Saturday, December 16, 2017

Estate Sale Fear

I was contacted by a friend on Ravelry a couple of weeks ago, to see if I could possible go to an Estate Sale for her that was close to me, to pick up a spinning wheel she wanted.  When I first saw the request, my first impulse was that it was an Auction, and I do not do Auctions they scare me!  My friend reassured me that it was an Estate Sale and all I had to do was go early and get a number, and when 9am rolled around they would let us in by the numbers.  That calmed my fears, a bit, but I did do a drive by, the day before, once I knew what the address was.  I simply must know where I am going in the dark!

While I was there I got to see the wheel and see what kind of shape it was in, which it was in good shape, a little damage to the flyer whorl, but I think that can be glued.  I also saw that the price was well within the price range my friend had wanted.  (The Estate Sale people mentioned that there had been a sale last week with 3 wheels and a couple of looms!  It would be very simple to become addicted to searching these adds.  Yikes! )  I communicated my findings to my friend, and got the green light for the next days adventure.

I arrived at o'dark thirty to get my ticket #8, then I went in search of breakfast and wifi to pass the hour before I had to be back at the sale.  Once I got back I sat in the car and did a little practice spinning cotton, and trying to see if there was anybody else I thought might be interested in the wheel.  I couldn't tell really, nobody else was obviously spinning.  I suspect that they are all after the Coca-Cola memorabilia!

8:45 rolled around and people started lining up to get into the sale, I was a little nervous, I so wanted to get this wheel.  A few minutes before 9am they let us in out of the cold, and they told us about upcoming sales in the area, full of antiques.  ( I didn't ask if there were any wheels or looms)  Then when it was time, there was the rush of the crowd as I made my way  past the brick a brack, to the back of the room where I claimed my prize.  Oddly enough there was nobody else at the sale that was remotely interested in a spinning wheel.  What is wrong with these people!

I was in and out by 9:05, it was so easy, and I can see how this could become addictive.  In the past I had avoided Estate Sales and Auctions alike as being too time consuming and scary.  Now, I am going to have to do my best not to check out area Estate Sales for my favorite collectables.  Now, I am really afraid of Estate Sales because they are source of affordable wheels.   I have enough, I have enough, I have enough.....

(If I get permission to post pictures of the wheel I will be sure to add them.)

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Santa's Weaving Elves

  It is now less than two weeks until the big day, and Santa has been busy with the weaving elves.
  On the table by Carol's elbow you'll see a stack of soup cozys that Betsy wove.  She sold a bunch at the Foothills show, and someone called wanting more!  They're getting new stickers to go upstairs in the shop.  Betsy just made someone very happy!

  Alyce has joined THE LADIES on the back row!  (Shirley will be back, don't worry!)  Now that she's on a floor loom, she's right in the thick of the action!

Ray is working on  the Studio rug loom (he kinda looks like someone we see this time of the year, don't you think????)


  Jocelyn is back to work on the peacock shawl.  She's putting in a spacer for her fringes (it's can just see the tip in her right hand.)

  On the back row, Marie and Tina got right to work on their looms.  Weaving elves always have a lot to do!

  Pat was happily back to her loom...she got the good news that her grandchildren will be moving closer to our area in the new year!!!!!

  Liz's pillowticking towels are coming right along!

  There's always time to catch up with weaving friends!


  Some elves just keep on's quieter in the back corner of the studio! 

  Joan is back from her trip "up North"...where exactly did she go????  She and Polly were looking over the yarn Ms. Ila brought.  (Ms. Ila is cleaning out her stash!  Merry Christmas to some lucky weavers!)

  Our very own Christmas miracle:  Carol gets to weave with the weavers!  This doesn't happen very often!  But, this scarf warp needed to be woven off the loom

  All of our weaver elves were super busy today! 

