Thursday, June 30, 2011

Today was let's put the Newcomb Studio loom together day. My trusty assistant, my son, and I got out the tools and laptop where the pictures I had taken were. Here are the before pictures. This is the living room of my studio where all the parts were gently placed when I got back from Wisconsin.

I have put many looms together over the years. All makes and sizes but this one was a bit different. This one has long ropes and the break release for the warp beam is unusual. When we looked at the pictures we discovered I hadn't taken enough! We plowed ahead. We took turns saying, I think this goes this way and no I think it goes this way. You should have seen us! We giggled and laughed our way through this! In the middle of all this my son's girl friend texted and wanted to know what he was up to. When he told her she wanted to come and help! I will have to remember this the next time I put a loom together.

Here it is, all back together. I still have to go back and tighten all the nuts and adjust the harnesses. I moved out the love seat to get it in the living room so now I will have to decide where to put it. Doesn't it look wonderful in that spot?


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How Many Looms is Too Many?

  A common theme at Tuesday Weaving is discussing how we acquired and where are we going to put new looms.  Every week, it seems someone has found a loom on ebay or craig's list or just with our ears to the ground, and it comes home with someone.  Sometimes I feel jealous of those who either have the money to buy new ones, or who just seem to be in the right place at the right time to get a windfall loom.  But, really, how many looms do I need?
  As many of you know, I work more than a full week, every week.  I sometimes only see my looms because my house is shaped like an O, and I have to pass through the Loominaria, just to get to the living room.  I usually spend, on average, an hour weaving every week, unless I go to Norris, as I did yesterday.  Yesterday, I spent most of my 4 1/2 hours there threading B with that lovely New Mexican Sunset warp.  I chatted with LouAnn, caught up with Pat and heard Carol's road stories.
  At home, I sit in my lovely Loominaria, looking out at the flowers on the front porch, working on the current project and dreaming of future ones.  I own three looms.

This is my Artisat.  I love dear Jenny, my Artisat.  She works so hard and does pretty much whatever I ask of her.

This is my Navajo loom.  I had it made for me by the kind guys at Anderson Lumber in Alcoa.  This is the one and only warp I've ever had on it.  Wally, in the photo at the foot of the loom, one day decided the rug I was weaving made a great scratching post.  I still have the rug, but I don't have Wally anymore.  I can't part with the partial rug because it reminds me of him.  I have grand plans for my next warp on it, cat-proof and easy enough to finish.  Now, I need the time.

And this is the Colonial, complete with cats.  It took me a year to weave the rug on it!  All three of these looms take up an entire room, plenty for one weaver who can only spend a few hours a week with them.
  My Tuesday Weaver friends weave all day, many days and make such amazingly beautiful things with their looms.  Some have garages full, some have them tucked away all over the house and some have--okay, just one has--an entire house for them.  But most of us have just a little time and a little space for what we can squeeze in.

  The right amount of looms is what we can make space and time for.  For some of us, that's one in the living room, just in the right place to stay connected with our family.  For some, it's a few, ready with warps of different complexity, for when we're ready to give them our time.  For others, it's a smorgasbord of possibilities to take us into a new career.  How many looms is too many?  How many looms is just the right amount?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Back to Business sometimes we need a little help getting started.  Big thanks to LaDonna for baking us some fantastic cupcakes to help keep our blood sugar high. 

We had a lot of catching up to do today. 

Carol, Linda and Ann have found their way back to the hills of East Tennessee, and tales of weaving north of the state line were the order of the day.

Nada, Ms. Ila and Ms. Bonnie were deep in conversation about what's been going on with them.  Ms. Trudy got busy weaving on her warp.

  Maggie got to be with us today, and offered to thread the Southwestern warp.  She discovered that a few threads did NOT make it on the tension box.....each bout was supposed to have 24 threads, and this one had 23.  Uh-oh.....Tina won't let me help any more!!!!!

