Tuesday, May 15, 2018

She's Back!!!!!!

  I guess she had to check up on us.......
With her sling in place, Carol braved I-75 (and Alcoa Highway) just in time to open the door for the weavers!  And, wouldn't you know it....we added two new weavers since she's been gone!
  After looking at Davison's green book, Peggy found a weave structure she wanted to try...Carol wants her to do one more warp on the table loom before she moves to a floor loom.

  Marion finished her plain weave, and she got started on the three inches of basket weave. 
  Pearl wasn't with us today...she'll meet Carol next week.

  Helen is going to be ready for a floor loom very soon.    She just keeps weaving away!!!!

Carl got right to work cutting blue jean strips for his rugs.  These are the panels that he joined last week. 

  Now that Christy is back from her travels, she got right to work prepping more blue jean legs to join. 

  We had lots and lots of laughter coming from the Ladies this morning!  I understand....weaving IS fun!  And, weaving with your friends is just too much fun!!!!

  Alyce is back to work on her towels...she related that she's becoming very good at UNweaving!!!! 
  Betsy has been brainstorming what she's going to make from the leftover cloth on her placemat warp.  She's really near the end!

  The closer you get to the end, sometimes there are loose threads.....don't you love the bling at the back of Betsy's loom!!!!


  Marie is also getting close to the end of her warp.  That hot pink shawl warp has produced three eye catching shawls!
  Sharon just left her loom tucked behind Marie and got a lot of weaving accomplished.

  Liz finished her warp of placemats today.  She got twelve placemats and one 72" table runner from the twelve yard warp. 

  Pat is weaving Wall of Troy for some soup cozys.  She's using a dark green warp, and will change the weft to give more choices.

This red towel is almost finished.  I wonder what color the next one on Linda's warp will be?????

  Tina started a "walker bag" on the new black warp.  She's using the clasp weft technique for the pocket part of the bag.

  Tina also took some time to give a quick demonstration of how she uses the combs to prepare fiber for spinning.  Pat is going to be prepping some fleece to spin at home.
  By the way, on the table you can see Liz's placemats.  She was busy serging the edges before she hems them at home.

   Anna was our angel today:  she brought us "Blondies" for a treat!  My-oh-my....they were so good!!!!  Thank you, Anna!!!

  I know we wore Carol out today....but, it was so nice having her back with us!

Happy Weaving!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Always Learning Something New

The lace making bobbins have been whispering for me to bring them out of the tub, and once again throw some bobbins about the pillow.   As I seem to be always having to learn something new, I decided to learn a new type of bobbin lace.   I have done some basic Torchon style lace and then some other projects in a few other styles, but I wasn't  sure exactly what they were.  So this time around, I took some time to systematically look through the different types of lace from all over the world to see what kind I wanted to focus on. I settled on Duchesse/ Withof and Honiton lace.

These styles use very very fine lace threads and are what I think of as the flowery, filmy cloth category of bobbin lace.  I happened to already have on hand a couple of books on basic Honiton lace, and I ran across a really nice Honiton package on Ravelry, including  a Honiton pillow, bobbins and another book and video thrown in for a very good price, so that seems like a logical place to start.

The Honiton pillow is on the left, you can see that it is a different shape than the cookie pillow on the right, more like a marshmallow.  The bobbins too are different from what is used on other types of lace.

There are around 144 bobbins lined up according to their size.  I will not need near this many, so when I get a good idea how many I will need, I will probably sell some.

While I was waiting on this package to arrive, I ordered the thread and tools I would need from "Van Scivers " a supplier of bobbin lace supplies here in the States.  Everything in fact that I would need to get through the first of the beginning Honiton lace books.

I was at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival last weekend and along with everything else I did, I visited the demonstration tent several times.  There were spinners, knitters, angora bunnies, and also there were several ladies that were doing bobbin lace.  One of them  was even doing some Honiton, so I got to see first hand just how tiny these pieces are to work on and just how tiny the thread is!  It was fascinating!  One of the other ladies, that I spoke with quite a bit was wearing a pair of clip on/ flip up magnifiers to work on her lace.  I have recently graduated from readers to bifocals and I was trying to figure out how I was going to manage.  With readers, I just put on 2 pairs, but that didn't seem to work with my new glasses.  As soon as I got home, I ordered a pair  of the clip on/flip up magnifiers, and they just arrived today!  All the tools have arrived,  I have already watched the video once, now I just need a quiet moment or two to get everything set up.  When I have enough done to share, I sure will.

I am making preparations for another t-shirt rug, this time it is going to include the sports t-shirts of the son of a friend of mine.  I am having to supplement a little bit in order to have enough for a rug, but I think I will be okay.  Among the bag of sports shirts that my friend gave to me to use there were basketball and baseball jerseys that I don't feel are suitable for a rag rug, they are far too slippery, but I will suggest that my friend finds someone who can make a couple of quilts with them.  I think with the right backing it could be really nice.

