Thursday, March 31, 2011

Traveling and weaving

Well, I am back home again from my Colonial Williamsburg trip. It is always so nice to go there. I sometimes wear my 18th century clothing to get the colonial America experience. I usually take along a basket and shop just like the people who lived there used to do. Eating in taverns is expensive but really nice. Especially if you have the right clothes. And being a reenactor, when the musician asked if we had a request we could pick one of our favorite 18th century songs for her to play.

The reason I went this time and again last October is this. This gun is being made exactly the way one would have been made in the 18th century. The men from our park worked while I got to shop. Sounds fair, doesn't it?

Now back to weaving. Before I left I wound another scarf warp using the sock yarn as warp this time. You may remember the last one I made using this yarn. I used purple as warp and the sock yarn as weft. It made nice stripes. This time I want to use it for warp and weft. Here is a picture. I took it with my phone so the colors aren't true. I put the warp on my Structo loom. If you look closely you can see a wheel on the left. Some time ago I found these things. Not sure what they are called. They are three small wheels attached to a concave metal plate. I put one under each leg of the loom stand and I can move it anywhere I want when I want to weave. Right now the loom is in the store room up against a wall but I can move it directly under the ceiling light when I want to weave. Neat, huh?

Today I will take the last table runner off the Gilmore loom and try to finish a scarf on the Lervad loom. We are having another gloomy day here so weaving will be a good thing to do.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Back Home

As promised last week, here's my sister's quilt top. Her fabric was amazing with roses all over so her quilt is beautiful. She's working on the second quilt top now but I won't see it til I go back up there end of July.
I was looking at other stack n whack quilts and there's a pattern that kind of looks like stars all over the quilt and I think I'll try to get that pattern and see if we can't try to make that when I'm up there in summer. Hmm, guess I'll have to buy more fabric.....

 I did fly home last Thursday. As has been the case this trip, it was not quite uneventful. We boarded the plane on time in Regina. Moved back from the gate as normal.......but stopped at 10 feet or so and sat there for 55 minutes. The water heater for the coffee machine overheated and blew a fuse. It took that long to do the paperwork before we could take off. I was fine. I had 3 hours built in for my layover but others didn't have nearly that long. Once we landed in Minneapolis we had to go through customs and security again. Several people were rushed to the front of the security line to try to make their connections. I hope they made it.
I landed in Knoxville after 10pm and DD arrived to pick me up, right on time!
That all seems like nothing when I heard from a friend who'd flown to China the day before I left Knoxville. She wrote that they were to land in Japan,  I guess to refuel on the way. They missed the earthquake by 18 minutes and were diverted to an island somewhere. She doesn't know where. They weren't allowed off the plane for over 30 hours and were a day and a half late for their China tour.  She did say they had a wonderful time once the tour got going!!
Coming back to spring was wonderful. I talked to my sister yesterday and she said it was just above  freezing and melting some but also snowing. I think we're safe. Yesterday while driving back from the center in Norris I sure was enjoying all the redbuds blooming at the side of the interstate! Looking out my kitchen window it looks like the wisteria is about to open up. I thought DH had gotten it all because it is invasive but I guess one little section evaded him last year!

So what's on the loom here? I'm weaving this pretty combination on my production loom. I almost forgot to take  a picture and have to wind more bobbins before I can weave again in a few minutes.
I only have a warp on my baby wolf as well. It's still that scarf warp that I painted. Also painted the weft and it's fun to watch the progression but I need to get back to it. I'm on the second scarf. This week I hope to get warps on the other 2 looms down there.
Coming back from a trip like this always results in my taking a couple of days to re acclimate myself to my life here. The time changed while I was gone. When I flew up they were an hour earlier. Saskatchewan doesn't change their time, ever. So coming back here it's 2 hours later than them. That threw me for a bit of a loop. Now I'm back into the swing of things and hope to get this warp off the loom today. I need to wind 3 warps by tomorrow so I can get them onto the looms. I think the next warp for my workhorse Nilus is a peach one with maybe jade for an accent color.
I'm heading down to wind some bobbins so I can weave the 3 vests left on the warp!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Add to the Stash Tuesday!

Round Two of the Stash arrived today!  We unloaded three pickup truck loads of weaving stash to add to our own stash!  The weavers got first pick at the materials, and we put the rest into storage.

We sorted as we unloaded by type of fiber and by color.  Some of the rolls were a little dirty, so those were put on the table as a freebie.  I'm glad the weather was nice so we could do all of this outside!

