Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Showing Off

After we eat lunch on Tuesdays, we have a little Show & Tell time.  This gives us the opportunity to share our "at home" weaving with the group.
  Cindy's summer learning project was Doubleweave, and you can see her mats there in front of us.  Needless to say....she learned a lot!!!  We all thought they were beautiful!


   Cindy was a little shyer about showing them off!!!

  Ms. Ila has been weaving scarves for the Fall shows.  These wool and ribbon yarn scarves were a big hit.

  Linda has been busy this summer, too.  She's been playing with her Cricket loom, and brought these two scarves for us to see.  We had a lively discussion about the smaller rigid heddle looms, which can be used in the car (when you aren't the driver!)


 Tina brought her new spinning wheel (that she blogged about on Friday.)  I didn't get a picture of all the folks sitting down to spin on that cute little wheel, but it was a big hit.

    And, of course, there was business as usual!

Pat helped Carl feed the blue jeans through the rag cutter.....yes.....more blue jean rugs!  They are great sellers!

 Lanny worked on hemming the towels that he wove.  

  The "Lindas" went to work on their looms:  rugs and placemats!

  "Pretty Maids All In A Row."

They really did weave today....don't let this picture fool you!

   The "back to front" weaving lesson continues for Andy.  Just another tool for the tool box!

  Christy's scarf warp is weaving up like a charm.

Lots of sharing.
Lots of laughter.
A little weaving!!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Northbound again!

I drove to Canada this past week. It's my annual trek north to visit with my family!!
Leaving early on Thursday was the only way that I could drive the 775 miles that I drove. Of course I stopped at Hancocks in Paducah. It's traditional that I stop there because the fabrics are just gorgeous!! They had some batiks on sale....I plan to sew a quilt using my batik collection....
Got as far as Platte City the first day. If you pretty much drive most of the day with just a few stops, you can easily get there. I think I stopped before 8pm and found a room at the Super 8 (again, as usual!)
The second day I drove only on I-29 heading north. The night before DH and I had both been on our computers looking for a room in Grand Forks. Normally I stop in Fargo because it's impossible to get a room in Grand Forks, especially on Friday evening!All those Canadians crossing the border to stop plus there was a car show (probably a bit like in  Forge on weekends!) However, we did find one at a Super 8. Price was kind of high but going that far meant that Saturday morning I wouldn't have to drive as far. So we took it and I drove the 649 miles to the motel.
When I opened the door to the room, in front of me was a king size bed and then I looked to the left and saw:
 I guess I got the honeymoon suite. Called my husband and we both had a huge laugh!! What a hoot! It was a huge room and nice. If we ever drive up together, that'd be a fun room to be in. The only down side was that the air conditioner blew right onto the pillows of the bed. You'd have gotten a cold from all that air! So I turned it off and opened the window. The weather this year has been amazingly wonderful!!
Then Saturday morning I crossed the border before 9am. My first stop was in Altona where my parents used to live. I thought about stopping to take a picture but it was too tricky. This weekend was the Sunflower Festival there and at 10am is the parade. So as I drove in there were alot of chairs already on the side of the street with some people already there, the rest waiting for their owners. This is a small town, 4 way stop kind of town. When the parade starts the town shuts down til it's over. I needed to get to the store to buy the Pioneer farmer sausage and New Bothwell cheese before it closed, and, get out of town before it started. So I didn't get a picture but you can imagine! It's a great little town and I love to drive through, but during the festival time it's not a good idea to stop. You'll be stuck awhile!
My other tradition is to drive to Steinbach to visit my high school friend Betty. We meet every year and she feeds me lunch. It's good to catch up. Then on to Winnipeg where some of my family lives. It's important to stay in contact with family and catch up with what's been going on in their lives. The drive was a short one, only 237 miles!
This first picture was on the way to my friend in Steinbach. It was my first glimpse of canola blooming. It's such a beautiful sight!
 Leaving yesterday afternoon from Winnipeg, I stopped at the side of the road to snap a picture of a field. It's hard to stop because often the farmers or someone has planted trees as a buffer near the highway but this was a good view.
 Just imagine field after field of glorious yellow flowers!
There were probably alot of other spots I could have stopped but if I was going to drive the 413 miles to Moose Jaw (and I only left at 1pm) then I needed to just drive!
So the total is over 2000 miles in 4 days with stops to visit good friends. I got to Moose Jaw about 7pm their time (9pm Knoxville time) and I'm ready to unload my van and stay awhile! It'll be interesting to see what happens the 3 weeks that I'm here!!
So, keep on weaving while I"m thinking about what to weave when I get back and I'll be helping my sister with our Mom.
Oh yeah, may end up having to pull out my jeans yet. It's a bit cool at times up here this year!!
Until next week..
hug your family!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

