Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Let The Good Times Roll

  Every Tuesday, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., you will find a happy group of folks that have one thing in common.  WE LOVE TO WEAVE!!!
  And, you might wonder....how did this come to be?  Good question!
Way back in the late 1960's, President Johnson had declared a war on poverty.  Grace Foster and Sarah Starr thought that one way folks in this area could benefit was to start a Community Craft Co-op with the mission statement of "For our souls and pocketbooks."  They found an old store front on the highway next to the Museum of Appalachia, and set up a shop to sell handmade Appalachian crafts.  The Museum loaned them an old barn loom, and they had three other looms for weaving.  A pottery workshop was also set up in the building, as well as space for piecing and quilting quilts.  Their claim to fame was the only handicapped accessible outhouse in East Tennessee.
  Carol came to the CCC in 1980.  The new shop was built in 1987.  Somewhere along the way the name was changed to the Appalachian Arts Craft Center....but the mission has stayed the same:  Support arts and crafts in Appalachia through education, sales and community involvement.
  Now days, we are blessed with a good sized retail space upstairs (although we would love to have more room.)

  You can find our placemats, rugs, scarves, shawls and other woven items that are produced downstairs in the studio.
  You'll also find beautiful pottery, jewelry, wooden items, photographs, paintings and quilted items throughout the rest of the shop.

As part of our mission, we have continued to offer beginning weaving classes here at the Center.  Sometimes folks (like ME!) continue to come back Tuesday after Tuesday.  The weaving that we do in the studio not only benefits the Tuesday Weavers, but part of the purchase price goes to the Center.  As most weavers know, we are life long learners...there will always be something new to learn.  One of the best parts is that we learn from each other.  Carol gets us started on the road to weaving....and we drive the rest of the journey.

  One of our signature items is the "Ellen's Pattern" placemats.  Ellen was the first weaving department chairman, and she came up with this crammed and spaced threading for our placemats.  The original ones used a white warp in 8/4 cotton, and five strands of natural 8/4 for weft.  Now....you are already thinking....let's try a another strand of color!  Sure, why not!!!  The possibilities are endless, aren't they!  We have found the white and natural combination a sure bet for folks buying for gifts....keeping it neutral!!!  We buy 8/4 in large quantities for lots of different projects.  You can see part of our stash on the shelves behind Tina and Linda.  And, that's an Ellen's pattern in black 8/4 on Linda's loom.

Carl is weaving on the original barn loom that was loaned to the CCC to start their weaving department.  Yes...we are still weaving lots of rugs!
  Behind Marie, you can see some of the other threads we keep stocked for other projects.
  In addition to the profit from sales in the shop upstairs, we do two shows a year to raise funds for the weaving department.  We have been able to add some new looms to our inventory.

  We are a wee bit crowded....maybe one day we'll get to add on to this building.  But, for now, we just keep on helping each other learn more about weaving.  It's a safe atmosphere to learn to weave and test your wings.  (I didn't even go into our fantastic library of weaving books!!!  It is such a wonderful resource to have at hand!)

  So, since I couldn't be in New Orleans for Fat Tuesday, the weaving studio in Norris, Tennessee, was the perfect place for me!

Happy Weaving!

Thursday, February 23, 2017


Last Friday, Tina blogged about our trip to Asheville to drop off a spinning wheel.  I thought I was just along for the ride....but, you never know who you are going to meet when you're meeting fiber folks.
  The drop off point was with Alan and Milissa Dewey.  Their website is here:  http://www.chessspy.com/BOBBIN-BOY/BB-resources.htm

  I soon realized that I had seen many of her posts on Facebook!  She is an amazing resource, and we had a great discussion about weaving on a box loom.  (Just one of many discussions, by the way!)  Since I'm demonstrating at the Museum next week, I pulled out my box loom that Linda's husband made for me, and I've been using some of the pointers that Milissa shared.  This will also be good for Sheep Shearing Day in April.

Yes....it's still officially Winter, but someone forgot to tell East Tennessee.  My saucer magnolia is in full bloom.  I'm going to enjoy it while I can.....it's supposed to dip below freezing on Sunday morning.  That should take care of the blooms........

  I do enjoy the extra hours of sunlight we are getting.  I was able to get out today to work in my garden. It won't be much longer until I can start planting!

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Not The Newbies Anymore!

Alyce, Ruth Anne and Liz are no longer the Newbies....meet Helen, our newest weaver.  She got started on her warp, and will get her loom dressed next week!!!  She started on a good day....there was a lot going on in the studio.
   Pat got her runner and placemats wet finished at home and brought them back to be tagged for the shop.  And, look what she made!!!  She used one of the "mistake" mats to make a soup cozy.  This one is lined with fabric....but, it's not going upstairs!  Lanny snapped it up as soon as he saw it!  She's going to make another one for him so he'll have a pair!  (His wife might appreciate that!)    She also used some of the leftover woven fabric to make a wee purse!
  Ray is taking over that loom with Pat's warp.  There is still plenty of thread on the loom.         Betsy got her loop of fabric set up at the table to cut strips for the last rug on her loom.  She's using up a bunch of different fabric strips that have been donated to the weavers.  Since this is the wrong side of the fabric, you can't see the lovely floral pattern.  It's a perfect piece to tie all the other strips together!

Linda is back from her cruise, and she was ready to get back to her loom.    Although Tina thought she had a bunch of threading errors, when she sampled with the black thread, she realized that there were no mistakes!  But....she's not happy with her pattern after all.  That means some rethreading !!!

  Lanny always has such great concentration when he weaves!  Of course, that's why his scarves are so lovely, too!!!  We were so glad to have Karin with us today....her work schedule is crazy, but she needs her Tuesday Weaver time!!!

Shirley is introducing some solid blue into her twill scarf.  She will finish it with the variegated yarn.  Bonnie is trying to finish up her scarf so she can start weaving on the 8H Baby Wolf.  (Yeah!!!)  At the end of this row of Ladies is our own Ms. Ila.  She is sleying the reed, which means weaving next week!!!!

These weavers just get it done!!!  
Yes....another warp going on a loom!  Marie and Sharon were working to get lease sticks on in preparation of a new scarf warp.
I wonder what Helen was thinking at the end of today??????
Happy Weaving!


Monday, February 20, 2017

Dye Day

Thursday and Friday we dyed yarns! Every so often we schedule a dye weekend at the center. This time it took awhile to get going because someone had organized the back wall storage and we had to find everything. Then the decision was made to organize the dye colors . Yes, we have a fair amount as a group but they still decided we need to order a couple of new colors next time someone orders from Prochem! 
Getting ready to get going! Guess who forgot her apron and used a garbage bag instead...
Risers certainly help our backs when we work! I think Polly was getting into the mixing of dye. She became the guru of color for the day.
Ray had a warp he wanted to weave mats on. After that he got busy replacing the toilet in the restroom. They had bought a handicap one and it took him the rest of the day and half of Friday to get it done! Thank you!! The center relies on volunteer help. I don't think he thought that when he retired this time and came back to weave that he'd be doing that but we're thrilled that he did!!
Polly and Anna had a plan for this warp. I can't wait to see how it turns out.
Frieda and Joan worked hard on this warp as well. I think both the warps were for shawls.
Then Friday. I had an appointment so got there just before lunch to see everyone working hard on projects. Ila brought her two daughters. They were dyeing silk scarves. Ila kept everyone hopping.
Lunch break!
With everyone working together, we were done dyeing and cleaned up before 3!
Polly had something for each of us. A rubber chicken that "lays" an egg!! It's a key chain that wouldn't last as that but it's the funniest thing! We each got one. Mine is on our Christmas tree...lit makes me smile and think of her each time I glance up at the tree. Yes, it's still up. We've had it up for at least 3 years now. Not sure how long we'll keep it up but it isn't in the way and is cheerful so it stays for now.
Today I keep rinsing the pieces I dyed. It's tedious but necessary.
Tomorrow I'll wind another warp and get going on weaving again.
Until next week, keep weaving!

