouble!!!  Anyway, here she is modelling the first of my finished objects (and also the new skirt):


This is the Purple Paradise shawl I started weaving in March with hand-spun yarns for both the warp and the weft.  It came off the loom in May.  I’ve finished it off by making a twisted fringe from the warp-ends.  Here I am starting to use the twisted fringe maker on the shawl:


The second finished object is also being modelled by Harriette:


This is a Mobius cowl knitted from my first core-spun yarn.

Finally, I have finished spinning the “Bowties are Cool” Doctor Who inspired yarn.  This isn’t being modelled by Harriette as she objected to juggling the three large skeins.  So instead I’ve draped them on the back of a chair.  However, I hope this gives an idea of the scale of this yarn, which is fairly light (being core-spun) but very bulky:


It’s been a nice few days finishing off knitting, weaving and spinning.  But as you’ve probably noticed I still have lots of active projects I really must get on with (though I’m very tempted to immediately cast on a shawl with the bowties yarn)!

Purple Paradise

What a terrible name for a shawl.  The name is derived from the names of the tops I handspun and I’m now weaving into a shawl.

One of the yarns is a 2-ply Blue Faced Leicester, that I spun worsted style from hand-dyed tops called Violetta.  The other is a single of Corriedale spun long draw from hand-dyed tops called Birds of Paradise.  I spun these originally nearly 2 years ago!

I’ve tied a 100” (2.5m) warp onto my 16” rigid heddle loom, set at 7.5epi.  I’ve warped up nearly the whole width, leaving just one eye on each end of the loom without a warp thread.  When it came to warping up I wasn’t sure the thread was going to be robust enough and I want to minimise warp threads getting broken.  The rigid heddle has slots and eyes, threads in eyes experience the most stress and wear during weaving. Threads at the selvedge often get drawn in and therefore also experience more stress and wear than other threads.  So I wanted to avoid having a selvedge thread that would experience further wear from also being in an eye.

To further help with wear I’m keeping the tension as low as possible and winding the warp on regularly.  As for an earlier project I’m winding paper onto the front roller when advancing the weaving.  This is helping to keep the tension on the weaving even across the whole work.

I’ve woven about 18” so far and it’s looking good.  The weft thread is fairly slubby, but that’s making the weaving look very interesting.  I’m not too sure how the woven fabric will behave when it’s off the loom as the weft is a fairly active single, so it may collapse.  I’ll have to see what happens!

Here’s progress after tying on the warp and weaving a few picks: