Friday, April 28, 2017

Yet another week gone by!

What a busy week, I can't believe it is Friday again!  We, LouAnn, Karin and I had a busy day at the Museum of Appalachia's second Friday of  Sheep Shearing Days.  We saw between last Friday and today close to 1500 students!  We did not have any rain today, but I forgot to take any pictures, not a single one.

(If LouAnn reads this she has my permission to insert one or two here.)
Tina and Karin setting up the tables this morning.  The cars are just starting to arrive.

We left in such a rush last week that we didn't get a chance to go thru the fleeces that had been shorn.  So today, before everything got started, Karin and I rushed up and chose the fleeces that we wanted to take, keeping in mind that this evening, when the crowds were all gone, there were going to be many more fleeces to choose from, among them were several Scottish Blackface.

I came away with 11 fleeces and Karin got close to the same amount, we feel very rich indeed.  Once I get back from my west coast trip, I will be washing fleeces again, and this year, I have a trampoline that we bought for the grandkids, on which I can spread them out on once they are clean, they should dry very quickly.  (I hadn't  thought of that until just now as I was typing!)

On Tuesday of this week, I went to the post office to pick up a package  before I went to weaving.  In this package was a double flyer spinning wheel.  I used to have one, but I felt like it was too fragile to take to the museum for demos and I sold it.

 I got to the Center before anybody else did and unpacked the wheel to make sure that nothing had gotten damaged in the post.  It looked good, and I managed to get it put together.

I knew when I purchased the wheel that it was going to have to go to "Bobbin Boy" for an overhaul/tune up, to be fully functional, but with a little cleaning and oiling, I did manage to get "take up" on both flyers.  It is missing one 1/3 of the distaff, but I was thrilled that it had the other 2 pieces.   It will be the middle of next month before I can take the wheel to Asheville, but I think it is going to be a really good demo wheel.

If you have never seen anybody spin on a double flyer, you simply must search youtube for some videos!  When this wheel is fully functional I will be able to spin 2 strands of yarn at once, usually  flax, but wool is also a possibility.

(A short video of Tina spinning on a double flyer spinning wheel in 2014.)

Speaking of wool, I took this Merino/ Silk blend from "Into The Wool" and divided it into 2 color ways.  One color way is using the oranges and the other one will be all the  greens.  I will use both of the resulting tonal skeins in a woven scarf.

The oranges, light and dark, are alternated on this first bobbin, on the second bobbin I am going to start with the dark orange and work my way thru to the light orange.

I will ply these 2 strands together and see what I get.  I am going to do the same thing with the greens, I think it is going to be 2 very nice skeins of yarn.

I probably will not be posting next week, I am on my way home for a full week.  Mom, brothers, and sister are there and my west coast daughter and her son are meeting us there too!  Who knows we may get a couple of my cousins to stop by for a visit.

I am looking forward to some time sipping iced tea and swapping stories under the big umbrella on the back porch.  It has been too long!

Until next time, Play with wool!   Tina

Thursday, April 27, 2017

More Threads, Please!

Those words remind me of the scene from "Oliver" when the child asks for MORE......

    Ah, well, I digress.  We are back to the strap for the cross body purse for my daughter.  I threaded the warp for the strap using the colors in the fabric she chose for the outside.  But, I was concerned because it only wove up a little less than a half an inch wide.

The fix?  Add some threads!!!!

I added a stripe in bright yellow, which gave me just a tad over half an inch, which I think is just right.  Plus, it gave me five stripes--I think an odd number always works best, don't you?
  I like how the strap looks with her fabric, too.

  The game changer has been this Inkle loom!!!  This is a 6 yard warp!!!  (And, I didn't even warp it all the way!) 
  Pat had the loom at her house for safe keeping, and decided that someone else could foster it for awhile.  It is 40 inches long and 16 inches high.    I'm sure I don't need the whole 6 yards, but this is just perfect for right now!!!

Garden Update:

  See those stubs????
They were my healthy broccoli plants.
The groundhogs found them tasty, I guess!!!!
They ate all six plants.

Those little green plants are my new carrots.  We'll see what happens.  I did buy some moth balls to put in the pallets to discourage those hungry whistle pigs!!!!  (And, maybe the broccoli will grow back????)

  The lettuce continues to grow...the spinach, not so much.  I may reseed that part.

On the right are the okra plants that have popped up.  I'm still waiting for the corn.  I may be replanting those, too.

I have beans in the middle pallet, and they are starting to leaf, too.  I think the rabbits have been  nibbling on them.  I added some moth balls to that pallet, too.
  The hummingbirds are back, as are the lightning bugs.  Life is good on the Ridge!
I'm glad I have plenty of threads!

Happy Weaving!  (and growing!)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The View

  We were so happy to see Charlotte today...she dropped by with some placemats and hot pads that she wove for the shop upstairs.  She also brought the shawl she just finished for her daughter.  She used bamboo for the warp and weft....doesn't it drape like a dream!!!!

