Hamble Campbell's Home Page

An occasional window on Hamble Campbell's world.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Measuring up perfectly

Not having any scales accurate enough to weigh just one gram, or parts of a gram, I was very proud to have successfully wound exactly ten parcels of one gram of silk.

I found some similar yarn in a catalogue, which had its weight given as 100g measuring 1000m. So I wound off 10m on my warping mill and lo and behold, my 36 lengths weighed 36g!!!

For the dye powder I used some kitchen measuring spoons and followed the instructions which came with the dye. As long as I always use the same measures I should be able to repeat the colours.


Measuring up

I've been dyeing some samples with a view to designing a silk scarf one day.

This is following instructions in Ann Milner's Ashford book of dyeing. There are 36 one gram lengths of silk noil yarn. The dye is from Kemtex, procion MX.

It did not go entirely without problems, one of which you can see in the photo. Sample number one, in the top left corner used a 0.1 % solution instead of a 0.01% solution. And I would have expected some browns in the middle section and less of a sudden change from green to purple.

But it is my first attempt, and it was not an absolute failure. I can see some good colours amongst the horrid!


Friday, August 22, 2008

Fairfield horseshoe

The picture with the big wide valley was taken on our lovely walk round the Fairfield horseshoe on our last day in Ambleside last week. We had quite good weather, considering the ominous start to the week which resulted in us spending too much time and money in outdoor equipment shops on Sunday and Monday.

We were very surprised at how lonely it was up on the hills. Hardly anyone else about. Perhaps all the walkers steer clear of school holidays and in June and September it would be packed.

We walked around Buttermere earlier in the week, and that was quite busy with families.



This is what I am weaving at the moment. I am so very very happy with how it is turning out, I can hardly begin to tell you. The close up image is quite accurate in its colours.

This is being woven with advice from Peter Collingwood's rug book. It is based on a 3-shaft block weave. It has four blocks, threaded 123, etc 234 etc, 341 etc and 412 etc.

The blocks are either all colour A, all colour B, or vertical stripes of both colours. What fascinates me is that these blocks can be moved about according to the order of the weft colours A and B and according to the lifting of the shafts.

There are three ways to arrange the blocks if you want the first block to remain as colour A throughout, and this is the design I have started to put into my rug. I shall have about 10 inches of the first option, with green as colour A, and then I think I shall have some narrow horizontal stripes in maybe mustard and then red after which I shall probably have another 10 inches but this time with lime green as colour A and the second arrangement of the blocks. Then I shall put in some more horizontal stripes and I shall follow them with the third possible arrangement of the blocks and who knows I might choose red as my colour A.

What do you think? It is not as complicated as it sounds - you just have to read Peter Collingwood's instructions a few times, which are nice and clear and off you go.

The pale horizontal stripe in the photo is where the rug begins, it is a firm base of linen warp yarn for the weft and I shall most likely unpick it when the rug is finished and do a half-damascus edge followed by plaits. I wonder how long it will take me to finish.


Friday, August 08, 2008


We'll be wending our way to the lakes tomorrow. Yippee.

Have just been watching the Olympic opening ceremony. So lovely, I thought I might cry.

Shall let you know what I've been up to - thinking about dyeing in a gutter (got to get the spelling right on that), and doing some sample dyeing, so hopefully that will be mentioned in dispatches in a couple of weeks or so.

I've also put a warp on the loom for a rug, but I am not going to start weaving till I get back so the tension doesn't get mucked up (!). As if my rug weaving was that accurate.

Tootle flootle, and speak to you soon.