Friday, July 29, 2016

New Pattern Color

It has been a busy week here in the studio.  I am on a mission to clear off looms  that have had projects languishing for way too long.  Last week you saw a deepest darkest skein of yarn being put to good use, and this week I have a shot of the second blanket in progress.

I saw last week as I was weaving that the pattern weft was happily placed on the contrasting color of tabby weft.  I also saw as the blanket progressed that it was not going to be the same on the second blanket, and I was going to have to choose a different pattern color.  I wanted to use red, but I have had a few projects ruined by using red 8/4 cotton, it is notorious for sharing it's lovely color with surrounding threads.

I went looking in my basket of filled bobbins from other 8/4 projects and I came across a color that I thought might work.  There were 2 full bobbins and I made sure I had enough on a partial cone to finish the job if I needed more.  It might shock you...........

Are you ready?..............


I bet you weren't expecting that!  I think it is going to work.  Even if it spills over into the redder portions of the ground weave on the final pattern portion,  it will be in that purply part that inspired my choice.

I would have finished the blanket this week, except that I was suddenly inspired to rethread the breadcloth warp that has been in time out way too long.  The poor dear has been on 2 looms, it has been rethreaded more times than I can count, and then it was abandoned,  I was sure that I would never get back to it again.  I admit to the fact that I was just so close to cutting it off, but I didn't.    

I wove the first one without using a temple, and it was a mistake, the edges were not good, in fact they were really bad.  I dug out my temple to weave the next one and I was reminded of how much better these fine threads do when I take the time to do what they require.

In the end, I had to cut off the last breadcloth before it was finished, there were tension issues once again, and I had had enough!  I love these breadcloths and they do sell really well at the fall shows, but I think I am ready to move on to another project.  

I have tub after tub of some really really fine cotton threads in amazing colors,  I also have some really fine linen thread.  Right now, I am doing some research to find out what I can do with them, maybe even combine them some way.  I doubt it will be a quick project, most of these threads should be sett at 30 EPI, looks like I will be pulling out those 15 dent reeds after all!

Until next time, Keep on Crafting, Tina

Edited to add,  

The purple did not work with the red so I am alternating colors on the patterned parts.

Edited again, yes I see the stupid error, do you.  It is already unwoven and rewoven, again!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thursday Afternoon

  When I posted last week, I thought my new fridge would be delivered on Monday, and that was OK.  But, on Friday morning, I got a call from the service center...they couldn't deliver the fridge until the following Wednesday (that would have been yesterday!!!)  Needless to say, I canceled that order and went to a local appliance store:  they could deliver the same fridge on Saturday morning!!!  Now....why didn't I go to them in the first place???  I will in the future!
  So, after my new fridge was in place, and humming soft, cooling sounds, we took off for Maggie's to load up some looms.  She had been missing "Tootsie" and "Jenny" at her new digs down in Brasstown.

  Even the TV caught a ride down!  They were supposed to hook up her cable on Tuesday, so she'll be ready for some Netflix by now!!!  I understand she's catching up on Grey's Anatomy. 
  Thank goodness Maggie had some burly boys lined up to take the looms upstairs to the loft!!!  Three middle aged ladies did their best just to get them IN and OUT of the car!!!!

  Although it wasn't my intention, we came back through Ocoee on the way home.  I had never seen so many folks on a river in my life....and the rapids are beautiful!   This is the same stretch of river they used for the 1996 Summer Olympics. 

  The left over weft from last year's placemats is weaving up very nicely for this tote bag.  I'm almost ready to throw the handles....but my mop cord is the wrong color!!!!  Happily, I have plenty of that fabric left, so I'm making cloth cords to weave into the warp.  They will braid like a charm!!!

  And, when I need to walk away from the loom, I've got these fringes to twist on the blue jean rug!  I'm trading the rug for a stack of blue jeans from my brother in law.  Seems like a good deal to me!!!

  *****Just a note for Theresa to answer her question about the Center.  The Appalachia Arts Craft Center is a cooperative.  Most of us came to learn to weave, and we just haven't left yet.  For every four items we weave at the Center, we can keep one....or, just keep track of  our "credit" if we want to use it.  All of our items from the weaving studio go upstairs, which supports the weaving program.
  For the two fall sales, the weavers can bring the items they weave at home to sell.  We give a percentage of our sale to the Weaving Department.  Plus, it makes for a really nice variety of items for sale in our booth.
  It looks like we have gotten a little break in our heat wave, and it's even raining gently outside.  Yeah!!!!   No excuses.... I need to get those fringes twisted!!!
Happy Weaving!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Pat has been busy at home weaving up lots of leftover thread.  Here is her newest batch of placemats--she has a lot of fun with color and texture.