Ann got busy winding her 12 yard warp.  She got a few scarves woven while she was on vacation.  Sounds like heaven.....weaving at the lake....enjoying nature.....weaving at the lake....swimming in the lake.....weaving at the lake.....oh well, you get the idea!

  Nada got to weave on the placemat warp for awhile today.  It feels good to be back weaving.

  And, Carl has moved to the barn loom.  He's a real master at weaving rugs!

  Meet the Tindell family from Waco, Texas!
  They were traveling through, and stopped at the Center.  This is a whole family of weavers (and even had a loom they bought on their trip in their van!)  Carol had a great time talking with them.

We love to talk to people about weaving!  If you're visiting East Tennessee, please plan your trip so you can stop in on a Tuesday....there's always someone weaving.....and we'd love to say HELLO!!!!

In the meantime......
Happy Weaving!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Midwest Weavers Conference!!

I am so disappointed. I have alot of pictures to choose from to post. You can ask Linda, but I tried downloading several pictures and something won't let me. Maybe the wifi at this hotel isn't good enough to do it or my computer's tired! Whatever the reason, this blog will have to be all words. Next Monday I will post the pictures!!

This past Monday pre conference  started. I was taking a class that kind of scared me when I signed up. It was one where you had to wind 2 warps, wind them onto the back beam together, then thread them alternating threads from each warp to a set pattern and have it all ready for class Monday morning! I got the warp on but Monday morning there were several of us who were quite nervous about this whole thing. Sheila O'Hara was our teacher. You can google her and find some of the things she's woven. I have pictures now of some of her woven tapestries because she brought some along.
We wove for 3 days. I had put on 4 yards but wanted to have it done by the end of class on Wednesday. I did it too!! I have the piece to bring to the center Tuesday and will have pictures next Monday to show. The scarf is reds and yellows on one side and blues and greens on the other. I also wove little squares near the ends of each side which alternated the colors. So on the reds and yellows side there are small blue and green squares and the other side is the opposite. It was a rather complicated process but quite satisfying. We also sampled colors and treadlings to see how the process worked. I have alot more sampling (what, sampling???) to do yet to get the progressions that I am thinking about for another warp.  Too many ideas, not enough time to do them in!! The whole thing was great fun! You have to take it slowly but as you change the shafts the picture shows up on my fabric and the layers alternate in various ways!!

Tuesday evening we all took a break and drove about 15 miles to a town called Calumet to a gallery hop time. Now, you have to remember we were up in the upper penninsula of Michigan. Yeah, rain and cold!!
How no one got pneumonia is hard to believe. Going from gallery to gallery was fun but everyone was wet and cold. Getting back to the dorms that night was great!!

Wednesday evening was the keynote speaker. Sheila was the speaker and she had tons of slides and information for us. The time flew by as she showed her work and others. We follow Sandra Rude's blog on the side of our blog page. She had several pictures of her work as part of her presentation. I was glad that she did. She'd explained some of the process of the jacquard loom to us in our class and knowing how hard it is to get everything just so especially with looms acting up made me appreciate her work that much more!

The whole conference was at Finlandia University. However, they didn't have enough dorm space and since I was wanting my own room I had to stay across the river in Houghton at Michigan Tech. Driving back and forth was interesting and not as big a deal as it could have been. Just meant getting up a bit earlier each day to be at breakfast at Finlandia shortly after 7. I got up at 6 each morning!!!

Thursday was a free day. The vendors were open. Several hours were spent going through all the vendors and seeing what I could find that needed to come to my home. I did buy some shuttles and yarn. It's so tempting when you see the yarns there in front of you. I also got a sample card of perle cotton from Yarn Barn. Now I can see what colors to order from there without having to rely just on the website!!

