Friday, September 30, 2011

Ole what's er name!

This morning I was at Lou Ann's, picking up the 2 harness Studio Rug loom that has been stuck in her garage for over a year.  I had not thought that we would be able to dismantle and move it today, but we decided to cut off the old rug that was on there and be done with it.  It wasn't what I have in mind for this warp.  I will finish it off this week and bring it on Tuesday to see what we should do with it.  There is a possibility that we will send it to the former owner of this loom. 

We always name our looms, and I forgot to ask Lou Ann what her name was! Maybe she will chime in so that I don't have to call her "What's her name"!

I haven't put her together yet so you will have to be content with this photo of her.  The warp is sleyed 2 to a heddle and spaced in an interesting manner in the 8 dent reed.

There are 6 doubled warp threads seperated by a single dent btween each bundle.  Then there are 3 doubled warp threads side by side.  It continues across the loom like this, with the group of  3 doubles on the selvedges as well.

Last week, I emptied the loom I was working on at the center.  I had a white warp and natural weft placemats.  The pattern is one we use all the time, we call it Ellen's Pattern.  It is a warp that is spaced alternating between 2 ends in a dent and 1 end in a dent.  I brought the placemats home and washed them a couple of times.  While I was cutting them apart, I noticed a treadling error on one of them.

It was right at the end of one of them. 

I carefully pulled the end out of the hem, and needle wove each one back the way it was supposed to be!

I think it looks great!

Well, I better get going and see if I can get that loom in from the car.  It will need a good cleaning, and oiling too!  I will post pics when Ole what's her name is up and running.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ramping-Up by Warping-up - - - Living to Commitments

Seven weeks from today we, the Tuesday Weavers, set up for our first collective show. Having been trained in organizational development and facilitation, I decided we needed (I needed) a "what, how many, who chart" to get a grip on what we would be offering for sale. We all know the by-when...that is November 17.

We listed each category of product: scarves, rugs, baby blankets, place mats, tote bags, etc. Then everyone started looking at their inventory and their looms to see what they could commit to bringing to the show.

I will admit that I was more than a little anxious about whether or not we would have enough inventory to fill a booth. As a new weaver I have no inventory. I juggle many other aspects of life and produce slowly. I committed to 8 rugs and 6 scarves. That is a lot for me - especially since only two of those rugs have been woven (not finished).

My anxiety about not having enough goods has been relieved. Individual weavers have listed 33 of this and 46 of that and 18 of another. Now my anxiety is about not contributing enough. That is not really true...I am giving myself a bit of grace. I know that indeed I am a beginner and that I have limited production.

In reality, it is very exciting to think that after weaving only about 18 months that I am producing things that are nice enough to sell. As a matter of fact, when we received the Craft Center sales report for last month one of the woven items that sold was one of my rugs. Major Personal Milestone! the Center Cotton Rug Warp for Rag Rugs
So, I am ramping-up by warping-up. I have a scarf warp ready to go on  my table loom this evening. And I have a rug warp ready to go on my floor loom as soon as the scarf challenge is woven off (probably Friday night). And the loom at the center has a rug warp ready to produce a few more rugs. I will be weaving a lot while my husband watches football - yea football season.

I will live to my commitment. I am guessing that I will be down to the wire but I will do it.

Until next week - be well,


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Another Terriffic Tuesday!!!

Lots of love and best wishes go out to Carl.........

.......while we were busy at the Center, he was having one day surgery on his broken arm.

Straw Looms were on the agenda today.  
  Many hands make short work!!!!  And, we got 117 put together today.

It sure goes fast when everyone pitches in to help.

While we were busy with the straw looms, the other weavers were busy at their looms.  

Ms. Ila and Linda were close by to chime in to the conversations.....while Maggie sat back at her loom and got a lot done on the placemat warp.

 Ann got a warp for "baby rugs" on the warping reel.  The colors are so subtle that you really can't tell that this is blue, pink and white.

  We did a quick check on our "leader board" to see where we were on production for November.  The numbers are looking good!  ;-)  
  We've got our "mock up booth" in three we had better get busy!
Have a wonderful week of weaving!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lace Critters!

