Thursday, September 29, 2016

Good-bye, Summer!

  Yes....I know that last Thursday was the first day of Fall, but, we've been having temps in the 90's until this week.  Even yesterday it got up into the 80' last swim of the season.  Now, it's time to drop the pool level, put on the cover, and deflate the floats.   It's time for the leaves to start changing colors...we've already had some leaves falling....just enough to have to blow the walks and the deck.
   I'm not a "pumpkin spice" person, but I do love candy corn and all the snack size candies that come with the season.  And, I'm actually looking forward to pulling out my precious hand knit socks!  I'm also a big fan of fires in the firepit and roasting hot dogs over the fire!!!!
  Everything in their season, right?

  I threw the handles for the totebag, and finished the braid.  I love the look...but, I was concerned that it was too fat.  I even measured:  2.5 inches around.  I've been mulling it over for the last few days...trying to decide if I wanted to take out one of the cords and just do a standard 3 strand braid.  I even played with holding the handles together...were they really too fat???  I'm going to go ahead and weave this one off as it is.  I don't have a lot of time left to finish my projects for Homecoming!  But, after Homecoming, I'm going to weave another one with a 3 strand handle!!!!

Thrums....glorious thrums!!!  Look at all those colors!!! 
  I'm making some bracelets for the Student Day at Homecoming, and these short pieces are just the ticket!  Don't you just love all the colors and textures? 
  Carol, Pat, Cindy and Christy have donated their thrums to me over the last few years.  I have used them to make art yarn.  But, I'm going to use some of this to make the bracelets this year.  (I need to make more art yarn, too...but not right now!!!) 
  Then it will be time to tag everything, make an inventory list, and pack it up to go!  I've already got a list going of things to get ready for the Foothills sale in November. 
  It is the season!!!

Happy Weaving,

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fall Weaving

   Here's an overview look at the Center this afternoon.  It was a hive of activity all day as we gear up for Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia.  This will be the first time some of our weavers have participated in this, and there are a lot of questions about pricing and articles for the sale.  You can't see Christy (you can see her arms!) but, she had her bracelets out adding beads and getting them ready to go.  The "Ladies" were back in place this week, just weaving away.  And, Sharon was working through some notebooks that are part of our collection for the library.

  Another view point, and you can see Carol and Joan cutting off the warp of table runners from her loom.
  Carl (top left) was busy all day on the barn loom.  He told me that his knees are just about hitting the rugs on the cloth beam, which means we'll be cutting off those rugs when he finishes up the one he's working on right now.  Then, there should be at least four more rugs on this warp!
  Tina (top right) was super busy on the towel warp today. 
  Pat (lower right) got some weaving done on the placemat warp.  She's got a stack of weaving ready for the show next week!!!

  Here's a better view of Pat, Carl and Tina (well...kinda better.)  You can see the top of Molly's head as she threaded her towel warp.  
  On the far left, you can see my white throw warp.....there was a little uh-oh back there this morning!  Some coffee got spilled on the corner of the cloth!  I'm not worried since I'll be washing it after it gets hemmed.  I'll just do a little spot treatment on the coffee!!!!

Frieda was one happy weaver today!!!  She's finally at the end of that scarf warp.  Ms. Ila thinks there were five scarves on that warp!   Just a couple more inches, and that warp is OFF!

  That check just might be a bribe....we need to get the lowdown on that one!!!!  But, Marie holds the purse strings of this group, and we don't argue with her!!!!  Polly is making some headway on the Ellen's pattern placemats, which are always in demand.    Betsy's rugs are looking great....she has done a great job putting the colors together!
  We've got a busy couple of weeks ahead of us...besides Homecoming next week, we've got a weaving guild coming to visit the following week!  This should be fun!!!
Stay tuned.....
Happy Weaving!

