Friday, May 29, 2015

Let's Inkle

It has been interesting these last couple of weeks.  Let's just say that I have had more than usual on my plate, and I have not been able to do much of anything except to knit, because it is portable and quiet.  The funny thing is , not being able to do anything fiber related has sparked my creative energies, so that I have several things in my head that I want to try.

Several years ago, I purchased several tubs full of cones of very fine threads, some of them in some shockingly bright colors.  It has taken me this long to get an idea of what I might be able to do with them.  the TW also purchased a bunch of this yarn, and the general thought is that these yarns are not strong enough for warp.

Recently I saw a blog post by Sara Lamb about backstrap weaving, ("Woven Thoughts" in the sidebar) and I was struck by how fine the threads were, though hers were silk.  I did a little searching on the web and saw that many times the yarn used for this type of weaving is quite fine.

I decided that I would use a pattern that I had seen in both inkle woven bands and backstrap samples, and warp up a wide band on my Leclerc Inkle floor loom.  I happened on a website called "Carolingian Realm", on which there is an Inkle loom pattern generator, the color selection and the ease of use is great!

I proceeded to pattern up!  When I began to warp, I doubled the fine threads and left the border thread single because it was a bit thicker.

This is how I left it last night before I went off to bed, I was really pleased with it.  This morning I continued threading the final bit and began to weave.  I first used a three strand weft, but quickly decided that it was too thick.  I dropped to two strands in the weft, and then to one strand.  I really liked the fabric that I was getting with one strand.

2 strands of weft, and then above 1 strand of weft.

I thought I would try making the pattern darker by using 2 sets of two in my pick up pattern, and I really liked it!

It was about then that I noticed that the thicker edge yarn was not holding up as well as I would have liked it to.  I noticed another thing too, that you probably noticed in the picture above.  In my hurry to get this project on the loom, I had forgotten to add the orange stripe to the right hand border!

Except for the border yarn which was a little thicker and softer, I think these yarns are going to do fine on the inkle loom.......

I think I'll go iron some blue jean weft..........

(The goat kids are here!  You can see pictures of them on the farmsteadstudio blog in the sidebar.)

Happy Weaving, Tina

P.S.  Okay, I fixed it and I am playing with patterns!  :)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Plan Comes Together

    The original plan was to weave some linen for aprons and caps for Tina and I on the Rocker Loom at the Museum.  I crunched the numbers several times, and I just could make it work for the amount of linen I had on hand.  Plus, I was concerned about my first venture into weaving linen happening at the Loom House.
  Plan B:  since we are weaving placemats for the Fall shows, why not put on a warp for more placemats????  It's a win-win!

  I had planned on using the rug warp from last year as a dummy, so I counted out the threads I needed for the placemats and sleyed the reed.  I had already put lease sticks behind the shafts, and I had a set of lease sticks in the cross of the new warp.  I used a bungee cord to secure them to the front beam. 
  Now the fun begins!

  I got all the new threads tied to the dummy warp....I love the difference in colors!!!

  Then, it was just a matter of working the knots through the reed and the heddles.

  Since I was winding on by myself, I brought my little hand weights to help keep tension on the threads while I wound on the back beam.

  Back and forth, back and forth.....I think I got all my steps in for the day!

  That's some set up, huh?  But, it worked like a charm! 

  I even got started on the first placemat this afternoon!  These are going to be a pleasure to weave.  I guess I'd better get the rest of the strips cut....and, I need to give some more of the yardage a good bath!  There was a lot of sizing in this roll of fabric.

  Lunch at the Museum was, as always, a delight.  Chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and cornbread along with some sweet tea...YUM! (And, don't tell Tina, they had Perfect Chocolate Cake out today!)

  I met a wonderful family from Birmingham, AL, today.  I have a feeling we might see them again at the Museum.  You just never know.....

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


It seemed to be all about the threads today.  As we head into summer and inch closer to fall, projects that had been on the back burner are starting to tug at us.  What thread should we use?  What's the sett?  What is that pattern?
  Sharon is working on a M and W threading in Dixon.  Betsy had used it to weave two stoles, which were beautiful.  And, there are different ways to treadle that pattern, which completely changes everything!

