Tuesday, May 31, 2016

All In A Day's Work

  Say "hello" to our newest weaver, Joan!  She was one of the participants at the felting workshop a few weeks ago. 
  Her first job was to choose two colors of 8/4 for her first project...it's harder than you think to only pick two!!!  She got her warp wound, and will dress her loom next week when she brings her own table loom.

  Meet Norris resident, Ms. Betty.  She used to weave at the Center, and even sometimes will come wind a warp on the board.  She found this piece of coverlet at the bottom of a trunk, and brought it to us.  It is VERY fragile.  Tina and I rolled it up with plastic sheeting until we can find out how to preserve it.  It is a lovey pattern, and I can't wait to do some research on it.

  Marie checked the shelves in the shop, and reported that we needed MORE placemats!  All eyes turned to Sharon and Linda--how many do you have on your looms????  I think there were a dozen between the two looms!

   Tina is still hard at work on that mystery warp that was missing the cross.  She rough sleyed it in the reed, and is working hard at getting it wound on.   Whenever she disappeared from sight, that meant she was adding the weights before she did the winding.

Carol double checked the threading for the waffle weave towels on Jocelyn's loom.  I will get a video of her next week!!!

  Look carefully at the rug Carl is weaving....there were some purple jeans in that batch, and they look great in the rug!

  Frieda and Linda were set up working on their scarf warps this morning.  (BTW, Linda found her Schacht table loom on Craig's List!) 
  Lanny is coming right along on his wool/silk scarf.  He even brought his book about Scottish plaids to share with us today.

 I didn't catch the Ladies on their phones today!!!  There was some fine weaving going on the back row!

  And, Ms. Ila brought the hats that she felted this weekend to show us....WOW!  She is one busy lady!

  There were donations on the table when we came in this morning...they all found homes.
  Harriet had new pictures of her great-grand son to share....too cute!!!  And, Anna is back from California.  She had her little pin loom with her and was weaving away!
  Sharon found some lovely fabric for her newest quilt, and took a little time to cut it into strips.

Take a look at the warp beam on Pat's loom....
  Yes, it is getting close!

After lunch, Pat was ready to cut the rugs off the loom.

  Off they came, and roll them out!!!!  That's four rugs! 
  I think Marie reminded Pat that we need more placemats!  I guess she'll be winding a new warp next week.

Chalk this month up....May is finished!!!! 

We've got our work cut out for us the next few weeks.  October will be here before we know it!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Awesome Color

I do like the colors of the warps and skeins that I painted last week during our dye days.
The lighting is a bit weird in this part of the studio but the colors are pretty vibrant.
When you dye pale colors like some of our weavers do, it's easy to rinse the yarns after the color sets. I tend to go to the opposite end and use deeper, brighter colors. That makes for long rinsing sessions. When they're finally all rinsed and drying on the rack, I always heave a huge sigh of relief.
We plan dye days whenever someone tells me that they need to dye. This time it was because the Tuesday Weavers needed things dyed and they got a lot done. Since I was there as well, I planned 5 warps plus the needed wefts for projects. I like to decide ahead of time which dyes I will use so I don't end up only using colors I love like turquoise and raspberry and all the blacks. 
These warps are projects that I probably won't be weaving until September when I get back from Canada. But, they will be ready. Once dry, they'll be placed in big pails, warps and skeins, so that I just have to grab a bucket and know the yarn is all there. 
For now, I've been weaving ordinary colors like all natural to fill spaces in my booth that need to be there. Not the most exciting but a welcome addition to my booth.  
We're staying home today and working on our own projects so hopefully I'll get some progress made down there. 
I did sneak a couple of hours Saturday to pull out the bits I'd done on a quilt top. Hopefully I'll have some pictures next week of some real progress. I do want the top done by the time I go to Canada end of July so my sister's friend can quilt it for me on her long arm.
Until next week, keep weaving!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Turned Upside Down (very picture heavy!)

I haven't gotten a ton of weaving done this week, but it isn't because I haven't been spending time in the Studio.  This past Fall and Winter has not been good for production weaving or spinning, surgeries, death and general upheaval have been the name of the game.  

As Spring is now in full swing and I am feeling much better after my February Thyroidectomy, and I have begun to feel my interest in weaving reawaken. (It's a good thing since I have a room full of looms!)  I was feeling a little restless though and I couldn't put my finger on it for awhile, but I finally realized that the state of the Studio,  which was grave, was putting a damper on my creativity.

I spent about 30 minutes this morning searching for a post I did early last year, where I had done the first part of a Studio overhaul, and I finally found it.  It was way back in January of 2015, back then I went on to move all the weaving supplies in one of the studio rooms and all the spinning supplies in the other studio room.  (Both former kid rooms! Yay for the empty nest!)  It seemed like a good idea at the time, but in the end, all that stuff  in plain sight was choking me!

Corner #1 before

Corner #2 before
Shelves behind looms full of stuff, shelves beside looms full of more stuff!

Bags of loopers here and there, boxes of unknown contents here and there added to the confusion.

Corner #3 before

There was more! A corner full of odds and ends, filing cabinets that I don't put to good use, a closet full of clothes that I have been saving for when I get my girlish figure back.  HA!
There was a bag or 2 of bags, a pile of empty containers, boxes of stuff that should have made it to the above mentioned filing cabinet!  ( a lot of it was over 7 years old so it bypassed the file and went straight to the shred pile!)

When you do a Studio reorganization, it is sometimes like one of those  hand held puzzles that you used to get that had one piece missing and you had to rotate the pieces around the frame to solve it.  That is the way this project was going to have to be managed.  I started by moving all the stuff out of the corner in that last picture, and went to work emptying all the wooden type shelves that I had in that room (2) and in the room across the hall (2).I then began gathering all the fine weaving threads that I have and loading the shelves according to yarn weight, this took awhile.

As I was gathering cones of yarn, I was slowly emptying many of the plastic shelves that were also in the room, along that back wall.  As these shelving units emptied, I took them across the hall along with all the heavier weaving weft that I have to make rag rugs with.  (That would be rolls of fabric, blue jeans and t-shirt material.)

Corner #2 after

That is so much better already!  I moved the Hearthside loom to fill up the space that formerly held the bags of bags and piles of containers (corner #2) right next to the Binder 8 harness.  Then I could move my Burchard loom over a bit and  the Cambridge Junior slid in right beside her.
Corners #2 and #3 after

I added a couple of long necked lamps (adequate lighting has always been a problem since I only have one window in the upstairs rooms) and ecco fatto, a Studio I might just be proud to show off!
Since I  had moved the looms over towards Corners #2 and #3, a space opened up in Corner #1, by the only window  in the room and opposite the entry door.  Here I placed the tall file cabinets a few feet  apart, and I placed one of the sliding doors that belong to the closet on top for storage of the office supplies.  

Corner #1 after

Underneath that shelf I placed this wire mesh shelving that has had many jobs over the years and I filled it with cones of 8/4 cotton.  (I ended up scooting the unit full of  8/4 to the right and sliding the floor ankle loom right beside it.) 

To the right you can see the other sliding door, it is sitting on a couple of desk high filing cabinets I picked up at the local Habitat for Humanity store for just a few dollars.

 Now I can tell you what happened to all those plastic shelving units I had taken across the hall.

The t-shirts and the jeans are in one unit, and the fabric is in the second, with wonderful  tool storage on top.  I forgot to mention that the table went into this room from across the hall as well.

You can barely see the tubs and boxes of spinning fiber on the other side of the table.  I loaded  2 shelving units with all the fiber I have on hand, plus there is more under the table and on the floor.

(As I have said before, I do not need any more fleeces, unless they are free of course!)

Then , turning to the right, all the rolls of fabric went into this shelving unit I happened to have on hand.  This is a much better job for these shelves to do.

I took bags and bags of "stuff" to recycling, to a local thrift shop, and finally, I took a few bags to the dump.

The last couple of weeks I have been bringing odds and ends to the Center on Tuesdays as give aways, and  I was sure that next I was going to be bringing a bunch of weaving yarns, but now that I have things better organized I feel much better about the yarns I have on hand for future weaving projects, so I think it is all staying here.

There is still a bit more organizing to do,  (there are corners you have not seen) but I am already breathing easier, and once this post is up, I will be back up in the Studio, but this time it is to wind on more of  that never ending white warp, and  maybe to finish  the t-shirt rug on Junior.

Until next week, Happy Crafting, Tina

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Ready To Rumble!

  The WWE has nothing on us!
We are ready to go loom to loom with the spinners and weavers from Clinch River Yarns!

Well........not really ready.....that's why I'm weaving like a fiend to empty this Pup.  I no longer have the luxury of weaving a little here and there....this warp has to GO!  I need to do a little practice weaving with wool!

  You see....we are participating in a fleece to scarf contest at the Anderson County Fair in July.  Each team will have one weaver and two spinners.  Tina and Linda will back me up on their spinning wheels.  Sandy (Clinch River Yarns) and I worked out some of the rules today....this is going to be FUN!

  The warp is ready on the Rocker Beater loom at the Museum of Appalachia.  We had two summer camp groups on Wednesday AND a production crew!!! 
  Tina and I knew that a crew would be filming at the Museum, but, I just thought they would film us as background material.  Oh, no!!!  They wanted to interview us!!!  (I almost laughed at them when they told me to "Go ahead."  "Just do your regular speech."  I don't have a canned speech!!!!!!)  So, I just talked to them about the loom and weaving, and put the interviewer to work on the loom. 
  You can check out their website at:  The Southern Weekend

Never a dull moment.............
Happy Weaving!  (no trash talk, yet!!!)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Little Weaving....A Little Conversation

 Frieda, Roz and Lanny were weaving away on their looms....

......and the coffee klatch was happening in the kitchen.

  Betsy, Linda and Sharon prove that you can weave and talk at the same time!

  Pat kept weaving even when she
  was interrupted (by me!)

Carl stopped for a few minutes to catch up with Carol.

    Yes....I caught them on their phones!!!  Just like a bunch of teenagers!!!!

  If Marie got interrupted once, she was interrupted a million times!!!!  Even so, she got some lovely weaving done on her napkin warp.  Take a closer look:  she's using a sage green with a different tie-up.  Looks great!!!

  And, speaking of interruptions, I needed a few minutes of Tina's time on my dogwood warp.  I spotted what I thought was a big ole boo-boo, and wanted her to take a look.  Sure thing!!!  So, she showed me how to carefully cut the warp back to the new starting point.  (I really hate scissors near a warp!!!)  We took out about 8 inches, and I'll be ready to start back next week.

  So much going on, and we got to see a bunch of those new dyed warps!  What a great day!
Happy Weaving!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Another Dye Day

Last week Thursday and Friday we had reserved our space to dye. Typically for me, I took my iPad on Thursday and forgot to take pictures but I remembered on Friday.
We got a lot done Thursday with several people taking warps and skeins home to rinse. We had tried to get everything organized beforehand. Several people had wound warps and skeins to complete projects. It's pretty bad when you need a new project and there's a warp but no weft ready for you. So this time we were prepared. Once everything is rinsed, it will be nice to see complete projects in bins. We will threaten (ha) anyone who dares remove a skein from a bin to weave with something else.
Frieda was helping both days. I think this is the warp she wound on Thursday when we found we could use another one. 
We learned a lot from our class with Kathrin Weber and don't have to spread the warps out like we did before. Nice space saver! 
Ila is always a huge help. Not only does she help get things organized but she knows color and tells people what to dye if they're not sure. There's a reason she's called Sarge. She's a good mentor, too.
Polly is mixing some dye behind the counter. A lot of the time she was winding skeins or, as she said, taking care of the bar. She hadn't dyed before and was learning the ropes.
Betsy and Christy had a moment there where they were figuring out colors for the skein.
Darlene got several skeins painted. We had warps for placemats besides our usual scarves and shawls. Thinking about kitchen colors was a switch for us.
Polly got to finally dye a warp. Being by Ila was a good thing. Next time we dye, she'll be right in there with us, knowing what to do.

Ok, don't tell anyone but there wasn't anyone in the pottery room either day, so Christy set up Friday on their table. If potters had come in, she would have moved but this way she could spread out like she likes to and get her projects done.
I guess I didn't get any pictures of my projects but they're all down in my studio waiting to be rinsed. I'll start that today between weaving.
With the last skein painted and cleanup going on, we started to think about colors and what we could use in the stash. So we ended up ordering some more colors from Prochem.  We dye every few months, whenever we feel we need to get some more painted. With the new colors we just ordered and the extra containers on what we were low on, we'll have a nice selection to choose from. I love dye day!!
With the day ahead of me being mine to spend in the studio, I'm looking foreword to a productive day weaving and rinsing!!
Until next week, keep weaving!!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Black and White

Last week I had gotten as far as this on Carl Junior.  Between last week and this week, I  switched out the reed that was too big, and threaded the warp through the reed, but I was not happy with the sett, it made the warp too wide for the Jr.

I checked with Lou Ann about the proper sett for this pattern, and it was 12epi instead of the 10 I was using.  So once I resleyed at the proper sett it was a perfect fit!

This is the beginnings of the first rug.  I am using t shirts cut in strips.  I am using a frazer rag cutter to do the job.  The blue and white will be the dominant colors, so I am stripping those shirts as I go along, but I only need one shuttle full of the red, black and a green.

On a side note, we found a small swarm of bees on one of the small crabapple trees we planted this spring, it was really cool!  But before we could capture them they swarmed again and flew away.  That was really cool to watch, though I am a bit disappointed to not have a hive, I had even picked out the perfect place to put it!

I also found 2 dead moles in the house this week, whew something so small could make such a stench, it did not go unnoticed!

Back up in the Studio, it is time for one of the 100 yard warps to go on the 8 harness. (These warps are only 8 inches wide in the reed and for hand towels I have doubled one of the warps over on itself to make it 16 inches in the reed, so now 50yds.)  I had tried a weighted system  with this warp sometime last year, and I never could get the weights just right.  Either the weights were not enough, and the warp gave as I wove or they were too much and the whole loom groaned as I tried to advance the warp.

So I am back to conventional weaving on this loom.  I am using my trapeze to load the warp and I have 2 weights of 3lbs on it as well, I am going to try and see how much of this warp I can get on the warp beam, I will have to get some more wooden slats for that today.

When I had taken down the weighted warp last year, I rough tied a new warp onto the old warp and of course inserted lease sticks.   As I wound on, I came across the join, and spent a day tying the two together, I think it would have been quicker to start with the fresh warp from the beginning! ( I have several of these 100 yd warps in 12/3 cotton, in the  4 tubs you see below the trapeze.)

I wiggled the little knots through the rough sleyed reed that I use as a raddle, and I wiggled them through the lease sticks, with only 2 broken threads.

I am going to experiment with this warp, if I succeed in getting all 50 yards on the loom it is going to be a long standing project.   I am considering Monks cloth to start with.  I figure I can always rethread when I want to.  With 8 harnesses, I have a lot of design options.

So that was it for this last week, I am glad to be back to work in the Studio, but I am feeling cramped and scattered and I am slowly working on a Studio clean out and reorganization.  Stay tuned!

Until next time, Happy Crafting

Thursday, May 19, 2016


  Anyone that knows me knows that I'm easily distracted.  Enough said..........
  So...let's talk about the Museum.  Tina and I have been about once a week the last month, and I have been taking my Inkle loom to weave in the cabin.  This week we had a group scheduled for Monday, and I thought it might be a good time to get a warp on the loom in the Loom House.  We've had a little chilly weather the last week or so, and, I dressed in jeans and layers as I planned for the day.
  Tina and I got the warp wound on the back beam in record time (11 yards) and I was able to start threading while I talked to the groups as they wandered through.  It was going fine until a cloud moved over the sun, and the temp must have dropped 10 degrees!!!  My fingers started having a little trouble getting the hook through the eye of that string heddle....it must be time to quit for the day.  Tina had been spinning on the porch, and she was ready to pack it up, too!  I'll get back next week to get the job finished and start weaving.  There are a lot of tourist during the summer months, as well as summer camp groups, so I'll have a lot of company.

  I have gone to the cutting table a billion times to start tracing this pattern, and finally got there!  I really love the multi-size patterns, but, that also means you have prep work before you can even lay out your pattern.  Since this is the first time for this top, I'm going to use a little print as a muslin before I use that cute little beach fabric.

But.....in the meantime......

  I was really wanting some pineapple upside cake (they had some at the Museum when I was picking up lunch on Tuesday, but I was full of resolve!!!)  Now.......I don't need a whole cake, needless to say!  But, I had a recipe for making just SIX cupcakes!!!  (That's much better, don't you think?)  Just a little brown sugar and some pineapple will give you a mini pineapple upside down cake!!!!
  Just in case you've been wanting just a wee bit of sweetness, here's the recipe:
Six Cup Cakes
1 cup cake mix
1 egg
3 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
  Mix well.  Spoon into the cupcake liners.  (I use the silicone liners that have been sprayed with cooking spray.)
Bake at 350 degrees for 19-23 minutes.
  There are so many possibilities here.................

  Here's another wee bit of sweetness, my Sweetie!  She was all curled up on the chair with her paws over her eyes.  Too cute!

  And, now you know why I can relate to this meme that was on Facebook this week.  This is sooooooo  ME!!!

Happy Weaving!