Blue Camel Scarf

Yarn: Crucci camel hair, from the stash I adopted years ago, overdyed by me
Loom: Ashford 4-shaft table loom
Weave structure: twill
Sett: 10 epi

The yarn was left over from the Simple Garter Vest I knit back in 2007. The blue is vibrant, so if I’d knit a hat or gloves to go with the vest it would have been way too ‘matchy-matchy’. But it’s lovely yarn and I was waiting for a worthy project. As I said in my last post about it, the yarn has enough shine to make the twill texture stand out. It’s also gloriously soft, and not too ‘sticky’ so the scarf drapes well.

I love it, and feel totally vindicated in deciding to weave what I want to, rather than just to use up stash faster.

I’ve also taken the houndstooth fabric off the rigid heddle and washed it. It didn’t felt as much as I’d hoped, so I’m considering running it through the wash again. Then I’ll probably put it aside to make into a bag another time. My main crafty priority is getting all my looms warped and ready for the convention I’m doing the weaving demo at early next month. I’ve warped up and started weaving on the mini inkle loom and I’m slowly warping up the table loom to make a ruana. But more about that in another post, when I have photos.

Better Late Than Never

The title of this post is apt for two reasons.

When Paul and I extended this house it was mostly to accommodate me. I got a studio and wardrobe space, we both got a main bedroom that wasn’t effectively a corridor to the garage, and Paul got one half of the laundry to be his dark room. The Garage Project has been all about Paul having space for his interests and possible future career. The new garage is for his cars, collections and tools and the old one will become a photography studio. Considering that he left IT back when the renovations were happening, it’s taken five or more years for us to adapt to his lifestyle change.

The other reason it is apt is because, well, it’s May. Paul had thought we’d have it all done in February. I was more pessimistic, predicting March. We were both wrong. Some of the delays were due to being stuffed around (the first concreter), some to things outside anyone’s control (weather, building permission), and some to us not anticipating problems (the roof height).

But we finally have a garage:

And it doesn’t block the view (if you don’t count the neighbour’s roofs as ‘view’). I felt totally vindicated when this happened:

Whoever said a view is for visitors because you see it so often you stop appreciating it was wrong. I appreciate my view every time I look out of my studio window. I love watching the light change, the weather and the birds.

Now Paul just has to get the garage door installed, put flooring in the mezzanine and a stair/ladder, get the wiring and lighting done, have the drainage finished, move everything out of the old garage (and a few towers of boxes in the house) in, clean the old garage floor and windows, paint the floor, install blinds and cupboards, perhaps install a sink, and move all the photography stuff in.

Oh well. Good thing we’re not in a hurry.

A Roof Waaaaaaay Over Our Heads

One of the benefits – and consolations – of the whole renovation disaster a few years back was that I did end up with a fabulous studio with a 180 degree view. So when the garage finally started going up I looked out and got a shock to see it was a lot taller than I’d expected.

At first I was all “WFT? That’s not the angle the garage roof is supposed to be!” We’d started out with this garage project wanting the roof line to be the same angle as the house, which is around 15 degrees. At some point that changed to 22 degrees – something Paul may have decided so that more of the mezzanine level was high enough to stand up under. The front elevation on the documents the company gave us made the garage roof look like the house’s, but it turns out it isn’t in proportion.

At first I was unhappy, but figured that at least Paul had his head room. But as more of the garage went up and more of the view disappeared, this feeling deep down that something wasn’t right kept growing. Finally, as I wrote the first version of this blog post, I realised what it was.

We were devaluing our house by removing a good sales point (the view) and replacing it with something that detracted (a garage roof that looked odd because it didn’t match the house).

The roof didn’t have to be much lower at the left for the view of the horizon to remain unbroken. Could it be changed? Paul was reluctant to ask, not wanting us to come off as crazy people who don’t know what we want and change our minds. I was embarrassed, but I always figure it’s worth asking if something can be done. So we went out, apologetically explained the problem and asked if the roof could be changed.

The answer was yes, but it would be a lot of work. How much? Well, it turned out not as much work or money as we feared. Certainly not so much as I reckon we’d lose by blocking the view. How much head room would Paul lose? A little, but not too much when you consider it’s going to be a storage area. So we discussed how it could be done with as little trouble and came up with a rough plan. The garage installers are going to do some calculations and come back with a quote.

Afterwards we were both relieved and glad we’d made ourselves ask, and agreed that it was worth fixing.

Two in a Row

The weekend before last I made a day of it, and caught the train and tram to the Handknitters Guild Yarn Fair. My main reason to go was to ask a few questions of the Machine Knitters Association of Victoria, see if the Handweavers and Spinners Guild had any inkle looms on sale, say a brief ‘hi’ and ‘thanks’ to Kylie of the Ton of Wool project and fondle the cormo.

Well, I had a great natter with Christine about the MKAV and worked out which local club to contact. I got to have a look at the cormo and say thanks to Kylie as well. But the HW&SG didn’t have much more than a table with finished objects and handspun yarn to buy on it. However, I found out that they were having their textile bazaar the next week.

I bumped into a friend, Emma, and wound up having lunch with some of the Richmond knitters group. Which was lovely but made me miss hand knitting sooo much.

I did manage to buy a couple of things:

But I figured I’d save the main damage to the bank account for the next week, when I headed over to the Handweavers and Spinners Guild Textile Bazaar. I managed to avoid the temptations of the Great Cone Yarn Mountain Range and got a second hand inkle loom for $5, which would hardly cover the cost of the wood. Then, as I was about to leave, I spotted a new, teeny weeny inkle loom. For $15. I knew if I didn’t buy it I would kick myself later.

I also picked up a couple of rag shuttles. You can never have too many shuttles. And some ratchet and pawls that will come in handy if I make or adapt a loom.

And I finally got around to joining the Guild. Paul was waiting in the car, so I didn’t hang about too long. I wish I’d had a bit more time to chat, as I met more weavers in my short visit than I have before in previous ones. When asking if they had any paddle heddles, I explained by showed them my little afro comb loom, and it drew a bit of interest. No paddle heddles there, though.

Oh, and to the woman who said ‘oh, I read your…’ if you meant this blog… um… ‘hi’. You looked busy so I didn’t ask if you were a regular reader. In fact, a few faces seemed familiar but I couldn’t quite work out why. I probably would have, if I’d had more time.

Afterwards we scooted off to the Made in Thornbury market where two friends, Margaret and Beky had stalls, and when we set off home the day had turned drizzly and grey.