Made from scrap

Made from scrap
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween

Well well well!  Where did October go?  I had a very Pumpkinny, crafty month with a smattering of baking and muddy puddles.  I hope you all had a good one. . . on with November!  Bring it on. . . XXX

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Lucy In La La Land

 Too much to do a so little time.  Is this a familiar story for you too?  My little brain is choc full of busyness.  I have housework, work work and then all of the things I like to do going on.  This is Day Two of a weeks holiday.  I do love holidays of the stay at home variety.  I am trying to take stock of all the UFO's around these parts...not of the extra terrestrial kind.  Of the compulsive 'crafter' Unfinished Object kind.  The above skeins are some of my hand spun.  I am trying to complete a project by November the 10th.  That is the day of our Weaving, Spinning and Dyeing Guild's Annual Exhibition.  As usual I am way behind and unorganised.  I blame my kids!

 With the help of a willing teenager I got the skeins rolled into balls ready to be crocheted into 'The Solar System'.  If I finish this project it really will be a miracle.  I have three planets completed, today I will try to work on the Sun and the Moon while the 'boys' all go off to the Cinema to watch the new Bond Movie.  I was invited but I struggle to sit still in the Cinema!
               Already this morning I have 'Chicken and Noodle Soup' in the slow pot and some bread rolls rising.  I have also finished a UFO.  Yep me!  Finished something.  Ok it was only another scarf but it has been in progress since time began!  It is finished.  I made it with Aran thickness yarn on a 7mm hook so it worked up fairly quickly.  I just used a simple dc rib (sc for USA).  There is no excuse for it being on the hook for twelve months.  It is a chunky scarf.  I think it may be my 'dog walking scarf'.  I don't like hats and this is big enough to wrap around my face and ears.

 Here is my willing yet serious model.

 Very chunky scarf eh?  The temperature has really dropped around here and I am sure it is the same for many of you, the requests come pouring in for 'Winter Woollies' that are needed as of yesterday.  My partner wants a hat.  He works nights so freezes in the Winter.  I have told him he can have a hat for next year!  He is very fussy about hats, I don't think I need the pressure!  I do have an entire 'Solar System' to create don't ya know!  If you have any ideas or links to a quick and simple 'Beanie Hat' though I would appreciate it.  I was thinking something knitted on circulars.   Euan has requested another pair of  Ninja Gloves.  I will see what I can do to meet this request asap.  If you are 'cute' and 'ginger' you jump to the top of the queue round these parts.
                Talking of cute and ginger, I just have to share this funny prank I played.  We are excited about Halloween.  Dutifully eating our way through gallons of 'Pumpkin' soup, walking around the house in plastic fangs and talking about costumes.  Last night Euan asked me to practice his face paints.  He wanted 'Blood and scars'.  I told him that is what I was doing.  I gave him a cute little red nose and whiskers instead.  When he went to look in the mirror he was horrified that I had turned him into the 'cutest Halloween Mousie'.  There was no way he was going to let me photograph that!

