Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Quiet Before......

  It's still early.
  All is quiet outside, just waiting for the big Spinning Day!

  Summer blooms are waiting for the soon-to-be spinners to arrive.

  New buds on the cactus are growing daily.

  And more of THIS is predicted for today.

Thank goodness we'll be in the shade with fans....and we can cool off later in the pool if we need to!

I'll post more pictures from our Spinning Day tomorrow.....right now I need to get the Monkey Bread in the oven

Happy Weaving and Spinning!!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Meet Mouse

Some time ago, I posted about our rodent problem in the barn.  I tried some interesting ways to kill the creatures, but ended up resorting to lethal,  well tested, just not what I want to have around the barn, stuff.

I asked around to see if someone had a cat I could keep in the barn to do the natural checks and balances, but nobody did!  Last month, I got a call from the vet, it seems that there were 2 kittens that had been brought in at 3 weeks of age.  They were brought in to be euthanized because they were not eating!  (At 3 weeks!) As so often happens in situations like this, one of the techs took them home to raise.  Her dad is taking one of them, but they needed a place for the second one.  They thought of me!

Meet Mouse!  She is seven weeks old, really almost 8 now, and a delight to watch.  The grandkids love her and she them.  They are learning about tiny claws, and how she doesn't mean to hook them, but they are learning.

She is too little yet to go to the barn, in fact she is barely old enough to go off the porch!  I have set up a large metal crate on the front porch, with a small crate inside for her to hide and sleep in.  Two or Three times a day I go and let her out to play for 30 minutes or so.  This morning, she is defending the porch against Dear Ones shoe laces, as I type this entry!

Black cats and Kittens are very hard to photograph!  They are just black!  Hopefully you can get an idea of just how small she is.

Not everybody is thrilled with this new addition, however.  The resident old cats are pretty miffed.  Toni and Pheobe, 11 and 8 years old respectively, are refusing to even come up on the porch to eat until after dark!  In the past Toni had been really good with a batch of kittens that were dropped off on our street, so I have every confidence that he will accept her after awhile.  I am not forcing it though.  There has been some hissing from afar, but no up close contact.

My hope is that by the fall she will be fully integrated into the pride, and on duty earning her keep, slaying the future dragons in the barn.  For right now, however, I must just enjoy the self training process, for example, right now, she is chief fly swatter, and Day Lily frond tamer!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More Dyeing Photos

Dye Day has come and gone, but my fingers are still turquoise!  I kept gloves on until the last skein, and the one pictured on the left, my "I have finished planning and started dumping" skein left its mark.  It's ugly now, but you never know what things will look like when they're washed and rinsed in a couple of days!  The one on the right is boysenberry fading to fuchsia, in carpet warp, and promises to be one of my favorites.

There was much fun at neighboring tables, as well.  Here, Andy has boysenberry and gold running together on her impromptu warp.  I like it!

 Cindy was a big fan of green, while Christie brought her own jars of earth tones to make a many-colored warp.  I want to see that one when it's washed!
The most fun I had was with the grape and gold, starting with the colors in their pure forms and then mixing them together as they met.  Is that chocolate?

The reveal will happen soon!  Stay tuned to Loomy Tunes!  Happy weaving!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Another Busy Tuesday!

Dye Day!!!  Tables are set up.....warps are soaked....dye is mixed....the the magic happens!

Colors are selected, and carefully placed on the warps.

Happy people make happy warps!!!!

Even Carol got in on the action!

Roz's sister, Louise, joined us today.
There was plenty going on for her to see!

Bonnie brought her MP3 player today so she could thread her loom.  Sometimes you need total concentration!  But, she did take some time out to talk to Pat.

Sharen was back with us today....and she took a trip around the room to see what was on each of the looms.  Lanny's scarf warp is always lovely to behold!!!

We have added the loom that Tina is working on since Sharen was with us last.  Tina brought the place mats that she washed up to be tagged for the Shop.  And, Allan just wove and wove!
Judy has put dibbies in on the rug that Carl is weaving now on the barn loom.  She got a chance to cruise around the studio and take a close look at all the projects on the looms.

And, remember the warp that Eiko was putting on her loom last week?
Well, she cut off 8 place mats today!
She's been a busy lady!!!!

