Thursday, 31 December 2009

Last Post of 2009

For our last post of the year, I am including a picture of Pippin - who is now almost fully grown and a very solid, curly dog. We think he is going to be a good sheepdog and can't wait to get him out in the round pen next year to give him a start. Just now he goes out with O/H to feed the sheep and stays well to heel though you can see he would really like to give it a go!

Decided to be very industrious and got out the circular sock knitter. Made very good progress setting it up and knitting a tube but then when I put the ribber on found I was one needle short of a set! After hasty posting on sockknittingmachineswapshop - a very useful and informative Yahoo group, I've tracked down some new needles so hopefully I will be up and running (well, knitting roundly) very soon. As we re-arranged the furniture in the den so I could use the machine and keep warm at the same time, it is now the focal point of the room! So its unlikely I'm going to forget about it.
And, finally, there were six goldfinches (a "charm") swinging about on the bird feeders outside the window this morning. It's very cold and very frosty today so seeing their bright colours and cheerful antics made a lovely start to the last day of the year......

Friday, 25 December 2009

Seasons Greetings to All

Here on the croft everyone is enjoying their Christmas :- No-name turkey is spending the day quietly with friends and looking forward to a happy New Year......

....The guinea fowl assembled for a spot of carol singing earlier on in the day (incidentally, don't they match well with the gravel?).......

...before adopting a truly iconic pose on a rock outside the loomshed.

So we wish you all a peaceful christmas, wherever you are.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

White Christmas come early...

After a couple of days of acheingly cold weather, at last we have had some snow! This morning we awoke to find a white Scalpay much to the surprise of the livestock. The hens won't come out and demanded breakfast in bed (or nest) today, and the sheep are digging about looking for food. Actually they had a good feed of shredded beet and Lewis mix earlier, but they do enjoy playing up to the camera! Little Heather, who had a short back and sides last week, is curled up in a warm spot trying to look invisible in case she has to go for a walk, and Pippin was a bit surprised at his first sight of snow. Bramble, who is an old hand at such matters takes it all in her stride.
Changing the subject, I don't know if you've ever come across those amusing publications called "Luxury Caravan Calendar", "Luxury Shed Calendar" etc. (If not, googling should take you there on Amazon).
Well, here on the islands there has always been a tradition of re-cycling materials and utilising found items in an imaginative way. I guess it is because the supply of raw materials has always been finite and expensive to import so the necessity to make do and mend is still alive and well amongst some sectors of the community. This is especially true of crofters. So when my O/H said he was about to build a sheep fold on the croft to gather the Hebridean sheep into for their dip and drench, my heart skipped with joy.
For this monumental construction we are talking re-cycled corrugated tin which came from someones (possibly our) old shed, and a variety of posts and wood which originated either from the shoreline or from the electricity companys leavings after they took down some of the light poles locally.
As you can see from the picture below, the work was started but,sadly, completion has been delayed by weather (a common occurrence here). I can't wait to see the final result as it looks like it will be a triumph of traditional architecture. You can't see from the photo here but it is in an impressive location with commanding 360 degree views (as the estate agents would say!), O/H reckons it will knock at least 15% off the value of all the houses round about.....
When its finished I will definitely be featuring it again.

Someone who has a good eye for these sort of constructions is Donnie Mackay from Skye - see his

Friday, 18 December 2009

New Year pressie idea....

If you're short of a gift and want something unusual and help a good cause at the same time, then do visit On a cold day such as today this will warm the cockles of your heart.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Shooting Stars!

No photos of todays subject because it was too dark, but wanted to mention the display of shooting stars last night. A friend rang earlier in the evening to say she had heard on the radio that meteorite showers were forecast for a couple of nights around 10pm, and as the sky was so clear it would be worth taking a look. Unfortunately we didn't manage out till about 10.30pm but still saw quite a few from our vantage point at the sheepfold at the back of the house where we were working on Friday. We have very few really clear nights so this was a real treat! I hope others managed to catch the show - the sky here is cloud free this morning, so if it lasts till night we have a chance to see Episode 2 tonight! Happy star-gazing......

