Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring Break.2

Happy Weavers! 
  Spring Break put a dent in our numbers, but we still had a busy studio today.
Our newest weavers are still working with the table looms--Carol gets us all started that way!!


 


  After lunch, Carl was ready to cut off the warp of rugs on the barn loom.

That's FIVE blue jean rugs from this warp!













  Liz finished her scarf with the novelty yarn, and she's ready to twist the fringes.  Then, she'll be ready to wet finish her scarf at home.  Ah.....a spa day for the scarf!










  Linda started a new color-way on the black placemat warp.  This one is gray, white and black.  This is the "Ellen's Pattern" placemat that is crammed and spaced in the reed to give it a visual texture.  You can see the orange ones rolling up on on the cloth beam.  There are 10 placemats and one table runner in this set.


Next week will see a new warp for Carl, and lots more weaving on the many looms in our studio.

Happy Weaving!
LouAnn

P.S.  If you're on Spring Break in our neck of the woods, stop by and say "Hello"!!!


Monday, March 20, 2017

Piling Up

I've been working the last few weeks as much as my schedule has allowed. All the loopers have been cleaned, selvedges rolled into balls and several warps woven.
However, they're not ready to show.
None of them have been hemmed yet.
This is the pile of more neutral rugs. You can see the serged hems sitting there, just waiting for me to pin and hem them.
The darker ones are on another pile, waiting as well.
They're going to be so nice! As I rolled them off the cloth beam, it was fun to see the total effect of the color combinations. This week I'm going to get another warp on the loom and weave if off. I'll also be hemming the ones already done. 
These rugs are pretty heavy. I can only weave four, five sometimes, at a time before I need to cut them off, retire the warp on and keep going. It's not hard to do, just slow and not the best on the muscles.
I'm trying to weave all my selvedges that I have so I can put some other things in those tubs. I'm on my way to getting it done. A few more weeks, especially with interruptions, and they'll be all woven. That doesn't mean that I won't have more weft for rugs. It just means that that part of it will be done!
I've got some very cool plaid flannel just waiting to be cut for rugs. They will be nice and soft on the feet!
So, it's back down to the studio and winding a neutral warp for the loom!
Until next week, keep weaving!
Carol

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Inch by Inch

I have woven a piece of cloth in 8/4 cotton for which I have plans, these plans require a woven band. I am using the same 8/4 cotton on this band and while I can't replicate the fabric, I hope that this pattern goes well with it.

It is a very simple pattern with a chain in the middle surrounded by small stripes.

It is plain weave, no fuss and fairly quick to weave.  I am using my spare minutes, which are few, weaving this one.



As the band progresses, the width has changed a bit, getting a bit narrower, and each time it does, I like it even better.  I put enough yardage on the loom to account for this.  I am fairly new to Inkle weaving, I have done maybe a dozen bands over the last few years.  My interests comes and goes, so my level of expertise does not match the number of years I have known about band weaving.

I think that it is safe to say that if I would concentrate on any one thing for more than a nano second,  I could really improve my skills.  LouAnn and I were talking about that yesterday while we drove to Berea, KY .  We were taking the spinning wheel we picked up in Asheville a month or so ago, to make its next connection on the "Antique Wheel Railroad".  It is making it's way to the far west coast, this next leg is taking it all the way to Chicago, where it will hitch a ride west.

Anyway we talked a little about having too many irons in the fire and therefore not getting anything done!  On top of all the things I like to do in the Studio, I also have a very full family life, many of you can relate.  I have decided that I am not going to beat myself up over all this, and that I am going to live in the moment, whatever that may be.  Do I have the kids for the day, or night?  Embrace them, and do not fret about the rest.  Do I have an day in the Studio?  Live it, love it, try to do the project that is speaking to me that day.  Do I have a spare moment or two?  Have a wheel set up within easy reach or a band loom project within sight for a few minutes of peace and quiet.

I am not a production weaver by any means, though along with the Tuesday Weavers, I do participate in two fall shows every year.  I do need to have something to put into the booth, but I need it to be a joy and not drag to my spirit.  Maybe I am spring cleaning the  winter cobwebs out of my mind, but I keep coming back to it, for me, right now, "each project needs to be a joy and not a drag".

 I should make it a plaque for my doorway that I can jump up and high five on my way into the Studio.  How about you?

