Friday, November 30, 2012

Next up on the Wool Loom

Continuing in my quest to be more productive this next year, I have assigned a project or series of projects to each loom.  The small light weight loom in the hall, that really hasn't seen much use, therefore, is now the Wool Loom.  I just successfully wove a wool Scarf for my Daughter, and I have decided to use some alpaca for the next project.

I was given the Alpaca, Knit Picks DK "City Tweed", as a going away present when I retired 3 years ago.  It is the yarn that was to be used for the "Nona's Flower Garden Shawl".  It is lovely, but  I soon realized that I was not going to be able to do that shawl, mainly because they used colors on the chart instead of symbols.  It was almost impossible, for me, to distinguish between several of the colors on the chart.  There it languished, unused and unloved.

It is all lovely, and I think I have enough to make a beautiful woven shawl instead.  Each skein has 123 yds, and for a 4 yd warp, at 12 epi, that is 2 inches of warp width per skein.  There are 14 skeins, so if my calculations are right that is 28 inches across the warp.  I must of course come up with something that I can use as weft, and I think I have just the thing!

I have some Knit Picks Gloss left over from one of my Shawl projects.  It is a rich blue/red color that I think looks good with all the colors that are going to be in this warp.  You can see it here in the top of the second picture.

 The Alpaca from the Knit Picks City Tweed combined with the Silk and Merino from the Knit Picks Gloss, fingering, should make the Shawl drape wonderfully!
I cannot wait to get started!  In fact, I think that is just what I am going to do!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Little Blessings

  What is it????  Just one of the little blessings I received yesterday!  This is the only decent picture I got of the sandhill cranes flying overhead.....and it's not a great picture.  But, what a delight to see and hear those wonderful creatures flying....flock after flock....right over where I was standing.  When I lived in New Mexico, they came every fall to spend the winter at the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Reserve near San Antonio, NM.  During the day they would be in the fields around where we lived, and they would fly back to the Reserve every afternoon.  Yesterday, we were in Georgetown near the Hiwassee Wildlife Reserve yesterday, and they must be spending the winter there.


  It's not like we don't have yarn at home...oh, no!  But, a trip to R&M gives us a chance to stock up on staples that we use everyday, like 8/2 and 10/2.  Tina is laying in supplies for winter weaving to get ready for next Fall's shows.

  And, Linda had her shopping list, plus picking up mop cord for Ann.

  We had a lovely lunch and hit the GoodWill store in Cleveland while we were in the neighborhood.

  I found what I was looking for along with some lovely rayon crinkle to use for weft and in my art yarn creations.

  Tina's daughter, M, has really taken to spinning since we had our little retreat last June.  She sent some of her yarn to me to "make something."  She wasn't happy with the colors, but I see a cowl just waiting to come out of that lovely yarn.  And, I have just the right pattern for this yarn!  We'll put it in our fall sale, and she can have the proceeds!  How's that????  It's so soft, and will make just the right person feel warm and loved!  What a story this cowl could tell!
  My other little blessing (besides getting to spend the day with my fiber friends?) came last night when I looked out just as the moon was rising over the horizon.  It was HUGE!  I just had to grin!
  Now, if I could just talk the "little men" into marching upstairs like they do on the JC Penny's commercial.  My house would be all ready for the holidays!  I don't think that will happen, so I'd better get myself in gear!  Who knows what little blessing is waiting for me today!
Happy Weaving & Spinning!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

I have been waiting patiently until the proper, decent time to listen to Christmas music, and I declared today the day!  I've even been driven back to the piano to play some carols.  I haven't sat at my dusty old piano in months, but there's something about the holidays that make me want to sing and play along.
  I cranked up a Pandora classic Christmas station and let Bing, Perry and Dean croon to me while I decorated today.  After a long, troubled search for the perfect tree, I found a beauty at Stanley's Nursery.  The wreath came from Home Depot, and smells wonderful.  I added the bear, a treasure from a Christmas long ago.
  I can't seem to get the star to stay upright on the top of the tree, so surgery may be required, but I think it looks fine so far.
  Mom's Amaryllis is even getting in the act, pushing out its first leaf.  I think the bloom will be red and cream.  It's most welcome, after I killed her orchid.  Sorry, Mom!
  Next, it's outside to light the porch, as soon as I'm done with this message to you!

