Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday, already?

Where did the week go? It's been busy and sure flew by. Our daughter moved into a bigger apartment this weekend. Thankfully she stayed in the same building and actually, on the same floor. I'm so glad we didn't have to deal with the elevator on top of everything else!! However, the building she is in is large and she had been on one end of the floor and moved clear over to the other end. It's a long trip! With the help of our dollies, we were were able to do it. Of course, we tried to do it with one set of boxes so she packed, he hauled and I unpacked. She has a mess to organize now but we're done! That's where my week went!!

On the loom now is a fun warp of navies with a bit of purple in there. It's a long warp, about 20 yards, and I had hoped to finish it by now but  at least it's on its way! I am enjoying the color play of the warp and the variegated yarn I'm weaving with. 
I think I may wind some solid navy onto bobbins and weave a couple of pieces with that, to see how it looks. I'll let you know how it turns out! 
My schedule this week is nuts and I may not have a chance to weave at all the rest of the week.

 The warps we dyed are dry and off the rack but before I took them off, I took a picture. The warp on the left side is mostly shades of purples and blues. Next to it is one of mostly blues. Then the right half of the picture is a warp and then a big skein. I had just a bit of purple dye left so I mixed some black in the cups and used them. Then I mixed all 4 blacks individually, to see how they would work. The skein on the right is just blacks. It's interesting to see how one black might have a bit of blue in it or purple. The picture is a bit lighter than the real colors.
I am looking forward to weaving the painted warps soon. I'm not sure where they are in my list of production but they are near the top. I found some balls of painted weft in my stash that will work with the warps so they are ready to go!

We've got another dye day planned so I'm winding more skeins and warps for that! Should be a fun day again.
Until next week, I hope you have more time to weave than I'm having!!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

What's New, Pussy Cat?

This handsome young man has turned 13 today, and he is about to share a celebratory can of tuna with his bud, Weftie.  Aldo Leopold Davidson, aka Leo is my favorite orange kitty, and I hope to have him laying around on weaving and knitting for a long time yet to come.
This week, I've finished the shag rug, but only because I ran out of the fleece I've been using to make it.  It's bright and cheerful, and I am sending to my sister for her bright and cheerful bathroom.  I wasn't ready for it to end, but all good things must, and will make way for what comes next.
Jennifer's warp is tied back on, and it looks as though there's enough warp for a couple more rugs.  I've picked out some earth tones for the next rug.  There's no recipient in mind, but I saw a photo in an old issue of Shuttle, Spindle and Dye Pot that made me think about how to make more than just stripes in my shag rugs.  I'll keep you posted as it progresses.

 The tapestry is hard to photograph in the late afternoon, which is when I always think of snapping it, but I think you can at least see there's been progress in the leaves.  I just saw on Tommye Scanlon's blog,, how to attach the cartoon to the back of my tapestry.  I will try it on my next day off.  I'm about to start the rose, and am excited/intimidated/scared, but will march on!  I know I can do it!  It's just the starting doing I need.

And another hurdle I've set for myself this week is to decipher the mystery of Rep Weave.  I have read everything I can find, and think I'm ready to jump in.  I wound the alternate color to be threaded with the hand dyed warp, and have selected the other bands of color to go with it.  They just need winding on the warping board, and then, I'm going in!  Wish me luck!

Well, my week is full of all this, and garden building, too, so stay tuned!  Have a glorious week, and Happy Weaving!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Field Trip

It wasn't our field trip, we were part of the field trip!  Lou Ann and I made our way this morning, once again, to the Museum of Appalachia.  There was a school group coming in, and we like nothing more than talking to fresh young faces and finding fellow fibre junkies that are just getting started.

On our way to the Peter's Cabin we ran into a batch of ewes with their lambs.  Well actually, we saw the ewes and wondered where their lambs were.  We had just put our cameras away when we heard the thundering of hooves behind us.  Here came half dozen lambs that had just realized that it was time for second breakfast!

On our way to the cabin we also found a big flock of peacocks and hens.  All during the day the boys were strutting their stuff and the girls could have cared less!

We settled into our cabin, with the fire blazing in the fireplace.  This fireplace has been our treasured companion this past winter.  We would get as close as we could safely sit, and we were thankful for it!  Today however, we found ourselves moving the chairs away from the fire a bit.  We kept it going to keep the dampness away, and to encourage visitors to come and sit a minute with us.

