Friday, August 26, 2016


If you saw Tuesdays post, you could see that I only got 2 scarves done.  I had number 3 on the loom, but I got distracted.  I got distracted by a spinning project.

 I had discovered that I could spin fat singles yarn thanks to the Roving to Scarf competition at the Anderson County Fair.  I decided to see if I could do it again, and if I could, what sort of 2 ply yarn would I get.

I had taken the roving and split it down the middle.  One half of the roving I divided again down the middle, to that makes 2 pieces.  The second half of the roving, I split into 8 even pieces.  That way one ply would have long color repeats and the second  ply would have short color repeats.

Here you can see that the middle of the center pull ball has longer color repeats than the outside of the ball.

I plied this yarn, and I was so curious, I went between loving the color combos to not loving them and then back again to loving them.  I really wouldn't know until I had washed the skein, how it would turn out.

I realize that this pic is fuzzy, but I do love it!  This is the softest yarn I have ever made, it is BFL and silk.  I normally spin ridiculously fine yarn and have to use 3 or 4  plies to get a fingering sized yarn.  This one is a 2 ply and it is probably sport weight.

I got a better picture of the skein which will probably be for sale during the Fall Shows we participate in, unless I find a pattern I think would do it justice.

I went thru my stash as soon as I could and chose my next colored braid to experiment with.   This time it is something that is more within my personal favorites.

I split this braid down the length in 8 sections.  I have a beautiful tonal gray braid that I will spin for the second ply.

Never fear, between the two spinning projects, I finished the third scarf.   I love silk and wool together!  I ended up weaving half as much in the center of the scarf than I did on the edges.  (or something like that anyway!)  I did an extra 2  short pics on the border of the scarf, then went all the way across to the other side and repeated.

I am so pleased with how it turned out!  I haven't put  on any more scarves for the moment, but the shows are coming ever closer.

I am also eyeing a stack of handwoven fabric that I made to use in a sewn project, I can't get my nerve up to cut it!  Silly I know, but there you have it!  Maybe this weekend while Dear One is out of town,  I will set up the little sewing machine and look at it while I spin my new skein of yarn!  Just maybe that will do it!

Until next time, Happy Crafting, Tina

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Just Thinking

  I finished weaving my Steeplechase scarf on Sunday, and got it wet finished on Monday.  As always, while I was weaving on the scarf, I was already thinking about the next scarf.  Do you do that????
  I also was trying to think of a better way to warp my rigid heddle loom without needing a whole room to do it in!  Plus, you have to think about the furniture you're willing to put a C-clamp on--I refuse to use my Grandmother's dining room table again! 
  After pulling out the tape measure, I realized that I could do it all on the kitchen table with the help of three pegs.  This gives me a warp that's 116 inches long, which is perfect for a scarf warp.  Plus, I didn't get any long/short ends that can happen when you use one peg.

  This is the new scarf...most of the warp is leftover from the Steeplechase challenge.  The heather blue yarn is from my stash.  I added it to the warp, and I'm using it for weft.  The bumpy looking yarn is the mohair. 

  Most of my weaving was accomplished while my sister and I binge watched the first season of Downton Abbey.  It was like a visit with old friends!  And, once again, I got to hear Maggie Smith, as the dowager countess,  utter, "What's a weekend?"  So many great one liners!!!!

  As August draws to a close, I need to see what projects can be finished by the end of next month.  Uh-oh....reality check!!!

Elizabeth Hill's class:  Off The Grid


  My sister tagged me on Facebook about this upcoming class at Arrowmont in October:

  Elizabeth Hill, who teaches at Vavstuga Weaving School, is presenting the class, Off The Grid.  What an interesting class this will be!  Also, Fall in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains is not to be missed!!!  I thought I would share this in case you might be interested.  (I'm not going to take the class...just too much to do!)
  I'm thinking about what I'd like to experiment with after the rush is over....Marie and I have been talking about that a lot at weaving.  There's so much I haven't tried...and so much yet to learn.  And, we are so lucky to have our weaving community at the Center. 
  But, for now, I'm just going to weave and think......and think and weave.  It's time to finish up some projects and enjoy these last few days of August.

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Meet The Weavers: Part Four

  What better way to start the weaving day than a visit with a cashmere goat?  Yes, that's right!!!  Linda brought her little guy in to meet the weavers this morning.  Just think of all the lovely fiber goodness she's holding!


  Now back to our scheduled program:  Here's Ms. Ila.  She has been a Tuesday Weaver since 2007.  Her family moved to Oak Ridge in 1948 from Ragland, Alabama.  Ms. Ila has three daughters, and they all weave!  But, it was weaving on a knitter's loom that led her to the Center to learn to weave on a floor loom.  She loves to weave scarves and shawls on her eight harness looms using fine threads, but she has many other looms at home to play with. 
  Ms. Ila knits, crochets, felts and sews.....a true fiber lover!!!  She also makes us sweet treats that we never refuse!!!!

