Friday, December 31, 2010

Out with the Old and In with the New!

I thought I would let you see the only surviving decorated cookies of the day!  It is a good thing I got this picture, because just hours later they too were history!
As per my yarnbarn wish list, I got some weaving play toys for Christmas.  How did they know!?

My plan for this week and the next was to go thru every cabinet, every drawer and every closet to clear out what I am not using or loving.  I have started in the kitchen and am almost to the end of it.  Just the main food pantry and the big freezer remain.  I have found lots of stuff that will be going to the goodwill, but also many things that I didn't even remember I had! 

I had hoped to finish at least 2 rooms this week, but I had no idea that one of my Christmas presents was a new barn!  So this week along with my decluttering, "we" have taken down the old "leany over" barn pictured  here, and sorted out what we could reuse, and  "I" have managed the burn pile and saved a bunch of stuff from it for our neighbor, who loves to have stuff around.

I will be posting later today on Farmstead Studio the before pictures and some progress pictures.  Needless to say there has been NO weaving, and I doubt seriously if there will be any in the next few weeks.  If I manage to sneek some in I will let you know.  I know there are several pieces I really do need to get done, but they will have to wait.

I doubt that I will see the New Year in tonight, but after a long day building walls, we will probably be sawing logs.  But If you do manage to stay up to see it in I hope you can greet it with joy!

Until next time, Happy Weaving or whatever it is you are up to, Tina

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


What a nice white day we had on Sunday!! It was good to "have" to stay home and relax. Up here on our hill when it snows like that and the roads are icy, we really can't get out. Hopefully we won't have alot more snow anytime soon. By Thursday, the high is in the upper 50s so the last bits of snow will be long gone!

On the weaving front, I am now tackling the guild friendship throw project. I chose a very simple weave structure in an attempt to showcase the colors. I know that some of the weave structures haven't really distinguished the warp from the weft, especially in the paler colors so I thought something that kind of looked like dots would be nice. It's weaving up easily and quickly. Here are LouAnn and Bonnie's colors. I'm almost half done. I will have to wait for Cathy's cone to finish hers but her panels are scheduled for the end of the warp. I'm hoping to have enough warp left, after I've done the panels, to weave a runner with a natural weft that is a slubby thick and thin like the warp here (and weft) is. 
I got several boxes of DVDs for Christmas of TV shows from last year. I'm watching NCIS right now. I probably saw most of the episodes but I do enjoy watching them back to back through the season, at least with one eye and it helps pass the time. 
I am looking forward to cutting off and serging each piece when I'm done! 

The surprise on this blog is something that happened this afternoon. My DH is off the rest of this week so we were home early afternoon and he called me to come to the kitchen window. We live on a high hill with alot of trees. We have about 3 acres up here. There is a very tall, at least 70 ft tall, persimmon tree next to the driveway. He was noticing a raccoon climbing that tree so we had to watch it.

These pictures don't show "him" at the most precarious spots. That silly guy would climb out onto the limbs to spots that didn't look to be more than about an inch thick, looking for persimmons to eat. He did find a few things to nibble on but not much. Remember, this guy is at least 70 feet up the tree and it's on a hill with a pretty steep slope on one side of it. We about had a heart attack watching him for about an hour til he got tired of his mostly fruitless search and climbed back down. His claws have got to be the sharpest ever!! Being able to dig in on thin branches and stay pretty stable is something I hadn't imagined an animal could do that high in the air! DH took some video of it to show his Dad when we go to Atlanta to visit his family. I'm sure the video will be the hit of the visit.
Living up here like we do, in Knox County, you never know what you'll see. We have possums regularly walking through the yard as well. Sometimes we hear coyotes. I think they chased the fox family away. I'm glad that our cat is a completely inside animal.
So not alot of weaving going on this week but I hope to get more done before next Wednesday. I did get the painted warp tied onto the baby wolf but haven't woven on it yet. That's a project for later. Right now I am on a mission to finish the friendship panels for the weaving guild!!
It'll be great when I can cross that off the to do list!
The goal this coming year is to be able to cross more off that list (the imaginary one in my head!)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Last Tuesday

Has it already been a whole year????
This was our little group last March.

