Monday, May 31, 2010

Is it really Monday?

This doesn't really feel like a Monday. It feels more like Saturday and I almost forgot to blog! Today was a wonderful day. It is our 36th wedding anniversary. My husband and I started out our day by going out to breakfast at IHOP. Then my husband wanted to go to Goodwill. We found a couple of weaving things! My husband spotted a Harrisville Designs Easy Weaver in the original box for $7.50! It still has the original warp that came from thecompany. New they cost $99.95. Here is what I found. They cost a dollar apiece! Just the thing to go in my new studio!                                                                                                                                                                         


Sunday, May 30, 2010


My inlaws live in Atlanta. So when we can, we take off a few days and head south. Because DD is still recovering from her knee surgery, we felt this was the perfect time to head down for a day or two. It was a whirlwind trip! We got back about midnight last night. Because DD can't get around we didn't do our usual mall crawl. Instead she stayed home with Grandpa and several of us women went to the best place in town. It's Gail K Fabrics. We've gone there for years. In fact, it's got to be close to 20 years. They used to just take cash or checks for their sales, no credit cards. My Mother in law talked them into taking credit cards inspite of his not wanting to. Boy, the next time she went in to the shop, he was thanking her like crazy because his sales skyrocketed. No one carries cash like that anymore. This was years ago when they were still in a tiny place.
I just checked and they have a website. This place is about 6 minutes from where my in laws live!!  I love to weave handtowels, placemats and rugs but my real weaving job is weaving clothing for women. So, the vests and jackets that I weave all have buttons on them, from 3 to 6 per piece. I am the button lady. I have tons of buttons and look for them wherever I go. However, you never have enough, especially of certain colors. Once I use the buttons I have of, say, red, I am low for the next time I weave.  Getting down to Gail K's is great because of the choice. The price isn't bad either. Inspite of all those buttons I didn't find all the ones I need for the next warp that's going to go on my loom. If you look closely they don't have a ton of turquoise or blue ones.This section of buttons goes around the corner yet. There are lots of gold buttons and really exotic ones if that's what you want!!!I took a picture of the shop as you walk in the door. This is just a hint of what's back there. The bolts go way up to the ceiling all the way to the back of the shop. It changes each time I go as far as what's in the front. Right now they had wool for men's suits on the main front tables. Absolutely wonderful fabrics. Their selection of lace and silks is unreal. Also knits that remind me of those knits our Moms sewed us dresses from in the 60s. Everything! They buy close outs and over runs from all over. There was a really great shop here in Knoxville years ago on Kingston Pike. When it closed, Lee bought all their buttons and silks. That's the kinds of things they have. Prices are reasonable for what it is and there's always something to tempt me.
This time I just bought the buttons I had come for. Next time, I might look at the fabrics a bit more closely...
If you're ever in Atlanta, check their website to see the hours they're opened and then check them out.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Update: Card Weaving Class

 Our trip to the Middle TN Fiber Festival today was a roaring success!  Our teacher for the card weaving class was Melissa Goodwin. 

Tina got right to work on her card weaving band.  Basically you only need cards and thread....and somewhere to tie the two ends and you're ready to weave!

 The bands weave pretty quickly....Tina went to town with hers. 

My band went much slower....but I'm catching on!

There were three areas of Vendors........lots and lots and lots of fiber!  Tina and I found many things to tempt us......and we did drop a few $$$$.  Ask Tina about her "egg money!"

Be sure to stay tuned to Friday's blog....Tina has an announcement!!!!
Now....I've got to find a place to tie my band.
Happy Weaving........

Friday, May 28, 2010

Lessons Learned

I promised I would introduce you to my new loom, Mz. Emily.  This picture was taken earlier in the week.  I took all the wool out of the bags and tried to get inspiration for the first project that would go on her.  She's a 36 inch, 8 harness high castle Schacht floor loom with bench.  Ms. Emily, the former owner, only used 4 harnesses, so I have spent some time putting in the jacks and adding the other 4 harnesses.  I ordered new tie-ups, and they should be here next week.  She fit nicely between Sally and John in the living room. 

