Friday, March 16, 2018

Musical Looms

Last week I posted a picture of two looms in pieces in one of my Studio rooms.  This week I will tell you why I took them apart.  A couple of weeks ago, I posted about my plans for all of that Jacobs fleece I have been washing, I plan to spin the fleeces into yarn and weave wooly blankets.  A day or 2 later, Carol emailed me and said that I should consider taking Big Bertha home to help me with the blankets, because she has the extra width that would really come in handy.  The two looms that were here on loan had to go back, in order to make room for Big Bertha.

I search my pictures for  one of Big Bertha, and this is the best one I have come up with....

......She is smack dab in the middle of this picture, and you really cannot get an idea of just how big she is.  She has a 60 inch weaving width, 12 shafts and a really big footprint.  She has not been getting used at the Center very much.  Over the last couple of years we have done several coverlets and throws on her, but she is not easy to use.  The treadles are heavy and the width is really wide, but I thought I might see if I could stand up to weave on her, that would take care of both of those problems.  If that doesn't work out, I think I will at least take advantage of the 12 shafts for some narrower projects.

It is going to take a bit of work to get her upstairs into the Studio, but I am getting ready to send out an SOS email to do some recruiting among the weavers for this next Tuesday.  I am sure that you will be seeing pictures of at least the take down and removal of Big Bertha on Tuesday's blog.  This one thing will spark a rearrangement of the looms at the Center, once the big girl is gone, other looms will slide in to take her place.  Hopefully, the looms and weavers will have room to breath again.

My upstairs studio is 2 bedrooms that measure 15x17ft each.  Right now I have 4 looms of various sizes in one of the rooms with shelves filled with weaving yarn along one wall.  The other room, where Bertha will go has all of the spinning fiber and fabric and t-shirts for weaving rugs.  Each of these rooms has only 1 narrow window that faces the north side of the house.  I am debating about where I want to put Bertha in relation to the window and the door of the room, which are along the same wall.  Do I want to face the window or have it come from one side of the loom to shine across the web of the cloth.  Or possible do I want the window behind me?  I don't know, there is a lot of rearranging that is going to have to happen in that room no matter where I put her, but my main goal is to get a lot of my stash woven into rugs and blankets over the next couple of years.  Rug warps will be on Bertha as I spin for the blankets, and Blankets will be on Bertha when I have enough yarn ready for blankets.

The 4 other looms will have projects on them as well, my counter balance loom will eventually have a linen warp for something like tea towels or even bath towels.  Then the 6 harness Hearthside and the 8 harness Binder loom will be taking care of some of the 100yd warps of 12/3 white cotton.  The little 4 harness Nilus Leclerc will be doing some sampling for the blankets and once I get to the lamb fleeces I could do some really soft scarves on it..

Until next time, Happy Spinning, Tina

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Linen Update

  In between reading Mary Black and working on my taxes, I have been collecting articles about weaving with linen.  It's way too easy to get distracted when you're researching a topic.  Linen has been woven for thousands of years, and there are so many fascinating articles about this wonder fiber.
  This linen is 16 wraps to the inch, and I'm winding a three yard warp for ten inches.  I'll set it for 8 e.p.i for plain weave.  One of my sources suggested that the thread should not spiral off the cone when winding; it needs to roll off the cone.  I put a dowel through the cone and placed it in a small crate to wind the warp.  Another tip was to mist the warp before it is taken off of the warping board.  I'll let it dry overnight.
  These tips make sense if you think about the fiber:  if you wind it onto a cone, it reels off like curling ribbon.  The misting will relax the "curl" from the cone, and it will take on the straight shape on the warping board.  Hopefully I'll have an update for you by next week.  (We'll see if all these tips are as good as they sound!)
  If all goes well, I'll try the finer linen for the next warp.

 What a difference a week makes.  The picture on the left was made last Thursday.  My tree was beautiful!!!  When I got up Friday morning, it had turned brown.  The freezing weather finally GOT the blooms!  But, I sure enjoyed it while it was in its glory!

