Thursday, August 31, 2017

In My Mind's Eye

  We had quite a discussion on Tuesday about "outcomes."  You have something you want to weave (or sew) and you can see it in your mind.  You work really hard on your project, and when it's finished, you are disappointed.  It didn't come out the way you envisioned it.  (It's a lot more fun when it comes out even better than you thought it would, right?)
  Case in point:  Tina's shawl.  She has blogged about it, and we saw the first shawl in the series.  After she finished the second shawl, she was not happy with the final results.  It wasn't what she was going for! ( I, on the other hand, thought it was PERFECT!) 
  If you read Sharon's blog (Stitches) today, she is not happy with her newest scarf.  It wasn't what she was expecting...but, I bet it will sell first this Fall!
  I wove this fabric as a sample using Peaches and Cream yarn on the Rigid Heddle loom.    I fell in love with the plaid effect that it creates. 

  This color way isn't producing quite as pleasing a plaid, but I think it will work for what I need.   This is my six yard warp, and I'm just weaving plain weave. 
  Truthfully, I just want to sit down and weave it all at once....but, that is really hard on your back!  I've been watching episodes of Vera on Acorn.  Each one is about 90 I take a break about half way through.  I'm just keeping my head down and weaving!!!!
  The ends will be serged, then I'll wet finish it before I start cutting it up for THE PROJECT.
  What IF it doesn't turn out the way I think it will?  I won't know until I try, will I? 
  In my mind's eye I can see it....time will tell if I have 20/20 vision.

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Little Stash Reduction

   A tub full of yarn.
  Old issues of Handwoven.

  More magazines.

Someone has been cleaning....and you know what that means!!!!  Some lucky weavers get to add to their stash!

We all had to have some time with Carol and hear all about her trip.
   .....oh, yes.....and we did some weaving!!!!

  Carl got right to his rug warp.  I also noticed that he took home some blue jean legs to join this week.  That means he'll be cutting weft next week!!!!

  Betsy's first rug on this warp is done!  We're going to have some great rugs for the Fall sales!

Concentration is the key for Liz.

  And, our Ladies were on task, too.  This is the last towel on Bonnie's warp....she has another warp waiting to go on her loom.

  Tina and Marie are happy campers!  Marie is going to hem Tina's towels AND Tina will twist the fringes on Marie's shawls!  Now, that's team work for you!!!!

  Ray is getting a lot done on his towel warp, also.  Those will be a wonderful addition to our booth in a few weeks!

   We don't get to see this very often:  Carol at a loom!!!  (I had to get this picture!)  She sat down to do some trouble shooting at Joan's loom.

   A little flair of the dramatic.....we have watched these shawls take shape.  Here they are all finished!!!  Great job, Jocelyn!

Another great Tuesday!
Happy Weaving!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Home Again

I know. I haven't posted in a month.
I left July 26 for my annual trip to Canada. Driving long days, I got to my sister's place in Moose Jaw in 3 days. One of my nieces was visiting with her baby and I wanted to see them before they left.
It was a family kind of trip.
Playing with babies is fun! Reading books to future bookworms is awesome.
The first week we did get some sewing done. I'm had brought a quilt top to be quilted and did manage to cut and sew another one so my friend could quilt it. I also brought a project to sew that's been in the works for maybe 15 years. I embroidered over 30 squares for the quilt. I brought it along to assemble finally. Problem is that I only had 29 squares when I actually started sewing. So it's back here and I'm looking for the extra squares so I can finish assembling it. It's on tap to be quilted next year.
Then my sister and I decided to take a road trip. She drove! 7 days, 6 nights with stops in Saskatoon, Lloydminster which is on the border of Saskatchewan and Alberta, Edmonton, Calgary and Coaldale! Again, this was all family related! I do have relatives all over!
Another week at my sister's home and then the long 2000 mile trek back! I took 4 days to come home. A couple of quilt shops helped break the driving...
I know. No pictures. I hope to have that next week. 
Right now I'm just trying to get things back to normal!
Laundry, getting another warp on the know the drill!!
Until next week, keep weaving!!

Friday, August 25, 2017

I know how to fix that!

