Friday, April 30, 2010

Get started, mess up, make do!

For the past several years this is the way I have been using my huge, door sized warping board.( I can do up to 22 yards.) Not great, I have to bend a bit, but a big improvement over when I had it upright. When it was upright, it stressed my legs way too much.
A couple of weeks ago, I was ready to get it attached to the wall. I had it propped at just the right level, reached for the drill bag, only to find that the drill was not in there!!!!

Finally we got the drill back, got everything set up again, ready to go. Stop, check battery,( a little low), switch to other battery (works fine.) (Plug in first battery so that it can charge for next time.) Stop, where are the drill bits! Or rather the socket that makes it possible to use the screwdriver tips, wait, where are the tips!!!!!!! Rummaged around in the bag, I was able to find some longer phillips head tips that would work in drill. I only have 2 screws that are phillips head, so I will have to 1.) get more phillips head screws, or 2.) go buy the pieces I need.

Anyway, I got the WB up, as you can see in the pic above, hung up the warps I had already wound, and put the pieces I need on my list. At least it is useable, though, not quite finished. What is that saying, "Reduce, reuse, recycle" I think my saying is "Get started, mess up, make do"!

Now for the rest of the day, here are my choices:

Tackle the pile of jeans that is threatening to spill all over the floor- I do have an order for a rug.

Work on the breadcloths- I thought I might make a couple of plain cloths without the lace, or maybe see if I can use the pick up stick to do warp and weft floats.

Monks belt Mug Rugs - I thought I might triple the bright weft to see if I like it better.

Wind more warps - self explanatory

Wally is asleep downstairs, we are not speaking right now. I sometimes think that he would be better off with a family and kids. I am not sure I have enough play left in me for a pup. Maybe though I just need to tough it out, you know in three years I may be saying " You know I almost gave him away, look at him now, he is so obedient, wouldn't that have been a shame"

Happy Weaving, Tina

P.S. While I was proof reading Wally came up here and is now laying at my feet, what was I thinking!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Plan Reversal

About 1 1/2 months ago, I was winding a warp for a double weave blanket. Well, after weeks went by and having to redo all the planning it seems that I don't have enough yarn. So I have decided to do some place mats and maybe table runners. The warp is wound and almost on the loom. I will have to redo. No pictures of it right now. Maybe next week.

I did take a picture of my catcus that I planted last summer. After a wet winter, I was afraid that it was going to die. But not so. It is thriving.
I have a break in building the boxes, so maybe I can get the warp on my loom before I have to get back to work.
Isn't it a beautiful day here. Cool, not too warm, with just a slight breeze. Not back to weaving. After taking this picture, it is so nice I am going to do the weeding before the rain planned for the weekend. See how fast plans change. I can weave even if it rains, but weeds would not get pulled during the rain. So I will go out to get the knee pads and gloves. Look out weeds here I come.
Happy days weaving or weeding.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

As the overshot turns...

Last week, I bemoaned my threading problems and ordering problems, having a threading error in the center--why is it always in the center?--of my turned overshot warp. I ordered the wrong length of replacement heddles, something I was wanting to try after my dissatisfaction with self-made thread heddles on the shag rug warp. Got the right size last week, but I was simply too busy to get them on the loom. It's spring, and the yard was beckoning! I slid 3 of them onto shaft 6, so easily, and threaded them with the 3 from shaft 5. I twisted threads three times, and was about to give it up for the day, but took a deep breath, refocused and got them all in line.
I started weaving, and quickly found out what Jean Scorgie was talking about when she described the stickiness of the threads being so closely warped. This warp is 24 epi in the tabby portion, but 48 epi in the pattern area. She suggests using a shed stick to clear the shed after every throw, and I definitely needed to do that. In the sideways photo, you can see the stickiness in the very middle of the warp. I strummed the warp, and rebeat after each treadling change, but still needed to go in after each change to hand-separate the center threads. This is going to take a long time! One thing I don't like about my Colonial is the ropes that tie the shafts to the upper, um... doohickies! They get in the way of having a well-tensioned warp, right in the center. They don't all line up, either, and they sometimes catch on shafts and hold them up, making a clear shed difficult to achieve. I hope I get used to it soon, and figure out ways around them. If anyone else has a Colonial and knows how to overcome this, let me know!

