Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The End of May....Already????

  If you were one of the lucky weavers who came to the Center this morning.....you could have had one of these!!!!  YUM!
  Ms. Ila made us fresh scones with cherries from LaDonna's yard.  What a treat!
  Ann is on vacation.
Bonnie and Nada are still on the Sick or Injured List.
  Ms. Pat is getting ready to build a palace for her new poultry with her grandson.
  Allan is up to his eyeballs in other projects at the moment!

Just a snapshot of some of the activity:  Ms. Bonnie got a fringe twisting lesson from Ms. Ila.  Carol ran more fabric through the stripper as we plan new warps for the looms.  Tina did double duty:  she was "Mimi" and warp planner.  Ms. Jane, Sara and LaDonna stayed busy at their looms.

"Mimi's" little precious ones were spending the morning with us at the Center.  They loved playing with the bobbin winder and you should hear them treadle on the loom!!!!!

Carl finished up a small tote today, and started on the LAST one for this warp.  (You might notice that he has a BIG smile on his face!!!)

  Lanny was hard at work on the scarf warp....we'll have to get an update on how many are left to do.

  My scarf is at 60 inches....and I think the warp fairies have added on more thread to that warp.  I know I must be near the end!

Ms. Sharon came by the Center with the details of the repair job on the Annex.  Allan inspected it and drew up a plan for the renovation.  We'll have to wait and see what the Board says!

  I'll leave you with a shot of one of Ms. Ila's beautiful scarves.  The metallic thread didn't show up as well as I had hoped.  But, I think you can see how lovely it is.  This is one of several that she was twisting the fringes on today.

  Tomorrow is the first day of June....we'll all be finishing up old projects and starting new ones.

Happy Weaving!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

DH and I love to go to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. We often go Thursday and Saturday mornings. The neat thing about them is that they don't mind if you split a meal. He gets his pancakes or grits and I get a biscuit and we split the eggs and bacon. Not a bad deal!
This morning he's off because of Memorial Day so we went over there. I think that the picture portrays Memorial Day so well!!

 We know these folks. They've become like family to us. They go to Cracker Barrel for breakfast every day. We look for them whenever we walk into the restaurant! We even saw them Saturday evening at Pizza Inn. I sit in front of them Sunday evenings when DH plays in the orchestra at church. They're wonderful people. They've been married since they were teenagers. She moved with him when he was assigned posts while in the military. They lived what we read about. They can tell you stories about their experiences.  I wish my Dad had met him. They could have compared stories. Very different stories, but life experiences just the same.

My friend Helen called the other day. She said that a friend she had taught to weave years ago was downsizing and she had a loom for weaving trim like they used to make to edge a bedspread that was done with candlewicking. Would I like it? Sure. So Friday we met at the lace guild meeting she filled my van with things she'd inherited.
I don't know anything about how to weave trim. Do any of you? She used this frame alot and cut off a piece of trim from her stash to attach to this frame so I could see how it worked. maybe!
 We weavers are such suckers for a new challenge! or a new loom! or..........it's a disease, I know, but it's harmless and sure keeps us out of trouble, right?!

So what's new on the looms? I have this on my Nilus and am starting to weave it off. I love the color interactions with the black. The purple in the middle is just awesome. I've already got an idea for another combination that will have to wait til fall to weave but I'm going to add it to my list. This is the 3rd colorway of a progression I figured out a couple of years ago. I've already got a warp wound that will go on Nilus next. I hope to have this off by the end of the week and the next one on because I have an order for a top out of caribe that will go on after that. Placemats might have to wait a bit.
Speaking of placemats. I had planned to weave the set of 4 for the wedding we missed last weekend and maybe another set to have on hand before changing the weft from white to a different combination. Well, a couple of days ago we got another wedding invitation for July 2. Guess I'd better plan on weaving 16 white placemats on that natural warp before changing. I want to have a couple of sets on hand this time so I'm not caught short. The loom is scheduled to do some rugs in fall. All we need is more time to weave everything we want to weave!
DH is out on the deck pressure washing it so we can stain it later this week. Then he'll spend the rest of the day working out some music on his guitar. I'm planning to get some work done around here today and we're going to grill  some chicken maybe for tonight. We'll have to do it on the grill on the cooktop because we got rid of ours outside. It was nasty! Guess we'll go to Walmart and get another one for his Father's Day gift once the decks are ready.
We're staying in tonight! I don't cook often but tonight I will.
Hope your Memorial Day is turning out to be special for you. Family and friends and special people in your life is what it's all about!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

We All Have a Job

CeCe takes her job very seriously, as you can tell.  As soon as I clamped the board to the table, she jumped up on the bench.  I no sooner than got the scarf pinned, and she hopped up on the table to further anchor it in place.

