Thursday, March 30, 2017

Apples and Cherries

  Fall used to be my favorite season, but the older I get, I think that Spring might be inching up on the meter!  My poor little apple tree is trying to bloom....YAY!  But, let me explain....I have never gotten an apple from this tree!  It was left to me when I bought this house...sitting in a 5 gallon bucket.  I planted it the next year, and I have shown it lots of love.  Two years ago, I had one apple that disappeared about the time it should have been ripe.  Last year, I had 3 apples.  Two disappeared....and the third one had a big ole bite taken out of it.
  There is some hope for this year........

  My favorite cherry tree finally gave up the ghost last fall, and left the sour cherry tree as queen bee of the front yard.  It has put on a lovely show this season.  I usually let the birds have the cherries on this tree.  I might have to rethink that this summer if I have time to make some jelly.

  I have three pallet beds that will be my garden this year.  The lettuce is starting to come up, and the spinach is just now starting to show.  I transplanted the broccoli in the end of this unit.  I think they are liking the rich soil.
  I used the hay from my hay bale experiment in the bottom of the pallets.  I filled in with leaf compost and some of Tina's rich goat compost.  Potting soil was added to the top.  So far, so good.
  I'm ready to plant beans and okra after April 15th!
  There's just something about planting seeds.....

  My daughter's wallet-purse has gone on the back burner while I got my taxes ready for the accountant.  I went this morning, and while I did owe some additional $$, it wasn't too bad.
  One of the things I discovered as I was working on her purse is that my inkle bands are NOT long enough for a cross body bag!  Boo!!!!  I think I've worked out a band to weave on the Pup.  But, I also need to warp the inkle to take to the Museum my to-do list just got longer!
  This box of 8/4 is the thread I pulled for the placemat warp on the Rocker Beater loom at the Museum of Appalachia.  I wanted to do some mats for my Fiesta dishes, and I'm going to do stripes in these 7 colors.  Carl and I brainstormed a way to rough sley the reed so that I don't have to take a raddle with me to the Museum.  I'll get the threads wound, and then I'll see if I can accomplish sleying the reed.  (BTW, I'm using some navy cotton fabric for the weft for these mats.)
  Ah, is good.  I have plants that are growing, and honest work to keep my hands busy.  It also keeps my mind busy....that's a good thing.

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What's Up?

Last week, Carl cut his warp off the barn loom.  There were five blue jean rugs.  As promised, a new warp was wound today for the barn loom.  The first rug will be a re-do for a customer--her favorite blue jean rug was destroyed by her dog!  We washed the rug and cut off the old warp.  The blue jean weft was wound up for the new rug.  Carl started sleying the warp after lunch.  I'm betting that we'll wind it on next week after he gets it threaded.

The three scarves the were cut off of Lanny's loom got their fringes twisted this morning.  Notice that Lanny uses a heavy notebook to weigh them down.

  Meanwhile, Dickie is under Betsy's loom (while she is out of town) to fix the treadle.  I love it that he brings his favorite tools when he brings Connie to weaving!!!!  (BTW, I gave Dickie a project to work on this week:  he is going to put a dimmer switch on that winding station in the picture with Lanny.  He is also going to see about getting a longer spindle for it!)

  Tina, Marie and Linda held down the back row today.  Marie is weaving butterflies while Tina is trying to thread (when we aren't talking to her!)  Linda was working on another placemat on the black warp.
  On the right, you can see that the orange weft is working well with the shawl warp.  Jocelyn is pleased with the way it is going.

   Sharon's warp is threaded, tied on and ready to go--at least as soon as she gets the treadles tied up!!!
  Meanwhile, Bonnie is threading her towel warp on the new 8H Baby Wolf.  She tried the new "tractor stool" to get her down to eye level--and it worked!!!

Frieda finished the green scarf with the black weft, so it's time to start the next one!  She pulled this skein of dyed yarn from the box, and round and round it went!!!!  I'm looking forward to seeing it with that warp!
  Ray just kept on weaving on the placemat warp....just how many yards did Pat put on this loom?????

