Friday, December 2, 2016

Frosty Morning

We actually thought that winter might never come.  I have lighted the wood stove only twice so far this year, but this morning there was frost everywhere.  I went out to put hay out for the goats and the hay racks were empty, a sure sign that winter is definitely on it's way.

All this is important because this morning LouAnn and I made one of our trips to the Museum of Appalachia.  A couple of school groups were heading that way, and we like to make them feel right at home, or really that they are coming into our home.  We tell them all about spinning and weaving, and we answer a million questions on those subjects, multiple times.

We headed out early and ran by the post office to drop off a couple of things.  Then we went thru the drive thru for a bite, and high tailed it out of town in the early morning light.

Our route takes us by a river, and this time of day the fog was so thick we could barely see the road, but soon enough we left the river and the fog behind.  (LouAnn has these new fangled heated seats that are to die for!)

The museum is open almost every day of the year, and today is a special day because they are having an old time Christmas time celebration tonight.  LouAnn and I can't make it tonight, but we get to enjoy all the festooning that has been going on this week.
A frosty field where last week the goats were still grazing on green grass.

This morning they, like my goats are huddled around the hay racks.  Once the day warms up they will spread out and do some obligatory grazing out in the field.

Frosty grounds on our way to the cabin

Here we are, the Peter's Cabin, greeting the morning sun.
Like I said there has been some festooning going on around here!

On the door......

 On the porch railings....

Even inside our cabin, the greenery was evident.  But I have to tell you it was cold in there!  We could see our breath it was so cold.  (winter time is the only time I am glad I don't actually live in the cabin)

Before we could do anything else I had to get the fire going in the fireplace!!!!  Once that was done we sipped our coffee and ate our breakfast and waited for the school groups to come our way.

As always it was a good time, lots of good questions and interest in the old time crafts.
By 12 noon, the kids were done touring the grounds, and it was time for us to pack up, put the fire to sleep and head to the cafe, where we like to eat whenever we get the chance.

Today, I couldn't resist the ham and bean soup, with my mashed potatoes and fried apples and I was not disappointed!  Christy the wonderful cook at the museum even gave me an idea how it was made.  She said "Everything is to taste you know, I can't hardly write it down."
LouAnn gave the bacon wrapped chicken a try with her mashed potatoes and green beans, we shared the pineapple upside down cake.

By the time we were done with lunch our toes had warmed up nicely and we headed home, each with our list of what we hoped to accomplish with the rest of the day.

One of the things on my list is to start putting up the Christmas decorations, and I have gotten almost all of it in place, I just have to finish the tree.  Next week I will get a couple of pictures to show you what we like to do to our little house to promote that Christmasy feeling.

That is it for now, Until next time stay warm and keep making things, Tina

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Even More Thankful

  Yes....I'm thankful.  It could have been so much worse.  The staff is all safe, and there are already plans underway to rebuild the dorms. 
  Some of the staff will be going in tomorrow to inspect the damage and retrieve personal items.  But, they don't expect to allow folks to stay until next week.
  The Artist in Residence are staying here in Knoxville with the Program Director.  I've been busy baking banana bread, cookies and brownies to take over there tomorrow. 
  Artists gotta eat, ya know!!!


  Our friends at the Smoky Mountain Spinnery will be checking in on their business tomorrow, too.  I've got my fingers crossed that they will have good news to report.

  As my Mom always said, "It will be what it will be."
  I hated it when she said that!  But, she was right.

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

  Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Sevier County as we are dealing with the aftermath of last night's wildfire.  More wind is expected before the rain arrives tonight, and we're hoping for the best.
  Arrowmont School of Arts and Craft lost two dorms to the fire, but the other structures are still intact. News is still very sketchy at this point...we haven't had any news about Nancy and the folks at the Smoky Mountain Spinnery....hopefully we'll hear something soon.

  Our minds were on our friends in Gatlinburg as we worked in the studio today.  We managed to get news updates online throughout the day.
  Sharon and Christy were hard at work on their Inkle looms finishing up their warps.

