Friday, September 29, 2017

Off the Loom

Tuesday was a good day for me, I left the Center a little bit earlier than usual, simply because I wanted to finish the last looper rug and get them off of the rug loom's groaning cloth beam.  I had to work a little longer into the evening than I intended, but I did manage to get the job done.

These pictures are of the rugs just after I had serged the raw edges, they have since been hemmed, tagged, inventoried and in the suitcase!  Yay!

I used one of the blending techniques I learned in my few moments of reading about, and practicing tapestry techniques.  I am calling it my red fade rug.

I wove this green fade rug before the red one and I did not have as many green loopers as red, so that the effect is not as striking.  I considered re-weaving it like the red one, but decided not to,  I have other projects that need my time.

I love blue and brown together, and this one was fun to weave.  You can only see a little bit of the rug as you are weaving, so I have to follow a drawn out diagram, to make sure that the beginning of the rug matches the end of the rug.  This is important because most of the time I don't weave a rug straight thru, there are always interruptions.

This is the only rug that I was able to just weave without thinking about matching the ends.  This one was a re-weave.  It was initially woven many years ago before I knew much about how much loopers stretch and  how it effects draw in, I got it right this time.

This last batch of loopers is from "Crazy as a Loom".  Years ago she had a sale on these loopers and we as  a group of Weavers, bought a bunch of them. These loopers are thinner, softer and more elastic than the loopers I have been using recently.  They make a thinner rug too, so I can't decided which I like better, cause I really like a substantial rug!

There, the rug loom is empty of rugs, and I can move on to the last project, rugs again, but on a different loom with different materials.  I would love to get 3 of the new rugs done, but I don't know if I have time to do that many,  there is a lot of prep work involved.

I will get done what I get done, it won't be the end of the world if I only get one or two of them done, there is always the Foothills Guild show in Knoxville, in November.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, September 28, 2017

New Looks

   Yes....those are skewers doubling as lease sticks!

  From time to time, we get donations at the Center....someone is cleaning out a weaver's stash or downsizing their studio.  Well....over the years these little looms keep appearing on our doorsteps.  I call them Peacock Looms, even though they aren't all exactly alike....yet very similar.  We are up to six of them right now!

  We decided to clean them and put on a warp and sell a few of them at Homecoming.  I got this one cleaned, and I wound a two yard warp for this little loom.  I should have warped it front to was a challenge to warp it the way I usually do!!!!  I'm just so glad I had skewers in the kitchen drawer!

  This is stamped on the bottom rail at the back of the loom.   Hummmmm.......

  There is a partial sticker on the front, but, I can't tell what it was supposed to be.
  Maybe someone knows more about this.....

  I do think some child will have hours of fun weaving on these little have to start somewhere.

  On the home front, I finally finished Tina's apron.  I've gotten real spoiled with aprons that I don't have to tie!  I'm still working on some changes to the pattern, but that's on the back burner while I get my items ready for Homecoming. 
  Pat gave me a bag of jean tops on Tuesday, so I have plenty to choose from for my hot pads.  I'd like to finish everything up this weekend!!!

  I'll leave you with my wee orifice hook.  It arrived Monday in the mail from Alan and Milissa Dewey.  Alan does such beautiful work! 

  The weather is finally starting to be a little more Fall-like around here.  The temps this weekend will be refreshing! 
  We all need to take time this weekend for a Fall walk!!!!

Happy Weaving (and sewing and spinning!)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Learning From Each Other

  This is what you will usually see when you step into the studio.  Looms pulled out, weavers throwing their shuttles, and quiet (sometimes) concentration.  We have visitors from time to time who wander from loom to loom and look at all the lovely colors and patterns.  Sometimes they ask questions, and sometimes they just look.

  Carl is our go-to guy when we have questions about rag rugs.  I love how he varies the blue jean panels from light to dark to create interest in the rug.
  At home, he weaves on an eight harness Macomber, much like the one we have here at the Center.  (The one at the Center is a 12 harness loom.)  Molly needed to change her tie up today, and Carl was able to give her some tips.  These looms are NOT the easiest to tie up!!!!!

  Pat is a wonder at working through a stack of blue jeans to get them ready for weaving!  Remember our donation from last week?  Well....Pat jumped right in and quickly was making stacks of leg panels, tops and seams.  We try to put the whole blue jean to work!!!

  Carol gets pulled in lots of directions in the Studio.  Lanny is getting ready to weave some placemats at home using fabric.  His question today was, "How much fabric will he need to buy?"  OK.....this is a question for Carol!

   Now it's time to work with Sara.  Carol has started teaching our new weavers to lash on a warp rather than tying onto the bar.  Let's learn to do this the right way!!!!

  Ray is always a go-to person....and we are all in love with those towels!!!! 