  Carl finished up another rug, and got his spacers in place (this will be the fringes for the rugs.)  Marie was able to sort through all the odds and ends that had ended up under Carl's loom.  It sure makes getting around that area a lot safer!

Would you believe that the treadle pin worked loose on Jocelyn's loom?  Oh, yes!!!!   She discovered it about 3 inches later....needless to say, she unwove that part and got it working like a charm!!!  Those will be great waffle weave towels!

   Bonnie has really enjoyed changing the treadling on her scarf warp.  As soon as she finishes the hemstitching on this scarf, she'll leave room for the fringes, and then start the next scarf.

  Lanny got some more woven on that luscious wool/silk scarf!

   Towels????  Yes, towels!  All this time I thought this was a shawl on Ms. Ila's loom!!!  This is one of the dyed warps from Dye Day.

Irene is working on a scarf for the Fall sales.   Another great way to use up some of our novelty yarn.

  Hannah is almost finished with her first warp.  Next week she'll get to wind a new warp for a new project.  Wonder what she'd like to weave????

  Placemats are always needed upstairs and for the sales.  Linda is making a bunch in this colorway.

  Betsy has finished the to sleying the reed.

  Christy had her wee Inkle loom at the Center today.  She is always trying something new!
  Anna is starting to join her squares from the pin loom.


Take a look at Bonnie's wool rug!!!  She took the felted rug class at the Center and had a blast felting the wool in a kiddie pool with her feet!!!  Now, she needs to get her own pool to use at home!

  Linda brought her Cricket today.  She's got another scarf warp going!

We have so many projects going on in the Studio...and we're always thinking about the projects we want to do at home!

  Safe travels to Carol as she heads up north.

Happy Weaving!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Did It Again!

I did it again! Almost forgot to post today. I got home last night from Asheville, unloaded and basically crashed! After Nashville and that convention, doing a 4 day show was exhausting. I'm a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and do the 2 shows each year. Being a member since 1985, that's a bunch.
This morning I needed to get an oil change, run some errands and come home to finish the last bit of paperwork.
So I forgot to post until now. At least it's not as late as last week!
I took pictures to give you an idea of what I do.
These tops are cotton and, since I prewash everything, I know they will wash well.
I've been playing with bamboo, dyeing the yarns and then weaving vests, and now, pullovers.. The pullovers are supposed to be big, sloppy, great to relax in items.
On the right is a purple painted bamboo pullover. In the middle a cotton jacket and on the left, my newest project. We got a yarn that is a cotton/ rayon blend. The rayon gives it a bit of a sheen. I've been using bamboo for warp and the new yarn for weft in jackets. They're heavier. It's a good blend for our winters down here and would be great to layer under.
More jackets to tempt.
Coming up the aisle these jackets speak of fall which will be here in a bit!
Most of these are jackets I wove with the new painted yarn. You can see that it's a heavier yarn.
Vests. Lots of cotton vests.
I took the pictures as we opened on Thursday. Thankfully, the booth looked different by the end of the show!
So what's up for this week? It's time for my annual trip north. I'm shifting gears again and gathering things to take with me as I drive north to visit family.
Hopefully I'll remember to post next week! Someone remind me!
Until next week, keep weaving!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Deep Dark Stash

Way back in 2001, I was given my very first floor loom.  Along with that loom came a ton of stuff, books, yarn, shuttles, yarn, fabric cut in strips and more yarn.  One of the yarns that I got with that loom was 2 skeins of perle cotton in a beige color, which is not my favorite color!  For 9 years I left that yarn in the tub it came in and tried to  forget it even existed, with a lot of success.

In October 2010, I took part in our very first Tuesday Weavers Dye Day,  I know that because I looked it up!  I had used a knitting machine to knit that perle cotton into a blank, and I dyed it that day.  Once it was rinsed and dry, I skeined it up and I still thought it was ugly!

Recently I have been weaving with a hand dyed warp at the weaving Center, and I have been using a solid color pattern on top of it, it is surprisingly satisfying.  At home I have a loom I am trying to empty, and it is full of 8/4 cotton in natural.  I have woven more baby blankets than I can count on this warp, mostly overshot patterns.    This is the  last of 3, 40 yard warps  I was really getting bored with it!  I had already rethreaded the loom with a monks belt and I wondered what I could do to make it more interesting.  That is when my gaze found those "ugly" skeins, I knew that I had nothing to lose.

