Weaving a shawl/wrap

I have just started weaving this gorgeous shawl by Jana Trent.  Jana put this pattern up on the online weaving magazine WeaveZine (see blogroll). The yarn that Jana used is Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool.

However being in the UK this yarn was not known, so I bought some yarn that I thought would do and gave it a try.  I used a bamboo/viscose and wool mix called Flirt by Sirdar, and the plain squares came out very well.  I could see it was going to drape beautifully.   However the lace squares were not too good, because of the smoothness of the yarn the lace pattern just sort of slid together, and I could see that I was going to have trouble blocking this.

Sooooo, I went mad and ordered the Elsebeth Lavold yarn from, Wool & Company – see blogroll.    This was the company that had the cheapest price at $7.95  so that plus postage from Illinois amounted to about $56 (£35).  I thought this was pretty good and the yarn is lovely.

A funny thing happened when I ordered the yarn, I got an email saying that they hadn’t got enough of the green I originally wanted, and Neil who wrote the email, said that my address was very familiar as he used to live a couple of miles away from me 20 years ago!  Woodseats,  Sheffield in the UK is a long long way to Saint Charles, Illinios, but somehow it’s a very very small world!

So here is the yarn I orderedI went for the gorgeous juicy orange, the photo does not do it justice, its more of a goldy orange than what you can see.  The pattern takes five skeins, but by the time I had come to take the pictures, one whole skein had been used, and I had fun with my Swift and ball winder making them into balls.  Here is what I have done so far.It takes 22 plain squares and 23 lacy squares, I think I have done about 8 of each so far. I need to get it finished by the 9th of Feb so I can take it to the next meeting of the EG.

Oh by the way, the yarn took only one week to arrive, so that’s definitely a point to Wool & Co.

Thanks for taking a look at my blog.

Count twice, sew once!

This is my very first biscornu.  I have admired these for a long time and now that I am back enjoying needlework I thought it might be an enjoyable and fairly easy project to begin with again.  It has been quite a few years since I did any X stitching, it must be about 15 years since stitched with any quantity. I went along to Wye Needlecraft in Bakewell, this is about a 30 minute drive from home, and as I don’t drive it means I can only go at the weekend when dh is about.  I have put Wye in my blog roll so take a look, they will send anywhere and they do have some really lovely things.

Anyway back to the biscornu,  so much for it being an easy project!  Well it probably is, but I forgot the motto of X stitcher’s  “Count twice, sew once”    I thought that the material would not be worth sewing on at all by the time I had undone my errors for the millionth time!

At last I finished it!  and although I did make some ridiculous mistakes I thoroughly enjoyed making this little pincushion.

Remember, count twice, sew once!

The Embroiderer’s Guild

Over Christmas my lovely friend Joan came to see me and brought another friend with her.  Kath is the secretary of the local branch of the embroiderer’s guild.  Joan in her wisdom, thought I would like to meet her and maybe get out for an evening to go to a meeting of the guild. While we were having coffee and chatting we were discussing my hand looms and I was able to show Kath how to weave on them.  She liked them so much that she went and ordered one from Teresinah at Wild Colours – see blog roll.

Speaking of Wild Colours, I ordered a 14″ loom from there a while ago, I was dying for it to arrive and guess what?   The post office managed to lose it!  Teresinah and I were emailing each day, wondering if it was ever going to arrive.  In the end you have to wait for 19 days before you can inform the post office that it has not arrived and they consider it lost.

In the end Teresinah decided that it would be best if she came up to Sheffield by train from Birmingham and brought my replacement loom with her.

It was a filthy day when I met her at the station, pouring with rain and so we hurried to the nearest Starbucks for and cup of coffee and to get warm and dry. The photo shows Teresinah with two cushions, the circular pattern is couched onto the weaving using yarn that she has spun and dyed with natural dyes.  The photo does not do it justice, it really was fabulous.  The other cushion is spun and dyed the same way.  With varigated yarns you can end up with wonderful plaids with no effort at all.

After we had done our little show and tell we wandered into the Millennium Gallery and then the Graves Art Gallery, fortunately they are across the road from each other so we didn’t get too wet.

When I got home I started weaving and here is my loom with the weaving still on it ready for me to embroider something on it. I love this loom, but oh my, it does make my arms ache!  It’s too big to have on your knee like the rest of my looms, but find that it works best resting up against the table edge.

On Wednesday I did go to the embroiderer’s guild meeting, I had been asked to take my looms and do a little show and tell, which went well.  There were some fabulous things to look at  that the other ladies had made.  And it was so nice to get out and meet new people.  At the next meeting we will be covering a note book  using Norwich stitch, which looks like this…I am so looking forward to it, and intend to practice this stitch before the meeting.

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