  Biscuit likes to nap on the bench.....I snapped this just a little bit ago.  Yes....see all that fur she's shedding!!!  And, I just vacuumed the bench this morning!
  I love the way she puts her paw over her eyes!

We have great weather for another day...and then more chilly, wet weather.  That will be good for the linen!

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Full House

  I heard someone say we had 21 or 22 folks at weaving this morning.....I didn't do a recount!  Just like many mornings, we walked into a donation left for us on the table.  This one was all fabric.  (No...Carol and Christy are not playing tug o' war with that piece!)

  Irene and Ron tackled the Kids Kamp closet where many donations go to live until summer.  These items will be used for many, many craft projects.

  This is a sight you don't see every day!!!  A man in a loom!!!! 
  Ray spent some quality time with the Studio loom getting it ready to weave his next project.

  A whole row of dedicated weavers!!!!  It looks like Joan will be cutting off her warp any minute!!!

Frieda's scarf warp (blue warp) is coming right along.   That green warp is Sharon's M&W scarf.


  Betsy is weaving on her painted placemat warp.  Take a look at the pattern!!!!

 Carl finished threading and he tied onto the back rod of his loom.  That means we'll be winding on the warp next week!  Christy has prepared more blue jean legs for him to cut into strips for his rugs!!!!

I don't know why Linda moved in with THE LADIES....I think she was waiting for Tina to finish the re-thread on the little Macomber.  Linda will be taking over the towel warp....a little respite from the black placemat warp.

  Anna finished her scarf warp, and volunteered to finish the scarf warp on the Pup. 

  Helen is still weaving on her table runner.  Those weft stripes are right out of Mary Black's book!!!!  (Chapter 3)

  Irene and Ron must have known how busy we would be today, and they brought some yummy donuts for our morning.  This was all that was left by lunch!!!!

  Liz is through week the reed and weaving!!!!

  All lined up and ready to go!  These are the skeins and warps that are pre-rinsed and ready for Dye Day this week.  The Weavers are meeting on Thursday and Friday to work their magic.

Stay warm!
Happy Weaving!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Just a Little

I haven't been able to weave a lot recently but two warps are done.
This first one is peach and I got 2 tops and 2 vests done on it.
Then a black, grey and caribe warp. It's still on the loom waiting to come off to be serged and finished. Weaving has not been a priority lately.
I almost forgot to post today. Having 2 meetings in one day is 2 too many! But I'm done now and ready to work on some baby blankets that need quilting before the shower on Saturday. We're spending time dyeing yarns this week as well. It's going to be busy. Good thing I have a few things ready to dye! Details in a few weeks when I set up as a featured artist at the Art Market Gallery. There's nothing like signing up for an exhibit to make you do stuff!
Until next week, keep weaving!

Friday, March 9, 2018

In Motion

Last week we left the Jacobs fleeces standing in a row in the upstairs hallway.  Today I finally packed away the last 6 fleeces into their bags, and it was time to find a more suitable place to store these bags.  It was going to require some thought, and more than a little moving around of things.

I found a corner where I could stack them up.....

The only thing on the shelves behind these fleeces is really fine linen thread that is not going to be used for awhile, so not vital for day to day activities.

Right beside the stack of fleeces I put an extra spool rack that looks like it was made to hold these in check.  There was just enough room to slip the narrow Leclerc 4 harness jack loom that is waiting for a project.

I did a tiny bit of research and found out that this little  loom is probably a pre 1950 model, so it is older than I am!!!!!  I will eventually get a project on her, it isn't high on the list just now.

What was high on my list this week was loom dismantling.  I have 2 looms that were on loan that will be going back to their respective homes.  One to the annex at the Center on Tuesday and the other one is the rug loom that LouAnn loaned me some months ago.  It is a sweet loom, but my hips really complained about the back hinge treadles, so back home to LouAnn he goes.  It is a regular musical looms around here!

