Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Something Old, Something New

  One of the advantages of weaving with a group is that someone is always willing to share what they know.  Since we have quite a stash of specialty yarns stored out in the Annex, we thought we would dedicate a day to reduce that stash!
  Marie offered to be our guru, and guide us in making a mobius scarf on rigid heddle looms...and today was the day!!!
  Rigid Heddle Looms were brought in, and yarns were hauled in from the Annex.  Then the fun started as people started choosing four or five yarns that they liked for their scarf.

   Some of the looms were on stands, so they found spots  to set up their looms.  Long tables were arranged for the looms that would be clamped.  We used raddles instead of a warping peg....just one of the little tips that we have found helpful.

  There was a lot of team work at play....it sure makes the work go quickly!

Even the kitchen space was put to work to warp the looms.

Before we knew it, we were winding on the beautiful warps that we had created.

Once it is wound on the loom, you get it tied, and then you're ready to weave.  Marie had us skip the first 12 inches that will be used to weave in at the end of the scarf.

  Pat and Carl had their looms set up on the same table and shared the same raddle. 

  LaDonna had already warped her rigid heddle, and she was ready to start weaving after she skipped the beginning 12 inches.

  Each warp was so different....I can't wait to see the finished scarves!

Everyone got their warps  wound on by this afternoon.

Molly was able to use one of the old RH looms that had been donated to the Center.  Of course, that also meant she had to use finer yarns since the DPI was greater on that heddle. 
  Then the sampling started to choose the best weft for each warp.  Sometimes it was a group decision!
  We were hoping that we used up LOTS of the yarn from our stash, but we still had a lot to carry back out to the Annex.  Oh well....I guess we'll have to do more scarves!
  Next week we will learn how to turn the warp and weave the ends back.  And, I know where you can get more yarn for more scarves...............

Happy Weaving!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Finished Poncho

I finally finished the handspun handwoven poncho that I posted about recently.  I had decided that it was too small and that I needed to make it bigger.  The good thing was I had just overlapped the ends of the poncho, there by doubling the fabric, since the pieces were a little too long to do it the normal way.  So I had plenty of fabric to work with.

The problem came however, when I lost the rest of the balls of yarn that I was going to use to crochet this baby together!  I looked high and I looked low, to no avail!  In the end, I realized that I was going to have to cut off some of the fabric to make it work anyway, and I would be able to use that yarn to finish the poncho.

I cut off the ends of the panels, only after I was sure it was the right size.  I left generous margins, and I had to unweave the leftovers, saving the weft as the sewing together yarn, and the warp as the new fringes.  It worked wonderfully, though I must admit I was a little worried I wouldn't have enough for the fringe, but I did!

I was going to get Dear One to take some pictures of me in the poncho, but we are having company tonight, and there are a million and one things to get done before they get here, plus it is really hot here too, so this will have to do for now.

This is the way a lot of people wear ponchos, and I might wear it this way on occasion,  but I try to avoid things that point to my backside.
So, I think I may wear it more with the points going down my arms, and that lovely stripe  coming down over my shoulder and down the front.

I crocheted around the neck edge to give it a little more strength, and as I said I did crochet the seams instead of sewing them.  There is just enough mohair in this yarn, maybe 3%, to hold everything in place forever.

Now all I have to do is wait for cold weather to try it out!

I have lasagne in the oven, the salad is made, and the sweet tea is brewing,  I had better go out and feed the goats, and all in the barn, so that I can get cleaned up before the company comes.

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

Thursday, August 28, 2014


In the early '90's, I read a magazine review about a new time travel novel....they classified it as science fiction.  I LOVE time travel books, and went by the library to check it out.  That was the start of my journey with Outlander.
  By the time I went to Scotland in 1995, there were two more books in the series.  I just recently finished the newest installment.  That makes me a loyal reader for over 20 years!
  I was so enthralled with the saga of Jamie and Claire, that our time in the Highlands included Culloden (this is me at the Fraser marker,) Fort William and Loch Ness.  (Just a note:  I became a big fan of Pubs, too!  You gotta love a place that has great food, great brews and the folks bring their dogs, too!)

  Now, the Outlander series has started on Starz, and I'm in love all over again!

  The attention to detail is amazing!  The theme song is the Skye Boat Song, which probably originated around 1746.  How perfect is that?

  The internet is all abuzz over the cowl that Claire wears in several of the scenes, and I fell in love with the shrug that Claire wore in the second episode.  In fact, all of the costuming is exceptional.

The men are easy on the eye, too. 

  I knew I could crochet the cowl....I've already done a few of those.  And, the shrug is just a rectangle.......I can WEAVE a rectangle!!!!