Monday, September 26, 2016

More Color

Again, there were interruptions this past week but I got a couple of painted warps woven. The first one is really raspberry and turquoise. The jackets will be pure fun! Although the one will be more winter weight, I think it's appropriate to have a colorful jacket in the dullness of winter.
The other warp was chocolate, olive and rust. Earth tone colors make me happy. I don't have a bamboo jacket yet. It may be tempting to keep the one. We'll see once show time is over.

We left Friday morning on a weekend trip, getting back yesterday evening. We drove up to Central City in Muhlenberg County, KY. It was a 5 hour trip since we went via Nashville for a quick stop at a guitar repair shop. 
The event we went to was the annual National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame awards and contest. The Friday evening event was the awards presentation plus a concert with Tommy Emmanual. So there were more people there than usual. This time we were assigned seats. Ours were in the middle of the row about half way down the room. They had given out all the awards to very deserving musicians and helpers when the only one left was the Presidents's Award.  Well, we sat back and just enjoyed watching. We're not really involved with their group. Our Chet Atkins Appreciation Society event keeps us plenty busy but our groups are intertwined anyway and we help each other. Then Paul Moseley started talking about who the award was going to. We were listening and trying to figure out who they meant because it could have been one of several couples when they called our names. Talk about being stunned! We had to climb over several people to get to the aisle. Mark accepted the award for us. I was pretty much speechless! Mark is well deserving of all the awards but I stay in the background doing registration, etc and helping keep things calm but no one ever notices what I do. That's fine with me but it was exciting to get recognition from such a fine group.

Then Saturday was the contest. The winners in both categories were the same two girls. Katelyn is from Florida and is a sophomore at Belmont in Nashville. She won the coolest Gretsch guitar. Second place went to Bella who's still in high school in Colorado. She got a Gretsch as well. It was exciting to see how much they had practiced since our convention in July. Well deserved wins! It was the first time a woman had won the award. Their hard work showed and they're both nice people!

So, now I'm back home ready to work. Not so many distractions for the next few days! Good thing. I'm about to put the last bamboo warp on the loom and hope to weave it off today or tomorrow afternoon. Then it's on to cotton warps. I have yarn and time so ready to crank out some fabrics!
Until next week, keep weaving!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Totally Unexpected Acquisition

A couple of years ago, I went thru a phase of selling off tools that I was not using.  I went from 7 spinning Wheels to 3 and I went from 7 looms to 3 as well.  It left me with an 8 harness loom, a 6 harness loom and a 4 harness loom, (I have since added a sturdy rug loom).  As far as spinning wheels go, I was left with a small "slow" wheel to take to the Museum and a "fast" CPW for spinning really fine yarn, and I also had the Hansen E-Spinner with it's incredibly large bobbins for spinning and plying large skeins.  I was, and am content with these three, all my spinning needs met.   (I am not counting spindles of which I have just a few and Charkha which I now have 2, which  are for spinning cotton, and yes there is the Great wheel, which is like a very big Charkha!)

That is not to say there are wheels that if I get a chance to purchase one at a good price I would, a sturdy double flyer wheel comes to mind.  I had one of those but it was too delicate for me, I want sturdy!   Even a lateral treadle wheel would interest me, especially if it had a peg that you moved from hole to hole instead of flyer hooks!  I was not looking to buy another Saxony wheel at all, I already had 2!

I was cruising around on Ravelry on Sunday in the "Working Wheels" group, on the "Wheels in the Wild" thread.  I shouldn't have been doing that, but I like to keep abreast of what is out there and current pricing, that info does come in handy.  I came across an add for a Country Craftsman spinning wheel complete with distaff and stool, though only one bobbin, at a really low price!  I though wow, that is really a good price for that wheel!  Then I noticed where the wheel was located, it was about 20 minutes away from me if traffic cooperates, so I made inquires.  Someone had already contacted them and they were negotiating. (about what I do not know)  I texted back for them to let me know if it fell through, and that I was very local to them.  (Inwardly, I was like whew, I'm glad someone else got it, cause I do not need it!)