 I am making the most of Seasonal Squash.  This is a little Acorn Squash that has been scooped out, stuffed with cheese, tomato, breadcrumbs and herbs.  Baked in the oven it makes a delicious meal.  Looks pretty too.   We have the Halloween Pumpkins to carve at some point today.  Euan has designed a 'Sponge Bob' Pumpkin.  It looks a little ambitious to carve to me.  Pumpkin Carving is hard work.  I do not like scooping out big pumpkins either. . . yuk it is all cold and wet and slimy.  Bleurghh.
             I have a very naughty picture to share with you.  Why is it that the naughty stuff to eat tastes so good?  
Ginger and Treacle Tray Bake  from Mary Berry's Baking Bible.  You have to eat 'Ginger Cake' at this time of year don't you?  Ginger Cake of the treacliest, squidgiest variety is best for Halloween and Bonfire Night.  You could do much worse than make one of these.  It is one of those miraculous cakes that actually improves the longer you can manage to keep it.  By golly it was good.  I will be stammering my excuses to the Weight Watchers lady on Thursday though won't I?
               Now here's for the most 'La La Landish' part of this blog post.  Euan likes to cook with me.  He has said many times that when he is a man he wants a family business cooking with me.  We watch cookery shows together on TV.  He really likes 'The Hairy Bikers' and he enjoyed 'The Great British Bake Off'.  One night a couple of weeks ago he said 'You should go on 'The Great British Bake Off' Mom'.  I said 'Oh no Euan, far too stressful and I am not good enough'.   He said 'Please I would be so proud, I would record every time you were on TV and watch it at Nan and Granddads'.  I explained again that I would not be good on the show as the technical challenges are really tough, outta my league.  He left it for an hour and then said 'But Mom I would worship you if you went on that show'.  I slept on it!  I decided in a fit of madness to apply for the show!  The opportunity to impress my son in a major way was all too much for me to resist.  (Homer Simpson Style).  'Act in haste repent a leisure' they say.  Now I have e-mailed my application off I am panic stricken, knowing my luck I will get picked for the show!!!   I have invested my Blog Challenge 'Blackberry Bread and Butter Pudding' winnings in some new baking books.  Euan invested his winnings in a stack of 'The A Team' dvds'.  The 'Treacle and Ginger Tray Bake' was a first practice Baking Session.  The cake tasted great but even with care and attention my icing and decorating skills are dreadful.  Euan and I role played the Judges of the show I was Mary Berry and he was Paul Hollywood.
I have met Mary Berry before when I was 13 years old.  I got through to the Regional Finals of Junior Cook Of The Year.  I was on TV on our local news for a matter of seconds.  Euan is sure Mary will remember me from thrity years ago and it will stand me in good stead.  This kid has faith in me!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Spam Flattery - 'Girl Gaga' Style

I love all of your comments I really do.  I just wanted to ask though is anyone else plagued with weird comments on their Blog?  I wondered how common it was.  I have literally 100+ a week of strange comments.  I don't publish them.  I am fed up of  too much;

I never knew you could get so much Spam.  Some of that looks good. . . 'Hot and Spicy' and Hawaii Spam'.
            I still love Blogging. . .don't get me wrong.  I have now had visitors from 151 different countries which I find amazing!  Isn't that amazing?  I can only speak English so I really admire bilingual and multilingual people. . . however some of these comments make my head hurt.  Some make me chuckle. . . I may start sharing some.  This is an example of one of them.  I think I am flattered!

What i do not realize is actually how you're no longer actually much more neatly-liked than you might be right now. You're so intelligent.
You realize thus significantly relating to this topic, made me for my part imagine it 
from so many varied angles. Its like women and men are not involved except it's something to do with Girl gaga! Your own stuffs nice. Always take care of it up!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Broody and Moody - No Not Me!

