Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Excitement In The Air

They're here!!!

Aren't they lovely????

We have added to our Wolf pack:  one Baby and one Mighty....both are 8 shaft looms!

Of course, that means that heddles have to be counted out and put on the bars.  The strollers were attached to the feet of the looms.
  Ms. Ila finished her shawl on the 4H Mighty Wolf so she could be ready for the new 8H loom.  I think she has a pattern in mind already!!!

  All the treadle cords had to be attached, also.
YOU do the math......

But, as usual, the Tuesday Weavers jumped right into action!  Done and Done!!!

  Jocelyn has her shawl warp threaded, and she's ready to sley the reed.

  Yes...that's Molly peeking through the castle.  The re-thread is going well....right?

Polly was kept hopping between one project and another most of the day.  The brake on the Leclerc needed her attention, and we had trouble changing the cutter blades on the rag cutter!  Polly to the rescue!!!!

  Alyce got the warp back in order, and it's time to  tie on to the front bar. 


  Meanwhile in the kitchen, Anna had a pin loom lesson going!  Those sure are handy little looms!

Carl got more blue jean strips cut, and got to work after lunch on his rug warp.  He's ready to start his third rug next week.

  The Tuesday Weavers are going to the Woolery on Monday....I hope they are ready for some fun!!!

So much weaving .......

Happy Weaving!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Good to be Cautious!

As I mentioned the last time I posted, I am weaving curtains. Using carpet warp works best for this because these curtains are for the lodge on top of Mt LeConte in the Smokey Mountains. I can see the mountain from my home and it's kind of cool to know that for about the last 35 years the curtains up there were woven by me. Now for the last few January's I've been replacing them. This will be the last year. I will be done with it according to the manager that I deal with.  It will be nice to be done.

Carpet warp is good because the whole place is rustic. The only way to get up there is to hike the trails. The quickest way is 3 miles straight up via Alum Cave. The longest is about 9 miles. The way we usually went was about 6 miles. These curtains will be air lifted via helicopter early in March with the rest of the annual supplies. Carpet warp fits in with the primitive construction of the cabins. Carpet warp is also almost indestructible!

When I started to weave almost 40 years ago, the color on yarns was color fast. Then about 20 plus years ago some yarns weren't color fast the way they had been. Laws had changed. So if you were weaving white or natural pieces and added, say, a band or color, when you washed it, the color would bleed to the natural fabric. That's a real disaster for a production weaver and some people didn't prewash the items because of that, before they sold them. However, that's just not right. So, when I was weaving the curtains, I would skein the red carpet warp and rinse out excess dye before letting it dry, reball it and then use it to add color to the natural curtains. It took extra time to get this done.

Then a year ago I realized that the red skeins were not running red water at all! What a relief! I should be able to just weave with the red and not have to prewash the red. This year I almost didn't. I'd prewashed 3 cones when I started to weave this year and all clear there. Then yesterday I prewashed 2 more half pound skeins. The first was great, water clear.
The second skein....not so clear!! I don't know if this is just a cone that's been around for a long time or what the deal is, but I am so glad that I decided to rinse the red again!!
Lesson learned!! I will still use color catchers when I wash the curtains later on, but hopefully they will just be as white as before!
I have a good third of them woven and I just started another warp of them. By the end of the week I hope to be well over half done. It'll all depend on life!
I hope to have pictures of the  designs next week. I haven't changed the patterns or placement of the designs from the originals I did. They seem to like what I did so I continue to do them this way.
The next few weeks I'll continue to focus on these curtains. It's keeping me busy.
Until next week, keep weaving!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Lots of Loopers

I have a lot of loopers to make good sturdy rugs.

There are actually 7 bags full, of cream, grey an black loopers.  Did I say that there are a lot of them.
 Starting last week,  I have been pre-cleaning some of them.  You have to shake the lint off of them as best you can, and it really makes a mess.

 I put them in groups of 100 and I fastened them together with a huge zip tie, making a big donuts sort of thing.  That way I can send them through the washing machine a couple of times to get the last of the lint out.  There is a lot of lint in a lot of loopers.  Black, cream and grey loopers.  Seven bags full of them.

Months ago Carol gave me 13 bottles of Rit dye that she had left over from a project, yes I said 13.  I have broken my own rule and I have started dyeing some of these loopers.

Here is what I have so far, each color is 300 loopers but I think the red is 400 loopers.  I have several more colors to go, and I do it as I have time.
You can't rush the rinsing part, and the red has been the worst so far.  Since the loopers are fastened together I have used my washing machine for the rinsing, and it really has speeded it up.  I couldn't imaging doing it any other way.

I know that I have been adamant about not doing any dyeing, but what are you going to do with all those cream/grey and black loopers (7 bags!) especially when the dye is just sitting there taking up space on the shelf!

Once this looper dye job is done, I will once again concentrate on other aspects of the craft.  I am trying very hard not to add anything else to my crafting world,  I find it hard to concentrate when I have too much going on.

Until next time, Happy Crafting, Tina

Buzzing By

  I really should be in bed....it's been a LONG day.  (I sat down to blog earlier, but Windows 10 decided it was time for some kind of download!!!)  I haven't had a chance to sit down at any of my looms, but they are on my mind....especially this warp.
  This is a towel warp that needs to be woven off the loom.  I would really like to rethread it to a turned twill, but, with my lack of weaving time, I guess I should just keep going with the original plan.

  We'll see...............

  Just to keep it interesting, here's a shot of Biscuit....she keeps things lively here on the Ridge.

  She's been helping me with the bowl cozy sewing.  Well....maybe helping me isn't the right word.  It's difficult to sew with a cat on the machine.....