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Spring Break

  I remember how much I looked forward to Spring Break when I taught school.....a little breathing room before the big stretch of finishing the year.  Sometimes we would go somewhere warm....and sometimes we would just stay home and get some projects completed.
  I don't need to worry about Spring Break anymore (thank goodness!) but I do have projects started.  This one is actually for my daughter.  She's taking a group of high school students to New Zealand and Australia in June, and she's been looking for a cross body wallet purse to keep everything close to her. 
  So...we measured her passport and phone, and I started making a plan.  This is how far I've gotten.
  It will be 8" X 12" when it's opened up, and 8" X 4" when folded.  I've got the middle section done:  credit cards and zippered coin purse.  This will also be the pocket for cash behind the cards.  The bottom pocket came from a pair of jean tops that Sharon brought me last week.  It will be a double pocket!  The strap for the purse will be woven on my inkle loom.  I'm sure this will go through several versions until we decide on just the right one.



  Oak Ridge is a popular Spring Break destination for rowers from up north.  The parking lot was full of cars and vans from Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia and Illinois.  It's too bad they weren't here last week:  it was in the 70's!!!  This week has been a wee bit chilly!!!  But, it is supposed to warm up next week....just in time for a whole new group of rowers.



  I love driving by the river to see the teams out rowing.  I admire their dedication to their sport.  I'm sure they would rather be at the beach than rowing on this chilly, windy river.
  But, when you see them in town, they are always so happy and energetic.  I'm glad they come to our little neck of the woods.

  I need to get back to my project...and I really need to work on getting my taxes ready.  (Yuck!)
  There's always something to do!

Happy Weaving and Sewing and Rowing!
LouAnn

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Pi Day With The Tuesday Weavers

  Where else would you want to be on Pi Day?
  Yes...I know this is a cake....Ms. Ila bakes the best, after all!
While the northeast battles winter storm Stella, we were all cozy at the Center for our weekly get-together.  Outside we had low gray clouds and itsy-bitsy spit balls of snow....but, you would never have known it in the studio.





  Now.....back to Pi Day.....as all weavers are aware, math plays a big part in our weaving.  Our new weavers are becoming familiar with E.P.I., and how to figure sett for the reed you are using.

  And, we had several big discussions going on about different weave structures.
  Linda is interested in doing some Liturgical weaving, and we pulled some resources for her to look at.  Betsy wove a stole for a family member, so she shared the information that she had.
  Tina isn't happy with the weave structure on that hot pink shawl....she is looking at some different patterns....and learning to use her new iWeaveIt program.

 Christy, Sharon and I started deconstructing the jeans from the rummage sale.  Sharon and Christy like to use the rotary cutters and mats.  I had my new spring action scissors!  We got half of the jeans worked up....we'll work on the rest of them next week.  Then we can get the panels joined and ready to cut on the rag cutter.








  Carl wove a set of butterflies to use as inserts in cards.  Carol got all of the panels in their cards and ready to go upstairs.










 Lanny finished his scarf warp:  three luxurious silk/wool scarves ready to be wet finished!  He's going on vacation next week....lucky him!!!







    Carl is rather hemmed in at the old barn loom.  We have some folks on "spring break" here, so some looms are still parked in the walkway.  He's working on the last rug on this warp.








Frieda and Joan were with us, just working away on their scarves.



   I think that Bonnie is missing Shirley......she left her loom folded up today while she visited with her weaving friends.
  Ms. Ila is working on her colorful shawl.



  This is the second shawl on Jocelyn's loom.  She was sampling some wefts for this one.  It's a little tricky since you don't want to obscure the beautiful pattern in the warp.  Stay tuned ......







NO...Betsy and Tina are not behind bars!!!
  They were helping Marie set up the table in the shop for the "Porch Sale."
  Polly and Marie got us all in gear to move the props for our spring sale.  The potters set up on the porch, while the other items in the sale stay inside.  The black grid is great for displaying the hanging pieces.

   I almost forgot to share this one with you!!!  This picture perfect moment shows Tina, Linda and Dickie working on the hooves of Linda's little fiber goat!!!!  Since you can't touch...I can assure you that this little goat is a pleasure to feel!  So soft........

Stay warm.....enjoy your PI.

Happy Weaving!
LouAnn

Friday, March 10, 2017

I Like Sectional Warp Beams!

You may not have heard me cheer late last week, but I know my near neighbors must have.  I have had a hard time the last couple of years, staying on task up in the studio.  Nobody's fault but my own, I usually have too many irons in the fire, and end up getting nothing done.  Anyway last week, I spent a couple of days concentrated on weaving off some long standing warps.

 One of them was on the loom a couple of years (8/4 blankets) and the other warp (8/2 towels), had been on a loom I had sold at least 3 years ago, and had finally gotten back on a loom last month.  It really did not take long to weave this second warp in plainweave, letting the stripes do the all the work.  I haven't finished or washed the fabric that came off the looms, once I get that done, I will post some pictures.

