Meeting a Hariss Tweed weaver

Finally on my trip to Scotland I did something weaving related!! On a day visit to Lewis – same island as Harris – I got to watch a weaver at work. Very cool…

Based in Carloway on the west coast Norman, like many Harris Tweed weavers, has a single peddle powered loom which typically takes 600 ends of feather weight yarn and he weaves his cloth at home. He sends the cloth to a mill for finishing and then it’s certified as Harris Tweed from Carloway which his wife makes onto scarfs for their small shop but he mostly sells it as bolts of cloth.

I’ll post a photo later of his loom.

No weavy stuff…

I’m currently visiting the home of tartan (!!!!) but so far it’s been a holiday light on weaving stuff. Did see some cool backstrap weaving bits at the National Museum of Scotland (they werent Scottish) but I haven’t bumped into any Scottish weavy stuff. Of course there are kilts and clan tartan identifiers, but other than many a thing made from Harris Tweed I’ve struck out! So far…

The last thing anyone expected from a weaver

I’ve been out looking for a cotton scarf and it’s funny how all my friends have been looking a bit surprised by this. In their minds I would just weave myself one. I can understand this, but it I was surprised by their surprise.

My scarf hunt was very specifically for a certain size and weight and, sadly, a fineness I can’t achieve on my rigid heddle. I say ‘sadly’, but actually I’m kind of pleased that I had to shop for one. It meant not only could I look for something different to what I’d weave for myself, but I could also enjoy a spot of shopping!

And the result?

Blue and white reversible pattern cotton scarf
Pattern reverses colour!!

Exploring pooling #1

Yarn pooling is kind of fascinating (this is where you use the colour repeat in a variegated yarn to make a pattern) and some months back I started looking at a few of the vari’s I had to see what their repeats were like. Interestingly, it turned out that all of them have been dyed deliberately to prevent pooling!

So, I might not be setting out to pool anything soon, but I do now have a clearer understanding of the yarns in my stash. Well, and a project brewing at the back of my head.

Ah hem

Well, that’s what you call a break, huh? I’ve decided to call this “getting noveled”, because it seems novel writing and weaving can only coexist up to a point; then the novel wins!

The great news is the story that had ambushed me late last year is now done and it’s entirely possible weaving will now rule, as these things do tend to balance out. I just have to wait for my hands to recover from writing (with paper and pen) 110K words!