Saturday, March 31, 2012

What's In A Name?

What do you call them?
    Those mats you place under a hot dish to protect your table?
             You grab that green bean casserole out of the oven and take it to the's too hot to put on the table!!!!
  Do you call it a trivet?  According to Webster, a trivet is a short legged stand for hot dishes to rest on.  So, if it has legs, it's a trivet.
  Regardless of what it is called, Tina and I thought woven mats would be a good project for next year's class at Townsend.  So, we brainstormed four different kinds of mini-rugs that could be woven by someone with little or NO weaving experience.

  When I bought my rug loom, John, he had a warp already wound.  It didn't take too long for me to realize that you just treadled a straight twill and that lovely design would pop right up.

  It did take me awhile to find out that this was the Hollywood Rug pattern in Meany and Pfaff's Rag Rug Handbook.
  This winter, Tina modified the threading to make a set of place mats:
  Once that idea was planted in my mind, that's all I could think about!!!!  I worked out the threading on WeaveDesign and thought that it would have to be threaded front to back.  Uh-oh....I don't do that!  Since Tina was out of town, we'd just have to wait until she came back......but I just couldn't wait!

  You might call this problem solving....or you could call it just being bull headed!  Yes....there are two sets of lease sticks!!!!  (I wound the black and white warps separately.)
  I think I will have to put on my big girl panties and learn to thread front to back....'cause this was such a fun project to weave!!!!!

  The four yard practice warp yielded seven mats.  Now I just need to cut them apart and hem the ends.  Then they'll be ready to grace a table....I'm thinking a skillet of corn bread would be a good test!

So........what do YOU call those mats????

Enjoy this Spring day!
Happy Weaving!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Chicken Soup with Rice!

I was in Texas last week visiting my Son and his family.  Their third child was born, and I thought they might need an extra pair of hands.  If you read my post last Friday, you know that I had a little trouble the last 10 minutes of my trip, and I ended up in the ER!  It turns out that it really was the stomach bug that got me, and knocked me cold behind the wheel.  I was not injured at all during the wreck!

I isolated myself for about 24 hours and then when I did come out I didn't hold the baby or handle their food for another couple of days.  I really did not want them to get sick!  I am glad to say that nobody did!  At least not with the stomach bug!  I did a lot of dishes and laundry, and reading books to the older two.  I hadn't read Chicken Soup with Rice in a long time, I made up for it last week.  The two year old loves to read along with you, sometimes it is the book you are reading, mostly it is a different book!

During nap time, and in the evening when the kiddos were snoozing, I worked on, and finished the Circle Socks, (my 4 year old granddaughter called them Muppet Socks!), and I continued knitting the edge on this Shetland Tea Shawl.  Since Dear One flew out to drive home with me, I was able to make real headway on it as we drove home.  I now have 86 of 112 pattern repeats done!  I hope to be at 95 by tonight.  I can't wait to finish this and get it blocked!

We had an uneventful trip home, for which I am grateful! The car drove well, though a little noisy with  the wind whistling on that door.  We were home by midnight, and had a great day off on Thursday to recover from all the excitement. I am preparing for a visit from two of my daughters, the oldest of the two is expecting her first in July, so I know we will have a really sweet time.

Until next time, Happy once, Happy twice, Happy Chicken Soup with Rice!  Tina

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Loom For Sale

I purchased this 60" Sanjo loom in November 2010. It is just too big for my needs. I have decided that I must sell her. I don't have enough room.  It has 8 harnesses .If you are interested you can contact me on the blog or at
Ok, on the weaving front. Not a lot done. I have been making some placemats.

I will share this beautiful rainbow after a weird spring day of rain, wind and sun.

It has taken me over an hour to figure out again how to do this. So Happy Weaving and Have a blessed week.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Ghost in the Machine

