Wednesday, 18 May 2011


Having missed last year's P2P, I'm very much looking forward to participating this year. I've you're visiting this blog because of P2P2, greetings!

I'm Geo, a handweaver, spinner and dyer when my day job doesn't get in the way. Unfortunately my day job, being in science, frequently gets in the way, and then I run away to sea to work on research vessels. That's when I knit! I'm an Australian who's recently returned to Australia for work after a long time in the UK.

My loom is an 8-shaft, 10-treadle Glimakra, and I spin on a Majacraft Little Gem. I lust after a 32-shaft mechanical dobby. One day.

The idea of P2P2 is to exchange photos and other items of inspiration, and to use those items to develop a woven piece. Nineteen weavers from around the world are participating this year. I've been chosen to inspire another Australian weaver and am now eagerly awaiting a package from the US.

I expect this to be a great deal of fun.

Monday, 16 May 2011


I haven't been completely quiet on the fibre front, far from it. One thing I can take to sea with me is knitting, and I've now become famous on my new ship for sitting in front of the computers monitoring my instruments with knitting in hand when the instruments need watching at all times. The fact that I was knitting with a chunky handspun merino seemed to particularly excite the New Zealand members of the crew. I haven't talked about my knitting here, because I tend to talk about it on Ravelry instead.

I've also been doing a lot of spinning, as the winter evenings start to close in. I finished spinning the dark camel-and-silk roving I started spinning two years ago here (I had one kilogram of pale and one kilo of dark) and I turned the pale yarn into a pullover for myself, for which I've yet to take pictures. Then I found in my stash, this fetching brown-and-white merino.

I have a vague memory of having bought it at the Christmas party of my old spinning group in the UK - P&M Woolcraft would come and set up a stall of temptation. There's a kilo of this too, so I've been spinning it semi-fractally, trying to keep an even length of colour change, but also allowing the occassional patch of long unbroken brown or white in the singles. The end result is a variegated yarn that will have a semi-solid tweedy look it it. I've been spinning it to a light fingering (4-ply) weight, and I am starting to think that it would be ideal yarn to use for a Lattice Lace Pullover (Ravelry link). I'd originally intended dyeing a semi-solid green yarn, but this is changing my mind.

One thing I've been doing is spinning the singles and plying much more firmly than I have of late. It's been clear to me that I spin singles well, but I'm a bit too tentative with the plying, fearing a tough hand to the yarn. But that doesn't help with the longevity of a garment.

I have two skeins of this yarn so far - about 1100 metres in total - and enough roving for one more skein. Plenty for the project I have in mind. I'd better get my skeins clear though, because I've just heard that my local guild is having a drop-in day this weekend: a handful of people, a big pile of rarer fleeces, and the chance to try them all in a single day. How can one resist taking as many empty bobbins as possible?

Colour happiness

When I got back from my time at sea late last Thursday night, I found that there was a parcel waiting for me. I collected it on my way to work on Friday morning, but forced myself to wait until I got home on Friday night before I opened it. Inside was pure colour happiness.

It's a box of 10/2 cottons from the Tubular spectrum range, from Lunatic Fringe yarns. I've lusted after these for years but didn't take the plunge until the other week, when the Australian dollar briefly rose to US$1.10. The difference in exchange rate almost paid for the shipping.

Lined up along the window sill. Forgive the shine off the plastic covers, I probably should have taken them off.

What are these destined for? Well: it's unlike me to do a project verbatim, but have you ever seen the front cover of the Best of Weavers Fabrics that go bump? Turned twill and honeycomb tea towels in warm purple-red-yellow spectrum colours. I've lusted after the lovely towels on that cover since I first saw them years ago. Eventually I decided that if I like them so much, it's not a crime to just do a project someone else designed for a change.

First though, there are more tea towels on the loom to weave off. This is a stash-reduction measure I warped up to help me balance the loom when rebuilding it. The warp is the last of a natural-coloured cotton, with a variety of wefts. There was enough of the sage cotton to weave one towel, and I hope to use up a few more ends of cotton from my stash for the rest. These will be star-square honeycomb variant with plain weave hems. You can see the plain weave of two towels with a couple of picks of scrap cotton between in the photo below.

It's so good to have the loom up and running again.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Another update

I'm almost at the end of my three months of Very Busy, but it's just been pointed out to me by Meg that I've forgotten to mention that I had some news to convey. In the spirit of squeezing as many major life-changing experiences as possible into a single month amongst the craziness of accepting the new job, resigning from my old job and moving to the other side of the world with less than a month's notice at the end of last year; Mr G and I decided to finish a project we'd been meaning to sort for a while. We decided that if we were going to spend the best part of a year apart, we wanted to be married before we did so. We accomplished this by sneaking off to the register office, telling no-one until after the fact. It was more than six months ago now, so in a way it's old news.

I'm still at sea - just offshore the south coast of New South Wales at the moment - but have a huge backlog of posts to write up, once I'm back next week. I've been doing a lot on the fibre front, just not finding the time to write about it!