Something odd happened when I took my first weaving lesson in the 80s. I'm quite sure I had never used a loom before that evening. When I sat down and picked up the shuttle and put my foots on the treadles I new I had done it before. The loom was old and in a bad shape, but it didn't bother me. I was fascinated. The familiar feeling from that first evening never left me during the years I wove.
Some time later one of my friends also wanted to weave, so we bought a big loom together and I put it up in my living room. Yes, I put it together myself without help. I used stools and chairs to keep the different parts in place while trying to lift the very heavy warp beam and secure it. I'm not a big person, so getting a good grip of the beam was difficult, but I made it. My friend was off on a trip and I had no patience to wait for her. When she came back it was time for the warp. I had taken our yarns to a warping service, because warping a towel warp felt a bit scary.
A good advice: keep your puppy in another room while warping... we where a bunch of colleagues from my job having a good time warping the big loom, and suddenly there was a puppy holding on to the linen-cotton warp with her small sharp teeth. We had a hard time trying to fix that later when we started weaving.
Life went on into new directions, so some years later we sold the loom. Hubby and I moved into a small house with no space for a loom, and even if we later moved to a bigger house, I have no loom.
I'm weaving on a mini loom now. I bought one this autumn to calm down, because the weaving bug had bitten me once more and I found myself being restless and nervous because I couldn't weave.
It's fun to make small squares. I sew thread after thread and think of nothing. (As far as that is possible.) If you want to buy one, search Etsy for "mini looms", or buy one of these: Hazel Rose Looms. My 5 inch square loom is from bigfam15.
Here is one of the towels I wove on my big loom, and on top of it four squares woven on my mini loom. I used a very dull handspun woolen yarn that I didn't know how to use until I thought it would be a good weaving yarn.
It's the time of the year when you have to look very closely to see any colors but faint grays, beige, and white. On my walks with the dog I can get overwhelmed by the beauty of a landscape where the colors are so sparse.
Kasper can disappear in a moment. He's the same color as nature this time of the year, and if he's standing still it's difficult to see him. On an open field it's easier to keep an eye on him, but there are interesting things like hares also. He's fast, he's a herder, he starts in no time at all.
The beautiful yellowish grass I showed you some time ago has now got a layer of snow and will soon disappear.
The ice has funny faces :)
The anthill's chimney. They are warm and nice in there.
Foxgloves waiting for next summer.
And the valley we walk in:
Those clowds gathered snow. An hour later it was snowing.
I've been knitting socks. Surprise? And today we got the first snow. It melted.
The yarn is hand dyed Super Biffle from Easyknits.co.uk, a semi solid BFL yarn I like very much. Cat Bordhi's Ocean Toes to the left, Jane Cochran's Hedgerow to the right. Someone will get a Christmas present :)
I bought more sock yarns at the fair in Tampere. Surprise? Four skeins of Hopeasäie Sukka, BFL of course. It's finer than the Super Biffle and very good for really thin woolen socks.
The rest of the shopping is a new singing Tolvana from Tolvana to keep company with the one I bought last year, a nice hand dyed Merino top from Louhittaren Luola, and a box for my sewing whatever they're called in English (bobbins?). Now I have to buy more bobbins so I have something to keep in my new box.
My sewing is almost finished. Here are my first three box bags:
Long and narrow for spindles! Someone will get a Christmas present :)
I saw these fascinating paper bowls in a shop for paper crafters in Gothenburg in Sweden. They are made by Cecilia Levy.
The craft center Verkaranta in Tampere (Finland) shows design by Ritva-Liisa Pohjalainen until December 6 2011. She is a versatile designer, works with textile, metal, glass and cheramics.
The dress miniatures are small sculptures:
My main reason for going to Tampere last week was the gigantic yearly craft fair Kädentaidot. I didn't take many photos because the artisans are so afraid of copy cats. But I have permission to show this:
I fell in love with the red/orange bowl at the front. It's made by Tuula Herranen in raku technique.
The fair was big as usual, and as usual I got overwhelmed by all the beautiful things our artisans produce. I met a dear friend, saw a few vendors I've come to know, and met a couple of Ravelry people I hadn't seen IRL before. It was fun, I'm broke, I was SO tired the next day.
I'm so excited! Tini talked about a Sew Along on her podcast Twinneedle and I thought why not, maybe it could get me started sewing again. So I'm in! I've never taken part in a Sew Along before. Read about it here Ravelry thread and listen to the podcast here Knit Purl Gurl.
Walking the dog in the autumn takes a long time. I love the autumn, there's so much to see. In November it's usually been snowing a few times so everything is grey and brown on the ground, but this autumn is mild with no snow so far. There are lots of mushrooms you don't usually see. The vegetation is still green in some places, but there are also the pale yellows and browns I love so much.
Here's what I saw yesterday. The first mushroom was someone's lunch. Probably a magpie, they are so curious:
In the garden my wild teasel has decided it's spring and started growing new plants:
Wouldn't it be better to do that on the ground?
The house plants are still pretty. This is Oxarv, an old Swedish pelargonium:
The Streptocarpus I stole from Sarah shows us two pretty flowers:
This glowing beauty I took from mother in law's summer house about ten years ago:
The gorgeous fleece I bought at Jamieson & Smith in Shetland last year, I wonder if I'll ever get it spun? I have combed it on my finest dog comb, spun a few sample skeins, I've tried a light spindle and my wheel... Now I've started again. This time I comb the already combed locks on Gammeldags' mini two pitch wool combs, and the result is amazing.
This is Oliver Henry showing Shetland fleece at J&S:
I like swaps, you never know what your partner will send you. Two days ago I spun two singles and yesterday I plied, skeined and washed the yarn. I'm so pleased with this yarn! I spun the hand dizzed tops with merino, alpaca and silk uneven, and the commercial merino top even, and got a yarn with character and structure.
The merino-alpaca-silk tops to the left, sorry I don't have a better picture
The finished yarn shows the different fibers in a nice way
I also spun the pink Shetland-Merino-Nylon batt in the photo above:
Now I'm thinking of what to spin to ply it with. Gray would be nice, but I can also imagine other pink shades in a 3-ply and another gray 3-ply for a warm Fair Isle hat.
The swans have been grazing in the fields for a couple of weeks. Soon they will be gone.
In the garden the plants show colors you didn't know they had:
This is a cactus I got from a friend a couple of years ago. She sent it to me in a milk package, I put it in a pot, it grew roots and started growing bigger and bigger. Last summer it was hanging in a rowan for a couple of months. A few weeks ago I got the sad news that my friend had passed away. I call my cactus "Marie" in remembrance of her. Marie has four flowers now.