Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Weavers Anon

So, at Christmas I went to check out the Christchurch Guild of Spinners and Weaversrelocated shop/workspace at The Tannery in Woolston. Like many others they had been forced out of their accomodation by the earthquakes and had only recently reopened. While I'd been making OK progress on my own, working from books, websites and the odd YouTube video I'd really been feeling the need for companionship, even mentoring in my weaving adventures, someone to bounce ideas off and if necessary provide advice. I'd joined Creative Fibre as an individual member last year but without a group to belong to wasn't 'feeling the love' but most groups meet during workdays which are impossible for me or in evenings which is just almost impossible. But the Chch Guild has a Saturday meeting, from 10-2, which is only difficult.

I joined the Guild pretty much on the spot, they were such a lovely, welcoming bunch of people. I've gone along to a couple of the Saturday meetings between Canterbury Faire, Webstock, riding and other obligations, like I said, Saturdays are only difficult. Most of the people are spinning or knitting at those sessions, weaving looms being a bit of a nightmare to transport, especially with a project on them. I've taken along my current card-weaving project which fits in the boot OK but it requires all my focus to work on which means that I'm either making progress on that or conversing with people, I can't do both. My goal is to get along to a Saturday meeting every month, plus anything more weaving oriented that falls at a time that I can make. 

So that's great, but I was still not connecting with the weavers so much. Then last weekend I got to go to my first Creative Fibre Canterbury region weavers meet up at the Cooper's Creek hall, a very cute wee hall that sports a good sized tea room and open fire. It's a wee way from home, but probably further for most people and so I was pleasantly surprised that about 15-20 people turned up. We had coffee and tea and then sat in a circle around the fire for introductions, a Q&A session and show and tell.
Cooper's Creek Hall

"Hello, my name is Simone and I've been a fibreholic for around ten years. This is my first meeting, I've been weaving for a little over a year"... That's pretty much what I felt I should say. Seriously I had this mental image of it as a kind of AA for weavers... And I wasn't completely off base. Once we'd done intros I was able to ask about my next project which has a warp of a variety of wools and I got some good advice including washing same-length strands together pretty hot to see if they shrink differently, and of course doing a sample, which I am going to do this time. They felt I had plenty of yarn for the project, so good. And then in show and tell I got out the big blanket and they had many kind comments about it which was lovely as I am quite pleased with it (while being aware of the flaws).

Then we all got up and wandered about checking out some of the hardware and projects people had brought with them and in my case grabbing a quick sandwich. I met some of the women who had been at the West Melton 150th who are part of the Malvern weavers group and they said that they might be doing some evening sessions this year so maybe I'll be able to get to them. Darfield is only fifteen minutes away so much easier to do an evening thing there than at the tannery in Woolston which is forty five.

So yay. I am really looking forward to the next session in a couple of months, then I think that one after that is in West Melton at the community hall, so just around the corner.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Gearing up for faire

Things are flat out around here as usual. It's a couple of days before Canterbury Faire and I'm off work already, cooking things, doing enormous shopping trips and generally trying to feel like I have a handle on things. 

Christmas was lovely but despite having a full two weeks off I went back to work feeling as tired as I had left. Everything out here is incredibly dry and we made zero progress on the garden, but then the earth is like concrete so not really conducive to being levelled and raked.

I got a little weaving done and am past the half way point on the rugs. I am pretty pleased with how it's looking but terrified that I will cut it off the loom and find that nothing matches up. Maybe if that happens I'll just make them two small throws instead of one larger blanket thing. We will see said Kanga.

One thing that I did manage to do on the holidays was to make contact with the Christchurch Guild of spinners and Weavers and I am now a paid up member. I won't be able to go to a meeting for another few weeks but they were so lovely that I'm really thrilled to have taken the leap. It will be great to have people to talk fibre arts with and have some people so knowledgeable to add questions of.

Anyway, must feed the dog before she wears my arm off...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pushpa vs the great outdoors

Pushpa (Molly) has just returned from her first venture into the outside. After four weeks she and kiwi have settled into a detente, not exactly friends, but accepting of each other's presence in the house. 

Pushpa has decided that the back of my loom is her spot in the living room as it has many advantages: it's on the opposite side of the room from kiwi's beanbag, is elevated and when the curtains are pulled has a great view out the bay window. I've put the dining room table insert across the warps at the back so that that's is a solid platform for her and no pressure on the warp itself.

She's had her last anti-feline aids shot so now she's allowed outside and has just spent a couple of hours exploring before returning for a late breakfast. Now we just have to get the cat door installed and we're pretty much sorted.

Kiwi also has just finished her course of shots for arthritis and they seem to have been effective.

Monday, November 03, 2014

A new tail

It's been a lovely spring and made that much nicer by a new arrival in the house. For several years now I've been talking about getting a cat, but a bit of an issue how Kiwi would deal with it. My plan was to get a cat at the beginning of a holiday period so that we'd be home to supervise their integration. But the opportunity just never seemed to arrive, until it did.

A bit out of the blue a friend offered us a cat. Molly is a seven year old Bengal, used to living with a dog, but not really getting on with the other cats at home. She's been with us for three weeks now and while she and Kiwi are not exactly matey matey they are getting used to each other's presence.

She's a real character, quite likes water, at least she's very interested in the bath, sinks and dishwasher! She's found a few good hiding spots including our wardrobe, and more recently on the beam side of my loom. I have had to place a board there so she isn't stretching my warps. So long as she doesn't try to get up there while I am weaving that's ok.