  ***  Those are Carl's rugs from last week getting tagged to go upstairs!!!

Sharon got her band finished, and modeled it as a necklace!!!

If you were looking for Molly, she was under the loom getting the treadles tied up!

  Ms. Ila finished threading her shawl warp this afternoon, which means she'll be weaving next week!
  Bonnie found a threading error when she started weaving....she got it fixed!!!!

  Carl started sleying the reed on the new rug warp.  After lunch he started threading the heddles.  Of course, that means that we will help him wind on the warp next week!!!

  Tina's dishtowels were a big hit at the Foothills sale, and there are a few more to weave on the warp.  But, first, she had to address a few twisted threads coming off of the warp beam.!

  Betsy found some suiting fabric in the Annex that will work great in her rug warp.  Polly sat down with her later to help feed the fabric in a loop.  That sure makes it easier!!!!

  Carol checked through the dyed warps to see what we still had to weave.  There are some colorful scarf and shawl warps just waiting their turn on the loom!

  These ladies will be working on those warps before too long!!!

  Please send positive vibes our way...we have another night of high wind to get through, and we're not out of danger yet.

Keep weaving.....

Monday, November 28, 2016


I know, I've got a warp on the loom. However, I haven't even looked at it for a week!! After getting all the end of fair season things done, and before the thanksgiving preps started, I sewed. It was time. I cut out the beginning strips for this quilt while I was up in Canada in August. Then it sat there til I had minutes to tackle it. I didn't really think through this pattern. There are 16 one inch square pieces, 4 two inch square pieces and 2 four inch square pieces in each block.....and there are 100 blocks. So it's been slow going even with my using all the tricks of chain sewing, etc.
Once the block is finished, it will be 8 inches square. I used 30s era reproduction fabrics for the main colors and found some tone on tone white and black for the tiny squares.
See what I mean? And, there are 100 of them. 25 different colors for the blocks. 4 blocks of each fabric.
So now I have to iron all of them. Pressing them will make them look better and will be easier to handle when I decide on how to sew them together. Just the ironing will take time.
The pattern is interesting. 
This is what I saw on the package when I decided to buy it.
Inside are 2 pages of alternative designs. So, I have decisions to make.
At this point I have no idea how I'll finally put them together. I just know I don't want a block of the same fabric next to the same block. Ironing is first, after I get some needed work done in the house. Hopefully I will have time to deal with the design later this week.
This is what happens when I actually follow a pattern instead of just using it as inspiration and then doing it my way.
Weaving is in the wings but I am getting tired of this pattern so it's time to get it together!
Until next week, keep weaving! 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Baby Blankets Again!

I have done several baby blanket warps over the years, in fact I think it has been 3 x 40 yards worth of Overshot baby blankets.  Needless to say my enthusiasm wained towards the end of that third warp and I messed around  switching from an all over design to a plain weave blanket with different designs as an Overshot border, Cat Track and Snail Trails being my favorite.

Recently I wove some fabric using what remains of that third warp and a Monks Belt design.  I then made purses out of that fabric.  I got an order for 2 baby blankets a couple of weeks ago, and one of Dear Ones good friends just had a baby boy recently.  So with the shows over, I went about rethreading once again for Cat Tracks and Snail Trails, and I had a hard time finding the threading that I had used in the past and had to wing it a bit.  In the process  of searching for the pattern that I had always used, I saw an abbreviated treadling that I thought I would try this time around.

The loom I am using is a Counter Balance 4 shaft  "Burchard" loom made in Oakland California a long time ago, and she has some quirks.   One of them is that the treadles are set up a certain way and they really cannot be changed unless you want to switch the actual treadles around, which I could do if I wanted to take the loom apart to a certain degree.  I always just transposed the treadling order, it saves a lot of time!

I was finally ready to weave and for the first two blankets  I just wanted some Snail Trails on each end of the blanket, and those were quickly done.  Then I started the third blanket, and as I began to weave the pattern, I thought it looked a little funny, but I continued on.  It wasn't until I was done with the pattern repeat that I realized that I had forgotten to switch the tie up for the Counter Balanceness of this loom!