  This is one of the scarves that I wove at the Center, and I brought it home to finish.  I had to unravel four rows of plain weave on one end to make it match the other end, then hemstitch.  (Thanks go out to Tina--she helped me "tie" it to the Pup so I could get the tension I needed to hem!)  I'm adding the green thread to the fringe before I twist, which makes the scarf look so much better.  The moral of this story is to make a little note when you start the project.....how many rows of plain weave DID you do????

  I am STILL weaving on the black warp on Parker Pup.  I decided to make some PodPockets.....which is really just a mug rug times two!  I did put two extra rows of twill where the fold will be.  I've woven two, and since there's more warp, I may weave more.


  Cat Tracks/Snail Trail does make a beautiful pattern for mug rugs.  I've been making pairs of mug rugs to add to my stock pile. 

  This week I pulled out the sample mug rugs I did for a class that I'm planning.  The loom was threaded in a M&W pattern, and I used different treadlings to produce these designs. 
  Tina and I have been asked to teach some beginning weaving classes for the Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival next March.  Since we work well as a team, we have developed two different classes that are do-able for someone with no weaving experience.  (But, as all weavers know, once you have woven something, you are hooked!!!)
  My job now is to write the blurb for the class and the handout.  I think I may test drive the pattern on my daughter and son-in-law.  He's been wanting to weave on a loom (I got him started Inkle weaving at Christmas.)  But, neither of them have any loom experience.  And now the question:  How many looms can I get in my car????

  But, for the next couple of days, I'm going to enjoy this holiday weekend.  The pool is looking good, and the weather is looking even better.  It's time to fire up the grill and bake some brownies.  My job will be to pour the sweet tea, and hand out towels.  That sounds good to me!!!

Happy Memorial Day.....especially to those who are serving our Country!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Back to work!

Yes, the old girl is hard at work once again!  The new drawer arrived and with a little trimming will fit nicely.  I found more long bobbins online, and I also ordered a couple of spare belts for her too. 

I am using her to sew between the linen towels I brought home from the center.  I wanted to get the hang of treadling, and figure out how to change the stitch length.  All there is is a huge screw on the right hand side of the machine.  Anyway, she is really working out wonderfully. 

I was just about to plunge them in hot water when I remembered that I had used some blue and purple 8/4 to seperate some of the towels on the loom!  What was I thinking!  So I started cutting them apart and removing those threads.  I do NOT want any color release on my nice white linen towels!

I am also working on a class project sheet for the Basic Inkle Loom class that (Lou Ann and) I will be doing in the Spring in Townsend.  I still need to weave up a sample for the picture, and fine tune the teaser for their website.  Lou Ann is working up the information for the Basic Weaving class we will also offer. 

We are still working out the details!

Boredom is never a problem at my house!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Not much happening

I hate to say it but it is true. I haven't done much this week except piddle around at my studio rearranging a few things. I have moved Hershey into a different room so he can get more daylight. He loves to spend time running loose in the bathroom.  What better place for a small bunny to run around in, right?

I found this at a local thrift shop today. I love going to shops like this. You just never know what you will find. Sorry, I took the picture before I cleaned it. I don't like the base but I do like the wooden parts.

I was thinking I could hide my microwave oven in it and it fits! I am going to ask my hubby to shorten the legs just a bit so this will slide under the cabinet. Then I will make a door for it. Then voila hidden microwave!

This is what I have been working on at the arts center. Not much to show for myself but here it is. Mug rugs.

Storms seem to be all around us and the sky is getting darker by the minute. Stay safe everyone!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Welcome to Our World!!!

  I love walking into the Center on Tuesdays....I never know what is going to happen (and you thought we just wove?) and who will be there.  Today was no exception!!!!

