Thursday, 11 February 2010

soon to be blues and projects

How could I forget? My big seed coup for this year was to procure a packet of Dyer's Knotweed. Also known as Japanese Indigo or Polygonum Tinctorium, it's another dye plant which gives blue and grows well in our climate. The seed is hard to find and tends to be rather expensive when you do find it. It will give a lot of blue dye though; more than Woad but less than true Indigo. I am hoping to be able to save the seeds this year. It flowers late in the season, when light levels are declining. Unfortunately this also means that we start getting frosts. Last time I tried it, the frosts and cool temps stopped the flowers before they could even open properly!

On the loom.... Finally.... This warp was wound ages ago and been waiting for me to get around to dressing the loom. It's Briggs and Little wool that I got at the KW Knitter's Fair. I sort of guestimated what I'd need and slightly understimated. Somehow I thought I'd get a blanket and a shawl from what I'd purchased. Instead, I'm getting the blanket and a slightly smaller one than planned at that. It's a 4 shaft, 10 thread birdseye twill found in M. Davison's A Handweaver's Pattern Book. The yarn is 100% wool singles. It will be woven in one long piece, cut in half and the two sides sewn together to make up the desired width. My loom is only 36 inches wide and really, that is about as far as I can conveniently throw a shuttle. In order to get something wider than my loom, I need to either weave double weave or piece it. Double weave gets me only a tabby as I only have 4 shaft. While it would have been less yarn but it wouldn't drape as nicely. Since this is a cat blanket.. yes, for the cat to snuggle.. You see he doesn't like sitting on laps. However if you snuggle under a wool blanket, sometimes he forgets that you are under it and snuggles up the the blanket which is on your lap. It's the only way to get a cat snuggle in my house!

Spinning.. more shawl yarn for Tammy's shawl. This is just about 1300 yards of it. That's about a third of what I need. Believe me I've been spinning for what seems like days. Well that is a bit of an exaggeration - only 4 or 5 hours a day for more than a week. Depending on how long it actually takes me to spin the shawl yarn, will depend on what order it makes it onto the loom.

Oh and the Parsley has germinated and the chives are almost ready to re-pot! Yay for growing things way to early in the season. Fresh chives sprinkled on a baked potato or omelet. Yum!


Jody said...

Very nice pattern and colours for your blanket. I'm sure the Briggs and Little will be quite durable.

Tammy W. said...

Mmmm Nina - the yarn is looking fantastic. I can hardly wait to see it on the loom.