Friday, May 31, 2013

I Had Plans!

I really had plans to have a Wow post today, but I got a call that there were some very special grandkids at a local park, and you know I just couldn't pass it up.  Then before you know it, I was hosting a matinee showing of "Brave" complete with popcorn and followed by pizza!

That means that my special project for today's post is just now getting some attention!  There are those of you out there who are going to be shocked and amazed when I tell you what I was planning.  Mostly because I said I wasn't going to do it!  But you see, the "Tour de Fleece"on Ravelry, is just around the corner, and I have this lovely white fleece, that is just screaming to be one of my entries!

Except, I don't want it to be white............

I want it to be these colors!

I had totally planned to have some of it done in time to post a picture, but alas, as I am writing this post, I have 3 oz. of fleece soaking in some hot water, getting ready for the first batch.  I have never done this before so, I have been watching youtube videos, to get my courage up.

I will be dyeing 3oz batches hoping to end up with 2oz of combed top from each batch.  I don't think I will mix the colors in the dye bath, but I might in the final processing.

At least I did not have to buy any special equipment to do this, (that is my major road block to getting into dyeing!)  these are all non toxic food dyes, totally safe to use what I have on hand!

If I get some done over the weekend, I will come back on and post about it!  Sorry about that!

Until next week, Happy Spinning, Weaving and Dyeing, Tina

P.S.    Mystery fiber for the upcoming Spin day for the Tuesday Weavers!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Uh-Oh...The Rabbit Hole!

Hans Weber from Wikipedia
What can I say?  When I'm doing research, I fall down into the rabbit hole.  When I come up for air....hours have passed!!!!
  Neolithic textiles from around 5,000 BC have been found in Switzerland.  They were woven with flax (linen) and that seems to be the oldest found so far.  Of course, we don't know about the loom that was used to weave that cloth.

  Yes....I'm researching the use of  LOOMS. 

I love this print of an early loom....see the lease sticks???  But, it is a two harness loom with treadles.  You can't really tell where the woven cloth goes, though.

From Wikipedia:  weaver from North India

In this picture, you can see the woven cloth wound around the front beam.  And, look how the warp goes back over her head, and is tied to the peg at the front of the loom!!!

In both pictures, the weavers are bare foot!!!!  Some things never change!

  The Museum of Appalachia is holding its first Pioneer Camp for kids this summer.  They have asked me to come and demonstrate during that week, and I thought I should bone up on some weaving history.  As always, the more I read, the more I want to know. 
  Making cloth for household items and clothing was an important part of life in the Southern Appalachians, and I want to give accurate information to these kids. 
  Thank heavens, weaving is still a part of our lives....but not a necessity!
OK.........I'm headed back to the rabbit me in time for dinner!!!

Happy Weaving!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Subject is Roses

Yesterday, Tina told you a little about our potluck to welcome summer and bid farewell to our many summer travelers.  I had two potlucks to go to yesterday, and was up at 3:30 baking cakes.  Left is the apricot upside down cake for my book group, center are cupcakes from leftover cake batter, and right is the strawberry-filled butter cake for the Tuesday Weavers.  Nothing like a busman's holiday!  But I enjoy baking for friends, especially such receptive ones.

  At home, I'm still obsessed with roses.  I found a yellow climbing rose to go with the Joseph's Coat at Out of Eden Nursery in Maryville this weekend, as well as a Mr. Lincoln shrub rose to go with the red climbers I bought last week, and a dream-come-true rose, for me, a David Austin rose!
 I wish I could tell you the name of the David Austin rose, but I can't remember it.  I just know it's beautiful and smells wonderful.  Right now, it's still homeless in the yard.  I just can't figure out where to put it!
Joseph's Coat
  The new red climbers are in front of the garage, displacing about 100 irises, which are on the front porch, awaiting their relocation.  It's like a flower refugee camp out there!  I put in the new trellises for the climbers, ugly metal mesh meant for concrete stabilization, but perfect for roses that will cover them in no time.  Everyone has been fed and mulched and are ready for the summer sun to make them climb to the rafters.

 But it's not all roses!  Shasta Daisies are about to burst into bloom, too.  These were once tiny 4-inch pots of kind of wispy plants, and now they're 3-4 feet around and almost shoulder high.  There will be many daisy bouquets in the coming weeks.

But lest you think all I do is garden, I've been hiding in the cool house in the heat of the day, knitting and watching lots of HGTV--watching other people gardening!--and making fine progress on two cardigans.  The left one you've seen, but the right one in cotton-silk-nylon blend that is luscious to knit and an easy-peasy pattern that should go quickly.
  Stay cool and out of the mid-day sun!  Great time to weave!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Yarn Under Tension.....

plays nice!

Marie continued to wind the skeins of yarn for La Donna's shawls.

