Tuesday, November 29, 2016

  Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Sevier County as we are dealing with the aftermath of last night's wildfire.  More wind is expected before the rain arrives tonight, and we're hoping for the best.
  Arrowmont School of Arts and Craft lost two dorms to the fire, but the other structures are still intact. News is still very sketchy at this point...we haven't had any news about Nancy and the folks at the Smoky Mountain Spinnery....hopefully we'll hear something soon.

  Our minds were on our friends in Gatlinburg as we worked in the studio today.  We managed to get news updates online throughout the day.
  Sharon and Christy were hard at work on their Inkle looms finishing up their warps.

  ***  Those are Carl's rugs from last week getting tagged to go upstairs!!!

Sharon got her band finished, and modeled it as a necklace!!!

If you were looking for Molly, she was under the loom getting the treadles tied up!

  Ms. Ila finished threading her shawl warp this afternoon, which means she'll be weaving next week!
  Bonnie found a threading error when she started weaving....she got it fixed!!!!

  Carl started sleying the reed on the new rug warp.  After lunch he started threading the heddles.  Of course, that means that we will help him wind on the warp next week!!!

  Tina's dishtowels were a big hit at the Foothills sale, and there are a few more to weave on the warp.  But, first, she had to address a few twisted threads coming off of the warp beam.!

  Betsy found some suiting fabric in the Annex that will work great in her rug warp.  Polly sat down with her later to help feed the fabric in a loop.  That sure makes it easier!!!!

  Carol checked through the dyed warps to see what we still had to weave.  There are some colorful scarf and shawl warps just waiting their turn on the loom!

  These ladies will be working on those warps before too long!!!

  Please send positive vibes our way...we have another night of high wind to get through, and we're not out of danger yet.

Keep weaving.....

Monday, November 28, 2016


I know, I've got a warp on the loom. However, I haven't even looked at it for a week!! After getting all the end of fair season things done, and before the thanksgiving preps started, I sewed. It was time. I cut out the beginning strips for this quilt while I was up in Canada in August. Then it sat there til I had minutes to tackle it. I didn't really think through this pattern. There are 16 one inch square pieces, 4 two inch square pieces and 2 four inch square pieces in each block.....and there are 100 blocks. So it's been slow going even with my using all the tricks of chain sewing, etc.
Once the block is finished, it will be 8 inches square. I used 30s era reproduction fabrics for the main colors and found some tone on tone white and black for the tiny squares.
See what I mean? And, there are 100 of them. 25 different colors for the blocks. 4 blocks of each fabric.
So now I have to iron all of them. Pressing them will make them look better and will be easier to handle when I decide on how to sew them together. Just the ironing will take time.
The pattern is interesting. 
This is what I saw on the package when I decided to buy it.
Inside are 2 pages of alternative designs. So, I have decisions to make.
At this point I have no idea how I'll finally put them together. I just know I don't want a block of the same fabric next to the same block. Ironing is first, after I get some needed work done in the house. Hopefully I will have time to deal with the design later this week.
This is what happens when I actually follow a pattern instead of just using it as inspiration and then doing it my way.
Weaving is in the wings but I am getting tired of this pattern so it's time to get it together!
Until next week, keep weaving! 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Baby Blankets Again!

I have done several baby blanket warps over the years, in fact I think it has been 3 x 40 yards worth of Overshot baby blankets.  Needless to say my enthusiasm wained towards the end of that third warp and I messed around  switching from an all over design to a plain weave blanket with different designs as an Overshot border, Cat Track and Snail Trails being my favorite.

Recently I wove some fabric using what remains of that third warp and a Monks Belt design.  I then made purses out of that fabric.  I got an order for 2 baby blankets a couple of weeks ago, and one of Dear Ones good friends just had a baby boy recently.  So with the shows over, I went about rethreading once again for Cat Tracks and Snail Trails, and I had a hard time finding the threading that I had used in the past and had to wing it a bit.  In the process  of searching for the pattern that I had always used, I saw an abbreviated treadling that I thought I would try this time around.

The loom I am using is a Counter Balance 4 shaft  "Burchard" loom made in Oakland California a long time ago, and she has some quirks.   One of them is that the treadles are set up a certain way and they really cannot be changed unless you want to switch the actual treadles around, which I could do if I wanted to take the loom apart to a certain degree.  I always just transposed the treadling order, it saves a lot of time!

I was finally ready to weave and for the first two blankets  I just wanted some Snail Trails on each end of the blanket, and those were quickly done.  Then I started the third blanket, and as I began to weave the pattern, I thought it looked a little funny, but I continued on.  It wasn't until I was done with the pattern repeat that I realized that I had forgotten to switch the tie up for the Counter Balanceness of this loom!