Since then, we added some new weavers and other weavers have moved on.

Looking back at the year's worth of pictures, it is simply amazing!

We've added some new equipment, and moved some pieces that haven't been productive.

Pat spear-headed a reorganization of threads and fabric.  Thanks to her leadership, the shelves at the back of the room are less of a risk to our health (and heads!!!)  Our challenge for the year is to use up some of the finer threads that have been donated to the weavers over the years.  (We'll see those results in January!)

We've had two weekend weaving adventures:  Our June retreat found us weaving with inkle looms, and our Dye Day in October was a BIG success.  (We're having another one on Jan. 15!)

We have been busy spreading the love of weaving at local events, too!  We've already been asked back to Townsend and Maryville for their events in 2011.

We also participated in Knoxville Museum of Arts exhibit of Anne Wilson's work, Wind, Rewind, Weave.

I can't believe all the pictures of food in my picture files, too!  We do seem to enjoy being together!


Here's a toast to all our friends out there:  Happy Weaving in the brand new year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Instant Gratification

Leo keeps watch on the front yard from his perch on the Colonial.
I'm in the midst of a lovely, leisurely Monday off, enjoying solitude and the lack of an agenda, with my furry friends around me.  Most everyone writing on this blog has been hinting about gifts for our delayed Christmas party, and I got a new window of opportunity to join in, thanks to the icy, snowy weather.  I started my mug rugs yesterday, and I'm going to completely spill the beans about mine.  Otherwise, I'll have nothing to write!
  The warp is hemp yarn I found in a desk drawer at work.  My predecessor in the preservation kitchen was even more of a hippy than I am, so it's no surprise she had hemp yarn stashed away in desk drawers.  I wound the warp late Saturday and early Sunday, even before I had a pattern chosen.  The hemp is a lot like linen:  crisp, scratchy and chunky.  It's very strong, and I suspect it will soften with washing.  The color is perfect for the cup I've bought for the gift.  I wound 3 1/2 yards, because everyone needs a mug rug, right?  And I've chose a pattern I want to play with for a while.

I've chosen Marguerite Porter Davison's very own pattern, Valley Forge Dogwood, in honor of the tree I planted earlier this year.  By the way, the damage from the ice storm is barely noticeable by now.  The top rug mug is yellow and brown, but out of focus, since the camera was focusing on the pink below.  The pink, I must confess, is not a mug rug, but a toilet tank runner!  It's pink and brown thrown together in the pattern pick, and I didn't like it as a mug rug.  It would be perfect, however, as a runner on my toilet tank!  Could that be the first toilet tank runner in history?  I've never heard of one, but maybe because other weavers are too embarrassed to admit they made one.
  I've kept the one for the mug out of sight, but it is in there, already wound on the front beam.  This warp has given me lots of practice in hem stitching, something most of you know I am not fond of.  I am getting very good at it in this project, though!
  I have avoided weaving mug rugs, which many of you love weaving, because I thought they were, well, kind of silly.  That is until I got one for a Christmas gift.  I love it!  I pick it up with my cup of coffee when I head off to different chairs.  It's lovely, thoughtful and extremely useful.  Plus, there is instant gratification in making them.   Hemstitch, weave the border, weave one motif, border, hemstitch, NEXT!  I love it!  I plan on trying more!  I'm using this project to use up all the bobbins I have full from finished projects, kind of using up the orphans.  On now is green and brown, both from last year's challenge.  Next is rust and orange, I think from the same project.
  The pickled beets are done, 7028 jars, finished on the 23rd.  When I called my boss to tell him, he informed me that they just ordered 2300 more jars of peanut butter.  Sigh... Ah, well, job security is defined many ways.
  Happy, prosperous, peaceful New Year to all of you!  Happy weaving!