Happy Weaving!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Speaks To Me

I like to go to quilt shows. The quilts are cute but it's the vendors....what's not to love about booth after booth filled with tempting quilt things?
So several years ago I went on a bus trip to Columbus OH to one of these quilt shows. It was a 3 day, 2 night get all excited seeing everything and processing in your mind how things were made, etc and the you see something that stops you in your tracks. That speaks to you.
This was the quilt. As usual, the picture isn't great but hanging in the booth, this one stopped me in my tracks. I kept going back to look at it and finally bit  the bullet and bought it.
The kit sat in a basket (with others) for several years. I took it with me to my sister's place in summer and had time to cut it out.
Then it sat  til my shows were done and I has time to sew.
It's not the biggest throw but perfect for the sofa. Plus, it's flannel. My cats will love it! The center of each block was cut from a panel of these pictures. Then the hard part. You had to sew little pieces of rectangles, squares and triangles together and sew them onto the blocks.
The instructions said to get a 10 square ruler, well, really 10 1/2 inch, and place it at a diagonal on the square and cut it out. 
They have a really neat cutting mat that can be turned so you don't have to move the square. That's what I used. Cutting the squares wasn't a problem at all, then assembling it and taking it to the center with the batting and backing to pin. The tables at the center are perfect for that especially if you use the risers we use for dye day!
Machine quilting mostly in the ditch,adding binding and done! I love the pictures in the center of each block.
I like the pattern and may use it again for another project. 
I'm still not weaving right now and most of the projects I'd started are done but today I hope to sew a bunch of blocks together for a quilt I've been dabbling with for months. If it works, my sister's friend will quilt if in summer, I don't machine quilt queen size quilts.
Until next week, keep weaving. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

New to me Warping Trick

I was doing a bit of research this week and I ran across a tip on a blog by Peggy Ostercamp.  It was one of her top 10 warping tips, which I have read a couple  times over the last year or two, but I somehow had missed this little tidbit.  She was talking about warping "back to front" and suspending the lease sticks for threading, and there it was, in this post, "How to thread without mistakes: Part One"

I am not sure how I could have missed it really, it was all right there in the diagram.  The lease sticks are to be suspended from above so that the cross is vertical and easier to see and access.  I have never heard of this before, but I must say that it is a brilliant idea!

 There is a window behind the loom that back lights the warp nicely and something I am going to remember for the next warp.  The threads to the right just need a wee tug to get them untangled.

The threading is in progress on this project, kitchen towels with green stripes this time.  I will again be using plain weave for a really clean crisp look.  Oh, and by the way, the new inserted eye heddles are sliding along nicely and making this the easiest threading session this loom has ever had.

This loom has a sectional warp beam, but I chose to wind on this warp in the normal manner.  I was careful to make sure that the 1 inch sections on the beam were utilized, and with only 10 yards to put on this time, it went well.  If I were to do a longer warp I think I would set up a trapeze with weights.  In fact I am toying with the idea of seeing if I can actually fit 3 of the 100yd warps on this back beam, it is the normal Leclerc size warp beam and rakes, does anybody have any experience with a warp that long (in 12/3 cotton) on sectional rakes?

If I maintain the same width as I am using now, I can fit 3 chains  of the 12/3 cotton across the width of the beam, filling in the colored stripes by using spools on the spool rack.  If I weight the chains and the spools, using the trapeze of course, I may be able to empty a tub or two, with one really long project.  Of course then I would have 100yd kitchen towel project on the loom.

When I weave kitchen towels I tend to weave yardage that I measure and cut apart, serge and hem before washing.  This saves me from having to keep track of how long each towel is as I weave.  Mindless plain weave for yards and yards,  of course I could do some twill if I wanted to, but for now it is plain weave all the way.

I almost finished threading today, but found that an "extra" white thread I had found in the middle of the stripe sequence,  really needed to be there after all, smack dab in the middle of the warp. (Sigh)  I got a bit of the rethreading done, and decided it was time to check the wood stove and the pasta sauce that was simmering on the stove.  It was a good thing I did, because the sauce was done and the fire was almost out!

Until next week, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Checking My List

  Last Thursday I was still working on the tree skirt:  sewing all those Xs on each square.  By Saturday night, I started laying them out on the table.  After rearranging them a couple of times, I was finally ready to start joining the squares.
  Yes...that's right....the seams are on the front of the piece.  I love the Christmas cat fabric!  I think I have just about used it all up by now.

  When all the squares had been joined, then all the seams have to be clipped.  And, just like our handwovens, it's time to wet finish.  As I took the skirt out of the dryer, I had that moment of joy when I saw that the technique worked.....except for one seam that I missed clipping!  Oh, well.....
  After Christmas, this will get another trip through the washer and dryer to "fluff" up the seams just a wee bit more!

  The cats have given it their seal of approval.  I have found them napping on the skirt a few times.

  My weaving project is threaded and waiting for a stolen moment or two of loom time.
  I'm cleaning and putting things away.  I'm really excited about our family gathering....but, I don't think they need to trip over the drum carder or the bucket of heddles. 

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Sunny & Bright!