The tote bags have been cut apart and washed.  Sadly, I only used three threads on the serger, and I had some places that raveled out in the wash.  I have gone back to using all 5 threads to finish the bags.  I only lost about 1 inch on each side of one.  I also found out that the braided handles work much better than the twisted handle.  I want the bags to hold up well being thrown in the laundry.  I did air dry these instead of putting them in the dryer.  So, now I'm ready to make more of my "rag bags" in the future.

Cece and Zuzu have been very curious about the bags on the porch.
  Just don't let them block their shafts of sunlight!!!

So....lots of lessons learned and reviewed this week.
I've made notes about changes for the totebags in my weaving journal, and I've jotted down some ideas for projects with the wool on Mz. Emily.  If I have time this afternoon, I'll post about the Card Weaving Class that Tina and I are taking today.  Maybe I'll even have some pictures!

Happy Weaving,

working it out!

For the past several weeks, I have been in designing mode.  I am working on finding my "Thing".  There are tons of rag rugs and tencel scarfs out there, and they are all beautiful!  I am looking for something that can be produced in my studio at low cost, with little stress, that looks good and that will sell!  Of course, to do what no one else is doing you have to design it!  I am taking some of the Inkle loom designs I see and seeing what I can do with them on the floor looms.

On the Inkle loom, I have found that 8/4 carpet warp is at a good density at 20 epi,  I went with that number on the large loom only to find that it wanted a much denser sett.  To accomplish this I lost about an 1 1/2 inches on my project.  So, I  wound the necessary ends, and have been trying to get enough tension on them to be able to weave.  It isn't working too well, I may have to pull it all back thru the heddles and reed, tie on the extras and then wind it back on the back beam.  I am glad it is only a 7 yard warp!  Like I have said many times, I don't know if I have ever put on a trouble free warp!

On a Sunday morning, last week, Wally and I were getting ready for our walk.  I greeted my husband as he was coming back from his run.  "Hey babe, how was your run."  He replied, "Great! but...."  Knowing that sometimes he has had trouble with dogs attacking him, I became concerned. "What?" I said.  "Where you are going....." he responded, "....there is the cutest puppy I have ever seen.  I think she is a Newfoundland!"  (You may not know, but Newfies are huge water  dogs, used for rescue and they originally helped the fishermen in, well, Newfoundland, they are known as gentle giants, and to top it off are our favorite breed.  We once had one, she was wonderful!  I thought it would be too hot here in TN to have one.)

So off we go, Wally and I, looking for our true love.  We walked almost all the way to our turn around, and there she was.  If she is not full blooded Newfy, she sure is mostly Newfy!  It of course was love at first sight.  They started playing right then and there, they only pause to eat and sleep.  She is about 3 months old as near as we can tell, and weighs in at a whopping 30lbs.  She is mostly black with a splash of white on her chest and her toes.

Wally is a happy camper!  We humans are tickled pink as well.  We keep saying " I can't believe we have 2 dogs", and we are smiling when we say it!

If she takes the Newfy size, she will out weigh him by about 20lbs when they are full grown.

Scout has definitely taken the Newfy temperament.

We had a bunch of people over last night w/kids.   I have to keep Wally tied up since he is so very excited, and he would literally knock them down.

 Scout, on the other had, just rolled over for a belly rub!  She ended up going for walks around the yard with little girls holding her leash!

Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Same Thing

Same ol thing, just a different day. Sorry, I have nothing to report. No weaving except on my Inkle loom at night. I have finished the first pattern and have to figure out how to take it off. Then on to something different. Maybe I will have it for next week with some pictures.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I pulled a project from the studio this morning to take with me on my busy, appointment-filled day.  I grabbed the first project box I saw, and when I got to the mechanic's to get my oil changed, found it was the size 13 socks I had been making for the now-ex-boyfriend.  Well, not finishing those socks!  So I ripped them out and started a new pair for... I don't know...  maybe ME!  Who knows?  But it got me thinking about how many other pairs of socks I have in progress.