Tuesday afternoon, they contact me to say that it is still available if I was interested.  We met just a few hours later at a local grocery store to make the transaction.  I mentioned right away that I would probably be taking the wheel to the Museum of Appalachia to demonstrate spinning, she exclaimed that her Mom would have loved that!

Her Mom had bought the wheel decades ago and that it had never been used as a spinning wheel, only as decor.  I assured her that I meant to use it to make yarn and that it would be well used and loved.  She said that the fact that I was local really meant a lot to her.  I said that I lived right outside of Oak Ridge.  She asked if I knew where Oliver Springs is, I replied that I lived just outside of Oliver Springs.  She looked at me and said that the wheel had spent the last 28 years in a cabin just outside of Oliver Springs.  We looked at each other, and I asked her what road, cause I have to tell you this place is not huge.  Turns out the wheel is coming back home, it will be about 5 minutes away from the cabin that it had graced for so long!

The Tuesday weavers have a tradition of naming looms for the previous owner as far back as we know.  With this in mind I asked her what her mothers name was,  she responded Duchess.  I told her of our tradition, and about how glad I was that such a lovely name would be perfect for this wheel.  By then we were both looking in vain for tissues!

 Again, this wheel had never been used for spinning, so she had never had a drop of oil, the squeaking was incredible!  I had to stop every couple of minutes to oil all the usual places.  She was stiff and uncooperative to begin with, but I think that after a couple of pounds of fiber she will get used to working for the first time in her life, an be a very good wheel to spin on.

I have put the fiber that I am spinning on a table that is some distance away.  That way when I get up to go get some more, I stop and reapply oil.

It was about at this point that we began to work well together, I will still have to use copious amounts of oil for many months to come for her to be nearly as cooperative as my other wheels, but we will get there.

I am going to use "Wood Beams" on her wood, there is hardly a scratch on her, she just needs a bit of a shine, and it is a non toxic wood nourishing product that has the added bonus of smelling good too!  I have heard this formula that I mean to follow, use it once a day for a week, once a week for a month and once a month for a year.  After that just once a year will do, she should be glowing soon.

Until next week, Happy Spinning, Tina

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Waste Not

  Remember the bags of tee shirts and jeans that were donated to the Weavers on Tuesday????  Well....I brought one of the bags home to prepare for Carl's rugs.  This is a great TV time activity.
  I like to start at the inseam, and I remove the inseam in one long piece.  Then I cut up the side seam, which is the straightest seam on the jeans.  My goal is to save as much fabric as I can. 
  I save the rear of the jeans with the pockets for other projects.  The front of the jeans go in another pile.

  This really came at a good time for me....I've been weaving some tote bags for the fall sale, and I needed some long inseams to use for the strap.    I will join several to get a four yard length--I'll need four of these.  Then, the strips will be braided the make the strap.

  This is the blue jean tote bag that is in progress.  I had cut my strips  1/2" since it needed to be light weight.  I'll be adding in the straps tonight.  Grey's Anatomy premiers tonight, you know.

  Rolling around the cloth beam is the blue tote bag that I finished this weekend.  You have to tuck the handles carefully at the sides so that don't interfere with the cloth that is winding on OR the brake system.  The white totebag was woven with the strips from my placemat fabric that had the hairy selvedge.  I thought more pink would show up on the woven part, which is why the edge is pink.  I'm not so sure that was a good idea.  We'll see...........

  I have plenty to do in the next few days, but I love seeing fabric get a new life.
Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Meet More Weavers!

(l) Ruth Anne  (r)  Betsy

Meet Ruth Anne, our newest weaver.  She lives in Greenville and is Betsy's friend.  She has 29 alpacas, and weaves on a rigid heddle loom.  After spending the day with us, she has decided to learn to weave on floor loom. 