On the porch outside, our peacock stood on guard, just to make sure that things were going as they should.  As I uploaded this picture, I realized I got a shot of Lou Ann as she was returning from a trip to the loom house with visitors.
Lou Ann made several trips to the loom house today, but while she was in the cabin with me, she worked on a few more linen heddles for the loom house loom, and she also showed several kiddos how an Inkle loom works.

I don't think you can tell it from the photos, but it rained off and on all day.  I did not want to get one of my old spinning wheels wet, so I brought  a bag full of fiber and spindles.  One of my projects is a little unusual.  This year, I have been researching Nigor fiber goats.  That would be a cross between Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats, and Angora fiber goats.  I will be getting a little one shortly, but I got to thinking about the little bits of fluff that my Nigerian Dwarfs have for their winter protection.  I had noticed it last year, but it was too late to harvest the fluff, cause it was almost all gone.

This year, I kept an eye on it, and as soon as the fluff started letting go, I combed it out instead of letting the birds get it.  From my big mamma goat I got a gallon sized ziploc bag of fluff, and from the smaller daughter goat, I got a quart sized bag.

Mamma's fluff was gray/brown/white, and daughters fluff was white.  I found that the fibers were no more than 1 3/4 inches long, so I chose to spin them on one of my support spindles.  Today, I was ready to ply the singles into a yarn with 2 plies.

The photo cannot begin to tell you just how soft this yarn is!  I have a scant 100yds of very fine yarn.  I suppose I may get 30 yds of the white fleece.  I am not sure what I am going to do with it, I will probably have to knit some lace with it, or maybe weave something with it, adding other yarns as well.
I could possible wait until next year and harvest that fleece too, but by then I should have at least one Nigora goat to comb out.  That fleece is much longer fiber, and much easier to spin.  I probably won't want to fool with the short fibers.

That was today in a nutshell.  Before you know it, it was almost 4pm!  We don't usually stay that long!  Once I got home, I skeined the fiber that I had plied, and I washed it.  In the picture it is still a little wet, so not quite as fluffy as it will be shortly.

I finished 3 blankets this week, I am liking the new pattern very much, and 2 of the 3 blankets are already spoken for.  I have an order for another boy blanket for next week.  I think I will be sad when I come to the end of this warp after all.   Let's see, when I finish this 40 yd warp it will make 120 yds of baby blanket warp I have gone through.  That is a lot of baby blankets!

I'll get these ironed, tagged and inventoried by Monday, then out they go!

That is all for now, we have a big basketball game on tonight.  The Tennessee Vols have made it to the Sweet 16, and we will be watching!

Until next time, Happy Spinning and Weaving, Tina

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I Apologize, Marie!

  Just as we were packing up to leave the Center on Tuesday, Eiko held up this book and asked if anyone wanted to buy it.  She had double ordered, and had this extra copy.  Before anyone else could even look twice, I announced, "Sold!"
  Marie didn't even have time to turn around, and I was paying Eiko! 
  One of my biggest challenges in doing mixed fiber warps is what to use for the weft.  I can create beautiful warps, but when I start to weave, it doesn't weave like I thought it would in my mind.  And, I had seen this book offered before, and it sounded like it might help me out with my short comings.

I haven't had time just yet to dive in, but I have thumbed through the pages, and I think this might give me some insights into doing my mixed fiber warps.  So...Marie.....I'm sorry I grabbed this book before you could even look at it.  You can borrow it....OK?
  And, speaking of Tuesday....would you believe that we had snow flurries the rest of the afternoon???  In fact, at one point, my yard was covered with snow!  Then the sun came out and it all melted away.  But, then it began to flurry again.  This went on the rest of the afternoon!  The sad part is that the temps dropped down into the 20's and nipped those beautiful blossoms on the ornamental magnolia.  Now, all those blooms are brown blobs on that tree.  Oh well.....I got to enjoy that beautiful color for a week, so I won't complain (too much!)
  The spreadsheets are done, and it's time to pack away all those receipts.  The accountant will give me the news this afternoon....but, tax time is done for this year.  Just maybe.......I will get to spend some quality time with my looms.
Keep your fingers crossed.....
Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Flurry Of Activity!