Here's the first complete repeat of the design. I love it! That is the best thing about overshot, turned or otherwise: You get to see the pattern progress as you go, no waiting for the end result. And I love this particular pattern. I need to figure out a better place to hang the treadling progression, because right now, it's taped to the top beam of the loom, which is quite high. I treadle, throw and have to look waaaaaaay up to see the next treadling! Again, any suggestions would be appreciated!
I left the center early yesterday, after giving B@#$%* a good cleaning. My next warp on him will be 20/2 linen, for some finger-manipulated lace hand towels. I simply needed to be at home yesterday, planting, threading, baking, hanging out with the pets, but next week, I will be winding that linen warp! Below is the first half of the warp for the Clinch Valley afghan project, a cotton flake warp and weft. Tonight, I'll wind the other half, and through the week, I'll thread it, early in the morning with my morning coffee, my furry entourage watching.
Until then, happy weaving!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Typical Spring Tuesday!

We are having a typical East Tennessee spring day: all 4 seasons in 24 hours!!! But, it was business as usual at the Center! I really need a wide angle lens on my camera to get the full effect! You can't see Maggie in the upper right, because she is UNDER her loom giving it a spring cleaning. You can barely see Ann on the left; she's getting ready to tie on her warp and begin weaving. Carol is at the back of the room looking in the filing cabinet for class notes. Pat is threading and Bonnie is weaving dish towels. Here's a better view of Tina and Sharen at their looms.

Marta has chosen her thread for her next warp, and has started winding the warp.

Carl is working on the Herald loom, getting it cleaned up and ready to weave. Joyce and Ila continue working on their warps!

The Hammett loom has been examined, and Allan will tackle making a replacement piece for the cloth beam. The old cardboard cylinder has begun to wear away, and it will not keep a tight tension for weaving anymore. And, Lanny is cutting more weft for his rug warp!

Across the highway from the Center is the Museum of Appalachia. Sometimes we run over there to get lunch. Today, you couldn't help but notice all the lambs out frolicking in the field. One of the workers told me they had at least 45 lambs born since the beginning of the year! Surely a sign of Spring!!!

Sunshine, rain, hail.....all signs of spring....just like those little lambs in the field!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, April 26, 2010

What I painted today

Nothing much exciting to talk about today. I didn't get to spend a lot of time at the studio but I will show you what I am working on. I decided the living room walls needed a bit of color so I stenciled the walls near the ceiling. What do you think?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Azaleas and Lace

Those storms yesterday that tore apart Mississippi weren't neaerly as bad by the time they got to East Tennessee. We have been so fortunate that we have missed most of the bad weather. We live in kind of a bowl and stuff goes either north or south of us. Works with snow in winter as well much to the school children's disgust!

This is the last of the big showy flowers in my yard. The azalea bushes have been here about 50 years and they are so awesome. They're at last 6 ft tall. We've been able to root some of the branches to move to other parts of the yard.

Today the flowers are absolutely at the peak!
So, today one of the pictures decided to reproduce itself twice! It's the view from the back of the driveway looking toward the house. The other picture is from the driveway looking toward the front of the house. You can just notice the red of the azalea we planted years ago in memory of my Grandmother, Katharina Neustadter Martens Dick. She is probably the one that I inherited a good bit of my creative ability from.

Today I am having a time with downloading pictures. So if when I print this there are alot of the same pictures, well, sorry, I'm going to blame the computer. It's got nothing to do with the operator, right?!

Thursday was my last morning to weave at the museum. My DH finally came to see what all the fuss was about. I talked him into winding a bobbin which I then wove into the fabric.
He didn't know what the big deal was about bobbins. Now, if it had been a Maton guitar, well, that'd have been much different!

My last color bands with the brown kind of in the upper part of the fabric.