  Lanny saw the sign by the highway that said "Weaving Classes."  He stopped in and met Carol....that was in 2008.  Lanny is also a lover of fine yarns for his scarves that he weaves.  He was also born in Alabama, but has lived in Knoxville since 1963.  He and his wife of 53 years have two sons, four grandsons and one granddaughter.
  Lanny is very active in his church, which is the oldest one in Knoxville.  He's presently on the committee to restore the stained glass windows in the church, and he conducts tours during the year to educate the community about the windows, and the grave yard on the church property.  There are 3 U.S. Senators and one signer of the Declaration of Independence buried there.
  Lanny and Ann have been to Scotland six times, and I think he's always looking forward to his next trip!  Needless to say, he's also a big fan of the Outlander series:  books and TV series.  He bakes some splendid shortbread from time to time.
  We love him even when he says, "Roll, Tide, Roll!"

We had six Steeplechase participants with seven scarves finished!!!  There are more scarves coming in next week, I understand.


  Carol got back just in time to see the results of our challenge!  We're so glad she's safely back from the far north!!!

  Tina was able to get the tension box on the front beam of the Macomber.  Yes....that's an Inkle loom set up with the work with what you have!!!!

  Sharon got back to work checking in the books that have been relocated.  It might be time to get the next set of bookcases built!  The good news is that she found two copies of the Rag Rug book...they had gone on a walk-about, it seems!!! 

  There's no better way to end the day than to cut off a finished warp!  Right, Connie?????

Happy Weaving!

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Couple Done!

Having finished our road trips, my sister and I got busy sewing last week!
Actually, this small throw I'd pieced over the last winter but had our friend Linda use her long arm machine to quilt it. I could have because it wasn't that big but for this one, I wanted to have the swirly pattern on it. The backing you can see on the upper right corner. It's all 300s fabrics. I'm a sucker for those prints!
The quilt top I sewed at my sister's place was not even all cut out before I arrived. So, a lot of work happened in a short period of time. Linda made time to quilt it, too. The fabrics are all earth toned. My sister had gotten carried away a few years ago on Black Friday. She gave me almost half of her fat quarters. Last year I made a quilt using this simple pattern we figured out. This year the quilt has more red in it.nthere are enough scraps for another one, I think, especially if we combine our scraps.

My great niece turned 2 a couple of weeks ago. She loves fiber and fabrics. Oh, and she is a huge bookworm! I am planning to feed that addiction.
My sister bottle raised 4 tiny kittens a couple of years ago. She kept 2 and my nephew has the other 2 in Winnipeg. Sadly, little Bear, a tortie, died a month or so ago. Zoro has been lonely but so sweet. He is huge. That's a cat on that picture. It's hard to get a good picture of him since he's black and white. However, I tried to measure how high his back is and the ruler said 16 inches high. He's long and tall. Good thing he's such a tender hearted guy!
My friend used her machine to sew Oh Canada, eh! On the fabric. Hopefully you can biggify the picture and see it.
All of these need the binding added. I'll do that when I get home.
For now, it's time to pack up and head on down the road! I hate leaving but it's been fun and I need to get back to my routine and weaving.
Until next week, keep weaving. 
I'll have a warp on my loom by next week, and weaving!

Friday, August 19, 2016

First Hurdle

After Lou Ann had thrown down the gauntlet last Tuesday, I was determined to get going right away on my challenge scarves.   So, Wednesday morning after all the chores were done, I set to work.  I had already brought my rigid heddle loom downstairs the night before and I had gathered everything I needed to maximize my time.   I first sorted what I had brought home into likely color combinations, I chose the bluest set to work on first.  My plan was to warp the novelty yarn first and to use as much of it as possible.

Warping and weaving on this first scarf were pretty straight forward, I was able to use 3 skeins of yarn, and I used almost all of them.

I wove a fairly loose weave because I plan to full this scarf, and I like to leave enough  room for the wool to move a bit.

I had grandkids that afternoon, so it wasn't until Thursday morning that I finished weaving this first scarf and got the next scarf on.

Scarf #2 is Sari silk and a wool novelty yarn, I ended up using some of my own yarn as weft with this one, I couldn't get the right look with what I had brought from the annex.

I somehow managed to not get a picture of the unwoven warp on the loom with this one, but here is a picture of the fringe in progress.

And of course the scarf partially woven.  Again I used an open weave, I do not want these scarves to be heavy, but loose with some drape.

I finished this scarf on the very same day, fringe and all.  The first 2 scarves have been washed and fulled a little bit, I am thinking about whether I want to do a little more fulling, on the second one.