Speaking of shawls, take a look at the new shawl Jocelyn is weaving.  This is the third shawl on this warp, and she's using gray bamboo for the weft.  That lovely painted warp still shines right through!!!!

 Bonnie was SO ready to get this towel warp threaded and sleyed.  Today was the day!  After she got it tied on, she declared that she was finished for the day.....weaving starts next week on this eight harness pattern.

  This a close up of Ms. Ila's shawl pattern.  I haven't been able to get a shot where the silver thread shows's so much nicer in person!!!!

  After cutting a bucket full of blue jean strips, Carl was ready to get back to the loom.  You can see the re-weave rug going on the cloth is finished!!!!

  After last week's tangle, Betsy was ready to start again.  (It went so much smoother!!!)  This will be a twelve yard rug warp using five different colors in the warp.

 Frieda's newest scarf has a more subtle weft than her last scarf.  It's fun to see the colors dance through as she weaves.

  It wouldn't have been a good idea to be too close to Molly as she wove today....she got ahold of a bad cone of cotton (probably OLD!)  The weft kept breaking!!!!  I will say that Molly has a good vocabulary!!!!
  She's decided to unweave and carefully choose another cone to weave this towel.

  Now to news on the pink shawl warp:  Marie is going to take over this project!  After brainstorming ideas, it was decided to change the epi to 20.  Since Marie was working upstairs today, Tina set about re-sleying to a 10 dent reed.  It's all ready for Marie to get going!
  Linda is weaving away on the black placemat warp.  The black and white weft keeps them neutral.

  Sharon has started weaving on the hand dyed bamboo scarf using a pattern from Davison.  We'll check back next week on her progress.

  Ray finished the placemat warp that Pat had put on the Leclerc just in time to help Christy wind on her warp.  This is a hand dyed mixed fiber warp....just wait until next week for a close up!!!!
  We'll have to wait and see what Ray's next project will be, too!

It's always such a pleasure to look around the studio and see all the wonderful weaving taking place.  I wish you could enjoy our VIEW!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Southeast Fiber Forum

I spent the weekend in Gatlinburg at the Southeast Fiber Forum Conference. It's every 2 years and lately has been at Arrowmont. Arrowmont is a wonderful craft school in downtown Gatlinburg. Once you're on campus, you'd never know you were in a huge tourist area. It's quiet (except at 4am when the garbage truck comes to empty the dumpsters...) and you're surrounded by trees. The dorm I was supposed to be in was burned in the fire in November that devastated the area. Instead a bunch of us were in a older house that predates the dorms we usually stay in. You could see just how close the fires came to destroying the whole campus. 
I normally take a class that involves weaving. This year I decided to go way out of he box and signed up to take the intro to painting on silk class with Hellenne Vermillion from Atlanta. Wow!!! It was a blast!! None of my pieces are done yet. Several have to be washed and some haven't been steamed yet so I have a long list of supplies to buy. Yup. I'm hooked. It's like drugs I guess. I do so enjoy making things. There just aren't enough hours but I shall give it a try.
We started from total know nothing beginning and continued on to try landscapes and then using resists, we painted flowers before working on some scarves.
There were 7 of us and we all did different things on our fabrics. It's good to learn from each other.
The right and bottom are landscapes and on the left you can see the resist lines.
We pinned up our work once dry. That whole wall is pin friendly. 
None of these pieces are washed but they were steamed before we left. See how each scene is different and we all had the same colors in our trays....
On the right you can see the wisteria we did to practice using resists on silk. On the left are a few of the scarves we did.
Don't you just love all the colors and creativity? Some of them had done this before so their pieces were more creative than those of us just struggling to make a straight line with our resist.
We each made 2 scarves plus a bunch of small samples. Sensory overload for sure.
I'd had my van tuned up last week. It's got over 150,000 miles on it and they recommended about $1800. worth of work because, altho it was driving great, that could change with no warning as something could wear out. Since I drive over 4500 miles each summer going to visit family, we had them do that. So it drove great. Even the squeak on the brakes quit! Then, coming home yesterday, going the back way back to Knoxville to avoid Pigeom Forge, my engine light came on. I headed straight home and this morning took it in to have them check it. So I'm driving a rental car while they hopefully figure out that they forgot to tweak something. They told me that a lot of the taxi vans in town have 400,000 miles on them with this maintenance. I really like this van and want to keep it a lot longer. I also found out that if the engine light is on, you should go to the dealer to have it checked.if it's blinking, it will just stop on you any minute. That's when it probably has to be towed. Nice to know!
I just ran some errands and am heading home soon to weave the rest of my warp. 
However, I think I'll stop first at Walmart to see if they have a pasta pot to steam these silk pieces...and where can I get newsprint, rolls of it, and ice cubes trays, white, not colored, and stretcher bars and pvc pipes, connectors and a get the idea!
Til next week, keep weaving!

Friday, April 21, 2017


I have started the next round of napkins on the white 12/3 cotton warp I have been using for awhile.  It is an 8 harness pattern and I have loved the red and white version I did last week.   We have an old standard weave that we do at the Center that we will use a white warp and natural weft, I thought I might give it a try for this next set of napkins.

