Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tell and Show

 Sometimes weaving involves other skills besides warping a loom!!!  Polly has many skills, and she is often called on to help us out of sticky situations...like today!

  Carol likes to use paper to pack a warp on the back of a loom.  But...Carol is NOT here....and I am!!  I don't like paper...I like sticks!  I looked high and low for sticks to use on the table loom for Sara, and the ones I found were either too long or too short.  That's where Polly came to the rescue!  (I'm sure that by this point, Sara was ready to strangle me!)  She trimmed some longer sticks a few inches so they would fit on the table loom, and we were off and running.  You can see that Sara is threading the loom, and will probably finish that next week!!!!


   Speaking of warps....the warp on Alyce's loom came off this afternoon!  She was so excited!!!  She's already talking about getting on one of the Pups....there's nothing quite like weaving on a floor loom!!!!  (I remember that excitement...do you?)


That lovely woolen shawl deserves a dramatic entree!!!

This is Tina's handspun--handwoven shawl that is just too wonderful for words.

  And, speaking of lovely shawls, take a look at Marie's bamboo shawl.  It sure was the hit of the greet and meet this morning!
  Our Studio was visited by the Leadership class of Anderson County earlier today, and this shawl was tried on by many admirers.  I was sure it would be sold before they left!!!  (I wouldn't be surprised to hear that one of them comes back later to buy it!)

  Talk about showing off other skills....take a look at Bonnie's quilt top that she finished this summer. 

We are so lucky to have this group...and what talented folks we have!

Come visit......

Happy Weaving!

Friday, August 11, 2017

A Continuation

This post is indeed a continuation of sorts, first there is an update on the tapestry loom.  I ended up taking some of the pieces back to the hardware store to tweek things a bit.  We shortened the uprights by half and I had a metal bar inserted into the long crosspiece that is on the bottom of the loom.  This copper pipe is only 1/2 inch, and I was afraid that it might bend if it was not reinforced.

There, that's better!  I have a book "Tapestry 101" that I can't wait to dive into, but the loom needs to sit for 24 hours to let the pieces stick together really well, and honestly, I really need to get a couple of things finished for the shows before I start something new!

Speaking of new things, you heard of course that LouAnn got a drum carder this week, and she is really wanting to use the recycled fiber in a spinning project.  Well today,  I went over to her house for awhile and we tried out a couple of things to see if it would work.  We first used the drum carder to loosen up some ginned cotton.  Once that was done we made a sandwich with the cotton and the recycled fibers.  We ran that batt thru the carder a couple of times to smooth things out a bit.

 Then I sat down and started to spin it on her Hansen e-spinner.

After a getting to know you phase with the e-spinner,  I managed to get a textured thread that held together pretty well.  While I was spinning, I realized that if we plied this single with cotton sewing thread it would increase the strength of the yarn and not take away from the texture that LouAnn is looking for.  So,  LouAnn rounded up some serger thread and I plied the yarn sample pretty quickly.

I think it looks quite nice, and it was fun to try something to see what would happen, I don't get many chances to do that!

Now it is back to my drum carder to do the last of the batts for the first fleece rug, life has gotten in the way once again, but I am going to keep at it!  I hope to finish that rug today, and start rug number two.

Until next time, Happy Weaving and  Spinning, Tina

Thursday, August 10, 2017

*Wild * Life*

  Do you ever have those burst of inspiration?  You know...you see something, and it ***ding, ding, ding!  What could I do with this? 
  My niece subscribes to one of those food clubs that send you ALL the items you'll need to make a fab dinner for your family.  Everything is fresh, and packed carefully.  They are even super eco-conscience!  Instead of Styrofoam for insulation, they use this mat of cotton and jute.  Their thinking is that it is biodegradable. 
  My niece thought of me!  (How well she knows me!)
  And, now that I'm spinning (beginner!) I wondered if I could blend this fiber into something and use it to spin for weaving. 
  I consulted with my fiber friend, Tina.  She's thinks we can combine it with cotton and spin it.

  That led me to this!!!
I couldn't help myself....this Little Brother Drum Carder needed to come to my house and help me with this project.
  Brother Drum Carders are made in Silverton, Oregon.....I love it that they are American made!  It arrived Tuesday night, and I got him all set up on his very own table.

  They recommended using dark fleece for the first few projects.  I had some short pieces that Tina had given me to make dryer balls, so I thought they would be great for my practice batts. 

   Sure enough....I'm getting better at this.  I think this will be fun!
  I'll let you know how the experiment works.  This could be recycling at its best!!!!

  Another project in the works.  I love the look of a wound warp!  Now, I need to take it to the loom!!!!

****Details later!!!

  Uh-oh....can you see the picture????  Yes...my two new visitors!  It was almost dark the other night when I looked out to see these two eating under the bird feeder.
  Sorry the picture is so dull....I took it through the screen door.  I wasn't about to go all the way outside!!!!!
  Last night at dusk I saw bats zipping around the front yard.  Tonight, there is a doe and her fawn outside the living room window.
  Never a dull moment!