Using the Pup raddle and my 16" rigid heddle loom, I got the warp on in less than an hour.  Since this is a sample warp, I made it 80" long.  I used some Caron's Simply Soft yarn.

And, this is how the weaving looks!  It's ready to cut off the loom and finish.  I'll probably crochet an edging around the opening and the sleeves.  I've got my fingers crossed that it all works!

  We are going to do a Rigid Heddle project at Weaving on Tuesday, so all projects have to be finished!!!  This will be fun.

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wish You Were Here!

We missed you today
Carol, Bonnie M. & Cindy

  Ms. Ila made us cupcakes.....and you missed it!  Chocolate cupcakes with creme de menthe icing!
We just wanted you to know that we were thinking about YOU!

  Carl cut the strips for his next blue jean rug.  Can you see Lanny's fingers?  He's winding four threads at a time on his newest warp.

Molly got back to work on her scarf warp.  She's weaving a pattern from Davison.  Sharon has gotten really good at hemstitching, but I don't think it's her favorite part of weaving!

TEAM WORK!!!!  The ladies worked together to get the new scarf warp on Shirley's loom.  Ms. Ila had a new shawl warp she was putting on the Mighty Wolf.

Linda repaired the broken thread on her warp, and she's ready to start a new rug.

Betsy finished the red, white and blue towel, and has started the newest one.

  Pat ducked out of sight just as I took this picture!  But, the ladies spent the day cleaning out the closet and then worked in the Annex.  Marie, Pat and Tina did a great job getting bags of donations off of the floor and put away.
  Next week Marie will be leading us in a mini-workshop on our rigid heddle looms.  We're going to use up some of the speciality yarns in the Annex to make scarves for the Fall sales.  We'll be warping our rigid heddles for a Mobius Cowl Scarf, which we'll weave at home during the week.  Then, we'll all learn how to turn the warp and weave the ends back through.
  So, TW's:  remember to bring your rigid heddle loom next week!!!!!  
  This will be a WIN-WIN.....learn a new way to weave and increase our stock for the sale!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Made it North!

I've been up in Moose Jaw now for several days and it's been busy with everything family but we did find time to divide some fabric we'd ordered and I brought up with me in the van. We got an incredible deal on this fabric. Each piece of fabric is 6 yards long. My sister, a friend and I spent a couple of hours admiring and dividing the 34 different pieces of batik.
 It took awhile to get our system down on how to cut it into 3 fairly equal parts...
 Some fabrics were in a couple or even 3 pieces but it all equaled at least 6 yards.
 By the time we were done, we each had a nice pile of fabric.... Linda was heading over to her place to begin washing the fabric and figuring out what pattern to use for her first quilt. We hope to wash my sister's fabric today. Because this fabric is end of bolts, etc, we figured it would be better to prewash it all. I've got a couple of other projects along as well to work on the next week or so.
On Wednesday my youngest niece is flying in and then the wedding preparation will probably begin for earnest. There are lots of notes and lists and we're going to have to get everything together.

On a note to the TWs, the bottles are perfect and we're removing the last sticky stuff on the royal blue bottles that you were so generous to share for us to use for vases at the reception. We're also removing labels from the Cracker Barrel syrup bottles....goo b gone helps!

I know you're waiting for a picture of the new little bundle of joy. Anna's 2 weeks old now and just the sweetest little bundle. My sister is a proud first time Grandma and I am honorary Grandma! I have full rights to spoil any grandchildren my sister has!
I'm not weaving up here. I'd thought about bringing a rigid heddle loom or somehow bringing a wolf pup up here but, really, we're busy doing family stuff plus I did bring a big rubbermaid full of handwovens to finish so I am doing production, just not weaving. I crochet around my handwoven pieces and I brought a bunch of vests to work on.
By the way, the low last night was 44 degrees. I think the high was 47. It rained and was blustery all day. It reminded me of our winters....and their early falls. By Wednesday it's supposed to be 89 degrees but alot of people turned their heat on yesterday. I'm glad I brought socks and some long sleeved tops and jeans. You never know about weather up here. It bounces around some each year..
Until next week, keep weaving! I'll be enjoying family.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Conversion to Warp Weighted Loom

I have a couple of looms that are problematic, and I have several uber long warps that have proven to be problematic too!  I don't know if I have mentioned it here on the blog, but I have been thinking about converting these looms/warps to a warp weighted system.  I have read Katie Meek's book about using a trapeze to warp your loom, and it got me thinking about how I might be able to use this system for my conversion.

