Friday, December 30, 2016

New Year, New Tool

I got a text from my Daughter the other day.  While they were cleaning out her in-laws house she ran across a tool she thought I might like.

On the phone I could tell immediately that I did, but I really did not catch the relative size of this shuttle on that small screen.

It wasn't until I went to pick it up that I realized that this is a very special shuttle indeed!

Here it is beside my normal sized shuttles.  I haven't checked to see what size bobbins it might be able to carry, I have a feeling it will be the biggest ones I have and then some.

On closer inspection, I saw that there is not the normal slot to feed the yarn thru, though I saw signs of use.  I think I will bring it on Tuesday and see if Polly might be able to make that slot for me.  I can't wait to see how it feels to weave with this shuttle.

Happy New year to you all, Tina

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Looking Forward to the New Year

Although we had several weavers out for Christmas vacation, we had a hardy crew show up in the Studio today.  We were just in time to see our brand new cone winder in action!

  We often buy large cones of bamboo and 8/2 for our projects, and this means we can wind it off into smaller cones.  What a time saver when you are winding a warp for a project or for dyeing!!! 

  The Ladies were all lined up in a row:  Sharon is on break, so she could be with us today.  She brought along her rigid heddle loom to work on her project.

  Ms. Ila was working upstairs in the shop today, so the back row was missing one of the Ladies!  But, work continues on the scarf projects.

  Lanny finished one scarf, and he'll be ready to start a new one "NEXT YEAR." 

  You can see the finished rug winding up on the cloth beam.  That's another blue jean rug that Carl is weaving.

  Even Carol got in on the weaving today!  She finished up the mug rug warp that we wound for the Foothills show.  There are 13 mug rugs to be hemmed and wet finished!!!

  Frieda finished up her scarf this afternoon and cut it off the loom.  She'll be getting it ready to go upstairs for the New Year, too!

  Jocelyn did finish threading her shawl warp today....she even worked through lunch!!!  Weaving will begin next week!!!

  The towel warp on Tina's loom was creeping slowly up from the back beam.

  It wasn't long until I heard that she was ready to cut off her warp, too!  There were 12 towels on that warp.

  I wandered upstairs to the shop to see how the dogwood throws were displayed...they are near the front, and within reach of fingers that need to touch!  You really don't see the dogwoods until you are closer.

  A new year and new projects await us........

Happy Weaving!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Tops Done!!

I didn't write last week. I didn't have any pictures to show you. With all the Christmas preparations, it just didn't happen. Today, now that things are calming down and DH is off today, I talked him into coming outside, standing on the landing at the back of the house and holding the Christmas quilt top. It's not very big, just 60 x 70 inches. I was supposed to add a border but I kind of like it the way it is, so that's how it's going to be.
Close up, it's a 30s Christmas theme. I fell in love with this fabric when I was up at Missouri Star Quilt Co in July on my trip north. It's called Storybook Christmas, I think, if you like it enough to want some. I have extra that may end up at my sister's place incase we want to sew a couple of throws for her family.
So DH decided that the other quilt was too long for him to just hold it, so he went in to get a step stool. Guess who decided to come to the door to check things out.
This is the best picture I could get and Meg moved. They are the cutest!!
Then they heard DH coming from around the house and Belle really got excited trying to see him. 
So he stood high on the stool and tried to hold the quilt. It's 80 x 80 so there was no way for him to hold it out completely. That's why I always like to take pictures up at my sister's home. There are always a couple of people that can hold it for me! So this is the 30s quilt I worked on forever! Quilt top done, I decided to make the center the focal point and have all the tiny squares circle around it. Each block has 22 pieces so it took awhile to cut, then sew before putting the blocks together. So here it is!
If you look carefully, you can see a box frame on the top deck. So we got a new bed for our spare room. My sister told me about using the box springs from a mattress as a trellis for morning glories or moo plants to train up so we're going to try that. We'll dismantle the frame and see if we can make it work in the garden.
It was fun to piece, once the little four patch pieces were done. Chain stitching sections made it easy to do. I do like how it turned out.
This morning I finished assembling the backing pieces for both quilts. Because they're so big, I don't have the tables to set up to layer them with the batting and pin. So when I get the chance I will press them really well, then take them to the center. I've got risers to bring  the tables to a good height and then use painters tape to get the backing nice and taut before putting the batting down and then the tops. Pinning them really well, I'll be able to bring them home to machine quilt as I have time. Should be fun.
Another thing I want to do is finish weaving the warp on the loom. I still haven't tied it to the front so that's the first job, then get going weaving.
For Christmas I got the Downton Abbey series so I shall watch it from the beginning. I have seen the first two seasons but that's all. It is good to see the whole series in order. I shall sink myself into the show, enjoy seeing the clothes, pausing for a break to stretch my back and looking at some of the clothes with the show on pause while weaving. Win, win! 
Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Next weekend will be another one to celebrate. Tomorrow is weaving again. Yes, we meet during the break as well! Then just a few days to see how much I can get woven before the weekend! 
Until next week, keep weaving!!