  Carol brought her quilt top that she blogged about yesterday.  I'm so glad we got to see it up close!!!  What a cheerful quilt!
(You can see the warping mill on the right with Carl's warp all wound up!)

Enjoy your week!
Happy Weaving!

Monday, March 27, 2017


I know I promised pictures of rugs last week but I don't have any. I do have 4 rugs pinned, ready for the hem to be sewn but haven't seen them yet. I've woven more so the pile is increasing.
There are two reasons why I haven't hemmed rugs yet. 
First, last Tuesday evening we had a storm. We've been having a lot of rain on Tuesdays lately. So when they said rain, I figured, yawn, just some more rain. Nothing to worry about. That is until about 7:30 when we got a gully washer that included a ton of hail. This time we didn't get the damage that huge balls of ice bring. Nope, this time it was tons and tons of bigger than pea sized hail. My studio is our renovated garage. The driveway comes down to the doorway. We have several areas that divert the rain off the driveway and down the hill. However, the drain in front of the studio that goes all the way across the space became covered with hail and couldn't drain. Yes, we got water in the studio. That whole evening was a matter of rescuing stuff. Moving things out of the way, mopping up water, etc meant no weaving the next day. Couldn't get to my loom! It all gave me a chance to rethink some storage options and we're about back to normal but this time boxes are on 1 x 4 s so we shouldn't have problems if we get hail like this again. DH had gone out during the worst of it and raked the hail off the grate into piles. A lot of leaves and branches that came down were in that mix. I noticed 2 mornings later that there was still some hail in the pile, not melted yet although we had nice warm weather.  Our weather is so weird. Some people not far from us didn't get any hail. Some didn't even notice that it had rained. However, this was our turn to get hit by the downpour.
The other reason I haven't been hemming rugs is because I had been working on a quilt top in my spare time. It was all over the area I would be sewing rug hems. Rugs usually have a lot of lint on them so you want to keep nice fabric away from them. I made the decision to finish this quilt top before hemming rugs.
We tried to hang it off the railing of our upstairs deck. The wind and sun didn't like that much!
So I took another picture in the kitchen. It's a very busy quilt but I like the modernness of it. I'll have a friend in Canada quilt it on her long arm when I go up in summer. I'll get a good picture of it when it's quilted!
So this week I will be busy in the studio with hemming rugs and weaving some more. We have a friend in Paris who had a baby on Saturday. I only recently found out she was pregnant. It's a boy! I have fabric, a pattern and enthusiasm....but first, these rugs are going to get done!! I want to deliver the first batch later this week.  I need the space they're taking up!!
Until next week, keep weaving!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Spring Break 3

We are in Washington DC for the first time ever!  We are touring together with our Daughter and her family.  Sometimes we are together as a group and sometimes as a couple and then sometimes we are alone going in opposite directions, but we keep running into our favorite President.

I saw this one on my own at the George Washington University Textile Museum.  It was an exhibit of campaign textiles called,  "Your Next President"

This of course is the Presidential box in "Ford's Theater", where President Lincoln was shot, we had tickets for the 9:30 am presentation.  We then went across the street to tour the Peterson house where the President later died.

However, I think my favorite remains the Lincoln Memorial.

We have packed a lot into 3 days and we travel home tomorrow, there is still so much to see and do, I suspect we will be back.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring Break.2

Happy Weavers! 
  Spring Break put a dent in our numbers, but we still had a busy studio today.
Our newest weavers are still working with the table looms--Carol gets us all started that way!!


  After lunch, Carl was ready to cut off the warp of rugs on the barn loom.

That's FIVE blue jean rugs from this warp!

  Liz finished her scarf with the novelty yarn, and she's ready to twist the fringes.  Then, she'll be ready to wet finish her scarf at home.  Ah.....a spa day for the scarf!