I was awake very early yesterday, I am on prednisone for my hip for a couple of days and that stuff messes with my sleep sometimes.  So I thought I know, I am going to go to the kitchen and get that second scarf woven, it is quiet and it won't wake up Dear One, who is the official earlier riser in this house.

I got up and sure enough by mid morning I had the scarf woven and the fringes twisted but even though I had increased the sett from 8 to 10 epi,  I still wasn't very happy with how open the weave was.  I had wet finished scarf #1 pretty aggressively and it was okay but not what I really wanted.  So I thought that I knew the solution, I can fix this.  I rounded up an old pool noodle and some bubble wrap and I went about the process of felting this scarf a little bit.

I think I ruined it!  There are some parts of the scarf that look reasonably good, but other bits have a bunch of tracking!  Tracking that looks like gullies running through the scarf.  Tracking with holes so big, shoot you could put a wooden bead through those holes.  Hmmmm, what did I just say?

A wooden bead would fit through that hole,  hmmmm.  How about some ribbon?  Well maybe some silk ribbon.  Okay folks, I have to tell you that when I started this post I was really disappointed with how the shawl came through the wash, and now I am getting a little excited about it!  (I am not kidding, this was real time!)

The title of this post was almost going to be "Watch 'is", you know the classic thing somebody says on the videos before they do something stupid, but I changed it before I started writing because I wasn't sure that it would be understood anywhere else but here in the south of the US.  Now I think that it is even more appropriate for my train of thought.

There is a possibility that I will not be at the Center on Tuesday, but if I am, I may bring the scarf after all for some brainstorming, also it is only fair to let the new weavers see that yes even us more experienced weavers are surprised by unexpected results.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Write It Down

 Getting to experience the solar eclipse with my science nerds was the event of a lifetime!  My daughter and her husband are both high school science teachers, and they set up experiments to take readings before, during and after totality.  My SIL had special filters for his camera, and they were planning on coordinating the photos with the temperature and lighting data.

My son, the artist, set up the posterboard so we could watch the little crescents.  They even appeared in the pool!    One piece of posterboard was set in the open so we could observe the solar snakes.

  We had Eclipse Sliders (grilled burgers) for lunch and Eclipse Cake for dessert!  (Any excuse for a pineapple upside-down cake!!!)
  I was thrilled to share this day with my very own nerds!  We had a whole 47 seconds of totality here on the Ridge...and we had all the comforts of home.
  I can't wait to hear how the data that was collected was used in the classrooms!

  I have been wanting to make a scarf with this yarn...I have cast it on my knitting needles at least six times.  The problem is:  I don't knit.
  But, I think I have a solution for my dilemma.  I looked on Ravelry for a crochet pattern that was similar to what I was wanting.  I found a few, and read several blogs.  I also had this issue of Love Of Crochet, which had a scarf with some of the elements I wanted.   I made a little sample, and now I want to write and graph the pattern I want to crochet.  We'll see how it goes.

  What with a birthday dinner for the "boys" and our Eclipse party, I haven't gotten a lot accomplished this week or last.  I've hit a mental snag with my special project....I keep doing the math over and over again. 
  I did have a sample piece that I wove about a year ago, but I wove it on the Rigid Heddle loom.  And, I did NOT write down which heddle I used.  In fact, I didn't make any notes about that piece!!!!
  I'm always reminding new weavers to plan their projects and write down all the information about it. " Keep a weaving journal" I tell them.  I have a journal....but I didn't use it.  I'm going to have trust my math, and go ahead with the project.  The Fall sales are approaching quickly!
  So, I've written this blog (and admitted my faults!)  I'm going to graph that scarf.....then, it's to the loom I have to go and just get this project started.  This time, I've taken careful notes!

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Chatty Tuesday

I'm sitting at my loom just looking around.

 It's the catch-up talk that happens every Tuesday morning when we get to weaving.  (Liz found a cute pine cone ornament on her trip.)
  Sometimes it involves cell phones.

    Sometimes it is just heart to heart conversations.

   Sometime we share our unique techniques.  (Anna even has an app for her hemstitch!!!)

  Sometimes we are just trying to get to the end of this scarf!!!

  Then, there's that moment when you realize that you are going to have to prepare more weft for your rugs!!!!

Then we have that moment when it's time to cut off the towels that are on the cloth beam.  And, while you're here, go ahead and serge them!  Those thirteen towels will get hemmed next week, and then they can be wet finished.  Someone might think we're getting ready for the Fall shows.

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, August 18, 2017


My Husband asked me this morning, what my day was going to look like.  He often does that  and just like a lot of days, I had a date with one of the grandkids for about 2 hours this morning, but other than that, I told him that I was going to play.  Then I added, though I didn't have to, that I call it "playing' even though technically it could be designated as work, since most of what I am doing these days is geared towards inventory for the fall shows.

That being said, I did get in some play time this week, if not this morning.  I have been messing around a little bit with the tapestry loom.

This is the sampler in "Tapestry 101", and I was being very faithful, following all the instructions.  Then I got a little bit antsy, I did not like that there was not a dividing line between the class sections and I decided to umm, play a little bit.
I slide the tapestry sections that I had already worked on up the warp and I inserted some "Egyptian knot" above the "shading" section.

 Then I slide the "striped" section down on top of the "Egyptian knots" and I added a wee row of rya knots, before I slide the "unjoined" squares back into place.  Then I did some "soumack" in dark blue, which you really can't see very well, (and I might replace that) and finally above the "joined" squares I did 2 rows of  contrasting plain weave.
I have a ways to go on this sampler, but I am learning quite a bit, and  I can see how learning this new art form will improve my floor loom weaving as well.

Now for what I call  "work",  I did finish the first fleece rug, and if I can get my phone to cooperate and download the picture, I will come back and post it.

The rug is everything I wanted it to be!  I have a couple more obligation rugs to make to give to the shepherds, so I am not sure if I will be able to make some for the shows this year, as there is a lot of prep work that is involved, but I know that next year, there will be several ready and waiting for the fall shows.

On to my  hand spun  BFL shawls I am working on.  The first gradient shawl you saw on Tuesday's post.  This shawl was woven with a gradient yarn in the warp and also in the weft.

I washed that shawl today and I decided that while it is going to be a wonderful shawl, I think I would be happier with a slightly closer set.  So for the second shawl I upped the set from 8 EPI to 10 EPI.

I almost had enough yarn left from the gradient hand spun skeins to complete the second warp, but I was about 2 inches short of the goal.  I had some silver Romney (you can see it in the above picture) that I had spun a long time ago that I thought might do for weft, and I had plenty to supplement that last 2 inches of the warp.  I staggered the very last of the gradient warp leaving a few spaces to blend in the new yarn, and I can barely tell that I had to add something new!

I also have a cone of silk that might have worked well for the weft, but I  didn't want to darken this shawl and in the end I decided to go ahead and use the same hand spun that I had used to supplement the warp.

I love how this gradient looks in the reed.

I started with 2 skeins of gradient handspun, which I thought was going to give me a single shawl, but I am ending up with 2 shawls by adding a third skein from my hand spun stash.

This second shawl is going to have a much different look than the first shawl, as this warp does not have any of the dark shades that were in the first shawl as warp, (skein #1, dark to light) and also in the weft, (1/2 of skein #2, dark to medium tones).  That left the medium to really light tones  of skein #2 for the second warp and with the Silvery Romney weft, it is going to be a stunner!

That is it for now, until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tell and Show

 Sometimes weaving involves other skills besides warping a loom!!!  Polly has many skills, and she is often called on to help us out of sticky today!

  Carol likes to use paper to pack a warp on the back of a loom.  But...Carol is NOT here....and I am!!  I don't like paper...I like sticks!  I looked high and low for sticks to use on the table loom for Sara, and the ones I found were either too long or too short.  That's where Polly came to the rescue!  (I'm sure that by this point, Sara was ready to strangle me!)  She trimmed some longer sticks a few inches so they would fit on the table loom, and we were off and running.  You can see that Sara is threading the loom, and will probably finish that next week!!!!


   Speaking of warps....the warp on Alyce's loom came off this afternoon!  She was so excited!!!  She's already talking about getting on one of the Pups....there's nothing quite like weaving on a floor loom!!!!  (I remember that you?)


That lovely woolen shawl deserves a dramatic entree!!!

This is Tina's handspun--handwoven shawl that is just too wonderful for words.

