Friday, April 29, 2016

Sheep Shearing Day!

Lou Ann, Joyce, Karin and I converged upon the Museum of Appalachia this morning.  We were there to demonstrate what happens to the fleece once it is off of the sheep.  We got there around 8:30 and were set up and ready to go by 9:00am when the kids started coming.

The sun was warming up the day as we set up the tables for the long day ahead.  They had us in the shade of a line of cedar trees, it worked out really well!   Last year we were in the sun all day long and we were really zapped by the time the event was over.
 I had a table ready to receive the fresh fleeces.  I then explained what I was looking for in a fleece and how I began the process by skirting the icky bits off right away.  I showed them how nice the cut side of the fleece looked and how different it was on the outside of the fleece.

 Then they had set up a basin for me to wash a bit of one of the fleeces.  Once they brought the hot water, I added some Orvus paste and put a small portion of the first fleece.  It wasn't long before I could show the kids the difference between the dirty and the clean fleece.  I was able to also show them how dirty the water gets!

Here is the clean fleece table with the stages of preparation all the way to spinning on a drop spindle.

Finally there is the other side of the booth where the other girls are showing what we do with the yarn.  First Karin brought her spinning wheel to show the progression from the spindle.  Then Joyce and Lou Ann showed off the different weaving tools that they had brought, and Inkle loom, a box loom and a Rigid Heddle loom.

I promise that I was expecting to be able to take pictures of the all the kids that were going to be there and of the sheep shearing itself, but it didn't happen.  I think it might suffice to say that there were at least 1300 kids  plus adults that came through the event.

On the way home we all decided that we needed a nap before we could face the rest of the day, right after we have had the beverage of our choice!  (Mine is sweet tea!)

Until next week, Happy Crafting, Tina

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Warped and Ready

Yes....we're famous!!  These are two of the pictures on The Museum of Appalachia's Facebook page!  Tomorrow is Sheep Shearing Day, and they are expecting over 1,000 school students to attend in the morning.  (I feel tired just thinking about that!!!)  These pictures are from last year's event.

  Although I made my list  over a week ago, I just started today stacking up the things I'll need for tomorrow.  Here I have the table cover and two rugs.  (I don't want Karin setting her spinning wheel on the dew wet grass!!!)

  I had to weave off the warp that was on my SampleIt loom, and put the new warp on for tomorrow.  This loom is the perfect size to weave up some pot holders.  The warp is Peaches and Cream set at 7.5 epi.

  I thought I knew exactly what I wanted for weft with this warp, but, when I sampled, it was all wrong.  I think I'll go with this sheeting fabric that is left over from the placemats I made (I have a ton of this!!!!)

  The wee Inkle is loaded and, all I need is a good night's sleep!!!

Send us lots of good next week!

Happy Weaving (and shearing!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Quiet Tuesday

  It was a quieter day than usual at the Center today.  Our weavers that spent the weekend in the Dye Workshop decided to take the day off....but, Carol came, of course!!!  Tina was on "Mimi duty" and we all took turns trying to get H to grin at us.  (Marie finally was able to pick him up!!!)  We had some visitors that journeyed down the steps to see the Studio.

  Pat is back from her grandma duties, and got right to work on her newest rug.  The weft is some sheeting that was donated to the Center.  The colors are really looking good with that warp.
  You can see Lanny threading his scarf warp....I'll get pictures next week when he starts weaving!

 Take a look at all the rugs wound up on the cloth beam of Betsy's loom!  I think she has enjoyed playing with different colors for each rug.

Sharon and Karin set up shop (again) to add more books to our library data base.  They worked all day Friday on the list, and we just keep adding books and leaflets to the inventory.  Anna donated 3 Shuttlecraft  Bulletins to our library today....thank you!!!!  What a treasure!!!

  Roz couldn't stay all day, but she got a bunch done while she was here.  That scarf is coming right along!

After I got my warp lashed on and wove the header, I realized I had a wee error that was easily fixed.  I'll be ready to weave next week!!!!
  I just had to get this shot....Marie has been a great help to our librarians!  She has gone through the small publications and leaflets to get them on the database, as well as organizing the copies of Handwoven and the special collections.  It is truly amazing how blessed we are with great resources!
  ****I missed the shot of Anna and Jocelyn getting the warp wound on the Leclerc.  She'll be threading it for waffle weave towels.  And, somehow I missed getting Carl's picture today!    Shirley was also there keeping the back row going....her scarf warp is looking great!  Linda B. got the fringes wound on her new scarves, while Linda L. wove on the placemat warp.
  There's always next week!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, April 25, 2016

I Love Learning!

