Tuesday, June 30, 2015

  Walking into the Studio today was just like coming home! 
  The parking lot was full of cars, so I knew that I would be seeing lots of weavers...and I was right.  Carol, Linda, Sharon and our leader, Carol, were busy looking at some of the new books that Carol found at the Mid-West Weavers Conference.

  My favorite Ladies were at their looms...Roz, Bonnie and Shirley were hard at work.  (I can see that Roz got the tangles out of her warp and has started threading those placemats.)

  Carol actually got a chance to look over some of her new books.....there's usually so much going on that she ends up going from one group to another!
  Christy started cutting some of the wool strips for Carl while Ms. Ila got her bobbins wound for today.

  Thank you for getting all of that done, Christy.  Those strips will look great with the warp on Carl's loom.   (Yes, yes....it's a thankless job, but someone has to do it!!!  LOL)

  Sharon brought her placemats to serge...they do make a neat edge for hemming!  After getting it re-threaded, she was off and running!!!

Tina has undertaken the repair job on one of the coverlets that Maggie wove.  (She wove 4 of them!!!)

  She started out at the big table where she could spread it out.  Pat took over the job of cutting up the blue jeans that had been donated to the weavers. 

  Lanny has the warp tied back on Big Bertha, and he's ready to start weaving.  We'll have some new throws soon!  As usual, Carl is holding down the fort on the barn loom....more rugs for the fall sales!

  And, what's a Tuesday without someone being UNDER a loom?  Marie and Jocelyn were tag-teaming those treadles!!!!

Frieda has been planning her next project....she got the warp wound this afternoon.  Sharon and Barb just kept on weaving!

Harriet just can't get enough Dye Days in her schedule, so she has been experimenting  with dyeing at home.  She just might be having too much fun!

Lanny brought his newest wool/silk scarf to Share....it is just too yummy!!!

  We were glad to see our friend from the Crossville Weavers' Guild today!  You know you are welcome any time!!!!

NOW....we need your help again!!!

Does anyone know what this is????

It came in as a donation to the Center, and none of us know what it could be!
  The dowels do not come out of the bar.

Now, back to business:  since Carol and Marie will be out of town next week, they have requested that we wait and have our NAPKIN unveiling the 14th, so they can be part of the excitement.  It was decided that we will have a Sandwich potluck on the 14th, too,....kinda like a picnic!!!!  Awwww......the anticipation builds!!!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Lace Class

I spent 3 days last week making lace. There's never enough time to do everything that I want to get done, so being able to carve out 3 days is huge. There were only a few of us that were able to take the class but we were all excited to be there. As usual, we had Louise Colgan fly out from California to teach. The days flew by. You don't make lace quickly. It's slow. If you're working quickly, you can do a square inch an hour.
I fell in love with the teapot and cup and saucer pattern a couple of years ago and last year I worked on the teapot. It's almost done, not quite....I have the center panel left to do. I hope to finish it this year yet. I will have it framed once they're both done, like Louise did. It's the best way not to lose the lace!
This time I made the cup and saucer.
The whole thing is just 2 1/4 by 3 1/4. Small, tiny, little  braids and tiny pin holes that had to be sewn into. Frustrating but I did it!!
What you see is the back of the lace. Once I take out the pins and turn it around, you won't see all the knots.
Other people worked on different patterns, like the dogwood
Tulip. I may try this next year. It's not too intimidating.
Celtic cross. This would be a tough one!
Sea horse. I've done this one and actually have a second one half done on a pillow...

That's all we got done in class. Our eyes are a bit strained. Might need to bring ott lights next time and maybe magnifying lights to see where to find the tiny bar we're to sew into!
It's fun and I'm already looking forward to next year.
Now it's back to weaving this week. 
BTW, I'm the fourth from the right in the picture. I know it's dark but that's the best I have right now.
Until next week, keep weaving!

Friday, June 26, 2015

On the Looms Finally

This week has been a really good studio week for me here at Farmstead Studio.  it seems like forever since I was able to dedicate a full day upstairs but, I got to spend a whole day and 1/2 uninterrupted time, winding, beaming, threading through heddles and reed, and getting the first tentative picks thrown on my red on red placemat project, to see if I got it right.  I did thread it correctly, but I wasn't happy with how the selvedges were coming out with the turned twill treadling.  That is what I had to talk to Carol about on Tuesday, and we came up with a plan to try.  We decided to reverse the threading on the edges.

You can't see the pattern in the foreground at all, but it will show up once I get rolling.  I'm still not sure about the selvedges, but I am going to give it try.  I have one other idea to try if our plan doesn't work.

So basically that is one loom loaded and ready!

Next I needed to adjust the warp on the blue jean placemats.  This is a warp weighted project and I had woven until the rocks that I use for weights were up to the trapeze!  I had decided that at that point I was done for the day, since I also wanted to reroute the warp a little.

A few, maybe 20 minutes later, Loom number 2 was ready to go!  YAY!

(I couldn't get the picture to upload here, will try again later)

Then I had to re-weight one of the other warps I have on my third loom.  This is  a white 12/3 cotton warp.  It is fabulous for napkins and things like that.  I think it took me about 10 minutes to get loom number 3 ready to weave on.  Yay again!