Yes, Leo, that's right!  I have FIVE pairs of socks in progress!  Two pairs, the orange and teal pair and the pink-turquoise-olive pair are victims of my not knowing how to end toe-up socks loosely enough to be able to pull them on over my heel.  The red-orange-black pair fell prey to Bella's rambunctious behavior when she was new to my household.  She leaves knitting alone now, but I still haven't felt like untangling that ugly mess.  The single sock is for Mom, from yarn she bought but thought she didn't have enough for a pair.  I'm making them shorter than normal, one at a time. 
I have two scarves and two pairs of mittens going, too.  The pink one you might recognize from this winter's knitting olympics.  Yeah, not finished yet.  The other is probably not going to be a scarf, because the yarn--from Blackberry Farm sheep--is way too scratchy.  It'll probably become bed slippers.  The mittens, well, I guess I just haven't felt like making mittens in a while.

But the really shameful bunch is the sweaters.  Front and center is my sister's orange cable extravaganza. I won't finish it.  I'll probably rip it out and make felt bags from it.  It's too small, and everything I make her always turns out too small for her liking and ends up in the back of her spare room closet.  I'll just buy new pumpkin colored yarn and make something far less complex, maybe before September 12 (her birthday), maybe not.  You just never know.
  The green sweater is done, piece-wise.  It just needs to be sewn together and have a collar knitted on.  The hot pink one in a Chanel-like sweater, almost done with the back, just lost interest.  The white one I started 12 years ago, when I was living with a man who had three granddaughters.  I loved knitting and sewing for them!  I had the best time making tiny dresses and sweaters and hats, but he had a better time with someone else, so I never finished the sweater.  Would it be wrong to hang on to it in hopes of a granddaughter of my own?  I don't know, but I can't bring myself to throw it away.  The multi-colored box of stuff is a version of Kaffe Fassett's Foolish Virgins sweater.  I've finished the back and the fronts, but couldn't find them for the picture.  I know they're around here somewhere.  But the sleeves were a problem, in that I couldn't decide on the colors for the Virgins' dresses.  I really need to finish that sweater, because, once I do, it will be spectacular.
  And that's all!  Really!  It was less than I thought it would be!  But it's enough to keep me from buying more yarn or starting more projects.  I will, and here I promise, finish the green sweater this week.  Everything else is too hot to wear right now, so I probably won't work on them for a while, but I feel better having aired my UFO's!  Thanks!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

tuesday madness!

Hello everyone. it is once again Tuesday, and the Tuesday weavers are up to all sorts of loomy goodness!

Maggie has finished winding her Linen warp and is checking it twice before winding on.  She has asked for 30 minutes of silence as she proceeds!  LOL!

Lou  Ann is busy setting up table looms for the kids camp that is held at the center every summer.  We need to have 4 or 5 looms ready each year.

Isn't this one a beauty!

Linda is brushing up on her inkle weaving skills.

Lanny is placing his spacers so that he can start another rug!

Carol is showing Bonnie how to use the serger, to finish up those towels she wove off a couple of weeks ago.

We also took a new picture for the blog today, we missed a couple of people, but it won't be long before we will take another one, maybe we need to do it first thing, when we all get there.  We can't always stay the whole time when we come on Tuesday, but even if we can't we usually do a drive-by and say howdy!

I hope you enjoyed your tour today,  there were several other looms working as well today, but you have seen pictures of them recently.  We will catch them again next time.

Happy Weaving, Tina

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fiber on the hoof

Recently I bought a Nigora Goat. This goat is produced by mating an Angora goat and a Nigerian Dwarf. What you get is a mini fiber animal. I have been wanting one of these for two years! It took me that long to find a breeder who lived near me. Her wool is very soft. I have spun some of her wool and no one will ever guess it is from a goat.

The first picture is of Kami as a baby. The second is Kami in her summer coat and the third is Kami in her winter coat. One of the best things about all this is I won't have to shear! She sheds her coat in the spring!

Isn't she cute?


