Thursday, February 28, 2013

Goodbye February!!!

  I'm really not "wishing my life away," but I AM ready for a change of seasons!  After last week's crazy, this week has just been busy.  That means I didn't get any loom time, just a bunch of little jobs that needed to be done.
  For instance, these bags were woven at the Center...Bonnie wove two and I finished up the warp.  This has been my project the last two days.  My plan is to finish today, and they'll go to the Center on Tuesday.

  We are getting a head start on making our Straw Loom kits before things get too busy.  The weavers are contributing a skein of yarn, which makes two kits.  A few a week, and we'll be ready for the Museum of Appalachia in October.  That will mean that I'm NOT making kits like a crazy woman to bring to the Museum.
  This is my cart that I have set up with my winding tools, as well as my rag cutter.  It was a microwave cart, but it works great for my tool cart.  My plan is to wind off the balls as the yarn comes in.  When I get a few done, I'll print the instructions and add the straws, and they'll be done. 

  But, THIS is where my head is today....wanting to get some of these started!  I'm so ready for fresh homegrown spinach and lettuce.  And, my eyes are longing for the bright colors in the flower beds. 
  I sent the big weed eater to the spa yesterday so it will be ready to clear some of the overgrown areas.  And, there are so many beds that need cleaning outside. 
  So, while it warms up and drys out a little outside, I'll keep getting some of these projects finished up on the inside.  (Would you believe we're having snow flurries today???)

  Taxes still have to be done, and the reports for the state will be due, too.  I'm so glad that I have four looms warped with projects that I can just sit and weave for a bit without having to start anything new right now.  This doesn't make for great blogging news, but I think it will keep me sane.  And, that's a good thing, right?
Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It's Always Sunny.....

....inside the Center.  Outside it was a little gray and drippy!
  It was a smaller group today, which happens sometimes.  But, as usual, we all got busy just doing what we do best.  We really missed Carl today, but we are so delighted that he's out of the hospital and getting stronger in his own place.  I'm not sure he needs any weavers' germs right now, anyway.
  Linda brought her sweet little loom today...isn't that a beauty?  It actually has 8 shafts, although she's only got 4 in place right now.

And, Allan brought the table runner that he just finished weaving for Sharon at home.  This was his first time weaving Swedish lace, and he did a wonderful job!  He thought the selvedges needed some work, but we thought they were beautiful.

Teresa was back with us today...sporting a new piece of jewelry!  Congratulations!!!!

  Just look at that big smile!
Betsy cut off her first warp today, and got a good look at her first pieces.  It's always such a big thrill to cut your first warp!

  Tina was back to winding on bouts for the towel warp.  Now that the extra white cones have arrived, she'll be able to wind the rest of the yarn for that loom.
  Pat worked on the black warp...there's still plenty there!

  Roz got busy winding a warp, while Ms. Ila and Eiko were weaving on their scarves.

It wasn't long until Ms. Ila got to the end of her warp, and cut off the three scarves that she had woven.

Linda and Marie chatted while they wove on the place mat warps.  We'll have some great choices for the shop upstairs.

Judy was able to be with the group today, and got right to work on the white warp.

  Yes, some uh-ohs.  Pat needed some off-bench time, and went to work on Andy's tangle from last week.

  And, while Bonnie was winding her new warp, the dowel came lose!  With Carol's help, they got everything back on track!!!

  And here is my uh-oh:  36 dents lefts, but 56 threads to sley.  BIG uh-oh!!!!
  I guess I'll be doing a little math this week!  I'll need to figure out where to double up some of the threads in the dents.  We don't have any longer reeds!!!

A bright spot in our day...visitors.  Charlie and Angela were visiting the Center from Kingston, which isn't that far away from Norris.  Angela taught herself to weave on a table loom, and she has been looking for other weavers to talk to...I think she lucked up today.
  So....what DO you call a group of weavers????

Happy Weaving!

Monday, February 25, 2013

More Rugs!

