Monday, January 31, 2011

Shuttle Flight

 This beautiful, sunny, spring-like weekend should have found me outside, building walkways or taking down the Christmas lights (yes, they're still up!  Gotta problem with that?), but instead, I had a deadline to meet.  There are two babies for these blankets, and one of them came two weeks early, late Saturday night.  This is the very beginning of the first one, with one motif tone-on-tone, the next in the hand-dyed baby blue, then on to the body in tone-on-tone.
  I've just started the end border of the blue, late yesterday afternoon, but the weaving is slow going, due to a problem I've never had to this extent.  I'm asking for your help again, Dear Readers!  This is a wide warp for me, and I'm thinking that's the problem, but I want to know how you address this issue.  When I throw the shuttle across the shuttle race, the bobbins spin more than they need to, causing the threads to wrap around the back of the pins.  The shuttle stops and I have to reach in the warp and either untangle it in the warp, or push it back out and untangle it before I can weave the pick again.
  At first, I thought it was because I was using wooden bobbins, since they're slightly shorter, but I switched to all plastic ones, and it happens just as much.  Yelling doesn't help, in case you were going to suggest that.  Neither does going to get another cup of coffee.  I try to keep my tension on the bobbins when they're winding even and tight.  I've tried to duplicate the throw when I see I've done it right, but obviously I'm doing something wrong.
  Have you had this problem?  What do you do?  Any suggestions will be appreciated!
  In the meantime, I hope YOU have happy weaving!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

M's and W's

  Last weekend I threaded Parker, the Wolf Pup, using Anne Dixon's M's and W's.  I was looking for a pattern that had a lot of treadling options that would make great looking mug rugs.  The Smoky Mountain Fiber Festival is in March, and they had asked if we could do a weaving class.  I wanted to test my idea before I presented it to the Tuesday Weavers. 
   Yes...this would work for a class!  No....we aren't going to present the class this year.  (We'll see about next year!)  We are super busy at the Center right now, and there's too much going on to prepare for the class.  I used a black warp, and bright colors for the weft, and a brand new weaver could weave these with very few problems.  For the samples, I knotted the fringe (which took FOREVER!!!) 
  Now I'm in the process of weaving off the mug rugs (and I'm hem stitching) to donate for the goody bags for the Southeast Fiber Forum.
  Uh-oh....I just saw a big ole boo-boo in this mug rug!  I guess I'll have to keep that one!  Wonder what happened there???? 
....the phone rang? interesting scene on TV?
....went to refill my coffee mug and forgot my place?? interruption?????
Meet the newest member of our family...Sweetie!  I saw her all summer and fall out in the Green Belt hunting....and she did a great job on the field mice problem!  When all that extreme cold weather hit in December, I noticed that she had taken shelter under my deck.  I started feeding her on the carport, but it took until last week until she would let me touch her.  I had already talked to my vet, and he told me to try and catch her and bring her in.  I was thinking we would spay her....I wasn't really thinking about bringing her inside.  But, we found out that she had already been spayed, and that she was a cuddle cat!!!  So, she has joined the family (at least with me) and we are learning to live together.  Cici and Zuzu aren't as taken with her as I am.  She has used her best manners with them, but they don't deal well with change (they are both 14 years old.)  There has been a LOT of hissing going on, but no fighting!!!  Sweetie (that's the name I used when I would talk to her on the carport) is not quite two years old (vet's guess!) and is in excellent health.  Now she has had all her shots and is a legal resident of the city.  We won't have to worry about INS showing up!
  So...back to weaving off the black warp and playing with the cats.  I'll be a little more careful about that treadling order!!!
Happy Weaving!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Back to Snail Trails

I want to reverse the twill border on the Kings Flower warp, so I cut off the 3 pieces I had on there and moved over to the Snail Trail loom, Lillian. 

True to my plan I am weaving one item to sell and another to gift, since I still have several that need done, yet I need to build up some inventory at the same time.  I had heard a rumor that a Baby blanket for a boy might be needed soon, so with that in mind I chose one of my favorite blues, Parakeet!   I had finished that one and a special order came in for a gift Blanket in the Snail Trails pattern, but in Copper!  This blanket is going to my youngest daughter, who with her husband is in the process of adopting a baby from overseas.  We are hoping to welcome a new one home sometime this year.

I love seeing the colors meet just for a minute on the loom before the old color disappears, and the new color takes over.
Time to call it a day, this is going to be really nice.
One of my other daughters Boyfriend is a Glass Blower, and he had my name this year for Christmas.  The form of the vase in this picture is simply beautiful, isn't it!  I wasn't sure about the colors at first, but I totally love it now, I am always growing when it comes to the world of color, so set in my ways!  Who knows, you might even see this combination on a project or two this year!

That's all for now, Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What I am working on today

Today I finished threading the Union loom. I had decided I wanted to make some shaggy rugs and use up some of my stash. These are made of the selvage ends of upholstery fabric. These kinds of rugs take extra time to weave. A good friend of mine gave me some pointers on the best way to weave these. After I throw the shuttle I straighten out the selvage strip. Then I close the shed and  I comb the shaggy part towards the beater to straighten all the shaggy ends.  Next I take the comb and back comb the ends so that they stand up. Then I beat it into place.

I need to mention that weaving this is very messy and dusty.  If you have never tried it you should wear a dust mask. I also recommend you run a box fan with a furnace filter mounted on it. While weaving is very enjoyable we need to remember to   stay safe.                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Painted Warps

This week I was able to get some warps off of looms! Being able to check something off of the 'list' is such a good thing!!  The mug rug warp is off. I still have to cut them apart. DH wants one for his mug at the table where he works on his computer so he gets the first one. There's one that has a treadling error in it, might give that to my Mom when I go up there later this year. The rest will go to the pile that will end up at Southeastern Fiber Forum at Arrowmont in April.

 Haven't wash the scarves yet from the painted warp I did at LouAnn's. I have a few skipped threads to fix first. The ones on the left were woven with the royal blue and the right with the turquoise. There's not alot of difference and I like the blue better than the turquoise. I thought it would be the opposite but the blue has a bit of a richer tone to is. That surprised me. I keep learning about how colors interact each time I put on a warp.

 Inbetween I did get a production warp done. This is the end of it. I almost forgot to take a picture. Of course, you can see where a thread broke while I was weaving and my pin bringing in a new thread. Before I wash my pieces, I always repair everything. The washing helps to hide any repairs and no one ever sees them. I have several repairs to do on this warp. The 8/2 rust broke a few times while I was weaving. There's a variegated yarn in here that I used to pull other colors together to make the progressions.
 When we had our dye day at the center recently I brought along two skeins of bamboo to paint for weft to go with the other 2 warps I painted at LouAnn's. This is the first one. There's enough warp here to make 3 not too long scarves which I think will be nice for my nieces to choose from for their gift this year. The combination of a painted warp and variegated weft is doing interesting things as I weave. This is going to be a very fun project because each scarf will look different. We painted the warps that first time and it was a wonderful time of just throwing the paint on without thinking about taking notes or anything. I picked 2 of the colors to try to bring it all together with the weft. We'll see how it goes. I hope to get a bunch of this woven this week yet.
 After our dye day at the center we had some dye mixed for painting warps left over. I brought it all home. That, along with my own dye, I used to paint a 3 section warp and then 3 skeins for weft. This is the first combination. We'll see how the rest work. I am planning 3 vests with this warp. I'm not sure yet how I will finish them but I'd better figure it out quickly because one of these will be at the Emporium for the Foothills Craft Guild exhibit first weekend in February.
I've gone to fiber conferences for a long time, especially Midwest Weavers Conference. I missed a lot of years in the late 80s and 90s but I'm back going again now. Early on in the early to mid 80s we would buy these wonderful skeins of painted cotton or silk and I know there were businesses that did alot of dyeing and then selling them at the conferences. One of the skeins that I painted last Monday looks an awful lot like one of the skeins I bought back in the day!! Back then I was too scared to try to dye some on my own. I always meant to try but didn't take the plunge. Being with a group of weavers like our Tuesday Weavers gives all of us that little push to try the new things we've wanted to try and the support we need when we have questions. I don't have all the answers but between all of us, we figure it out!
I'm not sure what we'll get into next. Right now I'm wanting to play more with the dye and see how I can incorporate it into more of my production pieces. We hope to dye more on Tuesdays. We have a ton of white loopers that are just crying for dye! The rugs we make will be wonderful and different. It's fun to see the rugs, scarves and vests when they're done but the process is the greatest!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tip of the Day Tuesday

It was crazy busy at the Center today!
Our new students are zipping along with their projects, and Joyce is playing with her new loom.  LaDonna is working on the triangle loom (love those shades of red!) and Linda is weaving mug rugs for the goody bags for the fiber conference coming up in April.  Ms. Bonnie has her warp on and she's weaving, too.
  Bonnie is almost finished threading the 36" wide project on her loom, and Carl finished one of the rag bags on his loom.
  And, this brings us to the Tip of the Day....the stick trick!!!  Tina took this opportunity to show us how it's done!

This trick works great when you need to cut the project off the loom, but you don't want to waste thread tying back on the loom.  Weave 1" of plain weave.  Place a stick in the shed.
 Weave another inch of plain weave and add the second stick.
Weave one more inch of plain weave.
Advance the warp to where the sticks are at the beam.  Loosen the warp and cut between your project and the first inch of plain weave.
Fold the first stick under the second stick.
Lash the sticks to the apron bar.  You're ready to weave again!!!!
Thank you, Tina!!!

And, just keeping on keeping on....Pat is winding another stash bashing warp of small amounts of carpet warp that need to be used up!  Way to go, Pat!

Can't wait to see that project on a loom!

And, to the rest of us....we'll just keep on keeping on, too!
Happy Weaving,

Monday, January 24, 2011

What Would You Do?

I've been pondering this dilemma all day, and now I'm asking you for help.  Here is my beautiful, freshly threaded warp yesterday afternoon.  I finished threading and tying on, left the loominaria for a cup of tea, and came back to this beautiful view.  There are few things more lovely to a weaver than the promise of a freshly threaded warp.
  After the tea was done and I had woven the hem and maybe six pattern picks, I saw the mistakes.  There were bunched tabby threads, which is what gave it away.  When the double-threaded reed gives you the gap-toothed smile, you know you're in trouble.
  And the worst part is that I knew something was up when I finished and there were five threads left over.  I'm usually pretty fastidious about my counting.   It's calculating the pattern that usually challenges me.  This was not the issue.

 I slept on it, and in the wee hours this morning, I pulled the offending threads out and tried to track down where they went wrong.  I had to group the pattern into its groups again, to go over each thread.
  I found the offenders quickly, once they were grouped.  The first one was two fours together, missing their buddy, three.  I slipped in the replacement heddle, shown here for those of you who don't know the magic of the $3.50 replacement heddle from Halcyon yarn.  They are priceless when you calculate the grey hair you save without them!  Though, would I really notice any less grey hair?
  The next clump was not so easy to decipher, though I counted and counted and counted.  And then I saw it:  3-4-3-4-3-2-3-4-3-4-3 was missing its last 3-4-3.  The warp went straight from 4 to 2, which makes two tabby threads run together.  There were the missing five threads:  one from the missing 3 between the two fours and four from 3-4-3-4-3 turning into 3-4-2.

 Here's the gap.  It's five inches from the right side of the warp.  The warp is 32 inches wide, 773 threads.  I could hang four threads off the back beam on weighted bobbins and be on my way, except for those pesky five threads on the left end that will constantly need yanking to keep them out of the way, plus moving the hanging bobbins' rubber bands and weights after each warp advance.  Or, should I simply cut the warp at the woven part and completely rethread the warp?  If I rethread, I risk making other mistakes.  It's what usually happens, especially in a warp this big.  I lose my attention span, I stop to direct pet misbehavior or the phone rings.  It's bound to happen.
  Dear Readers, What would you do?

The craft going well right now is knitting, and here is my sock to prove it.  You can see the leaf now, winding it's way down the sock.  The second one is almost done, and I think that's all I'll have yarn for before I need to turn the heel.  I think it's quite lovely, and the notorious p2tog tbl actually only repeats four times in the pattern before the leaf shaping becomes far less obnoxious.
  And you may not have known it, unless you're my facebook friend, but yesterday was National Pie Day.  I celebrated by making Cornish Pasties, small meat pies, and one big streusel-topped apple pie.  After I finished tangling with my wayward warp, I had a big piece of it for breakfast.  Pie, breakfast of Champions!
  I hope your Monday was sweet, too!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Panty Hose Trick

A few people requested "The Panty Hose Trick" so I thought I would try to show it.

First of all, thanks to my friend, Dana, who told me about this when I complained about my last painted warp being so tangled!  Dana has a degree in Fibers, so I should have asked her about this before I started painting warps....but who knew????

Scrunch up the panty hose leg (just like you do when you're putting them on!)  Grab one end of your painted warp in the toe and start pulling it into the leg of the hose.

Remember:  the leg of the hose will S T R E T C H a lot (they have to to go on me!)  It's just like filling a casing with sausage!!!

I loaded one pre-rinsed warp in one leg and the other warp in the second leg.  To be on the safe side, I tied a knot in the waist band so they couldn't escape.   Then I put them in the washer on low water level, cold water, and let them go through a whole wash/rinse cycle.

Afterwards, I just carefully removed each warp from their "leg" and hung them to dry.  There were NO tangles!!!  Such a simple solution to the problem!
I hope this helps!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Aurora Borealis

"Energy charged particles from the magnetosphere."

The scientific words do not do justice to this picture!  I remember watching Northern Exposure back in the '90's and thinking that this would be a wonderful thing to see...the Northern Lights.  Maybe I should add this to my "bucket list" OR maybe I should try to weave my own little piece of the Aurora Borealis!!!

Last Saturday I began that journey, and attempted to paint a warp that reflected some of the colors in this phenomenon.  (Just for the record, the panty hose trick worked nicely....the warps I painted rinsed out beautifully, and were NOT so tangled!!!)

The warp went right on the loom and was ready to weave in no time flat!!!  After trying several different threads for the weft, I settled on a deep navy supima cotton.

What a pleasure to weave...watching the colors change and interact...just like I was in a hot tub at midnight in the wilds of the northern hemisphere!  And, I didn't have to travel thousands of miles to experience this!

Once again, I'm making a mental note to self to make the warp just a tad bit longer.  I'm planning on twisting the fringe this weekend and wet finishing will follow.  I think it's going to have a lovely drape.

There's another warp hanging in the laundry room to weave, but I have a plan cooking on the backburner for another project.

This is my first warp wound on the drum winder.  I really do like the ease of turning the drum vs. using the warping board.  It was a lot easier on my shoulder!

I've already got this on the loom ready to thread, and I'll let you know if my little brainstorm works out.  So, I'll be twistin' and threadin' this weekend....kinda sounds like a workout, huh?

In the meantime, happy weaving to you!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stolen Moments

I finished up the gift Baby Blanket in Old Rose this morning.  I had not anticipated having weaving time this week since some of my kids are in town.  They however, have a list of people they need to see, so that means if everyone else is busy I get to go upstairs, turn on the audio book I am listening to, and weave away.

Here are the latest ones I have blogged about.  Once I get them serged I am going to measure and see what the difference in width is between the blue one and the others.  ( I didn't use the new Temples on the blue one).  Then once hemmed and washed I will compare again.  I will be sure to post the results.

I wasn't able to make it to the Christmas party, and Lou Ann was kind enough to bring me my gifts.  Here is the second scarf on my loom.  I had chosen the colored rayon from the stash at the center, and I paired it with black bamboo.  When I got the first one off of the loom, I was so afraid that it was going to be too stiff.  That maybe I had beaten too hard, since I was coming from an Overshot mentality!  Then however, I washed it gently in the sink.  Oh my, it was like butter!  I rethreaded and I am using a different treadling as well.  I hope to finish this scarf soon and get it off the loom so that I can put on some waffle weave spa towels.  I may not be using all the harnesses but at least I will have something to offer besides Overshot.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More snow!

I did it again! I posted this blog on my personal blog! Why can't I get this straight? Well, the least I can do is give you a different picture.
Today is going to be a weird weather day, here. The temperatures are supposed to get up to 50 and then go down. We are supposed to get more snow tonight but from what I can tell it won't be much.

I don't have much in the way of anything new to talk about. DH and I have been working on a mantle for the studio living room. We set it in place last night. I still have more spots to paint. The white areas are putty that I was waiting on to dry. The area in the front top of the mantle had a label on it. I had to get the sticky off before I can paint. There is still some small decorative parts that need to be put back on but unless you bend over you will probably never see them.

I am playing around with what I want to put on there. I also still need to buy wood molding to go around the bricks. After we set it in place I stepped back to take a look. I couldn't believe what a difference it made in the room! Don't you just love the color barn red?

I am heading back to the studio to sectionally warp the Union for shaggy rugs. I started to do it yesterday afternoon but my phone kept ringing! Today I will turn it off. I enjoy making shaggy rugs. They are a bit messy but when they are done I like to run my hands over them. I see in the stores that shaggy rugs have made a come back.

I have a small TV at the studio. I tuned in to the retro network the other day and discovered one of my favorite shows from a while back, Magnum PI. Now I get to watch it while I weave!

Have a wonderful day and enjoy the snow! When God gives you snow........make snow angels!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

No more secrets....for now!

With our reveal on Saturday, we are all able to show off our warps now! I've had this mug rug warp on the loom for ages but hadn't been able to show it until now. It's a 1/3 twill and, of course, I"m weaving it by only raising one harness at a time. I'm weaving it on my wolf pup so it's a straight tie up. The other side is much prettier and I think the pictures posted on Tuesday show that side. It does give one an option as to which way to lay it down on the table with the mug. I've got a bunch more on this warp to weave. Most of them will end up in the goody bags at the Southeastern Fiber Forum conference at Arrowmont in April. They weave so quickly, tho. If I just sat down and did it, they'd be off in no time! Even with doing the hemstitching, I think I could weave one off in about 15 minutes! And, that's while watching something on TV at the same time!

 I'm still weaving on the scarf warp sporadically. This is the second scarf that I'm weaving with the turquoise. It's much lighter than the one woven with the royal blue. I like both of them. Once they're off the loom, I'll post a picture of both of them side by side to show the difference. They'll make nice gifts!!! I'm already working on Christmas/birthday gifts for my family so I can take them up in summer!

When we did the dye day at LouAnn's I had wound  3 scarf warps. The first is the one on the loom that I"m weaving with some bamboo yarn I had gotten already dyed. I wanted to dye the weft for the other 2. That's what I did on Saturday.  When we dyed the first time, we were just having fun throwing color on randomly and have a blast. In thinking about the weft, I decided to paint the skein with the two colors that I figured my nieces would really like. I know I have too much weft dyed but that way I have the start for another project. I can wind a warp or several small warps with what's left over and then plan the other sections with other colors, kind of like the warp on my baby wolf.

I love the combination of green and red that I got for the last warp. I probably should have made the red a bit darker but this will work out fine, I hope!

Not having done alot of dye work before, this is something new for me and a challenge. I want to get the warps off my pup and baby wolf quickly so I can put these on!!!!
I've mailed in my yarn order for my production weaving and that will come in the next week so then it'll be back to weaving more production warps and less of this fun stuff. I did paint another warp on Monday here at home where I had less distractions for a project I want to do seeing about combining the dye work with production. It's going to be 3 vests once done, all with different dyed wefts. They're still in their little bags waiting for this afternoon when I rinse them out.
I will be weaving new gloves. My hands are still quite colorful from Monday's dye day when the glove had holes....
About the "no more secrets...for now" comment, we do have our challenge for this year already decided on. I'm sure there'll be lots of discussion and figuring on how to keep it secret til Christmas and still get help or dye what's needed to complete it!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cambridge loom tie ups

This is not my day to post but it was brought to my attention, today,  that someone named Cate had posted a message on my Cambridge entry last November. I am so sorry! I didn't go back to read the replies until today. Here is the reply......"

calpfs said... I have this loom, and am a newbie to weaving. I am having trouble getting all the ties to balance out. Any suggestions?
Cate "

Cate, if you are still reading this blog. I apologize for not answering you. You can find some valuable information on tie ups on Joann Hall's website. She has a page on there to tell you how to tie up counter balanced looms. What has worked for me better than tie up cords ( ropes) is texolve cords and pegs. I became frustrated with tieing up all those cords and knots. With texolve It is quick and easy. All you have to do to adjust is to move the peg to another hole. I hope this helps you and that you are still reading our blog.

Another idea would be to find a guild in your area and hopefully someone there can help you.


As Per Your Request!!!

Today was a BUSY day at the Center!!!  So, hang on to your hat because HERE GOES.........

I've had several request for a picture of Lanny's scarf.  This is Jager Spun Wool, and it's a pleasure to touch!  You can't see the 3 shuttles to the side:  light blue, darker blue and pink.  The pink threads will be clipped (of course) when the scarf is finished.

Say hello to Charlotte, our newest weaver!!!  Carol has her working on mug rugs for the goody bags.

And, welcome back, Ms. Joyce!  We are so glad you are back with us.  She brought her twining frame to the Center today, and was busy working on a mat.

Ms. Ila cut off her warp today....there were 13 lace placemats!

Trudy wanted to learn how to weave belts on the Inkle loom, so Ann took some timeout from her rug warp to get her started.

Ms. Bonnie is working away on her loom in the background.

Carl got his handles woven in to his purse warp, and Bonnie is threading the warp on the totebag warp. (My bad....I didn't get those pictures!)

And, now, as requested, the WHO got WHAT in Saturday's exchange.  We had requests for pictures of who had woven the different items in our exchange, and many of our weavers brought in their items.

Pat received Carol's mug rug& mug and Ms. Ila's scarf.

Bonnie received Linda's mug rug & mug and Ann's scarf.

 Ann received Bonnie's mug rug & mug.

Carl received Allan's mug rug & mug along with Maggie's scarf.

Carol received Trudy's mug rug & mug and Bonnie's scarf.

I received Carl's mug rug & mug and LaDonna's scarf.

Allan couldn't be here today, but he wanted to show the mug rug & mug that he got from Ann.

And, last, but not least....Maggie received Ms. Ila's mug rug & mug and my scarf.
I hope I covered it all (and got it correct!)  We sure did miss Tina today....she's got family coming into town!  But this rainy weather is a good excuse to stay inside and weave!
Happy Weaving!