Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dear Carol.....

Just wanted you to know we stayed busy today.


 Sue Mason got tips from Lanny on weaving a tartan plaid.

Carl started using the black thread on the rug warp.
Two scarves were cut off the loom.

We had visitors today:  a family from Ohio!  The kids had done weaving on a cardboard loom at school.

We've started a new tradition at the Center:  NAP after lunch!  Isn't that a great idea!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Heading North!

Last Thursday I left Knoxville at 7am! Heading west and then north, I swung off the interstate at Paducah to stop at the Hancocks there. It's not your typical Hancocks.....it's a candy store for quilters. I love to make quilts, especially baby blankets to give to friends kids babies so did spend an hour walking the aisles and enjoying all the different fabrics. I kept driving til just north of Kansas City. I always feel that when I get to I-29 I'm almost there! Of course then on Friday I drove up I-29 all day!!

There was one little jaunt off the interstate as well. I cut off just north of Sioux City to drive across country to Hawarden, IA. This is what that road looked like. It's hard to capture the flavor of the rolling hills but this was close!
 The reason for the detour? I stopped at in-weave which is a fabric store. The store itself was full of fabrics. Good prices too, if you're looking for quilting fabric.
 As you can tell by the official entrance, it's an old building in downtown. The shop itself was huge. They also had one room full of woven rugs. Nice! They let me go back to the warehouse to see the selvedges that are used to weave the rugs. No one was there, it was lunch time, but I saw the piles of weft just waiting for someone to weave.
I am going back there on the way south to pick up some weft for more rugs. I didn't buy any now because I was going through customs to get into Canada! I figured I had enough in the car as it was and I can look forward to the return trip to the shop..
So, driving on to Fargo for the night, I didn't have any trouble getting a hotel room. Had I gone on to Grand Forks that might not have been the case. With the Canadian dollar so strong now, lots of people are going south for the weekend to shop. I don't blame them. We used to do the same thing!
Coming up to the border on Saturday morning, at the little crossing near the town where my parents used to live, I was surprised at the long delay. Apparently there were a bunch of Canadians coming back and they all had to go inside to pay duty on whatever they were buying. My stop was short and I was able to head on up to Altona.
I always stop there to pick up Pioneer farmer sausage and New Bothwell cheese to bring to my family. I have a cooler and buy ice for it. Problem was, this was Sunflower Festival weekend and I got to the mall at 10:15. The mall's closed from 10 til 11 while the parade is going on....  That kind of messed up my plans but I did get to buy the food and then drive on  to see my friend in Steinbach for lunch and ended up in Winnipeg with family for night.

I got to Moose Jaw last night just before 9pm after leaving Winnipeg just about 3. No problems, listened to books on my sony walkman and just let the miles fly by. There's not as much traffic up north!

So I'm here for a few weeks. My family's happy that I'm here and I"m looking forward to just spending time with them.
No weaving, but sewing is in the plans. Hopefully I'll have a project or two to show next Monday!
Until then..

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I Confess.....

....I love to watch the opening of the Olympics.

  I love to see what each host nation highlights in their special program.

  I love all the special effects that they use to tell their story.

  I actually was holding my breath as the pods for the cauldron started to rise up on the floor.

  And, I catch myself cheering as the USA athletes step into view in the stadium.

  Late yesterday afternoon, I got an email from Maggie about knitting during the opening ceremony of the Olympics.  I don't knit.
  But, I did have a warp I wanted to throw on the Wolf Pup for a scarf using my art yarn as an accent in the warp.  (I've had this germ of an idea rattling around in my head for awhile!)
  OK....so winding a warp while watching Danny Boyle's production is not the smartest thing I've ever done.  After a major screw-up, I pulled the thread and went to a different location.

  The warp got wound and beamed onto Parker Pup.  I've finally decided where I want to put the art yarn...there will be five strands in this scarf.

  Time will tell if all my plotting and planning will pay off.  This will be a quickie project since I've got to get this loom warped for the August class at the Center.

  And, these are the twelve mug rugs that were cut off the Pup.  This was the log cabin warp that got interrupted by spinning!!!!  You gotta love log cabin....so much fun!!!

  So....for today, while I watch some more Olympic events, there should be a scarf that gets threaded and the weaving will begin.

I won't win a medal....but I will have tried a new technique (for me.)