After everything was unloaded, then the shopping started!!!  Most of the weavers have looms at home, and this will make great rugs and much to choose from!!!!

In addition to adding to the stash today, we also got an up close look at Tina's new throw.  Isn't it beautiful!!!!

And, we put together our donation for the Gala auction.  The Pottery Department made mugs, and Tina wove the napkins.  This is one of Carl's handwoven tote bags, and we added teas, chocolates and biscotti.  Yum!
  Another busy, busy day at the Center!  I think Carl was the only one that got to his loom!  Carol is back, and she priced some items to go upstairs in the shop.  But, it's always good to be together!

Happy Weaving to You!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gettin' My Ducks In A Row

  Last Saturday, Ms. Joyce, Tina and I set up our little tables at the Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival in Townsend.  Besides the straw looms, we also had the Inkle Loom, a rigid heddle loom and Tina brought her spinning wheel. 

  And, DO weave!  (You already know we have men who weave at the Center, but here's a guy who really got into straw weaving!!!!)  Mom and Sis caught on very quickly, too.  It was a fun day sharing our love of weaving.  And, Tina and I had plenty of driving time to brainstorm teaching a weaving class (or two) at SMFAF next year.

  On the home front, ALL of the upstairs looms have warps on them!!!!  I cut the cat mat and two tote bags off of John last weekend, and I still need to tie that warp back on. (It's time to start cutting the jeans up for that long awaited hall rug!)   Mz. Emily has a new warp of small tote bags, and the first one should be finished up this morning.   The Center is having a Gala next weekend, and the weaving department partnered with the pottery department to donate a "Tea Party in a Tote."  This will also include some of Tina's handwoven napkins!  It will have an assortment of teas, chocolates and biscotti.  So, the rush is on to complete those small tote bags this weekend.

  Remember that sad mess of thread that came off of Sally?  Well, I did get it on Julia, and I've started the table runner for my daughter.  It's threaded in Italian Diamonds from Davison.  I love how the colors are all playing so nicely together.  And, now I can say that I've threaded a loom Front to Back!
  Not pictured is Parker Pup.  He still has the rest of the mug rug warp on him.  But, we counted the mug rugs last Tuesday, and we have plenty for the fiber festival in April.  I may even rethread that warp and do a different pattern to finish it up.  I'll think about that for a bit........
  So, now I have my ducks in a row, and I can weave a little here, and weave a little there!  But, for now, I've got to get to the post office so I can weave this afternoon.  Today is a tad bit chilly, so it's a good day to stay inside!

Happy Weaving!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Just to make sure!

Last week I posted about the partial success with the Kentucky Cardinal, and how there was just the slightest tinge of pink around the natural edges.  I would not be able to market that!  So I have made the decision to pretreat all reds and blues with a salt bath.

The first 1/2 lb cone of 8/4 cotton, I used the warping board and made a 2 yard skein.  It took about 30 minutes, since I had to split it into 2 skeins, plus my arm got tired!  I got smarter after that and pulled out the swift!  It only takes about 10 minutes per cone to wind and tie it off.  I think I can live with that.

Into the salt bath it goes.  There is 1 1/2 cups of salt in this dishpan of cool water.  I let it sit for about 3 hours.  There was not any dye in the water at all!  I then rinsed it and hung it to dry.

There was no damage to the yarn at all, it looked almost as good as it did when it came off the cone.  I began winding more skeins in odd moments during the day.  I finished the Kentucky Cardinal and also the Dubonnet. ( I have 3 dishpans that I am using so it really goes pretty fast.  I either put them in first thing in the morning and then rinse later on in the day, or even put them in to soak in the evening and rinse the next morning.  Pretty low key really.)

Once again there was no dye release whatever in any of the salt baths.  After the rinse, here they are set to dry.  I think I am going to like seeing all these skeins of pretreated yarn hanging around my studio!

This week, I hope to finish the odd cones of Red and the 2 remaining Copper cones, and then start on the Smokey Blue.  I may do some of the darker blues, but I think that the Parakeet has behaved quite nicely, so I may not pretreat it.  I wont do the greens or any of the other colors unless I am forced to by unfortunate results.

Today I thought of another reason to pretreat the colors, and that is that I will use alot less salt because I am only treating less than half of the fabric!

Well that is it for today's post,

 Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, March 24, 2011

One of my favorite places!

This week I am in Colonial Williamsburg. This is one of my favorite places. This is the gun powder magazine.

This is Peyton Randolph's home. He was president of the Continental Congress.

This is the court house.

This is Bruton Parish Church. I wanted to be married here 37 years ago but we couldn't because we weren't members.   