 And last week, I couldn't blog because KUB is replacing all the utility poles on my little street.  Every time I sat down at the computer, the power would go out!  But all I had to show you was the red shawl's progress.  This is where it was last week, anyway.  The pattern is complicated and fun, but I keep looking longingly at all the sock yarn I have un-knit.  A simple pair of socks would be so fun right about now!
  I also took the lace napkins home, washed them and starched them, but haven't hemmed them yet.  They're lovely but don't photograph well at all!

  And of course, my next project went on the loom this week!  Well, it's really just kind of draped on the loom right now.  I had to rearrange heddles before I could get the warp on the loom.  Here's where I left it yesterday.  And when I was done, all those looms had to go back around my loom.  I moved six looms to get to Bertha, and moved four back in to leave!  To say it's a little congested in my part of the Center is being kind!

 And I had to leave you with a photo of a most photogenic object, a Yule log made for a photo shoot, scheduled for today.  I love making--and eating!--Yule logs.  I use a flourless chocolate cake recipe, let it cool only slightly, spread it with ultra-soft buttercream or marshmallow and roll it up.  Then I frost it with more buttercream, cut off the ugly ends and attach them for branches.  Today, this was supposed to be garnished with meringue mushrooms, crisp cookie leaves and coarse raw sugar.  Can't wait to see the photos!

Until then, bundle up, get in front of your favorite loom and get to weaving!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The More The Merrier

  It started early this morning.....

.....the stack of stuff for give-away.

Carol brought in some scrapbook stash from her sister-in-law.  All kinds of containers for keeping a project together!

  See what you've been missing, Bonnie????

We're just glad to have you back today!!!

Anticipation was high today since our order from the Kansas Yarn Barn was due to arrive!!!

  So, while we waited for our orders to arrive, we got down to business.

  Doesn't Bonnie look happy back at her loom?  Now Teresa can talk to the lady weaving those wonderful bamboo shawls!!!

Maggie did a little catching up with Carl while Eiko chatted with Andy.
  Our new weaver, Marie, is going to work on the Herald loom (she is SO ready to be off that table loom!)  Can you spot the boo-boo in this picture????
  It's a little hard to see, but they didn't take the thread OVER the back beam.

  OK...raise your hand if you've ever done that!!!!

  Sharen and Linda are helping her get started.

  The thread and other items arrived and we scarfed them up and put them in our cars.  Now, we are waiting for word that the looms have arrived at Shirley's store.

Ms. Ila arrived with her Hula Cake....when's lunch????
  Lanny looks like he's ready to cut that cake right now!!!

  Ann got right to work on the rocker sense in waiting around.

  By golly....I think she's got it!!!
Marie found a stool to sit inside the loom and got right to work getting it threaded.

  Paula and Cathy arrived and got a good look at what was on the looms in the studio.  Since no one was working on the natural warp, Tina sat down to work some magic on those placemats.

Cathy took some time to catch up with Bonnie and Andy.

 LaDonna, Ms. Ila and Eiko were ready to work on the looms that Maggie pulled out.

No picture of Maggie's progress today....she has her chains on the back, and she'll be ready to start putting the thread in the raddle next week.  I think I'll be busy handing her little bouts of thread!!!!  That's a w-i-d-e warp on that loom!

 Then the call came!    And several of our weavers with a van and a truck took off for Shirley's shop in Lake City.
  The FedEx man was ready to deliver looms!

 975 pounds of looms!!!!

"What is this stuff?"  he asked.

"Looms," said the happy weavers!!!!

More thread.
More looms.
More friends!!!!