I had a good giggle at myself for not recognizing from the moment I started it that it was the back side, but I just thought it was the new treadling!  I wove the body of the blanket and did the smaller pattern on the other side.

I have a lot of fun with the stripes on these blankets and rarely do the same stripes, sometimes even changing the stripe width  that frames the design on each end of the blanket.  Of course sometimes that is by accident because by the time I get to the other side of the blanket the first sequence is on the cloth beam and covered up.  I do try to take a picture so that I can refer to it when I get to the other side, sometimes I forget and sometimes, I forget to look at the pictures, trusting to my memory!  (not a good idea)

I snapped a picture of the right side of the pattern before it got to the cloth beam.  I really like this abbreviated pattern it works up nicely in the 8/4 cotton I am using.  I am always on the lookout for miniature Overshot pattern ideas for these blankets and this one so far is my favorite.

I think next time I will repeat the Snail Trails section at least 1 more time on each side of the Cat Tracks section, I like odd numbers.

Today I am hemming, washing and hanging to dry these blankets, and I will bring them to show and tell on Tuesday before I send them on their way.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, November 24, 2016



  It would seem that this year, the cacti have decided to be Thanksgiving Cacti!  I brought them inside late this year, but they were already setting buds...and, now they are in their glory!!!


  They are a bright spot here in the house!!!

 We lucked up and finally got some rain last night, which I hope helped with the wild fires that are threatening the area.  Air quality alerts were out today, though.

  This has been an unusual year in more ways than one!!!

  I spent the day with my daughter and her family....she did most of the cooking!!!  I did take dessert:  apple cake with caramel icing!!!  (Don't tell, but it was a Frankenstein cake....part of it stuck to the pan!  I carefully peeled it off and used the icing to cover up where I patched it together!!!!)

  I'm so thankful for such a loving family!

  And, speaking of family....this is the beginning of the 4th placemat that I'm weaving for our family Thanksmas.  Since we all lead busy lives, our get-togethers are any time between Thanksgiving and New Years.  This year it is this weekend at my niece's house.  We play a mean game of Dirty Santa to exchange gifts....I usually try to weave something for my gift.  These are very neutral, so they would go with just about any set of dishes.  I'll get this one finished up in a little bit and get them hemmed and washed!!!!
  Now.....what am I going to take for our potluck??????

  There's so much to be thankful for....my family, my friends and my weaving community.  I hope you have enjoyed your day, too!

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

After The Show

  As promised, we wanted to give a BIG shout out to Debra and Michael!  We had such a wonderful time talking with them at the Foothills show.  And, we appreciate their business with us and hope they'll enjoy all their wonderful handwoven items!!!

  Tina got quite a few mug rugs woven on Sunday, which sparked a lot of great conversations!

   This morning, the tubs were hauled back into the Studio to be sorted.  We unloaded the props and hardware that were all part of the show.

  After the tubs were sorted, the woven items that belong upstairs had to be checked back in on the inventory list and put back on display in the shop.  This show was successful for the weavers!

The Ladies gave it a big thumbs up!  (I thought they were going to give me the finger!!!!)

  Joan and Irene went right back to work on more scarves for the shop...there's is always more to weave!

While the weavers were getting things checked in, Carl finished up the last rug on his warp...now it's time to cut off all those rugs!

There were 11 rugs on the cloth beam!!!

  Carl kept one of the blue jean rugs and one that had some of the purple denim.    That was such an interesting accent for the blue jean rugs.
  The fringes got knotted and the rest of the rugs are ready to be tagged to go upstairs next week!

  Although I didn't get a picture of Molly threading the loom today, I did get a great picture of the colorful warp.  Click on the picture to get a better view of all the colors!!!!

  As we look forward to 2017, we've decided to sell the 60" Leclerc and the sliding bench.  Of course, that means I've got to finish weaving the throw that's on the loom next week!!!  We're always looking forward!!!!

We are thankful for our wonderful weaving community, and all the folks that make it possible!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, November 21, 2016

End of Show season!

