Friday, November 23, 2012

Free Form Drall Scarf

I’ve been thinking about how I make my weft plans, and have decided that I’m either way out to lunch with colour combos, or I’m a go with the flow kinda gal!

I had plans to make Blue Drall scarf number two into a light coloured scarf; I really wanted to show off the tropical blues….well that didn’t work out. So, flying by the seat of my pants yet again on weft colours! I tried to cross the warp with silver (made everything look dirty), cream (a whole bunch of blah), light green (killed the azure), light blue (washed it out), yellow (too clown) and none of them looked anything like my vision. So after pulling out all my weft choices its ……purple !
This scarf is the one with the purple weft and although it just came off the loom and hasn’t been washed, but it still looks good! It will definitely look more supple and have more sheen after wet finishing, twizzling and pressing.
Here is the one with the navy blue weft and I love, love, love it!
Hmmmm; side by side there really isn’t much difference and not what I had planned, but both of them are nice scarves nonetheless.
I’ve finished the body of Ngaires sweater and it turned out really well, I think this will be my new method of sweater construction from now on. I love the idea of not having to sew up side seams and I know everything is the same size…a real bonus!
I’ve just started the cuffs and I’m knitting them at the same time so I don’t end up with one arm longer than the other :). I wanted to knit them in the round too, but didn’t have the two sets of 4mm circular needles.

Today is an amazing sunny day after a few days of torrential rain and high winds so I popped out into the garden for my weekly photo shoot.
This is my very young Beautyberry Bush (Callicarpa bodinieri ‘Profusion’). The berries will become much bigger in the future and much more lilac ~ hopefully ~ if the deer stop nibbling!

Although there are many naysayers out there....I love Fruit Cake!  I started steeping the fruit last week in a mixture of brandy, sherry, port and liqueur.  I don't use that fake fruit, just raisins, prunes, apricots, dried cranberries and glace ginger.  It sat in the fridge and got a good shaking up daily.  So today I baked it and in a complete departure from the past ~ I used 8 mini loaf pans.  These are just large enough for a nibble for two with a chunk of aged white cheddar and a glass of Maderia....yummmmm
Looks pretty and smells fantastic!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Blue Drall

I’m moving along quite well with the Mediterranean blue Drall scarf. I’m at 60 inches and I’m still in love with this pattern! It’s so much fun to weave ~ you’ve gotta try it!
I try to make each motif area unique and I’m particularly pleased with this Fibonacci sequence you can see below.
There is enough warp left for one more scarf before I leave Drall behind for awhile. I’m tossing up weft ideas; I want the next scarf to be light coloured and to really highlight the azure blue, so it may be white, silver or pale green…..I can’t wait to get there and see what works best.

In the evenings while watching TV I’m knitting a sweater for Ngaire using my handspun wool. I got the wool when I was last in New Zealand and it’s a really lovely dusty pink and I spun it semi-worsted.
This is the pattern I’m using ~ I chose something really, really simple to show off the handspun and to make it a ‘no brainer’ knitting project for me.
Although the pattern has the fronts and back as separate pieces I’ve decided to knit them in one piece until I get to the raglan decreases. My plan gets a bit hazy then, but I’m thinking I can keep it all in one piece and knit each section with it’s own ball of yarn and then just knit the sleeves and collar separately……hmmmmm sounds good or a recipe for disaster, take your pick!
Every week I’ve shown something from my garden ~ this week it’s Fragrant Sweetbox (Sarcococca ruscifolia) that is just getting ready to flower.
This lovely evergreen shrub flowers in January and February and has the fragrance of vanilla. Can you see the berry? I can’t figure out who pollinated it last winter!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Done and Dusted!

This week has been both sunny and warm on Vancouver Island….well a few bouts of rain, but that’s what makes the leaves all shiny and clean, so I won’t complain! The Trumpeter Swans started arriving a couple of weeks ago and now I'm constantly delighted as they fly overhead in groups honking softly ~ so very beautifully white against the sky. And to top it all off I've had a really good weaving week! Ahhh life is good!

The forest green Drall scarf is finished, it is much prettier in real life than the photo shows ~ the various purples just glow against the dark green and when the light catches it, well stunning is the best word!
The iris purple Drall scarf is finished too and this one was soooooo hard to capture in the photos….I’ve really got to learn more about my camera! It really amazes me how just changing the weft can make such a difference. Where the green could be seen as a masculine scarf the iris purple is definitely feminine….best of both worlds!
I was a very busy bee and got all three of my table runners finished too….These turned out really well and I am always astounded how a good pressing makes all the difference.  These will listed in our Etsy shop this week, hopefully just in time to tempt the Christmas shoppers!
The new Drall warp is on the loom and I love, love, love the colours. I changed up the pattern a bit and extended the width of the colour stripes and moved the blocks around. I am still enjoying the ‘freeform weaving’, but this will be the last of it. Time to move on and try something new I think!
We found this amazing fungus in one of our sunny garden beds, what a pop of colour ~ Mother Nature has a wonderful design aesthetic lining up three different sizes of these ‘Orange Peel Fungus’ so beautifully don't you agree?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Having A Good Weaving Week!

I’ve got a new project on the loom, and it is such a pleasure to weave that I’m almost finished! I’m doing the happy dance on this one!

I put on a two scarf warp in 2/8 tencel; my colour inspiration came from this silk square that I’ve been wearing a lot lately with a red/violet sweater. Please excuse the awful photo, but night has fallen and you know what that does to photos!
The colours are forest green, turquoise, red/violet, red and purple with a bit of gold. I was trying to remember the last time I wove anything green and I honestly couldn’t, obviously it was about time. This is the warp that I came up with and you can see that I dropped the gold, turquoise and red.
This pattern is a 12 shaft Swedish Drall in forest green, purple, iris and red/violet.
With 12 shafts I’m able to get 3 different blocks. I chose to make the colour stripes different sizes and asymmetrical. To top it all off I’m doing ‘freeform’ weaving. The pattern is completely different on each side and of course I like the underneath side the best!
The weft for the first scarf is the same forest green as in the warp. I am not following a formal pattern; I’ve just made a few rules for myself to ensure that there is some continuity.

Rule #1 is that I don’t ever follow block 1 (1-2-3-4) by block 2 (5-6-7-8).
Rule #2 is that I always preface blocks 1 and 2 with at least 2 repeats of block 3 (9-10-11-12).  This is a really fun way to weave because you don't have to follow the pattern!
This is scarf number 2 and I’ve changed the weft from green to iris, which is a blue/purple which is also a colour stripe in the warp. I’ve switched up the weaving rules for this scarf too. I’m still using Rule #1 because it shows the motifs to their best advantage.
Rule #2 is also still in place but I weave at least 2 sequences of block 2 and block 3 sequentially before I do any of block 1. This sounds much more complicated than it is, believe me.
The selvedges on this scarf are beautiful and the weaving is so much fun that I’m planning another 2 scarves in Ming blue, Azure blue, Aquamarine, Straw and Navy for my next warp~ sounds like an exciting combination doesn’t it?
Our Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens') in the front garden; which is actually a member of the lily family, has berries on it! I’m going to cut them off tomorrow and bury them along side the mother plant and hopefully they’ll grow by next spring!