Monday, November 30, 2009


I had the same problem that a lot of weavers had: STORAGE! or lack of it! I had thread all over the house: stored in shelves and tote bags and plastic bins! I had rolls of weft in a lot of illogical places, too. And, there's still lots of fabric in bins, but they are in the big closet. What to do????
Ah, ha! When I had to have some work done in my laundry room this Fall (due to water damage) I had the carpenters build me 15 inch cubbies to sort and store my thread and weft. Now I can walk in and see exactly what I have without running all over the house to find it. I'm still moving some of the weft to the cubbies, but it is almost done.
Do you have this problem, too? I'm sure most of you have a lot more thread to store, and have figured out the best way to do that. Any suggestions? I'm still learning!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How it all began

I guess I've been with the center the longest so I thought I'd just write a bit of a history. We moved here in 1980. I'd learnt to weave tapestry in Guadalajara in 1978. So when we moved to Augusta, GA I kept doing that. However, my goal had been to learn how to use the looms. At a bluegrass picking party, Liz Batchelor (who's now one of our weavers) told me about this place in Norris where they'd teach you to weave. The center had been going for several years, having moved from renting just one room in there, to renting the whole place to buying the property. I think they were still renting it when I joined.
We went to check this place out the first chance we had after we moved to Knoxville. At the time it was called the Community Craft Center. We were in a very old red building. The weaving area was smaller than ours is now but we had fewer looms. The building had no heat or running water. We used electric heaters in winter but it was still cold. We had the only wheel chair accessible outhouse in East Tennessee, at least that we knew of. The out house had no heat at all! Ellen Cain, who was the weaving instructor at the time, was my teacher. She had developed the weaving department. They wove placemats and rugs on a variety of looms that they'd been able to acquire as a group.
Weaving on the table loom that first time was so cool! I absolutely loved it.
We had moved up here in July. I knew immediately that I wanted a floor loom. They told me that I needed a LeClerc Nilus, the jack loom. So I ordered a loom and bench, sight unseen. We were pretty poor at the time but this was an important investment and we just did it.
The loom boxes arrived Thanksgiving weekend so I took them home and we set it up. Since then I've woven on that loom almost every day. It's still my work horse and I love nothing more than to sit on the bench and see the fabric develop as I throw the shuttle.
Most of the people that were weaving then aren't at the center anymore. Some has passed away, others have moved away or developed other interests. As time goes by, we have new students and it's great to watch them develop their style of weaving. Each of us have different interests. I think that's what makes us great. We learn from each other.
From that old red building we moved across the street to a modern building that we built. The center has been very successful in keeping the crafts going. When the building was built, we thought it was so huge and just perfect for our needs. Now we're bursting at the seams, especially the weaving department.
Looking forward, we hope to raise money to add to the building. The potential for more classes is really great and we just need more room for our looms!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

New at Blogging

I hope that everybody had a great Thanksgiving. Mine was different. I did not cook. I met my sister and her husband at a place in Greenville. The good thing about eating out is no clean up--very nice. The bad thing is not having the type of food you are use to. All in all it was fun.
Again today no time to do my weaving. But I can tell you about my venture getting to where I am now in weaving. I would drive by the Arts Craft Center everyday wondering what was in it. Well, I got brave one day and pulled into the parking lot. I went in. I was sooooo suprised. Not what I had expected. One thing led to another, I took the weaving class and was hooked. It is so much fun. Not to forget the wonderful people you get to know. The friendships you form and the bonds. The learning is on going. The possibilities are endless. It is so rewarding. I guess you get it. I love it.
Bonnie Manning

Friday, November 27, 2009

Smoky Mountain River Warp

This is all my favorite colors all in one warp! I got all my blues together and just got started. This is a 22 yard warp, pretty long for me. I should get many rag rugs out of this one, if all goes well.
I like to use 12 epi, so that I have a good thick fringe or thick hem.