All is right in our little world!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving week

Last weekend was the Foothills Craft guild show. We were in the Jacob's building for 3 full days with people all around us, shopping and having a good time. It went well and we were glad when it was over and we could regroup for next year.
Wednesday afternoon I was having tea with several craft friends. We'd talked about getting together just to chat. We'd actually talked about it for several years but this October during the show, we actually got ourselves a date and time! We met at Judy's and had a lovely time drinking tea and talking away. The time flew by. Only little problem for me was, as the time went on, I realized I was developing a cold. Don't you hate when that happens? It kind of creeps onto you and you know it's going to not be fun. The next day or so I saw on facebook that at least another crafter at the Foothills show got a cold........also on Wednesday. I wonder how many more got it?
I think I'm past the worst of it but I had to take it easy most of the weekend to avoid getting sicker.
Thanksgiving we were here in Knoxville. We get together with friends and there were at least 20 of us plus kids. It's a wild and wonderful time, lots of food and traditions. We've joined them for about 6 years now and there's no question that this is where we're supposed to be for Thanksgiving! Each year it seems to get a bit bigger as they adopt more people into the group.
Thursday evening we drove to Atlanta to spend time with DH's family. I thought you'd enjoy this typical look of DH and his Dad.
Our daughter grabbed my phone and took this picture of them both doing what they like best. Only thing missing is the guitar that DH usually holds while he sleeps!
We got back last night and now I'm back to doing bookkeeping, end of year inventorying, etc etc. Hopefully I'll continue to feel better so I can get some done. At least I can sort of talk again!
Tomorrow's going to be a busy day at the center. Our long awaited order from Yarn Barn is supposed to arrive. The excitement is building. Among all of us we ordered 10 looms and a bunch of supplies. It's like an early Christmas!!
What can be better than that?
Until next week...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Final Round

Wednesday, while I was on my way to my Daughter's house, I got a text from my Son.  Later on, when I was NOT driving, I found that he wanted to know if I had any more Baby Blankets, and that he need 2 as quickly as I could get them to him, one for a girl and one for a boy.

I responded back, that he was in luck, because I thought I had enough for 2 more blankets on Lillian's back beam.  I sat down that afternoon and wove one of the blankets and got a good start on the second one.  Then with Thanksgiving coming up, I called it quits, and went to mix up some cookie dough.

Today's plan is to finish weaving the second blanket, serge, hem, wash and hang them to dry.  I should be able to then get them in the mail by Monday or Tuesday, depending on how long the drying process takes.  I don't put them in the dryer, because I lose too much to shrinkage and they will wear out much quicker as well!

This morning, as I was sipping my coffee, I looked over my production notes for these blankets.  I wound 40yds onto 2 different looms, (80yds total!) so that I could have 2 different patterns.  I wove 33 Baby Blankets, and 11 couch throws.  I used 18 Baby Blankets as gifts, 2 were ruined in the wash, 1 was unusable because I was trying to be creative, and I am not sure where one blanket is.  That leaves 11 Baby Blankets that I have sold.  Of the 11 Couch Throws, 1 was ruined in the wash, 2 were sold and 8 were gifted for  various reasons.

I think I have decided to wind another long warp for these blankets, mostly because they make such great gifts, and I have a few dedicated customers that are counting on me to provide them.  I think I will stick with just the "Cat Tracks and Snail Trails" pattern since it was so successful.  Everyone, when given a choice, chose it over the "Kings Flower" pattern.

When I finish up the blankets this morning, that will be 3 empty looms for me!  I better get planning for  next years projects!  I have some ideas floating around in there, but they need to get finalized and in production!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, November 22, 2012


  I thought it might be a good idea to get my blog done before I started mixing up the yeast dough for rolls....flour and laptops don't play well together!  I'll be with my children (who aren't children anymore!) later today, and it's been a lazy morning here on the Ridge.
  The parade has already started and the Broadway numbers are providing background music as I make my list of things to get done this morning.

