Saturday, March 17, 2018

Spring Table Runner Weave Along!

Recently, my Youtube subscriber count passed 12,000 (isn't that amazing?!) I decided that it was a milestone worth celebrating with a weave along. After consulting with my weaving friends, I came up with a design for a Spring Table Runner. I'm thrilled to bits with the ends result!

The weave along starts next week, but the introductory video can be viewed now, and the PDF pattern is available to download, giving you some time to collect your yarns. And if you miss the start, don't worry, you can join in when you're ready.

Make sure you're subscribed so that you don't miss the new videos as I post them, and I will also be sending out newsletter notifications, so be sure to sign up to my email list.

By the way, if you haven't entered the giveaway yet, there is still time!

I hope you can join me, this will be fun!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Fear of the loom!

I am sometimes surprised by the fear that can exist in newer weavers (and often not so new weavers as well). The fear that you will get stuck and not know what to do, the fear that the project won't turn out the way it's supposed to, the fear that you are not smart enough to learn how to use your loom, the fear that you will waste yarn if you make a mistake... I could go on.

I know people who have abandoned a new loom into a corner, a spare room or (dare I speak it?) a dusty garage. The fear is too great to make a start and they feel they have failed before even beginning.

I say that I am surprised, but I really shouldn't be. All it takes is a few moments of thinking back to when I was a new weaver. I was so excited by this beautiful piece of equipment, but silently terrified! What a privilege, but what a responsibility! 

Is that fear still with me? No, although I do sometimes feel an apprehension when trying something new with very expensive yarn!

So, how to rid yourself of the fear? It's actually very simple. You arm yourself with the knowledge you need and you practice! Read books, find resources, take courses, find weavers, join groups and network. And practice! Start simple and work your way up. Think of how an athlete trains. That is you, at your loom. Training, practicing, learning from mistakes and building knowledge.

If you do this, the magic will start to happen. That magic is CONFIDENCE! And with confidence, the sky is the limit.

If you are at that frozen with fear stage with your loom, perhaps you need some extra resources to help you out. 

My Youtube channel has a plethora of videos to help you get started in weaving.

My Online Weaving School is a great place for learning and gaining confidence. 

My Facebook Group is a friendly and welcoming place for weavers of all levels.

I hope this post will inspire you to go out there and weave beautiful things!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

New Giveaway! 10 years on Etsy celebration.

It's hard to believe I've been an Etsy seller for 10 years! To celebrate, I'm giving away all 7 of my digital download Etsy weaving patterns to one lucky winner.
All the best with your entry!

Use this link to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 23, 2018

New Introduction to Floor Loom Weaving course

I am so excited to bring you the news that this course is now available! The Introduction to Floor Loom Weaving course is my biggest class yet, with almost 4.5 hours of video instruction plus printable PDFs.

I designed this course for new floor loom weavers, or those who simply want to "make friends" with their loom and gain confidence weaving. 
The topic list is huge, but includes loom anatomy, calculations, reading drafts, warping, dressing the loom, the mechanics of weaving, and much more! 

The course is project based so participants will end up with a beautiful 3 shaft double cowl scarf. 

I hope to make follow up classes to take students through 4 and 8 shaft projects in the near future.

If you're interested in this course, visit my Online Weaving School, where you can watch a preview for the class. It is available as a single purchase, or, if you are a subscriber, this course is included in your subscription, simply login to view.

Happy Weaving!

Monday, February 12, 2018

What is krokbragd?

Krokbragd has captivated my weaving heart and mind ever since I first laid eyes on it. So, what is it? And how is it pronounced?!

Krokbragd is a twill weave structure that originated in Sweden. It is woven on 3 shafts and is weft faced (meaning the weft is dominant, covering most of the warp).  It is pronounced "croak-brod".

This weave structure produces bold and colourful patterns. The actual weaving sequence does not change, so the patterns are formed by changing colours. It's quite magical!

The more you experiment with krokbragd, the more you feel that the possibilities are really endless.

Because the weft is packed in, krokbragd produces a dense, heavy fabric. Historically, in Scandinavia, items with this structure were mainly heavy duty pieces such as chair and travel cushions as well as for warmth in the form of bed coverings. It was also used artistically, mainly for wallhangings. It is likely that some wallhangings served a double purpose of keeping the home more cosy, as hangings were sometimes used as door coverings to keep out cold draughts.

If you find this weave structure as fascinating as I do, you may want to visit my free krokbragd tutorials for the rigid heddle loom on Youtube.

Start with the beginner's video here.
From there, you can find your way to the other videos that will help you build on the technique using a heddle rod.

Last year, I wove some samples with 2 heddles for a class I intended to complete for my Online Weaving School. Well, life got in the way, and the class didn't happen, but it's definitely on my list for this year, I'll keep you posted on that one!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Easy, natural hand softener

It's Winter time for many of my students throughout the world, and I know how drying that can be on your hands. If you work with your hands, it's an issue - you will have threads catching on dry skin and if it gets bad enough it may become painful to use and wash your hands - not nice!

So today I am sharing with you an old embroiderer's trick to smooth and silky hands in no time, using  natural ingredients that most of you should have in your pantry. And, it really works!

2 tablespoons white, granulated sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Yep, that's it!

Mush the two ingredients together in a bowl until it comes together.  Now, with both hands, rub the mixture all over the fronts and backs of your hands. There is not set time for the rubbing, but if you do it too long it may over exfoliate and start to hurt - less is probably more!

Wash your hands in warm water (you may need just a little soap to help dissolve the excess oil). Pat your hands dry with a nice soft towel. Follow up with a moisturiser if you wish, though I don't find it necessary. Enjoy your soft and silky hands!

P.S. This towel is the underside of one of my hand woven Lux Hand Towels, the pattern is available in my Etsy shop.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Easy, frugal, bread, onion and tomato bake

This is such an easy and economical dish and had the added bonus of using up some ingredients that might be past their best.

There is no need to be exact with quantities either, it's that sort of dish.

I started with some thick slices of homemade bread that was slightly stale and buttered each slice lightly. Cut into cubes.
I chopped 1/2 a red onion.
I chopped roughly 10 tomatoes that were getting a bit old but still perfectly useable.
All this goes into a bowl together and drizzled with some olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic salt if desired and season with pepper.
I tipped all this into a baking dish and sprinkled with a little parmesan, then grated tasty cheese.
Pop into a hot oven (about 180 degrees C or 350 F) until golden brown on top.