Friday, November 17, 2017

No Fringe for You!

I dislike cotton fringe on most anything but especially on rugs.  I know that that before long, that cotton fringe will start to look shabby and it will eventually disintegrate. ( I have a carpet in my living room that reminds me of that fact every time I go in there.)

I recently finished a couple of fleece rugs, and I made sure to pack the fringe between the rugs with several rows of fabric to keep everything in place while I chose my hem treatment.  The warp on these rugs is set at 4 EPI so that the fleece weft is made more visible, but it also makes  a normal woven hem less appealing.

I turned to my newly acquired, "The Techniques of Rug Weaving"  by Peter Collingwood.  Peter has a chapter dedicated to rug finishing.  Among the hem treatments, I found one that I really liked, it is simply called a "woven edge"  I added a little interest to the edge by starting with a 2 strand overhand knot to hold the weft in place as I learned how to do the woven edge.

I started on the left side of the rug with the first 8 ends, the first 2 ends are the weavers and they weave thru the next 6 ends.  Once that is accomplished the ends go through the little knot that I added and then through the 4 shots of doubled carpet warp that was the start and end of the rug.  Then you weave the next 2 end through the following 6 ends, burying the ends into the knots and hems as you go.

The first rug I did, I had just barely enough length on the fringe to do the weaving, but I managed it and luckily the first edge I did was the shortest. (8 inches of fringe are not too much) I was weaving it with my fingers only and I  felt like I was constantly fumbling with the threads trying to keep them tight because I was not weaving into the knot and hem as I was going, it was difficult to do.  Once I was done with that one, I put my thinking cap on and changed my approach a little bit.

The first thing I did was thread the "weaver" through a tapestry needle, and I wove the ends all the way through the knot and hem as I went.  That did 2 things, it anchored those loose ends so I didn't feel like I was fumbling, and it speeded up the whole process.

 Next I took a simple wooden clothes pin and clipped it around the ends I was weaving thru.  This small change made all the difference.  I then knew that I could and would finish those hems in time for show this weekend.  When I had started the first rug I wasn't so sure!

Then eventually you come to the end of the row, when you have to do something with the final 6 ends.  So far, this is what I have come up with,  still a tiny bit of fringe, but not nearly as much!

I have a few ideas that I would like to try on the next few rugs, and if I come up with  something interesting, I will be sure to post about it.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, November 16, 2017

It's A GO!

It's a lot like being an artist.

We start with a blank slate and work from there.

We met at 9 o'clock this morning in Knoxville.

The cars were unloaded quickly and pulled out of the way.

The display items went up first....and moved around several times until we were happy with the arrangement.

The tubs full of woven items just sat parked in the aisle until we were ready to unpack.

It's a good thing that there were not many folks setting up that early....we were really taking up space!!!!

One of our new display pieces this year is this four sided kiosk.  You would not believe how many items you can display on this!!!!!

We have placemats, towels, purses, scarves, bottle bags and hair bows.  Oh yes....I almost forgot...we also have tassels
  We just kept adding arms to the frame and hanging more items!

  I am really excited about our new rug display, also!  We have so many lovely, sturdy rugs....and folks need to be able to see them.

We have so many rugs that we have them on the table and under the shelves.

What a variety!!!!

 I promised you a picture of Anna's ornament tree.

And, you can see her cute little pin cushions, too.

You can just see the tips of some of Christy's bookmarks on the lower right.


It all came together.

Lots and lots of shawls this year!

Marie has several mobius scarves.

And, don't forget Betsy's soup cozys!

 We have placemats in several locations.  You never know what will catch someone's eye!

The scarves show well on the spiral rack.

Here's two sides of the kiosk.

  The best part of this???  We were finished by 12:30!

Oh.......well, some of us were finished!!!!  There's always something that needs that last minute touch, right?

Thanks to Marie, Tina, Pat and Anna for a job well done!!!

Here's to a successful show.......


