Thursday, October 30, 2014

Back To The Books

  It was just a matter of first love in the fiber world is sewing, after all.  I have had the Saori book, along with Anne Field's book for awhile.  Marie brought her copy of Shangold's Weave-Knit-Wear to weaving, and I knew I needed it for my library.  I drove to Sandy's shop, Clinch River Yarn Company, yesterday to pick up a copy.  (Of course, you can't go in Sandy's shop without finding some other goodies to bring home!!!)   
  Now that I can weave, I'd like to weave cloth for clothing and complete the circle.  Time will tell if I'll be able to use the fabric from the shades of gray warp, but I feel I'm on the right track.

   The shawl on the rigid heddle is coming along.  I'm almost through with the first panel, and I'll hemstitch that before starting the next part.  When it comes time to turn the warp, I'll try to take a lot of pictures.  I am being very careful to double wind the bobbins so that the color changes stay the same. 

    All of the plants that need to winter inside are now safely in place.  That means that the cacti have started to set buds!  I noticed that once the days started getting shorter, the buds started emerging. 

  The poinsettia plants are starting to get their red/white leaves, too.  It looks like a forest in my living room!
  It seems I got everything inside just in the nick of time!  The evening news is reporting a big storm for tomorrow evening:  SNOW!  I would say it is very likely in the mountains....not so much right here except for flurries.  But, the temps will kill any tender plants.  We'll stay cozy in the house!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

About That Agenda......

  Getting ready for the Foothills show is still at the top of the agenda!  Tina, Karin and Marie worked on fine tuning the plans for the set-up.  The "feet" have arrived, but the ladies are still discussing the best placement for them.

  Tina used the serger to join the fabric lengths for the background curtains.  They are all ready!

  In the meantime, Pat was busy putting together groups of yarn that would work for boas.  (We've got lots of yarn we need to use!!!)

  This is the first one that got under way today.  Pat gathered this yarn from the Annex.  What an interesting technique!
(January/February 2005-Handwoven)

  Betsy was able to work on her towel warp today, but she's got a warp for her "walker bags" on her loom at home.  We want to make sure they're ready for the show!
  Sharon got back to work on the placemat warp....we always need these for the show.

  Ann was able to stop by for a little bit....this is one of the shawls that she wove at home.

  Karin got a big applause when she arrived this morning....her scarf got a blue ribbon at SAFF this weekend.  She participated in the fleece to scarf competition.
  We got a glowing report of this year's SAFF from Marie, Tina, Sharon and Karin.

  Right after I took this picture, Ray informed me that he was "un-weaving" the rug.....he didn't like the way it was looking!

  And, no Tuesday blog would be complete without a picture of Carl!  He always has time to talk with folks that stop by his loom...right, Shirley?

I missed taking pictures of Lanny and both of the Lindas.....there was a lot going on, as usual.  Lanny did tell me that he needs to wind more thread for his towel warp....yes, he's still tying!!! 
  That's OK....we'll be back next Tuesday.
Happy Weaving!

Monday, October 27, 2014


I am back up in Canada to help my sister but she is sidetracked a bunch by a little bundle of granddaughter. I must admit that I have had my share of holding her, too. She is just 2 months old but she loves to stand on your lap and is starting to really "talk". Such fun.
Weare getting things done but  Zorro would rather sit in the container for the shredder than let us shred papers.
We have lots left to go through but my goal is to have enough packed up so that she can change it into her sewing room. 
I fly back later this week and hope to get some things done before the next show.  I'm glad I leave soon. It's snowing about 3 hours north of here....but NOT here!! It can snow here this weekend!
Until next week, keep weaving!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Great Wheel Railroad!

