Monday, October 20, 2014

I'm Back, Sort of!

 I haven't been posting much lately. It's been a very different few months for me. First, I was in Canada from the last part of August until late in September for my annual trip to see my family. It was so much fun seeing my new grand niece who was born on my birthday!! Also, a wedding and most of all seeing my Mom, sister and the rest of the family.
I came back home about September 20 and by the 27th my Mom had passed away so I flew back up to Moose Jaw for the funeral. It's hard to say goodbye to wonderful Mother who was always there for you.

The time I was at home here, I was busy trying to finish handwovens for my show in Asheville this past week. I didn't have anything really to show except the black pieces I was working on!!
I just got back last night and am slowly catching up on things again!

As always, I had my booth filled with a variety of handwovens. I already had alot of colors but needed black to fill in so that's why I'd been weaving the black pieces.
 It's hard to take pictures of the booth with the lighting that we have. I had alot of lights aimed at the pieces and it looks good at the show but trying to take pictures is another story!
 Besides cotton, I weave with bamboo sometimes. It's been so much fun dyeing the yarns and weaving  the pieces to see how they turn out. Each one is different.
Notice as well, on the floor is the main power box for my section of the room with cords plugged in. I was not impressed. Originally, it was standing up and further into the booth space. I guess it was my turn for it but they certainly did not plan the booth layout to work well with the power sources. Maybe next time!
 So what did I look at while I was sitting there? The dulcimers were very pretty and if I played, I'd have been tempted. Thankfully, the chair caners were further from my booth this time. Other years I've been alot closer and I have several of their pieces now. I love how they look. They use old chairs and re cane them. The variety is quite amazing!

This booth was amazing. She does nuno felting clothes, very creatively. Having done that bit of felting with Geri Forkner, I sure could appreciate what she was doing. She took her first felting class with Geri sooooo, does that mean we could do this as well? Maybe, but I don't think my hands could do it. It's hard on your arms and hands. On her rug she has the pattern that she uses to start the felting process for a jacket. It's amazing how much the wool and silk shrink to become a jacket. Wish I could afford one of her pieces!!
So the Guild Fair is over again for another year. I became a member in 1985 and have done the show all but maybe 3 times in all that time. The show is in July and October and I do both. You make good friends with alot of other crafters and it's always wonderful to catch up with them each time.

This week I will fly back to Moose Jaw. My sister and I have things we need to go through and it's better to do it now, before it snows!!, so I am going to go for a week. If I can, I'll write something next Monday but if I can't, it'll be a week  after that.
I have so many things I'd like to weave, empty looms, get warps on looms.....you know how it is. Too many ideas, not enough time!
There's one more show to get ready for and the Tuesday Weavers will be having their own booth as well, next to mine! It's going to be fun. Thankfully, we have a few weeks before that happens so I can replenish some of my things now that the show is done!
So, until next week, keep weaving while I fly north again!
Carol

Friday, October 17, 2014

Finishing Up


  I knew I was weaving the last rug of the season at the Museum of Appalachia during Homecoming.  I could see three sticks on Sunday, so I wove up all the weft I had prepared, which didn't finish up the rug.
  On Thursday, I was back at the Museum for two school groups that were scheduled.  Sure enough, I finished up the rug, and left enough warp on the beam to set it up for winter viewing.  I'll take some scrap material the next time I go and get it woven in....this way the loom won't look neglected while we wait for next Spring.


  I'm going to take an old reed to put on the loom....I would rather not leave one of my good ones there all winter.  It won't take me too long to sley the reed, and then weave in the material. 
  Then, it will be back to the Peter's cabin to sit by the roaring fire! 

After all the rain we had last weekend, and the rain earlier in the week, the remaining leaves have started showing their colors.  Fall has arrived!!!!







I promised Kerstin in Sweden that I would explain about Straw Loom Kits....so, here goes:
  We use drinking straws that have been threaded with a yarn warp thread.  Just tape the end of the yarn at the top of the straw.  Tie an overhand knot at the bottom end of the warp threads. 
  We just tie on the weft yarn to the straw, and you're ready to start weaving.




  If you use variegated yarn, it will make stripes, which the kids really like.  The kit has the "straw loom" as well as two balls of yarn.  It also includes an instruction sheet.