Saturday, December 25, 2010


All was still and bright this morning on the Ridge.  We awoke to a marvelous White Christmas.   

It has snowed off and on all day, but the temps have remained above freezing, so the roads are clear.

After a quick breakfast of hot monkey bread and coffee, my son and his girlfriend got off to Nashville.

My sister left for Alabama after checking the road conditions between here and there (which included a call to our cousin in Chattanooga to check the highway conditions at his place!)  But, before she left, she talked to her daughter and granddaughter in Scotland.  The news there?  Cold and Snow!!!!

My brother in Florida's balmy there.  I've gotta call my brother in Texas....surely he didn't get any snow!

And a very Merry Christmas to my new son in law, who is our newest weaver in the family.  He had admired my inkle loom and the belt I made my now he, too, can weave away just about anywhere he would like to!!!!  Santa did such a great job!!!

I hope you got your wish for Christmas...I know I did!

Happy Weaving!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Gingerbread cookies!

I decided to make Gingerbread cookies this year.  I got the recipe from the "Tales of the Coopkeeper" Blog on my blog list.  I made the dough yesterday and let it chill overnight.  I made a few changes to the recipe.  I used butter instead of shortening, and I used cinnamon instead of nutmeg.
I had been looking for gingerbread boy cookie cutters for several days and had come up with nothing. DH was going to Turkey Creek ( big shopping center) for something so I asked him to look for me. He came home with a large Gingerbread Girl, bigger than my hand, and a mix with a Gingerbread Boy in it. We were expecting the Gingerbread Boy to be normal size but it is a mini one!

This morning I pulled out the dough and had a blast making the cookies.  It took me a little practice to get the girls on the cookie sheet in one piece, but with the help of my rolling pin I had success.  I can only get two girls on the cookie sheet at a time, and since they require 10 minutes and the little guys need only 7 minutes we had to segregate them on the cookie sheets!
These are delicious cookies!  I will make them again!  I doubled the recipe and got 8 big girl cookies and a ton of the little boys.  Tomorrow, I am taking the big cookies and all the decorating stuff to my MIL's so that the kids can decorate them.  The little guys will go to just for the snacking table. 
I wish each and every one of you a blessed Christmas Day!
Until next time, Happy Weaving and Cookie Dunking, Tina

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Taking a break and having fun!

Hi all! Today my DH and DS and I went to Pigeon Forge. Our first stop was the Harry and David store in the Five Oaks shopping area. At least that is where I think it was. I wasn't doing the driving. Whew, was that place crowded! My goal was to buy some lemon curd. It is delicious on scones! You should try it sometime.

From there we went to Dollywood. Even with several layers of clothing it was cold. One of the things we did was ride the carosel. I rode a goat, of course, while the rest of my family rode horses. Too bad they don't have the brass rings for you to try and catch anymore. I always enjoyed trying to catch some.

Then we rode the train.We love steam engines! Diesel engines just don't have the same appeal. We have ridden on several over the years and we never cease to enjoy them.

Then we saw a couple of shows. They were wonderful! We were so glad the Smoky Mountain Christmas show was inside so we could get warm. While we were in the show it got dark so we walked around looking at all the wonderful lights. They are incredible! Just beautiful!

There you have it. This is what this family did today. No work, no chores, no weaving.......just enjoying each other's company and having fun.

Merry Christmas everyone!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

EWE-L TIDE Greetings

I asked DD what I should call this blog and the title is her idea!! I thought it was pretty good!! Better than anything I was thinking anyway!
Yesterday we had so much fun at the center, cutting old wool clothes, figuring out projects, watching Ann cut denim so quickly and easily with that Chickadee.........and then I drove home. I was on the interstate close to downtown Knoxville when the jeep suddenly went nuts. I thought the whole thing was calling apart. Luckily there wasn't alot of traffic so I could move from the far left lane up to the retaining wall on the right. Yup, flat tire. I'm so glad we have AAA. The guy came in about 45 minutes and changed the tire.  I went straight to Fleet Tire to have them check it. I was driving DD's jeep. She got an early Christmas present.....2 new tires! That took care of any time I thought I had in the studio yesterday!