  If Roz is at weaving, then it is always lively!  Outside it was rainy and gray...inside the studio it was all sunny and bright with all the creativity.
  Roz spent the morning working on small wall hangings using leftover pieces of handwoven material.  I think she was having a great time!!!
  Frieda got in some weaving time on her scarf warp (when she wasn't supervising Roz!)

  The new bookcase is now in place behind Carl's loom!  Just what we needed for the overflow of books (and we're always adding to our library.)  Thank you, Polly, for a job well done!

 Linda dropped by to get some expert help from Tina on her new slotted heddle.  Together they figured out the pattern.

 Liz begun weaving on the towel warp.  This is her first project in the Studio on a floor loom.

  Ray has taken over the Studio Rug loom.  He's using up some of the plaid wool fabrics that have been donated to the Center.  We forgot to tell him that this loom likes to walk, which Ray found out rather quickly!!!  He found the boards under the loom that keep it from pushing you into the wall!

  Sharon is working on her scarf with the M&W pattern.  The secret of this structure is just tapping the weft in!

  Christy is back at work on joining more blue jean legs for Carl's rugs.  That means we'll be cutting more strips very soon!

Ms. Ila and Bonnie had the back row to their selves today.  Ms. Ila is busy with her new shawl warp, which has lots and lots of colors.

Ms. Ila suggested adding a shiny blue thread to the dark blue weft for Bonnie's reweave shawl.  I think it works, don't you????

  The closer Linda gets to the end of her warp, the more little hiccups crop up!  Those loose threads just beg for attention!!!!  After lashing on last week, Helen is weaving on this forest green warp.  Could this be her favorite color????

 The brightest time of our day was celebrating Carl's 92nd birthday, which will be tomorrow!  He admits that weaving is the key to a long life!!!  He sure brings the sunshine into our lives!

Happy Birthday, Carl!!!

Happy Weaving to all........

Thursday, November 30, 2017


Christmas 1970:  Grandmother holding her first great-grandchild. we are.  Tomorrow will be the first day of December, and Sunday is the first day of Advent.  Where, oh where did this year go?
  As I begin the preparations for this holiday season, I've been thinking about HOW my traditions can to be.  Many of them came with me to adulthood, such as putting up the Christmas tree.  Now, I have to admit I've changed it up a little!
  My Dad believed in putting up the tree just a few days before Christmas. And, it always came down by New Year's Eve.  Of course, we always had a live tree...a cedar tree that came from the woods around where we lived.  It had those hot lights and tinsel that MUST be applied one at a time!!!!! (They were also taken off the tree and stored in their box to reuse next year!!!)  The ornaments were always packed away in their original boxes, which showed lots of wear and tear from the many years of usage.

    I LOVE putting up a Christmas tree.  I enjoy having it up for more than a week!  That's why I use an artificial tree.  (I figured out that my Dad was concerned about the fire danger from a dried tree.  There were always a few house fires caused by Christmas trees when I was growing up.)
  At this moment, my tree is sitting (in a box) in the living room just waiting for my attention.  When the kids were little, we made it a big chocolate, Christmas music, and unpacking their special ornaments that we had been collecting since they were born. 

  This year the hold up is the Christmas tree skirt.  It's still in the sewing stages....but getting close.  I actually started this several years ago, and I decided that this was the year to finish it!!!!

  The poinsettias are starting to put on their lovely leaves.  I don't know if they will be as showy this year as they have been in the past, though.
  The fact that I have had these plants for so long is a pure miracle!

   This is the one that started it all.  The year that my brother was stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army, he sent Mom her FIRST nutcracker.  Who knew that it would become such a collection so many years later.  One of these days I'm going to count how many are in this collection!!!  They are like members of the family that I see once a year.

Another family tradition:  hot tamales.
  Now, my friends in the South West tell me that these are NOT tamales!  But, this is the kind we make in our family.  In fact, we used to get together the Saturday after Thanksgiving to make them.  But, we are all scattered now, so I just took some time and made some this week.  It's just perfect with a bowl of chili.

  My Mom and her sister always planned a family get together during the holidays, and we have continued that tradition still.  We take turns alternating between East TN and North AL.  My cousin in Chattanooga joins us, and we have a lively time.  Since our gathering can happen anytime between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, we just call it Thanksmas.  This year it is right before Christmas here at my house.  (I should have waited and let them help me make tamales!!!!)  I figure I have three weeks to get everything done....surely that is doable. 
  After all, I only have one more weaving project to do.........

Happy Weaving!