Friday I spent the day in class making a scissor sheath out of birchbark, porcupine quills and sweet grass!! That was the class I really looked forward to. Good teacher and fun project!! I'll have pictures of mine too next week.
Friday evening was the fashion show. It's hard to take pictures of it all so I didn't try. I sat back and enjoyed the whole process. There was a reception later where we could see alot of the clothes and models.

Yesterday I had a class on sett. It went on all day. I did learn alot and have notes to figure out how many ends per inch to do any fabric. Used that square root feature on my calculator too!! Thanks DD for reassuring me that it was on the calculator that I was taking along! We also brought along cardboard and used the huge supply of yarns she'd brought to make some wraps of different kinds of yarns and also planning a warp that used various yarns and colors.

Last night was the evening for a business meeting and awards ceremony. It was the time for good byes to friends we see each time we go to MidWest and time to reassure each other that we'll meet again in 2 years in Kansas!
These conferences are full of people like us that love to weave, are eager to learn new things or improve skills we already have. The support and encouragement we give each others as weavers is phenomenal. Last night Donna Kellner had the audience clapp for themselves, for all the mentors among us who are willing to help others learn to love the craft that we are so in tune with!

This morning we all packed up and headed home. I picked up Linda from the Best Western where she was staying with Karen last night and we headed across the upper penninsula toward the Mackinac Bridge. It's a long ride in wilderness but we enjoyed it. Once over the bridge we headed south and got just south of Grand Rapids after 6pm. We're resting up for another day of driving tomorrow.
I am writing this evening so I can get on the road fairly early tomorrow. By the time I roll onto my driveway tomorrow night I will be exhausted so decided tonight would be a better time to write again. Next week I'll post a bunch of pictures of the week. Again, sorry that the computer would just say there was a security error when I clicked on the pictures to upload from my camera.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Introducing Smokey

  Say hello to Smokey....the newest member of my loom family.

  My son wanted to know if I wanted another loom...he had used it for his fibers class.  The University was getting rid of it, and it needed a new home.

  It needed some TLC!!!!

And, these are Smokey's new friends:
white vinegar and Howard's Feed-N-Wax!

(I should also say that shop towels and elbow grease played a big part in this story!)

  After the harnesses were removed, along with the reed,  the wood got massaged with Howard's, which is the most wonderful product to use on old wood.  Years and years of grime came off, and the wood is now looking quite lovely.

I placed all the rusty heddles in a pyrex dish.  After I covered them with white vinegar, I sealed the dish with plastic wrap.  This was left to soak overnight.
  The reed was laid out on plastic wrap, too.  I soaked pieces of shop towels in the vinegar, and laid them on both sides of the reed.  This was sealed up for 24 hours.  I did turn the reed several times during this process.

  The heddles are lookin' good!  I couldn't believe that all that rust just magically wiped off after their night at the spa!

Of course, now I'm in the process of putting them on the heddle rods, which is very interesting!  Like a lot of old looms, the heddles are not all the same.  My sorting skills are getting a real workout!
  This old Structo ArtCraft is almost ready for a new life!

    On the weaving front, I threw the last warp dyed scarf on Parker Pup.  It would be finished, but I ended up un-weaving the first attempt, and chose a different weft to use.  I'm much happier with this one.

  We've had so many storms roll through the area this week, and I've got lots of little sticks in my yard to pick up this weekend.  I checked on the blackberries, and they look like they may be ready in about a week or so.  All the rain that we've had should produce some nice, plump berries.

  So, enjoy your weekend, and
Happy Weaving!

Friday, June 24, 2011


It isn't often that I do a manicure.  The main reason that I don't usually bother with it is because my hands are regularly subjected to tasks and common elements that make them look like this!

or even after washing they look like this!

So you can see that it really isn't something that is worth the trouble.  But, this week I am going on a trip to Texas to see my Mom and then my Texas grandbabies!   That means a week without gardening, or mucking out the stalls, there will be no hoof trimming, or tomato stringing, no basil picking or hay and feed hauling! 

