Monday, February 29, 2016

And more..

So I finished the last 3 looper rugs. They've been serged and added to the pile to be hemmed.
It's on to selvedges, waste from production of afghans and probably a lot of other things. It comes in big plastic bags in a bit of a mess. So there's prep work, finding the ends and then rolling balls. Sometimes it gets tangled and is a mess, but manageable. It's not as bad as shaking all the lint out of loopers and it beats in much easier as you weave.
I've got my pile on the floor and it's good to see what works together as I pick balls to weave. Some of the balls are pretty big. Those tiles are 18 inches. 
 I've got the last 4 rugs on the warp and another warp planned. I'd love to get most of the selvedges woven.
Also, I do need to start hemming rugs this week. Other obligations took more time than I'd hoped last week.
Today's a "spare" special added day. I'm hoping to get a fair bit done to make up for last week.
Until next week, keep weaving.

Friday, February 26, 2016

70,000 Stitches

Or at least that is one estimate I have heard.  I started the Blue Nuvem a couple of weeks ago on Sunday just before my surgery.  The first week, I knitted on it pretty exclusively, like that is all I did was sit on the couch and knit on it.  I had other projects  but they were too complicated for my poor fuzzy brain.   I also had  Laundry and floors and all that a house takes to keep it running, but all I could do was sit and knit.  My dear sweet Husband did a wonderful job of keeping me warm and fed and happy on the couch.

As you know if you have read my previous posts "Nuvem" by Martina Behm is a monumental project, done almost exclusively in the knit stitch.  Round and round you go after the cast on.  Round and round and round.  I am getting dizzy typing this, but the actually knitting doesn't make you dizzy.  I had 3 out of the 5 skeins knitted by the end of that first week, and I began to wonder if I might be able to get this shawl done within a month of starting it.  It would really be quite the undertaking, and I wasn't sure if I could, because I was starting to feel much better, and I was beginning to take on some of my normal activities.

Every chance I got, I worked on it during the day, and in the evening,  while watching TV and first thing in the morning.  I sent my daughter updates, put marker in and added the 4th skein, round and round.  Almost done with the 4th skein, round and round.  Finished the 4th skein and adding the 5th, time to double the stitches!  (Which by my estimate would make it well above 2000 stitches per round!)  The pattern continues in the knit stitch for a lovely ruffle, but I decided to do 2x2 rib instead.  That first round I was sweating, not wanting to make a mistake that would cause me to have to unknit those 2000 stitches and start the row over.

As it turns out I did end up fudging it a bit here and there, and after about 6 rows I saw a couple of places that looked more like garter stitch than 2x2 rib, but I managed to make it all look presentable.  Row 7, round and round, row 8, round and round.  Finally this morning, I finished row 9, time to bind off!

I wanted to do a Jenny's surprisingly stretchy bind off, but I didn't want it to flair too much, so I went down a needle size and switched the yarn to my right hand, which makes me knit a little bit tighter.
What do you think?  I think it is perfect!

The color is off a bit on this, but it is close enough.  It may take a day or 2 to finish this bind off, but if I can finish it by Sunday, it will  have only taken me 3 weeks to knit over 70,000 stitches!   For me that is a huge accomplishment!

Some of my long term duties that have kept me busy over the last year or two are coming to an end.  I think that means that I may be able to get up to the weaving studio very soon.  My mind is actually thinking about project possibilities.  Does that mean my mojo is coming back?!

Until next time, Happy Crafting, Tina

ETA: I finished it on Saturday!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Making Hay While The Rain Falls's hay bales.
Yes, Ma'am, they're in my back yard.
  And, I'm letting Mother Nature get them good and wet!!!
  For the last 10 years, I have tried and tried to have a small garden here on the Ridge without much success.  Between the moles, the raccoons, the bunnies and the occasional 'possum, it has not been much of a yield.  (Just ask me about my marigolds and the chipmunks!!!!) 

  I had heard about hay bale gardening before, but I found a new (to me) website, and I'm ready to try it.
Hay Bale gardening: no weeds, no fertilizers and less watering!! What a simple but amazing concept!!
Hay Bale Gardening

  I went out today and got four more bales - this time I got straw.  I'm going to do my own comparison between the two.

