Friday, September 15, 2017

"Days of the Pioneers"

It is the annual Antique show at the "Museum of Appalachia".  LouAnn and I were up and out early this  morning,  but we were not the first ones to get there!

All of the vendors and our Sassafras tea guys were in place.

And would you look at the public that was just dying to get in this morning first thing to snap up all the good deals!

We were all waiting for this, the show opens with the bagpiper making her way from the gift shop/cafe to the gate where people can enter the grounds.

There she goes, you can see her mid frame in this picture and the public it there in the distance chomping at the bit!

Here they come!

I had already determined that I was not going to be buying anything this year, nothing, nada, zilch!  I have plenty of everything I need, a lifetime supply you might say.  So I had no intention of browsing the booths, because I knew I would find something, if I looked.

I was going to the rest room to rest a minute, I had seen a great wheel from the porch and I thought I would go see what it was like.  It was in really nice shape, but the price was way to high for my budget, and I already have 2 of them at home.  So I continued merrily on my way, when something really caught my eye!

What you cannot tell from this picture is that this is a really small Great Wheel, and a fairly old looking one at that.  It has a groove in the wheel which means that it is probably from Appalachia, so pretty local.

I was looking at the wheel thinking about what I might be willing to pay for it.  It would be a perfect demo wheel, I could let kids spin on it, where I can't do that with my little red wheel, (they might break it).

I had just settled in my mind what I thought would be a reasonable offer, when the vendor pipes up to say that he would take that very amount for the spinning wheel.  I looked at him and I said that that was exactly what I had thought I would offer him for it!  (Bargaining is not in my gene pool)

Anyway, this wheel was soon up on the porch, I oiled the right places and LouAnn came up with a drive band from her colorful thrums in the loom house, and before you know it  this little wheel was spinning like she had been doing it all along.

Here she is beside the small Mayville wheel I usually take to demo at the Museum.  But you really can't tell just how small she is can you.

There that is better, I am 5 ft 1inch tall and this little great wheel hits me right at the armpit.  Within 15 minutes of a getting to know you trial run, I had children asking to spin, and we did that all day long, kids and adults.

 I can have anybody spinning wool in about 5 minutes.  If they have had drop spindle experience, it doesn't even take that long.  To say that I am tickled pink with this new demo wheel is an understatement.

One more thing, there is a name embossed in the table of the wheel, I don't know if this is the wheel maker or the owner of the wheel.  It is going to require some research on my part to see if I can find out anything about her history, I love that kind of research!

We will be back out at the Museum tomorrow, and this little big wheel will get another work out, but I think I will find my wheel boy to take with me so that the people that are taller than I am will not have such a hard time spinning that little 36 inch drive wheel!

Until next time, Happy Spinning, Tina

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Team Effort

  You see it all the time around here.....weaver helping weaver.  We bounce ideas off of each other.....we get how-to tips from the other weavers.

  Questions are answered....opinions are offered....we plan new projects.

  Bargains are honored.

   Sometimes, it takes two to solve a problem.

 Ray got that pesky treadle on Betsy's loom fixed just right!!!

   Bonnie was excited that her towel warp was finally finished.  Six towels????
  But, then she volunteered for another project!!!

  One of the painted shawls needed to be rewoven....but, how will we save the warp?  After many suggestions, the old warp was threaded through a reed and the old weft was removed. 

  And, those threads were moved to a second reed to be taken to the loom.  Bonnie will thread the loom front to back before she winds on the warp.
  Stay tuned!  It's a team effort!!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Back to Weaving

I wrote such a good blog this morning and clicked for it to publish. It started and then the whole thing disappeared and I had to email LouAnn on how to get back into the blog. It didn't save the blog so I have to start over again. Hopefully this one will publish!!
When I got back from my trip, I didn't have a firm plan on what to weave but remembered some painted warps so pulled them out and am weaving all of them.
The first warp was for 3 vests. I like to dye in shades of dark grey. I've tried for black but I think I'd have to use 2 to 3 times as much dye to get it and haven't done that yet. It is on my list!
Anyway, I had painted weft, too so this is the first one. It's pretty much just the shades of grey.
Adding one color can give the combination a nice spark to the greys. It's still muted but different from what I've done before.
I'm not sure what I added to this combination but I do like it. Adding earth tones to the grey makes for an interesting vest.
The second warp was also shades of grey. I almost forgot to take pictures but did get part of the first jacket and part of the second. The first jacket was woven with popcorn. I like popcorn. It's a combination of rayon and cotton. It's a bulky yarn that makes for a winter jacket, at least for this part of the world! I was able to order some of it which was great to get the black I wanted. It came on one pound comes. I used over one and a half pounds of weft. It's a heavy jacket but that's kind of nice when it's cold. The other jacket is bamboo and will be so drapey...