  Pat's niece used this idea in the Kid's Booth at the Foothills Show a few years back.  We just expanded on it to continue this simple way to weave with kids.  It's popular with kids of all ages!!!
  Well.....Carol put out the call for multiple sets of placemats.  I've started winding a 12 yard warp for a set I DON'T have to cut fabric for!!!!  (I need a vacation from cutting strips for a bit!)  Now that my computer emergency is settled, I won't have to run around getting help for the little darling, so maybe I can get that wound and on the loom.
  Enjoy your Fall weekend!
Happy Weaving!
LouAnn

  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Still More Wool!

Last May, my daughter and I went to a knitting retreat.  While I was there I spun 5 bobbins full of a dark brown Romney/Corriedale/Shetland/Lincoln crossbred fleece.  It is really almost black, which is unusual in a natural fleece.  After that, I spun this same fleece, (among others fleeces as well,) while demonstrating at the Museum, each time I finished a bobbin, I would wind the single off with a ball winder, and just keep going.  My plan was to compare the different balls and see if I needed to even them up a bit in the plying process.

After that long weekend of non stop spinning, 9-5pm at the Museum of Appalachia, you would think that I wouldn't want to see another fleece for a long time, but that is not the case.

You see, I sold a couple of my handspun handwoven pieces while I was there, and that did nothing but fire me up!  In fact, after my shawl sold on Friday, I spun double, or even triple time the whole rest of the weekend!  I was so excited!


Monday and Tuesday were very busy days, but Wednesday morning, I had the house to myself, and nothing but time to "work".  I  plied the first 2 balls of the crossbred fleece that I mentioned above, and since it had been wound for quite some time, I gave it what might look like extra twist before washing reawakens the fibers in the yarn.  The skein had a slight twist to it, but I didn't worry about that one bit.  After washing, the skein was as quiet as it could be, so I knew that I could use the same amount of twist on the rest of the skeins.

I have a scarf on the rigid heddle, but I plan to do at least one shawl with this yarn once the scarf is off.  I will probably be able to do 2 of them, because I know that I have one more skein to finish of this fleece.

I haven't measured the yardage yet, but that will happen tomorrow.  When they will be measured and tagged so that I can keep track of my production, and estimate what I can do with it.   I know that I will need close to 1000 yards for each shawl.

It is just one of the projects that I want to complete before the Foothills Crafts Guild Craft Show, that will be held in Knoxville.  The Tuesday Weavers will have a booth, like we have the last 3 years.  The white yarn in the background is super soft, and it will become a super special shawl as well.

Upstairs in the weaving studio, I would like to replenish my stock of Bread Cloths, since I sold every single one at the Museum.  I have a warp almost totally threaded on the loom already.  I also have a placemat/runner warp on another loom that I would like to use blue jean strips on.  The warp in in blues and tan, I think it will look good.

Tomorrow, I will be cutting blue jean strips, for that warp, and threading the bread cloth warp, as well as working on that scarf on the rigid heddle, I can't wait to get to the shawls!  There truly is never a dull moment around here!

I hope to have some pictures to show you next week of the finished shawls, and bread cloths in progress.

Until then, Happy Spinning, Knitting and Weaving, Tina


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Back To Our Regular Program

  The first order of business this morning was to separate the returning items.  Since we ended up going over to the Museum yesterday to retrieve our booth items, it was all mixed together.  Monday was a beautiful Fall day with loads of sunshine.....today it is rainy and gray.  If we had waited, we'd be mired up in MUD!!!!
  Marie had worked up all the figures, and it was a successful weekend.





  Tina was grinning big because she sold all SEVEN of her bread cloths!!!!

Also, she was the biggest seller of the weekend!  (Remember that lovely shawl???)













  And, the guys went right back to their rugs....they don't weave themselves, you know!!!






Charlotte had a few threading errors to correct, and she's all ready to start weaving on her first warp.


  Yes....there's our ladies of the back row.  Bonnie just thought I couldn't get her in the picture!!!  We are really happy to have Eiko back with us (she just returned from a visit with her family in Japan.)