Saturday, 12 December 2009

A Day at the Fank

Yesterday we were up bright and early to gather the sheep so they can get their annual check up. This is the opportunity to administer an injection against sheep scab, which can be very unpleasant, is very infectious amongst the flock and damages both wool and meat quality; a dose of anti sheep-tick and fly liquid which kills surface living parasites; and a drench of anti liver-fluke and wormer. Foot problems can be checked for and we make sure that tagging requirements are met.
This year we were all impressed at how fit the sheep were. There was no sign of any existing scab problems, which is a sure sign that our co-operative efforts of the past few years have paid off and the island flock is now free of scab. However, we still have to be vigilant against the infection being brought in from outside.

Here are some of the sheep waiting for their medicine before being released back onto the crofts again. The sheep all know the area to return to - usually the place where they were lambed, and by nightfall everyone was back in familiar territory. The weather yesterday was stunningly good - very clear through cold. Our sheepfold has a wonderful view - it's on top of a hill - and you can see the sea and the mainland of Harris in the background.

Our ram, which we bought from the Stornoway Auction Mart last year, worked well this year too. He got a bit stroppy last week and was starting to chase me when he saw me with the hen-food bucket - one day he trapped me in the byre and I had to wait for ages till he got bored and wandered off so I could get back to the house. Anyway, he's now confined in a field and will shortly be going to a retirement island where he can spend his old age with other old rams with similar interests!

And here's Pippin, focussing on the sheep coming up the road. As it was his first experience of a fank (a gathering of the sheep), I took him out on the lead and we helped direct the sheep onto the track up to the sheepfold. He got to see lots of sheep in a flock, but wasn't allowed to do anything other than observe the other dogs at work. He was very good (most of the time) and joined Bramble in the evening for an extra dinner (you have to be a working dog to qualify for this!)

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Web Site problems

Our web site is experiencing some health problems just now, so if you visit, please avoid undue noise, don't stay too long, and leave flowers and choccies in the basket marked "Sheila". I will issue an update bulletin tomorrow. Thank you for your forbearance.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Update on 4-horn ram...

Found this delightful picture of Bramble keeping watch from the table in the loomshed and thought it would be nice to share.....

The 4-horn black ram arrived safely in North Galson and was still in his new field with his new friends this morning. So that's a relief! We didn't hear what the alpacas thought of him.

Today the weather has been just appalling - after a lovely sunny start it just went downhill from then on. So to compensate for not being able to get out for a walk, I have been fiddling with our website. Not, regrettably, using the new technology front-end online editing software, but with "Frontpage" and the FTP I've used for years. I've updated my fonts, put in some more photos, brought some of the info up to date, and, actually, I think it looks quite a bit better than it did before.

So, if you've nothing better to do, slip over to and let me know what you think. Oh and, before someone tells me, I know that "Silk Works" isn't centred properly. I noticed it at the end and, to be honest, just couldn't work up the enthusiasm to go and put it right. Yes, the rot is setting in again, but I did make an effort today when I could have put up my feet and watched "Columbo" on TV.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Goodbye to an old friend.....

Today we bid a fond farewell to the four horned ram who is off on his jollies to North Galson to meet new and attractive young ewes and gimmers.
As you can see, he wasn't incredibly keen on leaving - in fact, when we got up this morning he had jumped out of his field and was cavorting at the end of the croft with some white friends. Eventually we caught him and tied him to the fence so he couldn't get away.

When the trailer arrived he was well impressed! Last occupants had been the new Lewis Alpacas, so he could see that he was at last going to a place with a bit of class. The straw was much to his taste and we didn't hear another sound from him. No doubt he is now enjoying new company in Lewis and we have our fingers crossed that at the beginning of May we will be seeing the results.

Also, on a different tack - I've finally managed to screw up my website! I got some software to help me edit it online as my main problem with updating is the length of time it takes to update offline then go through an FTP program to upload it. Anyway, after a great deal of time fiddling about, the software is attached to my site on the server and I had a go at the first page - upon which all the pictures on the page disappeared. Horror! Not quite sure what to do about it, so I've emailed software support and hope they will help me get my piccies back!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Winter Arrives on the Isle of Harris

Winter is here - its official! Got up this morning to the sight of snow on the Clisham and surrounding smaller hills. And its jolly cold too. Took the dogs for a run up on the peat road and had to turn back because my ears were hurting with the cold! Time to seek out the sheepskin Biggles hat again.

On a search through my photos I found one of the new linsey-woolsey I picked up from the mill a week ago tomorrow. Pictures of the making of this tweed are further back in the blog, so here is the finished result. It is just gorgeous - warm and tweedy but with the added linen touch to give it some body. I am going to save up and have some made into a jacket. Meantime, the first visitor to the loomshed who saw it snapped up a couple of metres, so that's good news! Anyone interested in buying some, just drop me an email .

