Sunday, October 31, 2010

Oh those five minutes jobs!

Today we moved the Structo into the studio. To get it through the door my DH and I took it off the stand. He carried the loom while I carried the stand to the studio. Putting it back on the stand should have taken about five minutes, right? Wrong. We got it all together and then we sat on the love seat for a few minutes. Then he asks, "What is this button for?" This loom has a neat feature. When the beater is pushed back it hits a button and the harnesses come down. I went to demonstrate how it works and then it hit me! We put the loom on the stand backwards! The beater on this loom pivots on a bar that is connected to the stand. So.......we had to undo all the screws and nuts and rotate the loom and put it all back together again! Why are five minutes jobs never five minutes? I am not sure what room I will put it in yet so for  now it will be in the living room at the studio.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Warp Painting!!!!

A smokey start to our warp painting this morning!  The fire in the pit seemed to want to smoke more than flame.  And, wouldn't you know....the breeze kept shifting around when you least expected it!!!  But, all eleven of us were ready to try our hand at putting color on our warps (and keeping the color OFF of us!)

Enter the "mad scientist."  It really did look like that!  And, warps were soaked in the soda ash to get them ready to paint.

Colors were selected to use for the different warps, and different colors were created for other warps.  Sometimes it became a group decision. 

And, they're off and running!!!!

Carl painted several warps that he had ready.

Ann had her warp all planned out.

Sharen really got into painting her warp.

Meanwhile, in the living room, Tina was using the knitting machine to make me a bamboo blank to paint for a wrap.

And, Maggie was winding for her overshot project that she wants to weave.

And, this is one of our favorite things to do:  EAT!


You gotta love this!!!!  Pat had woven  a long piece which she thought might make some napkins.  But, it was decided that it had a lot more potential!!!  Marta cut stamps using potatoes that she brought, and the group was off and running.

Finishing touches were added using the stem from one of the fallen leaves.  Outstanding!!!!

Tina got her "blank" painted.

And Maggie got her long warp painted.

Whew.................I think we're all tired!  But, we all LOVE warp least until tomorrow (or Monday) when we get to rinse these babies out!!!!  I think we'll have another warp painting day in the future!


Fall Retreat--Warp Painting

It's finally here!  When we talked about having our Dye Day back in August, and the last weekend of October was chosen, I thought I had plenty of time to prepare.

We knew that October could bring lots of variety of weather, and we've lucked up with a sunny (but cool) forecast.

Last night we thought we would pre-wash the warps, but we ended up sitting around the fire pit. Pat brought nibbles for us to enjoy as we discussed our new project.  After soup & bread (and a really yummy salad that LaDonna and Ila brought) we watched Carol's DVD by Mollie Freeman and Sara  Lamb:  Warp Painting Plus.  WOW!  I'm finally seeing the possibilities of this!!!!
Carol has pre-mixed the dyes we'll be using today.  So, in a few hours we'll be dabbing dye onto our warps.
   Tina brought over her knitting machine to make blanks for those who want to try that method.  I may do up some bamboo if we have time!  That sounds like fun, too!!!
  So, put on your apron and gloves, and get ready for a fun day!  I'll add pictures tomorrow of our Retreat!

Happy Weaving & Dyeing!!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Some of the Benefits of being a Weaver!

One of the benefits of being a weaver is as plain as the nose on your face!   I work away up in the studio, creating with "string" as my DH likes to call it.  Working, working, working, and enjoying every moment that I get to spend up there.  Right now I am making Baby Blankets, which is really coming in handy since we have had 3 babies born in my circle of friends this last month.  So that means that 3 of these Blankets are already going to be gifted.  Now, I probably could have gone out and bought something quicker than I wove one of these off, (though I am not totally sure of that), but I surely would not have found anything as special, nor at such a low cost at a store!  These blankets are really soft, even straight off the loom, but after that first wash, oh my goodness gracious, I wish you could feel it!  It is something to experience.  You should hear the ooh's and aah's that I hear when sombody sees it.  It really is touching to hear a compliment, especially when they don't know that I made it!

I love the colors against the natural tabby, in fact I have ordered 40 more cones of 8/4 cotton warp in natural, I already have the colors I need for the pattern weft.  I can see that the pattern really needs more contrast than the yellow has to show up well.  I could tell it pretty much from the first pattern shot, but I decided to go ahead and see how it looks once it is washed.  I will be hemming these beauties this afternoon!

Another benefit to being a weaver is that I get to join together with my weaving buddies a couple of times a year, outside of our normal Tuesday gatherings.

I have started gathering the things I want to take along.  I will take it all over this evening because my daughter and I are participating in the Susan G. Komen race for the cure, Saturday morning, in Knoxville.  All I want to take with me on Saturday is a change of clothes!