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Plan Comes Together's the Tuesday before the big Foothills show.  That means that all hands are on deck, and we pull woven items from the shop upstairs and load up cars with display equipment.
  Polly was pressed into service calling off inventory numbers for Marie to list on the master sheet. 

  Weavers who have brought items to sell in the show have to make sure each item is tagged, and they have to give Marie an inventory sheet listing their items.
  No....Betsy is NOT drinking on the job!!!!  She wove some fantastic bottle bags for the show, and it helps if we display them WITH a bottle.  Maybe after the show.....
  Anna made more little tree ornaments on her pin loom, and she even made a mini tree for display.
  (Note to self:  take LOTS of pictures Thursday!)


 Carl decided to stay out of the madness and just weave, weave, weave!!!!

  It was business as usual for Helen as she continues to thread her new warp.  Carol is always there to lend a hand and answer questions.
   (NO...the mallet is not used to keep Helen on task.  We were using it to break down the rug display that Polly built!)

   Linda wove all of those placemats for the sale, and she's now weaving black on black least until the warp is all gone (which won't be much longer.)

  They look even better in real life!!!!!
(I'm going to try some white on white with my warp!)

  Jocelyn's new shawl warp reminds me of the peacocks at the Museum of Appalachia!  The colors are so much richer than what my camera caught in this picture.

  Christy warped her Inkle loom for some sparkly Christmas book marks.  I think she'll have them for sale this weekend!

  The shawl warp that never ends is coming to an end!!!!  You might remember that this was from a warp that was marked for two shawls.  At the end of two, Ms. Ila thought there might be enough for a third.  After much weaving, she cut it off and made a poncho....but there was MORE!  Today the last of the warp came over the warp beam!

  Next door, the Ladies worked their way to the beginning of the old shawl, and got it tied onto the bar.  Good job, Ladies!!!!  Weaving will begin next week.

  After weeks and weeks of watching Ms. Ila weave, Bonnie fell in love with this last shawl as it rolled off the cloth beam.  In fact.....she loved it so much that she bought it unfinished!!!!  After all, she knows how to twist fringes, right?

  I'm so glad Ms. Ila baked us some peanut butter cookies to keep us going today.  As you can see, we really needed the energy........
  Thank you, Ms. Ila!

Wish Us Luck!!!!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Last Minute

I've been weaving the last few weeks. It's the last push before my last show. I am ready for a break! I almost forgot to take a picture of the black, grey and cranberry warp. My apron's on there, too. I always wear an apron because it keeps my clothes from touching any warp or fabric. It looks more professional when I wear it. It's my ritual. Once apron is on, I'm ready to work!!
I like these warps where I feature a couple of colors. The pieces look nice on people, too. I'll try to take a picture of them in the booth this weekend.
The other warp was the black with white and turquoise. It's cheerful, airy looking. The 2 warps are so similar but the choice of cranberry instead of red made those pieces so much more subdued. 
I've got the fabrics washed, pieces cut,serged and assembled. Now I'm on the downhill side, finishing all the handwork. There's also inventorying to do and packing into my tubs so they're ready to pack Wednesday evening. 
I'm already thinking ahead to next year and the colors I hope to weave for more pieces.
There was a question in the comments section last week about my warps. To figure out how much you need to weave, find a top that's comfortable for you and measure it from side to side. You'll need to add a couple of inches for shrinkage and drawin as you weave. That's your width. The length is entirely up to you. Do you want the top to be just below your waist, hip length or somewhere inbetween. Measure the length you want but add some for shrinkage. If you're using cotton like I do, it's going to shrink when you wash it. Take your length measurement and double it for front and back. That's your total length requires for a top. If you're making 2 tops, you'll need that length twice. You also  need to add in loom waste to get your final warp length. You can make 2 identical tops or change the weft color to have different looks. Once it's woven you'll need to wash the fabric. I take the fabric off the loom and serge the raw edges. While weaving, I always weave a couple of rows of toilet paper or other yarn  between  the 2 lengths. Cut between the waste yarn rows and serge there so you have 2 pieces. Either hand or machine wash your fabrics, hang to dry before you figure out how you're going to make the hole for your head to go through.
I hope that helps. I'm going to turn on some mindless TV and crochet edgings for a couple of hours!
Until next week, keep weaving.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Playing with Color