A whole lot going on!

There has been a whole lot of shifting going on at my house this week!  Things coming and things going.  For starters, I had decided that the light weight  loom in the hallway upstairs had to go!  We were having some people over, and I really wanted to put the laundry racks up there instead of in the family room.  The loom was being way under-utilized at my house, with the 6 other looms in residence, and I just knew that there was a weaver at the center that could put her to work!

She is a sweet little loom that needs a little bit of repair, though not much, just a few things I hadn't gotten around to.  I mentioned it at lunch on Tuesday, and Miss Ila chimed up that she would take it and use it for scarves!  We settled that I would load the loom up in the pick-up that very afternoon, and meet them ( daughter Ladonna too!)  at Miss Ila's house to unload.

 About the time I got home the skies opened up, and I phoned to say that I thought it might not be a good idea to try it today.  They agreed, and we left it at that.  About an hour later, the skies were clear, and I had the loom disassembled, and even though I couldn't get anyone on the phone I took my chances.  I got to the house and nobody was there, but I put the loom on the covered back porch, and headed home just as it started to sprinkle again!  (I still haven't talked to them, I bet they think I am crazy, but I am just a girl on a mission!)

I also mentioned at the Center on Tuesday that I was thinking about selling my Ashford Traditional, with a few extra bobbins and a lazy kate.  Ladonna said that she had been wanting to purchase a wheel for plying weaving yarns together, but she just couldn't justify the expense.  So in 2 weeks I will be taking the wheel to the center for Ladonna to try out for awhile to see if it does what she wants it to.  I she likes it she will purchase it and if not it will come back home to me, and I could either post it on Craigslist or keep it as a student wheel.

I have also put my Quill wheel for sale on Craigslist and on the spinners marketplace on Ravelry  It is a sweet little wheel, but with the 2 great wheels, I don't really need it!  It is fun to spin on, and you can spin using either your right or left hand to draw out the fibers, quite versatile really!

You might be asking yourself, "Why all the wheeling and dealing?"  Well, it is quite simple really, besides the downsizing of unused items, there is also the upgrading of a certain item.  I had been scanning the spinning forums on Ravelry, looking for a wheel more suited to the kind of spinning that I do.  I spin fairly fine singles and ply 2 or 3 of them together for the thickness I need.  The Traditional is okay for this, just a little slow, and it had developed a small clunk with each rotation.  I had tried the double treadle kit, which is supposed to fix that, but that didn't really fit my model for whatever reason, and it did not fix the problem!  (I will also be selling that Ashford double treadle kit, as soon as I replace some of the parts, like the footman connectors and the pin for the axle/hub connection.)

I was also keeping an eye on Craigslist, to see what was available within driving distance.  I found an Ashford Joy near Ashville, but that was sold by the time I contacted the seller.  Then, there was a Kromski Minstrel in Ashville for an unbelievable price!  I thought about it and decided to go to the boards on Ravelry and investigate this wheel.  Lo and behold, it popped up on the boards with comments like, "I can't believe nobody has pick up this wheel!"