Earlier this year, Lou Ann and I made a trip to Nashville to pick up a Great Wheel that was slowly making it's way from Mississippi to New Jersey via the Ravelry Railroad.  It is really the most interesting type of of team work you can imagine.  It works like this, let's say that I have found a wheel on the other side of the country or in Canada for that matter.  The size of this wheel (Great Wheel) or possibly the condition of this wheel (glued together) makes it impossible to ship in normal ways.  To the rescue comes the Ravelry Railroad, which I think was started by the Antique Wheels Group on Ravelry, though many of the other groups have benifited as well, the CPW Group the Spindle Wheels Group to name a few.  So the call goes out to the group of my delimma!  I tell the group where the wheel is and where I am, and let the hive mind go to work.

 Many times in a matter of days the wheel is making it's way, from the initial checking out by a local Raveler, and many times pick up and foster for a bit.  Then slowly but surely the travel route is mapped out, and Interstate Rest stop or road side meetings are planned and carried out.  (If someone has travel plans and has room to transport they let the group know the route they will take, and that they would like to be helpful.)  Before you know it the wheel is at it's final destination, and everyone gives a cheer!

My particular area of usefulness is a 3 hour road trip from Knoxville, East to West and North to South, so I was in a great position to help out with this Great Wheel, once it had arrived in Nashville.  Winter weather really put a hold on the pick up, but we finally made it back to the Knoxville area, and I set the wheel in the studio to await the next leg in the journey.

I got a message from the gal at the final destination a week ago, she asked me if I had plans to go to a Fiber Festival in Asheville NC this weekend, and if I was, could I bring the wheel!  I had already made plans to go, and I quickly responded that I could easily transport the wheel to the next pick up at the festival.  We had talked earlier this year about a couple of Great Wheels that I have aquired that need more repair than I am able to do.  (I have neither the tools nor the skills to do such things.) She is a talented woodworker, who has lots of experience with these wheels, and she quickly agreed to take my two broken down behemoths too!

You might wonder how in the world I am going to get 3 great wheels in my little Rav4, but it is really easy!  These wheels all come apart, with the wheel being the most difficult piece to fit in.

The wheels fit perfectly behind the front seats, and I tie them in several places to keep them steady.  The rest slides into the back, with one of the seats needing to be lowered to accommodate the long tables.  I have plenty of room, I even looked around to see if there was anything else she might want!

The wheels will be at there final destination somewhere in New Jersey, next week, and we will all be giddy with delight!

You can imagine that taking 3 GWs out of Studio B left quite a bit of space in there, and you would be right!  What you don't know is that it prompted a 2 room studio organizational whirlwind!

I cleaned the space that the wheels had been in, and moved all my spinning wheels up there so that they will be well away from the wood stove this winter.  I moved the serger and the sewing machine into that room as well.  That in turn, opened up some room on the table in the main Studio A  across the hall.  It will be great to have a space that I can dedicate to wool combing fleeces that I have cleaned, in preparation for spinning, instead of it being crowded around all the machines.  It isn't good for the machines to be close to all the debri from the wool, and it isn't good to be cramped when I am using the  wool combs either!

I have posted the last few Fridays about the handspun scarves and shawls I am making to sell at our Fall events.  I am happy to say that my handspun stash is diminishing  at a rapid pace, what that means is that I am going to have to do a lot of spinning this winter to keep up with my wool weaving.  The Leclerc rigid heddle loom more than paid for itself during the first show, with the sale of one of my shawls, and a scarf, with that in mind I will press on, honing my wool weaving skills.

After I get this post on, I will be going upstairs to see what kind of fleeces I have left, and what I need to be looking for tomorrow at the Festival, cause I am going to have a lot of room in the car on the return trip!

Until next time, Happy Spinning, Knitting, and Weaving, Tina

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Making A List

  With the Foothills show and the holidays sneaking up on me, I realized that I really needed to take stock of what I could get finished.
  For example:  this is the neglected warp on the Mighty Wolf.  There is one completed small tote and half of another.  I found my notes....I put on a six yard warp.  What was I thinking????
  I really love this warp, which I called "shades of gray" but, I'm really tired of doing totes.  I think the remaining warp could be a wrap.  I have some lovely boucle yarn that will give it texture....I'll keep brainstorming this one.

