Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Last Day of September???

  Where did September go?  It seems just like yesterday was Labor Day!  That means it's time to get ready for Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia!  We have 8 days to get everything finished!

  We were pleased to see our friend, Julia, at weaving this week.  Karin, Julia and Linda swapped weaving tips for their rigid heddle looms.

***By the way, the scarf that Ms. Ila wove in our rigid heddle scarf experiment sold on Thursday!  WOW!  Only two days on the shelf!

Pat got right to work on the ropes of wool....there has to be something they can be used for!  There is a string used as a core in the middle.  Pat thinks that the wool could be used for felted scarves......we'll see what happens!

Another visit from an old friend...Allan stopped by to bring some lace placemats that he wove at the Center.  These are just in time for Homecoming!!!!

  Just another loom being loaded up and taken home by a lucky weaver.  This one was a donation to the Weavers, and needs a little TLC.

Charlotte's warp is wound on and it's time to thread.  Yes...we go from right to left.
  Now's the time you learn about threading hooks and sleying hooks....work steady and check your work!

  Sharon was back to work on the placemat warp, while Linda wove another rug.  You can just see Betsy at work on her towel warp.  So much concentration!

  Carl finished up a rug and started a new one today.  We had visitors to the studio this morning, and they spent a long time talking to Carl.

 Carl shared his newest finished tapestry:  meet Herbie! 

 While Christy finished setting up her Inkle Loom, Julia got some pointers on setting up her Inkle.  You can just see Bonnie, Shirley and Molly in their usual spots!

  And, to keep us all focused on our tasks, Margi brought us candy corn, and Marie brought us dark chocolate almonds.  Both should be banned......

Happy Weaving!

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Touch of Blue

I spent most of a month in Canada recently, coming back only a week ago. It was a hectic, wonderful, family time. There was a new baby (born on my birthday!), a wedding and lots of family to get together with. 
In spring, we'd been thinking about the reception for the wedding and how to decorate the tables. Also, my sister had mentioned that years ago her collection of small blue glass bottles had broken and she'd like to start a new small collection of blue bottles to put in her window. I mentioned the request for blue bottles at weaving one Tuesday. One of our weavers, Bonnie, mentioned that there was a beer bottle that was a beautiful blue. She brought one the next week and I took a picture to send to my sister. Ultimately, the decision was made to use that bottle to decorate the tables in the tent where the reception would be held. 
There were 30 tables with 2 bottles per table....alot of people "forced" themselves to indulge so that I would have enough bottles to take up to Canada for the reception. 
The result was beautiful.
 It was so simple, white table cloth, narrow runner down the middle, pretty vases with flowers, an Ikea lacey candleholder on each end and tiny white pails with fish gummies as a favor.
 If anyone is needing decorations for a wedding up in Moose Jaw........I know where you can borrow some pretty blue vases!!

The wedding was Sept 13. I left the following Wednesday to begin my drive south. Mom had had so many highlights in the last months, her first live great granddaughter, the wedding and seeing me for a month. Her health had been so precarious for so many years. She'd had 6 by passes 7 years ago and during the recuperation she developed a nasty infection that took her to the ICU on life support as she fought her way back. Her kidneys did not come back so she was on dialysis 3x a week ever since. Mom was a trooper. She did what she could and always had ideas of things to do inspite of being in a wheelchair the last year of her life. I think it was the day before I left to drive back, I heard her in the kitchen. She had locked the wheelchair in place, pulled herself up, and was washing the dishes.

Frieda Martens, 1923 - 2014.
Mom passed away early Saturday morning after being in the hospital for 5 days. She'd been in the hospital before the wedding for a week but had been well enough to ride the 5 hours to the camp where the wedding would be. Mom was a very creative person, sewed most of our clothes, had a big vegetable and flower garden for years and was the matriarch of the family. Born in the Ukraine, she'd come over as a small child with her family. After marrying Dad, they'd been missionaries in Belgium Congo for 5 years. My sister was born there. Once home in Canada, they had to start over and her creativeness helped us survive.
We will miss her more than words can say but she's so happy now to be with Dad, our brother Rob and her first great granddaughter, Coralee.