So you can be sure that this evening when all the chores are done, I will be cleaning off this old chipped polish and putting on some new!  (I may have to take some bleach to my fingers though, those tomato vine stains are really tough.)  My Husband will say, "Phew, what is that smell!"

ETA!  While I was running those last minute errands, I ended up stopping in to get a manicure!  They do such a nice job, and it will last longer too!

Until next time,
Happy Weaving  y'all, Tina

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wet and wonderful Wisconsin

As you know I have been in Wisconsin since Saturday evening. I hitched a ride with Carol who went to the midwest weaver's conference. I am visiting with Karen in the woods. I am having a great time! I have known Karen for several years now. She helped me, online, when I was a new weaver and had questions about my Union loom. She took me under her wing and we have been good friends ever since.

This is what I have been working on since I came here. Karen had told me she was knitting some hats on a Knifty Knitter and I remembered I had one. I thought this would be a good thing to bring to work on that didn't take up much room.

This is the one I am working on now. I am using  some of Karen's hand spun yarns.

OK, now some of you will find this hard to believe.........I bought a loom!! There is always room for one more, don't you think? This is a Newcomb Studio loom. These are good, sturdy loom for rugs. Doesn't it look wonderful!

On Saturday morning Karen and I hope to drive up to the conference and pop in on the rug weavers get together and show and tell and maybe look at what the vendors have to offer. This has been so enjoyable for me and I am so greatful for the opportunity to visit Karen and see a state I have never seen before!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Storm Pictures

  Maggie was able to send pictures from her phone to my email account for me to post.  Her area in North Knoxville was hit pretty hard last night

Say "good-bye" to the 100 year old tree that was next to the old North Knoxville Library! 
  I'm sure this is just one of many old trees that the storm toppled last night.

This is the park that is next door to the library.  A lot of trees were damaged, as well as play equipment.

This is one view of her neighbor's tree that was blown down by the wind.

This is another view of that tree (that's a little too close for comfort, Maggie!!!!!)

Here's hoping the power comes on soon to all of those affected, and we have a calm night.

Happy Weaving from Maggie!

****News Flash*****

  I just got off the phone with Maggie....she has power after the storm last night, but no internet service!  There are trees down in her neighborhood, but all her trees are still standing.
  She did have some major havoc in her garden, and if she gets connected later today, I'm sure she'll share pictures and her story.
  The good news is that she's safe!!!!

It might be a good day to weave!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Just Keepin' On Keepin' On


While Carol is away, you would think that we would be running WILD through the Weaving Department.  Oh, no.....just look at Pat and Lanny working away! 

  We were few in number today, but we got a lot done!

  Sharon brought the items we sent home with her for Allan to work on:  Tina's beam for her new loom looks FANTASTIC!  And, he worked his magic on my son-in-law's Inkle Loom.  What would we do without him?????

  Bonnie got to be with us today, too.  She supervised and kept us company until after lunch.

Tina and I got the warp on the Herald Loom. 

What a great way of getting a long warp on a it just needs to be threaded.

  We are thinking that the colors remind us of California Wine Country.

Do you agree????
  The colors don't show up as well as I would like, but the dark greens, along with all the other shades of green, work well with the tans and blues.

  Both of the sectional warps are designed to be "stash busters!"  We've already started looking for great fabric to go with the warps.  Pat really got into the action with all the fabric stashed in the cabinets.  YEAH!!!!!

  It is so much fun planning new projects!


Last, but certainly not least, is a picture of the pillowcases and sheets that Carol left at the Center before she went north.  I'm thinking they will work well with either one of our new warps!

That's it for today.........
Happy Weaving!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Enjoying the trip there!