On the loom

This week has been spent mostly out going to therapy sessions or doctor appointments! DD is doing very well with her knee repair. When we went Monday for the first appointment she was already able to bend it 105 degrees, more than the 90 degrees they were hoping for.  I guess all those years of ballet and dance have paid off!!
The days right after her surgery when I needed to be quite close to her, I needed something that I could do that was productive but nearby. I decided to cut some narrow strips for placemats. The problem was where to attach my rug cutter. Too bad they've a narrow space built in to clamp onto tables. However, our TV tables are the perfect size. So that's what I did. Also, when DD went off to college, of course we sent along a tabletop ironing board (which was never used!). In the package with the board was a fairly flimsy laundry basket, tall and narrow. It's perfect for all those strips I'm cutting to fall into.
The only problem is that the TV table is kind of light weight, so I am having to rest my feet on the cross bar at the bottom to keep it stable while I'm turning. Well, the only other problem is that DD thinks the sound of the cutting fabric reminds her of them drilling into her bone to attach the cadaver parts to repair her ACL!  One week of crutches down, only about 5 to go!!

Having to spend so much time being DD's legs, I haven't had alot of time down in the studio. However, I do have a warp on my Nilus. I just love the combination of red, yellow and orange. I keep trying to think of new combinations to try and this is one of them. The way the colors blend is very nice. I can't wait to finish this one to see how the pieces work in finished clothing, vests, tops and a jacket and dress. I think a dress like this with a solid vest would be nice. I do have a solid red dress or two that one of these vests would look great over!! With my time down in the studio limited right now, it may be awhile before that all gets done, especially since there are 2 warps ahead of it, waiting to be washed and sewn.
I've thought alot about what Hillary from Crazy as a Loom has been saying about having others help her with the production. Wouldn't it be great to have someone to help you with that if you need it? However, I'm glad that I can take the time  to do it myself. I like sitting and cutting fabric, digging out the unwanted threads from the loopers and all that slow work that is necessary but doesn't feel productive at the time. To me it's kind of therapeutic, like throwing the shuttle.  You can contemplate life or just veg while you're doing something that doesn't require alot of thought. Or you can put in a DVD of something you enjoy like last year's NCIS or Bones and watch with half an ear as you do your work.
Here's hoping that I can get just a little more time this week in the studio than last week!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Nekid Looms

For those of you who aren't "from around here,"  you know that "naked" means you don't have any clothes on, right?  And, if you're "nekid" it means that you don't have any clothes on AND you're up to something!!!!  Well, Annee and John are "nekid!"  The warps have been cut off, and they are waiting for their turn to get a spankin' new warp.  The afghan project will be going on Annee, and a new rug warp will be going on John.  Tina is going to come over and bring the tension box, and I'm planning on a 20 yard multi-colored warp for rugs and totebags.  I'm still playing with the color order on the spool caddy.  It's mainly blues with some bright colors thrown in for accent.

  In the meantime, the rug warp is rolled down the front hall.  I have to cut the rugs apart, and knot the fringes.  My laptop tote is on that warp, too.  It will go downstairs to be washed and sewn together.  The pile of items on my sewing table just gets higher and higher!!!

  The news on this homefront is that the looms are getting ready to meet their new sister!  Miz Emily will be coming to live at our house Sunday afternoon.  I'll give you a formal introduction next week!

In the meantime....Happy Weaving!

Friday, May 21, 2010

rug rescue!

A couple of months ago, I did some rug rescue for one of our clients.  The fringe on her 20 year old rugs had worn away and some of the warp itself had to be replaced.  I spent several hours on those rugs and they turned out very well.

A week or so ago, she came back, and brought a newer rug for me to shorten.  She wanted 10 inches off the rug.  Carol suggested that I take 5 inches off of each side, and use those 5 inches as the new fringe.  We would lose the binding picks, but it needed to be done.
I cut off the old fringe and began to unweave the BJ weft.

I then began to knot the fringe as tightly as I could.I decided that I needed to double knot it since we lost the hem picks.  I think it finishes it a little better.

Close-up shot of the new fringe.

Final shot of finished rug.  I had to moisten the fringe for it to relax enough to get those ends trimmed.  You can also see how much BJ weft we will add to our stash to make more rugs!