My studio time this week involved weaving rugs, again! I only really had 2 days in the studio but I got 6 rugs done. I had put about 19 yards on the loom so after 6 rugs the cloth beam was full and I had to cut them off. This morning I serged the edges and took some pictures to show the colors of loopers chosen for them.
This first rug is one of three identical ones that I did. I picked the colors I had alot of but also were cheerful, 8 of them. Then putting them in a laundry basket, in order, I chained them so that the same color always follows the other color.
 From a distance, as I was snapping pictures, these were the more subdued of the bunch I cut off. The colors are all fairly cheerful and I like them together, but they're not as "wild" as they could have been.  Doing three of them made for easy decisions!
 I have/had alot of yellow. In fact, I originally had a full rubbermaid of them. So last year when I wove rugs I did 2 yellow ones. This time I just did one of them. Chain 20 yellow loopers, then add a color. Again, this is very structured in that the same color looper is used in progression, ie, blue, then red, etc.
 The warp shows through in the yellow making for a quite cheerful primary color influenced rug!
 I added another green and another purple to this one. Again, color progression is rigidly followed.
 It's a lighter rug than the others were.
 I've still got a bunch of loopers but have decided to quit being so rigid in the colors and let it happen as it will. So I put a bunch of colors into the basket, mixed them up and chained them. Only rule.........never let there be 2 of the same color next to each other in the chain.
 It works plus I kind of tried to get all the colors in there somewhere.
The warp is tied back up and today I hope to weave a couple of more rugs. It's going to be another short week for weaving so have to do what I can now. My yarn order for production should be here in about 3 weeks so have less time than that to finish my rugs.
Rugs are heavy, especially looper rugs! I still have to hem all the ones I've serged, including the ones from last week. Plus, I want to put one more warp on for them so I'm developing muscles hauling them around!
Just weaving rugs takes more muscles because you have to place the weft, get those loopers right, so they're not stretched too far, in place. Then beat twice, heavily. Such a difference from production weaving where you throw the shuttle, beat once, throw again. Each style has its good points and I enjoy both. Just know that when I get back to production, it'll feel like such a breeze!!
Until next week, keep weaving!!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Day Late!

Dear One and I went up to Gatlinburg on Thursday, to participate in a small retreat.  It was impossible to do my regular Friday post, but I figured today would work just as well.

I haven't made a lot of progress on my current loom warping projects, but I did make some progress on a knitting project that I have been wanting to do for over a year.  I had bought the book  late  last winter and I had found some yarn in my stash last week that should work up nicely, and decided that now was as good a time as any to do it.

The pattern is a cabled Wrap on the cover of the Vogue Wraps Two book.  The yarn is a really pretty blue tightly plied wool yarn that should show off the cables well.  It is not extremely soft but the swatch softened up remarkably after the spa treatment!

I actually have 3 of these huge skeins to work with plus a partial.  I don't even remember where I got this yarn!  It may have been in one of the donations that made it's way to the Center over the past several years, before I started keeping track a little better, who knows!

I began knitting earlier in the week, and I had a little problem with the cables until I could grasp the general flow.  It is  really a pretty easy pattern, and not too difficult, after the first couple of times through, to manage without a lot of row counting!

I use a double pointed needle  as my cable needle, but I rarely knit off of it, I usually slip the stitches back on the left hand needle to work them.  I knitted in the evenings before our trip on Thursday, I knitted on the way up to the Great Smoky Mountains, until the road started getting too mountainous that is.  I also knitted during the evening free times that we had.  I did some correcting of errors along the way, so not as much progress as it might have been.

I plan to increase the length of this project from 12 repeats of the pattern to at least 15.  I read several reviews on Ravelry on this wrap, and they all agreed that when worked according to the pattern is was much too short. ( The picture below shows  about 2.5 repeats.)

