Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Fiber Attention Deficit Disorder is a serious malady.  It prevents one from accomplishing goals that one sets with the best of intentions.  There is no pill, no counseling, no therapy for this affliction.  Except maybe staying out of the loominaria!
  I really, truly meant to finish the pink and brown silk-cotton sweater today, especially since I couldn't go outside to play.  I could, and did, go outside, but when I tried to plant the new camellias, the clay "soil" was so heavy, I could hardly lift a shovel-full.  And now, it's beginning to rain again, so my spot on the couch, with DVR'd episodes of Downton Abbey and The Bletchley Circle should have been secure.  But I got bored, sleepy and tired of the pink and brown silk-cotton sweater.  Even though I lack 12 more rows before I start the neck, I simply couldn't focus.
  See, I know there's more yarn in those big plastic boxes.  Yarn that is begging to become interesting, beautiful garments, using untried patterns and new techniques that I really should learn to become a better fiber artist.  I know there's more silk-cotton, in fact, and that it's hand-dyed in colors I never wear but might like to.
   I only meant to wind one skein.  I just needed to get up and stretch and do something standing up for a change.  Well, one was kind of a challenge, because I wound the skeins from the original balls too big around for the skein winder before I dyed them.  It kept getting caught on the swift and making me curse and scare animals.  So, when I got one done, I thought, what have I learned and how can I do the next one better?  And I didn't want to forget what I learned!  So I kept going.  I might keep going on into the afternoon, but I really should finish that other sweater...
 And then, there's the new warp waiting on Jenny.  See how perfectly the beads go with it?  I've already drafted the pattern, a tiny flower twill from Davison's book, and I know just where the beads will go in the pattern.
  Have you noticed a color theme here?  It's the same outside, lime and citron and kelly and forest, all lovely shades of green.
  It's spring time here in east Tennessee, and a big part of that is blustery, wet weather that keeps us inside with our lovely fiber and all its possibilities.  I will FOCUS and finish my sweater and share its loveliness with you next week.  Unless I wander back into the stash...
Happy weaving, knitting and whatever other fibery trouble you can get into!

Update:  Hot off the needles!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

It is Tuesday Once Again!

You know what that means don't you, the Tuesday Weavers are at it again!  Lou Ann asked me (Tina) to do the blog post for today, so as soon as I got there this morning I did a quick tour of the room to take pictures, and I got a bunch.

Right when you come in the room there is a group of weavers on wolf pups, and they are usually weaving up scaves and hand towels.

Eiko, Roz, Bonnie, and Shirley are part of that row today.  Roz was celebrating the fact that she was in the line up today, but mentioned that when Miss Ila gets back from her trip, she will have to move back to the middle of the room!

The back side of Eiko's scarf.

                                        Roz's hand painted scarf.

Betsy's hand painted scarf

Shirleys hand towels coming along!

As you circle the room clockwise, you will come to the old rocker beater that Ann is weaving a beautiful wool rug on, and I totally missed getting a picture of it!  It really is beautiful, really!  Just beyond Ann's loom we come to Carl's corner.  Here he weaves rug after rug on the barn loom.  As I made my way back to him, he told me that he would be cutting off 2 rugs before long.

Before long he did!

One of these rugs is a reweave, the second one will go upstairs.  Carl said it was a refrigerator rug.  He just added whatever he had on hand! 

As you go around the room, always clockwise we run into the little Macomber that Lanny is taking over.  We are glad he made it today!

Betsy and Margi are manning their looms.  Betsy is making some hand towels and Margi is making placemats and runners.  At Margi's loom we turn the corner and head back towards the kitchen.
 Linda has finished this rug, and thinks she might have warp for one more.  I talked her into taking a box of strips I found last week as I was cleaning between the looms.  It was full of towel strips that will look beautiful with that warp!
She put the strips together at home and now is loading the shuttles.

Sharon is continuing with her placemats.

 We have now arrived in the kitchen on our tour, where there is yarn for sale!  You just never know what you will find!  But this yarn is going to have to be moved, because Carol brought her Leclerc rigid heddle loom today, and we are going to warp it!
Yarns on hand.

The full length of the counter was used.
Designing in the reed.

By the end of the day this is what the shawl warp looks like!  It was a very busy day as usual, but oh so fun.  

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Monday, April 28, 2014

They're Back!

As the wisteria, redbuds and dogwood blossoms fade away and the leaves of the trees are back in their full summer glory, our azalea blossoms are back!
We've lived in this house since 1982. That first spring, in 1983, we saw a beautiful display of white azalea blossoms in our front yard. It wasn't nearly as big a show as now but the blossoms were huge and we liked the way it looked. So we've left it all alone to simply grow larger and larger.