I also spent a good deal of time in Ghana last year, and I saw weavers along the roadside with the long warp stretched out in front of them, anchored by a rock!  It was amazing!  I only wished I had asked them if they moved the loom or the rock when the warp advanced!  I was totally convinced then that this would work, but I was waiting to weave off the projects that were on the looms, but the warps just kept on going, and I found myself avoiding them.  I thought, what are you waiting for, just do it!

This is the before picture,  the 8 harness no name loom in back has a faulty break system and a huge creel warp beam with no handle, so winding on is really not fun.  The loom in front is a  little Leclerc that I think they don't make anymore, but she is a sweet little jack type loom!  I have been using her to weave the 100yard warps.  I don't have near enough sticks to wind on 100 yds and I don't think it would all fit anyway, plus I have been having problems with selvedges, so I must be facing uneven tension with this wind on.
(I said this is the before picture, but it is actually the "after I cleared all the stuff from behind the looms picture!")

 I had all the materials on hand to do this job, but my drill was not up to snuff for the longest time, it needed a new battery.  Last week, before we went camping, I finally took the plunge and bought a new Lithium battery.  I bought the compact one, it was a little lighter, and much smaller!  That meant that I had no more excuses!

It took me all of 20 minutes to get this in place.  Of course, it turns out I needed to relearn how to use the stud finder, cause I messed that up, and I also needed to use bigger screws.  (I won't bore you with the details of how I figured that all out!)

I unwound the warp on the back loom first, and I was shocked at how much warp there still was, yards and yards!  I attached a raddle onto the loom, and I put the warp into it, then I looped the warp around the warp beam, under the bottom cross piece and up to the trapeze.  There was so much warp that it was still pooling on the ground!  I slowly seperated the warp into 1 inch groups as per the raddle, all the way to the end of the warp.  (I managed to not get a picture of the path of the warp!)

I must say that it was a little tedious untangling the warp threads, but those who know me will not be surprised that I did it.  Each 1 inch group had to be finger combed the full length of the warp, then carefully chained and hung off to one side.

I was  finally ready to find something to use for weights, so I filled these water bottles with pea gravel, I was sure that would weigh at least 5 lbs.  but they didn't, they only weighed 1lb 10 oz each.  That clearly is not going to be enough to weave with, though I can use it to unweave.  I gave a little tug on the warp to see if I could get a feel for how much weight I would need.  ( This is about the time I figured out that I needed to make the above adjustments!)   I will have to do some more research to find out how much weight I will need to give me enough tension to weave, but I am pretty happy with my progress so far.

Now, about this white warp…………..

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

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Loom With A View

This is one of my favorite views:  from the rocker beater loom at the Museum of Appalachia.  This was last Saturday during the Case Knife Show at the Museum.  Although most folks were there for the knife show, I had a steady stream of people through the Loom House.  My friend Vickie came from North Carolina, and we had a lively on-going conversation about early looms and the weaving that was done on the "frontier".  After all, East Tennessee and western North Carolina were once the hot bed of the expansion westward.
  Sue left a comment after Saturday's visit to the Loom House, and I'm glad she found our blog and the Appalachia Arts Craft Center.  There's a whole lot of weaving going on around here!
  Whether I'm in the Loom House or weaving on the Inkle Loom at the Peter's Cabin, the view here is always lovely.

   Pamela asked about my "loom room".....I just have to chuckle.  When I first started weaving and started acquiring more looms, I often joked that I was going for a loom in every room.  And, for awhile, it seemed that was the direction I was headed.  A few looms have come to me, and I've let them go to other weavers.  Some looms have found their way to me and stayed.  I'm really happy with the assortment I have now....the only new looms I've added in the last few years have been rigid heddle.  In the living room I have an 8 shaft Baby Wolf, an 8 shaft Schacht standard and John, my ever faithful rug loom.  I also have three Wolf Pups that are set up from time to time with short term projects.  The view while I'm weaving is overlooking the Green Belt, which from time to includes a doe and her fawns.  Sometimes, there is even a big buck that swings past.

I have a 4 shaft Mighty Wolf in my bedroom.  I can either look out to the screened porch or watch TV while I weave.  (I should say that I listen more than I watch!)  Sometimes I listen to a book on CD or just music.

  Ester, my great-grandmother's barn loom is in the downstairs den.  There's a rug warp on her right now.  I have two table looms stored down there, also.

   The mug rugs are coming right along on Cutty Pup.  I'm a little behind on my goal, but I may get caught up today.  Right now, I'm weaving two of each color.  The black warp really makes the colors pop.

  I love that the view is always changing as I weave on my looms.  During the winter, it's nice to have a fire going and watch it snow, and in the Fall, the leaves rain down all over the yard.  I can also indulge in my favorite series, such as Outlander and Downton Abbey.
  My looms wait for me.....life is good.
Enjoy the View!

Happy Weaving!