I look forward to Midwest Weavers Conference. I missed a few inbetween but this is the 3rd one in a row I'm going to. Planning for it takes months. Preconference materials list, winding warps and putting them on the loom........all in preparation for the big day.....leaving for Hancock MI!!
I left our house about noon on Friday and drove about half an hour north to where Linda lives. She was packed and ready. Since she's not going to the conference she didn't have alot of stuff but I made up for it!
We dropped off some fabrics I'd help paint and dye last Tuesday at the center. On Tuesday the ones that are weaving will see the very nice color combinations on very old pillowcases that will be then cut into strips to go into either placemats or rugs. I forgot to take pictures. Maybe LouAnn will remember.

Then north. We stopped in Berea to see the visitor arts center that I've been meaning to stop at for a couple of years already. That was nice and we got an idea for another bag made from a rug.
On we drove. We decided not to go too long and I suggested we stop at Columbus, Indiana. Linda said, sure, I've got a friend that lives there!! So we called to see if she wanted to meet us for coffee. She couldn't but would we like to come to her place in the morning? So we left the hotel at 8am and drove 15 miles out into the "deep country" to find Chris. She is Homestead Weaving Studio. I  think I counted about a dozen. That's floor looms! Everything from a wolf pup to at least a 60" rug loom...

 Outside her studio she has some handbags hanging....filled with plants. Hm, I think I have a few old fake leather bags at home that I could use in a similar way.

Got a sneaker or boot lying around that doesn't have its partner anymore? She planted a plant in it.
 DH will be so jealous when he sees this. Hollyhocks grow like crazy further north and especially up in Canada where I grew up. In Knoxville, not so much. So, eat your heart out, babe!! Maybe seeds from these will grow down our way. Chris promised to send some to see if we would have any luck with them.
 I like the way she has her border by the front walk. She used old dinner plates to mark the edges.
 Yard sales would be good places to find some. You could color coordinate the yard with them. Kind of a fun idea for a small area.
 We only were able to stay there about an hour and then wind our way back to the interstate.  Driving up via Chicago with the toll booths and traffic wasn't as bad as it would have been had it been during the week. It's also a long way around Chicago! It seemed like we'd never get through.
Then continuing north we went through Green Bay WI. There we pulled out our maps. I had a trip tik from AAA and Karen had emailed me maps to print out and bring. Between Linda and I we found out way to Karen in the Woods. It's amazing after reading her blog how familiar it all was. We got there late afternoon and I don't think anyone quit talking til midnight eastern time!
Karen has the blog RV'ing: Small House...big Backyard. What a wonderful hostess!! We had lasagna, salad and garlic bread for supper. Then down to the studio to see the looms. She has 4 rug looms and a 60" 12 harness LeClerc. All had warps on them. Linda is staying there for the week and I suspect they will be doing some playing down there!!
 The pile of fabric in front of Linda is the result of the classes Karen has taken with Jason Collingwood. I think that Juanita hosts? I told Linda she has to go next year. She loves weaving rugs and he is the expert! 
If you read Karen's blog you see her dogs all the time. Only Duke was inside just before I left so I took a picture of him. He is such a sweetheart!!! Loves to jump up on the sofa and really snuggle next to you or else get a toy for you to play tug o war with! 
I left them by 11am eastern time this morning and headed north. I'd driven about an hour when it began to rain. It rained all the way to Hancock and it is still raining tonight. The forecast is for lows in the 40s and highs in the 60s. I packed way too many clothes but I suspect I'll be wearing them all. We'd left 90 degree weather so it was hard to pack!
I've got my loom in the classroom. I didn't take any pictures on the way today. It was so wet!!! I did drive by some body of water. I'll check to see what it was and hope to stop next Sunday when I leave to take a picture of two.
Two Midwests ago Pat and I met Ellen from Michigan. She couldn't come last time but we've stayed in touch and I knew she was coming to this one. Just a few minutes ago she walked into the 4 bedroom suite I'm staying in. Her room is right next to mine! Couldn't have planned it better if I'd tried!
I am supposed to blog on Mondays but since I"m getting up way too early tomorrow and class is all day I decided to just be early.
Here's to learning new things and meeting new friends!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"Do What You Love"

  Words of wisdom from my Dad.
  And, he would always add that you should do your best at it, too. 
  This is another picture from the day in the mountains....this one is of Daddy and "his girls."  He had a wonderful sense of humor, and a big ole booming laugh that would light up your day.  He could fix anything, and he loved his family!

