Friday, May 30, 2014

Some FO's

Over the last several weeks, I have only been in the Studio in fits and starts, but I do have a few Finished Objects to show you, finally!
These were technicaly finished before last weeks retreat, and I wanted to post about them last week, but I figured that  they could wait until this week, as I knew that last week would not be a good Studio week. (Are you confused yet?)

First, I am happy to announce that the last obligation blanket is off the loom, and finished, just not delivered yet!  Plans are in the works for a special order blanket for my youngest daughter new baby, due in November.  We will finalize the colors once we know if it is a boy or a girl.  I am really loving my new blanket design, and everybody I show them to is just as enthusiastic about them as I am!
I combed up a box full of top from the fleeces from the Museum of Appalachia last week, for them to have on hand for their spinners.  It is super soft and springy!  Next, I want to spin up a couple of skeins for them to display in the shop.

I am working pretty steadily on the loom with the Hollywood warp that I adapted for placemats/runners.  The piece in the picture on the left is woven with t-shirt strips, it is a nice soft runner of about 36 inches, if I remember correctly.

 Next I dove into deep stash to do a hit and miss runner.  I really wanted to stretch my color comfort zone, and I was really pleased with the outcome, this is also a runner.

Before I did these last two runners, I had looked in my inventory bins, and remembered that I needed to replace  a couple of placemats and a runner to complete a set that had been broken up in one of the shows.  I dutifully wove them first, then I was free to play a little bit.  I will probable repeat the 2 new runners so that they are not all alone on the shelves come this falls shows.

I am trying to get this placemat/runner warp finished, I really can't tell how many more yards are on the back beam because I used paper as a packing.  That is my least favorite packing medium, I really prefer sticks and blind slats.  This warp is on the loom that I want to try a weighted warp system, for several reasons.   I have the equipment that I need, all I need now is an empty loom!

I managed to finish a pair of sock this week, the pattern is a freeby on Ravelry.  It is Hermione's Everyday Socks.  I used Panda Wool sock wt. yarn, in the Bluebell colorway.  

I am also this week, working on the Featherweight Cardigan that you can  find on Ravelry, though you will have to buy that pattern.  I really love the way this yarn is knitting up!  I am using some yarn that has been in my closet for over 2 years, it is a lace yarn, "Shadow" I think, from Knit Picks and it is the Jeweled Heather color.  (I don't believe they are making this yarn anymore)
I say that it was in my closet and not my stash, and that is because I had previously knit this yarn into a shawl.  I love knitting shawls, but I have found that I never wear them.  So after 2 years on the shelf, I ripped it out, soaked it and let it dry in the skeins with no added weight.

I chose the Featherweight Cardigan because of it's simple lines, and it's top down construction.  Since it is top down,  I have been able to try the sweater on as I go, and I do believe that it is going to fit.  If it does, it will get a lot of use this fall when the temperatures start dropping.  Just this morning started the ribbing on the bottom of the sweater.  I plan to make it about 1 inch longer in the body of the sweater and in the sleeves as well, based on the picture on the pattern and the schematics.

Next week, I am going to have grandkids for a couple of days, but I am hoping to keep at it and get that warp off the loom before much longer.

Until next time, Happy Spinning and Weaving, Tina

As I go about my day, I am listening to the Must Stash podcast, the Prairie Girls Knit and Spin podcast, the Just One More Row podcast, and the Stash and Burn podcast. (to name a few) What are you listening to?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

What's Up With This?

So......the burning question is:
  Have you gotten your copy yet????

  Tina asked me on Tuesday afternoon if I would like to look at her had come on Saturday.  I thought for sure that it would come on Wednesday.  I said I would wait.
  Today is Thursday and still no new issue of Handwoven.

So....instead of the May/June issue, maybe it is just the JUNE issue.

This is the same magazine that starts asking me if I'd like to renew right after I renew!
  Go figure.....


  On the bloom watch, it has finally started to happen.  All of the tight little buds have started to open out.

  I'm holding my breath each afternoon when we have these crazy hail!!!!

  In the meantime, the lilies have started to bloom.  I planted three blubs there last year, and I have about a dozen stalks this year!

No weaving this week....I've been busy cleaning out closets and moving the yarn stash.  The new windows will be coming on Monday, and that means furniture will have to be moved around.

  While I'm moving things so they can put in the windows, it's a good time to do some deep cleaning.  I'm trying to stay one step ahead!

Maybe tomorrow is the day the May/June issue will come.  After all, there's still two more days left on the May calendar!