   I toddled down the driveway to collect the morning paper and almost needed a wheelbarrow to bring it back to the house!  The large plastic bag that it was in will be perfect for the strips I'm cutting for the Center!!!
  I have never gotten into the whole Black Friday frenzy...I'm not big on crowds or getting up before dawn for the best deal.  I remember a few times when my younger sister and my Mom did that....I thought they were crazy.  I think it was the thrill of the deal for them.

  So, today I am thankful for my many blessings:
my children
my family
a job that provides for my fiber persuits
all the service men and women protecting our country
my weaving family
....and all the folks who stop by our little blog.

I like this list better than the to-do list!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Back To Normal

....well, kinda!

  We had a lot of unloading to do this morning.  All the display pieces that we borrowed from the Center had to be put back in the Annex.
  All the rugs, placemats, scarves, mug rugs, etc.... had to be unloaded and put back upstairs in the Gift Shop.  (We each took our personal sale items home on Sunday after the show.)  Carol checked off the show inventory list from Tina's spreadsheet.

 When we finished unloading, Allan was ready to get to work on the new rug loom.  These were the denim strips that he wound last week.  The rug looks great!

Maggie got the warping reel set up, and Pat was there to lend a helping hand as she wound the warp for the Lee's Surrender throws.

  Eiko got a chance to catch up with Ms. Ila.  We all were busy this weekend.
  Linda got busy weaving on the warp we had at our Foothills booth.  I'll get the rest of the fabric strips cut this week, but in the meantime, the black thread looks great with that warp.

  Marie and Shirley got back to work on the table looms.....I think Marie is READY to weave on a floor loom!!!!  She's got a lot of great ideas for her warps!

  Linda was busy this weekend at the Pilot Club show in Oak Ridge, and she and Andy got a chance to catch up while Andy wound her new warp.

  Teresa is doing a great job on her first warp, AND she's a whiz at hemstitching!!!!  Yeah!!!!

  Carl finished another blue jean rug today on the barn loom.  The denim looks great with this rug warp.

I didn't get a picture of the new warp that Tina wound on a loom today....Linda will be threading that next week.  And, we've got fabric chosen for the warps that will have to be seamed and cut into strips.  All work for another day!

  Thank you, Ms. Ila, for bringing this wonderful bread for us today!!!  As you can probably tell, we really enjoyed it.

Happy Thanksgiving from
The Tuesday Weavers!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Last One of the Season

My show season is over for the year! I'm so glad. It was a good show this weekend and I'm glad I did it, sales were good, but boy, I'm glad it's done!
Setting up went well on Thursday and I took a few pictures Friday morning before the show opened.
 It's interesting to look back and see the pieces that found new homes during the 3 day show!
 I did go upstairs and took a picture down at the booths. However, the picture shows the Tuesday Weavers booth nicely with just a bit of my booth showing. The show had over 140 booths and a huge variety of quality items for sale.
 Now I can look ahead to the shows next year and figure out what I'm going to be weaving for them.  I do have a couple of orders to weave so I won't be taking a break from the production just yet but once they're done, I'm going to weave some handtowels. I love doing that and having some to give as gifts. It's time to just weave some waffle weave, I think!! My baby wolf is ready!!

At the show I met a lady, friend of a friend, whose last name is the same as my maiden name. There aren't that many Martens people around. At least in this part of the country. Her husband's family settled in Michigan, coming from the "low country" in Europe. Mine settled in Canada, also coming from the "low country" but via the Ukraine for a couple of there you have it. Long lost cousins! There's no way to verify it but somewhere way back in the geneology is a connection.
You never know who you'll meet at the shows, especially this one. I've been weaving for a long time and been on the edge of the craft world for just as long. As a result, I have met alot of wonderful people. I think most of them came by the show this weekend and stopped to say hi! That's a nice perk of doing a local show.
The best part of doing this show is knowing that it's the last one of the season and I can settle back, hibernate in my studio, and play with yarns...and fabric for a few months!
Until next week,
Keep weaving!!