I thought a few minutes, and I responded to the ad by email, to see if it was still available.  "Yes" came the reply, call Caryl at ________!  I thought about it again, for a few minutes, then I called.  The wheel once belonged to Arlene Armstrong,  and she used it during reenactment activities in a local fort.  She had died and left the wheel to her best friend, who had than passed it on to Caryl.

Caryl decided to sell the wheel when a medical need arouse in her local fiber community, and I am the lucky one who gets to contribute to the cause and take the wheel home!  We set up to meet at the Cracker barrel just west of Asheville.  I told her I would arrive about 11:00am, and that I would call her when I got there.

It was a beautiful day for a drive, and I roped Lou Ann into going with me.  We pulled up at the Cracker Barrel at 11:10, and I was just getting ready to call Caryl, when Lou Ann says, "I believe that is her right there!"

Sure enough, there was a car with a spinning wheel beside it!    You don't see that very often!  We pulled up and we had the meet and greet,  I placed the wheel close to my back seat so that I could try her out.    MMMMMMM! She spins like a dream!  Whisper quiet, multiple speeds at my fingertips, I am in love!  Lena (Arlene) was coming home with me!

We quickly took care of business, cause they had to go take Luna the standard poodle for a walk, and Lou Ann and I had to go sample some Cracker Barrel Breakfast for lunch!

We had planned to go to the Earth Guild before heading home, but there was a huge fair in town, so we decided that we would just have to come back another day to visit the shop, when downtown Asheville would be quieter.  We did not feel like fighting traffic and Crowds!

When we got back in town, I dropped Lou Ann at her house and headed home.  I have set Lena up in the family room, (no laundry now to clutter up the space! )  I began by oiling everything that should be oiled regularly, since I don't really know how long it has been since she was used.  Then I started spinning, and made my way through the various speeds, putting her through her paces so to speak.  I need to make a small adjustment to the drive band so that I can use the fastest speed, but other than that she is great.  There are a couple of things missing, like the orifice hook and the scotch tension set up, but that can easily be replaced.

 She is a beautiful wheel, and I think we have a long relationship ahead of us, demonstrating, teaching, and just plain spinning miles of yarn!

I had to stop spinning to post this before chores and dinner, so I only got about 5 rolags spun, but it was quite the experience.  This wheel can spin the flyer so much faster that the Ashford Traditional, that I could almost load the yarn on as soon as I had drafted out a length!   With the traditional, I would have to hold the length out there and treadle a bunch to make enough twist to hold the yarn together.  (I am sure that with a lace flyer the Traditional would have been much faster, but with the clunk noise, I chose to not upgrade.)

It will probably be tomorrow evening before I get a chance to spin anymore, I can hardly wait!

Until next time, Happy Weaving and Spinning, Tina

Thursday, July 25, 2013



  I walked in the Loom House at the Museum of Appalachia yesterday, and instantly remembered that I did NOT bring a broom.  The ancient weavers had been busy again during my absence. 
  And, look at all those leaves that got blown down behind the old spool rack!!!  This is right behind where I stand to weave on the rocker loom.

But, on closer inspection, I realized that this was actually a cleverly constructed nest.  The entrance is on the right side, and there was quite a collection of leaves, sticks and moss that made up this home.

  And, then I saw it....the down lined haven for little birds! 

  This mother wove this nest of nature's materials, laid her eggs and nurtured her young to maturity....all in the space of three weeks that I had been away.

  I didn't have the heart to remove the nest, although I did dispatch some of the webs that the other weavers had left for me!!!!

Next time I go, I must remember to take a broom!

I got the warp tied back on the loom, and started on a new rug.  I had a few visitors during the day, and they really seemed to enjoy hearing about this wonderful old loom.

  There were banjo and guitar players on the porch of the house next to me, so it was truly an enjoyable day!

