Hamble Campbell's Home Page

An occasional window on Hamble Campbell's world.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Maria Collin's Linen Weave

Here is the latest offering from the loom. I've left the other end out of the photo as I haven't finished sorting out the heading and knotting the fringe yet. I'm hoping that when this baby blanket is washed it will tighten up a fraction and the pattern might show a bit more. It is woven in a boucle wool, not linen and with quite a loose sett, so the pattern is not so obvious as it appears in Porter Davison's book. It is on a thousand flowers threading, sample II in the book. There is still plenty of warp left on the loom, I might try sample V next, which is a honeycomb structure. Such fun.

I ordered a special darning foot for my sewing machine from the internet last night. Machine embroidery was what I'd originally intended to have a try at when I first got interested in textiles summer 2005. My first attempts were poor but maybe with the proper foot I might meet with more success.

I also want to learn to spin using a drop spindle that I bought at the Knitting and Stitching show. What a shame I have to go to work, cook meals, clean the house (occasionally) - more time is required, or at least more efficiency.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Darker evenings

It will be a few days before I can adjust to the clocks going back. Why we persist with such a stupid arrangement I cannot guess. Even our dog objects - she still insists on her Bonio at the old time.

Book club

Well I've become the newest member of one of our village's book clubs (there are several, I believe). We read Donna Tartt's The Little Friend which was recommended by someone who had read and enjoyed The Secret History. It has to be said that none of us liked the book and only two managed to read the entire work. I enjoyed the first few pages, thinking it would be a sort of detective novel - my favourite genre. Then, as is my wont, I read the final chapter, but without the desired effect. So I typed "Who killed Robin Dufresnes?" into Google and discovered that there was in fact nothing to discover. I read a few random chunks of the book so I would have something to say about it and that was my first book club experience.

Currently I'm playing at reading The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox. I'm mightily disappointed by this novel and this may be the second book in a row I've not finished. I cannot accept what seems to be the foundation of the novel, - that the main character commits a murder merely to see if he's up to it and to get some practice for murdering the person he really wants to dispatch. Duh.

I chose our group's next novel. It is Matthew Kneale's English Passengers. I've not read it yet myself but I did enjoy BBC Radio 4's programme about it and I am a fan of the author's mother's work - the Mog stories.

Where's Bambi?

A room with a view of Lake Windermere

Look at the lovely view we had from our window in Ambleside Youth Hostel. We had four nights here and some good weather (and some rain). The staff were helpful and friendly. I can recommend the hostel dinners - locally sourced beef and lamb, tasty meals. Not so keen on children running about at top speed all evening annoying the other guests. The substandard bedding and uncomfortable torn regulation sheet sleeping bads weren't too wonderful either. A room for four with a washbasin (and splendid view) cost £70. Cheaper per night to stay in a holiday cottage for a week but we only wanted part of a week.

Anyway, we found a very lovely-looking cottage in Ambleside at very reasonable rates so hopefully we will be able to book that up for next year.

We are very proud to say that this holiday was enjoyed entirely without the aid of a car. We took the train up to Windermere and went walking every day straight from the hostel door. The traffic in Ambleside is truly dreadful, but once we were away from the centre we couldn't hear it. Of course, the car would have been much cheaper (our rail fare was £160 return for the four of us) but the train was much more relaxing.

Friday, October 13, 2006

I'm going to the Lake District.

Acting on advice, we're off to Ambleside for a few days in a week or so. Rather intrepidly, I think, we are not taking the car but we shall let the train take the strain. I shall report back and let you know whether or not this was a wise move.

(K)NOT in my black yarn

(Yes I know it's really red yarn - don't be such a sawcy pedantique wretch).

The problems I have with my weaving are so numerous it's bordering on the spooky - I seem to have a SUPERNATURAL quantity of weaving-related trouble.

Take this big tangle, for example. This was the middle section of a wide warp I was preparing for another baby blanket. Unfortunately, the pegs on my warping board failed and the warp was not of even length so I decided the best thing to do would be to unwind it and start again. (There is no more yarn left - I used it all up). I mended the board with wood glue and it is nice and sturdy now. The warp, however, struggled against being rewound and turned itself into the mother of all knots. I have now run out of time with this and have put the tangle in a bag to await a quiet moment of patient unravelling.

I'm now at the threading-through-heddles stage with some different yarn. There is a deadline for this project as it is for a baby - and they don't wait.