Happy Weaving!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dyeing to Finish

 I've been knitting this shawl for the last few weeks, and really enjoying it.  It's garter stitch in the middle, and the lace edge knits up as it goes along.  And when the shawl is the right size, the lace edge gets knit up along that edge, decreasing to attach the lace to the shawl.  So fun!
  But, alas!  I ran out of yarn, six inches from the end.  Poop!  And I can't buy more, because I dyed the yarn!  Well, what's a girl to do?  I found the original yarn, wound off a tiny bit, threw it into a tiny little dye pot, boiled it up, washed and dried it and am about to finish knitting the shawl.

It seemed silly to dye such a tiny bit of yarn, but that's all I want.  I'm ready to knit, and finish that shawl, and guess what!  Start a new project!  I'm going to participate in the Knit A Long sponsored by Knitting Daily.  Go here:

That's not all I've been doing, though.  I've been outside, too.  I've got tomatoes!  And flowers on my oak leaf hydrangea for the first time in its life.  The garden is going gangbusters!  I'm excited about all the good vegies that will be ready soon.
  I've been weaving, too, on the lemon-lime scarf, but a picture wouldn't be any different from last week's.  I've decided to only have the first and last 12 inches of the scarf beaded, because it's taking forever, and I think that would be enough for show.  More updates as they come!
  Great weather for staying inside and weaving, so go get to the looms!  Happy weaving!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Just Another Day

This is what Carol thinks we are doing:

This is what we really did:

Happy Weaving!

Monday, May 26, 2014


So, for the last few days we were up in Canada. Yup, my husband and daughter came with me. Last Friday evening we were in Regina to see Tommy Emmanuel play during his first Canada tour. DD decided to stay home and babysit kittens....but first, don't you like the special Grandma,  granddaughter moment? I think they have missed each other a lot!!
So about the sister was asked to take in 4 kittens whose mother abandoned them when the had to be moved from their nest on the farm. They figured they were 3 weeks old. She had them a week before we got here. So we've been in the thick of bottle feeding them, loving them and trying to keep them corralled. So far we've succeeded but it won't be long before they will venture beyond the area we've got them in.
Here's DD feeding one of them, not sure which...and Bear is on her arm.
 My sister has Fluff in her left hand and is feeding Zorro.
This is Digit in the box. That box is where they sleep. It's so cute to see them crawl into the box when they are tired and collapse on top of each other to sleep!! Mom likes to roll her wheelchair to the box to check on them. They think the wheels of her chair are a jungle gym. She is sure to lock her wheels when she sits to be sure they are safe. Then, before she moves we are careful to see where they are first..
This is a pretty typical scene, feeding kittens while others are nearby. My sister is feeding Digit while it looks like Bear and Zorro are sleeping and Fluff is nearby
Here's Bear. I think my sister is keeping Bear and one other one. Bear is the runt and very cuddly, always wanting to snuggle up near your neck. 
These little ones have grown since we got here!! Soon they will figure out how to lap their food from a bowl but for now they eagerly look for the bottle when my sister comes nearby.

So, we're heading back home to get back in the routine and put a new warp on my loom!
Until next week, keep weaving!

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Week Behind!

I didn't post last Friday, because my daughter and I went to a knitting and spinning retreat.  It was the first annual "Into the Wool Fiber Retreat".  I thought about saving that post until next week, but I think I will go ahead and give my review of the retreat.

My daughter found out about the retreat last Summer, on the podcast "Just One More Row".  We were quick to sign up and place  our deposits.  Neither one of us had participated in what is basically a knitting/spinning sleep over!

We were greeted at the sign in on Friday afternoon, by the JOMR podcasters Dana and Brittany.  We both got a cool retreat bag full of a ton of stuff, including fiber to spin (from Hobbledehoy and Into the Whirled), yarn to knit (from Dyeabolical), soap to use, a cup to sip out of, and several free patterns and coupons for percentages off of other products.

There were nearly 90 participants at  the Into The Wool Fiber Retreat, and we were comfortably housed at the Lake Frances Retreat Center in Middle Tennessee, just outside of Crossville.  The Staff were wonderful and the food was very, very nice!  On top of all that Dana and Brittany, and their cohort Jess, brought snacks to tide us over when we had knit til the last drop!  Each and every participant got a door prize.  The way they did it was so much fun!  At every meal, they would show a door prize, and then draw the winners name out of a bag.  So as they were describing the item, (usually a really nice skein of yarn or maybe some roving, plus a tool or two),  you would be saying to yourself, call my name, call my name!  They did finally cal my name!  I got a skein of sock yarn (from Fishknits), and a notions bag and needle gauge thingy.

My colors and everything!

On Saturday afternoon, we held the first annual sock skein swap.  I brought two skeins that just didn't appeal to me, and I lucked out once again, with 2 lovely skeins of yarn (Madeline Tosh, Tosh sock, and  Gales Art), that will not be touching my feet, but might become a couple of scarves.  (One of them has cashmere in it!)