  Linda started a new color-way on the black placemat warp.  This one is gray, white and black.  This is the "Ellen's Pattern" placemat that is crammed and spaced in the reed to give it a visual texture.  You can see the orange ones rolling up on on the cloth beam.  There are 10 placemats and one table runner in this set.

Next week will see a new warp for Carl, and lots more weaving on the many looms in our studio.

Happy Weaving!

P.S.  If you're on Spring Break in our neck of the woods, stop by and say "Hello"!!!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Piling Up

I've been working the last few weeks as much as my schedule has allowed. All the loopers have been cleaned, selvedges rolled into balls and several warps woven.
However, they're not ready to show.
None of them have been hemmed yet.
This is the pile of more neutral rugs. You can see the serged hems sitting there, just waiting for me to pin and hem them.
The darker ones are on another pile, waiting as well.
They're going to be so nice! As I rolled them off the cloth beam, it was fun to see the total effect of the color combinations. This week I'm going to get another warp on the loom and weave if off. I'll also be hemming the ones already done. 
These rugs are pretty heavy. I can only weave four, five sometimes, at a time before I need to cut them off, retire the warp on and keep going. It's not hard to do, just slow and not the best on the muscles.
I'm trying to weave all my selvedges that I have so I can put some other things in those tubs. I'm on my way to getting it done. A few more weeks, especially with interruptions, and they'll be all woven. That doesn't mean that I won't have more weft for rugs. It just means that that part of it will be done!
I've got some very cool plaid flannel just waiting to be cut for rugs. They will be nice and soft on the feet!
So, it's back down to the studio and winding a neutral warp for the loom!
Until next week, keep weaving!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Inch by Inch

I have woven a piece of cloth in 8/4 cotton for which I have plans, these plans require a woven band. I am using the same 8/4 cotton on this band and while I can't replicate the fabric, I hope that this pattern goes well with it.

It is a very simple pattern with a chain in the middle surrounded by small stripes.

It is plain weave, no fuss and fairly quick to weave.  I am using my spare minutes, which are few, weaving this one.

As the band progresses, the width has changed a bit, getting a bit narrower, and each time it does, I like it even better.  I put enough yardage on the loom to account for this.  I am fairly new to Inkle weaving, I have done maybe a dozen bands over the last few years.  My interests comes and goes, so my level of expertise does not match the number of years I have known about band weaving.

I think that it is safe to say that if I would concentrate on any one thing for more than a nano second,  I could really improve my skills.  LouAnn and I were talking about that yesterday while we drove to Berea, KY .  We were taking the spinning wheel we picked up in Asheville a month or so ago, to make its next connection on the "Antique Wheel Railroad".  It is making it's way to the far west coast, this next leg is taking it all the way to Chicago, where it will hitch a ride west.

Anyway we talked a little about having too many irons in the fire and therefore not getting anything done!  On top of all the things I like to do in the Studio, I also have a very full family life, many of you can relate.  I have decided that I am not going to beat myself up over all this, and that I am going to live in the moment, whatever that may be.  Do I have the kids for the day, or night?  Embrace them, and do not fret about the rest.  Do I have an day in the Studio?  Live it, love it, try to do the project that is speaking to me that day.  Do I have a spare moment or two?  Have a wheel set up within easy reach or a band loom project within sight for a few minutes of peace and quiet.

I am not a production weaver by any means, though along with the Tuesday Weavers, I do participate in two fall shows every year.  I do need to have something to put into the booth, but I need it to be a joy and not drag to my spirit.  Maybe I am spring cleaning the  winter cobwebs out of my mind, but I keep coming back to it, for me, right now, "each project needs to be a joy and not a drag".

 I should make it a plaque for my doorway that I can jump up and high five on my way into the Studio.  How about you?