Ann is getting ready to go on vacation, so we won't see her for a few weeks.  She brought in her baby blankets that she just finished.  Here she is showing them to Tina.  They have not been wet finished yet, so I can't wait to see how they change!  They are lovely!!!!!

And, remember that warp of linen towels?

Tina got to the end today, and it was time to cut it off!!!!

This is the linen warp that Maggie put on the loom, and she wove four towels........then her schedule changed at work!

But, we were so happy that Maggie got to be with us today!!! That was certainly good timing, Maggie!!
  Here you can see Tina looking for any repairs that needed to be made to the towels.

  That's Maggie on the far right....she was threading an 8 harness pattern on the table loom.

Sara and Linda worked at their table looms, and that's Ms. Bonnie working on the Harrisville.

This is just one of the sixteen towels on this warp.

Can you say, "WOW!"

And this................
    is total concentration!!!!  (You go, Lanny!!!)

Carl finished another small tote today...he thinks there might be 2 or 3 left on the warp.

  Carol was in and out quickly today....she brought our carpet warp order from Great Northern and had to leave early.

  We send healing thoughts to Bonnie....we sure do miss seeing her!  Maybe she'll feel up to coming for lunch next Tuesday.

  And, we sure hope Nada gets to feeling better soon, too!!!!!

  Our own little world of weaving.....and being with those who love weaving!
Happy Weaving to you......

Monday, May 23, 2011

Warps Waiting..

Ever wonder what $930 worth of carpet warp looks like? Here it is! We ordered, as a group, from Great Northern Weaving. I did the order online Wednesday and it came in 2 boxes on Friday. That's the quickest I've gotten yarn from them yet! Besides ordering for our department, about half a dozen individual members ordered for themselves. It took several hours Saturday afternoon to get the orders organized and ready for me to take tomorrow to the center. Figuring out individual bills made me wish I'd taken accounting or something at U of M back in the day!
The colors are so awesome. I didn't order any for myself this time. It sure is tempting to put another order in for more for my stash but I think I'll weave more of what I have first.
The price of cotton has really gone up lately we've heard. Well, it sure has! I was a bit surprised at how much it had gone up since we ordered last year.

 There's only one loom with a project being woven right now in my studio. It's the pup with bamboo scarves on it. So, I've been winding warps. We were invited to a wedding Saturday down in Savannah GA. We couldn't make it but I didn't have a gift anyway! My traditional gift is a set of placemats. After getting those pink and blue placemats off Thelma, I decided I'd better stock up on neutral placemats for weddings for the next few years. This is a long warp I'm slowly winding on. Having that sectional beam in the back is a bit of a pain but I haven't decided to remove it yet. The problem is the metal sections aren't smooth. What do you use to make them slick? I'd say age and the fact that the loom came from New Orleans is why. I'm having to slowly wind it, checking every 8 inches or so to be sure the thread isn't hanging up on those dividers! Once it's done it'll be a breeze to weave on.
 I only have one raddle for my LeClerc looms. This warp is a production one that's waiting for the raddle to be done on Thelma so I can put it on Nilus and get this one going. This is the warp that I do hope to have woven by the end of the week. It's bright colors in the warp, stripes, took forever to wind on because I kept changing colors from every half inch to 3 inches. I'm weaving it with black. This is another progression I figured out a couple of years ago and this is the third warp I'm doing with it, each one with different colors. On the picture you can see the cushion I covered to sit on while I weave. It's a thick foam  that I covered with upholstery fabric. Sitting at a loom for a few hours each day, you have to have something like that to protect your muscles and bones!
 I did get the baby wolf emptied and the scarves that were on it are about finished having fringes twisted. So, the next warp on it will be handtowels. They're waiting for time for me to get them on. It's stripes in a peach and navy. I got some yarn at Fiber Forum but decided they weren't really strong enough for warp. So I checked my stash and these are very similar in color to those cones. My stash yarns are the warp and I'll use the Fiber Forum yarn for the weft. It'll work fine! It's a fairly short warp for me. about 7 yards only.
I did get my Ashford loom finally completely assembled Saturday afternoon as well. I've wound a very short navy warp for mug rugs to put on it to be sure it's working right before I put the complicated warp on for MidWest Weavers Conference. Sometimes I think we bite off almost more than we can chew. I'm dreading putting that warp on but will let you know how it goes. MidWest is in a month so I do have time to figure it out. I'm taking the preconference class with Sheila O'Hara.