I have quite a bit of variegated cotton slub that I think I will put to work on this warp!

Lastly, I worked the majority of my time on my loom with the 8/4 natural cotton that has been my baby blanket warp.  I am re-threading it to make some t-shirt rugs.  The re-threading went really well, it took some time, but not a ton.  I set to work re-threading it through the reed,  I wantedto use every single dent in the reed, and I was sure I got the numbers right.  so you know what happened don't you?

Yes, I ran out of reed before I ran out of warp!  I guess I will have to recalculate again!  Anyway, it won't be long before this loom is ready to go too, once it is, I will have 4 out of 4 looms in action.  Be still my heart!

It has been a long road getting excited about the projects in the studio again, I think I may need to do some smaller projects to break up the long warps I am used to doing.  For example the Baby blanket warp was the third 40 yd warp I did with basically the same project.  No wonder I got bored with it!  To top it off, the blankets never sold very well at the shows, though they made excellent baby shower gifts!  Anyway, it is all food for thought.

The Nigora goats are growing, in size and in number.  One of my friend contacted me to let me know she was selling her Nigora wether, that is a brother to one of mine.  Well of course I bought him!  That brings me up to 7 Nigora goats.  I dearly love looking out over the herd, it gives me a sense of satisfaction.  The range of color in these fleeces is from white to charcoal, just lovely!  I did a post about this years fleeces on my blog,  Farmsteadstudio.blogspot.com

I am thrilled to have had some weaving content for you today, I have been plying yarn as well, but I will save that for another day.

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

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Up Close

I'm subbing in for Lou Ann today, and I thought I would give you an up close view of what is happening in the studio today.

Carl and I got to the center a few minutes early today, and the consultations were already in full swing.  I got in line because I too had a question to ask Carol, our fearless leader.

Before long the weavers were coming and the looms were being opened up for the day.  I quickly went around and snapped pictures of the projects on the looms.

As I was snapping pictures, I was sure I would be able to remember
 who was weaving on what, but alas, I was mistaken.  Some of the pieces I will be able to tell you and others not.  This is a hand dyed bamboo scarf if I am not mistaken.
 This is a blue Jean rug that Carl is weaving on the big old barn loom, with blue jeans as the weft.
 Here is Christy's latest project on her inkle loom.
 Here is a shawlthat laDonna is working on with her rigid heddle loom, with some fun yarn.

Here is another hand dyed bamboo scarf.  The girls in the peanut
gallery are really working hard on these.
 Barb has this project on her Cricket loom she brought from home.
 This one I know for sure!  This is an overshot baby blanket in 8/4. that is now off the loom!  Lanny is going to take the big loom over and free me up to help Carol and Marie do all the troubleshooting that has to happen on a weekly basis!
 Here is a lovely black cotton 8/4 warp that  Darlene  is working on, the weft is dyed gauze.
 Sharon is weaving a custom order of placemats,
Roz and Frieda worked all day getting this hand dyed placemat warp on the loom.
 This is a hand dyed scarf, I think it is bamboo, but I am not sure, Harriet is this one yours?
 Another hand dyed warp
Now we are looking at an 8/4 cotton warp in multi colors and a wool weft, that Betsy is working on.

As you can see there are many and varied projects going on at any one time.  They are as varied as the looms are that we weave on, and as different as the many weavers that come each and every Tuesday, to talk and laugh and share weaving secrets, and who knows what all else,  wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall?!

I missed most of Carols presentation of the class she took, I am sure she will do a blog post or 2 about her trip in the coming weeks.  Several of us were at Kids camp in Norris fixing the looms we had sent over for the kids to work on.

That is about all I have for now, See you next week!  Tina for All!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ahhh, Midwest!