I used a roll of thick paper I got at the big box store to go between the layers of warp, I usually use sticks but I was afraid that I wouldn't have enough room on the beam for that long warp! I hope it holds all in place.
I first used a complicated threading based on a rug I saw in a book, but when I started weaving I was reminded once again that a multicolored warp needs just plain old plain weave to shine, so that is what this weeks chore is going to be, rethreading and sleying this warp.
(I am also half way thru the Tuesday Weavers challenge, more on that after the reveal)
Happy Weaving, Tina

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Getting Here

I had been wanting to learn to weave for a while. When I reached fifty, I thought it was now or never! I bought the book, Learning to Weave, by Deborah Chandler, and taught myself. I discovered that I love weaving!
I didn't know if there were any other weavers near where I live or if there were, how to meet them. I searched on the internet for weaving guilds and found the The Clinch Valley Handweavers. They are a delightful group of weavers who meet once a month. I also knew of an arts center near me, and went to visit. Wow! I had never seen so many looms in one place! I was invited to go and weave with them on Tuesdays, so I did. I have been with them ever since. These weavers are so much fun to be with! It is such a pleasure to meet with like minded people and to sit and weave with them. If you are ever in the area, stop by and see us! We are here every Tuesday from ten a.m. to two p.m. Find us at Http://

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's Tuesday! We are all here!

Yes, we are all here, and some of us are actually weaving! Carol is cutting strips to be used in placemats and rugs. Lanny is winding a wool warp for a rag rug, on the rocker beater. Cathy and Paula are making knots on some placemats that Cathy had woven. Bonnie and I are fixing the warp on her loom that went all wonky, pulling it off the back beam thru the heddles and the reed, and then back on the back beam when we get the kinks out! Other Bonnie is busy weaving placemats using what we call "Ellen's Pattern", after our former teacher. We also have a couple of students today that are hard at it on the table looms they take home each week to work on. Allen is back on the old barn loom getting it ready to weave, probably next week. Lou Ann, Joyce, and Linda have already left.
That leaves Maggie, working on an order we got about 6 weeks ago. One of our former weavers ordered 16 placemats in "Dorothy's version of Ellens Pattern". She only has 3 more to go! That is Maggies warp in the picture.
Happy Weaving, Tina

Monday, November 23, 2009

"You wouldn't want a floor loom would you"

That is how it started with me. It was my Mom on the other end of the phone, all the way from California! To top it off the Loom was FREE! All I had to do was go to California, break it down and ship it. OK, go to California, not a problem, I was going in 3 months time anyway. Break it down, well I had never seen a floor loom before so that might be tricky. Finally, ship it, Daddy helped figure that all out. He made the calls and set it up.

The story goes that Lillian, my mom's dear friend, was getting along in years. She was wisely taking care of all the -giving away of all my craft things, so my family doesn't have to do it! She had sold the loom several years before, but the buyer never picked it up and she lost track of her. Lillian didn't feel good about reselling it, so after all was said and done, about 3 months later I had a 4 harness counterbalance floor loom.

While I was waiting for the loom to arrive, I checked out every book in the library I could find. I then saw a newspaper add about a group that met every Tuesday to weave and to teach others to weave. The rest is history! I did learn to weave that summer, but the friendships that have been woven together since then have been just as rewarding.
I thought you might want to see a pic of "Lillian" in the studio, she isn't alone in there. I now have 4 looms and 4 spinning wheels, but those all have their own story.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I spent all day yesterday at the loom, on plan B for the center challenge. My first plan didn't work out, but I could tell within the first inch. I scoured magazines and Marguerite Davison for ideas, got one and started cutting off that inch. I pulled all the threads back through, 12 at a time and rethreaded the heddles. The reed went quickly, and I started weaving late last night (late for me: 9:00). This morning, I was up and at it at 4, and wove about 4 inches.

If you're in the challenge, avert your eyes. If you're a perfectionist, remember that in the challenge we keep one--in my case, two since I'm making 4 of whatever it is--and the first one is mine. I chose Davison, page 22, Goose Eye, numbers VII and X. I liked that they called for a light warp, since I already had one, a dark pattern and a medium tabby. It's super fun to weave, like overshot, but small floats, if any.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We go on many journeys in life, and they often lead us down some strange pathways. But, this pathway has been a real ray of sunshine in my life.
In the quest to learn the art of weaving, I have met some wonderful, gifted, caring people who share this love of fiber. But, we don't just WEAVE, we share our lives. Through this blog, you'll meet this crazy creative crew we call THE TUESDAY WEAVERS.
Come along on our journey as we discuss different patterns, threads, techniques and the use and care of our looms (or sometimes the rescue of old looms.) You'll get a peek into our studios, and maybe a house tour of rooms where looms are tucked. There's no such thing as too many looms!
Welcome to "Loomy Tunes"!!!!!