Friday, June 28, 2013

It has been a busy week in east Tn, at least for me!  The Tuesday Weavers had another loom donation, and since I had room for one last loom, I volunteered to babysit it, until we have room at the center.

After several failed attempts to pick the loom up, Lou Ann and I were able to pick her up.

We often get donations, and many times we don't really know what we are going to see when we get there.   Turns out this loom is the Hearthside Loom,  a 6 harness/ 6 treadle loom sold by Sears in the 1940's. 
She is cleaning up nicely with a little Danish oil, I chose Golden Oak as my color.  It seemed like the best color for this thirsty loom.
 I have never seen a loom quite like this one, she folds up to save space if you need, but she is in no way a portable!  I love this front beam support that swings out when you unfold her.
 I am a little confused by the back beam, it does not quite seem to fit, and there is this funny ratchet on the outside of the loom.  I think it goes on the inside, but that will take further tinkering on my part.
One of my favorite features is that the back beam can be made a sectional beam, all I have to do is put pegs in those holes!

It is going to take me some time to have this loom up and running, Mary Ann Akin, the donor, is looking for some of the pieces she hadn't found in time for the pick up, like the treadle hooks.  Until I get those however, I think I will be busy enough cleaning her up!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Spin Day Report

  Just in case you didn't already know, Tina is quite a spinner.  In fact, I think she could spin air into a whisper.

  She brought all different types of fiber for our new spinners-to-be to feel.  From fleece to combed to yarn.....they could see the different states of fiber.

(It all made my dining room table look very festive!)

  Tina started Kendra and Mendy out on the spindles, and they could see how the fiber twists to form the yarn.  After a few starts and stops, they started catching on.

Then it was time to give the wheel a try.

Kendra just had two llama fleeces prepared, and she's very motivated to get the hang of spinning.

  But, wool wasn't the only fiber spun last Saturday on the Ridge!!!!
  The little birds love to pluck Biscuit's fur out of the door mat by the back door, and I had a handful that I had saved to put out for them.  Yes....that's right....Tina spun it into yarn!!!!

  Elsewhere here on the Ridge, my place mat warp finally came to an end.  That's six more place mats and one runner for the stock pile.  They are headed to the washer this afternoon.

  A warp for small totes has been started on the warping board.  This one is a gray/black/white mix.  I've already put aside some fabrics that I think will go well with this color combo.

  Just as an update, the bee balm continues to bloom and brighten up the side garden.  But, now we have an extra surprise:  purple blossoms!  And, it's on the same plant as the red blooms!!!!  I just love flowers!

  I hope your summer is going well....and you are finding all kinds of nice little surprises!  This is such a wonderful time of the year!

Happy Weaving (and Spinning!)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What's Around the Corner?

Instead of around the corner, this is the view of Lee's Surrender under the beam.  Carol has always warned us that the Davison book has patterns drawn for a counter balance loom and that we should flip the designs over, but I always feel that would be too much more of a challenge than I need when I'm warping.  I can always flip it over when I'm done!  So this is what it will look like when I do that.  Lovely, isn't it?  I'm exactly halfway done with the first coverlet, 9 repeats finished.  Will I be able to finish next week?  We'll just have to see.

Most Wednesdays, I find myself in a panic about this time of night because I've forgotten to blog.  Today was no exception!  I was out walking Bella around the neighborhood and realized that I not only hadn't written, I had no idea what to write about.  I got home, hot and sweaty, and pondered what would be interesting.  I remembered a drink I saw in this month's Bon Appetit, with strawberries, mint and white rum.  I had strawberry consomme left over from a pack of frozen strawberries in the fridge, next to a container of basil syrup.  A little club soda, some ice and a little white rum, and I am in the mood to write!   Hemingway, I'm not, but we could all use a little inspiration sometimes.  A couple of sips... okay, here we go!
Gardening has taken a front seat in my life this summer, partly because I'm working fewer hours and partly because it gives me more pleasure than work right now. The vegetable garden is going gangbusters right now, with beets, zucchini and tomatoes leading the charge.  Lots of basil, thyme, sage and opal basil are ready to use, and the cherry tomatoes are supplying enough for a salad each day.  The larger tomatoes are coming along, but aren't ready yet.
  The beets are too plentiful for eating daily, so I'm going to pickle some this Sunday.  The pickling cucumbers are only one inch long so far, cute as can be, but I have a feeling, they'll be taking over and ready before I know it.  The beans are climbing their trellises, and will probably end up nestling into jars with some fresh dill before too long.