Here's another look at Pat's black warp.  Maggie posted a shot of her place mats last week, but I thought you might like to see another shot of the color play on the black warp.

We're gearing up for our Saturday Spinning Retreat.....we do love to play with fiber!!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, June 25, 2012

A week already?

Inspite of being a very busy week, I don't seem to have gotten much done these past 7 days! However, I have gotten a warp started for placemats. I'm not sure how many will be on here. I think I wound about 17 yards or so. I like to weave these neutral placemats for gifts. It doesn't matter then what china they've chosen, these will work for a wedding gift.
I had a set of 4 on hand to give to a couple that got married last summer while I was out of town. I should see them in a couple of weeks at a convention we work at. I know, it's a bit late. However, when we got married, we got a wedding gift 5 years after our marriage, so I figure a year is fine!
My DD asked me if she could have that set of placemats for a bridal shower she needed something for on Saturday. She had to work so wouldn't be able to go but dropped the gift off beforehand. She'd bought a collander they wanted and placed the placemats inside it with my regular care tag. Last night she got a text from the host of the part saying that the placemats were the hit of the shower and the only gift that was passed around. I guess handmade is still appreciated by the 20 somethings out there!

So I don't have any wedding gift placemats on hand. That's why it's good that Thelma has this warp on her! I've just woven a couple on her so far but if I get going, I can get a good number done at a time. I enjoy hemstitching quickly so don't have to tie knots afterwards. In the next week or so, before the chaos of our summer starts, I have to weave 10 of them. I need to replace the 4 she took. Then my niece is getting married at Christmas, but I'm driving up this summer so need to take whatever with me then. I figure family gets at least 4 and my sister thought her daughter needed 6 of them. So that's 10 due now. At the end of September a friend's daughter is getting married and DH is playing guitar for the wedding. She'll get 4 placemats as our gift to her. So there won't be that many left on the warp after I weave what has to be woven. I'd thought of changing colors after I get "enough" done. Looks like I might as well weave the whole thing with white weft (natural warp).

A friend is flying in from France on Wednesday and will be with us for several weeks. That's when the chaos of summer truly begins! I'll try to do a bit of work as possible but don't anticipate much time.
That's why I try to weave so much earlier in the year. My show is in about a month but  a bunch of stuff happens before that!
So, until next week..
Keep weaving!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Short & Sweet

  Not much to report this week.
  Just some new art yarn....these skeins are around 200 yards.  (Cindy brought me some great thrums from her warp on Tuesday....I can't wait to see how they will work up!!!)
  I'm still tying the other blue/green/natural thrums for a long hank of yarn.
  Spinning the art yarn in the afternoons when it has been just too hot to be outside has been a great use of my time!

  My sister brought the shawl that she made from some art yarn....I guess you would call this a beta project.  We are developing a shawl pattern to work with the yarn.  This will get frogged and we'll start working on the real thing this weekend.  (Don't you just love saying that?  Rip it, rip it, rip it!!!!!)
  On the bottom you can glimpse the cowl I worked on Tuesday night at Knitting Night (but I crochet!)  This is some art yarn spun with the thrums from the Center. 

  But, today we are headed to Pigeon Forge for my niece's book signing at the Books A Million.  (Kim thinks that no one will show up...silly girl!!!)  She'll be signing her newest book, Redemption of A Hollywood Starlet which came out on 5 June.
  She has been attending ROMfest  ( in Gatlinburg for the last few days.  Dr. Bill Bass was the keynote speaker.  He's known around these parts for the "body farm" at the University of Tennessee, but he's a published author and the GO TO guy if you want to know about dead bodies.  Kimberly Lang and Dr. Bass....who would have thought!!!!  (Kim doesn't have murder and mayhem in her books...but you never know when you might need more information!!!)
  I'm thinking we might need to stop at the Apple Barn for some fritters and apple butter while we're in that neck of the woods!!!
  Enjoy this summer weekend!
Happy Weaving (and spinning!!!)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Unexpected Beauty

Dear One and I, have finally graduated to camping solo.  Last summer some friends of ours invited us up to the Smoky Mountains to visit them in Elkmont Campground.  I had grown up camping but Dear One had not!  Towards the end of that evening, when I came back to the campsite after a little stroll.  Dear One asked me if I would like to come back and stay overnight on the following Saturday.  I responded that if it was up to me we would return that very night!