So, the sun is shining, the hens are laying (well, sort of... we went down to one egg only on Tuesday, but on Wednesday it was up to ten again), the turkey is prancing around outside, the dogs are quiet and asleep in front of the fire just now. Blackberry and apple crumble in the oven along with a nice joint of venison. I love living on Scalpay - it's my favourite place.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Little Visitor

For the past few days we have been entranced to have a little visitor staying with us. Her name is Snowy - after the dog in "Tintin" and she is a baby West Highland Terrier. This is a piccie of Snowy relaxing with her new friends. See how big Pippin has got now - he's on the right - getting bigger than Bramble and built like a real heavyweight. He has been in his element playing with Snowy and they are all getting on so well together. Snowy is going home tomorrow and we're going to miss her tremendously. The house will be so quiet without her. Missing from the picture is Heather who was not a happy bunny when Snowy arrived and flounced off in a huff to stay with her daddy!
Another bit of news of the day - some of our Hebridean Tweed is going to be used by Nikki McAlinden of . If you haven't seen the humpties, then do visit her site. The humpties are lots of fun and I believe the Hebridean Chocolate Company is going to make chocolate humpties - can't wait for that! Hebridean Chocolates is a new business and are still developing their website. When it is up and running I'll be mentioning it again.
I'm also putting Nikki in touch with Gedgrave Wensleydales so she can use Wensleydale fleece as humpty hair. I think it is going to be sensational.
Yesterday afternoon, in amongst all the heavy rain and November wind, we had a visit from Mary Norton from Grimsay North Uist, who is part of a group who are carrying out a feasibility study to start a fibre processing mill on Uist. She happened to be passing and dropped in as she knew I was very interested in getting commercial short contract spinning available locally.
It's a fascinating project, and I do hope that things work out for them. It's an exciting time to be living here in the Outer Hebrides. So many new ideas are developing and this is making a difference to existing businesses - perking us up a bit and making us re-assess what we are doing. If only there were more hours in the day, or even days in the week!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

A Crofters Work is never done!

The weather today has been simply appalling. Constant very heavy rain, strong wind and really uncomfortable to be outside. Lots of people might say "Lovely weather for ducks" so, to prove the point, here is a photo of our ducks this morning wallowing in a mud pool!

At this time of year we are waiting for the lorry to come and pick up our wool clip which was sheared in June/July. As is usual, we are so well-organised that we have to do it the day before and, as usual, the weather was against us. We backed the pick-up close to the side of the house
and rolled fleeces on the tailgate. As registered sheep producers with more than five sheep we have to send our annual clip to the British Wool Board (the nearest depot to us is at Evanton near Dingwall). We are able to buy and sell our Hebridean fleeces as we please since, as rare or vulnerable breeds, they are exempt from the usual rules. The reason producers have to trade through the Wool Board is so that the wool can be traded in world markets in larger quantities than would be the case if individuals negotiated to sell their own clips. This results in a better price for raw wool for the producers and accurate statistics being collected to monitor
the industry.
Here is a potted version of how to roll a fleece to BWB standards- just in case you ever need to!

First of all you grab a fleece and shake it out to check its got no daggy (pooey) bits in it.

Then you spread out the fleece, cut side uppermost. This is for hill sheep like blackface, cheviot and swaledales. If you have lowland sheep like dorsets, romneys etc. then you lay it cut side down.

Fold the sides of the fleece to the middle....

... and roll it up, making a hole in the fleece and tucking in the tail wool to keep it tied together.

Finally the rolled fleece is packed into a large wool bag called a "sheet" which is supplied by the wool board. The top of the sheet is stitched shut, not forgetting to put your name and address on a label inside the bag, and a swing label on the outside to identify the producers group it belongs to.
Here on Scalpay our producers group is called "Scalpay Township" and though there are only three crofts putting away wool now, in the old days every croft would be sending away its wool each year. It is all collected together when the lorry from Hebrides Haulage in Stornoway comes to our part of Harris and transported to Stornoway where it goes across the ferry to Ullapool and ends up in Evanton.
This is the story of our wool clip. I hope you have enjoyed it.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

New Bags made by Calana Crafts, woven by me.