Can you see how shaft 2 rises when 3 & 4 are raised?
 I have been away from Tuesday Weaving for the last three weeks, and I feel negligent of my friendships and duties, but this week, I had a very compelling reason:  I had a dentist appointment.  Now, if you know me well, you know very little stands in the way of having my teeth cleaned.  I'm one of those freaks who love having them cleaned.  And this appointment was, for some reason I don't understand--I made it myself!--at 10:00 Tuesday morning.  What WAS I thinking?
  Anyway, teeth are cleaned, and I have been gardening up a storm while it's beautiful.  I've also been trying to finish the first curtain on the warp on Jenny.  It's for the front door, and I really want it up!  But I have had so many problems with what was supposed to be a simple warp.  The back is a mess of weights and spools hanging off, threads crossing over at crazy angles and some loose threads that refuse to explain themselves.  So, I'm determined to finish this curtain today, cut it off, rethread and sley the warp and move on to the two side windows' curtains.
Bumps, lumps and otherwise un-beautiful!
  The pattern I'm using now is Vertical Swedish Lace from Davison, and it really should be so simple!  I've figured out that part of the problem, besides my warping errors, is that shaft two rises half an inch when three and four are raised.  That makes the shuttle run under the plain weave parts, leaving loose threads in the back.  When I take the warp out of the reed and heddles, I'll get under the loom and see what's catching on what.  Jenny's never had this problem before, and I'm mystified.
  Once I've checked Jenny over and fixed shaft two, I'm going to rethread using a Huck lace pattern from the Weaver's book, something simple that will let in a little light but still give privacy.
Leo ponders what to read next.
I posted a video of my new library last week on A Sweet Thread, but had some cute pet pictures as well.  Leo approves, as does Weftie, but I wish I could find a place to hide the litter box and litter.  
  I hope your literary and fiber adventures are happy and productive this week!
Weftie thinks about Plato's Republic, sorely lacking in Cat stories.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Problem Solving

  Problem Solving:  those words came up a lot today.
Bonnie pulled the colors for the commissioned piece, and started looking at fabric that would look nice with the colors.  Carol has such a good eye for color, and Trudy was there to offer advice, also.

Then Christy needed help getting the swift going...Bonnie was there to lend a hand.

While Tina is out of town,  Allan thought he would work on the warp of Ellen's place mats.  The first one had already been hemstitched, so he was off and running.  The towel warp can wait until Tina can give it some TLC.  No problem here.

Judy and Jinx had some problem solving to do, too!  Long story....but lots of options were offered.  Needless to say, everything turned out just fine.

Carl stayed busy at the barn loom....lots of warp still left, I think.  No problem there!!!!

Linda went on a hunt for weft for the place mat warp.  She tried out several different options.  And LaDonna got a chance to work on the triangle loom...that shawl is coming right along.

LaDonna made zucchini cupcakes with caramel icing for the group...YUM!  They were a big hit.


Pat made us apple and oatmeal muffins for our treat today!  Although we didn't get to go load up Big Bertha, Pat brought lots of the pieces to the Center when she came.

  So, the shafts, beater bar, treadles and bench are back.  And, if it doesn't rain next week, we'll go get the big pieces to bring back to the Center.  Cross your fingers for good weather!

Ann got to the end of her warp this afternoon.  We always love to cut off a warp!

There were four rugs on this warp, and she had cut off four rugs previously. 

Lanny came by this afternoon with the Jagger order!  I heard lots of oohs and ahhs!!!!! 

  Next Tuesday we have a speaker from the Small Business Administration coming to talk to us about tips for small businesses.  We're also having a Potluck Lunch!!!  Hummmmm.....I've got to decide what to make!

In the meantime,
Happy Weaving!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Quilt Show

As promised, a few days after I took the picture last week of the beginning blossoms of the wisteria outside our kitchen window, I took another one.That wisteris is in full bloom and we've got patches all around our house. So far it looks like none are in awful spots. So perhaps we'll leave them for another year. When they get into a tree we care about, we'll cut it back. Can't really get rid of it since it just moves on to another spot in the yard, or on to a neighbor's yard, so might as well leave it where it is.....for now!

 As usual, I'm being distracted by other things so the only warp this week is the one on the loom. I'll finish it today and maybe start winding a new one.
I love the cheerful colors of this sea blue. I was so tired of black. I've got several more black warps planned but I needed this one!! The next color probably will be navy but with an accent in it to give it a bit of punch!
 The other week I went to the quilt show in Pigeon Forge but I forgot my camera. Friday morning I had to be at the bobbin lace meeting and was going to head straight to Maryville for the Smokey Mountain Quilt show. I forgot my camera again, so came home inbetween to pick it up. This time I have pictures.
I'm sure each pattern on this quilt has meaning to the maker. I like unusual quilts, ones where the maker made up something and made the whole thing their own. Plus, I just like the Smokies!
 I'm a sucker for the reproduction 30s fabric. Again, someone got creative in designing their quilt. I've got a stash of the fabric that needs to be sewn into quilts but mine will be baby quilts.
 I'm not much of a machine quilter. If I had a long arm quilting machine that might be different but when I quilt on my Bernina, I mostly stitch in the ditch. I saw 2 quilts at the show that had an incredible amount of quilting on them.
 The squares are redwork and I think they were hand done and then she quilted like crazy all over. Talk about control in making it work well!!
This was the last quilt show for awhile. I like to go to them to just look at color, design and inspiration. I may not do alot of quilting myself, but seeing what others do is always inspiring, especially when it's just within an hour of where I live!