This morning I saw on the computer that Joplin MO got hit by tornadoes last night. In going to these conferences over the years I've met alot of people from all over the midwest. Of course we don't remember all of them but I do know that at least one of them comes from Joplin. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the storms yesterday. We just got a tiny hint of what they are experiencing now.

Well, I'll see how much I can get done this week. With the last "winter" hopefully over down here, we're having warmer weather and it's tempting to go outside more.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Is it

Or do you
see a

Maybe I just spent too much time with fleeces yesterday...........

After spending Friday morning washing two fleeces, I came home and sat down with the morning paper to catch up on the news.  On the cover of the events section, this picture caught my eye.  Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is back for the fourth Pirates movie.....but I have to wonder about his dreads.............

Here Tina is holding the washed white Shetland fleece next to some unwashed fleece.   

So lovely.

And the kitchen was filled with the scent of lanolin....just like a wonderful lotion.

I don't spin or knit, but I did enjoy seeing these fleeces come to life after washing.  Now, we can anticipate Tina spinning these into beautiful yarn.

I've got the warp tied back onto John, and I've pulled balls of double-faced bias Stewart plaid for another large tote bag.  I really liked the way the single fold wove up for the small tote, and I think this will be a wonderful little set. 

  So many ideas....so little time to weave, especially when the warmer weather beckons you outside to play in the dirt.  I've already got baby tomatoes on the vines, and I'll be looking forward to some fresh homegrown tomatoes in a few weeks!!!!  Oh yum!!!!
  Today I get to attend the opening of a Time Capsule that we entombed 25 years ago.  The school where I taught for many years is opening "the vault" and my own two kids and I will be there with bells on!!!!  It should be a fun day.  I remember the classes lining up to deposit their items for the Time Capsule, and as the years passed, the kids would always ask "how long until we open that?"  So, today is the day!!!!  (I do remember that I did NOT have a computer in my classroom then!!!)

Enjoy your Saturday, and
Happy Weaving!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Slow Fleece, Really Fast

Lou Ann came over this morning to help me wash some fleece.  We used the same slow fleece method from last week, we just used 7 dish pans instead of 2.

By the time we were ready for lunch, we had finished one  fleece and were half way thru the second.  The first fleece was white and  the second fleece was black.

I ran out without my phone this afternoon  so I will have to post more pictures this evening.  The difference between dirty and clean is much more apparent in the white fleece,  but the black fleece is really letting go of a bunch of dirt, much more than expected.

While the fleeces were soaking, we began to work on the Inkle weaving class we are putting together for the Townsend Fiber Festival next spring.  Here are some sample skeins we put together for the class kit.  We timed me dressing the Inkle and it took about 35 minutes.  We figure a total noobie could do it in about 45 minutes.

I need to work up a lesson plan, and threading chart to go with the class kit.  I will also be weaving up a sample of the project so that we can take some pictures for the festival website.

This evening when I get home and get the rest of the fleece done I will update this post.

P.S.  The last thing I did was load each fleece into a very large net bag, put them in the washer, one on each side.  TURNED off the water and put them thru the spin cycle only. 

It took a total of 8 hours, but most of that is spent waiting while the fleeces are soaking in the pans.  So I was able to do a bunch of ither stuff as well.  I am very pleased, I only wish that the sun had come out sooner, they might have been a little drier by now.

Now I can pick up some more fleeces if a good deal comes up, and I won't feel guilty or or overwhelmed!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What is happening today

I had a pile of rugs, table runners and placemats that were waiting near the sewing machine for me to hem. I decided today was the day. I still have a few to go.

After hemming they go into the washing machine and then on a rack to dry. This is the first batch I did this morning.

After a while I ran out of thread so I went to Hobby Lobby. While I was in the area I stopped in at Target. I want to get back into craft shows and so I have been thinking about my booth display. I want to do something different this year. I have this idea that I can hang my rugs on hangers from a garment rack and make them easier for people to see rather than stacking them on a table. This is what I found. It is a commercial grade rack that folds down to four inches. Hope this works for me.

