Saturday, 16 August 2014

Hand Weaving on a Brinkley Loom

This week I was able to set up my new Brinkley loom, and weave my first solo piece.  I have blogged about this loom before, when I did a weaving workshop with Eve Studd at Cornhill Crafts.  I fell in love with the loom then, and now I have my own.
The beauty of this loom lies in its simplicity.  It consists of a beech wood frame, and a special finned heddle that also acts as the beater.  It is warped by placing a broom handle through 2 holes in the frame, balancing it across two chair backs, tying on the warp thread, and rotating the frame until you have the desired number of warp threads.  The special heddle is then placed into the frame, between the top and bottom threads.  Each top thread has a place in the fins on the heddle, and you rotate the heddle towards yourself to change the shed.  The weft can be almost any material you want, including yarn, unspun wool fleece, and even twigs.
I used double knitting yarn in the warp, and chunky weight knitting yarn in the weft.  This piece is just over 5 foot long.  I plaited the cut ends of the warp threads to finish it off.  I'm keeping this one for myself, as a scarf.  I'm planning lots more pieces to use up my yarn stash, give as gifts, and incorporate into my C&G level 2 course work.  

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Taking time to recover

Those of you with chronic illnesses like MS, Fibro, ME, etc, will understand what I mean by "taking time to recover". Every activity, no matter how small, no matter how much I enjoy it, takes energy.  That's why it's been a while since I've written anything.  Using my brain takes as much, if not more sometimes, of my energy as physical tasks.  Even having a holiday is tiring!

Since coming back from Norway I've needed time to recuperate. We had a big family party down in Hertfordshire, and I've been on two workshops: retouching and restoring old photographs, and freestyle weaving. Every day out requires 1-2 days of inactivity just to be able to function again.  So if you are a person in good health and you know someone with a disease like mine don't expect them to be able to do all the things you can do. Don't say " Yes, I get tired", or "You just need to get out more/eat more greens/go to the gym".  Instead, ask them what you can do to help.