I was sewing Thursday on my handwovens and heard a click in the machine. Yeah, then the feed dogs wouldn't work. So my trusty 1130 Bernina had to go to the shop. I just hope that it's an easy repair and not have to be shipped to Chicago for the repair. Thankfully, I do have another sewing machine or I'd be sunk. This time of year I'm doing alot of assembly work on the pieces I weave so can't have a machine go down.
Another thing I"ve been doing this week is skein yarn and wind a couple of warps to paint. Everything seems to take longer than it should but by next week I do hope to have some of the warps painted so that I can weave some vests with the multi colored warps! I'm excited about that!
Until next week, keep weaving!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Big Sisters

  Stay with me...I promise this will make sense!

Today is my big sister's birthday....I won't say which one. 

I talk to her several times a week...sometimes about important things, but most of the time we talk about just about everything. 

I called her just to talk about Tina's "adventure" and the new grandbaby.  I HAD to talk to someone about that!!!!

Yesterday we had a great conversation about weaving....she doesn't weave!  (We both crochet, though.)

I was thinking about her last Saturday as we did Straw Weaving at Townsend. 

  Just as it started to pour rain, a Dad with his SIX kids came riding up on their bikes to the Heritage Center.  The four oldest had their own bikes, and Dad had a little cart hooked up to his bike for the two youngest.  I got them settled in the rocking chairs, and they started weaving like crazy.  (I think Dad was relieved!!!)  The big sister caught on very quickly, and starting helping her sister...she's the one on the left.  I thought about my big sister, and how she had always done that, too.  Later on she came back by and showed me how much she had got woven.  I had her pick out some more colors to take with her to finish up at home....she was grinning from ear to ear!  As they got ready to leave, she helped her Dad get the two little ones settled in their cart and checked on the others as they put on their helmets to leave.  Just like my sister:  Safety First!

  She called me once last week to tell me about a yarn shop she found in Huntsville....dangerous!!!!  She knows we have a fiber addiction.

  A friend asked her about my tote bags....I wove one up for her last year after she saw my sister's bag.  My sister told her about the whole process....from planning, winding the warp, dressing the loom and prepping the rags.  All of this from someone who doesn't weave. 
  She also told her how I like to take leftover yarn and make scarves.  Of course that means that no two are alike since I'm just using up what I have collected.
  I'm thinking that my sister needs to sit down and throw the shuttle the next time she comes to town.  I'll have to pull some of her colors from my collection and get a warp ready for her.
  She can weave her own birthday present....don't you think that's a great idea????
Happy Birthday, Joyce!!!!  Have a great day!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Not exactly what I planned!

I set off early Tuesday morning to help take care of a couple of grandaughters while their sister/brother was coming into the world.  I no sooner got to Knoxville, when I received the news that Silas was born!  The whole birth had happened while the girls were asleep!   So already, things were not going as planned!

I kept going, stopping to fill up the car every three hours and walking around, eating as needed, stretching so that I didn't get too stiff.  You know the drill.   It is a long trip after all, 14 hrs of driving time and then some rest time to add to it!

We got iphones this last week so I was able to check and make sure where I was on the trip at each stop.  I was even able to pull off and make sure I hadn't missed the I-12 bypass around New Orleans.  It was awesome!  I was in comunication with family at each stop, letting them know where I was and that I was feeling fine.

I ran into some rain about 30 minutes away from my Son's house, when it became a little too heavy, I pulled off the interstate and let everyone know that I had done so and that I was fine, just waiting for the rain to pass a little.  When it did, I got back on the road, 20 minutes to go.

After about 10 minutes of driving, I was hit by...... not fatigue, not another vehicle, but the stomach bug that has hit the Knoxville area.  It hit me so hard it literally knocked me out, driving down the interstate at 65mph!  I felt it coming on, and all I can remember saying is, "Help me Jesus!"  When I came to, I was on the side of the road, snugged up to the concrete barriers, the car was running and my foot was on the brake.  I kept wondering why those people were looking at me, and why was the car parked there?  10 minutes from my Son's house!

I was very nauseated, though I did not get sick in the car.  The troopers were there very quickly it seemed, and as I was talking to them my Son called, I handed the phone to the trooper, because I was too shaky to talk.  My Son was soon there, and oversaw the towing of my car, and then he met me at the ER, where they checked me out.  Everything checked out normal!  I was released and we were home about 5 hrs after I had planned to be there!