I still thought that it was ugly, ugly, ugly!

 Still UGLY!

Ugly?  What was I thinking!  This is when I went searching to find the post about that first dye day.  I couldn't even remember what I had done to get the long color repeats.

 I then remembered about knitting up the blanks of perle cotton, and there was a picture of the dyeing in progress.  I think I will be able to get 2 blankets out of this first skein, and maybe one out of the other slightly different and smaller skein.

This yarn is truly the deepest darkest stash come to the light.  I have finished the first blanket and I am debating with myself if I should cut it off and wash it before I weave the second one to see how it washes up, but I think I will just plug ahead and weave until both skeins are history.  It will be quite the accomplishment.

Until next time, Keep on Crafting, Tina

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Just The Facts, Ma'am

  The Anderson County Fair is over for this year.  My check will be deposited in the bank tomorrow!  These are my four entries in the fair:  a double binding hot pad, scarf, placemat (from last year's challenge) and a rag rug.  The hot pad and scarf earned blue ribbons, and the rug and placemat received red ribbons.  (I must have dropped one of the red ribbons as I left on Sunday.)
  I want to keep the categories in mind as I weave new projects this coming year....these were the only woven projects entered!  (I've already been told that I WILL have competition for next year!!!)


  And, here we are:  The Time Warp Weavers!!!!  Linda (who volunteers at Martin's Station) represented the 1760's.  Tina is from the 1860's and I grooved my way from the 1960's.  We came in last, but we had a rockin' time together, as always!
  I need to work on weaving with wool, that's for sure.  

  This is the poster we had for our group.  I'm not sure many folks even took the time to look at it....they just thought we liked to dress up, I think. 
  As always, we answered a lot of questions from the public about the spinning wheels and the loom.  It's always cool when you see someone make the connection.

  I think I need to weave on's been ages since I finished that rug.  I have enough weft left over  from another placemat warp to do a tote bag for the Fall sales.  (October will be here before you know it!!!)  Plus, weaving on John gives me a chance to let off steam. 
  My fridge died this week, and the new one won't be here until Monday.  I feel like I have spent the last few days running up and down the stairs taking food out to the freezer and fridge in the garage.  (I should say that I am thankful they are out there!!!)  It's just been a little stressful.........and, wouldn't you know that we are in the middle of a heat wave!!!! 
  Ah,'s little speed bumps!

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Lots to Discuss

  There's always a discussion going on....that you can depend on!!!

  There was a lot of discussion going on about the pattern to use for the next scarf.  That's the great thing about weaving....there are usually several different ways to treadle any given threading.

  Karin and Marie are determined to straighten up the tubs of fiber and fabric.  Discussing where to put them leads to some creative solutions.

  And, sometimes, there's just time to discuss what's going on with each other!

  Margi's team of masterminds have been having lots of fun with their weaving collages.  They have been sharing tips and techniques with each other.

  No discussion needed.....the warp just needs to be advanced!!!!

  Pat and Anna got a chance to look at some of the thread choices on the shelf. 

  No discussion needed....Christy really liked this decorator fabric that came in this morning. 

    Tina brought her portable charkha today....she's been spinning some cotton at home.  There were a bunch of folks that enjoyed that demonstration!

Weavers have plenty to discuss, that's for sure!!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, July 18, 2016

I Almost Forgot!

