Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Little Weaving....A Little Conversation

 Frieda, Roz and Lanny were weaving away on their looms....

......and the coffee klatch was happening in the kitchen.

  Betsy, Linda and Sharon prove that you can weave and talk at the same time!

  Pat kept weaving even when she
  was interrupted (by me!)

Carl stopped for a few minutes to catch up with Carol.

    Yes....I caught them on their phones!!!  Just like a bunch of teenagers!!!!

  If Marie got interrupted once, she was interrupted a million times!!!!  Even so, she got some lovely weaving done on her napkin warp.  Take a closer look:  she's using a sage green with a different tie-up.  Looks great!!!

  And, speaking of interruptions, I needed a few minutes of Tina's time on my dogwood warp.  I spotted what I thought was a big ole boo-boo, and wanted her to take a look.  Sure thing!!!  So, she showed me how to carefully cut the warp back to the new starting point.  (I really hate scissors near a warp!!!)  We took out about 8 inches, and I'll be ready to start back next week.

  So much going on, and we got to see a bunch of those new dyed warps!  What a great day!
Happy Weaving!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Another Dye Day

Last week Thursday and Friday we had reserved our space to dye. Typically for me, I took my iPad on Thursday and forgot to take pictures but I remembered on Friday.
We got a lot done Thursday with several people taking warps and skeins home to rinse. We had tried to get everything organized beforehand. Several people had wound warps and skeins to complete projects. It's pretty bad when you need a new project and there's a warp but no weft ready for you. So this time we were prepared. Once everything is rinsed, it will be nice to see complete projects in bins. We will threaten (ha) anyone who dares remove a skein from a bin to weave with something else.
Frieda was helping both days. I think this is the warp she wound on Thursday when we found we could use another one. 
We learned a lot from our class with Kathrin Weber and don't have to spread the warps out like we did before. Nice space saver! 
Ila is always a huge help. Not only does she help get things organized but she knows color and tells people what to dye if they're not sure. There's a reason she's called Sarge. She's a good mentor, too.
Polly is mixing some dye behind the counter. A lot of the time she was winding skeins or, as she said, taking care of the bar. She hadn't dyed before and was learning the ropes.
Betsy and Christy had a moment there where they were figuring out colors for the skein.
Darlene got several skeins painted. We had warps for placemats besides our usual scarves and shawls. Thinking about kitchen colors was a switch for us.
Polly got to finally dye a warp. Being by Ila was a good thing. Next time we dye, she'll be right in there with us, knowing what to do.

Ok, don't tell anyone but there wasn't anyone in the pottery room either day, so Christy set up Friday on their table. If potters had come in, she would have moved but this way she could spread out like she likes to and get her projects done.
I guess I didn't get any pictures of my projects but they're all down in my studio waiting to be rinsed. I'll start that today between weaving.
With the last skein painted and cleanup going on, we started to think about colors and what we could use in the stash. So we ended up ordering some more colors from Prochem.  We dye every few months, whenever we feel we need to get some more painted. With the new colors we just ordered and the extra containers on what we were low on, we'll have a nice selection to choose from. I love dye day!!
With the day ahead of me being mine to spend in the studio, I'm looking foreword to a productive day weaving and rinsing!!
Until next week, keep weaving!!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Black and White

Last week I had gotten as far as this on Carl Junior.  Between last week and this week, I  switched out the reed that was too big, and threaded the warp through the reed, but I was not happy with the sett, it made the warp too wide for the Jr.

I checked with Lou Ann about the proper sett for this pattern, and it was 12epi instead of the 10 I was using.  So once I resleyed at the proper sett it was a perfect fit!

This is the beginnings of the first rug.  I am using t shirts cut in strips.  I am using a frazer rag cutter to do the job.  The blue and white will be the dominant colors, so I am stripping those shirts as I go along, but I only need one shuttle full of the red, black and a green.