   The "no fertilizer" might be a little have to get the bales ready by adding nitrogen every other day for 12 days.  And, thanks to all the rain we've been getting, I don't have to worry about hosing it down!

  The potting soil is for sowing seeds.  It keeps the seeds from falling down into the bale. 
  I'll keep you updated with the results.

I'll leave you with this....Carol's husband, Don, took this picture for us.  It's kind of a "Where's Waldo" kind of picture.  We all started acting a little goofy by this point, as you can tell.  I'm hoping to take one of the better ones to use for our mast.  I hope it gets posted by this evening.....we'll see.
  I need to go haul those bales up to the backyard so they can get some of this free water.
Happy Weaving (and planting!)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Great Way To Beat The Gray!

Let it's not snow!!!
Although it was a gray, drizzly day outside, inside it was colorful and warm!

  Pat brought her placemats that she made to go with a relative's FiestaWare, and she asked me to bring some of the colorful pieces to see if she got it right.  By Jove....I think she's got it!!!!

  Elsewhere in the studio, it was business as usual.  Tina was kept busy helping out some of the weavers and answering questions.  At one point, she was even under Karin's loom helping with the treadles.


Pat was busy spreading a rug warp on the Leclerc.  She found some great fabric to use for some hit or miss rugs...stay tuned for more!

   Betsy got her question answered about a loose thread on her inkle loom, so she'll be back to it soon.  Linda and Frieda have scarves on their looms.  And, if you look very closely, you'll see the LADIES on the back row.  I noticed that Roz has joined them!

  It's a good thing Marie's loom is in the middle of the studio....she's "on-call" the whole time she's here!!! looks like Jocelyn's warp is nearing the end!  Guess that means she's already thinking about what's next! 
  Carl has decided that there's enough warp for one more rug after the one he's weaving now.   He took home another large piece of plaid flannel to get it ready to strip next week.

  Carol was kept busy, as usual, going between our new weavers and trouble shooting on-going projects.  Plus, she had a stack of items that needed to be inventoried and tagged for upstairs.  There's always something that needs to be done!

  After lunch, Jocelyn, Polly and Marie put their heads together to write a grant for more looms.  We are hoping to get a matching grant so we can replace some of our table looms for new weavers.  We would also like to add some Baby Wolves (they fold up!) for our projects that need a little more width.

  So much going on in the Studio!!!
Happy Weaving!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Kind of Loopy

I got them done! Wove all my loopers. Here are the stack of rugs waiting to be hemmed. There are 7 of them.
Then I wanted to weave selvedges for a bunch of rugs. There's a shop waiting for the rugs I weave.
So I went back to the area of all the clear plastic bags full of selvedges. There was one solid black big bag........yup, full of more loopers!
So I spent yesterday afternoon chaining the rest of the loopers. I am positive that this is it....unless I run across more in a tub. You have to clean the loopers before you even begin to chain them. It's messy and I do it outside in summer but there are still tons of lint that drop as you weave. Vacumn cleaner stands nearby til all the rugs are done!
I've got the second rug warp wound and heddles threaded, ready to do the reed.
There should be 8 rugs on this warp, probably 2 or 3 looper rugs. I sure didn't expect that many looper rugs with what I had but am glad for them. Next up will be selvedge rugs. Tonight I hope to pull out all those bags so I see what to combine. That should be fun. But first, loopers!
Until next week, keep weaving!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Ticking off 2 Boxes

Fall 2014, My daughter and I went to SAFF.  We had so much fun, and bought so much fiber to spin, at least I did.  One of the things I did buy was 2 Coated Corriedale fleeces that were almost identical. They were both in shades of grey, from palest grey to medium grey.  I washed them both right away that fall and I did some experimenting, trying to find the best way to prep this fiber.  In the end I found that I liked it prepped as combed top.

I began working on it in my spare time.  I found that some of the fleece wasn't clean enough and I had to rewash that part.  I then did a few sample spins and I really loved it no matter how I spun it up!  The last couple of years have been a bit busy in other parts of my life, so that it wasn't until this week that I finally finished combing the Corriedale fleeces..

 I am in the middle of another project right now or I would be spinning this up right away!  I have been vacillating back and forth about how I want to spin  this yarn, and I am not entirely sure.