 I recently got the Tom Knisley book on table linens, and I found a new way to weave the hem for napkins and such.  I have given it a try for this next set.  If I like how it looks, it will become a standard practice in this Studio.

I took these pictures from opposite sides of the loom, and I love how the light is reflected differently on each side.  The natural 8/2 seems to have a bit of a sheen next to the white 12/3 cotton, but I hadn't noticed it on the cone.  I will weave several of this color combination, I think it might be a mainstay for this years napkins, so versatile!  I still have several other colors to work with, but I might rest with this one for awhile.

LouAnn, Karin and I were at the Museum of Appalachia today for Sheep Shearing day 1, but we were not able to stay the whole day due to rain.  Maybe next week I will be able to get some pictures.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Fixin' Boo-Boos

It happens to every weaver at some time or another....a BOO-BOO.  You know:  a threading error, a treadling error, a tangle?  It happens.
  It's what you do next that defines you as a weaver.

Tina's pink shawl warp has been a challenge.  (I'm putting that mildly, by the way.)
  When we looked at the picture she took of it, we realized that there was a treadling error....and, in the meantime, she also realized that there was a threading error.  Tina is a detail person, and nothing would do but fixing these problems.

  Thank goodness the fix will only require ONE repair heddle instead of a complete re-threading!!!

  I think it's a good learning experience for our new weavers to see how we deal with challenges.  They get discouraged when they make a mistake, but, that's just an opportunity to learn a lesson!!!  (Please note the placemats under Carol's iPad....we'll talk about those in a minute!!!)

  Elsewhere in the Studio, folks are working on their looms.  Carol makes the rounds to check on progress.
  Betsy is back from her trip to Arizona, and she's ready to wind a new warp for the Studio Loom.  She ran the numbers, and chose five colors for her new warp.  You can see her setting up the warping mill in the background.

  And, it happened!  I didn't see what happened, but somehow those threads became a big ole mess!  And, true to Tuesday Weaver tradition, everyone jumped in to help!

  This is what you call team work!

Slowly, but surely, the threads were worked through and wound back on their cones.

Betsy said she'd wait until next week to start winding again........

  Then back to their looms they went. 

  Even those tricky treadling patterns on those hand painted scarf warps.
 more boo-boo.  The ties broke on the back of loom!  It's a good thing Joan is almost at the end of her scarf!

  Now....back to those placemats.  My bad!  I had two placemats that needed some needle weaving.  As Carol says, she's very good at this repair.  She was able to show our new weavers how she does they know there is a fix!!!!

Happy Weaving and learning!!!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Last Warp....for Awhile

Last rug warp for awhile! I'm already weaving some production pieces but this last warp of rugs was kind of cool so thought I'd post them.
Maggie commented on my last post, asking about my weft. I'm using selvedges which are the waste product of fabric production for afghans, upholstery....I'm not sure what all but it would go to the dump if someone hadn't rescued it. It's kind of like loopers. They go to the dump as well because they are the waste product of sock production. The cool thing about selvedges is that there's a core warp that supports tons of very short wefts. It's the wefts that you're seeing as fringe. It makes for a cushy soft rug. However, they are heavy. I cut off the rugs after I weave 4 of them and tie on the warp again. Carrying a pile of them just isn't easy plus the cloth beam can't hold more than 5 on my loom..
Great Northern in Kalamazoo MI has them but I've been getting mine from Hawarden, Iowa at a place called InWeave. They have a web site and ship. The shipping is what gets you. They are cheap to buy but getting them is the problem. I am very fortunate that I found this source shortly before I was going to drive up to visit my family in Canada a few years ago. In looking on mapquest, I realized that the town is 20 minutes off interstate 29 which I drive from Kansas City to The border. So it's an easy jaunt through the countryside to pick up some bags of selvedges. Last year I went on my way up because I knew I'd be coming back on a Sunday. Try explaining to customs that you're just  taking them for a ride and they'll end up in Tennessee! I am using up all I have this spring so I may end up dropping in there again in July on my way up. 
The warp on this one was neutrals again.
If the cats know I'm taking a picture, they have to check it out!!
That one weft was sort of variegated with bits of yellow, black and white to go with the solid grey bands.
That looks like Belle on the rug. She's a tad darker then Meg.
I like having bits of color with all the neutrals.
Teal and gray should work nicely for someone.
Turquoise with more sand colors wefts.
This one was all the orangey colors I had. I thought it was the closest to Vol colors I had.  DD saw it and said it reminded her of flamingos so she claimed it. It'll look nice in her apartment.
Red makes me smile.
This last rug was smaller. I cut some of the warp threads to make it just 24 inches wide and wove it about 36 inches long. I used up all that warp. I had planned for about 8 rugs so it worked out nicely.
I do have a few more selvedges left and I'll weave on a black warp again but not for awhile. I'm looking forward to having some jackets to work on again in the evenings.
We had a gorgeous weekend but it's raining this morning and is supposed to rain for several days now. Perfect weather for getting some weaving done! 
Until next week, keep weaving!