 I'm looking for changes in my work life, so wish me luck.  The first class in landscape design is almost done, with the next up in July.  Anyone need some advice, a plan or just some clearing out?  I've got lots of ideas!
  I keep thinking I should be weaving at home more, but the outside calls every time I sit at the loom.  Soon it'll be too hot to plant, and maybe then I can find time for the projects in the loominaria.  Who knows what's around the corner?
  Happy Weaving!   --Maggie

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Take a Quick Look!

  Some of our travelers have returned to the fold!

Carol had lots to tell us about her adventures at the Midwest Weavers Conference, and we really enjoyed seeing her beautiful sampler from her class.

  Ann is back from her restful time in Michigan, and cut off three rugs on her loom before starting on a new one.  I think she had forgotten how little space there is behind the loom, and ended up with her pin cushion stuck to her shoe!  I'm just glad she wasn't barefoot!!!!

  Pat was back from her Grandmother duties, and started right to work on the yarn.  She made quite a dent in the tub of yarn this morning.

  Tina is just about to get the "new" loom up and running.  There was a wool warp still on the loom, and she thought there was enough for one more rug.  The warp is threaded and tied onto the front bar.  She got the treadles tied up, also.  Now it's just a matter of what to use for weft!

  Cindy got busy on Linda's Studio loom.  Sitting on the cloth beam does put you a little closer to the heddles when you're threading!!!!
  And, Betsy wound more fabric on the shuttle for another placemat!!!

  Patty was back with us today...hard at work on her table loom. 
  Linda brought her Cricket loom with a scarf warp to work on today.  And, Shirley was busy with her beautiful warp on the Pup.

A quick glace from this side of the room will reveal progress on the coverlet warp, and Ms. Ila and LaDonna--hard at work!

  Christy was sooooo quiet as she threaded the new scarf warp.

Andy's towels are OFF the loom!
  She has decided that she's going to learn to dress a loom from back to front!!!!

And, if you peek back in the corner....there's Carl!
Those blue jean rugs are very popular!!!

As always, we invite you stop by if you're in our neck of the woods this summer. 
Tuesdays.....guess where we'll be?????

Happy Weaving!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Heading Home

I've really had a great time the last week!! I spent it at the univeresity  in Emporia Kansas! Midwest Weavers Conference is always inspiring. You meet the nicest people who think like you do, that weaving is great fun and having looms all over your house is just ok! yarn stash a must and enabling others at the conference great fun!
So I go for the whole thing, including the preconference class. This year I took Robyn Spady's class On the Double using double 2 tie structures. She has great lectures, explains it well and we each got notebooks with detailed instructions on what to weave. I had put 4 yards onto my Ashford table loom and found at the end that it wasn't enough. My last dozen or so samples were about an inch long just so I could do a bit of everything. Also, a bunch of us ran out of warp by early afternoon the third day of class. Sure makes it easier to bring the loom home but next time, if I decide to replicate the samples on my own to try it again, I'd put at least 5 and maybe 6 yards on there!
Our instructions were not to buy any yarn, just use what you have at home so some had 10/2 and others 8/2 for their warps and we all had our bits of yarns along and shared with others that didn't have enough color choices especially when you realized what worked best to see the structures. I did take a few pictures of looms around mine on the second day so you could see the various warps on looms. This wasn't a round robin. You just wove all of them on your own loom.