Mom was so happy that day. It was great fun to see her enjoy herself. Rachel put her corsage on. If you look closely, you can see the bit of blue showing by the shoulder straps of her gown. Well, we sewed Rachel into that dress. After my sister sewed most of it, I ended up doing some more just to be sure no blue would show, and it didn't. She was well sewn in!! As we went through the reception line, I slipped a seam ripper into her new husband's hand so he'd have a way to get her out of it! Fun times!

So I'm back here in Knoxville. I will fly up a couple of times in the next few weeks to be with family again but I'm trying to get some weaving and finishing done for the show that's coming up in a couple of weeks.
Family comes first.
Until next week, maybe (I'll be flying), keep weaving and keep your family close.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Crunch Time!

I stopped by Lou Ann's house yesterday for us to swap fittings.  She had my Chemise done and on the hanger, and I needed to try on the apron so that she could see how long the straps need to be.  I had taken my skirt with me so that we could get the full affect, I am glad I did!  It really is going to be fun to be in more period clothing this Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia!

For my part in the costume making, I had 3 samples of the very top portion of the stockings for Lou Ann to try on.  Luckily, our knees are at the same height so I just needed to know what gauge to use to get the right fit for comfort.  More on that in another post at some time in the near future, like when I get enough knitted to have something to show!

On the home front, I am busily weaving up my handspun on the rigid heddle!  I have 5 finished scarves, including 3 that have not been fulled yet.  The lastest one has stripes, because I was short an ounce of the yarn I wanted to use.  I added in a few stripes of a darker color, and I am pleased with it!

I went thru the handspun stash yesterday, and picked out all the yarns that I thought would make good scarves.  The skeins have to be about 400 yards and soft as can be.  If I can get this all woven up before the shows, my stash is going to be decimated!  Shucks, I guess that means I will have to spin some more to replenish it!

Scarf possibilities
The yarn on top is from a fleece that I have posted about in the past, either here or on my blog.  It is a Romney fleece that I thought I had ruined in the wash, but I was able to use my hand combs and salvage quite a bit of lovely silvery yarn.   I started to think again about my costume and remembered that I did not have a suitable shawl in case the weather turns colder, which it can sometimes do.  This yarn would make, I thought, a lovely shawl!

I was in the middle of warping the shawl, taking up much of the living room, since I had to turn the table across the room to get the 4 yards measured out, when the phone rang.  My MIL wanted to go out to lunch!  I quickly agreed to pick her up, then I texted Dear One to warn him about the obstruction he would find in the livingroom should he happen to come home and  need to get to the computer!  Lunch was lovely, and something I really needed, I was hungrier than I thought I was.  It is easy for me to get  working on something, and before you know it is well past time to eat something.

Back home again, I finished getting the warp on the loom.  This time I warped the whole 24 inches across, and I put a good dent in that silvery yarn!  I should have enough left when I am done with the shawl to make a scarf or two.  I am finally beginning to estimate a little better just how much yarn I need.  It is better to add the different yarn in the warp, if you think you are going to run out, than in the weft.  That way it looks like you planned it!

Silver Romney Shawl
I wish you could see the shine!

 Only 2 weeks to go before the Homecomeing,  I am pleased that I have found something that I can do to bring a different unique product to the shelves at our shows, I just wish I had thought about it a little earlier in the year!  I have many scarves to weave, finish, inventory and tag before I am done!  Crunch time!

Until next time, Happy Spinning, Knitting and Weaving, Tina

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I'm On A Roll

  Just a short blog today....I'm right in the middle of the BIG project!  That's Tina's chemise on the serger; I'm almost ready to take it to the sewing machine to put in the casings at the top and sleeves.  (I'm going to do a quick try-on to see if I'm in the ballpark on sizing.) 
  I ended up putting up a table in the office so I could spread out the fabric--10 yards of unbleached muslin was just too much to fight in my sewing area!  Also, I've gotten a chance to reacquaint myself with my sergers!  They have really been neglected lately!  I decided to go with the 4 thread for right now while I read some more in the manual for the 5 thread.  

  I've also been pre-washing fabric for our "aprons" that Tina & I wanted for the Museum.  It just so happens that I had a burgundy stripe that will go with her "new" skirt!  That's on the agenda today, too.
  I want to have these ready to go since Tina is coming for a fitting tomorrow.  And, I hear that our stockings are ready for a pre-fitting, too.  Guess I'll have to shave my legs................
  OK....back to the office!
Enjoy your beautiful Fall day!
Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


  More scarves were woven over the last few days....in fact, Betsy even figured out the "checker board" scarf in her team colors.  (You can barely see it on the table....sorry, Betsy!)  We'll have a bunch to put up in the shop and take to the Fall sales!