This past week wasn't a regular weaving week on my loom. Instead, Thursday, Friday and Saturday I took a bobbin lace class with Louise Colgan. She flew in from California to teach us milanese lace. I've taken several classes with her before and we always learn so much when she comes. Having 3 days makes it possible to get most of our projects done. I chose to make a bumble bee this time. I thought I was biting off more than I could chew, but taking it step by step made it possible to work. This picture shows the finished project. I took my camera along Saturday and took pictures in the morning. I'd finished my little bee. This is the back of him. So, you can see his whole body. The wings are kind of hidden. When I take him off the pillow and flip him, you'll be able to see the front and how he's supposed to look.  I will probably have him off the pillow by next week and can post a picture of the front of him.
 Dene was still working on the body of her bee. It is alot of bobbins that you work with, but you're only dealing with 2 pairs or 4 bobbins at a time.
 Mary had started this cross last year when Louise came. She was able to get it finished by the time she had to leave on Saturday. She's going to frame it and give it to her mom for Christmas. Good plan! It's not a terribly complicated pattern, you just have to do it in sections and remember how to connect all the parts as you go. It's called sewings, you have to sew the threads to the next sections so it's all one cohesive piece when you take all those pins out!
 Roberta was working on a lady bug. Took awhile to get him done too! He'll look alot cuter once he's done and flipped over. I think they were using little black buttons for his spots instead of weaving black spots with their threads. Because you always see the back of the lace, the buttons are underneath the lace as she works.
 Last year I made a seahorse and have another one almost finished. Helen decided to make one this year. She got it done by the end of the day. You cover up what you've done so the threads don't snag on the pins. So there's seahorse under the cloth already finished.
 We had a nice surprise Saturday morning. A lady that lives in town came with the lace she inherited from her Grandmother and great aunt. This is the lady on the left, talking to Louise, our instructor.
 She grew up in Vienna, Austria, and had stories to tell about life before the war. Her parents owned a knitting shop where they used knitting machines. She, herself, does not knit although she does all kinds of other handwork!
Her great aunt lived in Bohemia in what is now part of Czechoslovakia. She made bobbin lace on a big roller pillow, something I haven't used yet. I'm not sure I could get the hang of that! She has some wonderful examples of lace pieces.
 This piece below was absolutely fascinating. She had to do alot of sewing as she went up and down each section of the piece!! But, what a wonderful result!
 We checked how she sewed the fabric to the lace. It looked like a machine, so precise, but it was all done by hand.
 There is no pillow large enough to make a table cloth this big, but she must have made the sections and then joined them. What a feat!!! Either she had a very good light source if she did this in the evening or she worked on it all day! Lace is slow. It takes about an hour to do a square inch.
 She had a picture of her family to show us. Her great aunt is on the right weaving a lace collar she made!
I had finished my bee Saturday morning so started on a hedgehog. I forgot to download the picture onto this blog so will post it next week. He's a cute little thing but I won't have time to finish him until our next lace meeting in October. I got most of the body done. I need to start sewing the threads to the rest of the body to finish the loop but need a bit of time to figure out how to do it. It's a bit complicated and I'm hoping that Helen will remember how to do it so I can get that done during our meeting!
Today it's back to weaving. I've got purple on the loom now so I'll be getting that fabric done. My show is in less than a month and I've got several more warps that have to be woven for that!!
This was such a nice break, having time to relax (with lots of pillows to cushion our backs!) and just flip those bobbins. The click of them was quite relaxing.
Now it's back to the world of looms and warps!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Oy Vey....Enough Plaid Already!!!

  Yes, I did!  I wove a tote using bands of plaid fabric!  My niece's husband, who's from Scotland, assures me that plaids never clash....I figure he knows what he's talking about!

  I finished up the two mixed fabric totes, and I just wanted to get a few more woven.  I have some more fabric pulled, but I haven't made up my mind yet for the next set.

  It's way too easy when these balls of plaid are just waiting to be used.  I really lucked up when I got these.  And, this is what I have left to use....that's a few more tote bags, I think.

  After using this plaid in the mixed plaid warp, I liked the way it worked up so much that I did a whole tote with it!!!

  There are now seven totes on the cloth beam, and I'm ready to take those off the loom.  The handles build up at the side, and I don't want them to start to tangle.

   But, before they go, I wanted to do a quick rug for my bathroom.  After reading about Tina's rug yesterday, I was inspired to weave a rug for ME!  You just have to mix it up sometimes and do something different.  I love rag rugs!!!!  I love the way they look, I love the way they feel under your bare feet, and I love to weave them!  It's a win-win deal!