We are now back at home, the laundry has been started, we have taken a wee nap, and I am trying to decide what else I need to get done before I can sit down once again with a cup of something hot to drink, and knit a row or two.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Finish and Start Again

  Sometimes projects get put on the back burner for lots of reasons....this is one of those warps that has been ignored for a long time.  This warp started out on the Glimakra (that's the loom that walked out my door and jumped on Tina's truck.  She now lives at Linda's studio.)  The warp was composed of lots of colors that were leftover on cones I got with one of my loom buys.  It is threaded for Davison's Italian Diamond.  This is the only warp I have ever threaded front to back.    My daughter asked for a runner for her table, and I wove one, but it was way too short.  This was supposed to be a replacement......and it took me awhile to get back to it.  But, I wanted to weave off this warp (finally) so I could do some summer-winter on the 8 shaft Baby Wolf.  Notice that the tape measure is at 13 add 60 inches to it, and that is the length of the runner.  It's waiting to get the fringes twisted, then I'll wash it, press it, and deliver it!!!!  Yeah!  One project down, many to go!


  There is a light peach thread that runs in this warp, and I had some peach fabric that matched it perfectly.  So, instead of doing overshot, I'm just using the fabric to make the diamonds.  My plan is to weave off the warp using the peach strips to make placemats.  Let's get this warp off this loom!!!!

  In the meantime, I've pulled some fabric to make another tote bag on John.  I'm going to experiment with cloth tubes to braid for the handles on this one.  I think these fabrics will play nicely on the warp.  Maybe I'll get to work on them this weekend.

  Here is the table runner for my niece.  Shirley did a fantastic job with the lettering!  I still need to hem the other edge, and then it will be ready to send off to her.  I think she has a signing coming up soon, so I need to get busy.

  It's been one of those weeks....I was scheduled for jury duty this week, but the recording said to report on Thursday.  The recording yesterday afternoon said, "Thank you for your service."  So, instead of going to the court house, I'm going to go get my hair cut! 
  And, my big delivery was supposed to come today, but it came yesterday instead!  My daily runner is full of arrows and crossed out notes!  I got notice that the 8/2 thread for the Center is on its way from the Yarn Barn, so that's another delivery to be on the lookout for.
  So, I'll finish up one project, and get started on another.  And, there's always those projects that I'm dreaming of in the back of my mind.  Never a dull moment here on the Ridge!

Happy Weaving!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ready for Something New

Today, I finished the Log Cabin chenille scarves.  They are soft and drapey and lovely!  One will go to San Francisco, where I'm told it's always cold, and the other two will wait until I need a gift for someone special.  I did enjoy making them, the simplicity of the pattern but the complexity in appearance.  I liked working with just chenille, with no other fiber mixed in.  There's a lot of fringe twisting in my future, but that should be a good t.v. watching project.

The warp is halfway wound for my first tapestry, and look how lovely the dyed yarns look, all balled up and in prism order!  Ideas are spinning around--no pun intended!--for the subject matter, but I'm sure something will come to me soon.
  And then there's that pesky shawl challenge from the Center!  Two Christmases ago, we were supposed to exchange shawls that we made from dyed bamboo warps, and I know I'm not alone in my tardiness!  I finally found the weft to go with the warp, but the photo doesn't do it justice.  It's cream-colored rayon I bought on sale from Webs a few years ago.  I'd forgotten I had it until last week, when I rearranged all my yarn.  I think it will be yummy!  But, eight shaft or four?  Huck lace?  Twill?  Overshot?  Oh, the possibilities!
  I hope you have lots of possibilities, too!  Happy weaving!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


If you listened very carefully today, you would have heard that little was the hum of all the little weaver bees at the Center!!!!

  Of course, we were missing a few of our weavers...especially Carl.  Tina and I stopped at the hospital to visit with him on our way home, and they are taking great care of him.  That mean ole stomach virus has really been busy in this neck of the woods!

   Bonnie is working on plans for her new warp...and of course, catching up on all the news.  Linda brought her table loom to work on scarves for her shows.

We had another donation of jeans and fabric to  the group.  They always come in handy!

  Then it was time to get to work twisting fringes.  Christy has done this before, but this was Bonnie's first time using the twister.  It does seem to go faster when you have someone to chat with while you work.

How would you caption this photo????

I should explain:  Lanny was having lots of trouble with the tension on this warp.  The solution would be to chain it off and rewind it on the back beam so that it is nice and even. 