Boy, am I tired!! Yesterday morning Molly and I left St Thomas University in St Paul, MN at 7:45 after breakfast and checking out of our dorms. She drove almost all the way home. I gave her a short break inbetween but it was mostly her driving. We pulled into my  driveway just after 11pm.
I haven't unpacked yet. Hopefully that'll happen sometime today so that I can collect things to show everyone tomorrow at weaving.
It's hard to describe a week at Midwest Weavers Conference. It's always wonderful. You meet the best people each year, often the same ones, but always new ones, too.
You take classes and even if it's not a new topic, you learn new things about it.
My 3 day class was on single 2-tie weaves. That's another way of saying summer and winter. This first picture is just a tiny example of the piles of samples Robyn Spady had for us to look at.
 The class was 3 days but we had lectures all morning, each morning. Tons of information. This was not a round robin class but each person had a choice of 4 different threadings to use, either 4, 5, 7 or 8 shaft weaving. I chose the 4 shaft this time and took my wolf pup.
Only 2 of us cut our cloth off near the end of the class. Because my loom was going to be folded on its side in the car, I thought it was would better. I did tie the rest of the warp back on and will weave it off at home. You can see that the 2 fabrics are very different. One is probably on 7 shafts and the other 4 shafts. Blocks, lots of blocks!
 Then on Friday I took a class with Susan Wilson on One warp, many Fabrics. Here's her roll of samples from what she told us. We had a small handout and she told us which books to use to figure out the samples she had done. Makes sense to me now! Some people took pictures of each little sample.
 Besides classes, there are vendors, fashion show, keynote speech and exhibits. I didn't take alot of pictures but some of the individual exhibit pieces were phenomenal. Really humbles you! However, it also spurs you on to try new things.
I liked the guild exhibits. They have these each time. This year there were 7 guilds that put together exhibits for us.
Who doesn't like teddy bears? Some dressed them and other wove them.
 How about a picnic with the lunch in handwoven bags and some chairs with woven seats?
 Or, everyone weave a scarf and hang them in a display?
 I got a real kick out of this one. It's called After the Picnic with bugs, squirrels, rabbits, etc there to scavenge the crumbs. The flags in the back all were different weave structures with labels to match.
 How cute is that? When they gave out the awards, it turns out that this exhibit was done by 3 people. Yes, only 3 people put this all together, watermelon, spider, ant and all!!
It's 2 years til the next Midwest Weavers Conference. It'll be June 12 - 17 at Rutgers University in Indianapolis, IN. That's only about a 5 hour drive from us. How wonderful after driving a couple of days each way for the last few midwests!!
So, Tuesday Weavers, are we up to trying something like this? If not in 2 years, maybe in 4?
Because it's 2 years away, I'm hoping that several of us will be able to save our money and go to the next one. It's so worth the time and energy. The teachers are nationally and internationally known. It's the best deal to be able to go to a conference like this and sit across from one of the teachers while eating lunch. Everyone is friendly and helpful and very encouraging!
That's it for now. I'm heading off to run a couple of errands and then back to unpack! Getting your mind back to what's needed here and now is going to take a couple of hours!
Until next week, keep weaving!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Mid June

The days fly by here on my little bitty farm. The goat kids grow and begin to eat the fresh green stuff all around them.  They have been moved out, with their mom of course, to join the trip.  (Which is another word for herd, or even flock, but I kind of like trip, it's unusual!)
I have moved them out of their nursery, because it will be used to house the little buckling that will be heading our way in a couple of months, and I wanted to let the grazing area rest.  It is cool that while I was musing about whether or not I wanted to get into raising Nigora goats on a slightly larger scale, I realized that the only time I would really need to have a separate place for the buck was during the fall, while I still have unbred does. 

This year, I will be breeding my young does at 7 months, which will be late December.  After this year however, I can breed a little earlier, like in October or November, which means that I will need dedicated housing for Mr. Dash Riprock, only 3 or 4 months of the year.  Then when birthing time comes around the same space can be the nursery, and if I stagger the breeding a bit, I will always have that space available for the new moms to bond with their little ones.

I haven't gotten as much done in the studio as I had hoped this week.  I am in the middle of rethreading my 8/4 carpet warp baby blankets to make a rug or two.  I will change the spacing in the reed, and use up some of this last 40 yard warp.  I am also about half way through winding a red warp for the Hearthside loom.  While Lou Ann and I were at her cousins we were talking about what kind of project I would put on it.  I told her that I wanted to do an 8/4 warp in red, and use a different red to do a textured weave. 

I had been disheartened a couple of years ago when I had so much trouble with the 8/4 releasing color when washed, and I couldn't bring myself to use it again for the baby blankets.  That meant I have a lot of reds and blues that I don't trust to use for overshot.  However, it struck me that if I use all reds in a project, or all blues in a project, I just might be able to get some of this 8/4 out of the stash!

I have been able to get a little bit of spinning done this week.  I received a bit of fiber  from the Black Cat Farmstead, it came with my little red Mayville/Fell spinning wheel.  I started  spinning it right away, and this week, I got two bobbins of singles finished.  Today, I began to ply on my Louet S-10, with it's big bobbins.

I think it is working out rather well.  While I have the big plying wheel out, I will probably ply some of the singles that I have spun at the Museum of Appalachia this last spring.  It is always good to have some skeins of their yarn around to show people.  They think it is really neat to use the wool, that come from the sheep, that crop the grass, right there in front of them, on the property.

By next week, I hope to be weaving on the rug and threading that red placemat warp,  until next time, Happy Spinning and Weaving, Tina

Thursday, June 18, 2015

On The Home Stretch

  I just cut off the six napkins on the loom.  This was a 3.75 yard warp.  That means I'll keep two and bundle four together for this Fall. 

  I'm not done.....I need to sew around the white edges, and then I can wet finish them.  Cutting them apart, fixing the fringes and then pressing them will complete the process.

  I admit....these were fun to design and weave.  I really want to do another set or two using more Fiesta colors.

  They would have been done sooner if I had been home more this week!  This has been a crazy week...otherwise I would have noticed that the raspberries had started to get ripe, too!  If I hadn't seen the birds gathering at the back fence, I might have missed this altogether!!!

    And, another pleasant surprise:  a volunteer flower came up in the large pot with my cherry tomatoes. 

Sometimes you just have to stop and enjoy those little things in life.

Gotta run....it's just been that kind of week!

Happy Weaving!