  I warped up the 16 inch rigid heddle for a project that I had wanted to run by Marie.  She stays so busy at the Center, that I didn't get a chance to consult her about it.  Guess I'll find out if it works pretty soon....I'm ready to start the weaving on it!

  I added a metallic silver thread with the variegated yarn as I warped the loom, and that was a challenge at times.  It did not want to come off the cone smoothly!!!  I had a few choice words for that thread....but I haven't thrown it out yet!

  I've been playing around with a sticker design to use for our shopping bags at the shows.  I need to find some labels....I really wanted an off white one, but I haven't located any yet.  Our bags are brown craft paper, and I'm afraid the white will be too much of a contrast.  I'll keep looking.

It's a lovely Fall day outside...temps in the mid 70's with just a hint of a breeze.  I should be outside...maybe later.  I do need to make a run to the post office.....

  Enjoy your Fall day!!!!
Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Just Another Tuesday???

 As our readers know, we often have donations from the families of weavers....the stash should be put to good use, after all.  Today's donation was from the family of Kay Hultquist, long time weaver and teacher of weaving here in East Tennessee.  Many of our weavers are richer this afternoon due to this donation:  this thread will be put to good use.  Kay would have liked that.

  Then it was time to start the mock up for the Foothills show in November.  We got acquainted with our new panels at Homecoming, but the booth at Foothills will be very different.  While we started carrying in the panels and shelves, Marie measured and taped off the area of our booth.

  Ray and Marie took one side while Tina and I took the opposite one.  The shelves in the corner add extra stability to our booth.  Of course, there were weaving activities  going on while we worked in the booth area.  Betsy needed to wind a warp to put on her loom at home!

  Christy was just trying to join some fabric that will be stripped for mug rugs.  She looks like we've put her in jail!!!!

Some of our weavers used this time to do some hand work on their scarves.  (I think they might be talking about other things, too!!!)

  Carl used his time to cut blue jean strips for more rugs.

  Linda worked on her rug....there's not a lot of warp left on the back beam!

  I caught Pat back in the cabinet looking for just the "right" fabric to use in a warp she's got on the loom at home.

  Eiko put the finishing touches to her fringes on this beautiful scarf.

  Share Time after lunch brought forth some lovely projects!

  Christy finished her beautiful wool and mohair shawl!

It's not weaving, but it is wonderful!  Bonnie brought her finished quilt for us to drool admire.

 When Carol said we needed more placemats, Linda got busy and finished up her warp.  Great job!!!!

  And, Karin summed up a perfect day:  Ta-da!!!!

We know what pieces we need for the Foothills show, and we all have projects dancing in her heads.

Happy Weaving!

Monday, October 20, 2014

I'm Back, Sort of!

 I haven't been posting much lately. It's been a very different few months for me. First, I was in Canada from the last part of August until late in September for my annual trip to see my family. It was so much fun seeing my new grand niece who was born on my birthday!! Also, a wedding and most of all seeing my Mom, sister and the rest of the family.
I came back home about September 20 and by the 27th my Mom had passed away so I flew back up to Moose Jaw for the funeral. It's hard to say goodbye to wonderful Mother who was always there for you.

The time I was at home here, I was busy trying to finish handwovens for my show in Asheville this past week. I didn't have anything really to show except the black pieces I was working on!!
I just got back last night and am slowly catching up on things again!