The Foothills Guild Fall Show is coming up fast, with that in mind I set my goal some weeks ago to finish 3 more fleece rugs, 1 large one and 2 smaller (about 3/4 size) rugs.  I figured that I needed 1.5 lbs of fleece for the big rug and 18 ounces for each of the smaller rugs.  I decided last month that since the actual weaving is fairly quick, that I would do well to concentrate first on getting all of the fleece batts prepared, and then shift my concentration to weaving the rugs, one right after the other.

This afternoon, after yet another day spent at the Museum, doing some demo work for a school group,  I finally finished getting the last of the necessary 60 ounces cleaned and made into batts.  The thing I really like about Jacobs fleeces is the many natural colors that I have to work with even in a single fleece, from white to gray to black and then there is even a range of browns, and there is also the certainty  that no matter what combination I put together, it will look good!

I have 5 fleeces represented in this batch: #3, #13, Big Boy, Other Ram, and Olga 21.  I think Olga 21, the light gray in the upper right hand corner, likes to roll in the mud because the tips of her fleece were particularly caked with mud even after it had been thru the wash a couple of times.  There are 6 bags of fluff in the picture because one of the fleeces is so huge it wouldn't all fit into one bag.

Tomorrow, I will get to work first thing figuring out what colors I want to put in each rug.  First the large one and then the smaller ones.   For the large rug I will probably pick one of the big bags of fleece like "Other Ram" that has many colors, and add either more gray from Olga 21 or more black or brown from #13 or #3.   I would love to make one of the small rugs mostly black with some gray and the other one white and gray.  I will know more when I pour them out of the bags and start mixing batts and weighing.

I am planning on finishing the large rug this weekend and the smaller rugs by Tuesday evening.  If I can't quite manage that, I can always finish the small rugs on Friday and then take them over to the show that afternoon, since the show doesn't open until Friday morning anyway.

Tuesday next week, we will be gathering shop inventory from upstairs and personal inventory from the weavers as well.  We will load up the booth equipment and  inventory into several vehicles and be ready to meet on Thursday morning at the Jacobs Building when the doors are opened to the vendors for set up.  We are going to be using some of the wooden booth pieces that we took to the Museum show last month.  We felt that they were a little easier to set up and also we remembered how much we like the look of wood with the handwoven fabric.

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

Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Little At A Time

   I finished this little inkle band last week, and had every intention of getting my hot pads done lickety-split.  It was a just didn't happen as quickly as I hoped.

  Two of the three are complete...the third is waiting its turn.  I may have to weave some for next year's shows.  I'm thinking a snail trail pattern might be fun.

  I started this band last week at the Museum, and I'll work on it tomorrow when I return for another school group.  I want to use it for a blue jean purse that I'd like to make.
  But, it's full steam ahead getting the last minute items ready for the Foothills show.

  I'll just get a little bit done at a time.....

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


  It's so nice to look up and see old friends walk into the studio!  Welcome back, Roz! 
  It seems that there has been a communications breakdown with some emails, but we're really glad to see her! 
  Roz and Margi came today to work on woven wall hangings for the Foothills show.  I could have sworn that I had a picture of Margi from this morning, but somehow it disappeared!  But, you get the idea about their project.

  Christy pitched in on another project that Carol wanted done.  That's even more bits and pieces to use for those creations!
  Polly got pulled for many jobs today:  changing out the fluorescent tubes over Carl and Tina's loom was first on the list!  Then, we cornered her about a project for our Foothills booth....and she said it is do-able!!!  Yeah!!!  Pictures next week????

   Here's a close up picture of  Pat's table runner warp.  Don't you just love all the different designs???  She's already talking about using the middle section in another project.  I love how our weaving can inspire new weaving projects!

   This is what true friends look like.