  I'll leave you with the hummingbirds.  There have been as many as eight at a time buzzing the feeder....just not when I'm trying to get a movie!  If you turn up your speaker, you can hear them chirping.  I have to refill the feeder twice a day.
   Boy oh boy....I sure do live a wild life around here! 
Happy Weaving (carding and watching!)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

It's Your Day!!!!


  We hope you are having a fantastic day!
Happy Birthday!

The Tuesday Weavers

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Re-building a Loom

Last Tuesday I was rummaging around the Appalachian Arts Crafts Center looking for a small tapestry loom to use as I learn about this form of weaving.  I have a floor model at the house but it is busy right now making fleece rugs.

Anyway, as I was saying I was rummaging around looking in all the corners between boxes, you know the drill, surely there was an odd tapestry loom hanging around somewhere!  I caught sight of piece of wood with a spring stretched across it and I went to investigate.  Sure enough I had found one in the storage area set aside for barn loom pieces!  Although, when I managed to get it out from the barn loom pieces it was only half of a tapestry loom.  I spent a good bit of time looking for the other half of the loom, but it was nowhere to be seen.

I brought it home with me that day, to see if I could come up with any ideas about how to complete it.  I got to thinking about some plans for a tapestry loom that I had seen, made from copper pipe, and I went looking for them and I found them on the "Brennen-Maffei.com" website.

Armed with my diagram and the top half of the loom I went to Downtown Hardware in Oak Ridge, TN to see if they could help me.  We talked about what I was trying to do, and having the diagram really helped them to see what I was trying to accomplish.  I ended up leaving the dear loom with them over night as they fitted the new pieces.

The completed loom has a 36inch height and a 31inch width.  There are the threaded rods and bolts to use as a tensioning device and the cute angle pieces at the bottom to hold the crossbar in place.

The pieces are not yet glued together, and I think I will be bringing this piece to the Center on Tuesday to get some opinions about it.  I am thinking that I may have gone a little overboard in the over all height of the loom, the diagram we used was for a much narrower loom, so I figured that as we were already adding to it for width we may as well add to the height.   I also think it might be wise to reenforce that lower crosspiece by inserting a dowel or a rod of some sort into it before we apply any glue.

The loom is back in pieces and ready to go back to the Center for an evaluation, I don't know what I would do without this weekly get together with the Tuesday Weavers, where we share ideas and finished objects, hopes and dreams, and sorrows and joys.  I hope you have someone in your life that will cheer you on too!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, August 3, 2017


  I may be cheering too quickly, but, this is the first time I have been able to fill a bobbin with spun fiber!!!!!  In the past, my spinning has actually been plying--I made lots of art yarn a few years back.  Don't get me wrong....that was tons of fun repurposing yarn.  But, I wasn't spinning.
  But, I yearned to sit at the wheel and turn fiber into yarn.  (I did always love the tale of Rumpelstiltskin....and who can resist the story of Sleeping Beauty and her spindle?  Someday my prince will come......)  Plus, this might be in my DNA....just saying.
  So, I'm feeling very encouraged by my accomplishment.  I'll keep going, and keep working on making a consistent yarn from this lovely wool.  Then, I'm going to add all the pretty things........  The fiber world awaits!!!!

  This is NOT a happy kitty!
I took Sweetie and Biscuit in for their yearly checkup, and Dr. Paul noticed that Sweetie's front fang was very loose.  The decision was made to keep her overnight, and remove the tooth this morning.
  I got the call midday that she was out of surgery and they had to remove FIVE teeth.  Bless her little heart!!!!
  Needless to say, she is not happy with me.  (She did come up to me about an hour ago for some loving...I was starting to get worried!!!)
  The funny part is that I was late getting going this morning since my "alarm clock" wasn't here!  I actually got to sleep in an extra hour!!!!

  It's hard to tell much from this picture since it was shot from inside the house, but the hummingbirds have been very busy this week.  I usually only have 2-3 hummingbirds at a time, but there have been at least six buzzing around every day.  I'm making large batches of liquid ahead of time to keep up with the demand.  You can tell that migration season is starting!
  I don't mind....I love to watch them and listen to the chirping sounds they make.  They are truly wonderful little creatures!
  Don't you just love this time of the year?  I'm looking forward to spending some spinning time on the porch in the next few days.  I need to keep this momentum going!!!

Happy Weaving (and spinning!!!)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


  Welcome back, Sara!  It's been a few years, but with a little schedule change, she is going to be able to join us again.  Besides loving to weave, she wants to be part of our weaving community.
  I understand!!!  (We often say that being part of the Tuesday Weavers is just cheap therapy!!!)

  So....today we wrote out her weaving plan (remember to start a weaving notebook!)  After all the math, Marie set up the warping mill, and Sara got ready to wind her warp.  She got half of it done and chained off today.  We'll start the second half next week.

  Another great part of being in our community is sharing our weaving projects and trouble shooting weave structures.  Marie just finished a honeycomb project, and she brought her sample today.  Ray has just started a honeycomb project, too!  This discussion concerned draw in and carrying the heavy thread up the sides of the project.

   Helen is working her way through her first project on the table loom.  Today she did some trouble shooting with a loose thread....yes, hang a weight!!!  Ask us.....we know these things!