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Spring Break

  I remember how much I looked forward to Spring Break when I taught school.....a little breathing room before the big stretch of finishing the year.  Sometimes we would go somewhere warm....and sometimes we would just stay home and get some projects completed.
  I don't need to worry about Spring Break anymore (thank goodness!) but I do have projects started.  This one is actually for my daughter.  She's taking a group of high school students to New Zealand and Australia in June, and she's been looking for a cross body wallet purse to keep everything close to her. 
  So...we measured her passport and phone, and I started making a plan.  This is how far I've gotten.
  It will be 8" X 12" when it's opened up, and 8" X 4" when folded.  I've got the middle section done:  credit cards and zippered coin purse.  This will also be the pocket for cash behind the cards.  The bottom pocket came from a pair of jean tops that Sharon brought me last week.  It will be a double pocket!  The strap for the purse will be woven on my inkle loom.  I'm sure this will go through several versions until we decide on just the right one.

  Oak Ridge is a popular Spring Break destination for rowers from up north.  The parking lot was full of cars and vans from Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia and Illinois.  It's too bad they weren't here last week:  it was in the 70's!!!  This week has been a wee bit chilly!!!  But, it is supposed to warm up next week....just in time for a whole new group of rowers.

  I love driving by the river to see the teams out rowing.  I admire their dedication to their sport.  I'm sure they would rather be at the beach than rowing on this chilly, windy river.
  But, when you see them in town, they are always so happy and energetic.  I'm glad they come to our little neck of the woods.

  I need to get back to my project...and I really need to work on getting my taxes ready.  (Yuck!)
  There's always something to do!

Happy Weaving and Sewing and Rowing!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Pi Day With The Tuesday Weavers

  Where else would you want to be on Pi Day?
  Yes...I know this is a cake....Ms. Ila bakes the best, after all!
While the northeast battles winter storm Stella, we were all cozy at the Center for our weekly get-together.  Outside we had low gray clouds and itsy-bitsy spit balls of snow....but, you would never have known it in the studio.

  Now.....back to Pi all weavers are aware, math plays a big part in our weaving.  Our new weavers are becoming familiar with E.P.I., and how to figure sett for the reed you are using.

  And, we had several big discussions going on about different weave structures.
  Linda is interested in doing some Liturgical weaving, and we pulled some resources for her to look at.  Betsy wove a stole for a family member, so she shared the information that she had.
  Tina isn't happy with the weave structure on that hot pink shawl....she is looking at some different patterns....and learning to use her new iWeaveIt program.

 Christy, Sharon and I started deconstructing the jeans from the rummage sale.  Sharon and Christy like to use the rotary cutters and mats.  I had my new spring action scissors!  We got half of the jeans worked up....we'll work on the rest of them next week.  Then we can get the panels joined and ready to cut on the rag cutter.

  Carl wove a set of butterflies to use as inserts in cards.  Carol got all of the panels in their cards and ready to go upstairs.

 Lanny finished his scarf warp:  three luxurious silk/wool scarves ready to be wet finished!  He's going on vacation next week....lucky him!!!

    Carl is rather hemmed in at the old barn loom.  We have some folks on "spring break" here, so some looms are still parked in the walkway.  He's working on the last rug on this warp.

Frieda and Joan were with us, just working away on their scarves.

   I think that Bonnie is missing Shirley......she left her loom folded up today while she visited with her weaving friends.
  Ms. Ila is working on her colorful shawl.

  This is the second shawl on Jocelyn's loom.  She was sampling some wefts for this one.  It's a little tricky since you don't want to obscure the beautiful pattern in the warp.  Stay tuned ......

NO...Betsy and Tina are not behind bars!!!
  They were helping Marie set up the table in the shop for the "Porch Sale."
  Polly and Marie got us all in gear to move the props for our spring sale.  The potters set up on the porch, while the other items in the sale stay inside.  The black grid is great for displaying the hanging pieces.

   I almost forgot to share this one with you!!!  This picture perfect moment shows Tina, Linda and Dickie working on the hooves of Linda's little fiber goat!!!!  Since you can't touch...I can assure you that this little goat is a pleasure to feel!  So soft........

Stay warm.....enjoy your PI.

Happy Weaving!

Friday, March 10, 2017

I Like Sectional Warp Beams!

