Hamble Campbell's Home Page

An occasional window on Hamble Campbell's world.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dogs want more food

It is smoked haddock pancakes for tea tonight. Doggy has eaten the fish skin and the parmesan rind and her own proper dog's dinner and still she wants more. Greedy mutt.

Black chenille scarf with Noro warp stripe

Here is my latest bit of weaving. When I washed it the wool warp expanded and felted and became more obvious than it had been when on the loom, which was an improvement. I've got enough warp for another scarf but probably not two.

It was quite quick to weave (maybe I have speeded up too) - sett at 8 ends per inch and beaten down quite loosely.

I have given it to my daughter Kodakina.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


My next project is a scarf with a black chenille warp with thin bands of colour, then a black wool boucle weft. I wonder how that will turn out. The black yarn is from my cupboard of cones got from a closing down sale at a shop. The colour is from John Lewis in Oxford Street - it is that Japanese Noro wool yarn and I just loved the colour and texture. I couldn't think how else to show it off except against black, and the chenille should make a nice contrast both in colour and texture.

Overshot scarf sampler

I think the dark blue is best. This is really too thick and at too dense a sett to be a good scarf but it would be a great fabric for a table cover or cushion cover. However, I shall go ahead and wash it and maybe someone will be pleased if there should ever be a cold spell again. The other thing wrong is that I can feel that one of the floating selvages is taut. I think this was because the lino I used to separate the warp on the warp beam was too thick and inflexible. It did not roll on tightly or equally and so the circumference of the warp around the beam was not uniform across its entire width. Result - disaster. Maybe it will sort itself out in the wash.


Governor of a primary school

Our primary school, like 25% of all primary schools in rural areas, is a Church of England school. This is a matter of historical interest, but the school's links with the church have no relevance to the education of the local children. However, the church enjoys the power that its ownership conveys. The committee of governors must have a majority of church-elected members and they decide who to employ and who to sack and what to spend the money on and which children will be allowed to attend the school and how many of them etc etc etc.

The committee of governors is therefore mainly made up of people chosen by the vicar. The remainder of the committee is made up of: two or three parent governors, two staff governors, the headteacher and a representative from the parish council. So if you are non-church going Joe Bloggs, or even, say, devout Catholic Joe Bloggs, and you have no children at the school or there is no current vacancy for a parent governor, then you will not be able to be a governor of the school.

The school is for all children, not just the children of the local C of E congregation. I am sure the historical reasons for the church's coming to own all the land that these rural schools are built on are dubious and questionable, and in this day and age entirely irrelevant.

At our governors' meetings we begin and end with a prayer; the paper agenda is prefaced with a plea to God; and the conversation is peppered with virtuous and devout comments. Yet there is not one person there, aside from myself, who has children at the local state secondary school. Their children are all at the grammar school or at fee-paying schools, even the vicar's children - would you believe it? Where is their sense of social responsibility? They are like the damned Labour party. I wonder what motivates them - or am I being naive?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I think it's gonna be alright.

Phew ... The crossed warp threads aren't causing any trouble and the pattern is coming out pretty well, I think. This is called "Nappy's Butterflies" - from Margaret Porter Davison, (not sure why Nappy's, I would have chosen something different). This is a wool, (horrid, twisty, two-ply) warp in red and then I've done three repeats of the pattern weft each in a different colour of boucle wool.

It will be a narrow scarf andI think I'll do the next one in a thinner, less fuzzy weft and then the pattern might be clearer - the photos show the pattern better than the real thing, I believe. The warp is 260" long (which is partly why I really didn't want it to fail), so I should get at least three scarves out of it.

I am greedy, two-faced and irresponsible

and my name is Tony Blair. Other people may try to be environmentally friendly and not travel by plane for their holidays, but I will go wherever I damn well like. Other people can send their children to the local state-provided school, but I will ensure my children receive the privilege of an exclusive, elite education. God bless you all.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Too late for Christmas

and can't afford it anyway. But what I'd really REALLY like is a new loom. I have a great wish for a wider loom so I can weave a tablecloth all in one piece, and with eight shafts, so I can do fancy double weave, etc, and one that is strong enough to weave rugs on. Such a loom is the Nilus II floor loom by Leclerc, a jack loom with back- hinged treadles. Maybe I will magically find one for sale ever so cheaply second hand. I shall continue on my existing Leclerc, which I am delighted with although of course it does not do the above.

My twisted warp is now on the loom, after a tremendous struggle and much wringing of hands and wailing misery me. You can see where the heading is woven and all wavy - that is from having to repeatedly pull individual warp threads taut as I could not knot them tightly enough in a group as they were all so twisted. I am not sure if it will weave up properly but so far it is certainly not as bad as I had imagined. I am just about to throw a few picks on it and I will report back later.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Men at work

Would you believe that the same idiot, crazy- gang workmen who dug a hole through the gas pipe a few days ago, cutting off the gas supply to two villages, have today dug a hole through the mains water pipe? There was, I am told, a jet of water fifty feet high. This was remedied more speedily than the gas, I am glad to report, and all that remained of the fiasco when I went to inspect after work was a few puddles, no doubt composed primarily of the tears of the workmen, shed for the trouble they caused.

A sad tale

Never, EVER, use a yarn like this one to make a warp. It is two strands twisted together and all it wants to do is twist round itself and make a big knot. I have done the most dreadful thing possible when dressing the loom, short of cutting the shafts into matchsticks with a chainsaw.


Sounds like a spiritual breakdown, but it is far worse than that. I may have to abandon this warp altogether, although it is only the middle section of the warp that is affected. This is the salvaged remainder of the mighty big long warp I messed up last year and it looks like it is just a bad, bad, bad lot. I will carry on threading up and see what happens when I try to weave and wind on. If it is too much trouble I will have to abandon the project and file it under "experience".

Done and dusted

Except for the fringe, which needs twisting and the washing process.

This is wonderfully light and warm. I wonder what I should do with it.

Monday, January 01, 2007


We celebrated New Year with a roast dinner, including red cabbage which is mysteriously re-available in the shops after its pre-Christmas absence. There were nine of us at the table and we followed Kodakina's stollen with two rounds of Consequences and two hands of Canasta, until people begged to be allowed to go home.

Perhaps you would like to see pictures of a handbag I made from my weaving. I gave it to my friend E for Christmas and she said she liked it. It is lined, as you see, and has some strong Vilene between the lining and the weaving for stability. It fits under the shoulder and does up with two leather- covered buttons. I was pretty pleased with it and have started making another.

I failed in my goal to finish my red and green Maria Collins linenweave but have high hopes that it will be finished before the day ends. Watch and judge if you will.

A Christmas day scene

The good bridge workers were busy on this special day. Fascinating for the locals, who formed an audience.

Sorry this picture is published a week late - dark room failure.

Cake with pink ribbon

This is not what the cake looks like today. It has been reduced to just one slice, which someone will no doubt attend to later.

It may look like a Christening cake but that is only because I fell in love with the pink organza wired ribbon in John Lewis haberdashery and I wanted an excuse to buy it.

The recipe is Delia's and I think tastes all the better for being made only the week before Christmas. Olympussina put the marzipan on. Kodakina iced it on Christmas Eve, using some special icing sugar I found which had dried eggwhite in it so we didn't need to worry about poisoning ourselves with salmonella over the holiday.