  Christy has been with the Tuesday Weavers since 2011.  But, she had been weaving for about 20 years.  When she lived in New Orleans, she had her painted silk scarves and shawls in a gallery downtown.  While she still enjoys weaving handpainted silk on her floor looms, you usually see her with her Inkle loom at the Center.  Her bookmarks are always a favorite at our fall sales.  Today she had her beads out as she styled some inkle woven bracelets.
  Christy's dad was in the Forest Service, so she grew up in seven different southern states.  Before coming to East TN, she had lived 30 years in New Orleans.  Besides weaving and beadwork, Christy also knits, crochets and enjoys needlework.

  Pat came to the Center in 2000 to learn to weave.  Originally from Colorado, Pat and her husband came to Knoxville in 1966 when Dan was hired to teach at the University of Tennessee.  They have three sons, five grandsons and one granddaughter.  (Just ask Pat about Violet....she glows!!!!)  Their oldest grandson is in Colorado studying to be a Park Ranger.  (Another *glowing* moment!) 
  Pat is involved in her church and her community association.  She also works every election.  Of course, she is also very active in her grandchildren's lives.
  Right now, Pat has a warp for 20 placemats on her Schacht 8 harness loom, and another placemat warp on her Harrisville.  One of her favorite things to weave is cloth....yardage!  In fact, she made vests for her brothers and sisters and their spouses a few years back from her handwoven wool cloth!!!

  As promised, here's a picture of Molly's warp...on the loom!  She and Tina got it all wound on last week, and now she's threading this 12 harness design.  I can't wait until she's ready to start weaving!!!

What in the world is this mess?????
  Carl and Sharon's church has a rummage sale last weekend, and the left over tee shirts and jeans were donated to the weavers!!!!  We sorted seven large bags into stacks for tee shirt rugs and stacks of jeans to be readied for weaving. 

  It looks like we all have homework this week!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Another Detour

I had promised to show my framed teapot and cup and saucer. It's done! I'll hang it in the dining room near the dishes I kind of used as inspiration for the colors. The walls there are dark paneling and floors walnut, so it will stand out in color. I'm glad I got Chris to do the framing. I had to ship it overnight to Texas because she was close to retiring. In fact, she's already retired!!  I know she was training someone to take over her job. She's so talented, I'm sure she'll be doing more creative things.  I still have a couple of unfinished lace pieces. The next one I want to finish is a pansy that's been patiently waiting for, ummm, a few years.... It's pretty so I know I'm going to finish it. I have the leaves and a few odds and ends in the flower to do.
So, about that detour. You know I like to quilt in my "free" time. Well, a couple of friends decided to go to the AQS quilt show in Chattanooga last week. I was told to go as well. We drove down Wednesday and came back on Saturday. I thought that was way too much time but, really, it wasn't. You have to go by each vendor to see what they have and if one can use anything they have for sale. Then there are the quilts to view. I'd love to show you some of the ones I took pictures of, but that's just not kosher, so I couldn't. I also signed up for a class. 3 hours on Friday afternoon I took a raw edge quilt class with Frieda Anderson. What a treat! I know. It's basically a cut out shape, slap it on with heat but we learnt some cool tricks. My piece isn't quite done. There are more berries to add. Then it's time to layer with a bit of batting and backing before machine quilting the whole thing which will take forever. It'll probably have to wait til December before I have time to work on it. I do love the cardinal, tho. We got another pattern of the cardinal sitting on a branch with dogwood blossoms but that's for another day.
For this week, it's back to weaving bamboo. I have a warp almost done, another ready to go on and the last one waiting in the wings. The colors are fun and, because it's a variegated warp, each turn of the wheel brings a slightly different color combination.
So, until next week, keep weaving!!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Busy Again

It has been a busy week here, there is a lot to do to get ready for the upcoming show.  The first thing on my to do list was to make sure everything that was ready to go to the show was inventoried and in the inventory suitcase.  Next I hemmed the t-shirt rugs and put them beside the suitcase. Then I made some nice skeins of handspun yarn and added them to the pile.  Next week I will be printing labels and hemming bread cloths to add to the suitcase.  I may have a few more skeins of yarn, if I decide not to keep them, but I might keep the latest one I finished.