  They will sit with you and pull out old warp threads.  They will count groups of 20 and knot them off. 
  They are there for you!!!!

  That's it for today....we're getting ready for the big Foothills show next week, and there's always lots of plotting and planning to do before we go.  Next week we'll be pulling items from the shop to take along with the woven items from our Tuesday Weavers. We'll all be busy little weavers!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Stash Reduction

Those of us that weave talk about our yarn stashes. It's important to have choices. When I order yarn, I do so with projects in mind that I've planned. I try to just order what I need but you have to order a tad more just to be sure you don't run out of yarn. So over time, you get a stash of extras. I store my yarns in huge clear rubbermaids. I got shelving from Home Depot, I think. There are a couple of them in the back of the room and 3 tubs fit on each shelf. Since they're clear, it's easy to see where the yarns are. 
When I plan a project, I simply pull out an empty Office Depot cardboard box and fill it with the yarns for that warp. I love it when I have everything I need for a project.
That's what happened the other day when I looked at what I had. I didn't want to order any yarns and see what I could do. I had a cone of variegated accent yarn so pulled out colors to go with it. It was a short warp. Just 2 tops and 2 vests. I liked the combination of colors.
Then weft. I didn't have a stash of several pounds to work with this so looked at my partial cones. I had enough to weave a top and vest with a nice chocolate that's warmer than the picture shows.
Cranberry looked good and I had enough to weave a top with it.
A nice deep green worked great for a vest.

And that was the end of the warp. I used up some of the stash and ended up with 4 nice pieces to add to my stock for the show in just over a week. 
It all started with a cone of inspiration yarn. 
I've got a last warp on the loom right now that's just waiting to be woven off. Hopefully I'll be serging  the pieces later today. It's a rainy sleepy kind of day outside but inside it'll be filled with the noises of my shuttle and beater going....and some vintage NCIS shows playing in the background. 
All in a day's work!
Until next week, keep weaving!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Another Day at the Museum

LouAnn and I were demonstrating spinning and Inkle weaving again today at the Museum of Appalachia.   As discussed the last time I posted about it, I brought the clock reel/clock reel/creel/weasel, to be part of the Spinning demonstration.

I happened to have some yarn already spun and on a stick from the very first day I had the wee great wheel.  So I spent a few minutes before the Kindergarteners arrived loading that yarn onto the clock reel so that I could give the kids an idea how this set up would really work.

The kids were really well behaved today, and such a pleasure to see and to talk to, and it was obvious to me that the teachers had taken a little bit of time to prepare these kids for what they were going to be seeing at the Museum today.  That makes all the difference in the world!

Until next time, Happy Spinning and Weaving, Tina

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Trick OR Treat!

  What a treat!  A new shawl warp going on Jocelyn's loom!  Marie was on hand to help her get it wound on the loom.  This is going to be a beauty.

  Carol was on call to help Liz wind on this towel warp.  These will be "pillow ticking" towels!!!

   Pat dressed this Pup at home, and brought it to the Center ready to go.  These placemats will be a big hit!

   No...this isn't a new warp.  Carl was starting a fresh shuttle of blue jean strips.

    Christy has been joining up panels of blue jeans so they'll be ready to strip when Carl needs them.  We like to keep him tricks here!!!!

  These ladies were busy at their looms.
Way to go, Sharon, Frieda and Anna!!!

  These ladies were .....uh-oh....not busy on their looms!!!!  Is this a trick?????
  (Seriously....they were REAL busy earlier.  The extra heddles had to be removed from Bonnie's loom, which was a tricky operation!!!!)

   Marie brought in some donated old copies of Handwoven for giveaway.  Irene and Ron got a chance to give them the once over.
  They are always a treat!

  What are they looking at?????  Do you see a ghost?  a clown?    Oh.....the camera!!!!

Here are your treats!!!!

Polly went to the orchard, and brought us some apples to sample.

Linda made "haystacks" for us to nibble on, while Sharon fixed us all a treat bag!

It's always a treat to be with the Tuesday Weavers!!!

Happy Weaving!