 The flowers are large with just the hint of pink inside.
 We've tried to find more bushes like them but haven't been successful. So over the years, we've covered a branch with a brick and it's rooted there. After a year or so, DH digs it up and transplants it in another part of his woods. We hope to eventually have many more bushes of white.
The bush used to be nicely maintained in the yard. As it's grown, we've lost part of my flowerbed to it and it's gone way over the driveway. We live on a hillside and we have to drive near the edge because we don't want to hurt the gorgeous flowers!
Do you see where DH has used rope to pull the branches back toward the house? You can see the driveway through the bottom right corner of the picture. My job is to hold the branch up while he pulls and tightens the branch. We have some stakes in the ground under the bushes to hold them.  We have to do this every couple of years. Still, the flowers extend way out on the driveway.
 We're supposed to have alot of rain in the next few days. Last night it began with a fair amount of rain. However, yesterday afternoon we made our annual trip to Stanley's Greenhouse to pick up some plants. DH got some hollyhocks and azaleas. We're continuing our effort to try to get hollyhocks established here. They don't really like this kind of weather. Where I grew up, Mom and Dad had a ton of them. I've brought seeds down here and tried but they're not happy and don't come back, if they even grow. So he'll try again this year!
I buy things for the decks. We don't really have a garden or flowerbeds. We're surrounded by trees so I haven't been very successful with that. However, the deck is usually full of plants. I tried to winter the ferns again this year in our little greenhouse. I think I lost most of them this time. We'll be pulling out plants later this week to see what's survived enough to recuperate out here! I always buy a hanging fern.
 This post on the deck gets more light so I"m hoping this plant will be happy. It's gorgeous now but we'll see what happens when it gets hotter!
 Right now all the plants are still in the boxes waiting for the rain to end so I can pot them in their permanent spots...

Right now it's not raining but I have to go to the studio. If it's nice this afternoon I'll plant a few of them. However, they're predicting up to 4 inches of rain by Wednesday so I'm thinking maybe I'll wait til then to move them. They're protected by the upstairs deck where they are now so alot of rain shouldn't bother them too much.
So what's on the loom? Right now it's empty. I just took off a warp of red with some chenille in it. Just red. What's going on the loom this morning? More red with no chenille.....I'll see if a picture looks good for next week. I'd like to get this warp off quickly as well. It's not very exciting but the woven pieces will be nice! After that, maybe I'll put on a green warp. Hm, Christmas colors? Ha! Not really. Just some nice woven pieces to sell.
Until next week, enjoy spring (Moose Jaw's getting snow for a couple of days so they will have to wait a bit yet!) and keep weaving!!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Yes Sir, Yes Sir!

Lou Ann and I headed out to the Museum of Appalachia once again today.  We were to be in position at 9am.  That meant a really early start, especially since we were going to hit the drive thru on our way out of town!

(This was going to be a special event, it only happens once a year.)  I was spinning on the front porch of the Peter's Cabin and Lou Ann was dressing the loom in the Loom house right next door.  We got lot's of school kids and adults, and a few non school visitors as well.  They seemed really interested in what we were doing.  I had brought a broad spectrum of naturally colored fiber and yarn, plus a little bit of clean but uncarded locks so that the kids could see the whole process.  I made sure to bring plenty of fiber ready to spin already, cause last time, I couldn't keep up with the spinning I needed to be doing.  Everyone was full of questions!  Good ones too!   They didn't really come to see me though, they came to see something else.

Here is a hint,

Yes, indeed!  It is the annual sheep shearing day at the Museum.  Bobby, the Shepherd told me that there were 15 sheep getting sheared that day.

I kept seeing the sheep appear around the corner of the barn, but I always seemed to miss the shearing part!  We went to check a couple of times but we usually had just missed it!

Then finally as we were heading to lunch I happend to look over in time to see some shearing action!

I have been talking to the folks there at the Museum about washing some of their fleeces so that demonstrators could be spinning the Museums own fleeces if they wanted to.  They thought it was a capital idea!

I spoke to Bobby about it, and I mentioned that I would love a fleece for myself.  He told me that I could have as many fleeces as I wanted.  I responded that I would take as many as he would give me!

Those fleeces on the fence unfortunately, were ruined by the crowd, they were really soft too!  However, I was able to walk away with 3 bags full of fleece, probably 9 or 10 fleeces in all!

White fleeces

Black fleeces

and finally a couple of gray fleeces.

They are all quite soft, even while dirty!  As I am sorting thru, I have found some fleece that was a little bit too short to spin well, so that will be going to Lou Ann once it is clean.  She has some felting plans for it.

Tonight as I post this I have the bathtub full of buckets with white fleece soaking in some Kookaboro fleece wash that I forgot I had.  The rest of the weekend will be spent sorting and washing fleece.  I hope we have a sunny day tomorrow, I will spread the fleeces out on sheets in the yard to dry.  Dear One is out of town until Sunday, so I need to make hay while the sun shines.  He might want to take a shower when he gets home!

First thing this morning as we were setting up, we spied a Peacock in a tree high above the ground.  I was able to get a pretty good picture.  I thought you would enjoy it too.

Until next time, Happy Spinning and Weaving, Tina

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Crunch Time

  In about 9 days, my weaving friends will be arriving to learn how to weave these free form baskets taught by my favorite instructor, Nick.  Each basket will be unique....just like my friends.  It will be a lot of fun sitting outside enjoying an early May day with my fiber friends. 
  In the meantime, I'm spring cleaning.  And, for the folks that know me, that is an alien activity.  I would much rather be playing with yarn.  All of those tasks I have put off all year need to be done now.