A lovely surprise when Joan from Calana Crafts ( called to say she had finished some bags for me.

So yesterday, on our way back from Stornoway I called in to see. They are gorgeous! Linsey Woolsey - linen warp and wool weft, some Harris Wool and the others our Hebridean wool from our black sheep. 6 x 6 herringbone and very nicely made. Magnetic popper at the top, co-ordinating lining and fully labelled with both the Scalpay Linen and Masters of Linen Min. 50% linen sew-in labels. I probably won't ever weave exactly this fabric again, so now is a good time to snap up a bargain for Christmas..... £40 each with free postage anywhere.

At some point these will end up on Etsy - but for now, if anyone is interested, just wack off an e-mail to me and we can complete by Paypal.

Purple Fuschia and red Harris wool weft with linen warp. 6 x 6 herringbone. Flat bag with magnetic popper closing and loop handles.

Grey and Brown Hebridean weft with white and natural linen warp. 6 X 6 Herringbone with the point in the centre of the colour. Magnetic popper closing. Flat bag with loop handles.

Yellow and red Harris Wool weft over a white linen warp. Flat bag, magnetic popper closing and loop handles.

Grey and Brown Hebridean wool spun from local fleeces together with a white and natural striped warp. You won't find this anywhere else! The point of the herringbone pattern is in the centre of the colour stripe which adds to its appeal. Magnetic popper closing, box bottom and loop handles.

Purple Fuschia and red Harris Wool weft with white linen warp. Matching purple fuschia lining. Box bottom, magnetic popper closing and loop handles.

Not great colour reproduction here - it's a lemon yellow and red Harris wool weft over a white linen warp. Box bottom and magnetic popper closing. The overall effect reminds me of macaroni cheese (with added tomatoes of course!). Yum yum.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

A bit of a Grizzle

I try not to moan about things - especially about things that are outwith our control, but today I am going to have a bit of a grizzle about our local electricity supplier - Scottish and Southern Electric, also incorporating Hydro-Electric.

We have been having a lot of refurbishment done on our light poles on the island - a great idea as it can be inconvenient when the lines fall down or break in the bad weather and we are without power. However, the SSE do think they have a divine right to go on our common grazings with diggers and an assortment of tracked vehicles - get stuck, dig themselves out, make large holes which fill with water, cut great swathes of devastation amongst our heather mooorland and, worst of all, knock down our gorgeous hand-built dry-stone dyke which has stood for generations dividing the moorland from the lighthouse precincts. Several years ago they took a digger through it and, under protest, piled the stones back up again in a very rough way. Now we see, they are at it again......

This used to be a track which could be followed through a small gate in the wall and onwards to the lighthouse......

Now, as you can see above, it looks like a pile of rubble. (Bramble the dog is standing beside the wall to show you that it is about five feet high).

And here, above, is the remains of our peat bank, where many generations of Fergusons laboriously dug their fuel for winter warmth. Next year we will be stocking it with fish and looking for a new peat bank!

Thank goodness the sheep are off grazings for the winter and aren't in danger of drowning in the ruts and new soft bits that have been created.
OK - rant over.
Today I've been stocking up the Etsy shop with lots more wool and also my new linen. Why not take a look and see......

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Linsey-Woolsey #2

After a couple of dreary days, it only rained a few times today. The croft is starting to dry out a bit thanks goodness.

Spent most of the day in the loomshed beaming, tyeing in, pulling through and starting off the new cloth.

This is the blue and white 10 lea linen warp going onto the beam. Looks like a football scarf!

And here is the warp tied onto the loom and with some weft added. Same as the last linsey-woolsey (2 shots Grey and 2 shots Brown Hebridean wool). Looks very distinctive. We like the white stripe and think we may stick to using white as the alternate stripe in the rest of the range. We still have the red, the purple and the lime green linen to use. At nearly 8kg of weft in each cloth, I'm hoping I'll have enough Hebridean wool to last out the whole caboodle!

