Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Torrential Tuesday!

Today was a day that even an umbrella could barely save you from a soaking! 

We had a great day at the center, with I think 8 weavers present.  Ann and Alan were at the Barn Looms, I was working on old Bessie, the little Hammett loom that churns out placemats, Carl was threading today, one Bonnie was finishing winding a warp and getting it on a loom, and the other Bonnie was working on Mug Rugs on one of the table looms, (she even came up with a variation that looks fab!)  Linda was on the other mug rug warp, (I didn't get a pic of Linda!) and Carol was helping a new student get her feet wet!




Bonnie and Bonnie!




Nada (Aka new student)

Carol, Lanny and I also inventoried everything that was going to go to the Antique and Craft mall in Farragut TN, tomorrow.  We are really excited about this opportunity to sell, especially this time of year, when there are buyers looking for something unusual.  We set up tomorrow, I will get some pictures of it all and post them over on Farmstead Studio sometime tomorrow.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina, for all


Monday, November 29, 2010

Weft Terrorizes Warp!

Yesterday, I finally made time to work on the turned overshot.  I was 45 threads short on the yellow, though I see from my notes that I knew I needed 208.  I have no idea how that happened, but I wound 46 more yellow threads and STILL ended up 6 short!  I am not good at math, but I had no idea I could be that bad.  Nevertheless, the threads are hanging behind the loom--no photos, too ugly--and I scrimped on one side of the daisy.  I was ready to start the green to finish the design, when I pulled up the next bundle of white to thread at the same time.
Ugh!  That's a pretty serious wad of tangled mess!  I didn't have the strength to face it, and took Bella to the park to play ball.
A weaver who names her cat Weft is asking for trouble.  But Weft has grown up in the loominaria, watching me weave, thread, wind, have bouts of cursing and times of pure, zen-like joy.  He probably thinks everyone should get a hand, um, paw in the threads.  And I did leave fat, tempting hanks of thread hanging down from the loom for months, unguarded.  As I threaded yesterday, he leaped up into the back threads, and instead of getting the camera to record such cuteness, I yelled NO! and scared him away.  Probably better for the warp, but it was pretty cute.

  I will spend the next week untangling the Weft-influenced threads and begin the journey through the kitchen curtain, possibly assisted by fluffy Weft.  If he does anything adorable, I'll be sure to document it.  Until then, HappyWeaving!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Little Men" Update

They are all out.....and I counted them.  Sixty-one little men plus two tall men (48") and one cookie jar!!!!  And, Ms. Hildagarde has on her Mrs. Santa outfit.  I did add two little men to the collection this year....they are standing by the groundhog:  a pirate and a Highlander bag piper.

This is the dining room side of the divider. 

This week I'll get the tree up, and I found Mom's box of nutcracker ornaments....there are NOT 61 of those!  Thank you for all the kind comments....I really enjoyed finding the guys their special place to stand guard this year.  I think Mom would approve.

Happy Decorating!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The March of the "Little Men"

It's my big brother's fault.  He started all of this!!! Way back in the late '60's, he was stationed with the Army in Germany.  When he came home for Christmas leave, he brought my Mom her FIRST wooden nutcracker.  Little did we all know, he had started something!
  She started with just one or two every Christmas season....she would see one that she liked, and "he" was added to the group.

After Thanksgiving, we would hear her casually say, "I've got to start getting the little men out."  As the years rolled by, it took her awhile to get them all out of their hiding places, and place them in just the right location.
  Since her passing, I've been the keeper of the little men.  I promised her I would take good care of them.  Now I'm the one who starts after Thanksgiving.....and one by one they find just the right place to stand guard over all the holiday decorations.  This year they are sharing the space with Bruce's groundhog (which will get her Mrs. Claus attire soon) and my crock collection.
  I did start this week....I bring up a few at a time, and carefully climb the ladder to place them on the shelf.  So far, I have brought out 23 of them.   There are many more to come....along with the two 4 foot men.  I'll have to get my kids to bring them up since I can't lift them this year.
  I start therapy on my arm this week.  I'm sure that lifting "little men" will be on my exercise program.  I just got an early start on that part of the program!
  Weaving....you ask????  Yes, I have plenty to do, and I'm sure that will be part of my therapy program, too.  Just like everything else, I do a little bit at a time.  After all, everything in moderation, right????
Happy Weaving (and decorating!)

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Day After!