  He especially loved my Mom.  And, together they had five children.     Each of us were expected to attend at least one year of college.  That was so important to Daddy.  One year.....then if you decided that wasn't for you, it was OK.  For me, it took.  I always wanted to teach, and I finished up, and taught public school for over 20 years.
 He was also a big believer in being a "life time learner."  Personally, I think he could do just about anything he set his mind to. 

  He was the one who helped carry his Grandmother's loom down from the attic that day in the '70's and stored it in his garage for me for a few years.  He might have even seen her weaving on that loom, or seen his Aunt Stella weaving at her house when he visited as a little boy.  He spent a lot of summers visiting his relatives in the "country" ....but I have a feeling that he spent most of his time outside running the fields!

  I think he would be happy that I love weaving as much as I do.  He would get a big laugh at my growing loom family, and he would be a big help on loom repair.  Did I mention that he could fix anything????

  He would have cheered me on last weekend as I wove up the tote for my sister's friend, and reminded me that I still had to finish it up. 

  He would give me "the look" if he saw my stack of woven items to hem.....just get it done!!!!

  He would have figured out how I'm going to get six looms in my car for the class next March. 


  And, he would have been waiting his turn to cuddle one of Tina's baby goats this week.  But, while he was waiting, he would be looking at Tina's barn, and asking questions about the lumber she used, and admiring her garden full of luscious plants.

  Then, those strong, capable, gentle hands would have picked up that little baby.  And that little kid would have known it was safe and secure....just like his kids always did.

  So, here's to you, Charles "Bill" Schultz.....Happy Father's Day!
  I miss you....but I'm doing what I love!

Happy Weaving!

Friday, June 17, 2011


I have come up with a way to wind the pirns for my end feed shuttles that fits my pace right now.  I have tried to tame the electric winder that I have on loan from Lou Ann, but it is just plain wild!  I had also tried the hand crank bobbin winder, but with 38 pirns to wind that can be a bit much.

I had recently noticed that the treadle sewing machine was not as intimidating to me as the electric models that I have. So I thought I would give this a try.

  It seems I have become a fan of foot powered tools all the way around!  I have to put a wee bit of  t-shirt material on the tip of the spindle in order for the pirn to stick.  I also have to support the end of the pirn, and I did end up putting on a glove for that.

I may see if I can do regular bobbins this way too!

This should be enough to do 2 Baby Blankets.  I have finished the blanket in Old Rose and have started one with this color of pale pink, it is really looking good.

That is all for now, with all the rain we have had, the garden is too wet to get into to weed.   I can go up to the studio and weave some and comb some wool to spin.  I may even thread up the new Leclerc I got last week, who knows.  I am never bored, that is for sure!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Been traveling

Last Friday I went to my home away from home, Martin's Station in Wilderness Road State Park. As you may remember I usually go there one weekend a month to interpret the 18th century for the public. This time I went for five days. Here is my cabin. I have all the comforts of home. A wash basin, towel and soap along with firewood.

Here is the inside. You can see my cooking pots, oil lamps and other necessary items.

On this wall you can see the boxes I keep some things in and my clothes.

This table is actually my bed but since my son did not go with me I decided to sleep in his bed and use mine as a table.

Here is another view.

Here is my son's bed. You can't tell but it is a rope bed. I have to tell you. His bed is a whole lot more comfortable than mine. We both have feather mattresses but with the ropes it is just more comfortable.

Tomorrow I will be on the road again but this time I will stay in this century. I will be on my way to Wisconsin to visit a friend who is a weaver!