I hope you get more loom time....

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Snow Crew


   Anderson County schools are closed....that usually means that the Center is closed, also.  But, you know these weavers...it's Tuesday!  We're at weaving!!!

 Today we met a new weaver who was given this loom (complete with a warp.)  We welcomed Alyce to our merry crew, and inspected this interesting table loom.  Carol straightened a few things up, and Alyce is ready to weave.

  Molly got to be with us today.  She has reworked the threading on her towel project, and she was hard at work (until I interrupted her, that is!)

  Frieda is threading the new scarf warp of hand dyed bamboo while Joan continues to weave on her scarf.

Is that Shirley taking a picture of me taking a picture???  Naw.....she's just showing off her snow pictures!!!  Bonnie and Ms. Ila had a great time on the back row today!

  Liz got some weaving done today, too.  (It's hard to build up a rhythm on a table loom, I think....but, it's a great way to learn!)

  Linda has tied her warp back on, and changed her colors for this new run of placemats.  I'm sure she is enjoying the change.

Marie worked upstairs today checking dates on the items in the shop.  It's always a good thing to rotate stock!!!

  Time for another scarf!  Anna got her warp wound for her latest project.


  Regardless of all the commotion in the studio, Carl just weaves away on his rugs!!!!   This is the second rug on this warp....next week he'll be cutting more blue jean strips for the third one!!!

  For our weavers that couldn't get in to the Center today:  we missed you!!!!  See you next week (weather permitting!!!!)

Happy Weaving!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Snowy Day

When I woke up this morning there was no snow on the ground, and I though what a pity it was that LouAnn and I had cancelled our plans for a road trip.  As it turns out, just a few hours later and there are a couple of inches on the ground and the roads are less than good out there.  So it is a good thing we postponed afterall.

That means I have some time in the Studio that I wasn't planning on having.  I have 3 looms warped and in progress.  One is the second baby blanket using thinner thread for the weft than I used for the warp, (I posted about that recently) I hope to finish that blanket today and wash both blankets to see how it looks.  The second is a hand towel warp that I think I have posted about recently.  But, it is the third project that will get most of my attention today.  If you have read my posts in the past you already know that  I have tubs upon tubs, literally 6 of them stacked in the corner, of 12/3 100yd warps.  (I'm not kidding.)  I have tried several things with the first warp, and have found them interesting to use but so far not happy with what I have done.  These warps are 8 inches across when set at 24 epi, so the first thing I did is put the two warp ends side by side for a 16 inch width,(which also shortens the warp to 50yards!) I may end up using a 3rd one so that I can get a good 24 inch towel out of it.  They are a bear to get on the loom because that 12/3 really likes to stick to itself, but I keep at it because I knew that one day I was going to find the perfect project.

I don't know if this is truly "it" but I have found something this week that I like alot!  It is a simple one shuttle weave, (Yay!) and it is so simple it is comforting to me somehow.  I found the twill threading draft and tie-up in Mary Black's "Key to Weaving", in my copy the draft is on page # 215.  There is not much in the way of treadling instructions with this one, but that gave me freedom to make it my own.

 I am using an AVL end feed shuttle that I really like to use with this fine yarn.  The weft is 8/2 cotton, I have several cones of this on hand, in a couple of colors.

 This happens to be an 8 harness threading, but you could easily use a 4 or 6, or 16 harnesses for that matter with no trouble.

Block A is harness 1 through 4, and block B is harness 5 through 8.  I actually went to the reed and started grouping threads first one side and then the other until I was happy with what I had, then I re-threaded for the umpteethn time.

 I love this pattern so much I may see what it does on my 4 harness loom that has 8/4 for baby blankets and comforters.
 This color combination reminds me of the game Checkers I played for hours as a kid! I am going to weave up a couple of Napkin sized pieces in several different colors, and then I will put them thru the wash and see how they do.  I just love the small pattern where the lines intersect don't you!
On the band loom I am still working on the Sami band I started awhile ago, but I am working on it more regularly now. I think that is because I finally found a home for the little loom.  (That is another organizing thing I got done this week) I have finally gotten to the point that I do not need to look at the pattern.

On this piece I am using 8/2 cotton, some of it mercerized.  I got this 7 strand pick-up pattern out of Susan Foulkes "Sami Band Weaving"  though I added the borders from a different band, I think it makes it more complete.

(For other fiber news see the Farmstead Studio on the blog list)

Outside the snow is still falling, while I get to enjoy working snug in the Studio with the occasional break for tea and cookies, on an unexpected Studio day.

Happy weaving, Tina

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Maybe It Will....Maybe It Won't

  I was up and out early this morning.  We thought that snow was on the way....due to begin around noon, they thought. 
  I saw my first snowflake around 9 p.m..   It was all alone! 

    I have plenty to do to keep me occupied!  These are the mug rugs we wove during the Foothills show.  Carol finished up the warp, and I brought them home to hem.  So far, I have all of them cut apart and serged the edges.

I have started hemming them...my goal is to get this project completed so that Carol can tag them for sale in the shop.

  Our next challenge is the soup cozy for our Souper Tuesday on January 31.
  During the holidays, I ended up making a dozen cozys for gifts (and I hear they work very nicey!)  But, for the challenge, I will be using handwoven fabric!!! 
  I have reworked the pattern to take into account the heavier fabric.  And, after my conversation with Linda, I'm rethinking the what to use instead of batting. 
  We should have some beautiful bowl cozys when all is said and done!!!

  Oh my.....they are already closing schools for tomorrow!  I guess I'll plan on staying home tomorrow, too.  Sounds like a good day to work on my challenge project.
  Stay warm!