  Today is a super busy day....I've got work to do and I must be at the post office before noon.  I hope you have a lovely Fall day....and maybe you'll get some weaving done, too!
Happy Weaving!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Last Rug?

This week I am trying to get the last Rag Rug woven off of the Leclerc Mira 36 inch.  It is on loan from the weaving center, and I would like to take it back next Tuesday, so that I can move the  Rug Loom over from Lou Ann's house.  She has it stored in her garage, and I really don't have a great Rug loom in the house.  ( Many of us have looms that belong to the center, there is just no more room there, so we are babysitting them at our homes, until a miracle happens and there is some!)

I was looking at fabrics, I had chosen my patterned fabric, and thought I would use a dark and a light to go with it.

  I pulled off 3 yard lengths of the solid colors and 6 yard lengths of the print.  I was able to sew some of them together before cutting the strips, which makes it easier.  Then I stitched together what I thougth might fit onto a shuttle, I followed a regular pattern.  Print, dark, light, print, dark, light, etc.

After they were sewn together, I balled them up, folding only down the middle.

Here is a view going onto the cloth beam.  I really am pleased with how it came out.  I will finish this last rug off today, and finish also the first of the baby blue Baby Blankets that have been haunting me for months.  What is up with that!  If I had done 20 minutes a day I would have finished it faster!

Wednesday was a really full work day, and I hope today will prove as productive.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Creativity and Transformation

Like most of you I have other lives when I am not weaving. I originally wrote "another life" - but that isn't quite true it seems like I have a number of lives or at least a number of roles in this one life. One role that is going to pick up steam in the next 9 or so weeks is that of event coordinator for an Advent retreat. The retreat is called"A New Ancient Harmony."

Advent - the season of waiting - that proceeds Christmas in the church calendar. The event will be a combination of lecture and worship, music and conversation, meditation, time to create and time in nature. The keynoter is John Philip Newell, internationally known Celtic theologian, teacher and writer from Edinburgh, Scotland. To help us make sense of his teachings in our individual parts of the world is Judy Brown, Quaker poet and community facilitator. Fran McKendree and a band of incredibly talented musicians will help us create a special place. All of this will happen Dec 4-8 at Lutheridge conference Center outside of Asheville NC. Here is a link for our website

(c) RaRa Schlitt
Transforming a huge conference hall into a sacred space is always a challenge. I have a friend who is a nationally known "primitive artist." Her name is RaRa Schlitt.She lives and paints in Maryville, TN. I think of her paintings as modern day icons.  I have watched people stare at her work at retreats and go to another place ... get lost in them. 

I asked RaRa if she could paint 12 huge banners for us to use as a back drop for the stage. By huge - I mean enormous 4 feet by 8 feet.  Here are several of them - I think they are wonderful.

(c) RaRa Schlitt
On Monday my photographer, A.K. Vogel, found a great outdoor venue to do a photo shoot of the banners. I grabbed my daughter and between us we wrestled the banners on and off the side of a dilapidated barn so that we could get natural light.

The photo I leave you with is a pile of banners. Sometimes that is the way my life feels.... piled and jumbled. Throwing down one thing and then picking up the next and running with it. And yet in the midst of that pile is wholeness and gratitude. 

(c) RaRa Sclitt and A. K. Vogel

Until next time be well,

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Is It Wednesday Already?

   I sat down at the computer to read the New York Times and realized I hadn't blogged yet today.  It's my first day off in nine days, and I haven't thrown a pick, knitted a stitch or sewn a seam.  What I have done is work.  Krissy and Katie see me more than my cats and dog do.  We spend almost every day together, right here at these tables.  Please look closely at Katie's apron.  It has enough flour to make a loaf of bread!
  We each had one day off this week, and worked at least 12 hours each day.  Our feet hurt, our backs are sore and we miss our families.  But today, I was out to lunch with Mom, picked up Bella from Grandma's and have had some quality time with the laundry.  It's a good thing we love our jobs, but that love is beginning to wear a little thin.
 I did manage to get to the fabric store after lunch-- the quilt shop, really--and bought some beautiful white lawn for a new white blouse.  Can't have enough of those, can I?  And I started to lay out the pattern pieces of a new blouse from the fabric I bought in Nashville two weeks ago.  It's lusciously soft cotton, and I'm using a pattern that Theresa from the blog wrote about last month.  It's from a great little pattern company called Colette, and the packaging is great.  The instructions are in a booklet that's sewn into the folder, with a firm pocket to hold the pattern pieces.  The sizing is generous and the instructions are clear.  Their website is great:  They have another pattern I'm going to buy soon, a '40's inspired sleeveless top that would look great in this fabric, too.
  I've got to round up the dust bunnies and give the kitchen a good scrub before I can get to it, though.  Have a lovely pre-fall week!  Maggie