On a side note, we found a small swarm of bees on one of the small crabapple trees we planted this spring, it was really cool!  But before we could capture them they swarmed again and flew away.  That was really cool to watch, though I am a bit disappointed to not have a hive, I had even picked out the perfect place to put it!

I also found 2 dead moles in the house this week, whew something so small could make such a stench, it did not go unnoticed!

Back up in the Studio, it is time for one of the 100 yard warps to go on the 8 harness. (These warps are only 8 inches wide in the reed and for hand towels I have doubled one of the warps over on itself to make it 16 inches in the reed, so now 50yds.)  I had tried a weighted system  with this warp sometime last year, and I never could get the weights just right.  Either the weights were not enough, and the warp gave as I wove or they were too much and the whole loom groaned as I tried to advance the warp.

So I am back to conventional weaving on this loom.  I am using my trapeze to load the warp and I have 2 weights of 3lbs on it as well, I am going to try and see how much of this warp I can get on the warp beam, I will have to get some more wooden slats for that today.

When I had taken down the weighted warp last year, I rough tied a new warp onto the old warp and of course inserted lease sticks.   As I wound on, I came across the join, and spent a day tying the two together, I think it would have been quicker to start with the fresh warp from the beginning! ( I have several of these 100 yd warps in 12/3 cotton, in the  4 tubs you see below the trapeze.)

I wiggled the little knots through the rough sleyed reed that I use as a raddle, and I wiggled them through the lease sticks, with only 2 broken threads.

I am going to experiment with this warp, if I succeed in getting all 50 yards on the loom it is going to be a long standing project.   I am considering Monks cloth to start with.  I figure I can always rethread when I want to.  With 8 harnesses, I have a lot of design options.

So that was it for this last week, I am glad to be back to work in the Studio, but I am feeling cramped and scattered and I am slowly working on a Studio clean out and reorganization.  Stay tuned!

Until next time, Happy Crafting

Thursday, May 19, 2016


  Anyone that knows me knows that I'm easily distracted.  Enough said..........
  So...let's talk about the Museum.  Tina and I have been about once a week the last month, and I have been taking my Inkle loom to weave in the cabin.  This week we had a group scheduled for Monday, and I thought it might be a good time to get a warp on the loom in the Loom House.  We've had a little chilly weather the last week or so, and, I dressed in jeans and layers as I planned for the day.
  Tina and I got the warp wound on the back beam in record time (11 yards) and I was able to start threading while I talked to the groups as they wandered through.  It was going fine until a cloud moved over the sun, and the temp must have dropped 10 degrees!!!  My fingers started having a little trouble getting the hook through the eye of that string heddle....it must be time to quit for the day.  Tina had been spinning on the porch, and she was ready to pack it up, too!  I'll get back next week to get the job finished and start weaving.  There are a lot of tourist during the summer months, as well as summer camp groups, so I'll have a lot of company.

  I have gone to the cutting table a billion times to start tracing this pattern, and finally got there!  I really love the multi-size patterns, but, that also means you have prep work before you can even lay out your pattern.  Since this is the first time for this top, I'm going to use a little print as a muslin before I use that cute little beach fabric.

But.....in the meantime......

  I was really wanting some pineapple upside cake (they had some at the Museum when I was picking up lunch on Tuesday, but I was full of resolve!!!)  Now.......I don't need a whole cake, needless to say!  But, I had a recipe for making just SIX cupcakes!!!  (That's much better, don't you think?)  Just a little brown sugar and some pineapple will give you a mini pineapple upside down cake!!!!
  Just in case you've been wanting just a wee bit of sweetness, here's the recipe:
Six Cup Cakes
1 cup cake mix
1 egg
3 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
  Mix well.  Spoon into the cupcake liners.  (I use the silicone liners that have been sprayed with cooking spray.)
Bake at 350 degrees for 19-23 minutes.
  There are so many possibilities here.................

  Here's another wee bit of sweetness, my Sweetie!  She was all curled up on the chair with her paws over her eyes.  Too cute!

  And, now you know why I can relate to this meme that was on Facebook this week.  This is sooooooo  ME!!!

