Friday, August 28, 2015

Water and Trees

When we go camping, we do our best to choose a site close to the stream that runs through the campground.   We do that for several reasons.

1.  The sound of the stream can put you right to sleep at night.  Who needs a fan?

2.  The sound of the stream wakes you up gently, and invites you to come out and play.  Who needs an alarm clock?

3.  The first light of the day dances off of the rippling stream in such a way that it is a perfect companion to my morning coffee.  Who needs the news?

 4. The cold mountain stream is the perfect place to chill my tired legs after a 5 mile morning hike.  Who needs ice?

Now don't get me wrong, I do not swim in this ice cold water like my dear husband does, but it is really quite refreshing after those long hikes.

Speaking of long hikes, we decided for our second day to see if we could find some of the old growth trees that are rumored to be past  Laurel Falls, on the same trail, just a mile or 2 further up and in.

It didn't take us long to find them,  They just kept getting bigger and bigger!

Easily 3 or 4 times the size of the trees you normally find in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  It was amazing, and really quite accessible, you just keep going gently up the trail, and they reveal themselves to you as you walk.
We knew that we were not planning to take the trail all the way to the Walker Sisters cabin, that would be for another day.  So, when we met a hiker coming back down the trail, and he was quick to warn us about a juvenile bear on the trail,  about 20 minutes further up.  We thanked him and proceeded another 10 minutes or so, but we felt it was better to leave that young bear to his acorns, after all the bears are preparing for their winter hibernation.

We turned and made our way downhill to the trail head, and while the hike was the same 5 miles that the previous days hike was, the last half of this hike was all down hill.  That makes a huge difference!

We only got 1 camping trip in this year, but we made the best of it.  I believe it was our very first camping trip with no rain!  Not only does that make the camping more fun, but putting everything away once you get home is so much easier!

I finished the pink pair of booties, but I haven't taken any pictures yet, maybe for next week.

Until then, Happy Crafting, Tina

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Use It Up!

  For the last several years, every time I stripped a pair of jeans to use for rugs, I cut out the inseam and the outer leg seam.  I tied them in a bundle and put them in a box or a basket that was handy.  And now......
My box floweth over!
  Actually, I don't think this is all I have....I think there's another box downstairs.
  My thought was that they would be good to use in a rug....but, I didn't want to mix them with regular jean strips.  I found some #18 sewing needles, and I think it's time to start joining the strips together using a zigzag stitch.  We just about have uses for every part of a pair of jeans!!!
  I'll keep you updated.
  I'm still moving a little slow since the smack down last week.  I learned quickly to take it easy...these summer colds are MEAN!!!!  I found this stash when I attempted to clean out a closet.  But, this is something I can tackle a little at a time. 
  Can you believe it's eleven days until Labor Day?   Where did the summer go?

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Weaving & Catching Up

  It was back to our weaving this morning as we each found a moment to welcome Carol back from her trip.  She quickly got the bags of flour distributed to waiting weavers....that means we have a lot of happy bakers now, too.

Speaking of bakers...Ms. Ila baked a loaf of zucchini bread that was well received!
  Just ask Bonnie!

  Christy provided us with a learning moment this morning.  She had a cone of thread and needed to know how many yards she had.  Out came the McMorran Yarn Balance!  Such a simple, yet elegant tool!  It's not too often that you see it in action.

  As you can see, this corner of the room contained busy weavers.  Carl is sure that he will finish his warp next Tuesday.  That means we'll be tying fringes Tuesday afternoon!!!

  Carl has already asked Pat to wind a new warp for the Barn Loom, and he even showed her the wool he wants to use.  That means she'll pull out the warping mill and wind a LONG warp!!!!

  Marie  got her bookkeeping done, and added the new inventory to the list.  Then it's time to catch up with friends.

   Sharon and Lanny are adding to our placemat inventory.  With our Fall sales coming up, they will come in handy!

A quick glance around the Studio will show the other weaving projects in the works.  Our Lindas are working on painted scarf warps.  I'm sure they will be doing more painted scarf warps on our next Dye Day.

 Anna brought her project to work on today.  This twill runner will be a special gift. 

  The napkin warp on the Macomber is threaded, which means that the reed will get sleyed next week.  As soon as the treadles are tied up, it will be good to go!

  As always, there is so much going on in the Studio!

Weaving with your is good!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, August 24, 2015


I'm home!! 
Pulled into the driveway about 3pm on Friday after taking my time driving back south. 
It's kind of fun to be driving near some interesting places that you just "have" to stop by. InWeave is only barely 20 minutes off the interstate in Iowa so why not stop and pick up more selvedges to wear into rugs? That was Wednesday. Then I stopped driving early because Thursday I wanted to swing by Missouri Star Quilt Company and I had to time it so that I was going by when it was open. Good thing it opened at 9am. The purple bags are from there. That shop is amazing! It's actually 6 shops and they're working on more. They've taken over the town of Hamilton which is where JC Penney was from. It's a destination shop. I saw cars there from as far away as Texas. Great way to spend a morning but meant it took 4 days instead of 3 to get home.
The bottom layer of bags in the car are flour. Yes, Canadian flour is much better than the flour down here for baking bread and I have friends that want it. Customs isn't even surprised anymore when I come through with my load. In fact, this time he just said that a lot of people bring it down. Got Red Rose tea, too...
So now I'm unpacking and trying to get back into the swing of things. I have a warp on the loom from before I left. I'm about to go thread it and maybe even start to weave it today. It's going to be another busy week.
I had a blast on my summer vacation and look forward to going again next year. Plans are already being formed for it.
So, back to reality and glad to be throwing my shuttle again!
Until next week, keep weaving.

Friday, August 21, 2015

FO finally!

Last week, just after I had posted about that cute little handspun baby sock I had just finished, I started the second sock.  Only to find that my handspun yarn is not consistent enough to have the first sock match the second sock.
So, I grabbed up some blue sock yarn and immediately started the second first sock!  I have to say that this second first sock went much quicker than the first first sock.  Probably because I knew the pattern so well.

The first second sock went well, in fact I can tell that I had relaxed just a little bit by then so it is just a little bit bigger than the second first sock, but I was not taking it out!  It's a baby sock for cryin out loud!

Anyway, I knitted my little fingers to the bone getting these cuties ready to go by Monday night.  (Thankfully not Sunday night as I had earlier thought!)  Monday afternoon, I was weaving in the cute little ends and steam blocking the little handfuls.  I was certainly impressed by how the steam relaxed the socks so that I could give them a few good stretches to get the kinks out.  I never really thought that steam pressing was good enough, but in a pinch I think it is fine.

Monday night, the new mom was so excited about the home made baby socks.  I took a quick peek and the new baby feet and decided that the socks would fit for several months yet.  Yay!  Now to work on the next pair, this  time in a pink color.

Not much else to share really, I have almost finished another blue jean placemat for the placemat challenge, bringing my grand total to almost 3 of 12, I know pitiful!  I have done a little weaving on the napkins, but I am doing it as yardage, so I haven't a clue how much I have done.  The other 2 looms have not been touched.  I asked my 90 year old Mother in law if she had any "get up and go"  she could lend me.  She told me that it got up and went a long time ago!  :)

I will be camping next week, so I will miss the fun on Tuesday, and I am not sure I will have anything to post next friday.  I'll bring my camera though, just in case.

Until next time, Happy Crafting, Tina

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Rainy Day Blues


  I've made a little more headway on the huck placemats....but, not as much as I'd like!  A little late summer cold seems to have given me the smack-down for the last 24 hours.  All I really want to do is snuggle up in bed! 

  And, it would seem that the weather agrees with that prescription, too.  We have had stormy weather for the last 24 hours.

  I sure wish we could have sent the West coast some of this rain!  I don't think we need all three, we are getting more rain today!

  I think the wise thing to do would be go with the flow, and let this little cold run its course.  I have a kitty or two that will snuggle with me....and, just maybe I'll do a little knitting.

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Business As Usual

The Studio is the perfect place to be on a cloudy, rainy day!  The Weavers just get down to the business at hand:  Roz is up and running with the placemat warp, while Bonnie is making good time with that painted shawl warp.

  As usual, Ms. Ila is making a fashion statement while she weaves away on her painted shawl warp.

  Lanny continues to make progress on the black placemat warp.  Those will be great for the Fall sales.

  Jocelyn's placemats have a holiday look with that added little bit of bling.  They will be great for the Fall sales, too.

  Frieda is weaving a clasp weave scarf on the rigid heddle.  We were really glad that Charlotte could join us today!

  Carl has enough warp left for one more rug.  Harriet sat down to help him get the blue jean strips cut for the last rug.

  Marie knew just where that piece should go!  Pat, Charlotte, Darlene and Tina were busy solving the puzzle of the rigid heddle. 

   Pat also put the tapestry loom back together to show Sharon how it worked.

  Tina gave a short lesson  on weaving on the Kumihimo loom.  We have a few folks that are interested in this unique way to weave cords.

  Please give a warm welcome to our newest weaver, Elysia.  She just finished taking a weaving class at Arrowmont, and she caught the weaving bug. 
  We're glad she can join us here at the Center.

Carol should be back with us next week....we wish her a safe journey home!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Quilting Fun

When I come up to visit my sister, we often do some quilting. This time we did a bit more than usual. My cousin's daughter in law had a new son and she invited us to the shower in Saskatoon. We need a gift. In fact we needed two gifts. Her daughter'd had a son a couple of years ago and he needed a quilt, too. So we dug into my sister's stash. They loved the quilts.
My sister bought fabric to go with some she already had and designed the quilts. You have to also understand that up here they have Walmart but the fabric is just in fat quarters, etc, not the yardage we're used to.  My sister is very good at figuring out the animal quilts she designed.
She had the quilt tops done and we just layered and quilted them. I think they're quite awesome. They were leftover from the bunch she made when she found out her daughter was pregnant, before they found out it was a girl. First time grandmas, you know.
We got those quilted in less than two days including the binding which I always finish by hand tacking onto the back. I like the look a lot better than machine sewing the binding on.
So last week was my turn to get a project finished. I had made a bunch of 9 patch squares and then sewed sets of 4 together. I'm not sure how many there were but I had enough for a quilt. Actually, the fabric came from my sister. She and a friend went nuts a few years ago on Black Friday and ordered fabrics, especially fat quarters, from Connecting Threads. Even in Canada, Black Friday has an influence. She gave me some of it and we'd already figured out we wanted to make these quilts. My sister has hers done but I hadn't gotten mine done. So the squares already done, all I had to do was cut the strips for between and assemble it all. I have fabrics for another one that'll be similar.
Bit of distraction didn't mess up much. That baby loves fabrics. With both grandmothers being seamstresses, she has a good chance if enjoying sewing. It seems to skip generations but we are hopeful for her to enjoy putting fabrics together.
I got the top together and my sister's friend quilted it on her long arm. I've sewn the binding on but it'll have to wait til I get home to hand tack it down.
I leave tomorrow. So today I've got to pack the car. I've got 14 bags of 22 lb no name unbleached flour from Superstore, 7 boxes of Red Rose tea and some Smarties. That's the shopping I did. Most of it for friends and fellow weavers who like the very light flour the wheat up here becomes.
I should get home on Friday because I have a couple of stops to make on the way. It'll be a whirlwind trip south anyway with tons of driving to do. Good thing I've got my books on MP3 player to listen to. 
Hope you get a chance to weave this week. I've got a warp waiting for me....
Until next week,

Friday, August 14, 2015

It's What Makers Do!

There is a new Niece and a new Nephew in the family, my usual gift is a handwoven blanket.  However, I don't have any woven or a warp ready to weave one.  I went last week and bought a  couple of those lovey blankets that have a teddy bear head on one corner, but I wasn't really happy, at all.

It just wasn't enough!  Then yesterday, I remembered a bootie pattern that the Yarnharlot  had posted about years ago.  It is the "Better that Booties Baby Sock" pattern, it is a free pattern on Knitting Daily.  I have wanted to try this pattern for a long time, and I thought that this just might be the moment to try it.

I didn't have any baby yarn, and I almost went out to the local yarn store, when I remembered that the white wool I have in my handspun yarn stash from the Museum of Appalachia would be perfect!  It is the right weight, and it is a creamy white.  Also, the best part is that this yarn is naturally almost felt resistant!  That means that these tiny socks will be able to go into the washer, though I will probably recommend that they don't go into the dryer.

 After chores and errands this morning, I settled in for a day of laundry and knitting.  The Yarn Harlot can probably whip these babies out in a couple of hours, but she knits like the wind!  I have a time element as well, the baby shower for the local baby is this Sunday!  (I will be mailing the other baby gift next week, so there is a little more time for that one!)

I was really motivated to get at least one sock done today!  It is amazing how much faster a sock goes if you are only using 2/3rds of the stitches you normally use.  By lunch time I had finished the tiny cuff and was working on the cute little heel.  It reminds me of a baby butt in cloth diapers somehow.  Once the heel was done, I was on to the foot which was only a very few rows of knitting.  I repeated the short row shaping for the toe and did a 3 needle bind off when it was time.

It took the better part of 4 hours for me to knit this first sock.  I am getting ready to cast on for the second sock, and I have a baseball game coming up to keep me company.  I doubt I will finish it, but I will certainly get a good head start for the morning.

On another note last week I asked if anyone knew of anything more fiddly that tatting, nobody responded, but I think I have found something all on my own, that is indeed more fiddly than tatting, but I am not quite ready to admit to it, yet!  Maybe next week!

Until next time, Happy Crafting, Tina

Thursday, August 13, 2015


If you didn't know what this was, you'd probably never guess!
  This is a little brown bat that was roosting over my downstairs door on Tuesday afternoon.
  And, that's been the highlight of my week!!!

The wildlife count includes a new batch of baby bunnies and a bold groundhog that's decided that under the bird feeder is easy pickings.

  Mamma deer has been parking her two fawns in the front yard most afternoons....that's been exciting.

  But, no shuttles have been thrown at this house this week.  I did rethread the serger....that's a step in the right direction.

  I hope your week has been more productive. 
Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


  Lots of folks are traveling this summer, but a few of us made it to the Center today to weave and share ideas for future projects. 
  Carol......we hope you're having a grand time!

Happy Weaving!

p.s.  I've started threading the napkin warp.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Road Trip in a Road Trip!

We went on a road trip last week. Last Tuesday while the rest of the weavers were actually weaving!!!, my sister, niece and I went on a short road trip. Blogger isn't letting me put the pictures where I really want them to go so you have to look up to that first picture to see what waited until we just got into our hotel room in Calgary before dropping. Yup, they got one of those hail, rain, tons of wind storms like we get in East Tennessee. Power outages, some trees uprooted, roof issues, etc. We were glad our cousin picked us up in his truck to take us to dinner! Thanks for the ride, Edwin. Too bad Ruth was babysitting that wonderful grandchild down in Lethbridge so she couldn't join us but we had a good time catching up.  

Then Wednesday morning we headed to the mountains. The picture above is out the car window as my sister drove and I could take pictures while we were going into the mountains! I've missed them. 

Our first stop was Canmore. It's a nice tourist town, tons of views and a place I'd kind of like to come and stay for awhile someday. I'm trying to talk DH into us renting a hotel room for a few days up here but that would mean he'd have to fly up here but I know he'd love that.....wishes....
The reason we stopped in Canmore was to go to a quilt shop. It's a nice big shop and the fabrics are nice but I like to look at the patterns there. They have local designers that do scenes of mountains and wild animals. I did buy a couple of kits of mountain scenes. Something to remember of a different mountain from what I have out my window back in Knoxville.

 Then on to Banff. Banff has changed since we were there last, many years ago. More people and shops than I remembered. I took this picture of the Banff Springs Hotel. We stayed there one night years ago, treating my parents to a night there as well. It was a blast. Now, since we weren't staying there, we just drove up to it and around and back out.
 Near the hotel is a waterfall. Bow Falls is nearby and a popular stop. Since I wasn't alone on this trip, my picture got taken a few times.
 It wasn't a clear, sunny day. We had lots of periods of rain during the day but never when it really mattered. This is downtown Banff. Mountains all around....
 Just outside Banff is an overlook. You drive up a road that eventually goes to a ski lift and stop at a lookout field that's really pretty. Back in those woods, 28 years ago, my brother's ashes were spread there after he passed away following heart surgery.
 It's sad to lose a brother and we know he's in a much better place. However, it's a comfort to know that his ashes overlook a beautiful scene. We've always come up to this overlook every time we came to Banff as children so now we have a good reason to come up here.
 On to Lake Louise. It rained shortly after this but we still took some good pictures of the lake. What you don't really see in this picture are the couple of dozen canoes in the background. You can rent a canoe and go out into the peaceful lake. With the thunder in the background, we weren't tempted. Plus there was a long line waiting to go out.
 Not everyone was impressed with the scenery. The family was tho. They were nice people, happy to be together and excited to have their picture taken as a group.
 We didn't see any wild life this trip except these birds. Whiskey Jacks are beautiful birds. That blue was striking on their wings. They posed long enough for me to focus and take several pictures of them. I guess they see alot of people.
 Driving back toward Banff, we stopped for this picture. This overpass is not for cars or people. It's for animals. The trees have grown on top of the overpass. Several years ago they fenced off the road area and built these overpasses and some underpasses for the animals to cross from one side to the other. That's one of the reasons we didn't see any of the wildlife we used to see. They have pictures, using motion cameras, showing animals going from one side of the road to the other going over the top. I think it's cool and much safer for everyone but you do miss seeing the animals. In Jasper you see alot more but not in Banff. We didn't have time to go all the way to Jasper. That's for the next time...
 One more stop was at Lake Minnewanka. This is a really deep lake and years ago we went on a boat tour of the lake. You can see the clouds are getting lower but the lake is still beautiful.
About this time, my camera chip was full but we were headed back to Calgary anyway. We got back about 10pm, just in time to sleep.
Thursday we were at a quilt shop just as it was opening and ended up going to 3 shops. It's a great way to spend a morning. Heading back to Moose Jaw took about 7 hours and we made it back late in the evening.
It was a good road trip, something we all needed. Now it's back to what I came here to do, sew on a quilt. At least that's the plan for this week.
Until next week, keep weaving!!