As always, I had my booth filled with a variety of handwovens. I already had alot of colors but needed black to fill in so that's why I'd been weaving the black pieces.
 It's hard to take pictures of the booth with the lighting that we have. I had alot of lights aimed at the pieces and it looks good at the show but trying to take pictures is another story!
 Besides cotton, I weave with bamboo sometimes. It's been so much fun dyeing the yarns and weaving  the pieces to see how they turn out. Each one is different.
Notice as well, on the floor is the main power box for my section of the room with cords plugged in. I was not impressed. Originally, it was standing up and further into the booth space. I guess it was my turn for it but they certainly did not plan the booth layout to work well with the power sources. Maybe next time!
 So what did I look at while I was sitting there? The dulcimers were very pretty and if I played, I'd have been tempted. Thankfully, the chair caners were further from my booth this time. Other years I've been alot closer and I have several of their pieces now. I love how they look. They use old chairs and re cane them. The variety is quite amazing!

This booth was amazing. She does nuno felting clothes, very creatively. Having done that bit of felting with Geri Forkner, I sure could appreciate what she was doing. She took her first felting class with Geri sooooo, does that mean we could do this as well? Maybe, but I don't think my hands could do it. It's hard on your arms and hands. On her rug she has the pattern that she uses to start the felting process for a jacket. It's amazing how much the wool and silk shrink to become a jacket. Wish I could afford one of her pieces!!
So the Guild Fair is over again for another year. I became a member in 1985 and have done the show all but maybe 3 times in all that time. The show is in July and October and I do both. You make good friends with alot of other crafters and it's always wonderful to catch up with them each time.

This week I will fly back to Moose Jaw. My sister and I have things we need to go through and it's better to do it now, before it snows!!, so I am going to go for a week. If I can, I'll write something next Monday but if I can't, it'll be a week  after that.
I have so many things I'd like to weave, empty looms, get warps on know how it is. Too many ideas, not enough time!
There's one more show to get ready for and the Tuesday Weavers will be having their own booth as well, next to mine! It's going to be fun. Thankfully, we have a few weeks before that happens so I can replenish some of my things now that the show is done!
So, until next week, keep weaving while I fly north again!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Finishing Up

  I knew I was weaving the last rug of the season at the Museum of Appalachia during Homecoming.  I could see three sticks on Sunday, so I wove up all the weft I had prepared, which didn't finish up the rug.
  On Thursday, I was back at the Museum for two school groups that were scheduled.  Sure enough, I finished up the rug, and left enough warp on the beam to set it up for winter viewing.  I'll take some scrap material the next time I go and get it woven in....this way the loom won't look neglected while we wait for next Spring.

  I'm going to take an old reed to put on the loom....I would rather not leave one of my good ones there all winter.  It won't take me too long to sley the reed, and then weave in the material. 
  Then, it will be back to the Peter's cabin to sit by the roaring fire! 

After all the rain we had last weekend, and the rain earlier in the week, the remaining leaves have started showing their colors.  Fall has arrived!!!!

I promised Kerstin in Sweden that I would explain about Straw Loom, here goes:
  We use drinking straws that have been threaded with a yarn warp thread.  Just tape the end of the yarn at the top of the straw.  Tie an overhand knot at the bottom end of the warp threads. 
  We just tie on the weft yarn to the straw, and you're ready to start weaving.

  If you use variegated yarn, it will make stripes, which the kids really like.  The kit has the "straw loom" as well as two balls of yarn.  It also includes an instruction sheet.

  Pat's niece used this idea in the Kid's Booth at the Foothills Show a few years back.  We just expanded on it to continue this simple way to weave with kids.  It's popular with kids of all ages!!!
  Well.....Carol put out the call for multiple sets of placemats.  I've started winding a 12 yard warp for a set I DON'T have to cut fabric for!!!!  (I need a vacation from cutting strips for a bit!)  Now that my computer emergency is settled, I won't have to run around getting help for the little darling, so maybe I can get that wound and on the loom.
  Enjoy your Fall weekend!
Happy Weaving!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Still More Wool!