Happy Weaving!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sleying the Beast

After LouAnn and I got back from the museum, I buckled right down, tuned everyone out and focused on threading the rest of my heddles.  If you'll recall, week before last I unthreaded about half the heddles to fix a few errors, but lacked the concentration to fix them.  We Tuesday Weavers like to visit as much as we like to weave, so imagine threading a 7-shaft huck lace pattern with ten conversations whirling around you, and you'll understand my problem.
  But this week, I came mentally prepared, and soldiered on.  I took out one repeat from the center of the pattern, leaving 35 instead of 36, and will need to remember to subtract one repeat from the treadling as well, since the pattern is Tromp as Writ.  It took no time at all to sley it, three threads to a dent, since the pattern is in sixes, anyway.  Next week, I tie on and start to weave!
  It's time for my annual Birthday Vacation--only 5 more shopping days, folks!--and am spending today doing some cleaning and yard work.  Tomorrow, it's off to Chattanooga, since I've never done more than drive through it, and check out the downtown area.  We'll also be visiting R&M Yarns in Georgetown, so no telling what mischief we'll get into!
  One of my goals at work has been to perfect the French Macaron, and I think I'm getting closer with each try.  It's a simple basic recipe, but the devil is in the details, some I've been told, and some I've realized on my own.  This week's flavor is Pistachio-Cardamom with Peach Buttercream.  So delightful!  They got a little brown, which they aren't supposed to do, but otherwise are crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside.  They are the "take-away" on Sunday nights, the little treat our guests get as they leave the dining room, and I just love making them.  I look forward to Sundays, just so I can try to get better each time.  I'll never be as good as Francois Payard, but he probably can't weave worth a darn, either.
  But you can, and should!  Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Almost A Full House!!!

  Although Tina, Lanny, Linda and Ann could not be with us today, it was a BUSY day at the Center!!!!

  Maggie got her threading problem all fixed, and is busy sleying the reed.  But, she took time out to share her knitting project with the group!  What a beautiful shawl!!!

  And, thank you Maggie for sharing your salad fixings with me today....it sure did hit the spot!

   Judy brought her friend, LeeAnn for a visit with the Tuesday Weavers.  Besides all the busy downstairs, there are so many lovely handcrafts upstairs!!!!!

  Roz also stopped by with her granddaughter and sister for a drop-in visit!  Sometimes you just need to show folks where you spend your Tuesdays!!!!

  Sharen was with us today, too!  She wove two scarves at home, and brought them today to brainstorm what to do with the fringes.  After a quick tutorial, she got busy twisting the fringes just using her fingers.  No special equipment needed, by golly!!!!

  Shirley cut off her first warp!  YEAH!!!!  It's always exciting when our new weavers finish their first project!  Wonder what she wants to do next????

  A big Tuesday Weavers THANK YOU goes out to Shirley Becker!  She donated her library of books and magazines to our little group!  There were some real gems in this collection....one publication from 1957!!!!  (I love to read the ads in the older publications!)  Pat is going to work on organizing our expanding collection at the Center.  Thank you, Pat!

Cindy has her warp threaded, and she's ready to beam that baby onto the loom.

Eiko has her "cranberry" place mat warp tied onto the front bar....it looks like she's ready to start weaving!

Ms. Ila stepped in and helped Bonnie wind on her warp.  They had all pitched in earlier to get Andy's warp beamed on the Hammond loom. You just gotta love team work!!!!


  I was supposed to have helped Bonnie and Andy, but I grabbed Maggie for a quick trip to the Museum of Appalachia this morning.  With the temperature going up in the 90's today, I wanted to go and get back before lunch.
   Linda had thought the loom needed to be turned so the weaver could talk to the people at the door.  So, with Maggie's help, we turned the loom.  This also gives a great view of the rocker beater. Additionally, I wanted to sweep the Loom House free of all the nut shells the squirrels had left inside!!! 
  Maggie did another wipe down on the loom...so she's ready for a warp. We also used the mallet to drive in the pegs....she's a lot more stable now! (I'm still working on cleaning the original heddles...they are very unique!)


  There's always time to have a chat with friends......

.....and anticipate diving into peach dumplings!!!!  Thank you, Ms. Ila!!!
  They were YUMMY!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Guild Fair: Done!

This morning I'm tired! It's been another hectic week. On Wednesday I drove over to Asheville, NC to have a booth at the Southern Highland Craft Guild's Guild Fair. The show ran from Thursday through Sunday. It's 4 long days! At least the show only runs til 6pm (5 on Sunday). In the early days of my doing the show it went til 9pm. Those were late nights!
The show was an interesting one. The quality was awesome as always. It's always humbling to know that your things qualify to be in a show of this quality. It makes me try to stretch and change what I do, striving to improve my work and make it tempting to someone!