I could mix and match from the very beginning, I could spin 3 or 4 different colors of  yarn and use it that way.  I could spin up all the singles and then ply the different colors together to make multi grey tonal yarn  I could also spin a gradient.  Anyway you get the idea, I haven't made up my mind yet.

To get an idea of how much fiber this is, it all fit comfortably in two big plastic tubs.
A couple of weeks ago, I was stash diving and I found a skein of red yarn that was just asking to be a hat for my MIL.  I cast on right away, but it took until today for my to finish it.

This photo was taken before I washed and blocked the hat, which I have now done.  Once it is dry, I will insert another picture, so that you can see just how nicely it turned out.

That is if for today,

 until next time, Happy Crafting, Tina

Thursday, February 18, 2016


  For those of you who follow our blog, you know that we have a lot of resources at the Center where we weave.  On that shelf behind Polly are copies of Handwoven magazine....these go ALL the way back to the beginning!!!  Lucky us!
  Every once in awhile, I go diving for inspiration.  There is such a wealth of information on those's amazing.  Sometimes it's the picture on the front.....sometimes it's the list of what is inside that catches my eye.
  I don't remember what caught my eye the day I took a look at the May/June 1988 issue.  But, inside I found a placemat that I thought was interesting since the title was just Carpet-Warp Placemats.
  And, the folks that know me know that I LOVE 8/4 thread....good ole carpet warp!


These are my version of those placemats.  To give them the thickness needed for a placemat, you use doubled ends in each heddle with a 12 dent reed.  I also used a doubled thread for the weft.

  I have plans to make a batch for the Fall sales using a thicker thread instead of the doubled threads for the warp.  But, first, I have to finish these up.

  I'm not sure this little drawdown will help, but it should give you some idea of the pattern.  The highlighted area is the part that is repeated.  Note that there are floating selvedges (the red dots) on either side.
  There isn't a true plain weave (treadle 1 and 4) but you can either hemstitch for fringes, which I did, or weave a hem using 1 strand of 8/4.  I plan on weaving a hem when I do my next batch.
  If you've been looking for something a little different, this might just be the ticket.

  It's a fun weave.....

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Brave Weavers

This morning Anderson County schools were closed so we should have have stayed home. Knox County was 2 hours late. Last night weavers were already emailing to ask if we could meet anyway. Well, we had a lot of rain last night that washed away the ice.
So, we decided to meet at 11am, letting the roads dry a bit this morning.
There were 9 of us brave souls that were able to get out. There's still a lot of ice on the back roads so quite a few had to stay safe and stay home. LouAnn was one of them, so I took over the job of writing this today.
Marie's a good teacher, helping Michelle with figuring out shrinkage, etc on projects. She's a brand new weaver with lots to learn.

Pat brought in a color sampler for us to see which our favorite combinations were. She's trying to use up her yarn. I think she's going to end up buying more to fill it in. Never have enough stash!
Linda brought in her version of a homemade temple. Using balloon weights, old socks and clamps, she figured out a cheap system that works.
Michele, Frieda, and Anna found the idea intriguing.
Marie, Pat and Polly were intrigued as well.
Cayce wound off her first warp. Done, mistakes and all. You get to learn a lot with mistakes.
So that was out day. Michelle got a new warp wound and on the loom. Pictures next week!
Here's hoping that next Tuesday the weather will cooperate! The high Friday is in the 60s but that's no guarantee the we won't have snow again!
Until next week, 
Your substitute blogger,

Monday, February 15, 2016

Just 25 miles...