While I am composing my blog posts for today, I am dining on left over apple pie.  While not as good as it was yesterday, is very much appreciated this morning! 
Today will be a day of catching up and moving forward at the same time. My house looks like it could really use some attention, including the laundry pile. I also have the 2 looms I am dressing upstairs, calling to me. So the plan is 1 hour devoted to housework, then 1 hour devoted to the looms. My back will need the break after an hour, and that way I can really get some stuff done around the here!

40 is the magic number around here.  40 yards that is, give or take a little.
On the Leclerc Mira 45 inch, It is over an inch thick, but you can see that I could easily do double that!  That is, as far as the space is concerned, not sure I would want to turn that crank that many times!  I think that I read somewhere about spacers that I can put under the sectional bars that would put the beam circ. closer to 1 yard.  I think I will be looking into that for the next time around.

You may remember Lillians injury 2 weeks ago.  Our dear weaving friend Alan has put her right.  It is so good to have a Weaver that is also good with wood and metal!  Thank you Alan!
I have also been having trouble with the lamms that Lillian came with.  They continually get hung up on each other particularly the 3rd and 4th one.  I have been looking at the looms at Lou Anns house, and all of the lamms on her looms are coming from the same side.
So, that is what we are going to be trying this time around with Lillian!

I had my DD over to weave on her first project ever this week, a Looper Rug. (more on this on my Farmsteadstudio blog) DH kindly handled the kids for us for awhile! He even took them to lunch!  So I got to work on the sectional and help her out at the same time.

This morning, as I go up the stairs to the studio, the Leclerc Mira 45inch is already wound, and Lillian 45 inch, a Burchard Loom, 4 harness counterbalance, made in Berkley, California, is waiting to be finished.  I think I count 9 bouts left.

I will then make sure I have enough heddles one the Mira 45, and start the threading process, thank the Lord it is Carpet Warp, and only 480 ends on each loom!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina
Oh, I did run that race, came in on fumes, but my time was good!

ETA- Lillian is threaded and sleyed, the house looks pretty good, the only thing I didn't get to is the floors, I am just too pooped tonight!  The Mira 45 will have to wait till Monday.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know I am a day early but I wanted to make sure that I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. May your day be filled with family, friends and food. We all have so much to be thankful for. Have a great day, everyone!



Some Progress!

Now that the show season is done I have a list of projects that "have" to be done! There are at least 4 warps I have to weave plus there's still that handtowel warp on my baby wolf that has to come off before one of these other projects can go on there. Haven't touched it yet!
However, today I'm working on a baby blanket. He was born the beginning of August. His Grandma is a very special friend of mine. DD was in the wedding when his parents got married. You'd think I'd have gotten the blanket done ages ago. I haven't.
I found out that they were decorating with Winnie the Pooh. My MIL has been going through her fabrics and giving me some of the ones that she knows she won't use. In the stash was some Winnie the Pooh fabrics.

I've figured out a way to make a blanket using what she gave me. I kind of like it. I have it spread out here just before I pinned it to do machine quilting.
The pictures are from a piece that was meant to be made into a book. I just cut them with a scant 1/4" seam  allowance and then added fabrics to make it 10 1/2" squares. I normally make smaller squares in the opposite squares but this time I wanted Winnie the Pooh to show up so just cut 4 patches for the squares. The allover print is sashing around the blanket. Now, included in that pile of fabric was a really thick flannel the same as the fabric I used for the sashing. It's backing the quilt. So, once this is done and he gets it, he can be warm since there's a layer of batting between the two, but really, that flannel will be really great. Now while he's still little, he can lie on the flannel side when it's cool but once it's warmer the pieced side is just cotton and great to be on.
This quilt isn't an heirloom. It's meant to be used and I"m hoping he "drags it in the mud" as he hauls it around his playroom.

Gotta weave this afternoon. That handtowel warp is like an anvil hanging over my head!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hey Marta....Until Next Time!

OK....so we'll use any excuse to have a potluck dinner.  But, today was a special day at weaving.  Marta has been with us a year, and now it's time for her and her hubby to move back to New Mexico.  Marta brought her posole, and the rest of us pitched in with LOTS more food.  Sharen even took her lunch break to be with us today.  Lunch was yummy!!! 

It looks like plans are underway for a western branch of the Tuesday Weavers!!!!  It will be fun to see the exchange of ideas in the coming months. 

Marta made Carol an Weaver's Dream Catcher with all natural materials....even little carved shuttles. 

And, I loved my pequin ristra....it is such a beautiful symbol of a bountiful harvest and special friendships.  It brought back wonderful memories of my time in the Land of Enchantment.