Just finished my last show of the season right here in Knoxville! Today I slept in!! It's nice to be able to relax a bit. I'll do all the end of show stuff plus be careful how I pack the extras away so I can get to pieces I want to take to shops early in spring.
If you look in the mirror, you can see that I was right next to the concession stand. No, I never bought anything there but I chatted with people waiting for their food!
You can tell which pieces are bamboo because they are so drapey and don't hang well but they feel so wonderful.
The spiral had cotton jackets. With our east  Tennessee weather, most days it's all you need to stay warm. I wouldn't try that up in Canada where I grew up. There it's a spring or fall jacket or wear under your parka for extra warmth. 
The back rack had cotton vests. Each piece preshrunk so if someone tried it on and it fit, it'd fit after washing as well. I really like my new carpet as well. It isn't the thickest but it sure looks nice and feels fine. Got it at Home Depot, by the foot off a roll. Who'd have thought something like that would work in a booth?
Pictures just don't do the vest justice. But behind it you can see the spiral with cotton tops for sale.
Yesterday someone tried in a pretty vest of black white and turquoise. When she had it on I asked her if it made her happy. It did. That's what I want my pieces to do. When someone puts it on, I want them to feel happy wearing it. I want them to help a person have more self confidence in themselves, to feel good. Then I will have accomplished my goal! That's why I weave.
I love this vest. I think I still have it. It tempts me.... It may or may not be put up for sale in a shop. That's the trouble. I end up keeping some of my favorite pieces. To the left of this vest is a rack full of painted vests and jackets. These 2 vests I made after my last show.
So now that the show is over, I will figure out what I want to weave for spring, make a list, see what yarns I have and what I need to order the next time someone wants some bamboo. I still have yarn for several warps. Plus, I want to finish the quilt top I started in summer. I'm close, just 8 more blocks and then assemble the 100 blocks.
I hope each of you has a wonderful thanksgiving whether it's with extended family or, like us. We're staying home and cooking a turkey, watching the parade and relaxing. Maybe watch a movie or two and sleep!
Until next week, have fun and maybe get a bit of weaving done!!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Oops, I Almost Forgot!

I almost forgot to post a picture of the booth today!  Once we had the booth put together yesterday, it was time to fill the shelves and the grid with the contents of the many suitcases and tubs that we had collected on Tuesday.    I forgot to look at the time when we started loading the shelves, but I am sure it took less time to fill them than it took to put them up!

I went up onto the second floor walkway to try to get the big picture.  Polly and Christy had just left and you can see LouAnn taking a picture of the filled booth and Marie doing some fluffing of the merchandise.  (To the left you can just get a peek at Carol's booth, I am sure she will be posting some pictures on her regular Monday post.)  This year we put shelves to the right with placemats, runners and hand  towels, then to the left you can see purses hanging on the grid with  mobieus scarves between them.  There is also a scarf rack in front of LouAnn, the small weaving loom to the left and finally our rack of rugs.  We have a lot of rugs this year, with a 20 ft booth I was afraid we would not have enough stuff to fill it up, so we left very  back at the Appalachian Arts Craft Center.  Many of our weavers had a tub of merchandise for the show, and they are happy to work a shift or two to be able to sell.

Marie worked today, and she reports that the Tuesday Weavers had a good day at the show.  LouAnn and I won't be working the booth until Sunday, and we will then be part of the break down crew, so I have my fingers crossed that we will have sold so much of our merchandise that there will be hardly anything left  to pack up and take home with us at the end of the day.

Wish us luck, Tina

P.S.  if I get a chance I will post a couple more pictures tomorrow.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Blank Canvas

  The day finally arrived....and so did we!  It's always interesting to walk into an empty space and then make it your own.  For three days, our hard work will be on display...and we hope a lot of it will go home with some lovely people who appreciate all that hard work!!!

  Our set artists map out the plan of action....Tina and Marie gave all of us our marching orders.

  Polly, Christy and I did exactly as we were instructed as the grid walls went up.  When Marie says, "Dance!"  We dance!!!

No, No, No!  We did not exile Carol!

She's still right next door to us with all her woven loveliness!

I'm sure she'll post lots of pictures on Monday!

  Grid panels went up....the rug was taped down, and then the hard work of getting all our woven items displayed to their best advantage. 

  Little by little, it all came together.  The little table loom was set up with mug rugs...it's ready to weave in the morning. 
  The canvas is filled....the booth is ready.
I'll leave the finished product for Tina to show you tomorrow.

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Who Needs Lunch?

  We got everyone's attention!!!!
I won't say it was chaos in the Studio today...but it sure was a happening place!
That swirly thingy is the scarf rack (just in case you were wondering.)
Since we'll be setting up Thursday for the Foothills show, all the inventory that we're taking from upstairs has to be listed on the computer and packed in tubs to go. The weavers bring their own inventory list with their items that are going.
  And, there was the new little table loom to get warped for mug rugs.  It will be set up to demonstrate weaving while we are at the show....thank you Tina for getting that threaded and tied on!!!!  And, thank you, Bonnie, for winding that warp!!!

  Our new weavers are getting ready to join the craziness.....by this time next year Liz will be running around getting stuff ready for the show, too.  Carol was very impressed with her hemstitching on her first warp!