I have two more warps to weave but they have lots of color in them and will be a joy to weave. Scheduling another dye day may be a good idea! 
Until next week, keep,weaving.

Friday, September 8, 2017

A Little Make Over

Last winter, Polly helped do some repairs on the loom that has been with me the longest.  Lillian is a Burchard loom from Oakland California, and that is the loom that got me interested in weaving in the first place.   There was some damage to the sectional beam and Polly put things to right, love her!   Since then there has not been a warp on Lillian, life has been busy and there has not been the usual level of weaving around here.

I had also bought a couple of years ago a rigid heddle loom in order to weave with my hand spun.  I thought that the heddles that were on my floor looms might damage the hand spun warp.  I have not been pleased with the rigid heddle and mainly it is because my hand spun yarn is too fine for the setts that I had available to me on the rigid heddle.  To make a long story shorter, I sold the rigid heddle and bought some inserted eye heddles for Lillian!

This week I put the new heddles on and I already love them!  They slide so easily on the heddle bars!  (I ordered some more, just in case I want to use some really fine threads)  Now the loom is ready to go to work.

I have this skein of Alpaca, Romney lamb with bits of silk that I have been wanting to use in a shawl warp.  I am winding 2 inch bouts on the warping board, and then taking them to the loom, to put them on the sectional warp beam.

I threaded the bout thru the card that I usually use on the tension box.  I didn't want to use the high tension that the tension box would create.

Here is the first section on the loom.  I love the beginnings of a new project, it is all so promising!  Over the next week, I will get the other sections loaded as I have time, and I have to choose the weft,  there are several to choose from, I may just have to do some sampling.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Continued Irma!  It is the season.  You'd think that living in East Tennessee would offer a little protection from all that drama...right?

  The tailwinds from Harvey blew through our neck of the neighborhood on Friday.  The "widow maker" that I had been meaning to have taken down managed to come down on its own.  It missed the power lines and the roof, and came to rest with a limb against the house.
  Since it rained all day Saturday, I had to wait until Monday to cut up what I could with my little chainsaw.  There's still a long piece in the side garden. 
  I was lucky!
  They predict that Irma will wander into East TN around next Tuesday....just in time for weaving!  Will it be another stormy Tuesday????

  I cut off a length of my project for sampling. 
  Do you see what I see?

The difference in the cloth is from one skein of thread to another.  I checked the labels, and they were from the same batch.  But, you can see that there is MORE white areas in the second part than the first.  I like the plaid affect in the bottom piece.....I think I will check each skein before I weave the rest of the warp.

  For now, I think I'll have a little soup for supper.  I've been thinking about a big pot of soup since last Saturday!!! 
  Cyber hugs out to folks in the North West and down South.  Stay safe!

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Stormy Tuesday

  When I listened to the weather report last night, I'm sure they said that the storms weren't due until around two in the afternoon!!!!  HA!  The thunder was rumbling while I got ready to leave for Norris!  And, it poured all the way to the Center!!!!!
  Never fear....inside the Studio it was a cheerful and light!  Carl and Pat got right to work cutting the blue jean strips for more rugs.  That's always a good time to catch up with friends!

    Connie brought in the mug rugs that she finished, and trimmed the threads that peeked out.  They still need to be hemmed!  You can see Helen in the background....and you can see that the warp is inching its way over the back beam!!!  I wonder if she has been thinking about her next warp?????

  In the forefront are the towels that Tina cut off her loom last week.  Remember?  She made a bargain with Marie to hem those towels, and here they are!!!!!  A few of them were sold before they could even get tagged!
  And, yes....that is one of the pink shawls that Marie wove and cut off last week.  We'll talk about that later!


  Our Ladies are always a bright spot in the Studio.  Lively conversations and colorful woven articles come out of the back row.  Some might say that the back row IS the place to be!