  Lanny has returned from Scotland, and he has some wonderful pictures of his trip.  It's always nice when our fiber friends return (he saw the restored tapestries at Stirling Castle!!!!)

 There's usually a warp going on a loom somewhere in the studio....Joan was busy today with her new warp. 

   Then, there's the knee knockers!!!!  You know....the placemats on the cloth beam are up against your knees!!!  Linda might have to cut these off pretty soon!

  The gray weft is working with this pink warp.  Marie is on the right track.

  Those blue jeans look great with that red warp, Carl!  Another ribbon winning rug, I think!

   Bonnie took the vacuum cleaner back to the old barn loom and got up all the lint and threads.  While she had the vacuum out, she just tidied up a bit!

   Welcome back, Anna!  She been traveling, too, this summer.  It's so nice to have our friends back in the fold.
  *****We all hope Carol is having a great time with her sister!  I wonder how many quilts they will make this summer!

  Yes....you guessed!  We had home baked lemon cake for a treat today!  Bonnie baked this for us from Shirley's recipe!
  Isn't it fun being part of this community????!!!!

Happy Weaving!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Looper Rug

I have not finished the looper rug that is on the rug loom yet,  I got distracted.  I thought I could at least share with you some pictures of my progress so far.

After a tiny bit of sampling, I figured out that it takes 4 rows of loopers on the rug to make 2 inches, and around 7 loopers to make it across the loom.  Once I had that information, I made some rough chains with a stripped rug in mind.

I think it is going well, even if it is a little fiddly.

Close up,  these loopers are very different than the ones I used on the previous rug.  These are heftier and at the same time shorter, that is why I had to sample.

You can easily see the difference in the selvedge tuft on the 2 rugs.  This second rug will be much more substantial all around, and it will be fun to compare the two once they are off of the loom.

I hope to finish this rug this week or next, because I have many more color combinations of loopers that I want to try, but life, and distractions, often get in the way.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


  The Anderson County Fair is over, but, Carl got to share his ribbon winning entries with the Weavers today.  The number one question was, "What kind of rug won the BLUE ribbon?"
  I wasn't as concerned about checking on the competition as I was seeing how our entries did!!!  I promise to take careful notes next year!

  Tina went to a fiber show this weekend, and came home with some lovely braids to play with.  (And, they are super lovely to touch, too!!!!)  Stay tuned to her blogs to see what she has planned!

   I'm sure Carol is planning all kinds of projects that she's going to do with her sister in the coming weeks!
  It looks like Alyce is almost finished with her warp....that means she'll be planning her next project!  Helen is probably close to being finished, too. 

   Carl finished the threading, and it was time to wind on that red warp.  With Tina and Carl holding the reins, we wound that puppy onto the warp beam.  After tying on next week, there will be a new batch of blue jean rugs!!!

  Ms. Ila works hard keeping the Ladies on task.    Or, at least, she says she's working hard.......

  Marie is starting the next shawl on the bold pink warp.  I think this one will have a light gray weft...we'll check on that next week.
  Linda is back from her trip and working on her placemat warp.  She has quite a few finished ones wound up on the cloth beam!

  Sharon and Liz were working in the middle of the pack of "wolves."  That means more scarves for the fall sales!

  WOW!!!!  Four shawls came off of Jocelyn's loom this afternoon!  Now this is some kind of wonderful!!!

  As we finish up the projects on our looms, we're thinking about the Fall sales, which will be here before we know it! 

So much to weave....so little time!!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Summer Guild Fair

Summer guild fair is in the books! This year the Southern Highland Craft Fair was only 3 days long. The big controversy is whether we should continue at 3days or go back to 4. Four days is a very long time but having the extra day for sales can be beneficial. 
I had a good show.
Taking pictures with my iPad probably isn't the smartest thing to do but when the lights are dimmed, it's the best I can do.
My booth is a mixture of cotton and bamboo. The drapey pieces are bamboo and the others are cotton. A fair number of these pieces found new homes over the weekend.
This picture below doesn't show the beautiful caribe of the top on the left or the royal blue on the right but you get the idea of display.
A rack of jackets just waiting to tempt people.
Black and red. The jacket on the right is predominantly black, the one on the right predominantly red. Both of them plus the purse on the left found new homes.
Black, grey and white jackets look stunning on the right person. It's got a new home, too. She looked awesome with this jacket on.
My summers are very hectic. After the convention in Nashville for a week, then the guild fair this weekend, I have to shift gears again and quickly get things packed away til the show in October. That's because I leave Wednesday for my annual trip north to visit my sister. DH will be home taking care of the cats and collecting all the treasures they find in my studio and bring up the stairs. Those cats are a mess. He keeps saying he's going to get a camera to see which one it is. I suspect Belle is the one. Thursday morning when I was coming down the steps to the studio, there was a lb cone of yarn on the third step. Those cats managed to get it off the cutting table to the floor and carried it up three steps. No telling what they'll do next! Good thing they also catch mice. DH can take care of those, too!
No weaving for me the next month but I hope you have time to throw your shuttle a time or two!
Until next time, keep weaving!