Monday, September 30, 2013

Love that Color!

This past week I wove my 2 painted warps. The first one I'd painted with shades of green and brown. The 3 wefts were all different. This first one was done in shades of brown which showed the browns very well.

 The second vest was done in shades of green. There is a bit of teal in there. I couldn't help myself. It is a green!!

 The last skein I'd painted with pretty much what was left over so had shades of green, brown, purple, red etc. I like the way this one looked as well. Kind of livened it up!

 The second warp was painted with shades of purple and blues. So the first weft was shades of blue.

 The second shades of purple.

 When I was deciding what to dye the skeins with, I knew I had to do something with a color called bubblegum. I'd picked it up at Yarn Barn in Kansas when I was there in June and I couldn't wait to try it. So this one was really shades of different pinks. It's going to be a really cheerful vest!!

 The fabric's all been woven, washed, cut, serged and assembled. I'm in the process of sewing all the buttons on the vests now and will start the handwork this week.

So, this past weekend DH and I drove up to Muhlenberg County in Kentucky, to Central City. The National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame is up there in the Merle Travis Center. We had a great time. Friday evening was the awards evening with people being inducted into their Hall of Fame. We were honored to present the award to friends, Jim and Diane Miller who were awarded for being huge promoters for the music. They live in Canada and come down to our convention and help me with registration but they also have encouraged alot of people to come to both our convention and the one in Kentucky. The performances Friday and Saturday evening were great. They usually surprise us with great performers. This year they included Mark Thornton and Bobby Bare. The Saturday evening concert was a tribute to Chip Young who unfortunately couldn't make it. You've heard his guitar as background to alot of music from the 60s, etc and his influence in how music was played but most people don't know his name.
A big part of the weekend is the contest  with people all trying for the International Home of the Legends Thumbpicking Championship. This year was like all of them, a ton of talent. In the end it was Dan Bankhurst who won this guitar. It's obvious that these guys practice alot! They don't just copy what others play but arrange songs as well and make it their own. Dan'll be playing at our convention next summer in his own time slot.
So that was my week. I've got a warp already wound just waiting to go on the loom. This one is shades of dark blue mostly called indigo. I can't wait to see how it weaves up.
Until next week, keep weaving!!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Too Much Sugar

Happy gluten-free cupcakes
You know that feeling, when you want one more cookie, chocolate, candy, bite of cake, and you know you shouldn't eat it?  You know it'll just send your blood sugar into over drive and make you skitter around the world.  But you go ahead.  And you wish you could take it back, almost immediately.
Toaster Tarts and Peanut Butter Cookies
 Well, that's how my life is, right now.  Sugar, sugar, everywhere!  Six days of baking things people don't need!  But want.  They want them because they make them happy.  And that's what I do, after all.  I make people happy.
  I've even learned how to make people who can't have gluten in their diets happy.  It's easy, really.  Substitute the flour with some of the many gluten free flours now available, and add xanthan gum, a bacteria that mimics the stick-to-it-iveness of gluten, and Voila!  A delicious cake!  Or cookie.  It doesn't work quite the same with bread.  But I don't really make bread for a living, so I don't have to cross that frontier.
Miles of chocolate cupcakes
  Jeffrey Steingarten wrote a lovely article in this month's Vogue magazine about the gluten free craze that's worth a read, if you're thinking about going gluten free.  I like a friend's term better:  gluten light, in which you simply consume less bread.  Kind of borrowing on Adkin's diet, but dressing it up in new clothes!
  I've learned a lot about baking for vegans, too, but I don't try as hard, I confess.  People who can't have gluten can die from eating gluten.  Vegans almost always choose to be vegan.  It's said to be helpful in cancer treatment, but that is just a theory.  That's really the only reason I know of to be vegan. 
  To bake for vegans, I have to use all sorts of chemically produced ingredients.  The taste and color and texture of things are never quite right.  But this week, I developed a vegan pastry "cream."  Tofu, powdered sugar, flavor and xanthan gum.  Blend to a fluffiness and let it set up for a few minutes.  If I put enough flavor in it, I can almost tell it doesn't have tofu in it! 
Friday at Flour Head means lots of cupcakes!
  All of which has left me no time to weave.  I've even had to buy my friends' wedding gift, having given up for the time being on the place mat warp. It still sits sadly draped over Tootsie, ignored.  Even as I write this, I'm getting ready for another day of bread and cupcakes. 
  So, do me a favor, dear reader:  Weave for at least a couple minutes this week for me!  Happy Weaving!

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I was so excited when I read the comments from Tuesday's blog:
  Hi Tuesday Weavers, - We - from Denmark - visited you in 2012, felt very welcome and bought a few things e.g. made by Carl.
Just to let you know that I have joined my own Danish Tuesday Weavers by now, and bought 2 weaving looms. Great inspiration to visit you. Thanks to you all.