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Red Nose Day

  Thanks to Sharon, our Tuesday Weavers are promoting Red Nose Day!  The Red Nose Foundation promotes the empowerment of youth through arts....and we can totally get behind that!!!  Roz, who is not pictured today, works with an area class providing weaving tools and materials in the classroom.  Margi is involved with a summer enrichment program in an inner-city school this year.  She'll be weaving with 4th graders.  And, Tina and I demonstrate spinning and weaving at the Museum of Appalachia for school groups and special events. 
  You can read more about the Red Nose campaign at http://rednosefoundation.org/

  That's Margi on the right....I'm sure she was talking to Frieda about volunteering next week at school!  She was able to line up 8 of our weavers to help out during the week.

  Look at that lovely warp going on the loom!  It has such rich colors!

  I promised you a picture of Lanny's scarf....be sure to click on the picture to see it bigger!  Lanny loves to weave with that wool-silk blend.

  Marie, Betsy and Sharon got in some great weaving time today!

  Tina and Molly were able to get the troublesome warp ready to wind on today.  They were really intense back in that area of the studio!!!!

  Tina got the 8/4 order put away on the shelves.  Just look at all those lovely greens!!!! 

    While some of our Tuesday Weavers were busy in the Tapestry Class this weekend, Marie was at John C. Campbell taking a felting class.  This is the piece that will become a vest!

  And, meanwhile at home, Polly has been playing around with threading and treadling options. 

  This was Pat's project....a present for her niece using T-shirts that were full of special memories.  That is one lucky lady!!!

  What a wonderful way to spend our Tuesday!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Tapestry Class

The neat thing about being a Tuesday Weaver is the opportunity to have a teacher come in to teach us. Saturday and Sunday we had Tommye Scanlin come to teach beginning tapestry. There were 11 of us in her class. I began weaving doing tapestry about 38 years ago but hadn't touched it in 35 years so I was just as green as the other students.
Tommye was great. She spent the first morning taking us through the process of figuring out what to use for a loom and then warping it. We were all thumbs but by lunch we were ready to go.
Linda's sister in law came down from Chicago to take the class. She fit right in with all of us. Hopefully she'll be back soon and join us from time to time.
We worked from 9 til 4:30 both days. Tapestry is slow especially since we were learning the technical terms and techniques. However by the end of class, we all had made good progress.
Jocelyn's going to make a circle. I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out.
Sharon got good angles.
Frieda was busy passing the bobbin between the warp threads. She had a nice little triangle woven but her hand covers it. Oops.
Bonnie had a fancy loom so she could have her notes right by her loom. 
Molly got to take the class as well and did great figuring out her angles.
I didn't take pictures of everyone, just the ones near me.
Here's all of us at the end of the day. Tired, wiped out really. Concentrating on new concepts will do that!!
And here's my piece, ready to cut off. The left selvedge is good but that right one got a bit wonky!  I'm glad it's done but I need to do more practice pieces before I try a "real" piece.
We had a good class but it just was a start. Irene voiced it well when she asked when we could haveTommye  come back. For 3 days this time, a bit more of an intermediate class. Tommye may start teaching at her place as well so we have options. Stay tuned for that.

We're going to be busy at the center later this week. We've scheduled Wednesday through Saturday as dye days there. We've got a lot of skeins and warps ready to dye. Theresa, we paint our own yarn to weave with. I wish you lived closer so that you could join us. We're not quite the blind leading the blind but we are learning as we go. It's not hard to do, just takes time and a space that can get messy. Rinsing afterwards is slow but we've learned some tricks there, too. Working together we help each other and we've been happy with the results. Just look at the warps on the looms that LouAnn takes pictures of each Tuesday!

For now, I'm heading down to wind a new warp on my loom. 
Until next week, keep weaving!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Another Chance

On Tuesday Lou Ann took a picture of me with the baby Cambridge rug loom in the back of my car.  I had been looking for a 36 inch rug loom for a couple of weeks, ever since I started reading some of the blogs on our list that I had not been reading.  I've caught up now, and caught the  rug bug once again.