I was waiting to put the warp on the loom for that weaving guild project until an additional cone of yarn was ordered so I could just weave all the panels off. It's on its way so I am going to put the warp on today and see how different the colors work with the pattern I've picked.
In the meantime, I cut out a wallhanging kit. Sometimes it's fun to just pick up a kit at a quilt shop and do what they have already figured out instead of making up a pattern. This wintry snowman, animal print is just cute. The wallhanging isn't going to be huge but fun. The colors are Christmasy but it's something that can hang well into January, once it's done! So it'll sit by the sewing machine and I"ll work on it as I have a minute here and there!

 What I should be doing is making baby blankets. Remember some months ago I made one for a dear friend's baby? Well, I had some fabric left over so was able to cut enough for another one. I sewed it day before yesterday. I won't quilt it yet. I"ll wait til I have a few more and then quilt them all. I have a stack of potential baby blanket fabrics. It takes time to figure out what to do with it all and Christmas is not the time to do that so they will wait. Besides, for this quilt, the back will have to be pieced because I don't have quite enough of one fabric for the back. I like to give baby quilts to friends and children of friends who are having babies and my stack is empty right now. I need to make more just so there is a choice. Winter's a good time to do that!
 Now that I've finished the scarf for our Tuesday Weavers challenge, I could put on one of the painted warps we did in October. This is the first. I did it in sections so I could have contrasting colors in the stripes. I hope it weaves nicely. It's bamboo. I had ordered a couple of cones of dyed bamboo when we ordered the natural and this seablue matches what I dyed perfectly. That was unplanned but a nice result. I'll try to get it woven this week yet as well. Have to thread it through the reed yet. I lost my paper with the sett that I had planned but I will refigure it and resolve to take better notes on these kind of fun projects next year!!
Last week we had snow and ice and it was incredibly hard to get around. Now they're predicting rain and snow for Friday and Saturday. I grew up in Canada and I remember Christmas Eve as being cold but not awful and huge flakes of snow falling down sometime during the day. Then Christmas Day was clear and very cold. That belongs in Winnipeg not Knoxville! Here's hoping they're wrong on what's coming this weekend and we have just a few pretty flakes in the air! That would be nice!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The More We Get Together.....

Ah, come know the words!  Sing along with me!

No?  OK, so how about, "it was a misty gray chilly day." like a good story, huh?

Although outside it was frightful, inside the Center it was warm and cheerful!  The Weavers were really busy today!  Someone had donated a TON of old wool clothes that Pat had taken home and washed.  Today she was busy taking them apart so they can be cut into strips for rugs.  This will be rugs that probably will never wear out!!!!

Karen is trying her hand at the overshot mug rugs, and Carol is always near by to offer good advice.

Ila is working with a new hair cut, thus the hat!  It does help keep her warmer!  She and Bonnie had a lot to chat about as they wove away this morning.

Carl and Lanny were hard at work at their looms.  Carl will be ready to weave the "rag bags" when we return from Christmas break.  He's taking home a stack of fabric to cut into strips.  (Nothing like homework during the holidays!!!)  Ann went to town with the Chickadee cutting denim strips for her rugs.

"And this is how you hold the cross in your fingers while you thread!"  Bonnie likes to thread front to back, and it's always a miracle to me that it works!!!  She isn't the only one that threads that way.

Tina is weaving on Maggie's linen towel warp, and got into the rhythm quickly.  ( picture!)

Allan has a bad case of the sniffles, and couldn't be with us today.  We sure do hope he gets better before the weekend!

And, our reward for all this hard work???
A Feast!  (An impromptu potluck!!!)  Bonnie started it with, "I'll make a pot of chili."
Tina countered with, "I'll make taco soup."  And it grew from there!

Who knows....we may have to start doing pot luck more often!!!!