  Yes, they heard something going on downstairs at the Center, and popped on down to find out what was happening!  Fiber Folks!!!!
  Glendori (on the left) is visiting her friend, Judy, and they were out for the day looking around.  What they found was a bunch of weavers just doing what they do best!!!!

Along with weaving, Marie was busy putting together a "new" table.  The old one was creaky and wobbled....this one is sturdy!  It also seats more people at lunch time!!!!  It was in place before you could shake a lamb's tail!!!!

  The ladies on the back row were super busy today.

 Carl was finishing up the rug he had started.  The plan was to cut off the two rugs on the loom so that Judy could take her daughter's rug home today.

Once off the loom and cut apart, Judy got to work tying the fringes for the rug.

Pat was able to be with us today, and she was hard at work on her coverlet warp.

  Our after lunch "Show & Tell" was super busy today:

Betsy had her very first scarf project on her Cricket Loom.

Bonnie brought her scarf project, too!

Judy had her wool scarf she made from the New Zealand wool she bought on her trip.

Eiko brought several of her projects that she has finished at fact, these are the articles that helped her jury into the Foothills Fine Craft Guild in weaving.  (Congratulations, Eiko!!!!)

  Jocelyn is taking a close look at Eiko's ikat's really lovely!

Sharon participated in her first Dye Day, and created these wonderful warps. 

   Take a look at the colors in this warp!!!!!

Ms. Ila takes the prize for the LONGEST warp dyed last weekend:  14 yards!!!!  This will be for shawls.  She also dyed 4 different skeins to use for weft.

  Tina brought her baby blankets that she has been working on at home.  She is really enjoying playing with the pattern design and colors.

So....what do our weavers do when they're at home?????   Now we know!!!!
  With all the snow flurries in the area, this week will be a good time to just stay in and weave some more!!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Dye Day

Friday was dye day!! I always look forward to those days at the center because we have so much fun, especially when there are new people joining us!! There were only 7 of us this time. Ila, Marie and I had done this before. Karin, Bonnie, Sharon and Julia hadn't! So Ila gave them a crash course on what to do and we all chipped in to help each other make it work.
I always have images of myself stopping frequently, taking off my gloves and snapping pictures of what people are doing with their warps.
Truthfully, I took that first picture before we started. Then a good hour or so later, Tina dropped by for a moment and I had to take off my gloves then to get what she needed. So, right there was my camera and I went around the room snapping pictures. That was that!!
I'm not sure whose warp this is, but it will be nice. Don't you love the sopping up rag? If you soak cotton fabric in soda ash like you do the warps, then dry them, you can use them to absorb the excess dye and later these will be cut up and used in placemats or rugs!

 I know this is Sharon wrapping the skein she'd dyed in the plastic where it sat for a day or so before she rinsed it out.
 Ila had a long shawl warp she spent a long time working on, using grays, oranges and brown to make a fascinating warp. I know that LouAnn will take pictures of it later when it's on the loom and she's weaving the different shawls! It was a long warp too, kind of cumbersome to rinse out!
 I was in the middle of a blues warp. All shades of blue.
We were there til 4pm and everyone chipped in to clean up. Bonnie even vacumned! We all took warps and skeins home to rinse as well. I'm sure everyone had a fun time getting them done.
Tomorrow some of them will come back to the center with the dry skeins and warps! Then we'll all get to see what was done.
Me, I'm about to head back to the studio to weave my navy warp. I will have pictures of my drying skeins next week. I'm thinking I'll wind a few more warps now so I'm ready for the next dye day. Guess we'll have to schedule one again soon. It's fun to mess with colors, see what we can put together and how it all works out in the end!! And what doesn't work as well. I had inherited a fair amount of white fabric, quite wide too. I suspected it wasn't all cotton so had ripped off a section of it, soaked it in soda ash and brought it to use to absorb excess dye. Well, in rinsing it out, it took some of the dye but just barely. Yup, some synthetic in that fabric. So, either use it as it or dye it with something else. We'll see what ends up happening to it!
Until next week, keep weaving!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Pretty in Pink

I finished the baby blankets I posted about last week.  They were washed dried and ironed, then they were inventoried, and tagged.  I delivered them over the weekend, and was pleased that the new design was received very well.  I returned to the studio on Monday, and started on my second new blanket, but this time it will be for a baby girl.