After the snow last week, we were warned there'd be more. Yesterday afternoon we were prepared for 4 - 6 inches. We got a bunch of ice pellets. Again, we were just below the storm line. 25 miles north of us they got a lot of snow, roads treacherous and conditions just dangerous. 
This morning I woke about 6am to hear rain. Cool, I thought. It's above freezing and the snow is melting. Wrong. Ice. It all became ice as it hit the ground. Our high today is 47 so it should melt. Plus, we're in a flood watch zone. It's supposed to rain like crazy today and wash all the snow away. The low tonight is 34 so we should be able to meet at the center tomorrow to weave. Tomorrow night we're supposed to have snow again.
By Thursday the high is in the 60s. Welcome to Easy Tenneesse!
Sometimes life gets in the way of my production but I do have some pictures of the warps and skeins that I painted.
Good selection of colors.  Now that they're dry, I need to separate them into projects so that when I'm ready, I can grab a warp and have the wefts right there. Of course, the skeins need to go into balls as well. Guess I'll have to find another DVD to watch.
I'm sure I've mentioned that I watch DVDs while I work in the studio. The past few weeks I've been watching Miss Fisher Mysteries. If you like Downton Abbey for the clothes, you are going to love Miss Fisher. Set in the late 1920s in Australia, the clothes are phenomenal and the story lines are interesting. There are 3 seasons. I haven't found if there will be a 4th but if so, I'll be waiting for the DVD to come out. 
I'm about to head down to the studio to wind a warp for rugs. I've got an order for about 20 of them for a shop so need to get on the stick with that. It's a dusty job weaving selvedges but the rugs are scrumptious and she sells them well so for the next few weeks I'll be weaving rugs.
Until next week, keep weaving!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Just A Dusting.....

That's what the weather forecast last night was saying!!!

We woke up to a little surprise this morning....the storm dipped a little further south than they expected, and we got just a wee bit more than a dusting!!!

Our friend, Tina is tucked up on the couch with her knitting:  you can catch up with her over on Farmstead Studio.  Go for a visit!  And, since I missed blogging yesterday, I thought I would post today.

  I have some doilies from my mom, grandmother and great-aunt that had gotten very yellow.  I was determined to see if I could get them back to their original color!  I soaked them several times yesterday in mild bleach solutions until they became white again.  I still have one more crocheted table topper that is soaking, and that should do me for awhile.

  In between changing the water in the tub, I got a little weaving done.  I realized that I had a better chance of weaving off the last three mats on this warp than finishing up the tan warp!!!  So, out the Pup came from storage...get'er done!!!!

  I never pass up an opportunity to have lunch with a fiber friend.....Maggie and I checked out The Front Porch over in Powell.  They have converted a lovely old home into a tasty place to meet and eat!  (Note Maggie's knitted shawlette!)
  So....that's my excuse....and I'm sticking to it.  All fiber related, you know!!!
Now, let's hope this "little dusting" melts quickly..........

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Snow Day

Local schools are closed, and I hope all our weavers are tucked up tight in their warm homes with their favorite fiber pursuit.

  Here's a few events to ponder that will be coming up in the near future (or on-going events to know about.)

First of all:  Congratulations to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.  Peyton was a Tennessee Volunteer, and he's Tennessee's favorite adopted son!

 ****Yes, I've taken to grabbing stuff off of Facebook....but, it sure beats me typing everything out!!!!

The link for Arrowmont is on the right, and you can take a look at the Spring Holiday Workshop lineup.  It's on Saturday, 26 different classes to choose from PLUS an Egg Hunt for the kids.  (Social hour for the adults!)

  If you haven't been to one of the Holiday Workshops before, this is a great way to try one.

  Sandy has such a great selection of yarns at her shop, Clinch River Yarn Co.  (This link is also on the right.)
  Check it out for Sit & Knit night, as well as the Cricket Club.  Or, you could just stop by and admire all the lovely fiber...and, she'll let you touch!!!

If you're in Gatlinburg, stop by and see Nancy at the Smoky Mt. Spinnery.  Besides lovely yarns, she has an amazing inventory of spinning supplies and wheels, as well as looms.  She also has a Sit & Knit night!

It's that time of year to check the offerings for workshops at the Smoky Mountain FiberArts Festival.  Classes fill up quickly, so don't wait too long.
  Mark your calendar for April 15-17 in Townsend, Tennessee.

  They also have an amazing variety of vendors, so there's something for every fiber lover!!!!

Looking ahead to May, the Middle TN Fiber Festival will be held Memorial Day weekend, May 27-28.  They haven't posted their class schedules yet, but you can check back from time to time.  The location is Dickson, TN, which is about one hour west of Nashville.

That's it for now.  Enjoy your Snow Day.....stay warm.....
Happy Mardi Gras, y'all!!!!


Monday, February 8, 2016

Just 5 more inches....