The "Burchard" loom from Berkley, California, is a 4 harness counterbalance loom, that has a wooden sectional warp beam.  One of the sectional rakes was in need of repair, so I took it on Tuesday so that Polly could take a look at it.  She is going to repair it for me,  and soon I will be putting on a new warp for Linen kitchen towels.  This will be a first for me,  but I have quite a bit of linen on hand, and I have to use it for something!

The Sears "Hearthside" loom (6 harness/ 6 treadles, jack loom) had the towel warp on it.   About a month ago, I purchased some used Leclerc sectional rakes that I thought would fit this loom.  Once I emptied the loom, I went to work putting on the new sectional rakes, which do indeed fit the back beam.  (I prefer sectional warp beams, for me it simplifies warping, especially for long warps.)





 It required a little drilling on my part, but I was up for it.  I also had to go get some bolts and wing nuts  that would fit through both the rake and the old beam boards to hold it all together.


 (They are always curious about what project I am getting into when I go into the hardware store.)






An hour or so later  the rakes were in place and I was ready to start winding spools of yarn to get the new warp loaded.









I have had this pile of partial cones forever.  I usually use it for weft, but I do have a shelf full of full cones as well.  (This is 12/3 white cotton, that I got years ago when I inherited the famous 100yd warps of the very same thread)  I thought that it would ease the clutter (in my mind and on the shelf) a bit if I could empty some of these cones first as I wound the warp spools.


When I was finished with the 24 white spools I had emptied all these cones.  There are a few more partial cones remaining, and you can be sure I will be using them first as I wind bobbins for weft, before I break into the full cones.

I also wound 16 spools of 8/4 in the color red, it will give me a lot of choices as I design the warp as I go.
















Oh the possibilities!



I had already wound the red and white sections that go down the center of this towel warp before I stopped to get this picture, so I had moved on to the all whited sections.

 Here is a picture of the Leclerc spool rake that holds 40 spools.  A couple of months ago, I got a deal on 40 Leclerc warping spools, and this is the first time I have been able to use them.  I don't think that this tension box is a Leclerc, but it works just the same.




I had to clamp a board to the bottom of the back beam so that the tension box will stay on.  An extra clamp here and there keeps everything in place as I wind each 1inch wide, 20yd section.


















I have wound 17 sections and I plan to add an additional 3 sections on each side of  what is already on the loom, that will give me a good 23 inches in width for  some very thirsty kitchen towels.

I have found a broken twill threading that was designed for this very same 6 harness, 6 treadle  Hearthside loom.  It was on one of my favorite online resources,  here .  It is a wonderful website full of really old out of print and out of copyright books, magazines, articles etc , on any fiber related subject you can think of.


Spring break is right around the corner, which means more Grandma time for me in the coming 2 weeks, including a trip to Washington DC!  So it may be a couple of weeks before I can get back to this project, but you can be sure that I am looking forward to it!




I almost forgot, this week I finished the first band using Knit Picks "Curio" crochet cotton, that I posted about last week.  I really like how it turned out, it feels sturdy but soft in my hand and there is a slight sheen that "Curio" has that enhances this band.  There is also just the right amount of slickness to this yarn that makes "pulling the weft through on the succeeding shed" easier for me.  All in all I really recommend this yarn for all your warp faced band weaving needs.


That is it for today, Until next time, Happy Weaving!

Edit: because of math!


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Two For Tuesday


 




  It's not that unusual after all....two shawls getting started on the same day.  Today was one of those days.









  We had two guys weaving side by side.














 
Two Ladies wearing their turquoise tops.
 



  Two Ladies who have the same red top!!!!














     Student and teacher....that makes two!

  
  T-shirts and blue jeans....a donation from a church's rummage sale.  A few more than two bags full!!!!
  (I see some rugs in the near future!)












  Two times three equals SIX.  That's how many rugs came off of Betsy's loom this afternoon!  (That means she'll be winding a new warp for that loom!!!)













   Carl knows all about that....after all, he's getting near to the end of his warp, too.

  The rest of us just keep on keeping on.