Judy is working on our Signature Ellen's Pattern place mats!

 Cindy is going great guns on these huge hand towels!

Carl is a rock at the Rug Loom in the Corner!

 I think I heard Andy say she had one more towel to go on this warp!

La Donna finished this shawl up today, and will be bringing the loom back with a new warp on it next time she comes!

 Lou Ann finished sleying the reed today and tied on, next week we will get the treadles just right and she will be ready to throw the shuttle!

Linda's rug warp is waiting for her to come back from vacation!

Judy is continuing on with the black placemat/table runner warp!

Bonnie is wowing us all with her rosepath runners!

 Shirley made me wait until she had fixed an error before I could take this picture of her table runner!

I somehow missed taking a picture of Eiko and Ila working on their scarves, and I totally did not get a picture of Maggie tying the coverlet warp back on!

It may have been because it was pot luck day, and a lot of us brought desserts!

There was a ton of food and a lot of chatter going on, in the midst of it all today, Carol managed to get a yarn order together!

If you are ever in the neighborhood, Norris Tn., come by and see us some Tuesday, we would love it!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina, for all!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Another Dye Day!

Ages ago we decided that trying to dye on a Tuesday wasn't a good idea. Far too much going on and chaos ruled! So we were dyeing on Thursday which sort of worked ok but still had problems. Saturday we had another dye day. I think we're onto something here. Saturday works much better for everyone and is probably the day from now on that we'll schedule as a dye day. 
Roz brought her friend Lisa along and they were dyeing skeins for the center plus a few for themselves as well. Alot of discussions on which colors to do and how intense the colors should be.....
 More warps for the center with Ann and Judy working on them. This was Judy's first time and it won't be the last. I think she had a blast seeing how what she mixed up looked like on the warps!
 Dye day on Saturday is much quieter. We didn't see alot of people from upstairs although a few visitors wandered down here. You know we're not the only ones that work at the center, creating things. There's a room right off of our space that is the potters. I noticed a potter working on some leaves there while we had our hands in cups mixing dyes! She was pretty fascinated by what we were doing as well. Maybe we can entice her into joining us..
 After lunch we could start on our own warps.
I love how warps get painted and the color combnations that people come up with!
 Got to have skeins of weft to weave on those warps.

I didn't count how many warps or skeins were dyed. It was alot! We got there at 9am and stayed til almost 5pm before we had everything put back and ready for Tuesday again!
The best tips for dyeing: buy those risers they sell to raise the beds of kids going to college. They saved our backs til about 3pm! when we started groaning. We raised our tables so that we didn't have to bend over them and paint our warps.
Other tip: take a chance, combine colors to make new ones and try putting colors together that you might not have before. You don't know how they'll look next to each other or how they'll look woven with a color you hadn't thought of using with that warp...
So I'm just back in town this afternoon. Guess what I'm doing the rest of the day? I have 2 warps and 4 skeins to rinse, rinse, rinse!!
Until next week, keep weaving....and winding those warps to dye!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Old and New

Last week I showed you the threading error that I found on my 9th towel.  Some may have had a hard time picking it out so I thought I might show you the wrong side of the towel too!  Again it is the left hand  side of the picture.  There are supposed to be two threads there, the front side is not quite that obvious!

I have corrected the error, and cleared a shelf to put a lot of the cones of yarn that I can use for this project.  ( I found this cool heather tan while I was clearing that shelf, and I gave it a try on the Swedish lace warp,  I think I like it!)

 They had been gathered around the cart where I had the bobbin winder.  I say had, because today, as I was frantically looking for the camera organizing a little bit, I rearranged a few things.  I put all the electric stuff, bobbin/pirn winder, sewing machine, and serger all on the same table.

 I gave them each the amount of room I will need to use them!  I also set up our old TV up there with a dvd player, though I am not so sure it is a good idea to have that up there!  I could only find a few dvds in the house.  I was either laughing at Jamie and Paul, from Mad about You,  you know the one when they brought Mable home.  Or I was crying through the first disc of the second season of the West Wing, (I am so glad that Josh made it aren't you!)  I am not sure exactly how much work I actually got done!

You may get tired of seeing the same things over and over again, and sometimes I have to admit that I am in need of something fresh, so I started thinking of a new mug rug pattern.  I had seen some hand towels recently using a M's and O's threading, with some stripes in the warp.  I thought that I might give it a try.

This is the first sample.

 It isn't doing anything for me!

So I abandoned the M's and O's and tried a twill with basket weave. 

Ho Hum.

There is where I left it, not sure what to do,  maybe I was too hasty, I probably need to try a different M's and O's don't you think?  This was probably not the week to try something new like this, I got a head cold early on, and haven't been able to put two and two together let alone something as complicated as coming up with a new weaving design!