You know I've been weaving curtains. I got the last warp done Friday afternoon, quickly serged the raw edges, repaired anything needing fixing and threw them in the washing machine before hanging them to dry. Done! Relief and ready to move on.
Saturday afternoon I ironed all the panels and put them in the van.
Yesterday afternoon I drove up to the craft center, raised up one of the tables to a better height and figured out the size of hems and casings. 
There are two sizes of curtains I needed to make. I got all of the longer set pinned and back in the car to come home to hem.
Then I began on the shorter set. I already had a sneaking suspicion that all was not well when I was ironing them, but getting the panels on the table to pin the hems verified it. I had woven one panel short. I don't know which warp it was because all 3 had short panels. One panel was 5 inches too short.
If it had been at the hem end, I might have managed it but this is at the top where the casing goes. Even 2 inches more would have worked. But no, just that much too short.

So this morning I get to wind a warp for just one panel of curtain. I get to thread it, weave it, wash it, iron and then pin it and sew the ends. Exciting, not! However, that's the way it goes and I'll get it done.
DH is excited because we get to keep the flawed panel as an example of all the curtains I've woven for the lodge. He can hang it in his studio!

We may have interesting weather again tonight and for the next couple of days. We may just have an inch of snow but if it's after rain that freezes, we could be stuck again at home. Here's hoping that doesn't happen.

I've also been rinsing skeins and warps. I love how the color stays on the yarn. It just amazes me how one can add color to yarns and how fun it is to weave once done. I should have pictures next week.
Until then, keep weaving and stay warm!!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Project Update


I finished the muslin of Merchant & Mills Top#64.  This is what I learned:
1.  It fits...size wise, that is.  In fact, I could probably go down a size, but I will probably be wearing a turtleneck under it during the winter, so I'll stick with this size.

2.  The underarm needs to be cut a little deeper for ease of movement for me. 

3.  The pockets need to be a wee bit larger, I think.  I actually use my pockets all the time; they aren't for decoration only!  These are 3x5 cards stuck inside so you can gauge how small they are!!!

4.  The sleeves are very LONG....I can adjust this on the pattern.

  The instructions have you do the top stitching as you go...when you're finished, you ARE finished!  That also means that taking out the arm hole is going to be a job....a lot of seam ripping, if you get my drift.  But, I've got the top and seam ripper laid out so I can work on it when I get a minute.
  That means that I'm back to my stash looking for the next piece of fabric to try with this pattern.
If you want to see a great use of this pattern, hop over to Theresa's blog, Camp Runamuck, and see her latest creation.

  One of my goals this winter was to get a few projects completed for the Fall shows.  (Maybe that will keep me from going too crazy in September!)  This placemat warp of  kitchen cotton was calling to me.  Sass Pup has been folded up in my bedroom since Christmas, and it's time to get it woven off, I think. 
  So, while I was binge watching Foyle's War, I finished the huck placemat that was on it, and rethreaded for these placemats.  I'm using two strands of the Peaches & Creme panorama for weft. just feels good to just sit down and weave.  Throwing a shuttle has got to be the best therapy in the world....don't you agree?

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Coming Right Along

2 February 2016
Here you go!

What a difference between last week and this week.

Of course it won't stay empty for long.  We're having bookshelves made for our library.

26 January 2016

2 February 2016

The kitchen area is also starting to look better.  That's the old cabinets that used to be behind the looms.  They now form the island in the kitchen.

19 January 2016

  Irene and Polly are getting the table looms ready for the visiting high school art class on Monday.  Our new weavers, Kayla and Cayce are hard at work on table looms, too.
  Meet Kayla, our newest weaver!!!!
***That stack of purses on the table are the result of Pat's
hard work!!!!

And, speaking of she is helping Lanny cut more strips for Carl.  This time it is a huge piece of plaid flannel.

  I also passed along the word that she'll need to wind a new warp for Carl in the near future.  He's getting close to the end, again!

  You can just barely see LaDonna and Sharon working on their looms.

  Sharen and Linda swapped "snowed-in" stories.  Sharen's house is on the lake, and they got a lot of snow up there.  Linda was in the D.C. area when the last storm blew through....she had some great stories of her adventure!

  Yep...this is ME....hiding from the mountain of heddles that needed to be added to Big Bertha.  I think I finished this afternoon.  But, I want to double check harnesses 4 & 5 before I start threading next week.'s all coming right along!

Happy Weaving!