Friday, December 23, 2016

I was sure I posted about our Museum day last Friday, but I didn't.   So today we will go back in time but just one week.  LouAnn and I were invited to demonstrate for one of the local elementary school trips.  A couple of weeks before we had found that the fireplace in the Peter's cabin never did warm the cabin sufficiently for our comfort, and since the temps would be even colder for this gig, LouAnn called  the day before to see if the school trip was still on and if there might be some adjustments we could make to our normal set up, and there were.

We set up in the Heritage Hall, a building we had never been in before, and we were pleasantly surprised with a beautiful set up.

 For us there was a nice warm fireplace in a space that was almost made for our type of demo.   While we waited for the kids to start arriving we toured the lower floor of the building.
The building itself is full of musical instruments from days gone by, including an extensive hand made banjo collection. (One made from a metal bedpan!)
There were also some modes of transportation, including a buggy and a hearse.  Then there were  the doctors and dentist offices all decked out for you to marvel at, and we did, I may have even shuddered at the thought!

I had brought my trusty Mayville spinning wheel, made by the Mayville Furniture company of Wisconsin.  I am currently spinning a Jacobs fleece into a very fine single for a fine 3ply yarn.  Now that the weather has turned colder, LouAnn brings one of her small portable looms to weave on, today she brought her Sample it loom warped with wool.

It was just one school this time and we were soon finished and packed up.  We lunched at the lunch counter again today and yes, we did eat pineapple upside-down cake again!  Then we headed home to our respective to do list.

We are ever closer to Christmas,  I hope that your celebrations bring you joy, Tina

Thursday, December 22, 2016


  Here we are....just nine days left of this year.  I'm already looking ahead to 2017.   I got notice this morning from Amazon that the book I pre-ordered will be shipped on the 28th.  This book is one I'm really looking forward to diving into.
  I often take my Inkle loom when Tina and I go to the Museum of Appalachia during the winter.  This book will give me a lot of new information about this type of weaving.  Also, I can get some hints on using the box loom that Linda's husband made for me.  There's always so much to learn about weaving!

  Which reminds me:  What are my weaving goals for 2017? 
1.  Try crackle weave.
2.  Weave a run of mug rugs!!!!  (I didn't weave any this year!)
3.  Practice spinning until I get some usable yarn to weave!  (Ha ha!)

  I'm sure there are more goals for my list...but that's it by now.  I hope you are ready for the next nine's a busy time of year!

Merry Christmas!
Happy Holidays!


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Fa La La La Laaaaah

The Tuesday Weavers

wish you and yours

A Very

Merry Christmas!

And, a tangle free 

New Year!

***A big hug goes out to our friend Linda as she recuperates from back surgery!!!  Get better soon!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Spa Day

  For me?   I wish....

This is one of the dogwood lace throws that I cut off the loom on Tuesday.  I have gotten one edge serged, and the long tails of thread cut off the second one.
  I thought by now that it would be enjoying its very own spa day.  But, other things keep getting in the way!

   I love this weave structure!
  In fact, don't you think it would make a lovely shawl or scarf????

Maybe after the holidays I can test that theory.

Remember the coffee accident?

I will treat that stain before they get their warm bath.

  There are also a couple of places where I need to needle weave the repair threads.

  Since we are in for arctic weather the next few days, it will give me an excuse to stay put and get it finished.

Stay warm!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Makin' Merry

Bonnie's quiche.
Harriet's stollen.
     I bet you think that all we do on Tuesdays is eat......and, you might be right.
  But, it is the season....for goodies!!!

Polly's sugar cookies.
Sharon's gingersnaps.

Goodies that we don't eat the rest of the year (as a rule.)

Anna brought Jelly Bellies.

Having a little snack at your loom is permissible this time of year, right?????

  Carl just went to his loom and started his new rug.  Blue jeans look great with this warp, too!!!

Jocelyn was back at her loom today -ready to wind on her shawl warp.  Karin and Tina jumped right in and helped get the job done!  Take a look at this beautiful shawl warp!!!!

The Ladies were hard at work at their looms, too.  Ms. Ila has started weaving on her shawl warp, and the colors are simply amazing.

   Betsy made some progress on her rug warp, too.  Those colors work well together.
  Polly got some weaving time today after she finished taking some photos for the shop.

  Ruth Anne and Liz are still working on their beginning warps....but, I think they are already planning what they'd like to weave next.

  My white throw warp finally came to an end!  I'll get the edges serged, and then a nice, warm bath before they get hemmed.

  Sharon and Marie kept busy around the studio...there's always something that needs to be done.

  There's always a lot of chatter and laughter while the ladies are working.  Joan and Frieda had a great time today!