 A big part of the conference is the exhibit hall. There are guild exhibits and also individual exhibits. I took some pictures just to remember them all. One guild had done a friendship coverlet project like our local guild did years ago. They also had other pieces in their exhibit. I thought they had done a nice job on this one.
 Dishtowels. Lots of dishtowels...
 The tipi exhibit of rugs won viewer's choice award for the guild exhibits.
 Another guild had taken a picture, cut it in sections and then each person took a section and felted their part of the picture. I think it's still needle felting somehow because the colors are all bits of felt.
 Not being a felter, I don't quite understand the process, but the end result is quite remarkable. I don't know if they saw any of the other's pieces during the process but I suspect not. What a delightful surprise that must have been when they got them all together. This was a group from Kansas City.
So that was just a hint of the exhibits at Midwest.
Yesterday, I left Emporia about 7 am and drove several hours before I picked up Linda at the designated McDonalds and we drove on. After 11 hours of driving, I decided to call it quits. We could have gotten home to Knoxville but it would have been late and driving that long isn't a good idea so we stopped in Clarksville for one more night of relaxing!
Tomorrow I'll bring some of the things I have to weaving for everyone to enjoy. The goodie bag we got was phenomenal, full of neat little things. Someone counted how many samples we could do in Robyn's class and I think it was about 56. I did manage to do a bit of each one and I"ll bring my long roll of fabric along and the book we got of information. I find it's always good to see what all we can weave and what others are doing in the weaving world.
So, til next Monday, weave on!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Spin In 2013, Tomorrow!

I spent the last couple of days getting ready for tomorrows "Spin In 2013" at Lou Ann's house.  At one point I had every box of fleece I own on the pile of stuff to take, but I realized that I could just take a portion of each and did not have to take the whole fleece!

I have tagged all my spun yarn with information I think might be good to have.  How many yards?  What was the fiber prep?   How was it spun?  What kind of fiber?  All good things to know.  I have even had to go back over my blog posts to see just exactly what kind of fiber a couple of projects were!  That lead to writing down the date the yarn was finished.  Very interesting research!

  I realized that I needed to spin up a couple of samples for tomorrow.  I used my e-spinner, and since I only have one bobbin for it, I got to use this handy dandy wool winder that I borrowed from the center last week.  I suspect that it is 1 yard around, but I have not measured it.

 This is a sample of some wool that is not next to the skin soft.  It is not super coarse either!  I have tried soaking it in a Euclan wash, but it made little difference.   I do think that this would make superb rug warp!

I Navajo plied this sample directly from the wool winder, and it worked pretty well.  I put a little too much twist in the plying, so I dangled the yarn from the second story so that the extra twist would come out!

 My bags are packed, my cookies are baked and I am getting ready to make up some of my  famous BBQ  Pulled Chicken sandwiches, for the pot luck lunch.  If you are in the Knoxville area, and you want to join us, from 10am to 4pm just post a comment below, and we will contact you!

Until next time, Happy Weaving and Spinning, Tina

Thursday, June 20, 2013


  Biscuit has been with me a year her checkup last week, the vet said she had gained 3 pounds.  She continues to be quite the hunter...she surveys her kingdom and anything that moves is fair game!!!
  There are a wealth of little bells out there in the green belt, and one lovely royal purple collar.  But, she's part of our little family now.

  And my other little "come-here" Sweetie found a new love this week.
  Remember that double weave project that I started a few weeks ago???  I made one sachet that I added catnip to, and started the 2nd sachet.  That's as far as that warp got!!!

  When I cut off the sachet for the kitties, I found out that Sweetie really liked that little pillow!!!
  If that cat could talk, all we would have heard would have been, "ooo....ahhhhhh....mmmmm."  The other two kitties completely ignored it!

   Those 84 threads did not go to waste....they were rethreaded for dogwood mug rugs.

  Yes.....we are looking at the three month window to get items woven for the Fall sales.  And, mug rugs are my best sellers. 

  Tina and I made a quick run down to R&M Yarns yesterday to pick up 200 pounds of thread for the Center.  These threads found their way home with me!  The white is soy silk.....Andy had woven a scarf with her hand dyed soy silk, and I loved the feel of it.  I may dye some up with Maggie, and see how it weaves.  The navy and mulberry cones are rayon chenille.  And, there was a little ball of multi-colored chenille that I thought might fit with some I already have.  I never come out of R&M empty handed!!!

