I hope you don't mind if we return to Brian. I just thought I'd share with you another good thing . . . where some people might whip out a knitting project in an idle moment Brian whips out a tiny loom and does some weaving. It's pretty smart.
He's making a patchwork bed spread out of all the small squares he weaves.
I'm going to have a go at doing it and I thought I'd give you the opportunity to do the same. Wool's normally cheaper than chips (and bacon sandwiches) at car boot sales. I'm always so tempted by the colours, and I think this may be the perfect excuse to start purchasing. (At this juncture I should probably point out that Brian dyes and spins all of his own wools - parp.)
To make the squares he uses a wooden frame (square) with rows of nails down each side, the nails need to be an amount divisible by three. The process involves stringing wool across in three directions then using a darning needle to pull all the threads in tight together.
You can easily make the frame yourself, or I think I might trail around after my dad whining please . . . please . . . please . . . until he makes one for me.
Start by stringing up and down from left to right, over two nails, missing one.
. . .
Then turn your square ninety degrees clockwise and string up and down left to right again.
. . .
Then turn your square ninety degrees anti-clockwise (back to the position it was before) and string left to right again, making sure you loop the string around a different two nails to the first row.
. . .
Then comes the tricky bit, using a darning needle you have to put in the last row - threading under the low down yarns and over the high ones. Is that a good enough description? You have to weedle the nose of your needle in under the threads that are furthest away from you and stretch up and over those nearest to you. And when you're done the whole thing should hold together as you tease it off the nails.
Well, there you have it. I prefer weaving to knitting infinitely. There's much more potential for beautiful stripes and geometric shapes.
I bought a lovely woven blanket at a boot fair recently. To start with the woman wouldn't sell it to me because it was protecting a pair of (ugly) curtains from getting dirty on top of the car. However, with much polite wrangling she agreed to let me buy it. She took it off the car to hand to me . . . and replaced it with an even nicer one from the back seat.