The Tuesday Weavers would like to wish a very
Merry Christmas
to all our friends and family and fellow weavers out there in cyberspace and beyond.  We wish you good fortune and Happy Weaving!!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mind the Gap

This weekend, I hosted the Clinch Valley Handweavers' Guild Christmas party, and I apologize profusely for not taking pictures.  Between making chili and cleaning my house, then baking all day Sunday, I didn't get around to fixing the warp on the turned overshot.  It's smile looks like some of the folks who live up the Cove from work!
  I wish I could say trying to teach turned overshot to the group at the party was successful, but I'm afraid I just confused people.  And it's a difficult concept to grasp!  It took me months to finish the first project in it!  Kudos and thanks to Pat who tried it!   I hope I at least inspired one person to try one project in it.  I'm fascinated by it, and hope to make more things with it.
  The next time I write, Christmas will be a memory.  I've  had a lovely holiday season, and hope you are having the same!  If you have time this week, happy weaving!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Blanket of snow in SF

Hi all,
Just a very quick note and a few photos of our somewhat unexpected snowfall this past Friday. Accumulations ranged from 8 inches to 2 feet! As much as we love the snow and moisture, the storm arrived on the day of the NM state employee holiday craft fair! The event has been rescheduled to Tuesday 12/21 which probably won’t be as good for sales, but who knows? The delay will at least give me time to organize a first project for my new inkle loom purchased last summer after Convergence. I figured that if I’m going to sit for 5-6 hours and things are slow, I can at least be weaving - since it will be TUESDAY!
Happy, healthy, safe holidays to all!
Marta (& David)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Weaving Wonderland

(with apologies to  Dick Smith and Felix Bernard)

Tromp the treadle
Throw the shuttle
Keep the beat
Don't be subtle.

With kitties in sight
I'm happy tonight
Weavin' in my
Weaving Wonderland.

To the tangles
Give a tug
Keep your cross
Don't be smug.

I'll wind a new warp
and thread without mistakes
Weavin' in my
Weaving Wonderland.

In the studio
I can plan a project
And pretend that
I am Laura Fry.

I can channel
Daryl Lancaster
Woven scarves
and yardage
can be mine.

Later on
I'm inspired
With my Inkle
I'll retire.

I'm weavin' in bed
No worries in my head.

Weavin' in my
Weaving wonderland!!!!

Happy Weaving & Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

"Kings Flower" ETA

"Kings Flower"  is the second Overshot Pattern that I am using on my Baby Blankets and Couch Throws.  There are several treadlings so I thought I would try some out, and test the squareness of the pattern on this 12 epi cotton warp.

If you look at the pattern right to left, you can see that I added 1 pattern pick each side of the middle pivot point to square it up.  I figured that if it was square on the loom it will be square after washing.  This is treadling number 1.  I thought I had a picture of treadling number 2 on the loom in pink, but I don't. I have some of it after the finishing.

Here is an experiment using a color as the tabby and natural as the pattern pick.  (Here I was using pattern number two.)  It is interesting, but I am not so sure I like it. 

After finishing here are the results:

Pattern number one, even when squared with the extra pic, just doesn't inspire me at the moment.  Not for an all over design.

Pattern two , (to the left) is much more pleasing. I also squared it up and I am pleased to see that after finishing, it stays square. 
 I do not however like my little experiment!  It looks too much like the store bought afghans that you see in the store!  I think that a natural pattern over a solid colored warp would rock, but you would then be limited to that one color.  Hmm, I suppose if  someone wanted one I could do it, but I would not put on 40 yards of it!  Maybe after I do these longer warps I can do some 5-10yd colored warps, and try it out.

Finally, here is another Couch Throw on the loom in the new "Kings Flower" pattern.  This one is a wedding present, for a wedding tomorrow!

I need to finish this one up today, hem and wash both the kakhi colored throw and this one, and I am going to try to finish the second scarf for the TW scarf challenge.

