Monday, 23 November 2009

My new favourite toy

Everyone knows I loves the yarn. Fibre makes me happy, so I was excited to be doing a short course at the Anna Templeton Centre on Floor Loom Weaving. It's 5 weeks long - 4 hours every Saturday - and I'm past the half way mark. Week 3 was when I actually started weaving. The 8 hours' setup means that I will never again question why handwoven things are so expensive!

Week 1 was working out the project, choosing the yarn, and winding the warp. We had a whole wall of yarn to choose from:

But I went with these:

The next stage was winding the warps. This one's not actually mine - I forgot my camera the first week.

Week 2 was setting up the loom.

We're using Le Clerc Floor looms, which have 4 shafts and 6 treadles. I want one of these beasts, but I doubt I have the money or the space. Threading the reed, transferring it to the loom, and threading the heddles took an age and was back-breaking.

Eye wire heddles

Threaded heddles

Week 3 I actually started some weaving.

I had a yard extra for samples so I messed about with plain weave first. I was pretty pleased with the results but my edges are fairly dire. That's what hemming is for anyway!

My proper project is in twill, so I'll post those when I'm a bit further on. I can say I'm very happy with the results though - not bad for a first try :)

Lost voice

It's finally happened. My accent has changed. I was hoping to survive unscathed but alas it was not to be. I haven't gone Canadian - my sentences don't all end with 'eh', and I haven't picked up such mannerisms as 'where're you to' (though I quite like that one). Nope, I've gone posh.

When I first arrived I was in a lab with all Newfoundlanders (as opposed to my other half, who's shacked up with a huge European contingent). Most of the time we got on fine but one guy just didn't have a clue what I was saying. To be fair I couldn't really understand him either. We both used far too much slang and spoke too fast.

In shops I either had people look at me like I was crazy or gush at how exotic I was. This seems to be the main divide in my experience. It's really embarrassing to stand there while the secretary in your department tells you how wonderful your voice is and that she could listen to you all day. Believe me, she'd soon get bored. On the other hand it's infuriating to ask an unlabelled person in a shop whether they work there 6 times and just have them gape at you like you're some kind of freak then get annoyed with you.

As a result I seem to have inadvertantly dropped the slang and poshed right up. So much so that I can't remember how to speak with my normal accent. I was already pretty well-spoken so it wasn't a giant leap, but now I can't go back without speaking to someone from home. Liam has started to mock me on how ridiculous I sound. As a result, it's also made me pretty angry everytime I meet a 'gusher'. On exiting the cinema last week after watching 'In The Loop' a woman walked past, grabbed my arm and said "ooh you could have been in the film"! I wanted to hit her. Possibly an overreaction but it was a bloody stupid thing to say. Do you find me exiting Hollywood blockbusters and, on hearing a North American accent, blather on about how they could have been the star? No, I do not. Because I am not a twat.

So, my mission now is to regain my accent at all costs, but without going too far in the opposite direction. No-one loves a cod-cockney.

Rant over.