  Ms. Ila finished the THIRD shawl on her two shawl warp (that's what the tag on the painted warp said!!!)  Now the question is, "Is there enough warp left for another shawl?"  Shirley helped Ms. Ila take off the woven shawls from the cloth beam.


Three beautiful shawls!!!!! 

Just in time for Homecoming at the Museum!!!

  I'll leave you with a study in concentration.  This is Bonnie's reweave project.  She's threading from the back of the loom....very carefully.
  No worries....she has a lot of people to help out when needed.

Happy Weaving!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Some Color

I know. I didn't blog last week. I was on the road traveling most of the week and got no work done. In fact, I went south to Florida and then came home one night before heading up to Kentucky!! Got home last night and glad to be home for awhile!!
Before that I did some weaving.
I'm still weaving bamboo. This red warp has a lot of different shades of red in it. Even pink tones.
See what I mean? It's a fun combination that makes for a drapey colorful jacket.
These greens haven't been finished yet but the vests are woven. The greens in the warp are affected by the weft.
A lot of yellow in that green. Even some turquoise tones.
The weft that's mostly blue softens the vest tones.
Close up you can see the colors mingling into something that would be great to wear over blue jeans!
The last vest has more greens in the weft. 
It's hard to get the true colors with my iPad. Shades of green and teal.
So that's the end of the bamboo warps I'd dyed so the colors are done. I just have to do all the finish work since I've washed the fabrics. The next warp that's on is cotton and it's solid black.
I'm hoping for some good show on TV, like an NCIS marathon which is good noise as I weave. Otherwise, it could be a long few days as I get the warp off the loom. Black may be a boring color to weave but the pieces end up looking great and some people do like to wear black!
So, here I am heading back down to the studio after playing hooky for a week!
Until next week, keep weaving!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Crunch Time Once Again

It is that time again, The Tuesday Weavers participate in 2 shows annually, the Museum of Appalachia's "Homecoming" is not even 2 weeks away.  That means that I have a dozen irons in the fire and not nearly enough time to do everything!  It is time to concentrate on a couple of things and get them done and then move on to the next couple of things.

Today, I set my timer for 30 minutes and worked on project #1 until the timer went off.  When it went off, I stopped what I was doing and moved on to project #2, once again I set the timer for 30 minutes and worked without stopping until the timer went off.  Then it was time for a bit of break which included lunch.

After my break I went back upstairs and set to work on project #3, setting the timer for 30 minutes once again.  I don't get as much time in the studio as I would like, but yesterday I happened to have a couple of extra hours free that I put to good use.  I was able to get the floor loom with the new inserted eye heddles, warped and ready to go with the hand spun Romney Lamb/Alpaca  shawl warp! I was so thrilled and I even managed to weave just a little bit before my time was up.

The shawl is project #3 today,  my first 30 minutes on this project, I ended up having to unweave a little bit.  Weaving with wool is entirely different than weaving with cotton.  I have almost no tension on the warp and I have to barely lay the weft in with the beater to get the cloth that I want.  The weft is hand spun Corriedale, not as soft as I would like but a good match for the warp just the same.

The second 30 minutes on the shawl, I managed to weave 14 inches before the timer went off, this gives me an idea just how long it is going to take me to finish the 96 inches that I am shooting for.  If I can speed it up to 20 in 30 minutes, it will take no time at all.

The other 2 projects are: #1, Jacobs batts for fleece rugs (new product), and #2 is 100  souvenir (tiny) packets of clean fleece from the Museum's "Sheep Shearing Day".  This is another new product for me, kids are always wanting bits of my fleece, so I thought if I package it up and charge a little bit for it, maybe they will stop asking me for it, and I will make a penny or two.  Who knows!

I got through my rotation 2 times this afternoon, and would have gone longer but it was time to work on dinner.  I hope to be able to work a good bit tomorrow morning, to finish at least the "Bits of fleece" packages.  I have a few other things to label and inventory  as well, that will become one of the rotation as soon as I finish up something.

Working on three things at a time, three different activities, three different movements does several things, it keeps me on task,  keeps me from getting bored and keeps me from being so caught up on a project that I ignore the rest.  I still have a lot of projects to do, but I am taking stock and saving a few of them to work on after the "Homecoming" as they will be more suited for the Foothills Craft Guild show in November.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Guess You Just Had To Be There

This was the most serene time of our day.

I'll give you a hint......see all that floor space.  That's a rare moment around here.  But, first thing in the morning, before all the looms come out of hiding, we have a large floor space with NOTHING in it! 
  And, our Bonnie likes to keep things tidy....the perfect time to vacuum.  Thank you, Bonnie!

Our Yarn Barn order came in very quickly.  We sorted the rayons from the cottons...even the three shades of red!!!!

  We also labeled inside the cones so we would have ready information instead of guessing!!!
  These colors will go so nicely with our projects!

  Of course the next step is putting it on the shelf.  That involved some mad shifting around of the thread that was taking up space on the shelves!!!!
  I missed Pat....she had stepped out to take a phone call.  But, here you have Liz and Tina getting it done!