I thought I'd take some pictures again of the booths I looked at for the 4 days!
Karen and her wonderful dolls...

 Some wood pendants, lamps, salt/pepper shakers........and pottery next to him.
 More pottery.....and rocking horses!
 This was my booth with pottery on one side and jewelry on the other. I wore a pair of her earrings Saturday that I'd gotten at the last show.  I sold rugs at this show as well. Wasn't sure how to display them so just put one in front and hung the rest. Several found new homes and Arrowcraft wants to try some in their shop so I"ll take some there this week yet.
I'm glad to say that quite a few pieces found new homes over the show days!

So, about my washing machine saga. It continues. The guy came last Monday and replaced the inner tub. We thought all was well and I did several loads of laundry. I think it was during the 3rd load that I thought I heard a bit of the banging noise. I was in my studio and rushed up but it quit and all was well. While I was gone, DH did some laundry and he says it's baaaaccck!! We've a call in with the warranty folks and we'll see what they say now. I hate that it is doing this. It's been such a good machine and I really like the warm/warm choice of wash. Every fiber artist needs that!!  I'll let you know what happens next.

I was so tired this morning I didn't get up til almost 10:30. That's unheard of for me but I did get a cold last week plus the 2 weeks of steady work with no break probably wore me down! DD has the same cold now, poor kid! I have to finish up the process of finishing the show and getting to the bank today.
Then the gears shift again. Later this week I"m heading north to Canada to visit my Mom and sister. Again, I"m driving with a load of things I"ve collected for them. It's 2000 miles up there and I stop inbetween to visit friends and family.
I recently got a sony walkman and have loaded 6 books on it to listen to while I drive. I'm looking forward to figuring it out and like the authors of the mystery books that  I downloaded from the library.
So, again, no weaving for me until I get back toward the end of August. There's no telling what my sister and I will get into while I"m up there. It's going to be fun and just good to be up there with family again.
I hope to write next from their home in Moose Jaw.
Until next week.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Camping Again!

We went camping again this week!  This time we took a couple of our grandkids along for the ride.  H and M are the only grandkids we have close enough  to do things with regularly.  (Everyone else requires a trip of several hours, 8 hrs or, 15 hrs or, a plane ride to the west coast! )

This was H and M's first exposure to camping, and I must say we did it up!  We had a hard time getting on our way, in fact we were so late getting out we stopped at a local lunch place, so that we wouldn't get to the campsite starving our heads off!  We arrived at the campsite and we began to set up the tent with the kids help of course.  They already know how to set it up, because we have set it up at the house a couple of times to get them used to it.  

Once the tent was up, and the rain fly was in place, I let the kids in and began putting some of the bedding inside.  We noticed some thunder in the distance, and decided that the next thing to do would be to put the BIG tarp over the tent!  We had no sooner covered the tent when the heavens opened up right over our heads!  A downpour!  

The tarp we were working with is 16 ft x 30 ft.  It is the biggest tarp I have ever handled, and it wasn't fastened to anything!  Working quickly, we secured the 4 corners, and inserted the 4 poles to raise it up, we had already done a strong rope down the center of the tarp, and as high as we could reach.  I had 2 more poles to stabilize the long sides.  We were drenched,  and we were elated that we had done a very difficult  thing!  We had set up camp in the pouring rain!  Now we know that we can!

Just as we finished the rain let up, (of course), and as DH went around and tied down the tarp some more, I began to toss things inside the tent,  where the kids had been encouraged to play nicely with the help of a package of gummy bears, we are the grandparents after all!   Once everything was unpacked, DH and the kids went on a bike ride while I did some organizing.  Later on we had a quick dinner, and built a fire in the fire pit so that we could have smores  when the coals were just right.

By bedtime they were ready for a story, and a night time back rub.  They slept really well and woke up really early!  After breakfast we took a hike to a swimming hole on the creek, we played in the water and generally tried to wear them out.  Their Mom showed up around 1:00pm, we had lunch and she got a quick tour of the campground, then it was time for them to head to the house.  ( we would stay another 2 nights).  Their Mom said that they were asleep before she got to the main road. (I think we might have been too!)  

We spent a quiet afternoon and evening where I finally got some spinning done.  I broke down and started spinning the Merino and silk roving I got from Gossamer Web.  ( I had promised myself that I would finish one of my other spinning projects before I started this one)  It is really beautiful!  Here is the roving, I love how it has the color going from purple on one end to teal on the other.  I am going to spin straight from the roving, and Navajo ply it to keep the colors separate.