  You can just see Roz in the background....she's finishing up the scarf warp on the Wolf Pup.  There were 5 scarves on that warp.

  Then, there are the threads that need to be wound on the warp beam before you can weave.  Frieda and Harriet are finding out that it works really well when you have a friend to help!

  Linda is taking a break from the rug loom....weaving scarves on the Pup is just the ticket.

  It seems that we are always talking about weaving, and what we are weaving.  Ms. Ila had a lot to tell us about her "new to her" 8 harness Macomber loom....she really likes it!
  LaDonna got to be with us today, and brought along some of her new woven items for the June craft sale in Lenoir City. 

  And, there is always conversation about what to use for weft!  (Pat found that lovely yellow fabric in the shelf....wonder what it will end up in?)

Then, there is THREADING.............

  And, more THREADING..................

Yes......even more THREADING!!!!

Marie, Sharon and Jocelyn were kept busy at the looms today getting their warps threaded.  (Did you finish today, Marie?)

  That might even be a threading hook in Bonnie's hand!!!!

  Thanks to our librarians, Karin and Sharon, we can easily find books to help us discover even more creative ways to use all of these threads when we weave.  Great job, ladies!!!

Pat is using up her threads at home....she wove two sets of a dozen placemats PLUS napkins!  Her big ole basket was full of woven goodness!

  Weaving is the thread that links us all together!  Happy Birthday to one of our colorful threads, Marie!
  She even baked her own birthday cake to share with us!!!!

Happy Weaving (and playing with threads!)

Monday, May 25, 2015


This weekend our internet is spotty so I am using my trusty iPad to post again. 
A week ago I had all these skeins wrapped in Saran Wrap, in buckets, waiting their turn. It's a long slow process of rinsing, letting them sit in the water for an hour or two and then wringing them out and repeating til the water is about clear. There were 13 skeins plus a warp.
Then the last soak in hot water with some retayne. It's such a relief to be ready for that!
This time I went for darker colors to go with some warps I painted earlier. I do like how they came out. The colors will blend nicely.
The fabric hanging below the skeins was supposed to be cotton but just have some synthetic in it because a lot of the dye came out. It's pretty, muted, and should be nice once cut and woven into a table runner but not at all what I had hoped for. Glad for plan B!
Getting ready to dye with the new skein winder is fun, having a few days to dye with friends is great but, boy, the anticipation of weaving these skeins into the warps is high. But first, have to ball those skeins! 
Weaving sure takes time! But, it's what I like to do and am thankful for the opportunity to do so.
The next warp is planned, yarn ready and an old NCIS in the DVD player, so here I go....
Until next week, keep weaving!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Kid Watch

Sunday morning 6:30 am

Day 154,  I know you are in there!

Happy Spinning, Knitting and Weaving, Tina

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Bobbins

First of all, I'd like to thank Anonymous for identifying the mystery object in Tuesday's blog.  (Did you hear a lot of head slaps????)  Of course, it's a sweater blocker!!!!  We just knew someone out in blogland would know what it was.

  You know what the object on the left's a bobbin.  Can you tell how long it is?   Apparently I couldn't tell....I bought a dozen of them thinking it would fit my large Schacht shuttle.  Little did I realize that my large shuttle ISN'T the largest shuttle!!!!!

****I don't know why this came in sideways!!!!!

  My new bobbin is on the right in this picture.  Come to find out, it is a 6 inch other LARGE one is a 5 inch bobbin.
  How wonderful to have a dozen......I'm always looking for an empty bobbin.  But, I didn't have a shuttle for it.

  Yes.....I ordered a new 15 inch shuttle to go with my bobbins!!!!!