I hope you all enjoyed the pictures. Sorry this is so short. I have a busy schedule this week.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Trip North cont'd

As I type this, I'm listening to shovels at the sidewalk, clearing snow. I guess there were about 2" of snow yesterday but it's cold, well below freezing and will be for several days so, unlike us, they're clearing snow! It sounds like there's ice under that snow. My sister and I are about to go out to a quilt store to pick up a few more pieces of fabric for her second quilt. The car is covered in snow and there's probably a layer of ice under there as well, so we have to clear that before we can leave! If notohing else, the world here is beautiful with the new snow covering the dirty snow that's been here all winter!

This week I sewed 2 quilt tops. They're both just under 80 x 100. My sister will quilt them for me on a friend's long arm machine. She's going to learn how to use it! I'm impressed!! I ended up with 21 of these dresden plates one the 8 repeats of fabric. Since I'd bought enough for 2 sets, I fussy cut 3 more on the side of the remaining fabric so was able to do the 2 quilts.
This is actually my second, fun quilt. I'm not a pink person but thought this hot pink would be a bit different. The center of each circle has a 1 1/2 inch circle and I cut a rose out for each of them. It isn't as bright pink as I'd been afraid it would be. My sister says I'm to put one quilt on the bed and fold the other at the foot of the bed. This one will be the folded one!  

 I'm glad I bought as much fabric as I did because this way I could sash the whole thing with the print as well.
 Here's the first quilt top I did and it's elegant I think. I got 2 different greens to make it work and I think it's a nice calm quilt.
 I hadn't sewn a quilt top in several years so doing something this big was kind of different for me.
 Figuring it all out was something. We got out graph paper and fiddled and fiddled til we got something that would work. Doing 2 of them made it good. Reinforced what I'd done with the first one. I cut out the whole second one before I began to sew it and got it done in a day and a half! I wanted to get off her machine so my sister could get back onto her good machine!

This is my sister's quilt. I spent forever trying to download a picture of her whole quilt and it just wouldn't do so I'm going to try to put it on next week. This is the close up of hers. She was using her very old machine to sew it. It's a bernina but not with the features of her 1130 which I was using since I have one at home and hadn't sewn on her older machine.
She only had 18 circles so 12 went into this quilt and we spent alot more time trying to figure out what to do with the other 6. She likes to make full size quilts and we finally figured out what to do with the other 6 squares that we had to design.
We're about to brave that snow and go back to the quilt shop to pick up just a few more pieces of fabric so that she can finish her other top. I hope to cut it out for her this afternoon.
Tomorrow.....I'm scheduled to fly back down to spring.  It looks like the snow is gone. It was so funny yesterday afternoon. All morning they'd talked about the blizzard that was hitting southern Saskatchewan and how much snow they'd get. We'd woken to about an inch yesterday morning and then nothing til the evening when another inch came. Anyway, yesterday afternoon their weather channel talked about the storm that wasn't, at least in this area. It reminded me so much of east Tennessee where they often predict major storms and we get bypassed!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just Gettin' It Done!

  How do you sum up such a terrific Tuesday???  As always, we had a lot going on.....but we got a lot of the little stuff out of the way in short order!

Tina downloaded and filled out the form for Foothills Craft Guild.  Pat and I proofed it and made changes where we thought necessary.  The deadline for the paperwork is looming!  (hehehe)

Another looming deadline is mug rugs for the Fiber Forum.  Ann brought in her finished stash and got them ready to go.  Nada provided encouragement.

Ms. Jane got to be with us today.  She went right back to work on her warp....weaving is good for you!!!

LaDonna was going to pack the Pup to go home.....sometimes you just need more than four hours to get that warp woven off!!!!  Ms. Joyce got her Pup folded up to put away.  Everything has to be cleared out for the Quilters who come on Thursday.

  Carl almost finished another Rag Bag today.  We tag team getting the handles woven in!  It's so much easier than doing it all by yourself!!!

  Ms. Ila picked up some of the smaller cones of thread to use on her mug rugs at home, and Bonnie is getting a lot done on her tote bag warp.  She'll be ready to throw the handles next week.

  Pat was in and out and all about today....just getting lots of little things done.  Ms. Trudy was back to work at her table loom, and I wove 16 inches on my scarf warp.  Ms. Bonnie wove on her warp, too.  You just gotta love all the "busy-ness" going on around here!

Happy Weaving to you in your corner of the globe!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Here We Go Again!