Poor Lavender, all is not well in the coop.  Lavender is our most recent addition and after a troublesome start (and some vigilant Water Blasting) she settled in a treat.  She loves her 'sisters' probably a little bit more than they love her.    She is not backward in coming forward and is the first to bustle her way wherever she needs to go.  She is always the first to appear for treats and she eats the 'lion's share'.  In return she lays ridiculously small eggs.  Euan will request her eggs by preference.  I noticed last night Lavender made a peculiar noise.  She makes a different noise to the others anyway.  She has a beautiful little 'chirping' song.  Last night at bedtime she sounded more like a 'crow' or a 'magpie'.  It sounded like she had a sore throat.  I didn't think much of it.
                This morning I was a bit bleary eyed when I let them out of the coop, Lavender stayed behind rather than run to freedom.  Again I did not think much of it as often someone is busy laying and I 'do not disturb'.  This appears to take about 45 minutes.  The hens will just pop off to the nest box when they need too.  They all share the same single box.  Although there are two boxes they would rather plait their legs and wait for the 'Number 1' nest box to become vacant.  Lavender is currently an egg a day girl.
                   I have been busy going about the day today, as you do, but I hadn't seen Lavender.  Euan and his friend went to feed the chickens bread this afternoon and the three 'Ginger Ninjas' were making the boys laugh and jumping for bread.  I asked Euan to investigate where Lavender had got to.  He came back down the garden and said she was all puffed up in the nest box laying an egg.  It took another hour for this to sink in with me.  I thought 'Ahhh...Lavender is not right today...we have not seen her out.'  I went to investigate.  On the way I pulled an enormous swede out of the garden for lunch tomorrow.
This is the first swede I have ever grown, I hope it tastes good, I have an awful feeling it is going to be a woody disappointment.
                   I opened the nest box and there was Lavender.  Puffed up to an enormous size.  I said 'hello' and she gave me a squawk and she looked very cross.  I wondered if she was hurt and even though I do not want to be scratched or pecked by an angry chicken I know it is my duty to investigate and sort it out.  I tried to touch her and she gave me a low, growly, croak, that I clearly understood to mean 'Back off or else'!  Chickens can draw blood easily!  Ask me how I know!  I have never had a broody hen as the little Red  'Brown Link Hybrids' rarely go broody as they are egg production birds and the most prolific layers of the 'Chicken World'.  Lack or broodiness is a breed trait.  Lavender is a 'Speckledy Hen' which is also a Hybrid Breed but different to the Brown Links.  'Speckledy Hen' is a lovely breed name.  Who wouldn't want a 'Speckledy'?   Broodiness can cause significant health problems for a hen.  Broodiness can last for days if not weeks.  A hen will neglect her self care, not eating and drinking to sit on her eggs all day and all night.  She will protect them fiercely.  Her own health can take a nose dive.  I have read that the most effective way to cure broodiness is to house the hen separately in a wire floored pen for a few days.  The wire floor means they cannot get comfortable and it lowers their temperature.  Temperature is a key factor in broodiness too.  This sounds very harsh and is not really doable for me at the moment and as we are at 'Day 1' I will monitor Lavender closely and thank goodness I am off work so I have time to give her extra tlc.
                   I decided against her will, I had to get her off the 'nest'.  I chickened out and used a children's spade to gently 'shove' her off the nest.  She went straight for food and water and ate ravenously.  Her 'sisters' appear to be thoroughly enjoying a Lavenderless day.
Girls!  Should you be in there?

 Lavender was very cross, croaking and puffing herself up like a turkey.  The nest was incredibly warm and she was sitting on a toasty warm egg.  Much warmer than any egg I have felt before.  It is very cold here today so I decided to encourage her out of the coop altogether and close off the nest boxes until it is dark.
Lavender ran around the garden for a short while...croaking and eating ravenously.  That is the last apple of the year from the little apple tree.  They love the apples.
As well as apples chickens also love Curly Kale apparently!  Every chicken should be allowed to ransack the vegetable garden.   They are in heaven while they are ransacking vegetables.
                 Poor Broody Lavender ran back to the coop.  She is desperate to get back in the nest box and does not understand why she can't.  She looks very unsettled, anxious and cross.  I am in absolutely no doubt when I come across a cross chicken.  They are good communicators and let you know how they are feeling.  She is looking at the door and pacing and pecking.  The sooner I break the broodiness for her the better though.  The longer I leave her broody the harder it is to break.  Her feet look 'pink' usually they are cream, she looks like a child with a fever.  I am having to be cruel to be kind.  I have come to blog about it rather than watch her distress!  I am lucky it is cold now too as being off the nest and outside today will certainly lower her temperature.  If it were Summer and hot outside it would be a different matter. I have been blessed so far, the chickens have had really good health without any problems. . .so my 'Poultry keeping' adventures have been all happy and trouble free.  Having Lavender 'off colour' has bought it home to me how attached I am to these hens.  It makes me sad to see her distressed.  I want her to get back to her usual 'bustling' self asap.
Here is Rosie, she is a 'character'.  She stands there ready to climb on me.  Today she was very interested in my Wellyboots and she had a good peck and pull on my trousers.  Rosie looks like she is having a molt in this picture too.  I have never been through a 'chicken Molt' either.  In bad cases of a Molt they can run around looking 'oven ready'.  That would not be good for winter.  Beneath her wing she is has lost her top feathers and the pale 'downy' feathers a visible.  She will be chilly if they don't hurry up and grow back.  I can see me knitting chicken jackets!  Make the most of the peace and quiet Rosie because I am hoping Lavender will be fighting fit again in no time.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Adjusting to Autumn