We did return that Saturday, and we had a marvelous one night camp out, all we had to bring was a borrowed tent and bedding, our friends provided the rest.  If fact we had so much fun, we were back again the next month to a group camping adventure.  Same campground, a few more friends, and a different borrowed tent.  We had to borrow a bigger tent because I had made my first camping purchase, a queen size camping cot with attached air mattress.  ( I am too old to sleep on the floor!)  On top of the air mattress I added two egg crates, and a quilt, then our own sheets and blankets.  We were hooked!

We got a tent on sale last December, and I have slowly added the necessaries.  We were finally ready to fly solo!  And fly we did!  I tried to get a 3 night stay, but the campground is so packed that 2 nights was all I could get.   (Even thought the campground was pretty full, it was surprisingly quiet and restful!)

On our way up to the Smokies, we noticed that the Rhododendrons were in full bloom!  We have been saying for years that we wanted to get up to the Smokies to see them, and here we were seeing them, even though we had forgotten that they were  in bloom!

We got to our campsite in the early afternoon, made camp in just a short time, and went to explore the area a little bit.  We got back to the campsite, and even though we didn't need the little stove we had been given for dinner, I pulled it out to see how it worked.  Some friends had just borrowed it last week and they said it worked great.

 They must know something we don't know, because we couldn't get the thing to work at all.  It has a tank you fill with the fuel, and you pump this knob 35-50 times and turn this lever up, then you light the match and turn this other knob and let the burner burn for 1 minute, then you can turn the lever down.  The only problem was that we couldn't keep the burner going even one minute.

We looked at each other, looked at the stove, looked at the clock, and high tailed it to Walmart to buy a stove that uses those cute little propane canisters!  We got back, and were relieved to find that it worked wonderfully!  (We are going to gift that other stove to our young camping friends that thought it worked just fine!)  I whipped together the Chef Salad I had mostly pre-prepared at home, and we went to bed full, happy, and confidant that we could make coffee in the morning!

The next morning we were up early, and after a quick breakfast that included Cheerios with frozen milk on top, we hit the road to trek up to Charlie's Bunion.  It is an 8.8 mile (round trip), moderately strenuous hike, with a fantastic view at the top!    We saw oodles of mountain Azaleas along the trail close to the top.

We lunched at the top, and high tailed it home to the campsite to enjoy the afternoon, doing crafty stuff by the river that runs through the campground.  Dear One was drawing and I spent some time getting better acquainted with my favorite spindle.  I am learning to manage Silk Hankies on a Supported spindle.  I am getting ready for the Tuesday Weavers Spinning Retreat, the last Saturday in June.  So I have been watching videos, and brushing up on drop Spindling too.

We dined on pasta that night, the sauce I had made and frozen the week before at home, so it was quick and easy.  It was still light out so we were able to spend the evening with our crafty stuff, Dear One again drawing and I was finishing a pair of socks.  The end of another perfect day!

This morning, after breakfast, we broke camp and headed for home.  We were home and totally unpacked by 2:00pm.  We have made our reservations for July!  This time with grandkids for one of the nights!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fiber Etymology, or What's in a Word?

We all know what "Tromp as Writ" means, right?  (Or do we?  It's from Old English, meaning treadle as threaded, frequently applied to overshot patterns.)  But I frequently wonder where other terms we use on a regular basis come from.  Tina wrote about her bobbin winder that she wound pirns on the other day, and I got to wondering where such a lovely word originated.  Here's what Wikipedia says:

pirn is a rod onto which weft thread is wound for use in weaving. Unlike a bobbin, it is fixed in place, and the thread is delivered off the end of the pirn rather than from the center. A typical pirn is made of wood or plastic and is slightly tapered for most of its length, flaring out more sharply at the base, which fits over a pin in the shuttle. Pirns are wound from the base forward in order to ensure snag-free delivery of the thread, unlike bobbins, which are wound evenly from end to end.
Pirns became important with the development of the flying shuttle, though they are also used with other end delivery shuttles. Power looms which use pirns generally have automatic changing mechanisms which removes the spent pirn from the shuttle and replaces it with a fresh one, thus allowing for uninterrupted weaving.
Webster's says:  ME chiefly Scot:  A device resembling a reel.
Though I usually distrust Wikipedia, it looks as though they have it correct, evenly technically. I still wouldn't know what it was if I only read Webster's, but don't you just love the smell of old dictionaries?
Another term that's been intriguing me lately is Nupp.  Yup, nupp!  It's the word used in the pattern I'm following for the angora stole I'm knitting.  Knit five stitches into one on the right side, and purl them together on the next row.  It makes a Lily of the Valley-esque flower bud.  The first few times, it's a challenge, but the instructions warn to do the yarn-overs loosely.  And as you can see, I am cruising right along with it.  It's so much fun to knit, I have trouble stopping when I need to do things like, oh, go to work!  
  From a quick internet research, it looks as though it comes from Estonian knitting, using any 3 or 5 or 7 or 9 stitches to create a bobble-like effect.  Most bobbles I've knitted in the past have used several rows, not just two, but this is specifically--usually--used to recreate Lily of the Valley flowers.  Interesting..
  Webster's doesn't mention it.  Nor does the American Heritage dictionary.  I wonder if it's from the Estonian language?
  LouAnn was very busy yesterday, winding warps onto table looms for Kid's Camp (did you hear there's an Adult Kid's Camp this year?  Intriguing!  Do kids teach us how to be kids again?) and took lots of photos of endings, but missed a few beginnings. 

Pat has put a black warp on B, and wound a beautiful combination as weft.  This photo doesn't do justice to the beautiful way the jewel tones swirl around each other, but I sure hope I can buy a couple of these placemats when they're done.

 And speaking of bright, right next door is Bonnie's hand dyed warp she's beginning to thread for some shawls.  She's planning on plain weave so the colors can sing better.  I love it!  She's one of only a few front-to-backers left on our team, but it's what she does best!  Don't mess with success!

And I finished threading the heddles on Big Bertha, a little after 2:00.  I have a couple more errors to contend with, and must confess that I had to unthread the last third of the warp due to poor math skills.  I lamented at lunch time that I would so love an error-free warp, and was told I had plenty of company.  It's nice to know, but still, wouldn't it be nice?  Ah, well!  It's how we learn, right?
  And next week is Dye Day.  I'm so looking forward to it!  And many of us will report on it during and after.  Until then, Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy!!!!

  Warps go on looms.
  Warps are cut off the looms.
  Then the resulting items are gotten ready to go upstairs to the shop at the Center or to special order customers.  Bonnie was busy this morning checking the measurements of the panels that she wove.


  Tina wasn't sure how many place mats she had woven, but she cut off 11 (or was it 12?) from the natural warp in Ellen's pattern.  There's still LOTS of warp left for many more place mats, but Tina will get these washed and ready to go upstairs.

  Cindy has her warp chains all in place to start her new warp on the Baby Wolf.  LOVE those colors!

  Meanwhile, Eiko and Shirley were hard at work on their new warps.  Shirley needed a refresher on hem stitching, but she'll find that it comes naturally before long.

   Oh, no!  Just when Maggie thought she was finished, she found a threading error!  Join the club, Maggie!!!!  She was able to fix the error...I can't wait until she can start weaving so we can see the pattern!
  You can just see Bonnie in the upper right--she's back at her loom with her new warp:  bamboo that has been painted!  Shawls!!!!

  Allan worked on his bread cloth warp can see his total concentration! 

  Lanny worked on his scarves, too....I just didn't get a picture of that!

And, way back in the corner, Carl wove away on the barn loom.  At one point, Carl had to do a little fixin' on his warp....I didn't hear the whole story!!!!

  Pat joined us after a shop meeting, but she got right to work on choosing the cones she will use on her black warp.  This will be so interesting!

  Carol got place mats and mug rugs tagged and ready to go upstairs this afternoon.  Ms. Pat took over Carol's job of cutting strips from the blue work shirts....she got a whole bucket cut this afternoon. 
  Linda has made quick work of that multi-colored warp on the Herald loom.  That will be another batch of place mats for the shop!!!!

  And, lest you think we all went hungry today, Ms. Ila made us a fresh blackberry cake (home grown blackberries!!!!)  Needless to say, it was fantastic!!!  Thank you, Ms. Ila!

  I got the second warp on the a loom that will be used for Kid's Camp.  July will be here before you know it!

Happy Weaving!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Nice Getaway!!