  "My bags are packed, I'm ready to go!"  There are almost 200 tangerine sized yarn balls in that red tote bag!  (Actually, there may be more than 200....I quit counting after a while!)  In just a little bit, Tina and I will be heading out to Townsend for the Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival.  We'll set up our table with the straw looms that we finished up Tuesday at the Center, and then spend the morning sharing the love of weaving with lots of folks on this beautiful Spring Saturday.

  Everything is sitting by the door, just waiting to be loaded into the, Cici doesn't get to go!  But, I did set the inkle loom and the rigid heddle loom out to be loaded, too.   I put a chenille scarf warp on the rigid heddle has a couple of stripes of specialty yarn that I bought last week at the Porch Sale.  And, yes, that is one of the rigid heddles that I bought and shortened.  (Hack saws are wonderful tools!)  Tina is bringing one of her spinning wheels to mesmerize the masses.

  I am slowly, but surely, putting the warp from Sally onto Julia......I hated to waste that beautiful warp, and there is probably about 12 yards still left on it.  I chained each two inch bout from the sections and now I'm threading the Baby Wolf front to's very slow going.  Beaming on should be fun!  (not!)

We've had such beautiful weather the last few days that I just had to work outside some, too.  So, I haven't gotten a lot of weaving done.  The nice part about looms is that they'll wait for you!

Enjoy your Spring day!!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011


I am waiting for the washer to finish.  Inside the washer is the Couch Throw in Kentucky Cardinal.

I had finished this throw and the Navy one on Wednesday.  The Navy one was without any errors at all, so it went directly to the washer once it was hemmed.  The Red one however had several treadling errors, by that I mean lots!

The back of the throw is supposed to look like the first picture.  Half of the throw was perfect, but the other half was riddled with errors like you see to the left.

There were even some that looked like this!  What that means is that I have to needle weave to correct these errors.  I also have to swear to pay more attention when I am weaving.

This is what needle weaving looks like.  I believe, no, I know that it would have been faster to just weave another one.  It would have been easier on my hands too!

I am waiting  anxiously for this precious fabric to come out of the wash because Red is notorious for bleeding.  I had done the color study with good results, but then I had had terrible results with the copper!  I had chosen to do just plain water for the first wash, and I had forgotten the color catcher.  It began to bleed, and bleed some more.

I finally called the Woolery today, for words of wisdom on how to prevent this problem in the future, like today for instance!  I was told by the nicest lady, that I need to use 3 cups of salt per pound of fabric.

The throw weighed just under 2 lbs, so I went with 6 cups.  That is 2 1/2 cartons of salt!

So I am waiting,  I will post a pic when it comes out of the dryer, good or bad.

While I would say that it came out pretty good, it is not perfect.  There are a few faint tinges of pink in some of the natural.  If I try again, I will treat the red with salt before weaving.  It is not horrible, but I wouldn't try to sell it.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Memory lapse!

Last Thursday I checked our blog site to see what was posted for the day. By evening I decided that the person who was supposed to post didn't have anything to say. On Monday, I asked Tina who forgot to post. When I got home I took another look at what day there wasn't a post and it was......Thursday! The person who didn't post was ME! LOL.

On Monday Tina and I helped a new weaver put together her new looms. We love doing this. The Tuesday Weavers are always ready to help move looms, pick up donations and put looms together. We are such a happy and fun bunch of weavers. Here is a picture of the latest loom to be put back together.

Isn't it a pretty loom? It is a Leclerc from the 1980's and it is in pristine condition.

At my studio I have been weaving a scarf using sock yarn. This yarn is so soft already. I can't wait to see how it does after washing.

I am also weaving a table runner using some very thick wool yarn. It is a pale green with flecks of dark green in it. I think, for the next runner, I will weave this yarn with stripes of white thick wool yarn.

The mug rugs are off the loom and one was given as a gift to a friend who wanted one. Next I will warp that loom for dish towels. My inventory of dish towels is really low.

Today will be spent cleaning our home ( I would rather be weaving!) and putting a warp on my Leclerc Dorothy for more mug rugs.

Max. Remember Max? Here is the latest picture. Don't look at me! Just look at Max. LOL. Isn't he big? He had just turned six months old a few days before this picture was taken. He is as big as our last yellow lab!

Well, that is all I have for today. I hope you all have a wonderful day. The weather here is wonderful. It will be warm and sunny. A great day to open the windows and let some fresh air in.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Heading North!