  In fact, Carol spent a large part of today entering all the new items on her master list.  I think she liked her surprise.....but, she's also mad at us for doing it while she was gone!!!!
  Now, she wants to try one, too!
  There were also rugs, dishtowels and book marks to put on the inventory list.

And, finally, Charlotte gets to start her weaving lessons!!!!  One thing about it, she already knows how the table looms work and she's very good at hemstitching!!!

  Today, she also found out about TANGLES!  Yes....they happen!

  That's her warp on the board behind them.  She'll be winding on and threading next week!!!

Ray was back with us this week....he's just weaving away on the Rocker Loom.  I'm sure he thinks we're all just a little bit loony...or maybe just loomy.

  Thank goodness he has Carl just to the left of him.  I wonder if they just look at each other from time to time and shake their heads.

Marie was upstairs in the shop and said it sounded like we were having a party in the studio!!!   Imagine that!  Folks having fun!

Linda has been following Tina's blog concerning our 18th Century costumes, and brought this short gown and skirt for Tina!  (And, she actually ASKED me to take a picture of her backside!)  Isn't that a great outfit?  Now, I have to get busy with that chemise!

  Christy was warping her Inkle loom for more book marks today, which was a great opportunity for some of our weavers to learn how it is done.

Marie showed Roz how to make the cross on the mobius scarf on her rigid heddle project.  Sometimes the challenge is to keep the even beat!

I just love how we share what we know with each other!!!

Betsy will be adding these towels to Carol's inventory list very soon!  She cut off 5 or 6 towels that will need hemming this week.

 Uh-oh....I almost forgot to show you what Shirley brought back from her trip!!!  Yes....more 8/4 from Great Northern!!!  We sure go through that yarn!  How lucky for us that she could pick it up when she went to visit her family.  It saves us some big $$ on shipping!

  We spent a little time today talking about the upcoming Fall Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia.  Tina and I will be there all four days spinning and weaving, and our fellow weavers will man the booth.  That also means they'll have that great fireplace in the Peter's Cabin for those cool Fall mornings!  We'll all be looking at what we have in inventory to put in the booth.  It's always fun!

Happy Weaving!!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Going for Rustic

As you can see from Lou Ann's post yesterday, we are all about going rustic right now.  Actually, I haven't been all that productive in the weaving studio this year, and I am starting to feel the pressure to get something else done to add to the inventory.  I thought I would take a look at my handspun inventory, since this is something I have been able to do this year.  I ended up choosing some of my early handspun to try for a very rustic looking scarf.  That is what I bought the rigid heddle loom for anyway!

I have a lot of handspun, so I think I will be able to get several scarf/shawl type things done in the next few weeks.  Hopefully before the Museum of Appalachia's Homecoming which is in early October.  Rustic goes good with the surroundings at the Museum, and they really appreaciate it when we try.
The brownish yarn in this second picture, is what I chose to use for the first project, it is actually Moorit Shetland from some sheep I used to own.  I have had it in the stash for a looooong time!

The largest skein I had was 2.2 oz. and 220 yards.  I decided to use it for warp.   I was shooting for at least 7 inches in width, and had enough to put on 11.5, with a 3+ yard length, it wound on with no difficulty.

I used the same yarn as weft.   I had another 3.3 oz in 3 skeins of varying thickness.  I chose the skeins with the thicker yarn.  There are 2 more smaller skeins that were too fine for this project.  (I must have spun those last!)  The weaving went fairly quickly, and with this thick and thin yarn, there is a lot of variation in the fabric.

Here is a shot just as I got started, I think you can get an idea how much variation there is.  There were a couple of knots in the warp that I fixed as I went.  I needle wove  a bit each side of the knot, and just before the knot was to go onto the cloth beam, I snipped it off!
There were only a couple of yards of weft that I chose to not use in the scarf, it was just too stiff to use in this scarf, but I used the rest of it, as it came off the skein.