  When I first started weaving, I didn't have a preference for what kind of shuttle I used....I just wanted to weave.  I know that Carol prefers her Leclerc shuttles, and Tina likes her end feed shuttles with the pirns. 
  The more I wove, the more I learned that I really liked the way the Schacht shuttle fit my hand....and I liked the balance, too.  Slowly, but surely, I have added more of the Schacht shuttles to my collection.  I even have a 9 inch mini that I use with the rigid heddle, and a double bobbin  one I use for overshot.  I think I'm good on bobbins for awhile, though.  I just need to empty the thread from past projects.............

  Tina and I were at the Museum yesterday (she had that cute little red wheel!)  I was preparing the old warp on the Rocker Beater loom to tie on for a place mat warp.  The warp chain on the right will get tied on tomorrow morning, and maybe I'll even get it wound on the warp beam.  There are two different school groups coming tomorrow (third graders) so there will be lots of talking going on in the Loom House. 
  My plan is to secure the lease sticks to the front beam while I tie the ends.  Then, I should be able to work the knots through the reed and heddles.
  I have prewashed the fabric for the weft, and I'm ready to get going.  It seems like a logical thing to weave placemats at the Museum that we can use for the Fall sales.
  Now.....I need to empty some of my rag shuttles to wind the weft for the Museum project.  It's always something!!!!
Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Back To The Warps

  It was back to business as usual today....strips need to be cut for a new rug.  Christy sat down to help Carl keep it rolling through the cutter.

  Molly headed back to her loom to work on another towel while Linda finished up the rug in progress.  (***More about that later!)

  Sharon provided us with some lemon cookies to keep up our energy levels.

  Tina worked on some jean tops (Christy uses the zippers and I use the back pockets.)  Ms. Ila enjoyed a cookie break before she got to work.

  Carol and Marie got to work helping Jocelyn get a new warp on Dorothy's Leclerc.  Threading will start next week.

Carol had Barb warping a floor loom today, and walked her through the steps. 

Frieda needed to wind another warp, and Betsy just wove away on the scarf warp.

It kinda looks like Shirley is dancing with her loom, doesn't it?  She and Bonnie worked on getting this warp on the loom.  That's another one of the painted warps!

  Meanwhile, we needed to get looms ready for the Kids Craft Camp in June.  Tina worked on this loom, and got it ready.

Karin worked on this loom while I got one warped on the counter.  (Space is often at a premium.)  Sharon had wound two warps for the camp looms.

  Linda finished the second rug for her Family Room at home, and they came off the loom.

  Here they are....side by side.  I can't wait to hear what her kitties think about them!!!!
  (And, isn't it amazing that her toe nail polish matches the rugs!!!)

And, speaking of rugs, here is one of the two rugs that Darlene wove at home.  Fantastic work!!!!

Christy got her painted warps rinsed this weekend.  Great colors!            

   Sharon joined us after lunch....she had book club this morning.  She's threading the little Leclerc for placemats.  That 60 yard warp should last for a little while.........

We need some help from YOU you know what this is?  Or, do you know what it is used for?????
  It is adjustable.  It was part of a donation to the Center, and we are stumped on this one.  (Do we have it upside down???)

Happy Weaving!

Monday, May 18, 2015


This past week we had dye days, Thursday and Friday. Thursday I brought my ipad. There were 7 of us  working all day on the projects for ourselves and  Tuesday Weavers. We used my iPad to check dye colors but did I take pictures? Nope. Friday I forgot the pictures. Oops!
I have a lot of skeins to rinse off. At least a dozen. The reason? We discovered LeClerc's skein winder. This metal winder is amazing. You can wind a skein in less than 10 minutes. A huge switch from the old swifts we'd been using!! I do love a new toy!!
My deck looks good now that I have most of the plants out of the greenhouse and I've potted the ones I bought.
The hot pink flowers in the box are perennial. I didn't realize it when I bought the plant several years ago. Now I replace the plant on the left each year with another annual.
The mini hostas are happy. I may end up moving them into a bigger pot in a year or two but for now they're fine.
My Mom and sister gave me the little statue of the girl and cat in memory of a loved cat, Remmy.
Love a happy plant!
Today I get to cut off that black warp I wove and put on a hot pink one. I'll also keep rinsing skeins and a warp...
Until next week, keep weaving!