It is very cold today.  So far I have had trouble feeling positive about the Autumn.  It all looks very pretty but;
The nights are drawing in and the days have been wet, windy and cold.  I showed you my muddy dog walk.  It really is not as inviting as going out in the Summer.  I am still trying to lose weight but in the colder weather I just want to eat stews and casseroles and chunks of crusty bread.  Exercise is also harder to squeeze in.  This week I put weight back on.  Gah!  I have still lost 2 stone though and I really don't intend to put that back on.
          Euan is really looking forward to Halloween.  I have had trouble finding him some 'Vampire fangs' of all things.  I have been round and round the shops and in the end have ordered some from Ebay.  I hope they arrive in time.  I bought both boys a Toffee Apple yesterday as they are in all of the shops at the moment.  Euan was eating his and making a terrible noise and mess.  I asked him to eat his Toffee Apple with better manners.  Then he pointed out to me that without his two front teeth and four other missing teeth he really was doing the best job he could.  Poor little man, I forgot the tooth situation when I bought the Toffee Apples!
             I have a collection of 'Pumpkins' sitting in the fireplace ready for Halloween.  The shops have a lovely variety of 'squash' at the moment and it is great to experiment with them.  I came across a delicious sounding recipe for 'Potimarron Soup'.  I had no idea what a 'Potimarron' was so I went to good old 'Google Images'.  Low and behold I had one!  The above squash is a 'Potimarron'.  I have made pumpkin soup before and I am not really that smitten.  I have made 'Butternut Squash Soup' before and that is a big hit in this house.  'Butternut Squash Soup' is one of Henry's favourites.  (Ooooh talking of Henry, he got an e-mail yesterday, he got the part-time job.  Hoorah)!  Back to the Butternut, Butternut is a delicious vegetable but it is a battle to keep all of ones fingers when preparing and peeling it.  The recipe I came across for 'Potimarron' used unpeeled squash.
You just need to scoop out the seeds and chop up the flesh with the peel on.
Then I simmered the chopped 'Potimarron' with chopped onion, in 1.5 litres of vegetable stock until the potimarron is tender.  I used my hand 'whizzer' to make a delicious smooth, rich, chestnutty flavoured soup and seasoned to taste.
I served with a blob of reduced fat Creme Fraiche and some crispy fried bacon lardons.  This soup is absolutely Scrumdiddlyumptious.  It cheered me up, warmed me up and filled me up.  If in your travels you hap to come across a 'Potimarron' pop him in your basket and give him a good home.  This is a very simple soup where you just can't go wrong.
            There is a Tai Chi school in Devon that are running a rather interesting Potimarron Project you can read about it by clicking the link.  I am hoping to get hold of some seeds for next year and I will try to grow my own golden orbs of lovliness.
              We are on School holiday now for a week and I intend to get a well earned rest as well as digging out some crafty UFOs and completing some projects.  In my recent decluttering exploits I think I have come across about seven unfinished projects!  I need to get busy.  My other half has put in an order for a simple woolly hat. . . he wants it as of yesterday!  Euan also needs some gloves. . . kids and gloves!  We have lots of gloves that have lost their partners!  One of his favourite Bart Simpson gloves ended up on the school roof!  He just happened to throw it as the wind took it!  As you do!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Tilly's Nest 'Down Home' Blog Hop

If you would like to check out some 'different' blogs and introduce yourself to new a new Blog Audience pop along to Tilly's Nest and join in with the 'Down Home Blog Hop'.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Just A Walkin The Dog!

You would not believe how hard I had to try to get a semi-decent photograph of my 'Lovely Lacey'.
You would if I showed you these though:
She is nearly as bad as photographing chickens.
She is highly suspicious of me with a camera and just does not like to sit still or look at the camera.
We had lacey when she was about 7months old...we can't quite remember how old she is now but we think she is six or seven.  We were her third owners and she was a bit of neurotic bag of naughtiness.  She was totally unplanned but 100% meant to be our dog.  For once it was not me nagging for a partner 'liberated' her from her previous owner who could not 'cope' with her.  Lacey was used to being left in a flat for too long while her owner worked.  Lacey had rather big issues.  She chewed everything...walls (repeatedly), tables, chairs, carpet, people!  She was also incredibly rough around the edges and clumsy.  The day she met Euan she knocked him flying in the garden and he had an egg lump on his head!  He didn't like her for days.  I knew we had to find a way to keep her though.  I knew she had the potential to be a really 'good' dog.  I also had a very old 'Sausage Dog' that was blind and deaf and diabetic.  He could only travel by 'pet pushchair' and needed lifting in and out of the house.  Lacey hated him, but he loved her.  I used to get up at 5am every morning to sort the old dog out, check his blood sugars, inject his insulin and feed him.  Then I would take Lacey for a walk.  She was a bit skittish at first but exercise really sorted her behaviour issues out.  I realised if she was exhausted she had no behaviour issues!  A bit like kids really.  The trouble is it exhausted me in the process.  She has some medical issues that took over twelve months to get to the bottom of and cost a fortune to 'diagnose'.  She can only eat prescription food, which I don't like but anything else makes her very ill, she was underweight for over a year.  She is ticking over nicely now though.
         We have a lovely dog.  She is a very good girl and has a personality like Eeyore.  We hardly know we have got her.  When you take her for a walk she completely comes alive and turns into something more like 'Tigger'.
  I am finding it hard to get motivated to go out as everywhere is wet and muddy.  I do worry about falling on my behind when I am squelching along in mud like this.
Once I am out though I can appreciate the fresh air, the Autumn colours and the antics of my dog.
Lacey knows where we are going and likes to run far ahead.  She is on the look out for pigeons, squirrels, rabbits, blackbirds and big sticks.

These look like 'Fun Guys'.  Sorry I just couldn't resist!

Lacey likes to charge off in the woods.  She disappears.  I can never find her with my eyes but I can hear her coming back, thundering along like a steam train.  There is nothing graceful about this dog.  She came back yesterday looking particularly pleased with herself, covered in mud with an earthworm on her head!  I can only imagine what she had been up to.
This is quite a steep hill and she looks at me as if I am daft as I pick my way carefully down the hill trying to stay on my two feet.

I came across 'a murder of crows'.  Isn't that a cool collective noun?  There were about twenty of them and they were making a terrible racket!  Sounded like a Hitchcock movie.  There is something 'spooky' about crows...I do not know what was bugging these fellas but it sounded like a 'murder'.
             Lacey is very cheeky when it is 'back on the lead time'.  She pretends not to hear me.  She keeps taking steps away from me making it tricky for me to catch her.  The only way she will listen lately is when I say 'Oi' in a cross voice, then she will stand still.  I wish we could come to a more amicable agreement.  Her recall is good, I generally only have to whistle her and she will come back.  It is just the 'Lead on' time she doesn't like.  The lead signifies her transition from Tigger back to Eeyore and she walks home with her head bowed looking like someone who's world has just fallen apart.  It is embarrassing to be walking down the street with such a dejected looking creature.   Her idea of heaven would be to stay out and play all day.

          Here is our ordinary little street.

We live at the house with the 'Woodpecker Knocker'.  I bought this at an Amish Community in Pennsylvania many moons ago.  As a child my Aunt and Uncle had one just like it and I loved it.  I was delighted to find my own 'Woodpecker Knocker'.  I don't have a door bell and some days this woodpecker is very busy.  The kids calling for my kids love him and even when the door has been answered they still like to make him peck!  So if ever you are passing we are the house with the Woodpecker knocker...feel free to pass on by to give me a 'knock'!  If I don't answer the door shout over the gate as I could be in the garden chatting to chickens.  