And here is the bobbin.

I also was able to start a new knitting project.  It is a crescent shawl that starts at the bottom edge with a Lily of the valley lace panel.  Then you pick up along one side, and knit the rest in Stockinette.  Here is as far as I have gotten.

For the next 2 days we hiked the trails around the Campground, ate too much food, and I did spinning and knitting while DH worked on his artwork.

We are back home now and glad for a hot shower and the washing machine!   Next week I will be taking that plane to the west coast to see my family in California first, and then I will head north to Portland to see a new grandson.  He is 10 days late as of this morning, he has officially won the race for the latest baby in the family!  Surely, he will be born by the time I get there!

I will be gone for 2 weeks, but I will be able to post while I travel.  Mom and I always get into some sort of project, I am sure that this trip will be no different!

Until next time in California, Happy Weaving, Spinning, and Camping, Tina

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Few Thoughts

  I'm having a difficult time this morning collecting my thoughts....the morning news was centered in Aurora, CO.  My prayers go out to all the folks there.
  Don't adjust your calendar....this isn't Saturday.  Tina is usually the Friday blogger, and she is on a camping trip with her Sweetie and the grands.  I sure hope the storms haven't caused too much of a kink in their fun.  I'm sure we'll get a report with pictures tomorrow.


  I was able to spin several more skeins of art yarn for the basket since last weekend.  But they have all gone with my sister to Alabama.  She came in on Monday, and we started a blitz of crocheting.  This is her completed shawl...the picture doesn't do it justice! 

  I layered it on my jeans jacket so the colors would show up a wee bit better.  It would be perfect for the movies or restaurants where they turn the A/C up so high!  Or, maybe just thrown over a little sun dress in the evenings.

  My shawl, which is not finished, is using a yarn similar to the yarn used in my sister's shawl.  It was so much fun just sitting here crocheting together.

  So, she loaded up the completed skeins and I'll see her in a few weeks.  It will be fun to see what she comes up with in the meantime with all that yarn.

  I'm back to the Wolf Pup weaving off the warp that is on him now.  I'm doing a class at the Center on August 11.  The participants will get the opportunity to throw the shuttle and make a set of mug rugs.  I'm going to put a warp on the Pup so they will get the chance to use a floor loom in addition to table looms.  (As you know, the floor looms at the Center all have warps on them now, so they couldn't be used for the class.)  I'll get the handout revised from my workshop in March, and they'll have that to take home, too.
 Have a great weekend, and
Happy Weaving (and all kinds of fiber play!)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Long Week, Short Weekend

 As you may know by now, I love to cram as much stuff into a day off as possible.  Today was no exception.  It started at 5:00 with a wake up call from the furry entourage, which was fine, since I had a 7:15 appointment to get Ruby Suby's oil changed.  Afterwards, there was just time to stop at The Plaid Apron, my friend Drew's restaurant in Sequoyah Hills, for some breakfast.  I had the Eggs Benedict with baby eggplant in place of the Canadian bacon.  Skipping meat  on the Benedict meant I had to add a couple of strips of Benton's bacon.  Bacon makes everything better!
  Then it was off to the stylist for a hair cut and gossip, with extensive lawn mowing shortly thereafter.  Such a waste of a cute hair style!  Just four days ago, on my last day off, the grass was still dead, brown and crisp.  Just three days of steady rain made it knee high and hard to cut.
  A nap followed.  Hey!  It's my day off!  I look forward to a nap all work week!
I awoke to the sound of thunder rumbling.  It got closer and more furious very quickly, to the point where I considered taking shelter.  But the electricity subsided and a nice, soaking rain followed.  Glad I got the mowing done when I did!
  I took inventory later around the yard to see how everything had enjoyed the recent weather.  The sunflowers in the median garden are all in bloom.  I was happy to see that they're multi-bloom varieties this year.  You never know what you'll get with those assorted seeds sometimes.  I especially like the bronze ones!

Out back, the limelight hydrangea continues to impress, and the Tuscarora Crepe Myrtle is going gangbusters.  It was one of those trees that came home with me last year, poking out the sunroof.  I have plans for more, maybe an allee of them down the walkway in the back.

 And then, what I've been waiting for all week:  An afternoon on the couch watching gardening videos and  knitting lace.  Apparently, Weftie enjoyed it, too.  Who doesn't like a warm lap on a rainy day?
Tencel shawl progress
  Hope you find yours, and have a lovely week!