At the same time I am also busy washing the fleeces I got from Sheep Shearing Day at the Museum of Appalachia, I have washed 4 and have 4 more to go.  It is way more fleece than I need for demos though, so I think I will see if the other spinners in our group would like a "scoured" fleece or two!   The fleeces are of medium-fine texture and very very springy since they are Hampshire sheep a meat breed.  The resulting yarn will be great for hats, mittens and sweaters.  The lanolin will be gone but there is plenty of vegetable matter to comb out, which works beautifully for this wool.

Several of my weekly obligations are winding down, a few may be added, but it seems I have gained a few more hours to devote to my craft,  so the plan  for this summer is a Studio clean up,  I will take this summer to go through things and clear out what I can, to make a less cluttered, calmer space.  I believe I will start by organizing all the spinning fibers and equipment in May.  The weaving supplies and tools in June and fabrics and crafting books in July.  My weaving friends will have first dibs on what  will be passed on for someone else to use, then I may put a couple of things in my Etsy shop, which I will have to reopen first if I decide to do that.

That is it for now, all I have to do is keep with the plan right!!!!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Return to Log Cabin

   I'm back weaving in my little log cabin Loom House at the Museum of Appalachia.  It sits beside the Peter's House where we weave and spin in the winter, and Tina spins on the porch now that it's warm enough.
  Since we have had such a chilly Spring, I just got the new warp on the Rocker Beater loom recently.

  Knowing I was behind schedule getting the warp on the loom, I even spent a Sunday afternoon threading.  It was surprising how many folks stopped by while I was working.  That also explains why I didn't get a lot done while I was there.
  Since this is log cabin, I wanted three inch blocks of color.  I used clothespins to keep the groups separate behind the heddles.  I caught myself chanting, "blue, white, blue, white" or "white, blue, white, blue."

  On Monday, I had 250 fourth graders touring the Museum.  Each group spent about 20 minutes in the Loom House/Peters House area.  I started them out just talking about the Loom House, the Rocker Beater loom and what would have been woven on this loom.  I was sleying the reed in-between groups....but still not weaving.
  I also gave them some things to look for in the Peter's House.
   By the end of the day, I got tied on and did a little sampling with some other colors of weft I had been thinking about.

    I had two schools  on Wednesday, and I was up and weaving!!!!

  It's better than a magic trick! 

It's been a few years since I have done any log cabin, and I forgot how fun it was!  I also forgot how you have to keep on your toes about the edges....sometimes , if you aren't careful, you don't catch the selvedge threads just right!!!!

  With the first rug finished, I added in two red threads on each side to add a little interest to the next rug.  The blocks on this rug are five thick pics per block vs. the seven pics on the first rug.

  The red threads are suspended over the back beam and weighted with film canisters.  (Not too 19th century, I'm afraid!  If only I had a corncob and fishing weights, right?)

  I'll throw three pics of red after I finish three blocks.  There will be stripes for the middle of the rug, then a repeat of the red threads, and three blocks of pattern.  Since these rugs will be hemmed, they should last a long time....even in my kitchen!

Enjoy your Spring weekend!
Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

It Takes A Village

    Welcome to Pearl...our newest weaver!!!  She's part of the Rigid Heddle group at Clinch River Yarn Company, so she already knows a lot about us! 
  With Carol on the mend, she got the B team to get her started on her weaving jouney!  Actually, she got the WHOLE team to get her going! 
  With a few interruptions, she got her warp wound on the board, and taken to the loom.  We'll get it wound on next week.
  Let the fun begin. 

  All around the Studio it was poetry in motion!  Pat is getting started on her soup cozys while Irene was getting sewing tips.

  Shirley has started weaving on her colorful towel warp.  Those spring colors just make you smile!

  The Ladies were lined up and weaving on their projects. 

  We finally got a good look at the pattern for Ms. Ila's second shawl.  I love watching the colors go in and out on these painted shawls!

   And, Frieda's new pattern is suitable for a man's scarf...subtle, yet tasteful.....no bling. 

    Peggy got some tips from Alyce....you learn a lot from other weavers!

  When Marion finished threading, Pat got her started sleying the reed.  She got tied on and started to weave this afternoon.  She took her loom home to do the hemstitching and start weaving the twill examples.
  Carl was busy joining blue jean legs at the sewing machine.  That means he'll be cutting next week!!!

  Would you believe that Betsy is already near the end of her warp?  After hemstitching, she'll have some warp to weave off to use for a soup cozy or two/three/four!!!!  That's been a fun warp!

End of the day.
Pups and Babies back in place.
We'll start again next week...and this village will help all of our new weavers continue their journey!

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

May Day

What a perfect way to start a new month:  a new weaver!!!  Welcome to Marion!  She got her first warp wound and on the loom today.  She started threading, and took her loom home to finish this week!  That means that next Tuesday she'll sley the reed, tie on, and start weaving!!!  (Thank you, Marie, for taking over the "teacher" duties!)

  Helen, our not so new weaver, is weaving along on her warp.  She's going to be ready for one of the floor looms before too long.

  We were able to get a close-up look at the new pattern for Bonnie's scarf.  I think I'll get a closer look next week.....it really is unique.