I had a couple of pretty fiber braids in my stash, one was a blue/green/gray multi color, the other was solid gray.  I split the multi braid down the length until I had 8 pieces.  I spun it with just enough twist to hold it together and a little thicker than my usual.  I did the solid gray to the same specifications.
I love how the color stripes are showing up on the bobbin!

I have over 900 yards of a very soft bouncy yarn, not quite as thick as I was hopping for, but beautiful just the same.  I may be keeping this one.

Next on the e-spinner is solid brown shetland (Capt. Jack Sparrow, the only fleece Lou Ann and I have ever named) to pair up with another multicolored bobbin that is already done.

Another thing I am doing, is preparing some fiber to spin at the Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia, that is our first show, and it will be 4 straight days of spinning on the porch.  That means I have to have a lot of fiber ready to spin on hand, and I can't risk running out!

 I cleaned these fleeces back in 2014 when I came home from the sheep shearing.  I had brought home  a lot of fleeces that year and it was quite the job getting them all clean and dry.  I then boxed them up and labeled them, and I get into the boxes from time to time when I need something to spin at the Museum.
This is the last of the white fleeces from 2014, so I am determined to get it spun up this year at Homecoming.
I picked thru the fleeces choosing only the best locks, there is a lot of short stuff that will not go well in the yarn I want to make.

Then I run each and every lock across the hand carders to open up each end and clean out the last of the vegetation. (and there is a lot of that!)

The last thing I do is use the hand carders as they were meant to be used.  It doesn't take but a few passes since the wool is so open and clean already.

Prepping this fleece before the show will really be a life saver.  I will be taking one of the brown fleeces to demonstrate hand carding, and I very well may be spinning that before the end of 4 days.

I will be taking some emergency fiber that is not from the Museums flock, just in case I run out, probably some shetland or Jacobs.

This week I was able to finish a knitted scarf called, "Architecture"  I had taken it to my retreat last week to work on.  I used Tosh Merino Light, on size 5 straight needles.  I am very pleased with both the pattern and the yarn, I may be repeating this project!

I have a busy weekend ahead of me, and no more time to write,

So until next time, keep on Crafting, Tina

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Same....But Different

Some might say that I'm just splitting hairs.....but, there is a difference!
  The placemats on the top right are my Salute To Norris Dam mats.  The warp is two shades of blue and two shades of green with one yellow thread.  The weft is some of my sheeting cut in one inch strips.  The mat on the bottom is from last year's set using the same sheeting as weft...but, I used the edge that had a lot of pink and lavender print.  The Norris Dam set has the edge with the blue flower. 
  While I was weaving away at the Museum, I noticed that the weft I was using had some of the pink flowers....but, would that make a difference???  I think it does!  The placemats on the top left have that color added. 
  Needless to say, I came home and started cutting more weft that had the blue flower edge!

  This is a large roll of sheet weight fabric that I have used for a bunch of woven items....and I still have lots left.  The right side of the roll has a little fringe to it, and I've just been bagging that up for a future project.  You can see the pink and lavender flowers that make up the next few cuts.  The blue flower is on the left, and I did not use it on last year's placemats.  The first four placemats I wove this year was using up this fabric from last year.
  So.......there are two mats with a touch of pink in them, but, that's all there will be!  I came home from the Museum and started cutting more weft--but, only from the blue side.  I'll get these six hemmed for the first sale, and weave the remaining mats with just the blue. 
  I'm not sure what the next project for this fabric will be.....surely there is another......maybe just shades of green?????
Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The View

  This is just a hive of busy weavers!!!  And, today was a light attendance day, to boot!!!    But, we're kicking it into high gear getting ready for our first fall sale.

As promised, here's a picture of Molly's warp.  Come to find out, this will be towels!!!  (Really gorgeous towels!!!!)