My "new to me" bobbins to use on my Hansen mini spinner with a Woolee winder arrived this week.  I now have a grand total of 12 bobbins to fill up before I stop to wind off skeins for fulling.  Since I have so many bobbins and the Woolee Winder loads the bobbins evenly all by itself,  all I have to do is spin, and remember to take breaks once in awhile!

You can see my copy of the "New Key to Weaving" by Mary Black.  We are studying this book as a group, one chapter a month.  This month we are on plain weave,  it is tempting to skim, but I am trying not to!  We are not actually weaving the lesson samples in the book yet, but we might later, I am kind of keeping that small Leclerc pictured above free just in case we decided to do some sampling.

Until next time, keep moving, Tina

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Same But Different

  You might think this is just a recycled many times they all look the same.  That's just us...doing what we do.  The looms are pulled out, and folks start weaving. 
  Well....we don't start immediately.  You always need catch-up time with your fellow weavers before you sit down at your loom.


  Marie got right to work winding the rest of Carl's warp.  She knew she had to leave early today, so this was the first thing on her list!

  As promised, Carol had Helen help Liz wind on her placemat warp.  The more she winds on, the more familiar the process is when you have to do one by yourself.

  Tina took some time to study the towel warp. She discovered that she had some threading errors last week.  But,  she had some options...and, she decided to rethread the towel warp.  (She's a fast threader....I'm not worried!)

  Ms. Ila was ready to start weaving her first shawl on this warp.  She was trying to decide which treadling she wanted to start with, and went with the easiest one.  That way, if she finds a threading error, it's a lot easier to unweave!!!!  Yes....she found a crossed thread.........
  Bonnie began weaving her scarf today, too.

  What do you think????????
  There's a story here, but I'll wait to share it.

 Shirley finished her scarf warp and cut off the four scarves from the cloth beam.

  Christy sure has job security!  She's working on another stack of blue jean legs to join AND we had a donation of more blue jeans left over from a church rummage sale.  YEAH!!!

   Pat was determined to finish her warp...and she DID!    This warp was cut off this afternoon!  They will grow up to be table runners for some lucky folks.

  Margi got busy with the skein winder and made a 600 yard bamboo skein for dye day.  This will be dyed for weft.

  Ray began winding his doubleweave warp....630 threads!!!!!  He got the first part done this morning.  This is a great opportunity for our newer weavers to see double weave close up and personal!

 And, at any point in the day, you'll see lots of conversations taking place in the studio. 

Sharing our lives.....

Happy Weaving


Monday, March 5, 2018


In January we had scheduled Victoria Walker to teach a class on kumihimo, a Japanese braiding technique. Well, it got snowed out. The snow day was today.
Some people weren't able to take it after all because of the change but others could so there were 10 of us in class.
The start was the usual chaos of people trying to wind their warps and cut, knot ends and generally get things together.
Check out that monster loom. Ok, I forgot the real name for it but it was quite cool, especially when she showed us the braid she was doing. It's about 24 or 30 inches off the floor.
Then it was our turn. Here's mine, all wound up and ready to go. Huge learning curve here!
Notice the concentration!! Not a lot of chatting while we were working on getting the yarns right!
The little fabric bag holds weights that we had to move up as the tape progressed. You can just see a bit of the tape I was doing.
We started at 10am and didn't quit til almost 4 and this is all I got done. Ok, it was supposed to be a lanyard to wear on our wrist but I got carried away and about ran out of warp. You can see the different braids we were working on.
Fun? You bet! It was very enjoyable and I'd take another class. We know how to read patterns now so we should be able to carry on! I'm hoping she develops another class because it's fun to work together and make stuff.
Theresa, I tried to send you an email but doubt it got through. The little wool embroidery wall hangings I make are just for fun and I don't sell them.  However, you can get the pattern and perhaps a kit from wooly The pattern is called Birds &Berries Wall Hanging.
Not a lot of weaving going on for me but I hope there is for you.
Until next week, keep weaving.