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Reasons To Be Cheerful

We have had a horrible Bug that Euan picked up from school.  It was one of those bugs that required 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' to recover.  Euan loves my 'Homemade Chicken Soup'.  The poor thing has been pretty poorly but is on the mend and will be back at school tomorrow.  Today I went to Weigh In and had a 'Stay the Same'.  Good grief. . . it is so easy to pack the weight on but so difficult to get it off again.  Never mind at least I am not putting it on!

               Henry had his first interview today for a job in a new 'Play Centre' that is opening in town.  He makes me laugh.  Belly laugh.  He was very stressed out before the interview and I did not help at all because I find him hilarious when he is stressed or angry.  The more hilarious I find him the more stressed he becomes!  I was literally doubling up with my sides splitting. . . I can't help my 'Mothering Skills'.  The problem was I asked him to take a last minute shave, he didn't want to, so I insisted!  Then he gave himself a bright red rash!  He was not happy.  He shouted 'I can not go to an interview with these mutton chops!'  My cackling did not appease him!   He has come back really really enthusiastic about getting the job.  I think it had something to do with the interviewer being 'hot'!  It is all good because if he gets this job it will be lighter on my purse.  It could mean he will 'host' children's disco's.  I think this is hilarious too.  One of the questions was ' You won't mind dancing about and making a bit of a fool of yourself will you?'  Well when you want/need a job you have to say 'no you won't mind'.  He also said he got really stumped on one question, they asked 'What will you do if you are hosting a Disco and the music player breaks?'  Good Lord!  Who would not panic in that situation?  Henry looks terrified of the prospect.  It sounds character building to me and besides 'what doesn't break you makes you stronger'.
                Euan nominated our next door neighbour to receive a 'Harvest Festival' package from school.  Poor Sid lost his wife this year and he has not been well.  He was surprised and delighted when a big box of groceries arrived.  I like 'Harvest Festival'.
              The girls are doing fine and are happy and laying well.  I get three eggs most days.  The lovely Lavender is one of the gang and they live together harmoniously.  They have two nest boxes but all prefer to squish in the one together.  I may may remove the partitioning 'wall' altogether.  Some one is not laying well.  I do not know who.  I have been giving them extra treats.
Scrambled egg is supposed to be a good tonic and can help with laying.  I also save all of the egg shells and bake them.  Then I crush them and feed them as a supplement.  Here they are enjoying warm scrambled egg mixed with oats and egg shell.  They liked that a lot.  One morning was frosty this week so warm breakfasts for the chickens will be in order.  I went in the garden to 'Talk Turkey' with the chickens this week and 'Rosie' did her usual trick of jumping on my back and climbing onto my shoulder.  She does look lovingly into my eyes.  I discovered a 'Microwave Omelette Maker'.  I am not usually one for gadgets but this is nifty.  You can make an omelette in next to no time, with no mess and no oil.  Omelettes are on the menu big time!
                  You are not going to believe this but I am still decluttering!  Will it ever end?  I took five more bags to the Charity shop today so I have made some more space.  It takes hours and honestly you cannot tell I have done anything.  I am going through cupboards and draws and trying to get organised.  By Christmas (2014)  I should be done!
                    The troops are hungry here so I better go and 'play' Mom!  Hopefully there maybe some time tonight to 'Tinkle on my Inkle' loom.  I have been getting some tiny clothes crocheted in between playing nurse and feeling somewhat below par myself.  Life eh?  Another day in Paradise!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Feeling Very Thankful

If you have a parcel arrive with this logo on it you know it contains goodies.  This has to be my favourite logo in the whole world.  In fact I am tempted to get a tattoo!   Helen from '' left me a lovely blog comment on this months Rainbows Preemie Project Update. is an online knitting store that stocks a wide range of yarns, accessories, patterns, needles and crochet hooks...really you are better off going and taking a peek so you can get your letters written to Santa in good time.  I have the terrible 'Wantsies' for this - Louisa Harding Grace Hand Beaded Knitting Yarn!  Pleeeeaaase Santa!  xxx
                  I ordered a copy of this pattern book yesterday:
 I could not believe it arrived this morning.  That is very fast delivery.  I have no excuse now not to get knitting something more adventurous for 'Rainbows'.  Helen also made a generous donation of yarn to the project.  I love the kindness of 'Blogland' and when it creeps into the 'Real' world it is all the more special.