  In fact....they had such a good time that Frieda had to stay late!!!!  (Not really....she realized that she had a treadling error, and stayed to fix it!)
  This is what happens when you've been makin' merry!!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Black and White

I've been weaving whenever I get the chance. The warp's about half done but there are still several pieces I need to weave on here so the plan today is to get a bunch done.
Problem is that when I came down to the studio, I had company. Meg thought it would be great fun to join me.
They generally leave my studio alone. I'm not sure why they followed me this morning but they both came down. Meg jumped right up and made herself at home!
Both cats are such a mess! Meg finally moved on and I'll be weaving for awhile! It's really funny. The cats are scared of the sound of the beater on the loom. When I'm weaving, they hate the noise and will disappear.  Sometimes I hear them running across the floor up above me, heading to the stairs to our bedroom, their favorite spot. Sleeping on the end of our bed is the place to be! Time for that nap!!
I don't have a picture yet of the quilt top that I made last week but I cut out another quilt Saturday afternoon. It's Christmasy!! It's a much easier one to piece and I should have that part done later this week. I've even already started sewing the blocks. But, first weave off this warp!!
Hope you are having a good week. With all the distractions, it's hard to concentrate on what needs to be done, but I hope that you get some work done. That is, if your work is weaving or being creative!
Until next week, keep weaving.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Finer Weft

Way back in 2001  I received my very first loom, and as it often happens, it came with cone after cone of yarn.  Soon after I bought a spinning wheel, and it too surprisingly came with cones of  weaving yarn as the seller was moving out of the country and was thrilled to load me up with a literal car load of cones.  At the time I had no idea what I was getting, but I was equally thrilled to get that car load!

Fast forward 15 years, and most of that yarn is still on the shelf.  That is because it is cotton flake, a thick and thin yarn, (I would use this only for weft) in some very interesting sherbet like colors, mostly either variegated or flecked.  I have tried a couple of times to use this yarn but with little success.   But, I think I may have finally figured out what to do with it, just maybe.

I have been weaving 8/4 cotton Baby blankets for years, on that original loom by the way, normally  I  used 8/4 cotton as weft, and I have sold or given away many, many blankets with this pleasing balanced combination.  I also  had begun to bring several of those "other" cones of yarn to the center to see if the other weavers were interested in them.  Well last Monday, I was getting ready to grab a few more cones to take to the Center the next day, when it I hit upon an interesting color combo, and I had the brilliant idea (I hope) to try the flake as weft in the next couple of Baby blankets.

8/4 cotton weft

Speckled cotton flake weft

There is an opaqueness about this new blanket that I find interesting.  I am not sure how this is going to wash, but I decided to weave up a "girl" blanket and a "boy" blanket before I cut off to hem and wash.  It is an experiment, and it may go all wrong in the end, but it might not.

I probably should have adjusted the overshot pattern portion to make it a little bit taller since the yarn is finer, but I didn't think about that  at the time.  If this works out, I will play with that next time.  I will be really thrilled to be able to use this yarn, and it may open up all sorts of possibilities to me, just by thinking of things a little differently.  Who knows, I may end up putting on another Baby blanket warp, (I could use it as fabric for my bags, have I posted about them yet?)   I do have some 12/3 white cotton in lots of tubs that would weave up just as nicely, maybe even better, with this weft,  just think of the possibilities!

Until next time Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, December 8, 2016


  I have been trying all day to get down to the sewing room to get this cute mug liner done.  I love this fabric!  In fact, I made my son a pair of skater shorts from this way back when!!!  He'll recognize it, believe me!  And, his wife works at the zoo, so she'll enjoy one of these liners, too!
  I had a busy morning with lots of picky stuff to get done and phone calls to make.  I must have sent off a dozen emails and then had to wait for know....just one of those mornings.
  I did get a load of laundry in the washer before I rushed off to the post office.
  So, when I finally got back downstairs this afternoon, I decided to load the dryer before I started sewing.

  The clothes in the washer were clean....but, they were dripping wet!  Yep....the spin cycle is toast!!!  Thank heavens for the centrifuge!  But, it only holds a piece at a time, so, it took me awhile to get the load spun and in the dryer.  I was upset....this was not how I wanted to spend my time today!  
  Then it hit me.....I have a roof over my head, food in the fridge, and clean clothes to wear.  I do not have the right to be upset.  Toughen up, buttercup!!!!

  Yesterday, Tina and I drove up to Pigeon Forge to the Apple Barn for some lunch and a little shopping.  Since the wildfires, a lot of folks have stayed away, and the area is hurting for business.  We thought we could do our part!!!  Besides, we wanted a peek at those beautiful Smoky Mountains!!!

  Lunch was yummy, as always, and the folks that work in the restaurant and gift shop were as friendly as ever. 
  And, our quick stop at the local JoAnns proved very productive.

  On the local news tonight, they reported that 700 folks have already signed up for the My People Fund underwritten by the Dollywood Foundation.  This will provide some money for the people who lost their homes from the wildfires. 
  The Arrowmont staff is providing lunch (soup and sandwich) for the local community starting next week until the 23rd.  This is such a caring gesture to the people of Gatlinburg as they get it going again.
  It's all about perception......and, my cup is full of blessings.
I'll call about getting the dryer fixed tomorrow.

Happy Weaving!