Then on Saturday afternoon there was a vendors market!  I came prepared to shop, but I was very clear with my list.  I wanted some sock yarn that wasn't Merino, I wanted a project bag, and I wanted some colorful fiber to spin that again, wasn't Merino.  (I have nothing against Merino, I just want to try something else!)

I ended up with a project bag, with a baseball theme, (go Braves!)  A skein of sock yarn with BFL and 2 braids of  roving,  from Daizie Knits in BFL, one has the addition of 15% nylon.  I plan to spin both braids into sock yarn.

There were classes held throughout the retreat, and several demos as well, but most of the time, it was all knit and spin all the time!  Saturday morning, I made my way early to the dining room, to find a half dozen knitters sipping coffee and merrily knitting along.  What a treat!  There were no meals to fix and absolutely no cleaning up either!  Most of the time, I was spinning on my antique spinning wheel, but I did get a bit done on a fingering weight cardigan, the Featherweight Cardigan , I am making for myself.  (The yarn recently spent 2 years in my closet as a shawl, until I figured out that while I love to knit shawls, I do not wear them! FROGGED!)  I am so pleased with how this cardigan is turning out,  I can't wait to finish it!

I had a wonderful time and I am going to be watching for the details of the second annual retreat to be held in the fall of 2015.  If you want I can let you all know when it rolls around!

Until next time, Happy spinning and weaving, Tina

Thursday, May 22, 2014

We Be Bangin'

  Really!  There's a lot of banging going on at my house this week! 
  I had a leak around my chimney, and the guys have been up there making a lot of racket today.  Earlier in the week, they were working on a place at the side of the house where a downed limb had caused some damage.
  The gutters have come down in preparation for new gutters with guards on them.  YEAH!  I hate cleaning out gutters!

  All this is in preparation for new paint and new windows.  As you can see, the windows in this house are the original ones, and most of those cranks are missing on the windows in the house.  They are not tight fitting, either!  I think I'll really notice a big difference next winter when those cold winds blow.

  I have alerted the guys about the red yucca plant...and to be very careful around it as they haul up ladders and equipment to the back of the house.  Yes....I'm still on bloom alert.....I don't remember it taking so long to bloom back in New Mexico!!!

I have found that weaving on my towel warp is one way I can block out all the noise of the guys working on the house.  And, now that I'm back to that warp, I am really enjoying weaving on it again.

  I finally found some of the Purex no sort that they have been advertising on TV.  I'm going to do a test batch of mug rugs and see if the red or navy will bleed on a light colored warp.
  Yes.....I'm just that kind of person.....I'll find out for you and report back.  (You realize that IF it does work, it will be very popular among weavers!!!!)

I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Weekend.  Let's get this summer going!!!!

Happy Weaving!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


 I've noticed during my lifetime so far that I have a tendency to be in a color mood from time to time.  I can walk into a fabric store (ah, those were the days!  when there was a local fabric store! but I digress...) and choose four fabrics, all the same color.  Same with a yarn store:  several types of yarn, a few different projects in mind, but all the same tones or shades.
  Today, I finally threaded the hand dyed lime green-lemon yellow warp that Lanny dyed for me last summer. I began with a threading right out of Marguerite Porter Davison's book, a diamond pattern, but when I started it, I didn't like the blocky look of it.  I went back to the computer where I'd put it in Weave Design, and tweaked it a little, shaft four coming in between two shaft ones, pushed over the selvedges a little, and started over.
  It's a little more rounded, little more symmetrical from one pattern to the interlocking next, and there's clearly a place for a little seed bead to emphasize the center of the diamond.
  Well, that meant there needed to be a little more glitz on the hem stitching, and I tried something new this time.  For every bead on the "right" side, there's one on the "wrong" side.  That way, when one has the scarf on, neither side will look "wrong!"
  I was a little worried about the lemon yellow pearl cotton with the warp, but I think it's just right, when it's in action.  The yellow is the pattern weft, and 20/2 tencel, white, is the tabby weft.  The beads are put in with lime green thread that soaks right into the pattern.
  The hot pink stuff is just a strip of fleece I had laying around, just to spread the warp, but I do like the contrast, and might dig up some pink and lime green embroidery floss I have left over from another project for the next scarf.
  Beading is fun, and beautiful, and I really do love the way the scarf is turning out, but I got very tired of being hunched over the loom on the beading rows.  I needed something else to do!  The turquoise shawl with the incorporated lace edge is coming right along, but I saw a dropped stitch in it, and don't feel like fixing it right now.
  So, I picked up the other current project:  A lime green-lemon yellow hand dyed cotton and silk sweater.  Must just be in the mood!
  Tina asked for the pattern last week, and I hope you can see it.  It's a seed stitch cardigan with an asymmetrical opening.  It's super easy, mindless and fun.
  Whatever color you're into today, I hope it makes you happy!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Weaving Rag Rugs with Tom Knisely

The Tuesday Weavers at the Rocker Beater loom.
The Tuesday Weavers are excited about the new Rag Rug book by Tom Knisely, and he offered to answer some questions from some of our weavers.