  Of course, the next step is that it needs to go ON the loom.  Tina dusted off her hands, and they got right to work.  Get those lease sticks in, ladies!!!!!

Linda and Frieda were hard at work on the scarf warps. 

Betsy and Polly took time out to talk to Irene about their warps.

  Here's a better view of Betsy's rug....and you can see what has already been woven as it makes its way to the cloth beam.

  Remember all those blue jeans strips that Carl cut last week????   Now they are part of a rug!!!!  And, guess what?  Carl had more blue jeans donated during the week!!!!  He had me check....there are seven sticks on the warp, there will be plenty more rugs!!!

  Sharon has finished adding in the books that were on top of the shelves, and she tidied up the card file.  She got the three new books added in, also.
  Marie got the scarves from the Steeplechase Challenge added to the inventory.  We got those tagged and upstairs to the shop!
  Carol is kept busy keeping tabs on everything going on in our studio...what a job!!!!

After Karin finished getting the book database up to date, she was back to work on her towels.

Bonnie was all alone on the back row today!  That probably means she got a lot of weaving done!

  Even with all the goings on, Casey and Joan worked on their table looms.  That's how good weaving habits are developed.

  We are already signing up for our shifts for the Homecoming at the Museum of will be time to pack up soon!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Gearing Up

It's time to get serious about production for the fall shows after a very welcome month visiting family. In spring we had dye days and I painted several warps and wefts. So now I'm trying to weave them off.  The warp and weft is bamboo. This warp is greens. What looks like teal is really a darker green. 
Blues, lots of blues are what this warp is. It's not bright but more perfect for blue jeans. 
I've got 3 more bamboo warps to go. Winding the warps and wefts is fairly easy, just takes time. Then it's back to cotton. However, with several interruptions planned for this week, not a lot of weaving will happen but I'll see how much I can get done. 
Winding the skeins onto my big Strauch ball winder is taking quite awhile. Seems like those threads tangle more than I'd like. So there's a lot of work before I get to the loom. It's a good thing my cats don't seem phased by the least not today! 
Until next week, keep weaving!!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Up Close and Personal

Lou Ann and I arrived bright and early this morning to help flesh out the "Days of the Pioneers"  Antique show at the Museum of Appalachia.   You have seen pictures of it before so here is just a view of some of the booths from my porch.
 I also happened to see "Abe and Mary Todd" over across the way having their picture taken, so I took a picture of that for you.
 Next to Lou Ann here is my partner, the little red wheel does such a good job on the porch.  For those who do not know, this wheel was made around 1860 in Mayville, Wisconsin, by the Mayville Furniture company.  It didn't give me a moment of trouble today.

You can see I have a bobbin ready to go, before I left today it was full!
 Here is the first bobbin I had already spun the previous visit.  It is waiting for me to hurry and get all three bobbins spun and plied so it can be a skein.

The wool is straight from the Museum flock, this time white wool is what I am concentrating on.  I would love to have several bouncy 3 ply skeins by this time next year.  I only spin Museum wool at the museum, so that I can say that it is museum wool, it is a thing, you know.
The morning flew by and before you know it, it was lunch time.  I ran and got our lunches and we settled in to eat.  A few minutes later, I noticed that we had a visitor.

The peacocks are always around, but we have never had one get this close.  How close do you ask?
 This close!  (Lou Ann did not feed the bird, but obviously somebody has!)
So close in fact that we could see the beautiful colors on his back,  I have never gotten such a great closeup!

Then I turned around to see a Peahen coming closer, and what we noticed was that she had 4 young chicks with her!
 She did not bring them over for lunch, but we got a really good look at them all.
Lou Ann says that she saw the hen feeding the chicks tiny bits of grass, I totally missed that!  I will be looking for them tomorrow, when we will be once again on the porch of the Peter's Cabin spinning and in the loom house weaving.

Until next time, Happy Crafting, Tina