Last May, my daughter and I went to a knitting retreat.  While I was there I spun 5 bobbins full of a dark brown Romney/Corriedale/Shetland/Lincoln crossbred fleece.  It is really almost black, which is unusual in a natural fleece.  After that, I spun this same fleece, (among others fleeces as well,) while demonstrating at the Museum, each time I finished a bobbin, I would wind the single off with a ball winder, and just keep going.  My plan was to compare the different balls and see if I needed to even them up a bit in the plying process.

After that long weekend of non stop spinning, 9-5pm at the Museum of Appalachia, you would think that I wouldn't want to see another fleece for a long time, but that is not the case.

You see, I sold a couple of my handspun handwoven pieces while I was there, and that did nothing but fire me up!  In fact, after my shawl sold on Friday, I spun double, or even triple time the whole rest of the weekend!  I was so excited!

Monday and Tuesday were very busy days, but Wednesday morning, I had the house to myself, and nothing but time to "work".  I  plied the first 2 balls of the crossbred fleece that I mentioned above, and since it had been wound for quite some time, I gave it what might look like extra twist before washing reawakens the fibers in the yarn.  The skein had a slight twist to it, but I didn't worry about that one bit.  After washing, the skein was as quiet as it could be, so I knew that I could use the same amount of twist on the rest of the skeins.

I have a scarf on the rigid heddle, but I plan to do at least one shawl with this yarn once the scarf is off.  I will probably be able to do 2 of them, because I know that I have one more skein to finish of this fleece.

I haven't measured the yardage yet, but that will happen tomorrow.  When they will be measured and tagged so that I can keep track of my production, and estimate what I can do with it.   I know that I will need close to 1000 yards for each shawl.

It is just one of the projects that I want to complete before the Foothills Crafts Guild Craft Show, that will be held in Knoxville.  The Tuesday Weavers will have a booth, like we have the last 3 years.  The white yarn in the background is super soft, and it will become a super special shawl as well.

Upstairs in the weaving studio, I would like to replenish my stock of Bread Cloths, since I sold every single one at the Museum.  I have a warp almost totally threaded on the loom already.  I also have a placemat/runner warp on another loom that I would like to use blue jean strips on.  The warp in in blues and tan, I think it will look good.

Tomorrow, I will be cutting blue jean strips, for that warp, and threading the bread cloth warp, as well as working on that scarf on the rigid heddle, I can't wait to get to the shawls!  There truly is never a dull moment around here!

I hope to have some pictures to show you next week of the finished shawls, and bread cloths in progress.

Until then, Happy Spinning, Knitting and Weaving, Tina

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Back To Our Regular Program

  The first order of business this morning was to separate the returning items.  Since we ended up going over to the Museum yesterday to retrieve our booth items, it was all mixed together.  Monday was a beautiful Fall day with loads of it is rainy and gray.  If we had waited, we'd be mired up in MUD!!!!
  Marie had worked up all the figures, and it was a successful weekend.

  Tina was grinning big because she sold all SEVEN of her bread cloths!!!!

Also, she was the biggest seller of the weekend!  (Remember that lovely shawl???)

  And, the guys went right back to their rugs....they don't weave themselves, you know!!!

Charlotte had a few threading errors to correct, and she's all ready to start weaving on her first warp.

  Yes....there's our ladies of the back row.  Bonnie just thought I couldn't get her in the picture!!!  We are really happy to have Eiko back with us (she just returned from a visit with her family in Japan.)

  Linda and Sharon are back to their looms, too.  We're already thinking about what we need to have ready for the Foothills show in November.  We got a couple of weeks to get things done.

  Karin finished sleying the reed on the towel warp while Marie got busy on LaDonna's scarf on the rigid heddle.  She won't be able to be with us before the Foothills show.

  Molly finished the scarf on her Pup this afternoon.....that's another one for the show in November!!!!

  Carol bribed us today by bringing us those Canadian Smarties!  They are really yummy, I agree!

 It's been a soggy few days, but we feel great about all that we have achieved.  Now.....what can we get done before the next show???

Happy Weaving!