  Linda and Sharon are back to their looms, too.  We're already thinking about what we need to have ready for the Foothills show in November.  We got a couple of weeks to get things done.





  Karin finished sleying the reed on the towel warp while Marie got busy on LaDonna's scarf on the rigid heddle.  She won't be able to be with us before the Foothills show.







  Molly finished the scarf on her Pup this afternoon.....that's another one for the show in November!!!!








  Carol bribed us today by bringing us those Canadian Smarties!  They are really yummy, I agree!


 It's been a soggy few days, but we feel great about all that we have achieved.  Now.....what can we get done before the next show???

Happy Weaving!
LouAnn

Sunday, October 12, 2014

It's In The Books!

Well....that's partly true.  We still have to haul everything back to the Center.  It was just too muddy to pull the cars up near the cabin to load up this afternoon.  We are scheduled to go back on Tuesday and pick up our items and put everything back to their original position in the cabin.  (I guess you'll get to see pictures of that on Tuesday.)

  As you can see, our Tina is now FAMOUS!  She was a real magnet drawing folks up on the porch to watch her spin.   Isn't that a great shot looking through the wheel????

  There was always a crowd of folks gathered around watching and talking to her.




Marie and Karin were on board Saturday morning.  You should have seen them rearranging the displays first thing!  It's always fun to "fluff" the shelves!








Karin passed the baton to Linda for the afternoon.  I think they enjoyed weaving on the straw looms with the kids, as well as letting them weave on the rigid heddle looms.

***To Kerstin in Sweden--I do not have a straw loom here at the house.  I will get a good picture of the kits to post on Tuesday!!! 



  Molly started out our day (not so) bright and early.  Today made the 4th day of scattered showers, and we had to avoid large patches of mud just getting to the cabin.  Carol joined us after lunch, and as always, she brought some of her finishing work with her. 
  I have to admit, I was really glad we could go home early today!




  We were pleased to be joined at the Peter's Cabin by Anne Freels.  She set up in the kitchen half of the cabin at the other end of the porch.  Anne makes the most beautiful corn husk dolls, and is one of our fellow crafters at the Center.

    So, the Homecoming is in the books, and we'll start getting ready for Foothills in November.  Another chance to display all these lovely handwoven items!

Happy Weaving!
LouAnn

Friday, October 10, 2014

Day Two


  Sharon and Karin were inside the Peter's Cabin today for the Tuesday Weavers.  Both of them brought their Rigid Heddle Looms, and they had a parade of kids that fell in love with weaving.  In fact, one little girl kept coming back to the cabin to weave!  You just gotta love a fiber child!
  It should be also noted that her little brother fell in love with the straw loom, and nearly finished the sample one without any help!

  The big news is that Tina's lovely Romney shawl sold today, along with one of Ms. Ila's bamboo scarves!!!!!

  It was a good day for sales....and sharing the love of weaving!




  Due to the scattered showers, Tina set up her wheels on the porch.  Along with Canadian wheel, she brought her flax wheel, which is always a big hit.  (She needs to get busy and spin more Romney to make another shawl!!!!)


















  There was great music on the main stage all day.  And you can see the fans with their chairs and umbrellas enjoying the music.  Now....that's dedication!!!!


Oh....and Theresa.....this picture is for YOU!  I think this is the scarf you wanted a close up of.  Bonnie wove this scarf, and it reminds me of the peacocks at the Museum.
  I saw several ladies looking at it today.......



LouAnn


Day One



  This was Thursday morning before the buses pulled into the Museum of Appalachia....we were ready!  Ann and Roz hung some of our beautiful rugs over the porch railing.

It is Heritage Day at the Museum.  Last year there were 22 school buses.







  video
  Tina had lots of interested visitors just watching her spin all that wool.




  Bonnie finished out the day with Ann.  Can you believe that she had never wove on a straw loom before???  As always, they were a big hit with the students.






video
After a beautiful morning, a little storm had folks running for the porch.  That also was a good time to load up the buses for their trips back to school.
  Things really quieted down after that, and we had a steady stream of visitors at the Loom House and the Peter's Cabin.




  Our feline visitor has taken up his post at the Loom House, to the delight of the late afternoon visitors.  It was a great end of our first day at Homecoming.

Stay tuned....
LouAnn