I used to have a couple of really good rug looms, but I got to the point where seven looms were just too much for me.  I gave them both away to good weaving homes where they are working happily.  One of the looms was a huge Cambridge rug loom that we had dubbed "Carl"  after our dear own Carl, because it used to belong to him,  I even took a rug warp off of that loom that has been hanging in my studio ever since.

 A couple of years ago the Tuesday weavers got a donation of a small loom that was the spitting image of a Cambridge, just pint sized.  We promptly named it Carl Jr. and  we used it at the Center for quite some time, but as sometimes happens it had been relegated, last summer to the annex when a loom more suited to our needs as a group came along.

I have  been looking around for a 36in 4 harness rug loom for several weeks now, and I actually found a full sized Cambridge rug loom at a local antique place, just down the road  from the Center in fact.  However that loom had been out in the weather for quite some time, it had a lot of rust and the cloth beam was warped.  I decided that it was not going to come to my house because it was bigger than I had room for  (all looms have to fit in one room!) and it was going to take more than my skill set to get it up and running.

That is how Carl Jr ended up at my house on Tuesday of this week.  I thought I would take the time to  clean up the wood a bit before I put the loom together, but I couldn't wait and I had to put it together. right away.  Within an hour of arriving home I had everything in place, but there I had to leave it until the next day.

(Isn't he cute!)  As I was putting him together, I found I was missing the board that goes under the warp beam in the back of the loom, so on Wednesday, when Lou Ann and I were done at the Museum of Appalachia, we went across the street to the Appalachian Arts Crafts Center where we weave every Tuesday from 10-2, and we looked once more in the annex to see if we could find that board I was missing.  We did not, but I did find the metal rod that will hold the warp to the warp beam, and I checked out a reed  and some extra heddles that I thought would fit the little loom! Yay!

That afternoon, I replaced most of the cordage on the loom with Texsolv cords, I love Texsolv for the fact that you can really get each set of  cords exactly the same length, so very important!  Then I tied on that same rug warp that I had taken off of the big Cambridge "Carl", set up the trapeze, and started winding on to the warp beam.  I was interrupted  part way through, so I had to finish up on Thursday afternoon.

Did you ever see such a beautiful sight!  (Side note, I was able to find an old Leclerc crank that will fit this warp beam on eBay for a great price. Next time I put on a warp it will be much easier!)

The heddles that I had checked out do fit this little guy, but the reed did not, so back to the Center I went this morning to switch reeds.  I had grandma time mid day for a couple of hours, but soon I will be threading this warp for the Hollywood pattern.

The Hollywood warp has been mentioned several times on this blog.  We first ran across it when Lou Ann got an Orco rug loom that is 4 harness.  It came pre-warped, and she had a terrible time trying to figure out how it was supposed to be woven.  Until she tried a straight 2x2 twill, and that was when the magic happened.  This pattern is full of chicken tracks and twill runs, and it is a lot of fun to work with.   We ran across it again in Janet Meany's  book "the Rag Rug Handbook"  That is when we discovered that the Orco loom came from the manufacturer with a black and white version of this warp, which is what I have on Carl Jr. right now.

So the warp is in place, the heddles are on the loom, the cords have been replaced, though I need to work a bit on the perfect length on several of the cords.  The "new" reed fits the loom and I will get that on once I have all the threads in their proper heddles, I have even picked out a weft pattern that I want to try, the trouble is, I can't find my copy of the Rag Rug handbook, I know it is here somewhere.

I think I could almost look at some of the placemats I have done with this pattern and figure it out, though I know I could look at Lou Ann's book anytime I need to.

This afternoon, everyone has gone home now, and it looks like Dear One is going to mow the lawn, it is my chance to go upstairs and see if I can find that book so I can get a "new" warp threaded on my "new" rug loom.

Until next time, Happy Crafting, Tina