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Weavin' Along

  Thoughts and best wishes go out to Ms. Bonnie!  We got the word that she's home from the hospital...and we're all rooting for her fast recovery.

Meanwhile....back at the Center.....

....a big weaving welcome to Andy!  We are so glad she has joined our group.  Carol gave her a quick review on hemstitching, and she was off and weaving on the placemats.

Pat was back weaving on her warp today without her glasses!

LaDonna got started on a new shawl warp while Ms. Ila wound a new bamboo warp for shawls.

Here's a great shot of Carl's new rug.  Don't you just love the color play with the warp and weft???

I think I heard Tina ask if there was enough warp for ONE MORE placemat!!!! 

Allan was all about his placemat warp....he's starting on another one, which means that he'll be hemstitching any minute!

Ms. Trudy got some pointers from Carol on her mug rug warp. 

There's always time to catch up with everyone.  We're glad Linda is back with us today!

And....last, but not least.....Ann was NOT under her loom today.  Oh, no!  She got wedged at the side of her loom when she advanced the warp!!!!

Now, how did I miss getting a picture of Lanny today????  He was telling us about a scarf warp he's working on at home that's 60 e.p.i.    I'm still shaking my head!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Production warps

When I weave my production warps, there are always a few that aren't very exciting and this past week and this week will feature those!! I finished a black warp. Now it's on to red.

 I've already got the purple wound and ready for when I get the red off.
Not everyone wants to buy something that's exciting, a combination of a lot of colors. So I need to tempt them with a more solid color. And, really, isn't it good to have a piece that you can match up to a colorful skirt, blouse or scarf?
I have a month until my next show, several interruptions between now and then and a list of things I need to weave and finish for the show.
This week I'm taking a 3 day class of bobbin lace. We've got Louise Colgan flying in from California again to teach Milanese. I love making little things. Last year I made a seahorse. I'm almost finished my second one and have to finish it today so I can use some of the bobbins for this year's project. This year it's going to be a bumble bee. Working with black thread won't be fun but I think the bee will be cute!
Otherwise, I'll be weaving as much as I can.
Guess I'll be busy!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Few Small Truths

  For me, at least, weaving is an on going learning experience.  Case in point:  my self imposed challenge of a tote a day!'s do-able.  But, only if I have the weft ready to go.  So far, no two totes have been alike.  (That might tell you volumes about the amount of stash I have on hand!)

  I finished the small tote woven with the '70's curtain valance with no big deal.  But, the large tote with the other valance ate up weft like there was no tomorrow!!!!  It was thinner fabric, and it packed in very tightly.

  In the meantime, I pulled some small prints for the next large tote.  I like to join them end to end, and make a tube that is off-set to put through the rag cutter.

  These are the five pieces I selected for the next tote.

  And this is how they look in the warp.  I am always amazed at the patterns that develop.  ( doesn't take much to amuse me!)

  Another truth:  I really love doing mixed fabric totes!  The production part is slower, but I love the results.  And, I enjoy the search for the next best combination of fabric. 
  The search hasn't been great for my small my next challenge will be to pull fabrics that will go with my cappuccino warp.  I have pulled three pieces so far, but surely there are more!!!!
  These are the strips coming off the rag cutter for the next large tote.  The truth is, I have a lot of blue prints that I can use in my weaving!

  Another BIG truth is that my cutting table is getting full of tote bags that need to be finished.  I need to change out the threads on my other serger and get it ready to finish  the cappuccino warp bags.  (I have to admit, I just tie on the new color and pull them through!)
  Since today is shaping up to be cool and gray, it's a good day to stay inside and weave.  The leaves are already starting to fall, so I need to get as much done inside as I can before I have to start raking in earnest.
  I'm ready to see those beautiful fall colors!!!!
Happy Weaving!