  I must make a confession:  I stopped at my favorite yarn store on the way to the Museum yesterday.  Sandy had posted on Facebook about a new shipment of a yarn made from recycled blue jeans....and I wanted to check that out!  Clinch River Yarn Co. is a dangerous place for fiber lovers...just let me put that out there! 
  Marie, also a Tuesday Weavers, was working yesterday morning, and she showed me the basket of these lovely yarns.  Two skeins of Riveting Worsted followed me home, as well as a skein of Colorando multicolored yarn to use for a accent.
  And, SURPRISE, a new shawl pin just happened to catch my fancy, too! 

Life sure is full of wonderful surprises, don't you think!
Happy Weaving!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Who Was Johann D?

When you look through Marguerite Porter Davison's book for patterns, chances are you will see several from Johann D.  I count five in the index.  Dear Johann was quite talented, from looking at his drafts.  Who was he?  How did Marguerite get his drafts?  I find Marguerite fascinating, and would love to know more about her, as well.  Her book was my first introduction into the mysteries of weaving, of drawing up plans and the history of day-to-day home weaving.  She wrote it and self-published it just for weavers like us, for us to have an almost never-ending resource of inspiration and direction.  It's my guide book, my dream inducer, my jumping-off point for four-shaft weaving.
  Notice, too, on this draft, that she notated "Adapted to Johann Scheelein's No. 198."  Who was he?  He also has several drafts in her book, but not 198.  Handweaving.net shows nothing under his name.  A quick Google search shows nothing but dead ends.  Obviously, I'm not the only who's Googled him!  
  These men and women featured in Davison's book designed and left behind drafts for us to follow, but what are their stories?  Were they professional weavers?  Were they home weavers, making textiles for friends and family, maybe a little left over to sell--like us--to pay for more yarn?  Did they have living rooms and spare bedrooms and dining rooms full of looms?  
  Whatever their stories or their weaving paths, they gave us inspiration and jumping off points for our projects today.  In a time of instant gratification and electronic connections from one end of the world to the other, people like Marguerite and the Johanns, Florence House, Leroy Appleton, Margaret Bergman, Mary E. Black, and all the others in her magical book left us patterns to dream on and build on, to make things with our hands and from our hearts.
  Johann D's pattern of Swedish lace will be my next adventure, using the hand-dyed warp Lanny made of tencel, and various wefts that I find in my stash to make scarves.  One might be a gift for a loved one, and the other two will go into a sale, and I will pass on Johann D's beautiful pattern.  He will live on long after his shuttle has gone quiet.
Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

YES....It's Tuesday!

We often get visitors in the Studio on Tuesdays....they venture downstairs when they hear all the noise.  One of today's visitors came to find out more about her coverlet that has been passed down to her.  According to an email she received from her cousin, Freda Satterfield found out that it was woven by a great-great grandmother around 1840 in Texas.  We were able to give her the name of some books she might like to check out at the library for further information.  She is truly blessed to have this wonderful gift from the past.

  Andy is making progress on her first back to front warp.  (And, you know that this is NOT her very first warp....just learning a new way!)  It's a good idea to try new methods when you're weaving.  We're always learning new things!

  Several of us worked together to get the 17 yard warp on Carl's barn loom.  That wool sure was sticky....and the warp chain looked like a big ole anaconda under the loom!!!!  But, the warp was wound on before lunch, which means that Carl got it tied on the front apron right after lunch!

  During lunch, LaDonna shared some of her tips for weaving scarves, especially with some of the new painted warps.

Tina brought her newly completed handspun.  She took the Tour deFleece very seriously.

  Ann brought two completed projects from home, too.  The shawl on the left is bamboo, while the shawl on the right was woven on her rigid heddle loom on vacation.

Bonnie was able to be with us today, and she worked on one of the warp dyed shawls that she completed earlier.

Tina and Ann took some time after lunch to move some of the "stuff" that had accumulated back around the barn looms.  For some reason, the paint buckets were stored back there, too!

  Ms. Ila just started a new scarf.  She's using hand dyed angora for the weft....isn't that a great pattern!