This morning, after chores, I started on the third scarf.  This time I chose a wool novelty yarn and I looked thru what was left over in my bag, and there was a cone of a silk blend that perfectly matches the binding thread that is in the novelty yarn!  My choice was made and I set to work.

The silk blend is much finer than the wool yarn, so I doubled it in the reed as I warped.  It took me a little while to figure out how I was going to weave this one, the yarns are so different from each other, and they take the weft very differently. I tried a firm beat and it packed the edges and bowed in the center where the wool is.  I tried stacking the silk edges with extra picks, but it was packed too tightly.  Finally, I am just weaving very loosely, and I think I like it, I am just not totally convinced.

I have kids again this afternoon,  so I have time to think about it.  I hope to have all three done by Tuesday for Lou Ann's Steeplechase Challenge.   Wish me luck!

Until next time, keep on Crafting, Tina

Thursday, August 18, 2016

On Your Mark....Get Set.....

  This was not at the Olympics....or, at least I didn't see a steeplechase race.  I did see the equestrian event where the horses were jumping a variety of hazards on the was something fun to watch.  The riders went one at a time.

  Then, later that same day I saw this!!!!

Kinda reminds me of when I was a kid, and we'd make courses around our yard and pretend we were riding horses.  Only, we didn't have a water hazard.
  I've been thinking about that a lot..........

  On Tuesday, I was getting the calendar ready to show the weavers:  only 7 more weeks to Homecoming!  And, sitting right there was Marie's rigid heddle with her newest scarf she had brought to show.
And the light bulb came on!!!!
  We could have our own steeplechase....race to the annex....grab some yarn....weave a scarf!!!!  It's the Use It Up Steeplechase, Tuesday Weaver style!!!!
 On the left are my yarn choices (after I warped my loom.)  There's probably enough left to warp another scarf!!!!


  Here's the scarf on the loom.  I've got to build up some speed....Tina has already started on her SECOND scarf!!!  (I hope she blogs about her scarves tomorrow!!!)  But, today was a good day for weaving...we had a nice, steady rain this morning.
  I'm so glad I hadn't warped that other scarf from last week....I'll get that one on next. One of my yarns is a little sticky, so I have to make sure I have a clear shed....I can see one mistake in this scarf already!

  Sometimes we all need a little push.......

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Meet The Weavers - Part Three

l-r:  Marie, Carol and Linda
  Here they are on their first day of weaving--September 11, 2012.  I wonder if they really knew what they were getting into????

  Marie was born in Wilmington, NC, and moved to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, when she was two.  After vacationing in the Great Smoky Mountains several times, she and her husband decided to just move up here.  That was 37 years ago!!!  She and her husband have two sons and one daughter, five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.


  Marie knits and crochets, and started her weaving with a rigid heddle loom.  Yes....the next step was learning to weave on a four shaft loom!!!  She is currently weaving double binding placemats on one of her looms, and she has a 15 yard cotton warp on her 8 harness loom.  She's been weaving runners and towels on that warp.
  Towels are her favorite thing to weave, and she loves to use huck with all its many possibilities.  In fact, Strickler's A Weaver's Book of 8-Shaft Patterns is her go-to book right now.
  Marie is a fix-it guru, as well as our money lady.  She keeps the books for the Tuesday Weavers and pays our bills.  She also is instrumental in planning and putting together our booths for our Fall shows.


  Linda went to the Foothills Fall Show in 2011, and saw our booth of woven loveliness.  She found out from her neighbor, one of the Center quilters, that she could learn to weave at the Center. Two floor looms later, she has become one of the weavers!

  Linda is from Ladysmith, WI, and went to school in Eau Claire at the University of WI.    She grew up ice skating and cross county skiing.  She and her husband have two sons and two sweet kitties.  She will be fully retired in December from her career in medical technology.  They have lived in East TN for 21 years.
  Linda is really enjoying weaving Rep Weave placemats on her Baby Wolf, and she has a rug warp on her 45" Leclerc.  She'll be putting a scarf warp on her Cricket loom when she gets back from her Alaskan cruise!  She still uses her Chandler book, Learning To Weave, as well as Davison's book.

The Use It Up Steeplechase Challenge

  Since we have SEVEN weeks until the Fall Homecoming at the Museum, we thought a challenge would be in order!  As the Olympics wind down, we are gearing up to our:
Use It Up Steeplechase Challenge!
  We raced to the tubs of yummy yarn, and chose (at least) three different colors to weave a scarf for the Fall sale.  We will be jumping and hopping and weaving our way to the finish line.  Who will rise to the challenge?  Who will get their scarf finished first?  Stay tuned for the results!!!!

Carl's new rug.

  It's not a blue jean rug!!!  Carl just started a new rug!  The weft is 3 different fabrics that are making a unique pattern as Carl weaves.    Never fear....there will be more blue jean rugs later.

Happy Weaving!!!