 It wasn't long before the scarf was off the loom.  Finished length,
84 inches, and width was 11 inches, that will change once it has it's bath.  It took a long soak in wool wash, and then I rolled it in a towel to get most of the water out of it.  Next,  I beat it quite vigorously in various ways against the table top for about 20 minutes to soften it up. (I had already twisted the fringe!)
 I am tickled pink with the results.  This is a one of a kind item, I will never spin yarn quite this uneven again.  I will measure the scarf once it is completely dry, but I think I lost quite a few inches in length, but I knew that, so I planned for it.
Talk about going rustic,  while I was working out, beating the scarf on the countertop, the mailman stopped by and brought the yarn that I had ordered for Lou Ann and my costume over the knee, and up the leg stockings.  I figure 2000 yards should do it for both pair.  Time to get the swift out and let winding begin!

Until next time, Happy Spinning, Knitting and Weaving, Tina

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Plugging Away

  This was our view from the porch of the Peter's Cabin at 8:30 Friday morning!  Can you believe that line of folks waiting to get into the Antique Show?  And, since these people were there for the show, it was slow up at the cabin....which gave us an opportunity to take a quick stroll around the stalls to see all the cool items in the booths.  Tina and I took turns coming back and sending the other off to see certain items.  (There's an apron to tell you about at a later date!!!)

  I got the opportunity to talk with Kris (the lady in the foreground) about her costume.  She made it along with the ladies' costumes in this booth.  She even gave me a close up look at her fichu and cap!  Yes, Tina and I will be sporting these for future shows!!!  In fact, Tina and I are working on some outfits to wear for these special events that are more appropriate for the late 18th century.

  The pattern that Tammy and Kris told me about has already arrived, in fact!  It even gives the order the items should be put on when you get dressed!
  Now, don't get me wrong....we aren't going all authentic here!!!  I'm not going to hand sew an entire outfit!!!!  (But, I am going to keep my eye out for any old linen table cloths that could be used for the fabric!)
  I will be able to weave some "tape" on the Inkle loom this winter while we're in the Peter's cabin...that's authentic!

  I just had to share this picture of Tina's display at the cabin.  This is my favorite fleece!  When it was lying on Tina's kitchen floor, it looked just like Capt. Jack Sparrow..dreadlocks and all...but, you can see that it became some beautiful yarn!

  Just lovely.

  Tina already told you about my s-l-o-w weaving on Saturday.  These are the two rugs I cut off Friday afternoon.  They have been airing on the porch since then.  I'd like to get the fringes tied and twisted today so they will be DONE!

  For the next few weeks, I'll continue to weave slowly.....there's a nice runner's worth left on the warp.  Then, I can get the loom ready for the winter.  My plan is to tie on a new warp to this one next spring.  I like the width, and I love multi-colored warps!

Now, for true confessions:  I need more practice on weaving in the ends of the mobius scarf.

  I like the check....but, it's not square!
Help!!!!  Oh, Marie....you did a great job teaching this scarf, I just need to be careful with the tension when I weave the end.

Guess that means I'll have to try another one......

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Finishing and Starting

   Scarves soon covered the table as the weavers arrived at the Center this morning!  Each one was unique, and we had a lively discussion on finishing techniques.

  Chenille is a case in point:  Pat sat and worked on her scarf to keep those chenille worms in place!

With the scarf project at an end, the weavers went back to their looms.  Ms. Ila was busy winding on a new warp on the Mighty Wolf.

Betsy and Margi were back to weaving on their warps:  thirsty towels and placemats will soon be at the Fall sales.
  Linda was working on her newest rug while Sharon added to our placemat inventory.

Christy was busy this morning warping her Inkle loom for another run of bookmarks.  Karin was weaving off her scarf on her Cricket loom (she was going to loan her loom to Betsy.)  As you can see, Karin finished weaving it this afternoon.

  Lanny brought his newest scarf to share with us today.  It's Jager spun wool in a Scottish tweed pattern.
  He'll get back to winding more thread for his towel warp next week.

  Marie and Tina have been doing their homework!  The Macomber has a third beam that accommodates metal bobbins.  Along with the loom, we also got a Mason reel winder to use with the bobbins.
  Marie did all the math and ordered the 8/2 on half pound  cones.  Then, it was team work in action!!!!  They got 3 of the bobbins wound with 20 yards of thread each.  Next week they'll get the rest wound, and then Marie can thread the loom for another run of towels.

  It seems we are always finishing up one thing, and starting something new.
Happy Weaving!