   Alyce has started a project on her rigid heddle loom.  (Note her smart cone holder!!!)  Christy is a good source of weaving advice!

   Marie is using some medium gray for the weft on this shawl.  This is the third one in the pink series. 

   Frieda, Joan and Liz keep watch on the Ladies, and get a world of weaving accomplished at the same time!

  Linda's knee knocker cloth beam is getting even bigger!  When WILL she cut off those placemats????

  Betsy is using up lots of bits and pieces in her new rug.  Each stripe of this rug is framed by four rows of burgundy weft.  It is really looking good!

  Sharon is trying to decide which treadling she's going to use on the next scarf....and which color to use for the weft.  (This is a lime, yellow-orange and brown painted warp.)  She found a deep green that I think will be perfect!

  Rainy weather did not deter a donation for the weavers.  This was a collection of fabric that was sorted through by the weavers.

  As promised, Tina is twisting the fringes of the pink shawls that Marie wove.  (I love all the collaboration!)  A good bargain for both of them!

  Ray brought his placemats that he wove to share with the group.  This was his first foray into painted warps.  I think he was happy with the results!!!

Let it rain.....we're snug in the Studio!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Quilts Done

This morning we finally got pictures of the quilts I finished in Canada. Normally I take pictures of them while I'm up there but this time my sister and I did a road trip that cut into a big chunk of my time up there so I didn't get the binding on til I got home. Then we had rain, etc here and today was the first chance I had to take pictures.
The quilt is kind of unusual for me. I bought the fabric years ago when DD decided to sew. She changed her mind so I had the more modern fabrics. No pattern. I'm not even sure how many charm packs I had. Maybe 2 plus 2 jelly rolls? I know I made 4 patches of the charms and then had to figure out how to make a quilt that worked. Just starting at the middle and creating the 38 sq inch center and going on from there. Every so often I'd have to add a half inch strip to make it work. Usually I used a bright orange for the tiny strip.
The pattern we decided for quilting was one of circles to go with the circles in the fabrics.
I had one piece of print that was a big print but not enough for the whole back. 
In my stash I had some chicken fabric that I liked and had recently bought because it was cute. The colors worked perfectly for the quilt.
The sun is pretty bright this morning and washed out the colors a bit. It's a cheerful quilt that DD can use on her bed. It'll fit a queen bed.
While at my sister's house I cut out a smaller flannel quilt and sewed it in time for it to be quilted as well. I bought the fabric as a kit several years ago and just fell in love with the colors. This was an incredibly easy quilt to cut and sew.
You needed 5/8 of a yard of five fabrics, cut them all the same so you had all the pieces, then assemble the one block using all the different fabrics, mixed up in a certain way. Assembling it was fast, too.
We decided to use a pattern of stars for quilting it. The back is the green with little red circles fabric. It was included in the kit so no thinking really. Just cut, sew and assemble. This is the first kit I've done like this but the colors were just speaking to me and because it's flannel, it's perfect for on the sofa when it is chilly!
So that's what I made. I did cut out another flannel throw that I started to assemble last night. It's mostly black with some vibrant colors and is more complicated than this but should turn out nicely.
The problem with quilting is that I can only do it when I have extra time. This week starts the pressure for getting ready for the fall shows. A warp is on the loom waiting for me to weave it today. Hopefully I'll get it woven today because another one is waiting. I'm trying to get the painted warps done before I wind another cotton warp to weave.
Until next week, keep weaving.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Looper rug #3

Way back on July 28, I posted about making rugs with sock loopers.  At that time I was working on a blue and brown rug.  Recently I finished that rug and started the third rug in this run, this time my goal is to use all the green loopers that I had dyed last spring, there are only 2 bundles of 100 in the stash.

I am using some blending techniques that I have picked up while dabbling in Tapestry.  This rug will go from green to white and back to green.  

 The next rug will be red to white and back to red.  I have a lot more red loopers so I will be able to do a more gradual blend in rug #4.

I am busy as a beaver, making a concentrated effort to use up stash and make inventory all at the same time,  funny how those things go hand in hand.

Once I am done with my looper stash, I am not sure that I will get more as I am transitioning to fleece rugs, but I never say never if I can help it.

That is all for now, until next week, Happy Weaving, Tina