Friday, September 19, 2014

Going for Rustic

As you can see from Lou Ann's post yesterday, we are all about going rustic right now.  Actually, I haven't been all that productive in the weaving studio this year, and I am starting to feel the pressure to get something else done to add to the inventory.  I thought I would take a look at my handspun inventory, since this is something I have been able to do this year.  I ended up choosing some of my early handspun to try for a very rustic looking scarf.  That is what I bought the rigid heddle loom for anyway!

I have a lot of handspun, so I think I will be able to get several scarf/shawl type things done in the next few weeks.  Hopefully before the Museum of Appalachia's Homecoming which is in early October.  Rustic goes good with the surroundings at the Museum, and they really appreaciate it when we try.
The brownish yarn in this second picture, is what I chose to use for the first project, it is actually Moorit Shetland from some sheep I used to own.  I have had it in the stash for a looooong time!

The largest skein I had was 2.2 oz. and 220 yards.  I decided to use it for warp.   I was shooting for at least 7 inches in width, and had enough to put on 11.5, with a 3+ yard length, it wound on with no difficulty.

I used the same yarn as weft.   I had another 3.3 oz in 3 skeins of varying thickness.  I chose the skeins with the thicker yarn.  There are 2 more smaller skeins that were too fine for this project.  (I must have spun those last!)  The weaving went fairly quickly, and with this thick and thin yarn, there is a lot of variation in the fabric.

Here is a shot just as I got started, I think you can get an idea how much variation there is.  There were a couple of knots in the warp that I fixed as I went.  I needle wove  a bit each side of the knot, and just before the knot was to go onto the cloth beam, I snipped it off!
There were only a couple of yards of weft that I chose to not use in the scarf, it was just too stiff to use in this scarf, but I used the rest of it, as it came off the skein.

 It wasn't long before the scarf was off the loom.  Finished length,
84 inches, and width was 11 inches, that will change once it has it's bath.  It took a long soak in wool wash, and then I rolled it in a towel to get most of the water out of it.  Next,  I beat it quite vigorously in various ways against the table top for about 20 minutes to soften it up. (I had already twisted the fringe!)
 I am tickled pink with the results.  This is a one of a kind item, I will never spin yarn quite this uneven again.  I will measure the scarf once it is completely dry, but I think I lost quite a few inches in length, but I knew that, so I planned for it.
Talk about going rustic,  while I was working out, beating the scarf on the countertop, the mailman stopped by and brought the yarn that I had ordered for Lou Ann and my costume over the knee, and up the leg stockings.  I figure 2000 yards should do it for both pair.  Time to get the swift out and let winding begin!

Until next time, Happy Spinning, Knitting and Weaving, Tina

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Plugging Away

  This was our view from the porch of the Peter's Cabin at 8:30 Friday morning!  Can you believe that line of folks waiting to get into the Antique Show?  And, since these people were there for the show, it was slow up at the cabin....which gave us an opportunity to take a quick stroll around the stalls to see all the cool items in the booths.  Tina and I took turns coming back and sending the other off to see certain items.  (There's an apron to tell you about at a later date!!!)

  I got the opportunity to talk with Kris (the lady in the foreground) about her costume.  She made it along with the ladies' costumes in this booth.  She even gave me a close up look at her fichu and cap!  Yes, Tina and I will be sporting these for future shows!!!  In fact, Tina and I are working on some outfits to wear for these special events that are more appropriate for the late 18th century.

  The pattern that Tammy and Kris told me about has already arrived, in fact!  It even gives the order the items should be put on when you get dressed!
  Now, don't get me wrong....we aren't going all authentic here!!!  I'm not going to hand sew an entire outfit!!!!  (But, I am going to keep my eye out for any old linen table cloths that could be used for the fabric!)
  I will be able to weave some "tape" on the Inkle loom this winter while we're in the Peter's cabin...that's authentic!

  I just had to share this picture of Tina's display at the cabin.  This is my favorite fleece!  When it was lying on Tina's kitchen floor, it looked just like Capt. Jack Sparrow..dreadlocks and all...but, you can see that it became some beautiful yarn!

  Just lovely.

  Tina already told you about my s-l-o-w weaving on Saturday.  These are the two rugs I cut off Friday afternoon.  They have been airing on the porch since then.  I'd like to get the fringes tied and twisted today so they will be DONE!

  For the next few weeks, I'll continue to weave slowly.....there's a nice runner's worth left on the warp.  Then, I can get the loom ready for the winter.  My plan is to tie on a new warp to this one next spring.  I like the width, and I love multi-colored warps!

Now, for true confessions:  I need more practice on weaving in the ends of the mobius scarf.

  I like the check....but, it's not square!
Help!!!!  Oh, did a great job teaching this scarf, I just need to be careful with the tension when I weave the end.

Guess that means I'll have to try another one......

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Finishing and Starting

   Scarves soon covered the table as the weavers arrived at the Center this morning!  Each one was unique, and we had a lively discussion on finishing techniques.

  Chenille is a case in point:  Pat sat and worked on her scarf to keep those chenille worms in place!

With the scarf project at an end, the weavers went back to their looms.  Ms. Ila was busy winding on a new warp on the Mighty Wolf.

Betsy and Margi were back to weaving on their warps:  thirsty towels and placemats will soon be at the Fall sales.
  Linda was working on her newest rug while Sharon added to our placemat inventory.

Christy was busy this morning warping her Inkle loom for another run of bookmarks.  Karin was weaving off her scarf on her Cricket loom (she was going to loan her loom to Betsy.)  As you can see, Karin finished weaving it this afternoon.

  Lanny brought his newest scarf to share with us today.  It's Jager spun wool in a Scottish tweed pattern.
  He'll get back to winding more thread for his towel warp next week.

  Marie and Tina have been doing their homework!  The Macomber has a third beam that accommodates metal bobbins.  Along with the loom, we also got a Mason reel winder to use with the bobbins.
  Marie did all the math and ordered the 8/2 on half pound  cones.  Then, it was team work in action!!!!  They got 3 of the bobbins wound with 20 yards of thread each.  Next week they'll get the rest wound, and then Marie can thread the loom for another run of towels.

  It seems we are always finishing up one thing, and starting something new.
Happy Weaving!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Speeding Up and Slowing Down

Lou Ann and I spent the better part of the weekend at the Museum of Appalacia.   We were demonstrating Spinning and Weaving for the Antiques Show, a 2 day event.  We left home early Friday morning and  were in place at about 8:30, I was on the porch of the Peter's cabin and Lou Ann was in the Loom house.  We are close enough that we can easily keep up a conversation between visitors.

The day progressed as these days usually do,  groups of people coming up to us, they will listen as we talk about spinning, and weaving and whatever else comes to mind,  usually they stop by my set up before they go visit Lou Ann, but sometimes they see her Loom House first.   Sometimes there will be several groups that overlap, and you are not quite sure what you have said to whom, but usually there could be as many as 20 minutes between visitors.  This is especially true the first day of the show, when most everybody is here for the Antiques in the booths, and they don't wander the grounds of the museum.

After couple of hours, I realized that I would have to spin really slowly for the rest of the day, because I was going to run out of prepared wool if I wasn't careful!  I have been trying to spin the wool from the Museum sheep while I am demonstrating there.  I had prepared what I thought would be enough for a couple of bobbins, but I underestimated how much I would need. (I had previously stashed some prepared wool at the Museum, but nobody knew where it was.)  Anyway, I knew that I could get at least one bobbin, and if I was really careful, I could make that bobbin last all day.

(The Museum wool is really springy, really fun to spin, and the yarn will be wonderful for hats, socks, mittens and scarves.  My Antique spinning wheel behaved herself really well, and inspite of the heat and high humidity, she did not give me a moment of trouble.)
 While I was slow spinning,  Lou Ann was making sure that she got her rug finished the first day, so that she could cut the 2 rugs on the cloth beam and take them home to finish.  
 Part of slow spinning involves not spinning when there were no visitors around,  I happened to have brought a little knitting, so I worked on that for awhile.  This hat is going to be for the Shepherd at the museum, I am using the wool that I spun during a previous demonstration day.  This is wool from some of the black sheep that graze the grass here at the museum.  There were even a couple of times during the 2 days, that I was able to show a couple of little girls how to knit.  Anything to slow that spinning down!

At the end of the day Lou Ann did indeed finish that rug and I managed to make that bobbin last all day long!  On our way home that night we discussed our plans for the next day.  I wanted to bring enough wool to be able to spin all day, at a more steady pace, (I have a fleece I am working on at home) and she wanted to bring strips to start the next rug, and she also wanted to make sure that she had enough warp on the back beam to make it through the rest of the Fall demonstrating season.  We don't weave on the loom in the winter, the humidity even this time of year causes the rugs to smell moldy really quickly, and also, it is usually way too cold out there!  During the winter time, we do our demonstrating inside the Peters cabin, with an Inkle Loom and a Rigid Heddle loom, with the fireplace to keep us company.