Last Friday morning I was up at 4am to get to the airport in time (early!) for my 6:50am flight heading north. It was amazing. I got there about 5:20 and checked in my bag, then heading to security. If you know the Knoxville airport, there's a long hall with waterfalls before you get to security, a long uphill hall. Well, the line to security was all the way to the end of the waterfalls!!! It did move but I was glad I had a plenty of time before my plane was scheduled to leave! I think it was the beginning of spring break plus being Friday might have done it.
Uneventful flight to Minneapolis and then a 3 hour layover which suited me fine. I hate those 25 minute layovers where you have to really rush and worry about getting to your next plane. There was a lady on our plane that had a 20 minute space before her next one left. I hope she made it.
So, no problems, we got on the flight to Regina and the plane took off on time. It's an hour and 40 minute flight. About the time I thought we should be heading down to Regina we just kept going, then the pilot said that the weather was horrid in Regina, a white out, and they were waiting for a window where it cleared a bit and then we'd head down. We circled for at least half an hour and then had to head back to Minneapolis!!!

My sister was in that whiteout. She left Moose Jaw in good weather and suddenly couldn't see anything. She was driving her daughter's white car!!! and got to where you couldn't turn back, just keep going and hope no one hits you. She saw a tractor trailer in front of her and could just see the top of him so she followed him til he turned off. Then she kept going. Couldn't always even see one of the center line marks. Not sure where you are. Then she realized she was being followed by a tractor trailer who made no move to pass her altho others did. I think he was her angel. Once she got to Regina she could barely see her turnoff and ended up following another tractor trailer to the airport. Then not sure if we'd be in later, she hung around awhile. She also stayed in Regina a few hours til it cleared out enough to drive home. I'm sure the late night flight was able to get in.

So we were struck in Minneapolis. Not a ton of us, but enough. About 10 of us ended up going down to get the little emergency pack they give you with a toothbrush, etc. because it had a big tshirt we could sleep in! We all got reservations at the Ramada for $55, a discounted rate, apparently. Also a free shuttle! Dinner that evening was fun with the 3 I ate with. We sat there for 2 hours laughing and figuring out who they all know from Regina. Regina's really a small city and people there all kind of know each other! More so than Knoxville!
Out of my window I could see the Mall of America and Ikea!! It was cold!! and I didn't much feel like going to a mall and buy anything that I'd have to take to Canada and back. Besides, I've been to the West Edmonton mall which is bigger! A mall's a mall! The ones that went Saturday said it was a zoo and not worth going to, probably because of spring break!

 Got to the airport Saturday afternoon and hung around, finished reading my book and bought another one waiting for my 9:45 pm flight!! There were 7 of us from that flight on it. It's funny how when you've been together awhile, you're instant friends and the wait for the flight was fun, chatty, not like normal waits for flights. But then, also, we all sort of worried til the plane actually landed in Regina, just before midnight! The bags all arrived too, having sat down in the Minneapolis airport waiting for us. They said they had to go with us on our flight because it was international flying. What if they'd screwed up and our bags hadn't gotten on? Glad we didn't have to find out! Then another hour drive to get to Moose Jaw. It was kind of cold too!

However, it's up around melting out there. They say 2/3 of the snow has already melted. I took a picture of her back drive. That's melting snow. So, at night it freezes and it's ice. It's melted more since I took that picture and more water. It's nicely melting but that doens't mean there won't be more snow falling while I"m up here and, for sure, before spring really comes! I've driven in this to pick up Mom from dialysis on Monday but I"m hoping not to have to drive much in this. It's not horrid but I'd rather let someone else drive who's driven in this all winter!
 So, what are we doing? My sister told me to bring fabric for a stack n whack, that we were going to attempt that! I forgot to take pictures while I was cutting them but you basically stack 8 layers of identical fabric and then using your rotary cutter, cut out idential stacks of fabric. Here are a few of the ones I did.
 You sew them together and  each circle looks different. Here's one example of what I did just before I sewed the last seam.
 This is one of my sister's circles. Her fabric is incredible with roses and tiny blue flowers. I love her fabric!
 You just sew them assembly line, one after another! I made 24 of them.
Now we have to figure out how we'll assemble these. We're going to applique them onto squares of fabric and then sew them together with sashing, etc. We're off to the fabric store to pick my fabric. My sister already has hers. The one thing, tho, is that fabric costs more here (and the dollar's the same or worth a bit more than the US dollar) with prices from $9.99 which one grabs but more likely it's $15.99!!!! I'll pay that I'm sure. You  really couldn't buy the other fabric before you made the circles because it looks altogether different than the original fabric.
So, that's the latest from this week. I missed a day with my Mother but am glad that at the end, we were all able to safely fly up here!