Saturday, December 31, 2011

In With The New!

  It's already started....the New Year's celebrations all over the world.  I just saw the news clip of the fireworks over Sydney Harbour....stunning!!! 
  I was mulling over my post for today, and thinking of the old and the new.  It's been an interesting year.

  This is a shot of one of my poinsettias that I've had for a few years.  Some folks are very careful about their care, but mine seem to thrive on neglect!  I shove them out the door in the spring...just as soon as the threat of frost is over, and they stay outside all summer until the frost danger returns.  Then, after they drop all their leaves, the new ones return.  This was an especially good year for my plants.  And, this one was outstanding!!!!  They'll be at the sliding glass doors until Spring returns.....and out they'll go again!

  I messed up my favorite serger right before the Foothills show, and it is now waiting on parts to fix it.  (I bought it new in the late '80's, so it's had a good run!)  But, while I was at the shop, the nice salesman showed me the new, improved 5 thread serger.  Oh my!  I think a woman must have been involved in this development!  Threading this baby is so much easier....that crazy lower looper is now a breeze to thread.  And, the needles tilt forward to ease in threading.  I finally got the tote bags from the Center serged and they are ready to be finished up.  It's already getting a work out!!!

  And, just for fun, I'm trying my hand at "knitting" socks.  For those that know me, you know that knitting is not my thing.  Now, if you threatened me with the life of one of my children, I probably could knit.....but I just can't seem to handle two needles!  (I can crochet all day long!)  But, I LOVE hand knitted wool socks!!!  And, since my knitting friends have enough to do without me whining about socks, I thought I'd try my hand at this!  We'll see how it goes.....

  Tonight we welcome in a new year, and reflect upon the old.  I have set a goal of one new overshot pattern a month for mug rugs.  That will give me a nice inventory next November when we set up for Foothills again.  And, there are lots of projects that are rattling around in my head that I want to weave in 2012.
  Also, there are a few old projects that need finishing up on the looms and on the sewing table.  It's a good thing my new serger is up for the tasks.
  Happy New Year to all my friends, and
Happy Weaving!

Friday, December 30, 2011

In with the New!

I figured I would skip the "Out with the Old" part, since I plan on finishing several projects that are still UFO's.  This Christmas the adult kids suggested that we buy gifts only for the children.  Dear One added that he thought everyone should buy themselves something, wrap it an put it under the tree for Christmas morning!  This was received well by all, including me.
I took advantage of an end of the year sock yarn grab bag at Little Knits, online yarn store.  For about $6 a skein you get 10 skeins of sock yarn!  They choose the colors for you, so I figured it would really be a surprise when I opened it.  Unfortunately it did not arrive before Christmas, but yesterday, when it came, was just like second Christmas!

Here they are, and I like all of them, which really surprised me!  My in town Daughter will get to pick one as a replacement for the one I borrowed from her.

Now comes the fun part, I get to match these yarns with different sock patterns on, and get started on my own personal  "A Pair of Socks per Month Club"   I still need to pick up a couple of skeins to make 12 but I think I have enough yarn to work with for now.

On, I have gone through many pages of sock patterns, and I have put several in my queue, to start soon.  Most of them are for the self stripping yarn, and they have really clever ways to use that yarn to it's potential, and not just do the plain self stripping sock.  (Though I may do one or two of those as well.)

On Ravelry, you can search what people have done with a specific yarn that you have, in this case I spent most of yesterday evening researching this yarn.  There are over 3000 projects that have used it!  I found 5 that I could really enjoy!  Too bad I only have one skein!

I may, sometimes do a scarf, if I feel like the yarn would be more suited to that, than on my feet!  I am going to print out patterns and use ziplocs to match the yarn and pattern, just like the Yarn Harlot does, no need to re-invent the wheel is what I say.  I will post the yarn and pattern at the beginning of each month, probably over on Farmstead Studio, but I will make a reference to it over here as well.
The Christmas stuff is down, and almost all packed away, we don't dally over here, I am surprised that we made it all the way to the 29th!   Once I get my chores done today, I will take a stab at finishing place-mat number 3 and 4 on the Hollywood warp.

I may do 6 place-mats and a runner with this medium weft instead of changing to a lighter weft.  I knew I should have put on a longer warp!

So that is my plan for what it's worth,
Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Little Bit of Weaving Goes Around The World

Sorry to have been away so long. Life for me was just a bit out of control for the last few weeks - nothing bad - just too busy. On Monday, the day after Christmas, I put my seventeen year old daughter on a plane to Brazil. She was traveling solo and will be there at an international camp for 4 weeks.

The holidays and times of transition seem to lead to lots of reflection. Seventeen years ago yesterday this picture of my mother and daughter was taken.

That would be our last visit. The following week my mother died unexpectantly. This picture is one of most precious possessions. I know that my mother would be very proud of my daughter and the young woman that she is becoming.

A blink of an eye and seventeen years later I am putting that little baby girl on an airplane trusting that the people who are supposed to greet her at the other end will actually be there. This morning I saw pictures on a camp blog of her smiling face and know all is well. One of the other things I saw on the blog was several of her new young friends wearing the friendship bracelets that my daughter wove on my inlke loom before she left.

Unfortunately, the picture I stole from the camp blog is blurry so you can't really see the bracelet - but I know it is there.

These bracelets left Knoxville on December 26th and will be distributed in Brazil over the next four weeks. By the end of January they will be in Brazil, Denver, Argentina, Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, Sweden, Norway, India, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. A little bit of weaving and lots of love goes around the world.

The love goes across the generations, too.

Be well - Happy New Year to all,

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ain't Nothin' Free!

Previously, I've mentioned the new sewer line I have to have installed from the street to my house.  After two weeks of getting estimates, as well as waiting for no-show plumbers, I selected one.  They were supposed to start last week, but the rain kept them away.  Then, they were scheduled to be here yesterday, but since it was Tuesday, it rained again.  They didn't call until I was in Maryville-- Knitting Nest's end of year sale!--and asked how I felt about the hedge.
  Now, you all should know how I feel about that hedge.  It's full of poison ivy and frequently out of control.  A lot of it is dead, but weed trees and ivy are taking over.  I told them to take it out!  They couldn't get the backhoe in there without doing so, anyway. It's gone now, from the vegetable garden to the street.  I'll still have to clear out the remaining 20-30 feet, but I can do it!  I have a two week vacation coming up soon, and that will be one of my chores, especially since the part they took out contains the most poison ivy.
  I'd hoped to post a little about weaving, since I'm 24 inches away from having the pink Lover's Knot scarf done, but I spent three hours at the Subaru dealer, getting the oil changed.  The last time I was there, I didn't have an appointment and it took ten minutes!  Unfortunately, Ruby Suby also needed a check up from the body shop.  Seems she can't move trees!  I was backing up a narrow road someone had advised me to take, and as I watched a boulder from the backup camera, a tree out the lens' view met Ruby's bumper.
  I have a call into my insurance agent, but have yet to hear back from him.  I'd like Ruby to get fixed as soon as possible, but the dealer said they're still working on hail damage repair!  Can you believe that?  The storms were in April!  But we walked by a car in Maryville today that was completely pitted, with a broken windshield, so I guess that's right.
  I once had a jar in the bathroom of many differently colored hair elastics, and one day caught Weftie in the act of pulling them out, one at a time. Soon, they were all gone.  Today, I have found them, so at least I get to save a little money somewhere!  Miss Etta helped collect them, as well as Bella's long lost brush and some random trash, behind the fridge.  And I had to post a photo of Miss Etta, since some of you doubt her existence.  She is shy, but she just needs a reason to come out sometimes.
  With the backhoe rumbling outside, I'll finish up the vacuuming and maybe finish the scarf.  Have a great week, and happy weaving!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Few...The Mighty!!!

  Although we really missed the rest of the regulars, a few of us managed to make it to the Center today.  And, as always....we had a delightful time!  Lots of chatter, lots of laughs!  So, stay's the rundown of some of the highlights of today:

  Bella and Maggie were able to come today (I'm so glad they were able to fill that position at the Farm so that Maggie could have her Tuesday's free!!!!)  Bella did her job so well....she kept Maggie at the loom long enough to do a couple of place mats!

  That also means that Bella kept an eye on Tina while she worked out the tangles on that breadcloth warp.  Just stay with it, Tina!!!!!

  And, although Ann was working out a tension error on her warp, she was also waiting for word that her daughter's flight had landed safely.
  Hey....we can multi-task with the best of them!!!!

  Why is Bonnie cracking up????
  Wouldn't you know it, the yarn Carl needed was on the TOP shelf....and, it's too tricky trying to get a ladder back there right now!  Being resourceful, Carol borrowed Carl's cane to knock it off the shelf. 
  No person (or yarn) was harmed in this procedure!

  Cindy finished weaving on the little Harrisville, and cut off the warp this afternoon.    YEAH!!!  So, what's next, Cindy?????

  It's hard to believe that another year has passed....the next time we'll be together the calendar will turn to 2012.  We have a lot to weave....a lot to explore.  How exciting!!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Day After..

Christmas always flies by!! We had a wonderful few days of family and friends, eating too much, opening gifts and wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!! You've not lived til you've had prime rib and sides made by a really good Greek cook...
The past week just flew by. I did somehow manage to get 4 more rugs woven on the new warp. These are all ready to go, hemmed and just waiting to be given or shipped off to friends. The next rugs I weave will be ones that I'll save for May when I'm featured artist at The Art Market Gallery here in Knoxville. I have to figure out how to display them yet but I think a variety of rugs will be a nice change there from what I usually have when it's my turn to be featured artist! 
The next rug I'm weaving on the loom will be using only 4 colors of loopers, 3 of them shades of purple and the other that hot pink. Surely there'll be some Grandma who has to get it for her granddaughter's bedroom, right?! Here's hoping anyway.

Inbetween, I also found time to check the Singer website to see how old my little featherweight sewing machine is. It's hard to tell from the numbers but the letters AL before the numbers indicate that my machine was made in 1954, just 2 years younger than I am! Makes me feel old when we talk about the featherweights being wonderful antiques that still continue to sew well.  I suspect that as time goes by these will become harder and harder to find. I've found them at the quilt conference vendor areas. There's a guy that always comes to the conference in Pigeon Forge in March. He's getting older and has a helper now that comes with him. I hope that someone will take over for him when he no longer does the shows. I think it takes a real tinkerer to keep the machines going and to repair the ones that haven't been loved in awhile.

I had a short list of wishes for my Christmas gifts. I wanted DVDs to watch while I weave. Here are most of the ones I got. Bones, NCIS and NCIS LA are on their way so once I finish watching the last 3 seasons of LOST, I'll be digging into these. It'll probably take me til next winter before I get through them all but it certainly will make the time fly as I throw the shuttle!!
My DH got himself a new TV for his studio recently so I got the old 32" flat screen TV he'd had in there. It's nice to have a bigger screen to watch but the sound isn't as loud as my old smaller TV. He's such a sweetie, tho, he found some speakers and connected them to the TV and I can turn them on and have sound coming from behind me while I weave. I just need it louder when I'm weaving the production warps. That's when the shuttle flies and it gets pretty loud with that and you can't hear the voices (I listen more than watch the shows). When I do rugs, it's slower and I can hear it fine. It'll be sometime in January before I get back into the normal production.

I hope that each of you had a wonderful weekend and look forward to a great New Year!! I don't do any kind of resolutions, just plan to continue to make things. I'm behind on baby blankets for friends (a boy is due by summer and I know there are others) so will try to get a few quilts made as well plus the projects that are sitting there waiting to be the weaving, that 20/2 I bought at Midwest just because the colors were so pretty and the cottolin (same reason, different projects) or the 10/2 cotton that will be scarves inspired by Sheila O'Hara's here's to just keeping going and making things that are pretty for people to enjoy!!
Til next week.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Deck the Halls

  Not all of the little men made the trip from storage this year.

But, just enough to be festive are lined up to watch the festivities. 

The stockings are hung....and the sorting caps* are laid out on the hearth.
These are the kids' first stockings....and yes, I still have them.  I cross stitched them on small red gingham.  And the sorting caps are for our Hogwarts Yule Ball that we'll be having Christmas night.

I started putting the goodies out on the table.  I found the snowman fruit basket at my downstairs door this morning.  Thank you, FedEx.  I guess you delivered it last night, but you didn't ring the bell.  At least you didn't throw it at the house.  It is a gift from my former neighbors in New Mexico.  I would guess they are snowed in about now.  I LOVE tangerines...especially at Christmas!!!!

And, Rudy has been admonishing me for not getting this rug done....all I lack is the header!  But, somehow weaving has taken a back seat this last week.  My mystery project is drying downstairs, but it isn't finished.  I guess that's normal this time of the year.

  So, I'll get in gear, and make a quick trip to post office this morning.  I've got Christmas Eve services later today, and there's a couple of last minute items to pick up.
I hope you and yours have a very
Merry Christmas!!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Shiny Baubles!

I know!  I know!  I know I have been saying forever that I do not need to add another craft to my cart, but I have been introduced to Pinterest by my in Town daughter.
Pinterest is like having online cork boards, to which you pin pictures of your favoritest  things.  It can be food, kids, arts and crafts, architecture, just about anything really.  You can see what other people have posted to their boards and sometimes get ideas for things that you can really do at home!

I only have about 8 things on my boards since I am a total Newb.  One of them is this cool ornament that you can make with plain globes and fabric pieces and of course Mod Podge.  ( Which I continually call Modge Podge!)  I had fabric already, so we needed a quick trick to Hobby Lobby, (with my East Coast Daughter, who is in town for the Holidays), where we picked up the ornaments (half price already!) and Mod Podge.  Then home again, home again jiggity jig!

We raided the fabric stash, and each chose the fabrics we wanted. Then, armed with scissors, we began to cut the fabric in squares and strips.  I chose fabrics that had many different colors and scenes already on them, so that I didn't have to do any matching of colors, though you can see that I did end up combining 2 fabrics on one of the ornaments.

Messy, messy, messy, but loads of fun.  We used sponge applicators to apply the sticky stuff.   Be sure to wear an apron or something protective, cause you will get in on your clothes and you will not be able to get it out again!

Then we hung each one on a shelf to dry over night.

I think they looked good already!

     I used  a rose floral  fabric for this one!

This one was a fabric with a farm theme.

This one had a Peter Rabbit theme.

My daughter did the next two ornaments.  This one is a Silent Night theme.
This is strips of fabric!

I think it is going to take several more coats of the Mod Podge to really make them shiny, and my in Town Daughter says that we will need to let them cure for a couple of months before we can pack them away.

Here they are in their proper place!

Hmmm, this year I have discovered two new friends, Spray Paint and Mod Podge, watch out world!

Here is to a meaningful Christmas to all of you!

Merry  Christmas, and Happy Weaving, Tina

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Hear Sleigh Bells!

Or is it just ringing in my ears?

  I'm feeling particularly smug because I finished everything and got all the packages in the mail yesterday.  Everyone will get their gifts on time, and I can relax and enjoy the rest of the season.  Well, except for those pesky guests at the farm who also want to enjoy the season!
  I finished beading the scarf by toiling at wee hours in the morning.  I felt about halfway through that I'd done too much, but I forged ahead because I didn't want to un-bead.  Overall, I like the way it turned out, but the next two scarves will be slightly different.  And because they didn't get done in time to be Christmas gifts, their future homes have changed.  Can't be a spoiler, so you'll just have to wait and see.
  But it's so nice to have the pressure of the deadline gone, and to be able to focus on other things.   Last night, all the Chefs, dining room managers and sommeliers were treated to dinner at Town House in Chilhowie, VA, a small but beautiful restaurant that is getting a lot of well-deserved praise and press.   I wish I would have taken pictures, but we all said that halfway through dinner.  Everything was delightful, well thought-out and delicious.  Well, except this slimy oyster-tasting stuff on a spinach leaf that was an appetizer.  I was definitely in the minority on that one, but I thought it was gross.  It was a texture thing.
   Dessert was amazing, but I really don't like their platings. Stuff is just kind of piled in a bowl or on a plate.  You've seen my stuff enough to know that I like architectural platings, with nothing on the plate that doesn't belong and clean, finished lines.  The first time I ate one of Karen Urie Shields' desserts, I was horrified by the big pile of stuff on the plate.  But as I dug into the pile, each new spoonful revealed another surprising taste and texture.  That's how it was last night.  The first was a bowl of off-white and brown shards of stuff, hiding something freezing cold and chocolate-y, with a pungent smoke flavor in the shards and some sour cream.  The next dessert was parsnips ice cream, um... and um... okay, it was seven glasses of wine, two beers and a shot of sake into the dinner!  I might not remember the second dessert that well!  But all agreed the first was much better and very exciting to eat.  We had a discussion about her platings and mine, and how I could meet in the middle somewhere because of how pleasant the surprise of uncovering new flavors and textures was.  We will see.  I'm not sure I can loosen up that much!
  Tomorrow, it's back to making others happy for the holidays!  I think my Christmas will probably happen next Wednesday, because on Tuesday, it's new sewer line day!  Woohoo!  Can't wait!
  I hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing holiday weekend!  Give big hugs, eat lots of deliciousness and raise a glass to all those people making others' holidays bright this weekend!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

TW Christmas Pot Luck!

It was a much smaller than usual group today at weaving.  Though we made up for it with a wonderful pot luck, with everything from Spicy Cauliflower soup to yummy chocolate cake!  We even had enough to share with the worker bees upstairs in the shop/office area!

I can say that we were a very quiet group as well, which is usually not the case!  Let me show you a little of what is on the looms as of today.

 Carl and Cindy are beaming a new rug warp on the old barn loom. Here is Carl at the reins!  He is just getting ready to smooth out those threads, after a wind on.

I just love how it looks on the back beam!.  This is a wool warp, threaded at 6 ends per inch I believe.
I think that it will make marvelous Blue Jean Rugs!

Ila is churning out the mug rugs on the Wolf Pup that we used to demonstrate at the Foothills Craft Show last month.  I believe she is doing 4 Mug Rugs per color.

Bonnie is threading a new hand towel warp.

While Lou Ann is doing Place-mats.

I have finally started winding on this pesky Bread Cloth warp, I was determined not to leave until it looked presentable!

And Allan has made great progress on the Annex addition!  We will be ready to paint it when the weather will co-operate!

I know that I didn't get a picture of  Andy today, she is putting a warp on for Pat to use for an upcoming workshop.  We sure missed both Pat and Linda today, they are both in our prayers as they heal from their surgeries.  The only picture I got of Carol was when I realized we were both wearing the same faded red shirt! " It's so comfortable", we both said!

As each one left we wished each other a Merry Christmas.  As I  now wish to you as well, from all of us  Tuesday Weavers, to all of you, Merry Christmas, and Happy Weaving, Tina for all!