  We were so happy to see Linda today!  She's recovering from her shoulder surgery, and needed a little "Tuesday Weaver time!"  We're good for what ails you!
  Stay tuned for Thursday....I'll try to get lots of great pictures of our booth.
Happy Weaving!

Monday, November 14, 2016

One More Thing..

This week will be super busy, even more than last week. I finished the last painted warp using bits of different dyed skeins and now just have the last parts to finish on the pieces. I really liked this blues and greens project. The weft was variations of blue. It made for a happy time weaving.
I actually did wind on another warp to weave on as I find time, but it's on the back burner. I should get it woven off next week. I've got several warps in waiting, all of them in cottons. It's like an old friend when I weave my cotton warps. I've done a lot of them in various colors and there's something to be said about familiarity with the yarns although new and exciting projects are always welcome!

They predicted frost over the weekend so on Friday we moved the plants into the greenhouse. Bougainvillea, poinsettias and mostly ferns came in. The ferns I've been buying are the monster variety as we try to winter them over. If I remember and can go out each day to mist them, they should thrive out there. However, I do believe that some need to be transplanted into bigger pots come spring. Hopefully I'll stay true to the plan!
The minute they hear the door knob turn, the cats are there. Meg came out first this time. I'm going to leave them out there and see how  long it takes for them  to come in. There's tons of stuff to sniff and, since it's inside, they'll be safe. I don't take my Christmas cactus out because the squirrels destroy them but I do take the poinsettias out. This year there are two of them and I think they may bloom. One has red at the top of the stems and the other has white. I'll keep you posted!  You can't see the blooms coming out on the cactuses but they are. Should have flowers for thanksgiving.
It's been very hazy today, more so than other days. The fires in the mountains are far away but with no wind, smoke is lazily heading our way. Several trails are closed in the Smokies because of it. Chimney Tops has a fire by it. That's one of DH's favorite places to walk so it's sad. It's about an hour drive from here.

One more thing, if you have dogs that are out in the yard for long periods of time, would you do me a favor and double check your fence? A friend in Chattanooga has goats and makes soaps, etc using their milk. A bunch of dogs got out of their yard and mauled one of her favorite goats. Yesterday they had to put her down. It makes me sad to hear that people can be so careless with their animals. We never allow our cats out because we know we have fox and coyotes nearby. Our pets are special to us, whether they are goats or cats.  If we just take care of our own, we wouldn't have issues with pets being mauled.
That's about it from here. Next project is packing the car to set up for the show here in town this weekend. I'll post pictures of my booth again. Tuesday Weavers will have a booth right next to me. Theirs promises to be awesome as well! 
Until next week, keep weaving!

Friday, November 11, 2016

On My Plate

This week, on Tuesday in fact I sewed up the last of the bags I think I can get done before next weeks show.  (I may sneak one more in as I had a great idea as I was going to sleep last night, but we shall see)  I had an idea to make some eyeglasses holders in Christmas colors, I need one, so others might as well, and I thought I could work them up fairly quickly.  I did a 5 yard warp on the Tama, which are the little bobbins that you use in Kumihimo.  I got it all set up and I was braiding merrily away, but a little uncomfortably.  So I went from the couch to a kitchen chair, and again I could braid well enough but my knees kept getting in the way, so I put the Marudai on the chair and stood up to braid, it was good, but the chair back got in the way.  I ended up going into the family room and using the table I have set up for kids.  It works a charm and it is right in front of the TV should I want to watch something.

I think I got about 1/3 of the braiding done when I happened to notice the hand towels fabric that  I had taken off of the loom at the Center on Tuesday.

I thought that I should look them over quickly for errors and then get them ready for the show.  Then I would get back to the braiding, or even that fabulous new purse idea that I had.  Can you say famous last words!  Yes, I have spent quite a few hours needle weaving errors in those plain weave towels.

I knew that I was having trouble on the 9th towel with threads skipping over the surface, but what I did not realize is that the underside of the towels where I could not see had several floats on them as well.  Aaaargh!

Anyway I though I would give you an idea of what in the world I am talking about, especially if you are not a weaver.

 The threads that you can see in the middle left of this picture are floats.  They did not get woven into the fabric because they floated over the shuttle when they were not supposed to.
I take a tapestry needle and follow the path that the shuttle was supposed to follow, weaving in those floats.  The thread I am using to do this is leftover hand dyed warp from this  very project, it makes it so easy.  You can see that the thread in this section is quite dark, and might be visible in the repair.
Since the yarn is variegated all I need to do is slide the yarn along the length to find the color that best blends into the background.

Finally you cut off the excess yarn and once this towel is washed you will not be able to see the repair.  

Nor will you be able to see the other hundred thousand repairs I have made!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina