Monday, February 28, 2011

Power Serge

 Last week, Mom brought me a bag full of the rectangles from the other weavers in the Clinch Valley afghan challenge, and since I'm off work tomorrow, I figured I'd better get the rectangles I've woven cut apart.  Here's the long line of rectangles, ready to go under the needle.
  Now, I've been sewing a very long time, but have never felt the need to get a serger.  I used one once at the quilt shop I worked in while I lived in Montana, and I was all thumbs and forgetfulness.  Every time it needed to be rethreaded, I had to call for help.  I'm not very technically minded--my sister got those genes--and I just don't need the aggravation!  Besides, I've got my old faithful Bernina, with stitch number 3 and foot number 2!  They serge just fine!
  And so we did; we serged all those edges and cut apart all the rectangles.  Mine have a few white rectangles that I wove at the end to help piece the others together.  Two weavers haven't finished their pieces yet, so it will be another few months before it all goes together, but it felt good to have my part done.  I'll deliver them tomorrow, my first time at Tuesday Weaving for several months.  I'm looking forward to seeing my weaving buddies!

And while I was serging, I finished the edges on the first baby blanket.  Heston Terre Busby will have a new blanket on Wednesday, when I deliver it to his dad, only back at work this past week.  Bryan Wise Spannaus will have to wait until I can retie the wayward warp.  I do love this pattern, and would like to try it again, probably in brighter colors with more contrast, so you can really see the stars.
  Now it's back to day-off activities, like bread baking, floor cleaning and laundry doing!  The skies are grumbling, the back yard is lake-like and the animals are all napping.  Hmmmm... napping... my favorite day off activity!
  Happy weaving!

Saturday, February 26, 2011


I have had these funny looking clips for chained cording for several years.  The clips you see on the left have been particularly difficult for me to figure out how to use.  I had ordered the cord and I figured that I should also order both kinds of clips.

 I have tried to use them a couple of times, but was unable to figure them out.  I finally ran across a picture on some blog that showed these clips in place, and I was relieved to see that it wasn't me, it was that I didn't have a loom that needed these clips!

Well with the arrival of "Sally", I do have a loom that will benefit from these funny little  clips.  Sally is one of Glimakra's smaller floor looms called "Ideal".  She has all the features of the larger Swedish built looms but in a smaller package.  She is only 27 inches across from side to side, and 32 inches deep.

These clips are on the top end of a length of cord, that go down to the treadles. I have found that it is easier to get the treadles at an even height using these clips.

 I had already found the arrow clips much easier to utilize on my other looms, and I was able to make some adjustments on Sally as well.  These clips are on the top end of cord going from the harnesses to the lamms.

 One of the things I find very different on these Glimakra looms are these shaft supports, that are to stay in place unless you are weaving.  They hang from the top of the loom, from the same bar that the shafts hang from.

So far, when I take off the supports to test the shed the shafts go wonky on me.  So I am looking for more information on the set up of this kind of system that will hopefully give me a clue as to what is going on.  The book I have seems to skip a couple of item. 

 The horses that hold the shafts, to do the counter balancing are set up in the correct way, I am just wondering about the spacing of the horses on the shafts.  Is wider apart better or worse?  I also wonder if I would do better putting a little wider project on her for the first go? Right now I just have a 5 inch wide warp, for mug rugs.

We have just gotten back in town from a retreat, so I am looking forward to working out all the kinks on this crazy loom.    Wish me luck!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, February 25, 2011

It Was A Wild and Windy Night!

  NO....don't adjust your computer!  I know you were expecting Tina today, but she needed to switch days with me....she'll blog in the morning!  That gave me the push I needed to get busy with the mop cord and get some dyed so I could show you the results this morning. When we rescued the fleece and fabric from the mice attack in the Annex, two crates of old Rit Dye surfaced.  At first, Carol thought that Kid's Kamp could use it, but I thought I would try some of it to dye the mop cord.
  So, with the wind howling outside and the constant interruption of the Weather Bureau giving us Thunderstorm Warnings, I started pulling the mop cord into hanks to dye.
  The blue cord is what I had dyed a few weeks ago.  The pink (the picture doesn't show the brightness of this pink) and the purple are the hanks I dyed last night.  Since this was old dye (NO idea how old!) I doubled the strength that the package called for.  After it had soaked for about 30 minutes, I added white vinegar to help it set.  Another 30 minute soak followed that.  Then, each batch got rinsed twice.

 This is the box of mop cord that Tina brought me Tuesday afternoon.  There are all different sizes and types of mop cord in the box....thick and thin, too.  I think I have enough to play with for a while, don't you?  But, I love weaving tote bags with fabric weft, and I want to experiment with adding pockets on the inside.  Now I can dye the mop cord to go with my warps! I have found that the mop cord makes excellent handles woven into the warp.  Next up will be some red cords!

  While the cord was in the dye bath last night, I graphed out the threading for the hand towels we saw at R&M on Wednesday. You can go to R&M's website:
  Linda emailed Phyllis and she graciously shared the huck lace hand towel pattern that we saw at the shop.  And, since that cone of supima cotton is well over five pounds, I figure I can do a few hand towels, and maybe even have them done in time for Christmas!!!!!  
  Now.....I've got some weaving to get done this morning. 

Happy Weaving,

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Road Trip!!!

What you see here are THREE happy campers weavers!!!  Yesterday, Bonnie drove down to R&M Yarns in Cleveland to get some supima for hand towels.  All of us ended up with a large cone of that!  Yes, Linda and I tagged along!  Since Tina had plenty of mop cord for me, I could look for other things.  And, there's always something you just gotta get!

I LOVE my 11 inch Schacht shuttle, but I need one that holds a bigger bobbin (we're getting ready to weave bamboo shawls for our challenge) and I wanted a bobbin that would hold more thread.  I found a Schacht shuttle that was 13 inches, and it takes a 5 inch bobbin.  It has the same sleek design that I love to hold/throw.  Can you tell I'm thrilled?????  I also bought a pair of wool & nylon handcrancked socks.  Candee said they are made by a little man that's 94 years old!!!!

Bonnie took a LONG look at the thread on the 1/2 price rack.  Decisions.....decisions!!!

Linda found a pair of socks that she needed to take home, too!  That, along with a few cones of thread made the trip back to her new studio!

  It was a sunny day....just right for friends to undertake a road trip! We had a wonderful, relaxing lunch before we headed back.  And, I think we all came home happy!  I'm sure that you will see Bonnie and Linda's towels before you get to see mine!!!!

Happy Weaving,

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Moving On!!!!

I hate head colds!!! I've had one for a week now. It started last Wednesday. I do have my voice back, sort of, but I still have that yucky head cold feel!! So work this week has been minimal. I did go to Gatlinburg with handwovens for Arrowcraft to sell and then on Saturday we drove over to Asheville to deliver pieces to Allanstand which is in the Folk Art center on the Blue ridge Parkway. I finished weaving the pink warp and wound a white one that I hope to get on the loom today. But, other than that, nada!

So what to write about? I waited to post  til later in the morning because we had a bit of excitement the last hour. Years ago we inherited an 1835 Chickering Square Grand Piano. It had been rebuilt at least 30 years ago by the couple we inherited it from. The lady remembers as a child playing under the piano at her great aunt's. They never had children and since we play piano, etc, we inherited it. It doesn't hold a tune. We've had it tuned several times and not only is it tinny, it isn't on tune and the keys stick. It's beautiful, I guess, in its own way, but totally takes up space where we would rather have a desk.
So, DH's sister wanted it to display pictures, etc. She lives in Atlanta. It's taken awhile but finally everything worked out so this morning the movers drove up from Atlanta and within an hour they had it on their trailer heading back down the interstate to her house!!!

 It's an interesting piano and mighty heavy, but they knew exactly what to do. They were also glad that we just had a few steps out front. Last week they had to move a piano up from a basement and were telling me how tough that had been. This one......piece of cake!
 I"m glad there were 3 of them. Took 2 guys to move it in but 3 to take it out. These guys sure had their act together!
 Good thing those legs just screw on!!
 The bottom of the piano is full of cracks. Probably that's why it doesn't play well!! The wooden mechanism is kind of interesting there too.
 You can just see the new tv we bought before Christmas on its cabinet on the left. That's what made us have to move that piano. The tv is where our roll top desk was. The desk will go where the piano was and maybe, just maybe, we can have a fire in the wood stove if we get another storm!!
 No problem using a ramp where the stairs are out to the truck!
 So far I'm impressed with these movers. They drove up this morning from Atlanta, were very professional but down to earth and got the piano onto their trailer!
 Probably the worst part was the poor guy driving the truck. He had to back it up our crooked driveway. We're the third house on this driveway. The first driveway is a good one to turn around in but there was a plumber working up there. Luckily for all, that guy was glad to move his truck up that driveway further so this guy could back into there and turn around before heading down the hill to the road!!
So DH's sister is waiting for her piano. I wish her many years of enjoying it as it holds pictures, Christmas cards, whatever she wants on it!!

Here, I'm hoping to get over this cold a bit more each day and get my energy back. It's been a drainer, that's for sure!
Heading down to the studio now.....until next week.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What's Going On????

On our usual Tuesday blogs you see the Tuesday Weavers just doing their "thing" and plotting and planning for more threads and new projects.

Allan finished up a rug this morning, and cut it off so he could go ahead and  tie the fringes.  He also had a warp thread go wonky, and he wanted to get that fixed, too.

.....yes, even in this weaving haven we have things that go wrong......never fear!!!

But, the rest of this blog today is dedicated to the projects on (or going on) the looms!

This is Bonnie's trial tote bag.  The weft is wool wrapped jute, and we thought it might felt.  Well.....the wool did felt, but the jute didn't shrink!!!  That's was an experiment!

Bonnie was working on the threading today.

Tina is back to work on the linen towels.  She inserted a little row of hand manipulated lace near the hem line.

Ms. Joyce is threading a snail trail pattern for some mug rugs.

I have about 25 inches more to weave on this scarf. 

Ms. Ila is weaving more mug rugs using M&W threading.
La Donna is weaving a shawl on the triangle loom.

Ms. Bonnie is working on dishtowels on her loom.

Ann is hard at work on the rug loom.

 Nada's placemats on the multi-colored warp is coming right along!

Carl is working on the third "rag bag" on this warp.  We got the handles braided and woven in today.

I don't know how many scarves are on this warp, but Lanny has made a lot of progress!  I sure wish you could feel how soft this one is!!!

We tease Pat a lot about using her favorite color....YELLOW!  She's working on a table runner right now.  (And, you should know that she led the charge on the Annex and the war against the mice!!!  With her guidance, we had that job knocked out early this morning!)

And, this, my friends, is a typical Tuesday at the Center!!!!  But, did I tell you there was a lot of laughing and chatting and fun????  There was!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Second Chances

 A week ago today, I began my second stint as Pastry Chef at Blackberry Farm, and tomorrow is my first day off since then.  It's been a crazy week, with some seriously unpleasant moments, some giddily  happy ones, some of those zen-like moments that come when you're doing what you really, really love.  I'm seriously ready for a day off.
  My first day was a blur.  I cannot tell you what I did!  I don't remember!  But on Tuesday, Adjryche, the now-former pastry chef, taught me his method of making chocolate candies.  Here he is, making the filling for some espresso candies.  He's in West Virginia now, with a new job and a new partner!
  On Wednesday, I began introducing new desserts.  Because our guests eat every meal with us as long as they stay, we have to have a different menu every day, with no repeats for three days at a time.  This is Thursday's menu.  You can em-biggen it to see it more clearly.  I introduced new desserts every night until Sunday, when I was able to start repeating them.
  Today, I made desserts ahead so the pastry cooks can simply make garnishes and plate the desserts on my days off.  They make the small first course desserts and the last course desserts, but I make most of the main desserts.
  I didn't get any pictures, I'm sad to say!  I love them all, like newborn children, but I forgot to take their pictures!  By the time I plated them for the staff to try, I was ready to get in my car and come home!
  Needless to say, there was no weaving this week.  I did cut the first baby blanket off the loom Monday morning, and I did take a picture, but the new software I downloaded on my mac won't let the computer talk to my camera!  I have scheduled a ME day tomorrow, a day in which I think each time before I do anything:  Do I really want to do that?  And if the answer is no, I don't do it.  If by chance weaving is something I feel like doing tomorrow, I'll be sure to let you know next week!  Until then, Happy Weaving!  And sweet dreams!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Little Signs of Spring

When the weather warms up a bit (especially after the winter we've had!) it's a little hard to stay inside and concentrate on domestic things!  I even put a sticky note on the screen of my laptop of some of the UFOs I need to finish up.  So far I've only crossed off one item!

Last Saturday after the Guild meeting, I took my panels out and laid them on the dining room table.  I've played around with the arrangement....but I wanted to show you what I see.  Maggie is bringing her panels to the Center on Tuesday, and I'll get to play some more.  Once I have those two, I'm going to wash them and then I'll decide the finished size of the panel.  Right now, I'm thinking I will crochet around the outside edge of each panel, then join them.  A lacy little picot edge will probably go around the outside.  We'll see.................

The crocus are popping up in the front flower garden....a bright spot of lavender in the dead leaves.

And the Lenten Rose has finally started blooming....another bright spot in the landscape.

I saw the first jonquil bud this morning.  Don't they know we'll probably get another snow or two???  But, I sure do look forward to seeing them in bloom!  I even saw several hyacinth blades poking up through the leaves.  Those are my favorite!!!

I guess I'll add cleaning up the flower beds of leaves to my UFOs list. 

But, I'm not putting away the jackets, gloves and scarves just yet.   I know that Winter will still give us another blast, and I'll be stuck in the house again.  It will give me a chance to work on that afghan.

Happy Weaving!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Less Than Perfect!

This is my 8 harness, Jack type loom, Kathryn.  I have had her for well over 2 years, I haven't really done much on her because of a couple of problems that this loom presents to me each and every time I put a project on her.

A few of them are minor and can be overlooked, such as there not being a handle of any sort to wind the warp onto the back beam, you have to use your hands on the slats and roll it on,  and the fact that the brake system doesn't hold, so that I have to put a 12 lb. weight on the front foot release to keep it from advancing ever so slightly each time I beat.  ( Though with the repweave placemats and runners I did that was a plus, all I had to do was advance on the front end frequently, and it was like an auto advancing warp!)

The others are more problematic,  Kathryn is clangy and bangy.   She has all metal parts and just makes so much racket that you cannot hear yourself think!  With the moves she has been put thru some of these metal parts, particularly the metal pull bars have been bent a little, and have proven themselves to be impossible to adjust in any way.  With all that going on the shed that I am presented with is terrible!  I have noticed it most recently with this fine bamboo/Rayon scarf warp I have on there now.

I fight my way thru each and every pic!

  I made some adjustments recently to the shed of my counterbalance loom, and I gained great results.  So  I have set about seeing what can be done to rectify this looms shed hangups!

Last week before the Flu took over at our house, I began replacing the bent metal pull bars with texsolv.  I got 2 harnesses done and then had to stop because I had run out of the arrow clips. 

You can see that the 2 harnesses I have done are about 1/2 inch above the other harnesses.  I have no idea if this is a good thing or not!  All I know is that I want to be able to adjust the harnesses to get a decent shed and that was impossible with the system I had.

 Later on this week I should be receiving the clips I ordered and I will post an update.  My hope is that this will reduce the noise and improve the shed, and in doing so will make this loom much more fun to weave on.  ( I have thought about replacing the whole system with a more modern pulley system if this doesn't help!)

There is one more thing I would like to do to this loom, and that is to somehow take advantage of the possibility of an overhead beater.  I think that I will have to invert the beater that is now on the loom, and drill some new holes for a metal rod to go thru, at a good height, so that the shed is positioned correctly.  I will have to do some documenting of  different overhead systems to see what I can do with what I have to make a workable, pleasant to use, loom.  I welcome any suggestions on this topic.

Next week I will be back at the looms, barn is basically done and the flu is slowly subsiding.
Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Max, then and now

This is Max when I first brought him home. He was so small! Maybe ten inches tall. He looked so tiny compared to the goats.

Here is Max now. He still has a lot of growing to do. As you can see he has lost that cute puppy face. He now weighs 49.5 pounds! By the time he is finished growing he could weigh as much as 120 pounds.

I had been wanting a livestock guard dog for some time when I saw an ad for Great Pyrenees puppies. I did a bit of research on these dogs and then decided to visit the farm where Max was born. Bonnie came with me to help me decide! Max was off by himself away from his siblings. I picked him up and carried him to where the others were. (I carried him in one hand! I sure can't do that now.) I set him down and he sat between my feet and didn't  move! I looked at all the other pups, trying to decide which one I wanted. There were white ones and black and white ones. The other pups didn't come close enough for me to touch them. I picked up Max again. He turned his head and stared into my eyes! I started laughing and asked him if we were bonding! Then I decided that Max had picked me and home we went.

I am very impressed with this breed. Somewhere I read they were called gentle giants and it is true. He is very sweet and loving. He is also protective of his goats. I have seen him in action! It is my hope that Max will keep my goats safe from the wolves we have seen and heard here.

I just wanted to take a minute and tell you something about the Tuesday Weavers. We are always there for each other wether it be to move a loom or offer a shoulder to cry on. We have gone yarn shopping together, demonstrated weaving at various places and even driven to North Carolina to pick up a huge donation. The Tuesday Weavers are a pretty terrific group of people! So....if you are ever in the area stop by and say hello!

Hmmmm, before I close I guess I should mention what I am weaving this week. So far I am working on a scarf and placemats. Yesterday I worked on the scarf until it was time for Magnum PI. When that came on I moved to the other room and worked on the placemats. I really like that show! Having multiple looms warped is so neat. When I want to weave something different I just hop over to another loom!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Checking off the list

The plum has been on the loom and now off!! Still waiting to be serged and washed because I have to finish the second serging process with the lemon pieces (cutting table still full of end of year bookkeeping that I'm still avoiding...) but it's woven. Notice the upper left side of the picture at the top of the beater. The finish has worn off on that one spot. I try to get my hand in the middle of the beater when I pull it to myself but somehow this one spot must have had less varnish or something. I've had this loom since 1980 and weave on it almost every day. It's held up remarkably well!!

 I'm weaving pink now. It's a bright cheerful pink. I've just got a couple of more pieces to weave on it and then it's off. DD thought it was the brightest color I'd ever woven but I have woven it before. It's just been a few years.  Next up will be white. Then I think I"m done with the more solid color warps for awhile. I will have to weave black somewhere down the road. I've got an order for a dress but she's not in a hurry and I want to get the spring colors done!
 My wolf pup has little mug rugs on it. I would like to get them woven off this weekend so I can get them to the center to add to the pile to go to Fiber Forum. Up next on that loom will be some hand towels. We're to demonstrate weaving in March and I want something simple but pretty on there for that.
The scarf warp is still on my baby wolf and I've woven a few inches on it. Each time you weave, as the warp moves and the colors change, the whole piece gets a different look, kind of like Ann's scarves yesterday. I'm looking forward to getting those off the loom so that I can get a picture of them on here as well.
So today I'm off to Gatlinburg to take a stack of handwoven pieces to Arrowcraft, a shop that carries my pieces. I'm taking very light colors. Spring is just around the corner and I'm hoping that people will be interested in getting a handwoven vest or jacket that's just right for spring!!  I should be back at my loom late afternoon. I want to get that pink warp off!!
Until next time.