Friday, February 17, 2017

On the Wheel Railroad

It was a beautiful for an adventure.  I had gotten the "call" about a month ago from the "Antiques Wheel Group"  on Ravelry, about a wheel that needed to get from the east coast all the way to the west coast, and could I play a part in this country wide wheel railroad?

 I was pleased to say that I would be happy to meet "Janice" a fellow Raveler at (Alan Dewey) "Bobbin Boy's" workshop and home  in Asheville TN.  I agreed  to pick up and foster the wheel, a Jenkins "Tina", at my home and I will keep her until the next leg of the trip is planned.

LouAnn came along for the ride as she often does during these trips, and I was happy to have the company.  We chatted   all the way from Knoxville about all the ways to weave small bands, we talked about Inkle looms and band looms, and I told  LouAnn about a very different band loom  called a Leksand loom.   I had only seen one picture, and I was able to find nothing else about it.

We pulled up to the workshop and met Alan, Milissa, and  Janice who had already arrived with the wheel.

While I was outside with Alan discussing the wheel I was picking up and talking to him about some work I would like to have done for one of my small looms at home, LouAnn and Milissa were inside the workshop discovering that they already knew each other from a Facebook weaving group!

We were still talking outside, when LouAnn came out to tell me that Milissa had a band loom inside.   I made my way inside to the workshop to find the very band loom that I had been talking about during our trip!  I got to try it out and everything!

Here is a close up of the working area of the Leksand band loom.  This loom has the bar that the heddled warp thread go over, like a normal Inkle loom has, but it also has the spools that the Glimakra band loom has, so that you can do really long warps.

It would take some practice for me to get good selvedges, but I found as I spent a few more minutes at the loom that I was already learning how much to beat with the "weaving knife" that you can see in my right hand to get the band the way I like it.

Alan and Milissa have a wonderful house workshop full of looms and wheels and coverlets and clock reels and squirrel cage swifts, I felt immediately at home.  I know that this will not be my last visit to their house.

A parting shot of the cutest Hungarian wheel that is not even knee high, this wheel would have been perfect for spinning flax into Linen.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Berry Picking Time

No, no.....not me!  The birds!!! 
I knew it was getting close to time.  I had seen all the robins in the yard, which means that the berry robbing would start any day.  The big holly tree next door is loaded with red berries, so I knew they would soon be on the menu for our hungry visitors.  (Last year I watched the robins strip this tree in just a few hours!!!!)  They were across the street yesterday, but they started here this afternoon.  You should hear all the tweeting and chirping....even POTUS doesn't hold a candle to these guys.
  You can just barely see two of the robins on the right side of the picture....but, take my word for it, there were loads of robins on this tree.

The daffodils are starting to bloom in my yard.  Was it this early last year????  
  I need to start writing this stuff on my calendar!

Now...for my question of the week:  Have you ever taken one of the Craftsy classes offered online? 
  I got a notice today of a serger class, and I'm curious.  I haven't been doing a lot of sewing or serging the last couple of years (hemming placemats, mug rugs and towels doesn't really count, huh?)  I got my first serger in the late '80's, and wore that first one out!  This is actually my third serger. I need to get reacquainted with my equipment, I think.
  Just wondering if anyone out there has taken one of the Craftsy classes.
  Before you know it, it will be time to get the garden ready....now that will cut into my sewing and weaving time!

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Color of Love

  Any given Tuesday, you can find one to two dozen folks who love to weave at a little shop in Norris, Tennessee.  Today is Valentine's Day, and the gang was all here.  Take a look at some of the lovely colors we were working with today.

  So many lovely colors!
     Christy's friend wove this scarf for her....another use of lovey colors!

Happy Weaving!