We also got some weaving done.  Allan is working on the warp Tina wound for him....he's about ready to start weaving on it.  He got the warp beam fixed for Tina's loom (see it on the left.)  Ann brought her table loom and joined us after her class. 

Both of the Bonnies are winding warps on the Warping Boards. 

And, Tina finished up her Tuesday Weaver day by working on some mug rugs. 

We aren't saying "good-bye" to Marta.....we'll just say we hope to see her soon.

Happy Weaving........

Monday, November 22, 2010

Why I'm Not Weaving

  This week, I've been feeling extra guilty about not weaving, and wondering why I just can't slip a little weaving into my schedule.  How did I always have time to weave before?  But then, before what?  Before I owned a house, I had plenty of free time.  Before I owned a dog, I had lots and lots of free time.  
Before Williams-Sonoma took a shine to my jams, pickles and peanut butter, life was definitely less complicated.  I received an email this morning from my assistant saying they'd made 2,364 jars of peanut butter this weekend, which means we have about 1,000 jars left to go.  We'll finish that today or tomorrow, which means that after Thanksgiving, we'll switch back to Pickled Beets & Strawberries, where we have about 4,000 to go.  Here are Dustin and Shannon on the day we made 1032 jars of peanut butter.
On Saturday, I went to Mom's, who was in town just for the weekend.  We raked her leaves first, and as you can see, Bella was a lot of help.  Her ball was buried in the leaves, but she paused in her search long enough to be extremely photogenic.  Then, it was back to the search.  Most of these leave are from the one Sycamore that Mom is standing next to.  It's amazing to me how many leaves can be produced by one tree, when they're on the ground.  After the leaves were all raked and mostly all were bagged, we went to lunch and then the plant nursery.  We were in search of her birthday Dogwood, but there were none to be found.  We settled on a beautiful oak leaf hydrangea, with deep maroon leaves and silvery edges.  We also planted a burning bush Mom had in a planter on the porch.  

 Sunday was my day, full of cleaning house, a big fat mid-morning nap and tilling, planting and planning.  I finally plowed the north forty, the triangular flower bed.  I stopped with about four feet to the garage to go, when I realized the grass there hadn't been sprayed and would just come back ten times more viciously if I kept going.  I planted all the bulbs in the plastic bags, and I planted the peonies.  When I pulled them from their plastic bags, I was shocked at their appearance.  They look like some alien life form!  And it took me a few minutes to figure out which end went up.  I have one pink, one white with scarlet centers and one red.  They are all tucked in now for the winter, with wooden stakes showing where they are.

The bush in the left of the photo was an impulse buy at the nursery.  It's a Loropetalum, and they had one espaliered in a gigantic pot.  It didn't take long for the salesman to convince me I couldn't duplicate what they'd done, but I sure wanted one of those plants!
Here's a photo of what it will look like when it's in bloom and a little bigger.  I debated whether to put it in the back or front until I read the tag.  It gets fifteen feet wide and eight feet tall, a perfect screen from the frat boys next door and the street, so it went in the front yard.
  And that's why I haven't been weaving.  The back yard is almost ready for the winter now, and the peanut butter will be done soon.  We have enough pickles for the first shipment, so I really should relax about that a little.  Maybe next Monday, I'll be able to report on some weaving!  Until then, you have some happy weaving for me!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Of Coverlets...Part 2


My sister and I are blessed to each have a coverlet from our family.  After last Saturday's blog, she was concerned that her coverlet was not in very good condition, and was rather plain in comparison to my coverlet.  Although her coverlet is stored in the cedar closet here at my house, I had not really looked at it in a very long time.

   So, this weekend, we pulled it out, and I started looking very closely at the structure and design.  From a distance, it doesn't look all that fancy.....it is two panels sewn together, but not matched well in places.  Also, from a distance you really notice the red, and miss the other pattern color that is used.

  And, yes, it has been used a LOT in the past.  There are patches sewn on both ends of the coverlet (probably thanks to my Grandmother Schultz, who used to put patches on patches!!!!)  But, except for the ends of the coverlet, the rest of it is in pretty good shape!!!

  Aw shucks...the picture came in side-ways!!!  Oh well, you get the idea.  Now you can see that there is a design there that isn't just the red stripes!  The secondary pattern weft is slightly darker than the natural tabby, so it doesn't show up from a distance.  (This coverlet is 100% wool, by the way!)

Closer inspection shows this lovely little block that gets totally ignored if you view the coverlet as a whole!!!!  (Can you say, Whig Rose?)

