Hamble Campbell's Home Page

An occasional window on Hamble Campbell's world.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Little house on the patio

This is my new shed. The sun is shining on it, because it is a good trusty shed. And I have now painted it a very dark brown (English Oak, it says on the tin), so it looks like a tea house from Japan. The roof is black onduline - I thought it looked nicer than the felt ones and it should last longer.

One day I will re-do the patio and then I will make a little path leading up to my shed door. Inside, it is very tidy, with all the garden stuff hanging from nails knocked into the walls. I chose the most beautiful shed I could find because it is right outside my kitchen door and I can see it when I'm sitting at the kitchen table eating my breakfast.

You can forgive me, I hope, for my infrequent blogging, when my time has been spent so wisely and productively, hmmmm?

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How that purple warp got on........

The top two pictures are of a plain-weave baby blanket, with the warp yarn used as weft with alternate picks of a varigated wool. It did not shrink nearly as much as the overshot blanket shown in the lower two photos. The pattern here is "cat track and snail trail", aka "wandering vine". I was surprised at how well the long floats felted, so it was suitable as a baby blanket after all, phew.


Asters and dahlias

Well aren't these nice. All from my garden and all grown from seed. Hoorah!


Sunday, June 07, 2009

Threading the heddles

This is my next project in the throes of the threading process. It is going to be two baby blankets, in overshot - the pattern is "Wandering Vine", aka "Cat Track and Snail Trail", which sounds much more imaginative.

I've just worked out how to arrange the loom so that the threading and reed sleying is more comfortable and won't break my back like it normally threatens to. The shafts are now hanging much further forward, suspended from bits of string in a rather elaborate system of knots, and balancing on a couple of sticks. I'm terrified of making a threading error so I'm going very slowly and carefully as it's an awful trial trying to correct mistakes later.

Jo, a work colleague and neighbour, is expecting twins, so these blankets are for her and hers.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Look at these lovely flowers

The garden smells lovely at this time of year. I picked some of the roses, and what you see here is representatives of the Rambling Rector, Madame Alfred Carriere and Compassion (unless I am mistaken about the Compassion, the pinky-peachy one). Now the house smells lovely too.

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Krokbragt - there was a crooked bag ...

There was a little bit of warp left on the loom after I'd cut the rug free. I used it to try out a krokbragt threading on three shafts. Luckily I could use the same tie-up as for the rug, and that meant that although shaft four wasn't used, I could lift shafts 2 and 4 together and thus make plain weave possible.

Anyway, I was so cock-a-hoop with the pretty little patterns that I sewed it up into a bag. (Sewing isn't really my strong point). And it has a lining, all sewn with rug wool, as is the plaited shoulder strap.

Some day I shall weave a rug in this structure, but mainly in plain-weave with the krokbragt as a border, or maybe isolated patterned stripes.

Making that long plait made me search about on the web for a quicker, easier way to make cords. I hit upon a cord-winder, and then got on to some ply-split web sites, which were fascinating. I think I shall have a go at ply-split braiding next and see what turns out. I just need more time ...

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Just the plaiting to do now ...

Here is my rug, showing both sides and some close-ups with and without flash. In reality it is quite a lot brighter and vibrant than these pictures suggest.

Some details:-

Sett: 5 epi
Reed: 10s, sleyed alternately and with a floating selvage of doubled ends.
Warp: 10/6 linen.
Weft: 2 ply Axminster rug yarn, used singly for plain weave and four-fold for the pattern.
Width: 36"
Length: 58"

Design based on Peter Collingwood's instructions for four-end block draft (paragraph d on page 319), blocks threaded either 1323 or 1424 - summer and winter pattern.

I based the design on the Fibonacci sequence of numbers, which was rather complicated by the pattern being spread over groups of four, and sleyed at 5 epi. I therefore had to multiply the Fib. number of inches by 0.8 to determine how much to weave and keep the weft stripes in the correct proportion.

There is definitely one side of the rug which is superior to the other - the weft was taken up differently by the two pattern blocks, and I could only control it satisfactorily on the side facing me as I wove.

This is a rug for my friend Janice, who is on holiday at the moment - perhaps I shall save some of the plaits for her to do, as a special treat ...


Saturday, May 02, 2009


Perhaps you would be interested to see the rug I am currently weaving - unfortunately the photos show that a photographer with a tremor and a digital camera will produce a blurry image. However, I think it does give a fairly accurate idea of the colours and structure of the rug.

I have modified my loom for rug weaving. It has a heavy steel bar strapped to the beater and heavy metal poles for the warp to tie on to, instead of the usual wooden sticks. There are two wooden blocks on the floor between the loom and the skirting board to prevent the loom creeping towards the wall as I beat. And, my favourite adaptation, an extra strong reed which I ordered specially (it has my name engraved on it by the manufacturer!), which should not bend.

I will show a picture of the rug when I have finished it ......... full steam ahead.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Its curtains for me ...

Perhaps you would like to see how the curtain material turned out -
I'm not keen on sewing so making them up into actual curtains will be postponed for a bit, while I build up my strength.

I am afraid the photos are not good - the true colour is more like the paler photo, and not at all yellow. After washing and ironing the lacy squares are really apparent. Hooray.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Weybridge in February

So you don't have to bother going there yourself.

The curtain's waiting

What with all that rug wool to be wound, I've been distracted from my current weaving project, which is some material to make curtains for my bedroom.

For those of you who are interested, the details are:
Sett: 16 epi, woven at 16 ppi.
Pattern: Traditional Lace Unit from Margaret Porter Davison (mainly plain weave).
Width in loom 35". Length: should be enough to make four 44" long panels.
Yarn: the same for both warp and weft, which is taken from a cone of undyed silk noil and a cone of unidentified dark cream coloured yarn, probably a linen mix. I wound the two yarns together on the warping mill and then threaded them through the reed randomly. I'm now weaving with two shuttles, one of each yarn and sending them through the shed in random yarn order.


I am quite pleased with the results as they appear on the loom. I like the dishcloth effect the slub and the colour of the yarn gives (!)..... But hopefully they won't end up looking like rags. At least it seems quite quick to weave, when I can tear myself away from the rug wool.

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