  And, wouldn't you know it, right when I'm trying to corral my yarn stash, someone makes a donation to the Center of MORE yarn!  Of course some came home with me.  Just a little bit to compliment my stash.
  I'll stash this with the stash until after the class.

  Just in time to remind me to enjoy the Spring, the Jack In The Pulpit bloomed. 
  So have the dandelions......oh well.

It is crunch time.....I wonder if I can convince the kitties to stop shedding?  Surely they are bald by now.

Just so you know, I have never been Suzie Homemaker....more like Fiber Franny.

Happy Weaving!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Finishing and Starting

 Last summer, while I was in Virginia visiting my mom and sister for my birthday, I bought some lovely merino-silk wool and Mom bought some beads.  I wanted to knit the stole on the cover of Knitting Traditions magazine.  I didn't check my gauge, because it's a stole!  It'll fit!  But mine didn't turn out as lacy and loose as theirs.  I don't care!  I love it!  The silk makes it so soft, and though I thought the beads would make it too heavy, once it's done and the weight is distributed, it isn't heavy at all.  I want to make another, this time out of Jagger Spun Zephyr, a piece I had dyed last summer in Pecan, with the beads I used on the huck lace purple and gold warp.  I want to, but I'd really love to design my own lace pattern, using the same beading technique.

 But before I can do that, I've imposed a restriction on myself:  I must finish one more thing, at least.  I have three sweaters going right now, and at least one of them needs to be done!  So, I've fixed the mistake on the button bands on the cotton-silk sweater--I used garter stitch for about 10 rows instead of seed stitch--by frogging back to the place where I added the sleeves to the body.  I've just finished knitting the frogged area, and  am about 1/4 the way up the sleeve seams.  I must say, I don't care for the way the variegated yarn knitted up differently on the sleeves than the body, and why didn't I see that coming?  But the drape of this sweater is amazing, and I love the feeling of the yarn in my hands.  I will wear the heck out of this sweater once it's done, and it turns cool enough again.
  I have a hand-dyed warp in yellows and greens in the same yarn that might be the next sweater, but I also have lots of other projects begging to be started.  We'll see what captures my interest while this guy dries on the blocking rack!
  Two weeks ago, I had a solo dye-day, and used up a lot of dyes that LouAnn had given me from her daughter-in-law's school days.  I'm sad to report that I think the dyes were too old to remain fast, but on the other hand, I kind of like the results.  The sea colors washed out more than my vision had been, but they're now soft and lovely, merging just like the ocean on a cloudy day.  The wefts that I dyed at the same time didn't wash out as much, but that might be for the best as they're woven in.
  The forest and plum warp is not at all what I wanted.  The loden color just became a pale green, with the marine color overpowering everything, and the eggplant-magenta combination, being the new dyes, are predominant over all.  Not sure if I like it at all, but maybe some beading, maybe some other wefts, a busy pattern to distract the eye... We'll see what happens.  It's only yarn. They make more every day.
  Today, everything inside will have to wait.  It's going to be a beautiful day, and I'll be out in it, gardening.  I hope you're out in it, too, and then save time for some Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

You Just Never Know

  It happened again this morning....we were greeted by a yarn and fabric donation that needed sorting.  You just never know what you'll find when you walk through that door!
  The yarn was up for grabs, and it was lots of fun going through all the different skeins that were available. 

The boxes of fabric were sorted and put into stacks to use for rugs and placemats.

   Our newest weaver, Tracie, has finished the plain weave part of her first warp, and is ready to start playing with the different twill weaves.   (Remember when all those "weaving words" were like a foreign language???)

  Sharon has started weaving on the placemat warp.  This is her first floor loom weaving experience!  (It's really different than weaving on a table loom, don't you think?)

  Linda finished up a rug today, and she'll be starting another one next week.  She took home some strips of towels to join together for her next rug.

 Tina spent her day helping out on different projects (and cleaning no-man's land behind the looms.  Thread, shuttles and fabric tend to collect in this seldom used area.) 
  Besides helping me pull the threads I needed to correct the error in my dishtowels, she also assisted Pat in dropping some threads on the coverlet warp.  Pat had the idea to reduce the size of this pattern to make baby blankets.  It won't be so far to throw the shuttle!

  She finished up the coverlet she had been working on....isn't that lovely!!!!

  (I just love this picture!)  I wish I knew what was going through Eiko's mind when I snapped this!!!  You just never know!

  Bonnie and Shirley had a great time on the back row today!!!

I missed some folks in today's did I not get back to Carl's loom to snap a picture? 

   But, I did get this picture of Ms. Emily, who visited us today.  She is giving my dishtowel the once-over.  (Ms. Emily has been weaving for many years.  Her daughter in law wants to learn to weave, and Ms. Emily was checking out the Center.)

  You just never know what's going to happen when you show up on a Tuesday!
  Drop by if you're in the neighborhood!!!
Happy Weaving!