 As you know, when we weavers get together, there is food!  My contribution will be a huge crockpot full of "Go anywhere Baked Beans"  I got the recipe from my DIL's mother, an excellent cook!
 We will have our cameras with us this weekend and I am sure we will be keeping you all up to speed on our doings.  I wish you could all come along, but then I don't think Lou Ann has quite that many beds!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina
Logged 17.5 miles jogging, 16 miles walking

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Show Views

I left last Wednesday for Asheville to set up for the Southern Highland Craft Guild show. DH came as well to help me with the lights. The fire marshall had made us all jump through hoops about the lights and fire retardant fabrics. I hope they don't think of something else to hassle us about!!!
So we were setting up racks and about to put the lights up when I realized we'd forgotten the 4 ft strips we attach the lights to.  That meant that he had to go find a Home Depot and find some more strips. They weren't expensive, just took an extra hour to get it done. I have since changed my show list. It no longer just says lights. I have it broken down into components!!
The show ran from Thursday through Sunday. It's a long show but the hours are from 10 til 6. It used to be, back in the 80s, the show went til 9pm. Those were some awfully long hours, especially in the evenings when no one would be there.
I decided this time to take some pictures from my chair. These are the views I saw in the times I was just sitting and waiting. From my chair looking straight forward I saw a potter's booth, one that had painted floorclothes and Cannon's chair caning booth. Must be nice to just sit there all the time working on a chair, shooting the breeze with people, offering them a seat. Once they're comfortable in that recaned rocker, they often end up buying it!!  At the end of the row a guy was demonstrating wood turning. He had some kind of primitive set up as well where they used part of a heavy tree branch that they anchored down well. From it was attached a rope that went around a piece of wood and down to a foot pedal that the operator pushed down. This caused the rope to move and the wood to turn. He had a tool that he used to shave off the bits of wood. By Sunday he had a nice piece that was turned. He got alot of attention. Even had some chairs there for people to sit on.

 My other view shifted to the left where I saw small wooden boxes. Just out of view on the right was Ruthie's jewelry booth. I have a pair of her earrings...
The show was a good one and I did sell alot of pieces. I was hoping not to have to do anything before my new show second weekend in November. However, I will have to do at least one warp before then because of orders and because it is all gone. I love the color combination of black, turquoise and sea blue. It'll be fun to weave once I have it on the loom later this week!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Windy Tuesday

Although we had a full house today, I only took a few pictures!  But, I'll try to give you an idea of what all we had going on today.  It's a very windy day here in East Tennessee, and the leaves are flying everywhere!

  We have our Dyeing Weekend coming up, so there was lots of conversations about winding warps for that.  We also covered the bases for what we're going to eat...that's VERY important!!!!  (Ila and Bonnie brought us goodies this morning:  homemade brownies and biscuits & blackberry jam!  YUM!)

Bonnie was busy knotting her fringes on the rugs she cut off last week.  Those looper rugs feel so good under your tootsies!

Tina was busy winding a 10 yard multi-color warp for "Bessie."  These make nice placemats and table runners.  It's also a great way to use up all the small cones of carpet warp we have in the crate!

Carl got to the end of his warp, and today was the day to cut it off!  There were 19 placemats (plus a short mat) on that warp.  You can see the roll around the cloth beam!!!

I can't believe I didn't get the shot of Marta cutting off her warp today!  I was ready to take the shot, but she had to hem the last runner..........

Trudy, our new weaver, finished threading the heddles today, and was ready to start on the reed.  She'll be weaving next week!!!!

There's a lot to do before our weaving retreat....but we'll post pictures this weekend.  In the meantime, batten down the hatches for our windy evening ahead!
Happy Weaving!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wind Like the Wind!

It's been a beautiful week at the farm.  This was the early morning view from my kitchen last Tuesday.  Around every corner is another amazing view of autumn, something I hope I never get tired of.  
  Inside the kitchen, it was fairly beautiful, as well.   The lovely stuff to the left is strawberry consomme, one of the key ingredients in Pickled Beets and Strawberries.  I made a trial batch this past week to see  how many jars can be made from one 25-pound bag of beets.  The answer is 35 16 ounce jars, in case you were also wondering.  That means I need to buy 197 bags of beets to fill the order we have.  And there are 25 pounds of strawberries draining into the container, yielding enough for two batches.  There are 25 pounds of strawberries--give or take a little--in 3 flats of strawberries.  That's 821 flats, though that doesn't sound right.  Math is not always my strong suit.
 These jars to the right are filled with beets, strawberry chunks and brine.  The steam in the background is the gigantic skillet I use for a water bath, ready to seal the jars.  This is, hands down, the most beautiful pickle I make.  It's delicious, too, but I think they are simply gorgeous.  Below is an aerial view.

All of this is to explain why I still have not wound enough warps for the guild meeting this weekend!  Here you see what I've gotten done so far.  Yes, it isn't much!  And I should be in there right now winding!  But I just got some luscious library books about gardening and DIY and interior design, and I have a hot cup of Chai, and there's that welcoming couch, and it IS my day off...  I'll do it later, when the jazz program is on and I can rock it out!
I hope I'll see you all Saturday at LouAnn's!  I'm just DYEING to go!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Today Is The Day!