Something else I do is make bobbin lace. Friday was our monthly lace guild meeting. There weren't very many of us this time but we did make lace. The close up is chrysanthemum lace. I'd never heard of it but a few of our members went to Georgia last weekend for a workshop and one of them did this lace. It's probably a fairly easy lace at least according to what I saw on the pillow. Half of it is always cloth stitch. That's just plain weave to us weavers. The other half was a bit more complicated but still pretty straight forward. Might have to try that after I've done all the milanese lace I have on my list!

Here is the rest of those at the meeting. Helen is making a phoenix. She's the one on the left. When you make lace, you often cover up what you've done to protect is and just work with the area maybe an inch or two square that you're in the middle of. So I couldn't show how much she'd done. Just can see the bit of wing that she's started. My pillow is at the bottom of the picture. I'm making a petal for a rose. The project takes 6 petals, 2 each of three different patterns and sizes. This is the middle size. It's got wire wrapped around the edge to give it shape. I've done one rose and am trying to get another one or two done. See how many bobbins it takes to make one little bitty petal?! Looks really impressive, right. Actually, you're only working with 4 bobbins at a time. You manipulate the 4 bobbins, drop 2 of them and pick up the next 2 and do the same stitch all the way across, at least in this project. You always are just working with 4 bobbins at a time. Weavers have the patience to do lace. If you can thread a loom, you can make bobbin lace. Trouble is, it takes an hour to do a square inch of lace. Nothing fast here.
I've gotten the last of the natural warps off my loom and am putting another exciting color on........tan! Nothing great to take pictures of either but it's good production colors. I think I'll weave either red or caribe next. I'm beyond ready for some color!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Something Wicked This Way Comes.....

The weather folks are in their element today! Wind! Rain! Lightning! Thunder! Hail! Tornadoes???? They even have coined a new term: TOR:CON. That stands for Tornado Condition Index.
We were warned during the week about possible stormy weather for today, so I made my plans last night. I had an order that had to go to the post office this morning, and I wanted to get there before it started raining. Since I was going to be out early, I thought I'd go by the Farmers' Market in Jackson Square before I headed back home. I LOVE the Farmers' Market!!! I have been looking for 4 cherry tomato plants to put in the planter, and everywhere I've looked has been sold out. I had my fingers crossed that I would find some today. I was in luck! But, you never just buy what you came for....oh no! I got some new lavender plants from the lady from Erin's Meadow Herb Farm (I really need to spend a day over there!) And, there were some yummy baked goods at another stall. Just take a look at that cinnamon roll!!! I couldn't resist! I was back home before 10:00 a.m.! (I know the other Tuesday Weavers are in shock at that...I never can get TO the Center before 10 o'clock!)

I also got some pictures of my fringe tree (weeping ash) before the wind and rain can knock the blooms off of it. It just lights up my yard!

Today will be a good day to work on my tote bags. I've started on #2 and made some adjustments to my measurements for this one. I'm using some different fabric strips that are around 3 yards long each. I had a 10 pound cone of blue mop cotton that I cut 6 yard cords for the braided handles. I really liked the round braid for my lap top tote, and this mop cord is braiding very nicely. Again, I centered each cord in the shed, and left the remainder hanging out on each side. I want a 30-36 inch braid before I weave the cords back into the bag. I should get a lot done today!

Stay safe, my friends! Do you know where your "safe spot" is???
Happy Stormy Weaving!

Friday, April 23, 2010

First attempt at Monks Belt

Here is my first attempt at monks belt. These will be mug rugs, I think I like them. I have a 7 yard black warp to play with.

I actually wound 2 of them, thinking that I could weave them side by side. I then remembered that with the monks belt you already have 2 shuttles. I thought that would be a bit much to handle. I also have many bright colors to use.

One thing about contributing to this blog weekly is that it really makes me get in the studio, at least on Friday, and get something done!

So today, at least for a little while longer I am going to ignore the sunshine, and the piles of mulch and the vegetable garden, and the new perennial beds that has taken up so much of my time lately, and I am going to concentrate on this warp. I believe I would like it better if that little half block wasn't there on the edges, so I may try to skip those threads and turn the contrast weft at that last full block. If I like it, I will get back on and post a picture of it.

P.S. Not quite what I had in mind but I came up with this.

Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mixed Emotions

First of all, Happy Earth Day! I really think everyday is Earth Day....that's where I am! If everyone just did the BEST they could do, it would make such a difference. Theresa, over at Camp Runamuck, posted a link to a Newsweek article that gives you a few things to think about and just go, "hummmm....."

Today was the last day of weaving at the Knoxville Museum of Art on the Wind, Rewind, Weave project. Carol, Carl, Pat and I were honored to get to weave today. When Carl and I arrived, we could hear the familiar sounds of Carol's weaving from the lobby....she doesn't miss a beat! There is a lot of cloth wound up on the cloth beam from the last few weeks of weavers, and the colors are just incredible.

As I wove today, a lot of school groups stopped by. These were mainly older students and it got a little noisy as they wound their bobbins. We also had some families that were passing through Knoxville and stopped to take in the exhibit. There was a real air of excitement as I wove. Once again I was drawn to warm, sunny colors. While I wove, Carl got a chance to take a closer look at some of the books in the book room. Then we switched places and I read while he wove. Some of the museum staff wandered into the book room and we talked about the exhibit and just being part of this wonderful project.

Pat arrived to finish up the day of weaving. As she was getting her materials together, we were joined by Tommye Scanlin. She will be the weaver with the responsibility of cutting off the warp tomorrow. Tommye has been such an active part of this exhibit, and it was a great pleasure to meet her in person.

So, I'm wiping my eyes, and saying "farewell." It's been fun.............
Happy Weaving,

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fellowship of Fiber

Tonight was Knit Night. A group of fellow knitters meet every other Wednesday at the local Panera Bread for dinner, knitting and fellowship. I spent many years in the company of people who rolled their eyes, or whose eyes glassed over, or who quickly changed the subject when I would speak lovingly of knitting, sewing or quilting. When I learned to weave, it was much the same.
When I lived in Detroit, about 8 years ago, Stitch and Bitch was just becoming popular, and along with the dawn of the era of Book Groups, Knitting Groups were sprouting up all over the place. A couple of friends and I put together a knitting group that met on Sundays in the local Starbucks. Here, Starbucks don't have the fat, lounge-y sofas they do in Detroit, and the place just isn't as cozy. Panera has banquettes and sofas and chairs, and folks can get dinner, if they want to. And the staff doesn't seem to mind people just hanging out.
The group here, started by Mom and I, copying Tina's Panera meeting in Oak Ridge, has changed and grown in the just the last two years. People come and go; the group dynamics are never the same from meeting to meeting. What doesn't change is the shared love of fiber, the joy of making something with our own hands. We understand each other's need to take some string and sticks and make a warm thing for someone we love. We learn from each other, share stories of our lives outside the group and talk about the world in general.
Our group at the center has the same core element: people who love to touch fiber, to take that fiber and make something more valuable, to nurture others and ourselves with what we make and what we care about. Do other artists have the same connection? Do painters work in groups to help and inspire each other? Do writers? What about sculptors? Other arts seems more solitary than ours, not conducive to fellowship and friendship. We are lucky indeed!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Cutting off a warp is ALWAYS a cause for celebration! We plan the project, wind the warp, dress the loom and weave and weave and weave! Today we had TWO warps that were finished and cut off! TWO!!! Carl finished his placemats on the Harrisville, and Maggie finished the 20 yard multi-colored warp that Linda used as a demonstration for sectional warping last summer.

Linda wove on that warp for a bit, then Maggie volunteered to weave on it, too. Some of the placemats and runners were cut off earlier. After it was rolled out, Pat did her best to get a final count for that warp. Amazing!!! Simply amazing!

As two warps were being cut off, new warps are going on. Ms. Bonnie has her warp chained and ready to go on "Bessie" as soon as some repairs are made to the loom. Marta and Ann were busy winding their warp on the loom (it goes so much faster with two people working together!)

Sharen, Bonnie, Joyce and Ila spent the day weaving away on their projects. Busy, busy, busy!

Along with all the weaving, there were plans being made, too. Maggie, Lanny and Tina had their heads together looking at budgets, instructors, vendors and floor plans for the Fiber Forum next April. It just makes your head whirl!!!!

So....let it rain....we need it around here. We were warm and cozy at the Center.

Happy Weaving!