Life can be funny when you change your course, and lately it's been funny busy. I decided to slow down this morning, write a few letters, take a few pictures and surprise, there is almost enough time left over to work on this little space. Thank you Kathy and Gwen for your comments on the last post, they were very heartwarming.
Today I am sharing the band I finished last night. Weaving those on the inkle loom has been fantastic. Most days I would have no time for anything handmade, but I can simply sit on my bed in the evening and weave a few inches or a lot. The key is to warp the loom on the weekend. I think I could probably make one a week that way. Not industrial production, but enough to learn a few new tricks.
This band is woven out of 16/2 linen as the others, but I varied the pattern threads this time to see what would happen if I simply used what I have on hand such as Rowan cotton wool (single), Nature Spun Sport (single) and a lace weight Shibiu (doubled). Well don't fret, it works perfectly well which is good news for all of us with bins of leftovers.
This is a bit of a funny post to write... you see I am not sure how long this tiny corner of the internet I made for myself about 7 years ago is meant to be around.
Let me explain: I have made drastic life changes such as... getting a job outside our house, taking a break from my sponsor (BERNINA) to make time to go back to school, registered to go back to school... you see where this is going!
To make a long story short, I am attempting to become a French elementary school teacher. Right now I simply substitute at Finn's school several day a week and prepare for the French exams. This means that I am not sure how much of us should be out there and find everything feels better close to the chest. But naturally, habits die hard and if you made it through all this should searching there should be some kind of reward. How about a look at some Baltic band weaving:
These bands, woven in linen and wool are a traditional weave of the countries around the Baltic sea. They are used to decorate clothing, tie the top of boots to prevent the snow from coming in and close aprons over dress. They are traditionally woven using the backstrap method but an inkle loom will do.
Notice how the two sides of the bands are completely different? I can't get enough of staring at them side by side. I just finished the first band and cannot wait to warp the loom once more. There is these little borders from West Telemark that are calling my name...
A naked loom rarely stays that way, it gets dressed and then you either weave and weave or let it languish for months or years.
This has happened to me and mine before, and I speak from limited experience. I have also seen looms for sale with ratty old warps that might have been something more.
I am enjoying my 4-shaft table loom lately, I always considered it inferior probably because I rescued it in a very sad state and it was very cheap, but as it turns out it is actually "a good little loom". It is easy to dress, easy to treadle and quite sturdy. What I like most though is that I can weave standing up. I am prone to sitting you see... a global problem.
After the monk's belt project came off last week I wanted to weave a table runner, but the light grey wool is out of stock, so a scarf it is instead and I am so glad.
The first time with Jaggerspun Zephyr can be a bit tricky/sticky but I am getting the hang of it I hope. The beat imperfections will somehow disappear during the final soak, won't they? I can't seem to mind when I am looking at that mustard* stripe on the blue.
I was approached a few months ago by the British editors the of Stitch/Craft Create book-club to participate in a blog hop style book review. I had a few e-books to choose from, all of them about Christmas. I went with Handmade Scandinavian Christmas by Hege Barnholt, because it suits my aesthetic best and really who can say no to a free book!
This photograph reminds me that we should save a few leaves as we rake them.
The concept of the book is simple: make most of your decorations and don't over do it. I can buy into that (pun intended) as most years I dread cluttering our living space with Holiday decor, and I enjoy storing everything the rest of the year even less. However, as we have just concluded our house renovation and now have a dining room I feel like doing something this year... a big tree perhaps? or a simple branch in a jar. Many if not all of the projects in the book can be made by children, probably 7 and older. I think that children love seeing their own creations on the tree and personally I would prefer if we stayed away from noddle garlands (a French Kindergarten classic).
This Bird and buttons garland is one of my favorite project in the book: I like the soft harmony of whites and natural/beige ribbon. Here is another favorite, handmade candles, which Finn and I will attempt this year once school is out, we will most likely use a soy wax mix such as this one on amazon.
Another section of the book that caught me eyes contains lots of beautiful treats that can be made for the birds. We have a large bird feeder outside of the kitchen window and since we have some extra hooks there it would be nice to vary the bird buffet with some of those beautiful treats:
In this book you will find recipes, advent calendars, homemade gift ideas such as simple knits and decorating tips. It will surprise no-one that I cannot fail to share a few pictures of winter flowers, always a favorite around here:
If you like a simple, low key kind of Holiday, I think you might enjoy this book very much. The projects are not complicated, yes they look homemade and that is the point! By this I mean that you do not need to be Martha to end up with lovely objects born of the lovely ideas in this book.
If you feel so inclined you can get a paper copy from here. Here is another picture to tempt you with!
If you have crafted a christmas decoration already and would ike to share it, you can enter a picture of it in this giveaway:
Share a picture of your own handmade Christmas decoration with the lovely people at Stitch Craft Create and you could win £100! Just add your photo to their share board or use the hashtag #SCCXmas on Twitter or Instagram.