I better get at it, 
Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina
Pre - wash  time 1:46pm
I love the variety!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Oops! I can't believe I did this but I posted the blog entry on my blog! To save time and my having to retype everything you can read it here. I apologize for the inconvenience.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Between snows!

Like everyone else that will be posting in the next week, I was hoping to be able to post pictures of the mug rug and the scarf that I wove for our challenges this year. However, the snow messed that up!! Many of us live back in the woods where the streets don't get treated until about the third day. Unless we really have to get out, we don't. We have jeeps in our family so that when necessary we can get down to the main road. We  postponed our party that was to be yesterday until January. LaDonna is our host this year and she is only able to weave with us every other Tuesday. The next available Tuesday for her is January 11 so after our party then, you'll see a bunch of scarves and mug rugs on posts! I can't wait to be able to post mine. I've enjoyed making them.
Yesterday afternoon, after the sun had hit part of the street but before the county had treated our road, DD and I headed out for an appointment she had to get to. This picture is our driveway this morning. It's a ton better than yesterday! There are some clear spots pretty much all the way up! The driveway then goes around a curve and down a long steep hill that the sun doesn't get to. From there we turned left onto the street and down another much longer hill. We were in the jeep but even so, we went about 5mph all the way down ice to a more traveled on road and then onto the main highway. It's always like that. People complain about them canceling school up here for an inch of snow and ice. The main roads are clear and if you live in a city area you're ok. Those of us in the county have a tough time getting around. I know some of our Tuesday members are still snowed in and schools around us are closed again today. They promise more stuff tonight so that's why I called this between snows!

 So what am I doing today? Well, Christmas is just what, about 9 days away. So I'm in a mad rush sending out Christmas cards. I thought I'd bought enough. I have to go buy about 4 more boxes. I counted last night. I have to send over 190 cards out this year. DH and I host the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society convention in Nashville each summer and I try to send a thank you Christmas card to all the people that help us make it happen, my crew that helps me at the registration desk, the ones that help keep different areas of the show going and of course, the talent. We have about 80 performers and workshop leaders. They don't get paid for their services. I think the least I can do is thank them. However, somehow it always ends up that I have to do this last minute and there will be some that DH is going to have to help me with finding addresses. I have the mailing list (that's why the cards are around the computer) but some aren't in it. You know how musicians are...

Our weaving guild, the Clinch Valley Handweavers Guild, has had a challenge going for well over a year. It's a good thing we never set a deadline for when it was to be done. Everyone's schedule is so varied it would be hard to set a time for this. There are 8 of us. We are weaving a friendship throw. Each person decided on what color they wanted their to be plus picked a different pattern and is weaving 2 panels for each person. I think they're 15 by 18 on the loom. The warp is all white. The pattern is to be a twill. I decided to do something simple but that would show off the colors and be different on both sides. So I'm doing a Bird's Eye, 1/3 twill. I will be weaving 2 panels for each person in their colors. I waited to do my project til I had all the colors here. I can't hold up a loom for a month waiting for a cone of yarn so now that I have all the yarn, I will try to get the warp on in the next day or so and then weave it off quite quickly. I'm going to just serge the raw edges. We will give everyone their panels unwashed. That way everyone can finish them the way they want. Each person will decide what to do with them as well, how to join them. Options include crocheting around them, weaving fabric to sew sashing between them, just sew them together, line them to make a warmer throw or make cushions, a wall hanging, etc. I'm not the last one to weave. There are 2 more after me. I guess maybe fall will be a good time to see if we get them done by then. 
Each person will end up with 16 panels. They will have white warp and their color for weft. There will be 8 different patterns but the panels will all be about the same size.

Today I have to go out again for appointments but only about noon so the roads should be fine back here. Have to get more cards and probably more milk and bread since they're predicting more stuff tonight!!! It's early for us to have this weather but it happened back in the early 1980s when we first moved out here so it's just part of that cycle again. I've got enough work here to keep me busy if we do have a bad winter! Don't we all?