  And, speaking of lovely shawls, take a look at Marie's bamboo shawl.  It sure was the hit of the greet and meet this morning!
  Our Studio was visited by the Leadership class of Anderson County earlier today, and this shawl was tried on by many admirers.  I was sure it would be sold before they left!!!  (I wouldn't be surprised to hear that one of them comes back later to buy it!)

  Talk about showing off other skills....take a look at Bonnie's quilt top that she finished this summer. 

We are so lucky to have this group...and what talented folks we have!

Come visit......

Happy Weaving!

Friday, August 11, 2017

A Continuation

This post is indeed a continuation of sorts, first there is an update on the tapestry loom.  I ended up taking some of the pieces back to the hardware store to tweek things a bit.  We shortened the uprights by half and I had a metal bar inserted into the long crosspiece that is on the bottom of the loom.  This copper pipe is only 1/2 inch, and I was afraid that it might bend if it was not reinforced.

There, that's better!  I have a book "Tapestry 101" that I can't wait to dive into, but the loom needs to sit for 24 hours to let the pieces stick together really well, and honestly, I really need to get a couple of things finished for the shows before I start something new!

Speaking of new things, you heard of course that LouAnn got a drum carder this week, and she is really wanting to use the recycled fiber in a spinning project.  Well today,  I went over to her house for awhile and we tried out a couple of things to see if it would work.  We first used the drum carder to loosen up some ginned cotton.  Once that was done we made a sandwich with the cotton and the recycled fibers.  We ran that batt thru the carder a couple of times to smooth things out a bit.

 Then I sat down and started to spin it on her Hansen e-spinner.

After a getting to know you phase with the e-spinner,  I managed to get a textured thread that held together pretty well.  While I was spinning, I realized that if we plied this single with cotton sewing thread it would increase the strength of the yarn and not take away from the texture that LouAnn is looking for.  So,  LouAnn rounded up some serger thread and I plied the yarn sample pretty quickly.

I think it looks quite nice, and it was fun to try something to see what would happen, I don't get many chances to do that!

Now it is back to my drum carder to do the last of the batts for the first fleece rug, life has gotten in the way once again, but I am going to keep at it!  I hope to finish that rug today, and start rug number two.

Until next time, Happy Weaving and  Spinning, Tina

Thursday, August 10, 2017

*Wild * Life*

  Do you ever have those burst of inspiration?  You see something, and it ***ding, ding, ding!  What could I do with this? 
  My niece subscribes to one of those food clubs that send you ALL the items you'll need to make a fab dinner for your family.  Everything is fresh, and packed carefully.  They are even super eco-conscience!  Instead of Styrofoam for insulation, they use this mat of cotton and jute.  Their thinking is that it is biodegradable. 
  My niece thought of me!  (How well she knows me!)
  And, now that I'm spinning (beginner!) I wondered if I could blend this fiber into something and use it to spin for weaving. 
  I consulted with my fiber friend, Tina.  She's thinks we can combine it with cotton and spin it.

  That led me to this!!!
I couldn't help myself....this Little Brother Drum Carder needed to come to my house and help me with this project.
  Brother Drum Carders are made in Silverton, Oregon.....I love it that they are American made!  It arrived Tuesday night, and I got him all set up on his very own table.

  They recommended using dark fleece for the first few projects.  I had some short pieces that Tina had given me to make dryer balls, so I thought they would be great for my practice batts. 

   Sure enough....I'm getting better at this.  I think this will be fun!
  I'll let you know how the experiment works.  This could be recycling at its best!!!!

  Another project in the works.  I love the look of a wound warp!  Now, I need to take it to the loom!!!!

****Details later!!!

  Uh-oh....can you see the picture???? two new visitors!  It was almost dark the other night when I looked out to see these two eating under the bird feeder.
  Sorry the picture is so dull....I took it through the screen door.  I wasn't about to go all the way outside!!!!!
  Last night at dusk I saw bats zipping around the front yard.  Tonight, there is a doe and her fawn outside the living room window.
  Never a dull moment!

  I'll leave you with the hummingbirds.  There have been as many as eight at a time buzzing the feeder....just not when I'm trying to get a movie!  If you turn up your speaker, you can hear them chirping.  I have to refill the feeder twice a day.
   Boy oh boy....I sure do live a wild life around here! 
Happy Weaving (carding and watching!)