My hotwater heater went out yesterday.  As the old one was being replaced I went upstairs to the studio and got some designing done. Yippee!  I am adapting some plainweave structures to my floor looms.

Wally was so helpful to the workmen yesterday, they couldn't have done it without him!

Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, May 20, 2010


When winter is here we wait around and wish for warmer weather. Warm weather gets here along with the mowing, weeding, pruning. You know it has to be done over and over during the warm weather. Because of this work, you wonder why can't I get any weaving done. I am working on stuff for my husband during the day. At night in front of the TV, I am having fun with my inkle loom. Lots of fun.

Today has been a beautiful day. I am not wishing for winter. But as we all do, during the August and September heat we will be wishing for cooler weather. With the cooler weather, being indoors makes for more time for weaving. Will we ever just be content?

Have a good week doing ---whatever!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

LouAnn's color and other loominaria activity

This week, there was a lot of activity in the loominarias, front and back.  Weftie took advantage of a chair about to be reupholstered and used it to climb to the top of the AVL.  He hangs out there now, because... well, because he can and no one else can!
  LouAnn's color followed Carol's on the afghan rectangles this week.  I've almost finished the first and will be starting the second today when I take breaks from gardening/weeding.  My experience in east Tennessee so far has been that there is far more weeding than gardening, due to the absurd amount of rain.  Honestly, during the drought, to this former desert-dweller, it still looked pretty darn wet here!  I love it, though!  Stuff grows so fast here, I sometimes feel I can hear it.
The knots have come over the back beam on the turned overshot project, but that means little in how fast I'll finish it.  The epi is 24/48, and one motif takes about 20 minutes.  The shafts are sticky and hard to push down, due to the tabby being on 5 and 6.  I have been drawing the draft for the next turned overshot, the kitchen curtains, and have put the tabby on 1 and 2.  I'm hoping it works, and I think it will save my legs a lot of lifting.  I've got the treadling pattern written, and it's about 3 feet long!  The threading pattern is causing my brain to overheat, because I can't remember how I did it for the first one.  I will persevere, though, and have it ready by the time this project is done.
  I still have one more bunch of threads to go on the linen warp at the center.  I have 262 measured so far.  I was going with 24 epi, because that's what it came out to wrapped on a ruler, but since handling it for the last three weeks, and seeing its true texture, I've decided to cut back to 20 epi.  That, and the fact that I don't think I'll have enough yarn!  I need 58 more threads to equal 320, and then it's on to warping!  The project will be hand towels in finger manipulated lace, my first linen project and I think it will be fun.  I'm amazed at how linty the thread is; there's always a cloud of lint on the cone holder when I change spools.  And I can see why people have trouble weaving it, compared to wool or cotton, even before I start weaving.  It's very crisp and not so pliable.  I'll be bringing a spray bottle to spritz it now and then, and see if that helps.  I'll keep you posted!
Until then, Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday, Tuesday....Just love that day!

  As always, there's lots going on at the Center!  Inkle fever has taken a hold of several of the weavers...Tina started this by bringing in her weaving last week....and then blogging about it.  Not to be out done, Bonnie pulled her inkle loom out of hiding, and started weaving, too.  And, lo & behold, Ann brought her inkle loom today with her warp almost finished.  What have you started, Tina????


Things are moving along on the warp for the caterpillar rug.  Bonnie and Carol picked out threads for the warp, and wound a LONG warp on the mill. 

  Although Bonnie usually warps front to back, she is putting this warp on back to front.  She got the warp on the loom and ready to thread this afternoon.  Way to go, Bonnie!

Carl and Pat got weaving time with their placemats today.

Carol cut more strips for the rugs that Lanny and Allan are working on.  Allan got the cloth beam replaced on the Hammet loom, so it will be ready to be warped next week.  And, Tina finally found time to work on her finger manipulated lace cloths.   Maggie is finishing up winding the linen warp for her loom.

  Busy day, huh?  And tonight is knitting night....never a dull moment!
Happy weaving!