  Even though we were all over Helen's space, she managed to finish up her warp, and got it off the loom.  Yeah, Helen!  Time to be thinking about what you'd like to weave next!

  We were so happy to see Molly back with us today!  Maybe next week we can hear all about her grand trip!

  And, there's always some loom repair going on!  Polly and Ron got under Betsy's loom to check on those pesky treadles....Irene was the supervisor.  (I just can't resist an "under the loom" picture!)

  We had some special visitors in the studio this afternoon.  Alan Dewey (AKA Bobbin Boy) was here with his wife Milissa to pick up a loom they had bought from Linda.  Tina is always taking spinning wheel parts to Alan to repair.....he's the best!  Since he was going to be here today, she brought something for him to work on in his spare time!!!!  (Little joke....hahahaha!)

  Milissa spent some time talking to Carl about weaving on the barn loom (she knows a lot about old looms!)  And, she spent time with Marie looking at all our projects on the looms.

  Just so you know, I did not take pictures of the three HUGE bags of blue jeans that came in from a donation.
  The large bag of fabric scraps that were donated from a home sewer.
  The 30 or so banker's boxes that were the life time craft supplies of one of the Center's founding members.

I guess you just had to be there.

Happy Weaving!

Friday, September 15, 2017

"Days of the Pioneers"

It is the annual Antique show at the "Museum of Appalachia".  LouAnn and I were up and out early this  morning,  but we were not the first ones to get there!

All of the vendors and our Sassafras tea guys were in place.

And would you look at the public that was just dying to get in this morning first thing to snap up all the good deals!

We were all waiting for this, the show opens with the bagpiper making her way from the gift shop/cafe to the gate where people can enter the grounds.

There she goes, you can see her mid frame in this picture and the public it there in the distance chomping at the bit!

Here they come!

I had already determined that I was not going to be buying anything this year, nothing, nada, zilch!  I have plenty of everything I need, a lifetime supply you might say.  So I had no intention of browsing the booths, because I knew I would find something, if I looked.

I was going to the rest room to rest a minute, I had seen a great wheel from the porch and I thought I would go see what it was like.  It was in really nice shape, but the price was way to high for my budget, and I already have 2 of them at home.  So I continued merrily on my way, when something really caught my eye!

What you cannot tell from this picture is that this is a really small Great Wheel, and a fairly old looking one at that.  It has a groove in the wheel which means that it is probably from Appalachia, so pretty local.

I was looking at the wheel thinking about what I might be willing to pay for it.  It would be a perfect demo wheel, I could let kids spin on it, where I can't do that with my little red wheel, (they might break it).

I had just settled in my mind what I thought would be a reasonable offer, when the vendor pipes up to say that he would take that very amount for the spinning wheel.  I looked at him and I said that that was exactly what I had thought I would offer him for it!  (Bargaining is not in my gene pool)

Anyway, this wheel was soon up on the porch, I oiled the right places and LouAnn came up with a drive band from her colorful thrums in the loom house, and before you know it  this little wheel was spinning like she had been doing it all along.

Here she is beside the small Mayville wheel I usually take to demo at the Museum.  But you really can't tell just how small she is can you.

There that is better, I am 5 ft 1inch tall and this little great wheel hits me right at the armpit.  Within 15 minutes of a getting to know you trial run, I had children asking to spin, and we did that all day long, kids and adults.

 I can have anybody spinning wool in about 5 minutes.  If they have had drop spindle experience, it doesn't even take that long.  To say that I am tickled pink with this new demo wheel is an understatement.

One more thing, there is a name embossed in the table of the wheel, I don't know if this is the wheel maker or the owner of the wheel.  It is going to require some research on my part to see if I can find out anything about her history, I love that kind of research!

We will be back out at the Museum tomorrow, and this little big wheel will get another work out, but I think I will find my wheel boy to take with me so that the people that are taller than I am will not have such a hard time spinning that little 36 inch drive wheel!

Until next time, Happy Spinning, Tina

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Team Effort

  You see it all the time around here.....weaver helping weaver.  We bounce ideas off of each other.....we get how-to tips from the other weavers.

  Questions are answered....opinions are offered....we plan new projects.

  Bargains are honored.

   Sometimes, it takes two to solve a problem.

 Ray got that pesky treadle on Betsy's loom fixed just right!!!

   Bonnie was excited that her towel warp was finally finished.  Six towels????
  But, then she volunteered for another project!!!

  One of the painted shawls needed to be rewoven....but, how will we save the warp?  After many suggestions, the old warp was threaded through a reed and the old weft was removed. 

  And, those threads were moved to a second reed to be taken to the loom.  Bonnie will thread the loom front to back before she winds on the warp.
  Stay tuned!  It's a team effort!!!!

Happy Weaving!