This baby girl has already been born, so I better get a move on!  You can see the 4 colors I chose to work with.

Tulip is the main color, Daffodil is between the Tulip and the Purple, and the overshot design is in Limestone on a natural background.

Once I am past the pattern, I reverse the contrast colors and start the main colored center panel.  I was quickly to the other side of the blanket.  I finished with an overshot border on the other end, framed once again in the contrast colors, and I was done!

I quickly picked the colors for the next blanket and went to work,  this blanket will be for my inventory. 

For this second blanket, the main color is Old Rose, with Limestone, Jade and Purple as contrast colors.   I don't think you can see it in the pictures, but the Old Rose has a slightly coral tone, where the Tulip is PINK!

Once I have finished this one, I will do 2 blankets with blue themes.  One will be for a baby that is already born, and one will be for my inventory.   I love this new design!  The sky is the limit as far as color goes, and I can use up all the little bits and pieces of 8/4 that I have on hand.

A fresh design has given me a fresh outlook on an old project.  Whew, I don't have to rethread after all!

Until next time, Happy Weaving and Spinning, Tina

Thursday, March 20, 2014

....and don't let the screen door hit you on the way out!!!!

I'm ready for the Big Dance!
   No, no, no.....not basketball!  Spring begins today, and I'm ready to dance in the sunshine!!!  And, we actually have some sunshine to dance in, thank goodness!  I don't care if the neighbors think I have finally gone around the bend....I want to celebrate the end of this winter!
  (I saw the projected forecast for next week, and I think that winter might try to make an end run, but, surely that will be short lived!)

 I went to the Museum of Appalachia yesterday to start getting the Loom House ready for the new season.  Since it is basically open, there were leaves and nut hulls caught under the loom and in the corners.

  The partly cloudy forecast proved to be mainly cloudy with large gusts of wind.  Every time I swept up a pile of debris, the wind would blow it back to the corners.  I finally just worked in small areas, and swept up the worst of the winter trash.  I had a peacock that kept a close eye on each dust pan I threw out! 
  I also wiped down the loom and checked on the heddles.  I think we are ready for the new warp!


  Of course, one of my favorite things about the Museum during the Spring are the lambs.  I've lost count of how many so far, but you can see them in the field like little shadows.
  Carl and I even drove over Tuesday afternoon after weaving to catch a sight of these cute little balls of fiber.

  I didn't stay too long at the Museum, though.  I needed to get home to my Grandpuppy.  Scout is staying the week with me while her parents are at the beach.  She's been watching for those signs of Spring, too. 
  You'll notice that the ornamental magnolia made it through the cold weather last weekend, and is in full bloom.    The sun comes up in the mornings right between the branches, and it is a welcome sight!!!
  I think that Scout and I will clean the porch today.....oh yes, and we're going to do our happy dance at 12:57 p.m. EDT.
Welcome Spring.....bye-bye Winter!!!!

Happy Weaving! (and dancing!)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Tale of the Tortoise and the Hare

Once upon a time, there was a Tortoise.  She was a slow moving creature.  She was meticulous and careful and a little unsure of the world.  She traveled through life in a plodding, cautious way.  She would eventually get where she was going, but it would take a while.  She was beautiful, but in a quiet, almost unnoticeable way.  One had to watch quite carefully to see the true beauty of the Tortoise.  One could try to guess where she would end up, but even the Tortoise wasn't sure where that would be.

While the Tortoise was going her own, safe and slow way, she met a Hare.  The Hare knew just where she was going, how she was going to get there, how long it would take her.  She didn't let obstacles stand in her way.  She was bright and fluffy and eager to please.  Her next move was always a surprise, even to her, but she didn't care.  She knew she was headed in the right direction, and when she reached her destination, she would be right where she wanted to be.

Both the Tortoise and the Hare are in a room together, side by side.  They can see each other, almost touch each other.  But they are only similar in geography.  Their methods are so radically different from each other that I need to pause, get up and move around the house before changing chairs to work on one or the other.
  Fast or slow, I hope you have a wonderful week of weaving!