Sunday, 7 February 2010

Must... not... neglect... blog!

That's what I've been telling myself every day for weeks now. 'Update your blog... post something... anything!' I wanted this blog to be almost a running commentary of my day-to-day life, and I don't want to have huge month-long gaps appearing in it!

The truth is though I've had very little to report for the long month of January - that black hole of boredom where time itself stands still. Every single year without fail I seem to be unemployed in January. It's become my most miserable month, and when I feel like that I find it so hard to motivate myself to do anything. I have all this time on my hands, and have done nothing to show for it.

So THANK GOODNESS I'm getting my old job back on the 1st of March!!! Three weeks tomorrow, and I'll be back in the land of the living! I can't wait, I really, really can't!

I know when I get back to work I'll wish I had more time on my hands, so I'll be trying to make the most of these three weeks. I always feel more optimistic once we get into February anyway - the nights are starting to stretch a little, the snowdrops are opening, buds are swelling. The seed potatoes are in the garden centre already, so I might get some of them on the go nice and early!

Crafty-wise there's not been an awful lot happening. I've been working on a crochet shawl using Garnstudio Drops Fabel. I'm just going with this until I run out of yarn. It was a difficult yarn to get hold of, and since I've only got one ball left, and the store I bought it from seems to have run out, I don't think it's going to get much bigger!

I bought an inkle loom last week! A Schacht inkle loom to be precise. It's nice and simple and, unlike my Knitter's loom, I can warp it all by myself!

There's nothing in my stash that's really ideal for this (according to the instructions, 5/2 or 3/2 mercerised cotton is ideal), so until I can find some, I've been practicing with left-over sock yarn:
1st attempt. I tried to use sock yarn to make the heddles, but it had too much give in it, so I ended up with uneven tension. I also made the ridiculous mistake of tying the warp to the first peg, so this is as big as it got!!

2nd attempt. Made the heddles from sewing cotton this time. I was worried it would be too thin and snap, but it turned out to be pretty strong. The band ended up about 33" long, and I used a check pattern:

The selvages are very wonky, and the warp seems to be a bit too spaced out at the edges. That is, I can see the weft through it, and you're not supposed to (although it's less noticeable now it's off the loom).

I've got quite a lot of DK wool in my stash, so I might have a play around with some of that, see if I can make some pretty patterns. I'm just not sure it's strong enough though, and it's quite fluffy, so I can see it sticking to the heddles. I ordered a bit of a random selection from the Texere weaving section before I really knew what I would need, and I've just this minute realised I would have been better off looking in the crochet section. I didn't notice that before, that's exactly the stuff I need! Oh .... !

What else has been happening?

Basil's going in for a big service on Thursday. He's been having some serious 'kangarooing' issues after about 3 miles into every journey. He won't go above 30mph when he's jumping about like that - it's very scary. Apparently it could be some simple electrical thing like HT leads or the distributor cap. Hopefully it's nothing serious! The bodywork on the other hand... that's in a right state! I need to get that sorted before I can get into the interior properly, which is a shame because I've got a ton of ideas for him! I won't scare you with pics just now, I'll let you see him when he's a bit prettier!

That really is about everything I think - told you I hadn't been up to much! I am very excited about the inkle weaving though, so I'll be back soon with more updates! See you soon!



  1. Hello there! Nice to see you again. I know nothing about the technicalities of weaving, but the end products look great! Love the colours and patterns. Glad to hear you have your old job back again. I know I'm always grumbling about not having enough time, but am always ready to go back to school after the long summer break (well, I think I am! :)) Enjoy the rest of your freedom! Ros

  2. Good to have you back. I totally agree we could manage quite well without January, my blog seems to have been little more than a continuous moan so far this year. Still as you say, spring is coming and you do seem to have done quite a lot of crafting. Maybe we all set our expectations too high, it is supposed to be a hobby after all.

  3. Hi Carrie,Lovely to see you back.
    I agree January is a waste of time..we should skip it altogether.
    I like the shawl a lot I think I might have a go at something similar myself.
    I love the weaving although I only understood about one word in ten of what you wrote about it,it looks stunning!
    I'm looking forward to a long weekend in Aberdeen this coming weekend so I'm hoping the weather holds out and I get a good long walk on the beach!
    Em x