And, you TOTALLY miss this diamond design when you aren't looking up close and personal.  Oh my!  There are so many design elements in this coverlet!  And, to think we first thought it was plain!!!

This kind of makes me think of how we often view other folks....it isn't until you look closer that you find all the good elements.

So, although I credit Esther Kidwell Schultz with our coverlets, it may have been one of the other "GREATS" that actually wove them.  I do know that I have Great-Grandmother Schultz's loom because her son told me it had belonged to her.  This picture was made in 1935....she was still weaving then.  But you can see she already had arthritis in her hands.  Thank you, Esther.

Thanksgiving is not just for turkeys, my friends.  I have so much to be thankful for!

Happy Weaving, my friends.

p.s. My sister did all the heavy lifting!!!!


Friday, November 19, 2010

The trouble with red!

I love red, and I love the way the pattern shows up with the high contrast!  However there is a huge problem with red yarns, and that is excessive bleeding.
These are color catchers, and I use them when I wash new pieces that I know will be bleeding color.  Here are the catchers after wash 2 thru 5.

I emailed Carol and she suggested adding vinegar to the water to stop the color loss.  I am afraid that it only bound the color tighter to the natural.  So while this blanket is a no go, I learned a ton about it's construction and how it held up under a gazillion washes. 

I learned that I need to join new yarn at the selvedges where it will be more securely woven in, and that it would be good to wash on a gentle cycle for a frequently washed item like a Baby Blanket.

I am still winding warp so I won't bore you with pictures.  I am also still running, though I won't be posting miles anymore, in fact I am considering a 5 mile race next week, haven't decided yet.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Happy Anniversary!

Today our blog is one year old! Can you believe it? My, how fast the time has flown by. We all hope you have enjoyed reading about we have been doing and about all our adventures. I wonder what the next year will bring? I am hoping for more of the same. Weaving on Tuesdays, loom picking up adventures, demonstrating for the public and the wonderful friendship we all share with each other.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog as much as we have enjoyed writing of our adventures. We send out a big thank you to all our followers!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Show views

The show season is over!! That's such a nice feeling. You can breathe again for awhile before the rush to produce takes over again. Of course I still have all the end of year inventory logs to do and figuring out what I'm going to weave for next year's shows but I can take a bit of time doing that. I've delivered pieces to 2 shops where I always switch things around after the Foothills Craft Guild show and ready to think spring!

I took some pictures at the show on Sunday morning before the show started. I do the shows alone and don't have someone to booth sit so I can take pictures during the day. It's like we have a tether tying us to our booth. We can go just a little way down the aisle but need to keep an eye on our booth to see if someone is looking at pieces there.

So, I picked 3 booths to feature this time. Right next to my chair across the side aisle is Randy McCurdy. He has a big flower garden in his yard and he raises tons of flowers that he puts between glass to sell. Years ago my parents drove down for this show to see what I was up to when I talked about doing shows. Well, they walked around the whole show and bought one thing. It was a piece by Randy.  Randy's other "claim to fame" is that he was the model for the statue of Chet Atkins that is downtown in Nashville. Since my DH is president of the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society, I always think that it's really cool that he modeled for the artist making the statue.

Down the aisle in the other direction was Timothy Flint's booth. He's an excellent weaver specializing in tartans and multi harness weave structures. I always enjoy looking at his scarves and the books he has in his booth. The other interesting thing about Timothy is that he is the librarian for the Complex Weavers organization. I think the Tuesday Weavers are contemplating going up to his house to look at some of the samples that he has there. I know the complex weaves can be a little overwhelming but looking at the yarns and weave structures chosen for the samples will be so interesting.  Some of the Tuesday Weavers went by to see him and he was very kind to talk weave structures and answered any questions that they had.
 At the other end of the hall our own Pat had a booth. She brought her wolf pup and demonstrated all weekend. I know she sold some of her pieces as well. Pat's a good weaver and makes excellent rugs, placemats and mug rugs! Since her booth was so far from mine I was only there a few minutes.  I'm sure she talked all weekend. Like all of us, I'm sure she was really glad to be able to kick back in the evenings and not talk!
I've got a few orders to finish yet in the next few weeks but nothing's urgent! What a great feeling!! I may take a few hours and just read a book for awhile!! Or, go shopping a few hours!!
I have one loom that still has a warp on it. It's been on there since spring for handtowels. I really want to get it empty by next week. So, I guess I'll weave again tomorrow. Really, I love to weave and if I do some every day I'll get that warp off and another one on!