"You want me to do WHAT????"

"Ask me how I know that."

Threading error?  Say it isn't so!!!

But, yes, there is a wee little error, which can be easily fixed.  In the meantime, the sample can be used for little pockets. 
  And, we found out today that the Museum of Appalachia's Fall Homecoming will be October 10-13.  It's the right time to be thinking about what we'll have for the booth.

This is the warp that Shirley was winding last week.  Just look at those beautiful colors!

It's so great to see the weavers working together to get the warps on the loom!

If you heard a strange machine noise today, it belonged to Andy's bobbin winder!!!!  Yes, sireee, Judy was winding bobbins in the kitchen!  And, yes, that is a mixer!!!!
  That tangle of yarn was NOT from the just happened.  But, Andy is almost ready to wind on her warp.

  We have an author in our midst:  Lanny.  He brought copies of his book, The Reformation In Scotland, which is hot off the press.

(He even autographed copies!!!!)

Around and around it goes....but Tina is getting close to getting all the bouts wound for the 30 yard dish towel warp.  And, we have 4 cones of the white 8/2 on the way from the Yarn Barn. 

Our little hive was truly buzzing with activity all day. 

Lots of happy weaving!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Got Rugs!

I know, I'm supposed to post on Monday. It's almost there, after 10pm Sunday evening and I just realized that tomorrow is full. I won't have time to get on the computer all day. So, since no one else posts on Sunday (which was my original day to post), I thought I'd go ahead and post now so I don't forget to do it at all, especially since I actually had 3 days to work in the studio this past week!!
I wove rugs. It wasn't a very long warp, only about 11 yards long and I got 6 rugs out of it.
The ends are serged but not hemmed yet. I don't usually do fringe.
Love this earth toney rug. The green and purple really set it off.
 The second rug I added the blue. What a difference just one color makes! These loopers are fun to work with. They came to me already in the colors they are. The majority of the loopers are bright, cheerful colors but some of them are more subdued so I put a warp on that accented those colors.
 I just wove 2 rugs with the loopers. The rest were woven using the edges, waste from the production of afghans, as I understand it.
The job's a bit messy especially when you pull out a bag of several colors and then try to find the ends and divide it in half so part can be on the top of the rug and the rest on the bottom but it's great fun to put colors together.
 You never know how the colors will look like next to each other until you try it.
 The rugs are mostly close to 50 inches long plus hem.
 Adding a touch of color inbetween is a nice "surprise"!
 I'll turn the hem up and pin it carefully so that I can just pick up the rug and carry it to the sewing machine to sew.
 Nice earth tones in this one. These  rugs are heavy too. They feel great on your feet when you walk on them!

  I had just a bit of warp left over, so wove a short rug that was about 30 inches long, maybe a bit less. Someone always wants a short rug and here it is, perfect for by a shower or something...

 One warp down, another on the loom. As you can tell, this one will be cheerful, bright even, and alot longer. My warping board does over 19 yards and this one is close to the limit. It's cheerful with yellow, magenta, purple, royal and green colors in it. I'm looking forward to getting to weave on it on Wednesday!
 The first few rugs will be woven with these loopers.
 I've got a rubbermaid full of already chained sections, ready for weaving. I spent an hour or two just chaining loopers. I got some DVDs for Christmas and I've slowly started to watch them. While chaining them I was watching the beginning of Season 2 of Magnum PI. There were a couple of bonus episodes on the first disc. The first show was from the A Team and the other from Knight Rider. Boy, that takes me back! Kind of low key shows to watch while throwing the shuttle!
I've got 2 more weeks where I can just weave rugs or placemats, whatever I want before I get back to production. The yarn order has been sent and my looms are slowly being filled with projects. I know that if I was weaving rugs all the time, it'd get really old, fast. However, by blocking out a month or so each year to do it, it stays fun. I don't know if I'll keep weaving loopers because  I do have a nice stash of fabric that needs cutting, but by varying what I do, I sure can't get bored!
Here's hoping the new warp is finished by Friday and I have to wind another one. Until next week, keep weaving , stay warm and have fun!