During the night I finally did get sick, I even passed out another time, confirming what I had thought all along, the stomach virus!  I had come to help and here I was needing them to help me!  I stayed in my room til the next afternoon, when I finally felt like myself.  I don't handle their food, but I can do the dishes, lots of soap and water, and a dishwasher!  So far nobody here is sick, we are keeping our fingers crossed.

Now, for what you are really wanting to see!

 Here is the coolest cradle!
And it's even cooler contents!

 Some family shots, I like all the yawns below!
Everyone is doing very well, eating well, sleeping ok, or as you would expect anyway.  The older sisters are tickled pink with their brother "Siwas".

My Son and I went to pick up the car yesterday.  He showed me where the car had been that night.  It was on a bridge over a waterway!  I drove it home, it drives wonderfully, I can't wait to get the police report to see what happened.  All I know is that an 18 wheeler was involved, cause he came back to check on me.  We can't quite get a picture of how I came thru without a scratch!  I think I was picked up by the hands of God, and put in the safest place available!

We are all very aware that this could have been much worse, and we are thankful.

Until next time, Happy breathing, Tina (Mimi)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Stop the Presses!!!!

  Tina has left me a text:  her new grandson was born this morning in Texas!!!  She left early this morning and should be there later today!  Congratulations!!!!!

  Take a look at all the beautiful skeins of yarn!  Ms. Ila and LaDonna had their own Dye Day!  They are going to have a lot of fun weaving this!!!!

And, congratulations go out to LaDonna!  She received the Clinical Nursing Award at Park West Hospital.  She'll be attending the National Nurses Convention in a few months!
  Ms. Ila baked a fantastic Mandarin Orange Cake to share today in celebration of the award!  Thank you!!!!

  Bonnie finished up Pat's sample from the Guild meeting.  We all had a lively discussion about the use of table looms vs. floor looms.

Lanny's grandson, Ethan, helped him wind on the warp on his new scarf warp.  (We DO believe in starting them young!!!)  That's Allan's shirt in the right corner....I missed my chance to get a picture of him in his dapper white hat!

  Yes.....that's Carl peeking through from his loom.  He was hard at work back in his little corner of the studio.

  Judy was another weaver who worked hard on her loom all day.  Although I didn't get a picture of Roz, she was hard at work, also!!!!

  Wait a minute....there is the top of her head....and Christy is at the table, too, working on her Inkle Loom.   And, Cindy is over on the right at her loom.
  So...what's going on???
We got Pat's loom cleaned and loaded up in the back of her car this afternoon.  Then, Bonnie got the floor all cleaned and we moved some of the looms around.
  Yes....Big Bertha is coming back to the Weaving Studio!!!!
  Stay tuned!!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring arrives!

This past week I didn't find time to do much weaving but I did get another warp on the loom. This one is pale grey with bits of white and then an accent yarn in the middle. It turned out even better than I"d hoped. It's going to be a fast warp to weave and I hope to get it off the loom today but I may be beckoned outside....

 Suddenly it's spring in my yard!! I just look out the window by my kitchen table and the redbud is blooming. DH cut alot of it last spring because it is kind of invasive and was hanging over the cars that are parked right there.  However, he did miss a couple of branches! They appeared out of nowhere the last couple of days!
 As I was downloading the 2 pictures above, I was thinking how sorry I was that the wisteria wasn't out yet. Then I glanced back up and saw it!! It's just coming out.  I'll try to remember to take a picture in full bloom in a couple of days. There might be more behind the house too.  We've had huge bunches of it in recent years but DH does try to cut it out because it really is invasive.
 Kind of hard to see among the redbud and ivy but when I zoomed in a bit...
Ok, so I was about to finish this blog when I glanced out the side window and saw that the dogwoods are starting to bloom. The sun came up enough to shine on the blossoms.

Our azaleas aren't blooming yet and I hope to have some good pictures again of the riot of white that they create in spring. Maybe next week or the week after....
This is an exciting time of year when the color starts to come back and our view disappears as the leaves fill out in the trees! We're going back into our summer cocoon surrounding ourselves with green foliage up on our hill.
Hopefully I'll have more time to weave this week. Last week I had some nice off days, riding with Ila and LaDonna as they went to Mary Jo's in Gastonia NC on Thursday!!, going to the quilt show in Pigeon Forge on Friday and then helping LouAnn and Roz teach people how to straw weave on Saturday..........but it's good to be back home, down in my studio making fabric!