I also finished winding a dish towel warp for the Schacht. It is shades of blue.

Lastly I will leave you with some pictures of flowers from my studio garden.

And now the mystery plant. This is very short. I have never seen this before. Any ideas as to what it is?


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Welcome Back, Winter!

This week, I had Tuesday off, and could have driven to Norris to be with my weaving buddies.  I could have seen Lanny's knees!  Ann's rugs!  Met Sarah!  But I decided to hang with Leo at the loom.  The shag rug is on its way, though it might not be done in time to get to Nashville by next Wednesday, Matt's birthday.  I will make an effort, though!
  The rest of the day, because it was so beautifully cool and damp, I was outside gardening.  The garden between the street and sidewalk is restored and replanted, but a photo would be boring.  Because it's an experiment, I only used seeds to save money.  I was angry when the sewer guys destroyed it, but knew that it was only seeds and dirt, though I did pay for the dirt the first time.  The second time, the dirt came from the back yard, excavation from the walk way.  And here's what the walkway looks like:
  I need a lot more gravel to set the pavers in place, but I think I need to buy it from a place that brings the truck to my yard.  Buying more bags isn't financially wise, it seems!  This is 15 bags!  And I can hardly carry them, so I want big burly men to deliver it to me.  Next payday!
  I've filled in the flowers in the flower bed next to it, and have decided that I've reached maximum capacity.  I can't buy any more plants!  No more room!  I need to lay down the mulch and just sit back and enjoy it now!
  As for the vegetable garden, the tomato seedlings went in yesterday, as did cantaloupe, cucumber and eggplant seeds.  Lots of lettuce seeds, too, were put in as the rain began in earnest.  It's beginning to look like a real garden, finally, but I can see I'll have to expand next year.  This photo's not very good, probably because I was shivering!  But with the tomato cages and bean stakes, the place looks like some verdant sculpture.
  You'd think a single person wouldn't need a bigger veggie garden--at least that's what I thought--but I can see I should have made more space for vining things.  I don't have room for pumpkins or squash.  Maybe I went a little overboard on the eight varieties of tomatoes, though!
  And then, there's the front yard.  Now, just between you and me, I'm trying really hard to at least be in the running for the neighborhood's Beautification Award.  The sewer guys decimated the front slope, but it was pretty full of weeds, anyway, to be honest, and I'm not sure what to do about it but weed whack it.  The flower beds on either side of the sidewalk, though, have been a joy to create this year.  I've kept the echinacea and yarrow and roses from two years ago and planted around them.
  Well, I'm trying to get blogger to post the video I took of the front garden, and it looks as though it's having problems.  I have to go, but I'll check back tonight to see if it works.  Meanwhile, have a lovely, cool day, weaving, gardening or whatever else you want to do!  --Maggie

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Go Away Whippoorwill Winter!!!!

The high for today is in the mid-50's, and little showers keep popping up from time to time.  But we were warm and happy at the Center today!

  Do you remember the warp that Tina wound way back when????  It was a 15-16 yard warp, and Ann put it on the rocker loom.  She has been working away on that warp.  But today was the end!!!!!

That roll of rugs just kept going and going!!!!  There were 8 rugs on there!  Three of them are going to Michigan in a couple of weeks.  We pitched in and knotted the fringes and the rest are ready to go upstairs in the Shop.  Team work.....it's the best!!!!
                                                    Sara has been hard at work on her first warp.  Don't you just love those colors???????

Today she was practicing her hemstitching.


  Linda brought her Dorothy loom to weave on today.  She has beautiful mug rugs in the Orange Peel pattern on it.  The warp is a deep forest green!   This is the loom that Linda got for practically a song, and fixed it up!

                  And, just for your viewing pleasure, our own laddie, Lanny!  I have more candid shots of him that I took, but this blog goes out to the world, and I wouldn't want to give away any secrets!!!!!!  I'll save those shots until I need some leverage...................

  So......sing away little whippoorwill.  Have your special winter-like weather.  We'll be weaving away............and the warmer days will soon be here.

Happy Weaving!