Tomorrow we are going to the Shawbost Mill - Harris Tweed Hebrides - to pick up the last linen they finished for us and drop off Linsey Woolsey #1. Carloway Mill are having carder problems so we are still with our fingers crossed that the Hebridean/Cheviot fibre will become a yarn for us.
Ordered some more fine lurex thread off e-bay today for twisting up with the handspuns. Got a cone of iridescent lurex the other week and its gorgeous - not too in your face - gives a lovely sheen to the yarn rather than an explicit sparkle. Anyway, decided to get some chocolate brown and bronze to jazz up the Hebridean wool and some black just for fun!
I can thoroughly recommend: they have a range of lurex threads plus machine knitting yarns, wool dyes and lots of other nice things. Well worth having a browse.
Spinning tonight I think! Going to try spinning 2 of the Katre's Norwegian pre-spun together and then twisting it with something glittery again. Am going to try a tighter twist than usual so it will be good for socks.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

More on Etsy

There are now 7 of my Christmas Sparkles Handspun Falkland Wool hanks on Etsy - . Still have four more to measure and hank and another five to dye after the weekend.
They are great to knit with - very soft and bouncy. I shall be putting them in my loomshed for sale next week, so now is a good time to purchase.....
Weather is good today though rather hazy. Hoping to get some autumn gardening done this afternoon - pruning, weeding and tidying. Hope it doesn't rain!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Dyeing Monday

Yesterday I was dyeing in the morning - Monday is a good day for dyeing as I can keep an eye on the washing in the washing machine and drier and do something else at the same time!

Here is some of the yarn I have ready for measuring, weighing and Etsying....
Two more are on Etsy today, and hopefully more will follow.
Today the weather is awful - gloomy and rainy - real November weather even though it's only the end of October. Even the hens are looking dismal, whilst no-name turkey is looking very spiky round the nether regions. This is the sort of weather that makes me want to stay in by the fire and get on with the spinning whilst watching an episode of CSI Season 1 which arrived from Amazon via the postie this lunchtime. However, this afternoon is the first session of "After School Club - Arts and Crafts" at the local school so I will have to pull myself together before then!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Potatoes and my Etsy Shop is now Open again!

At our craft fair and flea market yesterday in Tarbert, someone brought along a box of potatoes that had been grown by the pupils at Seilebost School in South Harris. I couldn't resist them and this is what I brought back with me. Seilebost is on the machair (a light sandy soil which is flat and is populated by hosts of beautiful wild flowers in the summer) and because it such a light soil the potatoes grow very evenly and don't have knobbly lumps sticking out of them like those we grow in a rocky soil. You can even see the sand still clinging onto the potatoes. The pink ones are "Rooster" variety, and the others are "Golden Wonder". We had some roosters for lunch today and they were beautiful. Thank you Seilebost School!

This afternoon I decided to open up my Etsy shop again - after having it closed since before I went to Japan in March! So to celebrate, I've put on two hanks of Christmas Sparkles handspun, hand-dyed Falkland wool. Hopefully this is just a start. There are 5 more hanks ready for measuring and weighing, and four more ready for dyeing.

And finally, remember the 2 shades of green, yellow and natural linen I collected from the mill a couple of weeks ago? Well, at last here is a picture of it. Rather natty if a little optically challenging! There are 43 meters on the roll, so I'm busy sending out swatches to my regular customers. I will have it on Etsy at some point, but meantime, if you are interested in any, just drop me a line:

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Hebridean Tweed

Although I love almost every thing about my work, one of the most enjoyable things about designing and weaving cloth and hand-spinning yarns is that sometimes I get to see what it being made from them.

Today I had a lovely surprise to receive this picture of a cushion made from my Hebridean Tweed. The Gaelic saying embroidered into it is translated as: "whoever burns his bottom must sit on it".
The maker is Deirdre Nelson - . Deirdre completed a residency at Taigh Chearsabhaigh in North Uist a couple of years ago which culminated in an auction of fish which had been knitted during her time on the island. She has some great ideas and is always up to something exciting. I'm pleased to say that Deirdre has worked with both my linen and now with the Hebridean Tweed. She has an interesting blog at which I'm going to add to my followings.
Weather good today - plenty of sun and no wind. Long may it last! Sorry to the folks on the East Coast who have not had it so good.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Lucky Dip

I've been snapping away with the camera over the past week, so here are some of the results, in no particular order.

To start with - hand-spun falkland wool (roving from blueface454 on Ebay) spun by me into a thickish soft single and then twisted with a fine lurex thread to stabilise it all. Then dyed by me with landscape dyes. Here is a ball of it wound up and a little tension square I knitted to check out tension, length and needle size etc. This particular one had the shades - Maize, Alfafa, Saltmarsh and Coral.
I've got quite a few hanks hanging up drying waiting to be measured and re-hanked, with different dye combinations. For anyone who hasn't knitted with handspun before, this is a very comfortable one to use and knits up light and airy with just a hint of sparkle to chase away those winter blues that will be with us very soon. Hope to have these on Etsy within a few days but will blog when they are in.