What a weekend!! I love taking classes and learning new ideas. I may have been weaving for a long time but every class that I take introduces new ideas to add to my knowledge and work.
Thursday and Friday I took a weaving class with Kathrin Weber. Barb had arranged it, spending a couple of years organizing the class. Her hard work paid off with us spending three days in a wonderful, huge, brightly lit venue. The space was fantastic. I wish Tuesday Weavers had a space like this. We would make good use of it! 
So this was a class on Not Your Grandmothers Warp. It certainly wasn't.
Lots of time was spent picking out 2 pre dyed warps, looking for contrast in the colors so the weave structure would show.
Most of our time was spent spent putting the warps on our looms. We'd come to class with dummy warps on our looms so we "just" had to tie the new ones on, wind them onto the back beam and begin to weave.
Learning how to hold everything just so allowed for the color blocks to stay in line. Kathrin got us going nicely. That's the two warps, lined up properly, being wound onto the loom.
I think this was LaDonna's warp. She got carried away designing stripes with her 3 warps! There were 5 of us Tuesday Weavers taking the class. I'm glad that we were able to participate in the class.
Because it was 2 days of class, I was able to finish my warp. I still need to deal with the fringe but I wove a 90 inch scarf. We'll see how it washes and settles into. My 2 warps were 2 different weights of cotton so it should be interesting once I wash it. I used bamboo for weft. I'm hoping that will make it a bit drapey.

The 2 days of information filled our heads but we still had Saturday. We dyed.
Kathryn's system of dyeing is rather different from ours and we were excited to see how she does it. I know I'm going to use some of her methods to add to my dye days! We've got 3 days scheduled to dye in May and I certainly will be using some of these techniques!!
The rainbow warp she dyed was cool. Using just a few dye colors, she mixed what she needed. I don't have an artist's background so it's more difficult for me but the concept is very good.
Each of us had half a table to work on. These were nice 8 foot tables, too!
Here's Barb, our fearless leader!
And Christy who let loose from her meticulous dye techniques to try Kathrin's way. I'll bet she adds some of her ideas to her next dye day as well.
Three days of intense thinking and ideas being added to the brain plus a concrete floor made for a bunch of very tired people!
I highly recommend anyone that weaves to take a class with Kathrin. You'll have more fun and learn more in a relaxed atmosphere than you'd have thought!
So now I need to get down to the studio and back to my production. I've got 3 days to make up for down there!
Until next week, keep weaving!

Friday, April 22, 2016


Today Lou Ann and I will be heading to the Museum of Appalachia, to add a bit of realism to the truly charming landscape we have come to love.  The only problem is that it is raining cats and dogs as I type these words.  We will be inside the Peter's Cabin, but the kiddos will be dodging raindrops!  This is going to be interesting.

This week I finally got that stinkin Bread Cloth warp ready to weave, or so I thought.  I found a few crossed threads, and then I found this.

My laces are not lacing!  Evidently, I need to think twice before I try to switch up a 4 harness pattern to use all 6 harnesses.

I am this close to cutting this baby off and putting it into the circular file!  Really I am!  It is either that or just do plain weave with stripes.

I walked away and decided to put a Hollywood rug warp that I have had on hold thru a spare reed that I have.  I have been acquainting myself with one of the new to me blogs that appeared in our blog list.  It is called Re-New, and Julie mainly weaves rugs.

I  have gone thru all 5 years of posts in just a few days, and now I want a rug loom!  I had two of those a few years ago, but sent them to new homes in a mad dash to declutter my studio.  Sheesh, I think I'm out of my mind!

I do have 3 floor looms, but none of them are good for weaving rugs.  The 8 harness loom might really be heavy enough  to do it, but the brake slips on that one.  If I can't come up with one soon, I will give it a try.

Now to dash through the raindrops to load my stuff into the car.  Today probably won't be a good one for pictures, but I will see if I can get one or two.

Until next week, Happy Crafting, Tina

Thursday, April 21, 2016

What's Up???

 Last week, Tina and I had our first school group of the year at the Museum of Appalachia.  It was a little chilly in the cabin, and Tina got the fire going PDQ!

  But, wouldn't you know!!!  That little wheel was having one of those days, and Tina couldn't get the intake she wanted.  So, out came the spindle...and the kids were fascinated! 

  I had my wee Inkle, and I finished the band that was on it.  Of course, that means I need to put a new warp on it before tomorrow morning!  We have two groups coming to the Museum--90 second graders and 31 seventh graders. 
  I think we'll be busy!