I know, I'm a weaver. Always have been. Always will be. But I do dabble. I make bobbin lace when I can and I quilt whenever possible. My friend Helen used to weave as well, but now she quilts and makes lace. We've been friends since I moved up here in 1980. She found out about a trip to a quilt show in Ohio and thought we ought to go. So, last Wednesday she and I were both at Shoney's where the bus was picking us up. We left at 6:30 AM!! First stop was Norris where more ladies were picked up. Fay was one of them. I've been friends with her since 1980 as well. We've all been through so much over the years. Along with Fay we picked up Carolyn who hasn't been a friend as long but we've been just as good friends.

Another person I was so surprised to see get on the bus was Sharen. Yes, our Sharen who had to quit weaving when she got a job. Well, the job's done and she is retired. Yeah, I think I talked her into coming back to be with us on Tuesdays!!

The trip was a 3 day, 2 night one. We had a blast!! Talked for 3 days straight. The show had alot of quilts on display but also vendors. We all enabled each other. Need I say more?! I've got projects for awhile now.

I thought I'd try to take a few pictures to show the flavor of the show.This picture actually doesn't show how crowded it was among the vendors. Sometimes you couldn't really get to the back of a booth but we all patiently waited.  We were fortunate in that we went to an evening preview party which included 2 hours of shopping without the crowds. If we hadn't gotten up so early or if we'd actually rested inbetween instead of talking those afternoon hours......we could have thought straight and shopped more intelligently but by 8pm we were crosseyed! So we waited til morning (and the crowds) to figure out what we needed.

 I tried to take some pictures of quilts that show just bits of what was there. There were hundreds of quilts, all sizes. The talent is incredible.

 Alot of them had added bits, glitter or other things to accent the ideas they were putting across in their piece.

 This was parts of 3 panels a group had done. You know where you take a picture, cut it in pieces and each person does part of it? I love the trees.  Where I grew up these trees were nearby and we saw them each summer when we travelled across to the Rockies.
 I like the idea of mixed media, painting on fabrics, stamping, etc and making it all work. This is just a tiny part of one hanging.
 Then there's the other extreme of an incredibly appliqued piece. How do they figure out what colors to put together to make it work so well in this one flower? Not to mention, the several other flowers that were in the piece.....
 Another tiny detail.
 More applique.
 Part of a huge crazy quilt. I loved this one!! How much work was involved in this big quilt? Someone had some time on their hand. Each center had a cross stitch or needle point piece of handwork.
 Imagine the rest of this quilt!!
 Tatting. I've thought about adding some of my bobbin lace pieces to a wall hanging. Right now I'm "collecting" pieces I make. Yeah, I have a couple of pillows with half finished figures on them...a seahorse and a hedgehog for sure. The start of a quilt?
 Details make the quilt.
 Ribbon embroidery was featured prominently in this one. I really liked it too!!
 By Friday morning we were full of ideas. The bus left at 9am so we had time to get a bagel and relax before the bus came.
 We even stopped on the way home at a Tanger outlet mall. The shop we all wanted to go to was the Longaberger outlet shop. It's nice to see a shop like that among some of the others.
Then we came on down to Tennessee. Over a month ago part of the highway slid down the hill and it's going to be quite awhile before it's all fixed. For now, heading north is 2 lanes but coming south is just one lane. The line was about 15 miles long and it took almost an hour and a half to get through that section of road. It's actually right at the Stinking Creek exit, where Bonnie lives!!
I got a picture of the wait early on with our fearless bus driver in the mirror.
 Then, turned around and got a picture of the people sitting behind me. Helen has to sit near the front so this is what was behind us. I think there were 38 ladies on here. My DH asked me before we left if any guys were coming. Sure, I said, probably the bus driver...
 Back at our stop in Berea, the lady that organized the trip was snapping pictures. It was in glaring sunlight and she wasn't sure what she got, but she emailed us pictures she took there.
Here are the 4 of us getting ready to get back on the bus!
Because of life, we hadn't been able to get away like this as a group for at least 5 years. Years ago we used to go to weaving conferences each year. We've missed that and I'm glad that Helen asked if we wanted to go this time.
The trip next year is to a different show and it's a bit earlier in the year. So far we all can's hoping that continues. Getaways like this are to be treasured.
Back to weaving for this week. I've got a loom to thread and another few warps to wind....
Til next week.