Next, it's no-name turkey. At last a picture of him/her looking very much like a turkey now. It is still living in the hen house with the hens but is growing at a rate of knots and we will soon have to think about clearing out the turkey shed as it has a larger pop-hole.

Now, here's a shot of a buzzard sitting on a pole outside the house looking menacing. It has been hanging around the croft for days terrorising everything feathered and small and furry. Even Heather the little dog has looked a bit worried at times. The guinea fowl are always on the look out for predators and make a terrific noise whenever they see it so the hens and chicks dash for cover. So far no-one has been caught.

More about my very useful yarn meter. I've been winding up yarn for the next warp and have had the meter plumbed into the Munty cone-winder so I know when I've got sufficient. It's great and hopefully will save me loads of time and lead to greater accuracy and less wastage. That's the theory anyway! My loomshed could really do with a tidy as well.

And to finishe with, here are the yarns for the new linsey-woolsey. The blue and white are 10lea linen and the brown and grey are Hebridean 13c. The cloth is going to be exactly the same as the one that's in the loom just now - 12 x 12 Herringbone. I've got the yarn up on the creel and if I can find time to start the warp today I will. It's been busy with visitors both morning and afternoon - the season is longer this year I think.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Clocking up the miles - in more ways than one!

Just back from Carloway having delivered a large sheet of Borve, Harris Cheviot sheep's wool to Harris Tweed Textiles. It was supposed to be around 30kgs but I think it was more than that. We have our fingers crossed that there is enough crimpiness to hold everything together on the carders now. Steve the Mill Manager said he was going to get started on it next week - so good luck guys!

The dogs were good on the journey (which takes about 1.5 hrs each way) as they always are. Here's a piccie of Pippin to show how big he's getting. One ear is fully vertical now and the other one is on its way up. He looked so cute with the floppy ears but I guess now he's growing up cuteness is not going to be high on his priority list. He is nearly the same size as Bramble and judging by the size of his feet, is still going to put on some inches before he's finished.

When we got home there was a US parcel waiting for me. Great excitement - the yarnmeterI ordered only a few days ago. It was up and running within minutes.....

I have been looking for a small portable yarn meter for ages and ages - when I'm spinning wool for sale people always want to know the yardage as well as the weight as you can work out the thickness of the yarn from that as handspun is generally not a standard gauge. Also, when making up yarn packages for the warping creel, it would be good to know how much to wind onto the little cones so I don't either have knots in the warp because I've underestimated, or loads of part-empty cones hanging around because I've over-estimated. Now, at last my problems are at an end! The principle is to wind the yarn round the wheel (which is 18 ins circumference) and wind it, thus rotating the wheel and clocking up the yardage on the number counter. To get yards you divide by two. Simple!

The meter came from and the service is terrific. Nadya was so helpful about air mail postage etc. If you look on the web site there is a wee video to show how it works, but its such a simple idea and soooo effective. Thanks Nadya. Another plus is that the figures on the counter are big enough to see without having to keep bending over, so even my old eyes are not strained! If only the mobile phone companies and packaging printers could take a leaf out of this particular book...

To close the blog today here is a picture of my new linsey-woolsey. Remember the rusty orange and sand linen stripey warp? Well, this is it on the loom with a weft consisting of 2 shots of brown Hebridean and 2 shots of grey Hebridean.

Now, this wasn't what I originally planned - when I tried thebrown on its own it looked a bit odd and I was a tad disappointed with the result. Maybe too much contrast between the brights and the dark, or maybe something else was affecting the look of it. Anyway, decided to add in the grey too and, whilst it will not rock the universe, it is a very pleasant, understated and distinctly tweedy effect. This makes me think I should be considering a matching plain tweed using both grey and brown Hebridean - maybe alternate ends in the warp and with a plain brown weft, or as 2 ends grey 2 ends brown in the warp with a 2 and 2 weft as well which would make a tight little checkerboard effect that would look peppery from a distance and hopefully match in with the linsey woolsey.

Anyone who has any thoughts on this, please do not hold back - I need all the help I can get at this stage of the show!

Now to do some weaving and play with my new yarn meter...........