  Linda started the second towel on the turned twill warp.  She's already thinking about what color to use for the third one!

  Alyce has returned from California, and she's back to work on her towels.  This is a good example of extreme concentration!!!!!

  Time to load the shuttle with more blue jean strips.  Carl has already informed me that we'll be cutting more strips next week!!!!

  Good friends will tie up your treadles for you!!!!  Not only did Bonnie tie up Ms. Ila's treadles, but, while she was down there, she worked on Shirley's loom, too!!!!

   After all, tying up treadles should NOT interfere with finishing your cake!!!!!

  I think Liz is really liking the view on the back row with the LADIES!!!  She certainly gets a lot of weaving done.

 It's done!  Tina wound on a 60 yard warp on the loom today.  It will be ready to thread next week.  This black warp is used for placemats and walker bags. 

    Thanks to Ms. Ila and Charlotte, we were well fed today.  Ms. Ila made a fresh rhubarb cake (oh, so yummy!) and Charlotte brought a vanilla pound cake.  No one needed extra desserts today!!!
  A new month.....a new weaving friend.....lots to look forward to!

Happy Weaving!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Fluff N Stuff

LouAnn and I made it to the Museum in plenty of time to set up for the school kids, I think 2 or 3 different schools came to spend some hours running about the place.  In the winter time LouAnn and I are inside the Peters cabin, but when fair weather once again shines upon us we go our separate ways, she to the loom house and I go out on the front porch.

I put my wee great wheel up on the bench to keep Cinderella's spindle well out of reach of all those fingers.  While some of the kids raced passed me, with "exploring everything right now" on their minds, several of the kids and the teachers and parents seemed interested in what I was doing.  I was able to answer many questions and show how important a skill this would have been 200 years ago.  (Can you see my wild socks?  I always try to wear the unexpected item!)  

After the museum, I had to race home to send Dear One off on a short trip, and then I got to pick up some grandkids from school and take them home to there house, where we were joined by their Mom within 30 minutes.  I then raced home to meet Karin, who wanted to see how my fleece washing set up worked.

We managed to get a fleece from last weeks "sheep shearing day" skirted and in the wash before she left.  We also pulled out one of the clean Jacobs fleeces and I was able to show her how I used the 18 inch hackle together with my wool combs.

This bag has 3 fleeces in it, the top one being white with some lilac patches.  I quickly set to work combing some of the white locks,  then I did a lilac/gray batch and then back to white.

By using the hackle that you can see behind these beautiful bumps of hand combed top I can load 3 combs full on it and pull off a much bigger quantity of top than I could with a single comb full.

This week I was also able to finish the T shirt rug order that I had started a week or two ago, I had already finished it actually, but it was about 6 inches shorter than I had intended.  So I rewove it increasing each section by just enough to give me the ratio of colors that I was looking for, as well as the added length.

I love how the blue stripes turned out on this one,  I had decided that I would get a better looking rug by combining different blues, sometimes light combos and sometimes darker combo.  It did not disappoint!  I will deliver to the buyer, and we will discuss other things that she would like for me to make.

Life as always is busy, but I get done what I can, when I can.  Everybody has been very patient with the extended time that it is taking me to get these orders done.  I have one more rug that needs prep and weaving, and then I can weave what I want for the fall show.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, April 26, 2018

80% Chance


  You know how it is with those "best laid plans"....right???? 

  I have always wanted to try Deborah Chandler's "hybrid method" of warping a loom.  This method would be great to use at the Museum, I thought, since I wouldn't have to take a raddle or lease sticks.  This was my thinking on Wednesday, when there was only a 60% chance of rain here in this area.  So, I gathered up my 6 dent reed (for rough sleying) and my warp....and I thought I was ready to head to the Museum.
  My alarm system starting acting up, and I ended up on the phone with the company for an hour.  In the end, they had to schedule me for a service tech on Thursday morning. 

  Sure enough, the tech was here at 8:00 this morning...and for two hours, I was punching in code on the panel to stop that annoying little beep.  But, now the system is on a wireless phone that doesn't require my house phone to be in service.  All in all, this turned out to be a good thing.
     Now, back to the Museum warp:  I used my time to reread the "hybrid method" and walk myself through the process.  And, it hit me....how was I going to move the reed behind the heddles????  AND, this method would require me to leave that reed at the Museum (since I would not have time to get the heddles threaded.) 
  So, back to the tried and true (I'm a back to front warper.)  I have loaded up the crate with the raddle, lease sticks and sticks for the warp beam. 
   The forecast for today was 80% rain with a high of 58 degrees.  Needless to say, the warp didn't go on the loom today, either!  It can wait.  Tomorrow is another day....in fact, I'll be there in the morning for a school group....and only a 10% chance of rain for tomorrow!!!!!

  An update on Sheep Shearing Day at the Museum.  Karin took over the carding, combing and spinning duties on Saturday.  She did a really fantastic job.
  We had nice weather and lots of great questions.

I hope it's sunny where you are!
Happy Weaving!