There is also something else that I have in the studio, like this lovely fleece, that I just could not not sample!  It might be my next spinning project!

Very fine, long stapled Shetland.  I hand combed a little bit, and spun up a sample on the Clemes and Clemes, E-Spinner.

Oh, the softness, Oh the shine, Oh the possibilities!

But then, I looked up from the table in the studio, where I was eating my lunch, and I saw something that calmed my creative jitters.  

 Something that has entranced me for several years now, and I suppose the dance will go one for several more.

 Isn't it beautiful, isn't this why we do it?

Yes it is!  Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Welcome To The Pack!

  Remember when your Momma told you, "You're gonna eat those words!" 
  I had just had conversations with Maggie and Tina about how content I was with my loom set up...looms with long term projects (long warps) and looms for those quick, get it done projects.  Then Carol sends me an email with a link to a Pup south of Atlanta.
  YES.....that little Pup is now mine!!!!  Meet Ms. Pat, the former owner of this cute little six treadle Pup.  We have so much in common, you'd think we were related.  (I almost spit out my coffee when I read her email:  "I'm 5'3" with short hair and I drive a gray car."  Could we be twins from different mothers????)  I'm still mulling over the name for this little sweetie....I'm thinkin' that his name will be Cutty, which will complete the little pack of pups that came with me to this house.  (I just don't have to have a pooper-scooper for these pups!)

  This was a great road trip:  I met my sister in Chattanooga for the trip south, and we ran in and out of rain on the trip back.  We even got to see the President's motorcade as we came back through Atlanta.
   My cousin lives near Chattanooga and we stopped by there for a visit before splitting up and heading home.
   Here's the first warp for this Pup:  Big Orange Cross of Tennessee. 
  It just seems fitting somehow.......

  Since I had that great donation from Tina of all those blue jeans, I thought I should get some of the denim woven into rugs.  I'm keeping track of how many panels I'm using, and it looks like it takes 6 pairs of jeans to weave a 72 inch rug.  (Of course, that will relax when it is off the loom....I'm going to check that figure, too.)  These strips are 1 1/4 inches wide, which makes a nice thickness when woven.  I don't want them to be too long because I would like to be able to wash them here at home.  John is such a great rug loom!

  In closing, I wanted to show you the beautiful climbing roses that Maggie bought yesterday.  Maybe she'll show us a picture of their new location in a future blog entry.  That garden center was AMAZING! 
  The little plant in the bottom of the cart is's going in an old hollow log in my side garden.  We're hoping it will drape over the sides and lend lots of color and interest.
  The sun is shining (although storms are predicted for later) and I think I would like to get in the garden for a little bit today.  As always, the weeds are growing like crazy, and I need to see if I can get rid of a few.

Happy Weaving!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I've Been Outside

Chez Moi
 Sometimes I miss Tuesday Weaving, and sometimes I forget to blog on Wednesdays, but these past few weeks, I feel that I must be forgiven.  I have been working in the yards, front, back and sides, digging deeply and planting a lot.

 It's that perfect time of year, with the weather cooperating with me, to be outside planting.  I'm getting near the finishing touches for the season, but felt there was something missing.  LouAnn and I went on a road trip to get those last items.  We went to Cookeville, to Johnson Nursery (‎),
 where I had purchased a climbing rose last year.  I wanted some 
more climbers to go on the south facing wall of the garage.  I 
haven't been able to find any in Knoxville, so we made the trip
out west.  
  We got there too late in the season to have many to choose from
but I like these red ones.  They don't have much scent, but they
are a true red.  I hope to get them in the ground tomorrow after 
work, but know it's more likely they'll get there on Sunday 
Leo checks out the side yard.

I've been working on the side garden, too, replacing the hedge bit by bit.  I don't want it to be a hedge, but want a delineation between the houses.  I've got azaleas, dappled willows--my new fave--witch hazel and rhododendrons in the shady part, then rose of Sharons, flame azalea and perennial hibiscus in the sunny part.

 Hollyhocks have shot up on the side yard, too, after hanging out low to the ground last year.  They're just about ready to bloom.

 The vegetable garden continues to change, especially in the areas where things planted by seed never came up. It's been enlarged to have a bigger herb garden, a lavender "grove," and even more tomatoes.  I really like tomatoes. I even have first tomato baby photos.
first tomatoes!
 The peonies have bloomed and gone, but not before their beauty was documented!  I got a new one this year, a pale pink number to go with the hot pinks and white ones.

Last but not least, the foxgloves I'd forgotten I'd planted in the front flower beds have sprung up and bloomed.  Don't you love the inside of them?  They're creepy and unusual but still beautiful!
  Blogger has been unusually obnoxious this evening, and I feel as if I've wrestled an unwilling beast, so it's time to say goodnight and wish you all happy weaving, gardening and a wonderful mid-spring!