On Saturday, we were again in place by 8:30, me on the porch, at the spinning wheel, and Lou Ann at her loom, across the path.  It wasn't long before she came over to tell me that she didn't have as much warp on the loom as she thought she did, but she had come up with a plan, she was going to have take up slow weaving, just as I had done slow spinning the day before.  We need this warp to last through the Homecoming  next month, that is a 4 day event, there will also be a couple of school groups coming in before winter sets in.  Slow weaving is the name of the game, and instead of trying to get 2 rugs from what is left on the loom, she is going to weave a runner, really, really slowly.  I don't think I can tell you how difficult that is to do!

By the end of the day, I had managed to spin 2 1/2 bobbins full of a black wool, and Lou Ann had managed to get a whopping 7 inches woven for the day!  She will have to continue to slow weave through the remaining events this Fall season, I don't think the visitors even noticed!

Until next time, Happy Spinning, Knitting and Slow Weaving, Tina

Thursday, September 11, 2014

For The Record

Lest we forget......

  The students at the University of Tennessee planted nearly 3,000 flags on campus to commemorate the anniversary of the attack on our country.

  Our lives have never been the same since that day.


  Claire's life has changed, too.  Episode 5 had her traveling with the lads while they collect the rents.  When she heard singing/chanting, she found these ladies waulking wool!!!! 
  Score another point for textiles!

  Yes, Outlander is proving to be a wonderful series!

  I read somewhere that these ladies often demonstrate waulking at festivals in Scotland.  Now they are getting international recognition.

  My fellow Tuesday Weavers inspired me to weave my own mobius scarf on the rigid heddle loom.  I was inspired by Carl's Big Orange scarf, and thought I would try just orange and white (which just happens to be favorite colors in this part of the country.)  I think that when I turn the scarf, I'll get a checkerboard pattern with the colors.  I'll post the results next week.

  Tina and I will be headed to the Museum for the Days of the Pioneer Antique Show.  She'll be spinning on the porch while I weave in the Loom House.  They'll be lots of wonderful vendors from all over the country.
  I still need to join some additional strips...just in case!  It always seems that I talk more than I weave, but I want to make sure I have plenty of weft prepared!

  I think that doing the things we love to do is one way we can fight the craziness of the world out there.  Maybe the world leaders need to take notice:  we don't fight over our fiber.  We can usually be found sharing it with our fellow fiber friends.  I think there's a lesson here.....just saying.

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What's Going On Here????

  Remove the knots from the front bream and unroll the scarf.

  The handy-dandy clips from Dollar Tree and a little shelf liner will hold the scarf on the front beam.  Then you can tighten the tension.'s all about the scarves on our Rigid Heddle looms!!!!

  Now you are ready to start weaving in the ends from the end of the scarf.

  Karin had a little more weaving to finish on her scarf before she was ready to make the turn.
  Dan got right to work on Pat's scarf (she had grandmother duties today, so Dan got to take her place.)

This older rigid heddle loom that Molly is using has presented some challenges in weaving, but Molly has pressed onward! 
  Linda got right to work on her scarf and quickly got the warp woven in.

Betsy, Linda L. and Ms. Ila got right to work on their scarves, too.  Those clips really do the job!  (Great idea, Marie!!!!)

 The guys stayed busy, too! 
Ray has come back to weave with us, and he's right at home on the Rocker Loom.  Meanwhile, Lanny entertained Carl while he wove the ends in on his scarf.

  Charlotte's cloth beam was getting really full, so it was time to cut off the mug rugs that she had woven.  There were 7!

  Tina got her throw finished, and decided to cut it off so it could be finished for Homecoming.  This was also a good time to show how we weave in the sticks so that we don't have to retie all those threads!!!

We're Done!!!!

Here's Betsy's scarf on the left.

Linda L. wanted a close up of her scarf to show off the lovely colors.

Bonnie's colors really popped in the sunlight.  It reminds me of the colors of the peacocks at the Museum.

Linda B.  got her scarf finished, too.  She'll trim it up after it has a bath.

  Sharon and Karin modeled their finished scarves, also.

Yes....this is the money shot!!!!

Carl wove in his warp threads, and it's done!!!!

Thank you, Marie, for leading us in this weaving project.    I can't wait to try this out!

Next week, we'll be back to our looms!

Happy Weaving!