You may not have heard me cheer late last week, but I know my near neighbors must have.  I have had a hard time the last couple of years, staying on task up in the studio.  Nobody's fault but my own, I usually have too many irons in the fire, and end up getting nothing done.  Anyway last week, I spent a couple of days concentrated on weaving off some long standing warps.

 One of them was on the loom a couple of years (8/4 blankets) and the other warp (8/2 towels), had been on a loom I had sold at least 3 years ago, and had finally gotten back on a loom last month.  It really did not take long to weave this second warp in plainweave, letting the stripes do the all the work.  I haven't finished or washed the fabric that came off the looms, once I get that done, I will post some pictures.

The "Burchard" loom from Berkley, California, is a 4 harness counterbalance loom, that has a wooden sectional warp beam.  One of the sectional rakes was in need of repair, so I took it on Tuesday so that Polly could take a look at it.  She is going to repair it for me,  and soon I will be putting on a new warp for Linen kitchen towels.  This will be a first for me,  but I have quite a bit of linen on hand, and I have to use it for something!

The Sears "Hearthside" loom (6 harness/ 6 treadles, jack loom) had the towel warp on it.   About a month ago, I purchased some used Leclerc sectional rakes that I thought would fit this loom.  Once I emptied the loom, I went to work putting on the new sectional rakes, which do indeed fit the back beam.  (I prefer sectional warp beams, for me it simplifies warping, especially for long warps.)

 It required a little drilling on my part, but I was up for it.  I also had to go get some bolts and wing nuts  that would fit through both the rake and the old beam boards to hold it all together.

 (They are always curious about what project I am getting into when I go into the hardware store.)

An hour or so later  the rakes were in place and I was ready to start winding spools of yarn to get the new warp loaded.

I have had this pile of partial cones forever.  I usually use it for weft, but I do have a shelf full of full cones as well.  (This is 12/3 white cotton, that I got years ago when I inherited the famous 100yd warps of the very same thread)  I thought that it would ease the clutter (in my mind and on the shelf) a bit if I could empty some of these cones first as I wound the warp spools.

When I was finished with the 24 white spools I had emptied all these cones.  There are a few more partial cones remaining, and you can be sure I will be using them first as I wind bobbins for weft, before I break into the full cones.

I also wound 16 spools of 8/4 in the color red, it will give me a lot of choices as I design the warp as I go.

Oh the possibilities!

I had already wound the red and white sections that go down the center of this towel warp before I stopped to get this picture, so I had moved on to the all whited sections.

 Here is a picture of the Leclerc spool rake that holds 40 spools.  A couple of months ago, I got a deal on 40 Leclerc warping spools, and this is the first time I have been able to use them.  I don't think that this tension box is a Leclerc, but it works just the same.

I had to clamp a board to the bottom of the back beam so that the tension box will stay on.  An extra clamp here and there keeps everything in place as I wind each 1inch wide, 20yd section.

I have wound 17 sections and I plan to add an additional 3 sections on each side of  what is already on the loom, that will give me a good 23 inches in width for  some very thirsty kitchen towels.

I have found a broken twill threading that was designed for this very same 6 harness, 6 treadle  Hearthside loom.  It was on one of my favorite online resources,  here .  It is a wonderful website full of really old out of print and out of copyright books, magazines, articles etc , on any fiber related subject you can think of.

Spring break is right around the corner, which means more Grandma time for me in the coming 2 weeks, including a trip to Washington DC!  So it may be a couple of weeks before I can get back to this project, but you can be sure that I am looking forward to it!

I almost forgot, this week I finished the first band using Knit Picks "Curio" crochet cotton, that I posted about last week.  I really like how it turned out, it feels sturdy but soft in my hand and there is a slight sheen that "Curio" has that enhances this band.  There is also just the right amount of slickness to this yarn that makes "pulling the weft through on the succeeding shed" easier for me.  All in all I really recommend this yarn for all your warp faced band weaving needs.

That is it for today, Until next time, Happy Weaving!

Edit: because of math!