  Short blog this morning....I still have a lot of little things to do before this afternoon.  As my fellow weavers know, today my baby girl is getting married!  It's going to be a beautiful October afternoon...high in the middle 70's and the trees are almost at peek color.  My brother is in from Texas, and my sister is up from Alabama for the big event, and we took a little time yesterday to drive out to Norris.  Since we grew up in this area, we spent a lot of time out at Norris Lake.   The combination of the beautiful leaves and the sparkling water were a pure joy to the senses.  We even had a little picnic at a roadside park beside the river.

  Soon, the others will be out of bed, and we'll start getting ready for the big day.  This is the quiet time.  I just keep thinking about that little girl I carried inside of me, held in my arms and I've watched her grow into a beautiful young lady.  It's going to be a perfect day for a wedding!
  Take some time today to enjoy the simple pleasures of your Fall day!


Friday, October 22, 2010

At the sewing machine

Today,I have been working for several hours at the sewing machine.  I had pressed the hems and basted them too, during the baseball games this last week.
Today I buckled down and started sewing hems.  My machine is quite old so I opted to bast instead of pin the hems.  It just comes out better if I do.
Once I finished the light colored Bread Cloths, I realized that I didn't have any navy thread to do the dark ones.  So I went on to the Rugs since I did have orange  and black thread.
That went quite smoothly and in no time I was done with those!  I then went out to run some errands, and pick up some Navy thread.
 My stack just kept growing, and growing.  Here are the Bread Cloths and some of the Rugs.
I tried to do the Rep Weave Placemats on the machine, but it turned out horrible, so I will have to do that by hand tonight.
 10 Bread Cloths......
and 6 rugs finished, not too bad for a few hours work.  I will do a final press on the Bread Cloths and then lable them all and then on with the Baby Blankets, but this time I know that I am caught up on finish work.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina
Logged 15 miles jogging, and 17.5 miles walking

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

On the road again!

I know that Tina just posted about Tuesday's adventures at the center but it's now Wednesday (after midnight)  and I'm on the road again. I have to get up early to head over to Asheville to set up for the Southern Highland Craft Guild show again. This week I've spent alot of time finishing the pieces I wove. I've still got a small stack of things that aren't finished but I've got the majority of it done.
In July the fire marshall came by the show and decided that we have to all have our curtains be fire retardant with documentation to prove it. Well, mine aren't. In fact, they're just cheap cotton that I sewed to line the back of my panels. So I ordered some special fabric and today I sewed them. I think they'll work. I'll just use them at this show. My other shows I can use my old ones. I was thinking about cutting them up and putting them into placemats or rugs but I think I'll just keep using them for shows where they're not so strict!
 Molly sure wasn't happy to see me loading the car. I think she knows what's going on. She is kind of skittish when I'm loading. I guess she is afraid she'll be boarded. Not this time! Just in July!!
She's in my studio between looms and near the wheel chair. Had to take the wheelchair out of my car because I was needing it to load.  DD doesn't use the wheelchair unless she has to go a longer distance.

So this is my van. It's loaded! We have it down to a science. Everything has its own home. If I didn't have this system of packing where everything always goes in the same place, I'd never get everything in there!!
I wonder what I forgot......

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday endings and beginnings!

This Tuesday was jam packed with 14 weavers in the house!  We, as ususal had a ton of things going on!  Lots of projects ending and lots of projects in the beginning stages.

Bonnie finished up her warp of placemats, there were 5 in this batch, and she had already cut off several more, when the cloth beam was too full!

Other Bonnie, was cutting off her rug warp as well, this is the second batch from this warp, I think she may have gotten 8 rugs from this long warp!

This is where Carl left his warp today.  He will cut it off next week.


 Ladonna was showing some of our new weavers the shawl she made on her triangle loom, similar to the loom behind her.  She has taken the odds and ends that we get donated to us here at the center, and made works of art!
She is now working on a shawl with reds.

Lanny is carefully tying on his scarf.  I can't wait to see the it develope!

 I am finishing up a rug warp that I started 3 weeks ago, I had to pull out the half that I had already wound and refresh my memory a little before I continued with the rest of it.  I am trying to use up some of the smaller cones of rug warp to make more room on the shelves.

 I finally got the last half chained off and ready to go.  I designed this warp a little as I went along.  I kept notes on how wide each stripe was. I counted the inches and came up short of where I wanted to be.  So, next week I will wind 2 more inches of  black to go on each outside edge to make it closer to 36.
And last but not least, I present to you, Trudy, our newest student hard at work, and already threading her loom.  

It does seem like several looms always empty out at the same time doesn't it.  There is talk about the new projects going on the looms, I heard other Bonnie talking about making some bags like Lou Ann makes at her house!  I haven't heard what the other weavers are going to do, I guess we will all have to stay tuned to Loomy Tunes to find out.

Thanks for visiting, until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina, for all