A little Scottish souvenir

The funny thing about Harris Tweed, is that it’s a twill. One theory on why it’s called “tweed” is apparently that the word was a misinterpretation of “tweel” (i.e. twill). I think that’s a nice story!

This photo doesn’t do the colour of these little samplers justice, but I’m very excited about finding something I can turn them into.

Some Harris Tweed samples

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.