A beautiful selection of 'Debbie Bliss - ecobaby - made with 100% Organic Cotton'.  I love these colours and did not like dressing my babies in 'traditional' pastel colours, I preferred natural colours, denim blues, stone and greys, 'ecobaby' comes in thirteen different shades.  This yarn is 100%  Organic cotton and it is the softest cotton I have ever felt.
Sublime is the right word for this 'baby' yarn too.  Sublime baby cashmere merino silk 4ply  75% Extra fine merino, 20% Silk and 5% Cashmere.  Wow these babies can get really spoiled these days.  This is another beautiful, soft yarn that would also be so warm.  It will be a treat to 'work' with.
I love 'Random Acts of Kindness' and it is so nice to be on the receiving end.
Thank you, thank you, thank you xxx

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Braiding Workshop with Colin Squire

Yesterday we went to Weaving, Spinning and Dyeing Guild for a days workshop.  The workshop was 'Braiding with Colin Squires'.  Colin has been teaching weaving for many years.  The above 'Inkle Loom' was in search of a new home almost a year ago.  Of course I had a loving home for it!  In my parents garage, where much of my junk treasures end up.  I had absolutely no idea how an Inkle Loom works.  My Dad managed to 'warp' it after watching a 'Youtube' tutorial.  I take my hat off to him as warping is not an easy task to me.  Unfortunately Dad's maiden voyage with the 'Inkle Loom' was with handspun yarn and it cause all sorts of bovver.  It stuck to itself and wanted to felt.  The 'Inkle' found itself disgraced and back in the garage until yesterday.
              Colin's workshop was not just about 'Inkle Weaving' guild members had the chance to try many different forms of braiding.  Using sticks, fingers, looms and patience.  I got stuck for a couple of hours trying to 'warp' this baby!  Me and warping just do not get on!  I realised I had not taken any photographs so I delegated the photography to my Mom.  She has never used my camera before.
Here is a great shot of me doing battle with the loom!  I had several breakages and found this to be the most frustrating of 'workshops'.  I am an instant gratification kind of gal!  I am rather pleased that my mission was accomplished though.  I warped the loom and have started to weave a braid.  I finally understand how an Inkle loom works at the most basic level.
Here is my braid in progress.  There is 'bubbling' at each end where I am not pulling my 'weft' thread tight enough. . . but believe me I am trying!  I chose to work with cotton as I felt it would be smooth and strong enough not to break!  'Wrong'!  Now it is warped and in progress though I hope not to encounter any more problems.
This was a lovely big 'Driad' Inkle loom and the lady working on it was given it by her mother.  Until yesterday she did not know how to use it.  She seemed to make fantastic progress and was making a beautiful braid from dishcloth cotton and some baby blue yarn.
Lovely loom - too big for garage!
This makes very strong 'straps' that can have many uses.  You can get some beautiful intricate designs from an Inkle Loom but I do not think I will ever be that clever.  Unfortunately I did not mange to get photographs of some of those designs.  It is the 'Guild's' exhibition next month so I will see what I can photograph then.
This was a lovely braid in progress.  The method was 'finger weaving'.  I was too busy Inkle Looming to learn anything else.  That would make a lovely belt though wouldn't it?  I am sure there are 'Youtube' videos out there for clever folk!
Another very interesting day.  Have you ever tried braiding, or stick weaving or do you have any good links to tutorials?  I wrote a post a while ago about Kumihimo Japanese-Braiding that is a fun way to explore braiding and is a brilliant craft for children.