  Annie and her husband visited the Appalachia Arts Craft Center in June 2012.  I remember that she had a lot of questions, and was really interested in the looms.  I guess we made an impression!!!!   Congratulations, Annie!!!  Welcome to the Wide World of Weaving!!!!  It was a joy meeting you.  And, believe me, you will never be bored with weaving...there's too much to weave, and never enough time!

  I know I feel a little thrill when I see that Ms. Pat in Barnesville, GA, has visited the blog, too.  And, I always love to read comments from Theresa from out in the great northwest!  (She's just another one of us fiber-addicts!)  And, where in the world is Marta these days.  I was just thinking about her................
  Surely, we meet the greatest people in this weaving world!

  Around here, I'm still in major prep mode.  I have washed four full loads of flat folds to use for rugs and tote bags.  This load is out of the dryer and ready to be folded.

And, here is a stack that has been washed, dried and folded.
  Now, I just need to pair them up, sew them together and roll them through the rag cutter.  Sounds simple, huh? 

  You should also know that it is one of those almost perfect Fall days outside......the sun is shining, the squirrels are fussing in the trees, the birds are flitting from branch to branch.  The humidity is low and there's just a hint of a breeze blowing some of the leaves from the trees.

  I'm thinking I would like to take my book out to the porch and read for a wee bit....just while the sun is still shining.  I can always sew strips and weave tonight.  After all, Big Bang Theory and Elementary are on tonight.  
  Yes, that sounds like a plan.
Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It's All A Blur

  Although Carl and I were on time (a couple of minutes early, actually) the weaving studio was already  buzzing with activity. 
  Pat is de-stashing at her house, and brought in some patterns that were up for dibs.  (I'll admit I found a few that looked interesting!)  It's amazing how many of us still sew.....when we have time!  Or...maybe, we need to make some time to sew again.

  Then, it wasn't long until Shirley had set up her station to distribute 8/4 cotton that she had picked up at Great Northern while she was up there.  The orders written on little pieces of paper were gathered up and the totals were given.  She saved us a lot of $$ in shipping.  Thank you, Shirley!!!!

  We had several visitors in the studio today.  This Mom and daughter stopped by the Center and came downstairs to see what the hub-bub was all about.  Mom just might decide to learn to weave.
  Marie did a great job answering all her questions.

  Earlier we had some visitors that looked all around the studio, but seemed to be very interested in the rug that Carl was weaving.  

Linda is back from her cruise, and got right back to work on her rug warp.

Ann is finally to the end of the burlap stash to use for rugs.  I wonder if we'll recognize her without the mask???? 

Pat got busy winding a warp with the thread she plied last week.  I can't wait to see what this becomes!!!

Betsy and Marie were really busy weaving on the back row.  Marie is almost to the end of that warp that Bonnie started.

Judy and Allan joined in to help Ms. Ila wind on her shawl warp on the Mighty Wolf.  This is one of the warps that got painted a few weeks ago.

  And, our new weavers, Karin and Julia, are weaving away on their first warps.  I'm not sure they are used to having their pictures taken each week!

I do think that Julia has figured out that we like to eat.....she made banana bread for the weavers today, and it didn't last very long!!!!  Thank you, Julia!!!

Now for the Show & Tell portion of our program:

Linda made these runners from men's ties.  She's going to use them as gifts for her family.  Too cute!!!

Eiko has been busy at home, too.  She made this tencel scarf woven in a lace pattern that is just too soft to be believed!!!!!

  And, these are Ms. Ila's scarves that she cut off the Pup last week.  The warp is wool/silk blend and the weft was angora.  They are a delight to touch.

I'll leave you with this shot of busy....because that best describes the studio today. 

Happy Weaving!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Making Lemonade...

I had some really nice, kind of blue gray yarns plus a few balls of an accent yarn that had grey and pink in it. Problem was, I only had a couple of cones of that blue gray for weft but didn't want to order any more right now. So, I still wound a long warp and wove some pieces with the blue gray.
 My camera's not the best so it's hard to get a close up but you can see the pink in the warp. The gray has a bit of a blue tinge to it and makes it look nice.
 Since I only had enough weft for half the warp, I wove the rest with black. It makes for a different look to the pieces.
 You still get the pink and gray but the black makes it all darker. It'll make the pieces look different even if they are from the same warp.
It'll be interesting to see which pieces sell first. Which ones will people be attracted to? I've got just a few weeks until the show and I'll have them finished by then so will see how they sell!!
I'm about to put the first of the painted warps I did onto the loom. The goal this week is to weave both warps and maybe have a third one on the loom by the weekend. The warps are short, just enough for 3 vests each.  I've got the skeins of weft wound into balls and ready to fill bobbins! Should be a fun and colorful week of weaving!!
Until next week, hope you're weaving with colors that you really enjoy!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Catching Up

  This was the view from my doorway last weekend at the Museum of Appalachia.   The iron kettle was full of sassafras tea, and the hint of wood smoke was present all over the grounds.  There were musical groups performing on the main stage all day long, which was delightful.  The "Porch Players" were also performing at the cabin nearby. 
  You can see the tents set up by the different antique dealers on the many wonderful items to look at!!