  Saturday morning I was up at Townsend for the Smoky Mountain Fiber Festival.  My first class was Kumihimo Weaving....let's just say I really enjoyed it.  Sharon and Tina have made some lovely braids with their looms, and I'm looking forward to stretching and growing my skills there, too.
  You can just see my humihimo loom at the top right with my project still on will be a wrist lanyard when I'm done.  That lovely board in the center of the picture is my new blending board! 
  My second class was making rolags on the blending board!!!  I remember Sharon blogging about doing this on Stitches, so when I saw the class offered, I signed up!  There are so many things I'd like to try using the blending board, so stay tuned!
  It was really hard to choose between all the classes being offered.  My sister went with me, and she loved her classes, also.  We are toying with the idea of going up there next year and spending the night so we can do two days of classes.  I know I'll be checking the website early!
  April always gets busy, and I hope that next year the Center's art weekend is NOT at the same time!

  Needless to say, I baked a batch of Tina's cookies to take with us to Townsend.

That's just what you need during your break!!!

  I've still got to wind the warp for the Rocker Beater Loom at the Museum....and get the new warp on the wee Inkle.  Time to get busy!

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Clock Is Ticking.....

  Or, maybe that should be the calendar!
  It's six months until our first show....what do you have ready???

Well....Marie has been working on dish towels!  She wove the Christmas towels, then started working on the orange T towels (which will be very popular in this neck of the woods!)

  Just a little reminder............

  Margi has caught the collage bug....she's holding one of Carol's wall hangings that uses leftover pieces of woven fabric.  So far she has created some small pieces....get ready to see what she produces next!!!!

Everyone had something to so today!  Roz is back (and feeling better!) and ready to work on her scarf warp.  Jocelyn wound the last batch of threads for her towel warp.  Irene tackled the back issues ('80's) of Handwoven.

 Lanny got his new scarf warp on the Pup.  It was all wound on and ready to thread before we left for the day!

  We were all glad to have Charlotte back with us today...she got a chance to look around and see what was on the looms.  Betsy just keeps on weaving her rugs!

 And, speaking of rugs....Carl is pleased with his newest blue jean rug woven on the red warp. 


Of course, the LADIES were all hard at work on their looms!!!!!


Anna was working on a cap for her son...but jumped up to help Jocelyn get the towel warp on the loom.  This will be a run of waffle weave towels.

  Sharon and Karin, our librarians, are planning a work day on Friday.  We have a bunch of books to add to the data base, as well as adding a list of all the magazines and special collections.

  Carol took a look at the dyed warps we have on hand to see what still needs to be woven....and make plans on new warps to get ready to dye.
  After all....we have six months to the first show!!!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, April 18, 2016

In the Yard

There is weaving happening but I thought I'd post my annual show of my yard. Old azaleas are so awesome. These are the ones by the driveway, peak as of yesterday.
This is the massive bunch yesterday. It goes way over the driveway but we can't bring ourselves to cut them back. We've pulled them up to try to keep them off the ground but they keep growing.
Bunches of beautiful, big, white with a bit of pink, blossoms. Huge flowers.
Nestled on the other side of the bunch are these yellow flowers. Can't remember what they're called but Japanese something. They bloom each year, bringing some color to the white.
On the other side of the sidewalk are more azaleas. These may look puny but were transferred from the big bunch after branches had bricks placed on them. They root and after a couple of years we transplant them. There is a rooted branch that's ready to be transplanted soon. Give these a few years and they'll fill out like the other bunch.
Moneyplant. You never know where they'll pop up each year. Lots of purple ones this year. They come in white, too.
So, by the front door are more azaleas. Mostly white but one plant is red. We planted it in 1985 when my grandmother passed away, in her memory. Makes me think of her each year.
Trillium in lots of places, so Smokey Mountains.
Something I never realized before is that this set of azaleas is different from the other bunch. I always thought they were the same, big beautiful flowers but these don't have the bit of pink.
Upstairs, on the second floor we have a deck. I've got a window box out there and each year it's interesting to see what I can plant that the squirrels won't eat. Last year I tried lantana. Seemed to work out well. The one box, the plants didn't die. They're even already blooming. I love the color.
I thought I'd have to go to Stanley's and get some more for the other box but today I realized they're coming back in the other planter. How cool! They're supposed to be annuals. These plants don't know it. Two years ago I planted coleus in the boxes. Last year some came up from seeds that fell. Made for an interesting exhibit. I'm curious to see if they come back again this year.
I love seeing the plants come up each year and figuring out what to add to the collection, annuals for color.
We haven't brought out the plants from our little greenhouse yet. It's been a tad busy here.
This week I'm taking a couple of weaving/dyeing classes. It seems to take as long to get ready for he classes as taking them!! I'm looking forward to learning more stuff!!
Until next week, keep weaving!!