So it's been a hectic few weeks!! More hectic than normal!!
This time of year always is. DH is president of the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society. I stay out of it as much as possible but not this time of year. We got back last night from our 32nd annual convention in Nashville. Yup, been to all of them. Have been in charge of registration for most of them. I mean, really, I can't listen to music for 4 days from 9am til midnight or later. We have 2 stages, 2 workshop rooms and 3 vendor areas plus there's music everywhere! So I volunteered to help and it's fun. I see a lot of people and it's fun to meet them each year. The attendees become old friends by the time they come the second year and newbies are "mentored" as they figure out who they want to listen to and where to go.
I always wonder about what to post. You can't really post what it's like. You have to come. Linda came a couple of times with her DH so you could ask her. But it's impossible with just pictures.
It was a dilemma for me until DH told me who he'd picked to play Scottie Moore's guitar. Scottie played with Elvis in the glory days of the 50s. His guitar is made available to us for someone special to play Saturday evening at our finale concert. DH and a few others look around during all 4 days of the convention to pick a young special person to play Scottie's guitar.
This year he couldn't make up his mind so, instead he picked 3 girls! Yes, 3 girls!!
They don't find out until Saturday afternoon that they're up! Not enough time to get nervous.
Here's Bella from Colorado, first one to play. 
Katelyn was next. She's from Florida.  Notice how excited they all were!
Then it was Emma's turn. She's from Texas. These girls were so supportive of each other. We're finding that the young players are helping each other, kind of like our Tuesday weavers.
What fun they had. You know there were tears in some parents' eyes.
It's hard to see but the lady in front with the blur on her hand is using a sheet of paper from my legal pad as a fan. Billie Rose was hot and I was helpful since I had a legal pad in my bag. Billie Rose was Chet's sister. She's a real hoot! She's become our matriarch. I told her that earlier this week and she had a good laugh but she is.
Meagan is playing guitar as she has for years. She's Billie Rose's granddaughter, Chet's great niece. She coming into her own as a player, following in her great uncle's footsteps. That's her daughter Whitney singing with her at the show. She's going to be a musical person as well. She has no fear! 
There were a lot of guys that played but I wanted to focus on the good women players!!
I almost forgot to post but I'm glad I didn't.
Now if I could just find my phone and iPad chargers, I'd be good. Phone's dead and iPad is close! I put it in a box. We have several boxes to go through yet. Here's hoping!
Until next week, keep weaving!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Storms and Spindles

Thunder and lightning, wind and rain have been sweeping through our area almost every night this last week.  There have been trees down and power outages, though no real damage on our place.

We are very thankful for the rain, we can always use it this time of year.  Storms however, can put me a little on edge. Tornados have been known to rip through our area leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.  It is not common, but it does happen.  So, when we start getting this evening cycle of heating and storms as the air starts to cool, I start looking for something to get my mind off of it!

That is why I pulled out some cotton sliver, (I have a very modest cotton fluff stash) and a tahkli support spindle last week when the second storm in a row was heading our way.  I have tried to spin cotton in the past with little success, as it is not at all like wool, silk or flax.  It needs an incredible amount of twist to hold together.

That first evening, once the storms were over, I looked down, and I found that I had gotten the hang of it!  (This is two tone pima cotton that I blended together)

I started thinking about all that I could do with the yarn I was making, then I started wondering how I could do it faster.
Then I realized that the Great Wheel that I had sold last year would have been perfect for spinning cotton!   I checked Craigslist to see if there was one in the area, but there wasn't.

Then I remembered that Lou Ann had one she was wanting to rehome.  She had been trying to talk me into taking hers for awhile, ( I knew you were!) So, I sent her a text to ask her about it, she asked if she could bring it over right then!

I laughed and told her I would pick it up the next day, and I did.  I did a bit of tinkering, turning the maidens, replacing bearings, cleaning the spindle.

Once I got it all back together, it worked well, but it doesn't insert twist as fast as I would like for cotton, since it is not an accelerated spinning head.

 It will be great for wool, but a little slow for the cotton.  I will be keeping my eyes peeled for that accelerated head!

(Keep in mind that not even a week had passed since this  cotton spinning madness struck!)

I was perusing Ravelry about the time I was messing with the wheel, and I came across an "Indian Book Charka" for a very good price, including a book and a video.  Well, you can guess what happened can't you.

Yes indeed, less than a week from the beginning of cotton fever,  I had watched every You Tube video I could find on the subject, read through the whole Ravelry "Charka, Tahkli Group" threads,  researched all the websites that have cotton and stuff, bought some more fluff and  by the time the Charkha got here I was ready to give it a try!  I watched the video  (by Eileen Hallman) that came with the Charkha (which was extremely helpful,) and before you know it I was spinning cotton like a boss!    (That is recycled blue jean material on the Charkha spindle below.)

There is a weaving shuttle that I am going to buy that will enable me to take the spindle from the Charkha and use it directly in the shuttle. ( It really is that small!)

I will be able to spin many short staple  and fine fibers with this new tool.   Merino silk blends are said to be perfect for it,   as are Cashmere , Yak and I suppose my own Nigora will spin well on it too!  I have ideas, but no firm plans yet.   I just love learning new skills.

Let the storm clouds roll!

Until next time, I hope all is well with you, Happy Crafting, Tina