  This was the tent with the most textiles....don't you love their method of display!!!!  And, that changed a lot throughout the day.  Many of the dealers had pieces of coverlets, which always makes me sad.  But, I always love to look at the different patterns.
  It seemed strange today when I was at the tents......just a few folks from time to time.  There was a school group from Chattanooga, which was interesting.  (If we could only bottle some of their energy, we would all be rich!!!)

  Momma peafowl did her best to keep her clutch out of their way!  There are about five chicks in her brood, and they follow her around over the grounds.

  These are the rugs that I have cut off of the Rocker Loom at the Museum.  I still need to tie the fringes, but I should get some done tonight.  There is still one more rug left on the loom, and then I'll be putting on a new warp.  I can wind a longer warp now that the humidity is lower!!!!

  Fall has arrived here in East Tennessee, and spending the day at the Museum is almost heaven!!!  I met a couple from Australia today.  She learned to weave in Taos, New Mexico, and was really interested in the old Rocker Loom.  You just never know who you will meet when you start to weave!

  Enjoy this wonderful Fall weather...
Happy Weaving!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I am taking a class on becoming "unblocked" as an artist, based on the book called The Artist's Way, by Julie Cameron.  We talked tonight a lot about synchronicity, and how it seemed to several of us that taking the class didn't start things to unfold to us artistically, but seemed to coincide with things opening up to us. 
  I haven't felt particularly blocked in any way artistically.  Rather, too much comes at me at once.  The things I want to do get in the way of other things I want to do.  I want to knit, write, weave, plant, sew and go hiking.  I have so many interests, finding the time for them all is the problem.  I have only recently begun to write, and writing it has opened up so many other things to me.
  Yesterday, I asked a few people about what weaving magazines and books would have been available to someone in the mid 1960's to early 1970's, and LouAnn was quickly digging out all the possibilities for me.  She pulled out Mary Meigs Atwater's autobiography-turned-biography by Mary Jo Reiter and Veronica Patterson.  Mrs. Atwater helped enormously in the revival of hand weaving in the 1910's and 1920's, teaching weaving first as occupational therapy to returning soldiers from World War I, then to people in need of income, as well as people simply interested in learning to weave. 
  Of course, we know she made a huge impact on what we weave and how we weave today.  But that was simply one chapter in her fascinating life.  If you haven't read it, please do.  She herself said that it was as though she had led nine lives, so varied and adventurous.
  I don't know if any of that will make it into my own story, but I'm glad I read it.  And that's half the fun of it.  I have spent the last two weeks immersed in studying Prescott, Arizona in the early 1970's, remembering some, but using the internet and my mother's memories to make my story's setting accurate.  Probably not even one-fourth of what I've researched will end up in the story, but oh!  the fun I've had doing it!
  It's the serendipity of it all, of life, really, that keeps things interesting.  We go down a path, thinking we know where we're going, and ending up in a completely different place.  Sometimes the surprise is unpleasant and we're determined not to enjoy it, but somehow, sometimes, it grows on us.  We find we've settled into it.  And soon, then, it will change.
  I've given into the idea of warping the huck weave placemats front to back, reverting to my old ways.  And as soon as I remember how to get started, I will!  And maybe I'll like that better and not go back!  Or maybe I'll learn a new way to do it altogether.  Either way, I'll be happy, weaving.  I hope you will be, too!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Weaving As Usual

  Well....not everyone was weaving!  Pat is still working on plying the fine cotton together to use in a warp.  You can see the four flavors of green on the cone holder....lovely!!!!

  Marie and Eiko needed to wind more bobbins for their projects.  The additional bobbin winder has come in so handy!!!

Those are Carol's hands working on the stack of finished placemats.  They will go upstairs for now, but they just might go to the Fall Homecoming!
  And, then there are strips to cut and finish work to complete!

  Linda popped in long enough to finish up a placemat that she had started last week.  Carol needs to weave several mats on that warp this afternoon. 
  Cindy's towels are going great....and they are super nice!

Carl got some more woven on another blue jean rug before he had to stop and cut more strips. 

   Lanny and Allan are in deep problem solving mode.  Come to find out, they are working on a lace pattern from Davison. 

Just wait until they start threading!!!

  I couldn't resist....another picture of Ann with her mask on!!!!!  That burlap sure makes a pretty rug, though!

  Carol checked on her new weavers, and everyone is coming along nicely.

  Ms. Ila finished her warp of merino/silk scarves.  They feel wonderful!!!  I heard her say that she's going to work on shawls next.

And, there you see it.....Ann has started organizing us for the Fall Homecoming!!!!  You know we mean business when the chart stand comes out!!!!!

  Maggie made sweet potato pie at the Museum she ordered a slice with her lunch today!!!!  Doesn't that look heavenly!!!!!  (I had a slice of her chess pie.....yum!)

Another day of weaving and good there anything better?

Happy Weaving!