And some more weaving - the Dixon Christmas Tartan?

Over Christmas, Mum and I tried some more weaving. Deciding to be a bit more adventurous, we invented a pattern which we've now adopted as our family tartan.

The work grows amazingly quickly compared with knitting.

A lesson that we learned this time is that two pieces won't necessarily come out the same length. We made two pieces on the 12" knitter's loom to sew together to make a wider piece. Although we made sure of the same number of pattern repeats, the two pieces were different enough in length to cause some puckering when stitched together. Washing and drying didn't help, so we're thinking up some new ideas for the two pieces.

More weaving

I had another skein of the hair-dyed handspun after making the mitts, and I reckoned that there was enough to weave a scarf to go with them.

It's taken a while for weaving to grab me, but it has now. I think it's the speed that your project grows. I'm also fascinated that the colours interact differently than when you knit. I'll be interested to see whether this will fluff up much more when it's washed.

Warp and weft

I've had a great weekend with my Mum. I took over a knitter's loom and we've spent some very enjoyable time learning to weave.

Mum found some lovely chunky marbled yarn, something she's used a lot for crochet.

The finished item looks remarkably good for a first effort. (I'm just washing it, which should fluff it up a bit and I'll take another photo of it when it's dry.) The most amazing thing was how quickly it grew. It took an hour or so to warp up the loom and about the same again to do the weaving.

Much happier

I've tried more swatching using the same yarn but bigger needles (6mm), and I've got the chunky look that I was after! The first swatch, made with 4mm needles, is on the left. I've tried some k2p2 and k1p1 ribs which look great and I'll use those in the project.

Thinking about the Ravelympics

You know when you have something in your head, and when you start working on it, everything looks just as good as you'd imagined? Well this isn't one of those times.

I'm looking forward to the Ravelympics (Go, Team UK!) - it'll be great to have the motivation and encouragement to get something bigger done more quickly than my usual snail's pace. However, without the details of the events, I'm guessing at what I might do.

I have a big project in mind that might be ideal. I'm going to spin and knit a cardy/coat, based on the design of a much-loved Marks & Spencer one that's on its last legs. So I've started spinning samples and knitting swatches.

Too lazy to use the tripod, my photos of the sample skein are awful (this is the best photo by far), but I *am* very pleased with the yarn. It's corriedale undyed, medium colour.

I thought it was about the right 'chunkiness' but the first swatch is nowhere near as chunky as I'd had in mind. It's about 12 wpi, which is the same as that which I made for my recent mitts, and they feel very chunky. Maybe it's because they are a ribbed pattern.

I'll try another with bigger needles (these are 4mm), try some ribbing and failing that I'll try spinning a bit chunkier.