I had a good giggle at myself for not recognizing from the moment I started it that it was the back side, but I just thought it was the new treadling!  I wove the body of the blanket and did the smaller pattern on the other side.

I have a lot of fun with the stripes on these blankets and rarely do the same stripes, sometimes even changing the stripe width  that frames the design on each end of the blanket.  Of course sometimes that is by accident because by the time I get to the other side of the blanket the first sequence is on the cloth beam and covered up.  I do try to take a picture so that I can refer to it when I get to the other side, sometimes I forget and sometimes, I forget to look at the pictures, trusting to my memory!  (not a good idea)

I snapped a picture of the right side of the pattern before it got to the cloth beam.  I really like this abbreviated pattern it works up nicely in the 8/4 cotton I am using.  I am always on the lookout for miniature Overshot pattern ideas for these blankets and this one so far is my favorite.

I think next time I will repeat the Snail Trails section at least 1 more time on each side of the Cat Tracks section, I like odd numbers.

Today I am hemming, washing and hanging to dry these blankets, and I will bring them to show and tell on Tuesday before I send them on their way.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, November 24, 2016



  It would seem that this year, the cacti have decided to be Thanksgiving Cacti!  I brought them inside late this year, but they were already setting buds...and, now they are in their glory!!!


  They are a bright spot here in the house!!!

 We lucked up and finally got some rain last night, which I hope helped with the wild fires that are threatening the area.  Air quality alerts were out today, though.

  This has been an unusual year in more ways than one!!!

  I spent the day with my daughter and her family....she did most of the cooking!!!  I did take dessert:  apple cake with caramel icing!!!  (Don't tell, but it was a Frankenstein cake....part of it stuck to the pan!  I carefully peeled it off and used the icing to cover up where I patched it together!!!!)

  I'm so thankful for such a loving family!

  And, speaking of family....this is the beginning of the 4th placemat that I'm weaving for our family Thanksmas.  Since we all lead busy lives, our get-togethers are any time between Thanksgiving and New Years.  This year it is this weekend at my niece's house.  We play a mean game of Dirty Santa to exchange gifts....I usually try to weave something for my gift.  These are very neutral, so they would go with just about any set of dishes.  I'll get this one finished up in a little bit and get them hemmed and washed!!!!
  Now.....what am I going to take for our potluck??????

  There's so much to be thankful family, my friends and my weaving community.  I hope you have enjoyed your day, too!

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

After The Show

  As promised, we wanted to give a BIG shout out to Debra and Michael!  We had such a wonderful time talking with them at the Foothills show.  And, we appreciate their business with us and hope they'll enjoy all their wonderful handwoven items!!!

  Tina got quite a few mug rugs woven on Sunday, which sparked a lot of great conversations!

   This morning, the tubs were hauled back into the Studio to be sorted.  We unloaded the props and hardware that were all part of the show.

  After the tubs were sorted, the woven items that belong upstairs had to be checked back in on the inventory list and put back on display in the shop.  This show was successful for the weavers!

The Ladies gave it a big thumbs up!  (I thought they were going to give me the finger!!!!)

  Joan and Irene went right back to work on more scarves for the shop...there's is always more to weave!

While the weavers were getting things checked in, Carl finished up the last rug on his it's time to cut off all those rugs!

There were 11 rugs on the cloth beam!!!

  Carl kept one of the blue jean rugs and one that had some of the purple denim.    That was such an interesting accent for the blue jean rugs.
  The fringes got knotted and the rest of the rugs are ready to be tagged to go upstairs next week!

  Although I didn't get a picture of Molly threading the loom today, I did get a great picture of the colorful warp.  Click on the picture to get a better view of all the colors!!!!

  As we look forward to 2017, we've decided to sell the 60" Leclerc and the sliding bench.  Of course, that means I've got to finish weaving the throw that's on the loom next week!!!  We're always looking forward!!!!

We are thankful for our wonderful weaving community, and all the folks that make it possible!!!

Happy Weaving!