Getting There…

When I moved, the large table that used to be in my kitchen (bought to give lots of space for everyone’s creative endeavors) became the “work” area in the lounge. With space for my PC and the old laptop for the children (and possibly a Raspberry Pi with monitor, at some point). I also intended that my 4-shaft table loom would sit on the end. Since moving, the loom has been sat, folded and wrapped in bubbles, against the wall at the other end of the table. This week I looked at the bits and pieces scattered over the table and realised, with a little tidying, the space was enough!

The following day the loom was carefully extracted from behind a box of books and some magazine files (I’m still a little short on book cases) and put into its rightful place.





All tied up:


Removing the ties:


The castle is upright:


Adjusting the tension:


Where am I?


I felt an immense sense of calm (possibly helped by the beautiful harp and piano music I’d just discovered: “Stanze” by Ludovico Einaudi and Cecilia Chailly) as I adjusted my weaving stool, unwove a couple of picks of the existing weaving (in the process discovering that my note that I was on pick 83 of the pattern repeat was wrong, as there are only 82 picks) and started to weave away…


Hello loom, it’s nice to have you back.

Pictures and Dye

Slow but steady progress is being made on settling into our new house.  A few days ago I sorted out and hung up most of my pictures (all the ones that don’t need unusually robust wall fixings, so could be done without the drill).  Mostly I was sensible and hung pictures up in traditional styles:


(A clock has now appeared next to these pictures.)


(I really love this, and think it should, perhaps, be in a more prominent position than in the kitchen.)

I was less restrained by the stairs:


After hanging the first three pictures my son commented that they looked odd hung so close together.  However, I proceeded with my plan – more or less.  This is what I’d “planned” the night before:


This evening I started my first dyeing experiment in our new house!  A few days ago I spotted a crock-pot for sale in our local garden centre.  I came home and thought about it and today went and bought two – one for cooking and one for dyeing.  And once home I couldn’t wait to get started:



I’m also trying out some new food colours for dyeing.  These are Violet, Orange and Raspberry by Colour Splash.  They are food colour gels, but they come in tubes, which I thought may be more convenient to use:


After a couple of hours the Shetland had absorbed most of the colour:


I popped the lid back on and left it running for ten more minutes before turning it off.  I’ll leave it to cool down until the morning.  The crock is quite deep and the dye was added after the wool had been soaking for a while, so I don’t know how far the colour has penetrated, and whether there will be white or paler areas.  In the morning I shall know!


A recipe

I’ve been continuing to work on sorting out my study and today I finally reached the point where I have a clear desk and can actually walk around the whole room!  This has to be the first time in nearly three years I’ve been able to do this, so quite an achievement (though I admit it doesn’t sound like much of one really).

I’ve just pulled a journal from my bookshelf which years ago I was using to record recipes.  There aren’t many recipes and most of them involve chocolate in some way.  I think my decision to use a journal that has a red velvet cover for recipes may explain why it isn’t very full.  The last recipe I’ve written in the book is copied from an issue of Woman’s Weekly, January 11th 1994.  I didn’t record the author and a search of the internet hasn’t revealed one, so I hope it’s ok to share it here and if anyone does know who the author is, please let me know as it would be lovely to credit it properly:

Recipe for Happiness

Take 12 months and scrub them clean of bitterness, greed, pedantry and fear.

Split each month into 28, 30 or 31 equal portions, so that the supply lasts for exactly a year.

Bring to each day, one part work and two parts each of cheerfulness and humour.

Add three heaped tablespoons of optimism, one teaspoon of tolerance, one grain of irony and a pinch of tact.

Then pour a liberal amount of love over the mixture.

Decorate the finished dish with plenty of compliments and serve daily with pleasantries, biscuits and a lovely cup of tea.