TWHow do you know if your loom is sturdy enough to weave rugs?  Would the baby wolf be strong enough?
TK:  I prefer a loom that is heavy and sturdy with a lot of weight to it.  A floor loom is great for this sort of rug weaving.  A baby wolf is intended to be a folding portable loom that you can take to workshops if you care to.  I shy away from this sort of loom for rag rugs, although it can be used for other rag weaving if used in the right application.  The baby wolf would be fine to use for rag placemats or table runners or the finer rag weaving for clothing such as sakiori.

TW:  Rule of Thumb:  How wide do you cut fabric depending on kind of fabric:  blue jean, burlap, cotton, knit.
TK:  I usually cut my cotton shirting fabric about 1 1/2" wide and 2" if it's thinner fabric.  Denim is best cut about 3/4" wide and knits I cut approx. 2" wide, and then pull them tightly to stretch the knit fabric.  This helps to prevent unwanted draw in.   You mentioned burlap, and that seems like a good thing to use to get rid of old burlap, but burlap is made from jute and that rots if it gets wet and not allowed to dry out.  Think of the root ball on a tree at the nursery.

TW:  How do you determine what kind of warp to use?  Does it depend on the weft or size of the project?
TK:  I tend to use 8/4 cotton carpet warp or linen, but the chapter on materials will tell readers of other alternatives.  I like the cotton carpet warp because it is available in so many colors and for me it makes it easier to design rugs around.

TW:  What kind of fabric would you recommend we not use?
TK:   For your first rag rug, stick to cotton fabrics or cotton blends.  These are so easy to use.  I prefer not to blend a lot of different fabrics together in a rug such as wool with cotton and polyesters. 

More Tuesday Weavers at the Rocker Beater loom.
TW:  What patterns could be converted to use for rugs?  How long could floats be?  Do you have a favorite weave structure/yarn combination?
TK:  I like using plain weave and simple twill weaves because these give the best sturdy structure.  Try to avoid any weave structure that is going to result in long surface floats.  I stay with anything that doesn't have a float that spans more than 3/4" in length.  You would not want anyone to catch the heel of their shoe on a float and trip.

TW:  What proportions do you prefer when planning a rug?
TK:  I like to think about the overall size of the rugs when I weave them.  My average rag rug is approx. 26" by 48" or up to 60".  You want to think about washing these rugs.  They do get dirty on the floor, and you want to be able to put them in the washer comfortably and not crowd the washer.  Larger rugs just get washed outside on a sunny day and scrubbed on a deck or picnic table at my house.
  I hope this helps your readers and make them want to try a rag rug of their own.    Thank you for reviewing my book.  Have a great weekend coming up.   Tom

  Tom:  thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.  We LOVE your new book!!!

Happy Rag Rug Weaving!

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Nice Change

After weaving several solid color warps, it's nice to be weaving an interesting warp again! The center is black with gray on each side and red on the edges. This will be fun to weave.Hopefully some of the next warps will be interesting as well.
Family life has taken up a lot of my time again so I don't have a lot to show as far as weaving goes.
The next week will not allow for a lot of weaving either so I am trying to weave as much as I can right now. 
DH's jeep is back at the shop so he has my van today. That should force me to stay home and weave. His poor van as over 200,000 miles on it. The pistons need replacing. We priced a 2010 grand jeep Cherokee and it was $30,000. I think we'll fix those pistons...
Today I'll see how far I can get on this warp. I really like the color play on this warp.
Until next week, keep weaving!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Christmas In May I'm either really late OR really early!  Actually, my sweet sister got me a gift certificate for Christmas at Clinch River Yarn Company in Clinton.  Yesterday I stopped by to select my present!
  I don't even need to say it....I LOVE that shop!!!  I had such a good time with Sandy looking at all the beautiful yarn.  As you can see, I did find a few things I liked!!!!

    Now I just need to get a warp woven off one of the looms so I can put on a new warp!  What a great incentive!

  Today would be a great day to weave inside since the temps are taking a dive!  Yesterday it got up to 90 degrees, and you can see what it looks like today!
  Ah, Spring!  You sure keep us guessing.

This is my surprise this Spring.
I transplanted this red yucca from my courtyard in New Mexico nine years ago.  It has continued to grow, but it has never bloomed. 
  Saturday morning I noticed that it had sent up a stalk.....I can't wait!!!!  I love the delicate blooms on this plant, and I know the hummingbirds will enjoy them, too. 
  I'll keep you updated.

Happy Weaving (and playing with fiber!)