  Shirley has her new warp threaded.....she'll be sleying the reed next week and probably start weaving.  I'm looking forward to seeing what pattern she's using!

  Carol is getting ready for her summer trip to visit her family.  She has lots of last minute instructions for us!  (I think she was reminding us not to do too much de-stashing in the Annex!!!!)

Did we promise anything????
Never fear....we'll carry on just fine.

Happy Weaving!

Monday, July 22, 2013

July Guild Fair

I'm a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, so I do the 2 Guild Fairs that they put on each year. The first is in July. It's always the week after the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Convention. Of course I'm tired but really, I"m used to it, so Wednesday we headed over to set up for the show. DH comes with me to help get the lights right. Then he heads back home to work another day before joining me again for the weekend (to help take those lights down!). The show runs Thursday through Sunday.
My primary view this time was looking at the Haywood Community College Professional Crafters program booth. It's a 2 year school for crafters learning their craft plus how to be business people. Each day there were different people manning the booth. Kind of nice not to have to be there the whole time but once they do just their own work, they'll be there the entire time like us old people!
 The other main direction I was looking at was this view. Woodworkers, metalworker, mixed media plus in the left corner of the space where you see the multi colored drapes...well, that's where the music was. I've been closer but thankfully not this time. They've also toned the music down some so it wasn't as bad as it was say, ten years ago!! I've been at  the other end of the room for a lot of years now so moving back to this area was new for me.
 The other direction was another chair guy and also leather, gorgeous, soft, colorful handbags! They were to die for. There were 4 chair makers in my general area. It's kind of weird how they plan where they put us. All the fiber people were in my general area as well this time.
 So my booth.
 It's always a colorful booth. The lights are tough to get just right and then taking pictures isn't the easiest either.
 Remember those painted warps I did? Well, here are a few of those vests all ready for new homes!
I did sell several of them and others have or are heading to shops that will sell them. It's always nice to move things on to other venues to sell if I don't get them sold at the show.
Again, I came home with empty rubbermaids so know that I'll be working hard once I get back from Canada to get ready for the October show. It's only 3 months away!
Today I'll be finishing up paperwork, etc from this show, figuring out what to take back to the Center for display and just putting things away. Then packing.
Thursday I'll be heading north to Canada again. I'll have my van packed (already got an oil change this morning!) and my trip tik in hand!
So hopefully I'll be able to post from there again. I don't plan to get back down here til nearly the end of August. In talking to my sister last night, looks like it's going to be an interesting time with company and projects planned!
Until then, keep weaving for me!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Happy Campers?

 I didn't make it to Weaving on Tuesday.  I was busy getting ready to introduce my daughter and her family to camping, and there is a lot of prep work involved!  Well truthfully, the kids have camped with us, and her husband has been camping before, but not daughter #1.

We arrived at Elkmont campground early Wednesday afternoon, and had our camp set up, just in time to help them with their's when they arrived.  I only took a couple of photos of our trip, and they really do not tell the whole story!

 We had a wonderful time, hiking, biking and playing in the water.  It is just that every night around dinner time, the sky opened up with a deluge!

The first night we had just finished dinner when it started, so we nixed the campfire, and smores and we all went to bed a little early.
The second night, the rain started just a little earlier, and was finished soon after we had eaten.  We coaxed a fire out of a soggy fire pit, and we were able to enjoy those smores, and then something called funky fire.  You put it in the flames after you have finished with the smores, and they make all sorts of unusual colored flames.  Then we pulled out the glow sticks and watched the kids dance all over the campsite!

The next morning the kids took off for home, and Dear One and I stayed one more night.  Once again, it poured during dinner, and then tapered off.  I am glad I make sure I have options for meals.  What I had planned would not have worked with all that rain, so we went with plan B.

We are now back home, and everything is almost put away.   Sure it is true, those pictures don't say it all, or do they!  They do tell you that that family is a bunch of troopers!  Settled in around a roaring campfire, in the rain!

Until next time, Happy Weaving and Spinning, Tina