After the yarn was unloaded into the Annex, Tina and I made a stop at Kid's Kamp at the Community Center.  It seems that the table looms that Carol had warped up were being ugly with the kids.  We off loaded  the warp from the wonky loom, and put it on a loom that the kids had finished weaving on.  Tina tied that warp onto the front bar, and they will be go to go today.
  What a busy day we had!!!

  They didn't bloom in time for last week's red blog, but they are making up for it this week!  The bee balm has started blooming!!!  I bought a small pot two years ago at the Lavender Festival, and this year they are making a big statement! 
  Did I know they would be over 36" tall?????

  We will be spinning on the ridge this Saturday....Tina has been busy with her fleeces, and I can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve!  I'll have to get the wheels dusted off (it's been awhile since I have used them!) and vacuum the kittie fur off the chairs.  It will be lots of fun!
Happy Weaving (and spinning!)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Prepare To DYE!

Sometime last year, I decided to get my own dyes for bamboo and whatever other cellulose fiber I might acquire.  I bought lots of colors, some Procion and some from Dharma trading.  I bought all the chemicals and protective gear and had a plan.
  But no nerve.  I was afraid to try it by myself, which is silly, considering I had four Tuesday Weavers dye days under my belt.  But there you are!  Sometimes the time just has to be right.
  And you know I'm not afraid of dyeing wool anymore, since I've blogged about that already, after dyeing a lot of wool for the new tapestry loom.
  Now that Lanny's order of Jagger Spun has come in, including my cone of Zephyr, that luscious wool-silk blend, I need to get busy dyeing.  Lanny wants to dye some Zephyr Tennessee Orange, that peculiar yellow-orange so omnipresent here.  I thought I might have some dyes we could combine to get it, but to make absolutely sure it's correct, I went to Dharma's website this morning, and found a color I think will be perfect.  It's called Florescent Safety Orange.  Isn't that lovely?  Doesn't it just make you want to burst out singing Rocky Top?
  This afternoon, I've been preparing the yarns I want to dye.  I tried winding a skein of the Zephyr on the skein winder, but that's pretty tedious.  I switched to the warping board for a skein of angora-merino blend, which is working better.  And I've been unwinding balls of a cotton-silk blend into skeins.  All those are for knitting, the finer stuff for lace shawls and scarves, and the thicker yarn for a sweater.
  I've got loads of warps wound already, most done in the early hours before work while drinking my first cup of coffee.  They are mostly carpet warp, but there's some bamboo in there, too, as well as a little merino 10/2.  The carpet warp is going to be my first rep weave project, which should be exciting.  Hand-dyed warp in a rug?  Ooh-la-la!
  On the loom, the blooming leaf in black on black is still chugging along.  I noticed I could see the pattern in the late afternoon sun, so I thought I would show you the detail.  I think it's my favorite from that warp.  And now that the warp is coming to an end, I'm leaping ahead mentally to plan what's next on that loom.  The fleece is almost all cut for shag rugs for Jennifer, and I've got some alterations to make to Tootsie before she gets weaving again.  What should go on Jenny?  Maybe some painted warps will be ready by then.  Or maybe I'll try some summer-winter, now that LouAnn has me thinking about those.  The fun is always in the planning, isn't it?
   I've been weaving a little, but mostly, in my spare time between work, gardening and Tuesday Weaving, I've been knitting.  I've gotten the cotton-silk cardigan body up to the armholes, so the sleeves are next.  I'm knitting them on two circular needles to get them done at the same time.  They're knitted in tubes, then put together with the sweater's body, then all is knitted up to the neck.  I've never done it before, so I'm excited to get to that part.

 Parting shot is of the side view of Lee's Surrender.  I am in love!  Does anyone know why the patten is called that?  I wonder...

While I research that, you weave on, dear readers!