Happy Weaving!
LouAnn

Monday, March 6, 2017

Starting Rugs

Weaving rugs is a slow process. Sure, you wind a warp, get it on the loom and just weave away on rugs. Sure. However, it's much more than that! 
If you're weaving loopers, you have to clean them. You spend hours outside shaking the loopers to get rid of strings and tiny bits of thread. Loopers are waste products from the production of socks. They're thrown away unless someone can use them. It's truly fun to know we're rescuing something from the dump but, it's work. Lots of work..
Another thing is selvedges, more waste product but this time it long narrow strips of "fabric" that were part of the production of afghans, upholstery, etc. They come in great bags of piled up strands. They're not as messy but you still have to find the end and then roll up balls of them.
If you're using fabric or jeans, there's lots of cutting, sewing and then cutting narrow strips to then weave into rugs.
So I've spent the last week or two just getting ready to weave.
I just got going. It's nice to have a few done, ready to serge apart and then sew hems.
It's nice to see the start. The next few weeks I'll be weaving more.
Should have pictures next week!
Until then, keep weaving!
Carol

Friday, March 3, 2017

Narrow Bands

You may notice a similarity in thought between LouAnn and myself, we have been overcome with narrow bands lately.   Narrow bands are quick to warp, and fun to weave, they can be as complicated as some of the Scandinavian "Pick up" bands, or a quick simple plain weave band.  You can use them to tie things up, like gift packages or maybe a bundle of items you need for a project.  They can be used as ties on an apron, straps on a bag or collars for a goat.  Before there were buttons and zippers, there were narrow bands.

We still use commercial narrow bands these days, in many ways, lantern wicks, book binding, even zippers are made with narrow bands, and teeth or spiral coil.  Many hand weavers make a bit of narrow band or tape to make tabs to hang a hand towel or item of clothing.  Anyway, I think that is what  has spurred us once again, into the world of narrow band weaving.

I have been weaving some bands with what I had on hand, 8/4 carpet warp, sewing thread, and that was working well enough.  But, a couple of weeks ago I read about a crochet cotton distributed by "Knit Picks" an online yarn company.  I went to check it out and I found that they offered a 20 ball sampler at a really good price, and since I was in a "gathering" mood, I ordered the sampler.  A few days later there was a box on my porch when I got home.









The box was literally bulging!  I brought it inside and opened it right away!















There were 2 layers in the box, this being the bottom one.  There is a really good variety of colors and even though there a couple that I would not normally have ordered, I think that it may push me to use some color combinations I may have otherwise not done.















I was so tickled with my new stash of band weaving yarn that I was loathed to break into them, I didn't want to mess up the neat tidy little balls, once you start to use them they never look so good.  Anyway, I wanted to share them with the group on Tuesday before I disturbed this lovely picture.







On Thursday, I was finally able to sit down and choose my narrow band pattern from Anne Dixon's "Inkle Pattern Directory".  I chose the pattern "Single Flowers" but I changed the pattern a little bit to make it a symetrical band.  I stayed close to her color choices, and I am pleased with the results.


The weaving of this band is going pretty quickly, since it is plain weave and I do not have to do any extra steps to get the pattern, it is all decided while you warp.  I warped the full length on the Schacht Inkle loom that I have borrowed from the center, I expect to have a good bit of band to use as apron strings.

I really like this yarn, it is smooth, strong, shiny and colorful, just right for narrow band weaving.  Each ball of yarn has over 700 yards on it,  I could even see using some in a project on my floor looms.  The only complaint that I have read about this yarn is that people want to see more colors come available.

I can't wait to get this band off the loom so that I can see how it looks and feels in comparison to some of my previous bands.

It is comforting to know that I have more than enough colors and yardage to experiment with for the next couple of years.  Until next time, Happy weaving, Tina


















Thursday, March 2, 2017

Sunny March Thursday

   I asked them to light the fire in the Peter's cabin...but, when I got to the cabin, the thrum of a banjo was coming from inside.  Rather than disturbing the musicians inside, I plopped down on the steps of the Loom House.
  The Museum was hosting some travel writers today, and I volunteered to weave while they were there.  I ended up taking my wee Inkle loom instead on the box loom.  I had a warp that needed weaving off, and today fit the bill.  Besides, it fits right inside my totebag!!!
 


I've been reading my new book at night before bed.  There is so much information, and I was able to use some of it today as I talked to the visitors about the bands that I'm weaving.
  I had the best time sitting on those steps and weaving and talking!  At first I thought it might be too chilly, but the building blocked the breeze that was blowing, and I had my fingerless gloves that Tina knit for me.  The sun felt really nice.
  And, I reminded folks that when they come back after it warms up, I'll be weaving on that lovely old rocker beater loom!!!

  This is how my saucer magnolia looks today.  Yes, it did get "bit" on Sunday morning, and it has a brownish look to the blossoms.  If you look under the tree, you can see lots and lots of pinkish petals.
   They're calling for snow flurries in the mountains tonight.
  It's March in East Tennessee....anything could happen!!!

I'm looking forward to my reading time tonight....so much to learn!!!

Happy Weaving!
LouAnn