Thursday, November 30, 2017


Christmas 1970:  Grandmother holding her first great-grandchild. we are.  Tomorrow will be the first day of December, and Sunday is the first day of Advent.  Where, oh where did this year go?
  As I begin the preparations for this holiday season, I've been thinking about HOW my traditions can to be.  Many of them came with me to adulthood, such as putting up the Christmas tree.  Now, I have to admit I've changed it up a little!
  My Dad believed in putting up the tree just a few days before Christmas. And, it always came down by New Year's Eve.  Of course, we always had a live tree...a cedar tree that came from the woods around where we lived.  It had those hot lights and tinsel that MUST be applied one at a time!!!!! (They were also taken off the tree and stored in their box to reuse next year!!!)  The ornaments were always packed away in their original boxes, which showed lots of wear and tear from the many years of usage.

    I LOVE putting up a Christmas tree.  I enjoy having it up for more than a week!  That's why I use an artificial tree.  (I figured out that my Dad was concerned about the fire danger from a dried tree.  There were always a few house fires caused by Christmas trees when I was growing up.)
  At this moment, my tree is sitting (in a box) in the living room just waiting for my attention.  When the kids were little, we made it a big chocolate, Christmas music, and unpacking their special ornaments that we had been collecting since they were born. 

  This year the hold up is the Christmas tree skirt.  It's still in the sewing stages....but getting close.  I actually started this several years ago, and I decided that this was the year to finish it!!!!

  The poinsettias are starting to put on their lovely leaves.  I don't know if they will be as showy this year as they have been in the past, though.
  The fact that I have had these plants for so long is a pure miracle!

   This is the one that started it all.  The year that my brother was stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army, he sent Mom her FIRST nutcracker.  Who knew that it would become such a collection so many years later.  One of these days I'm going to count how many are in this collection!!!  They are like members of the family that I see once a year.

Another family tradition:  hot tamales.
  Now, my friends in the South West tell me that these are NOT tamales!  But, this is the kind we make in our family.  In fact, we used to get together the Saturday after Thanksgiving to make them.  But, we are all scattered now, so I just took some time and made some this week.  It's just perfect with a bowl of chili.

  My Mom and her sister always planned a family get together during the holidays, and we have continued that tradition still.  We take turns alternating between East TN and North AL.  My cousin in Chattanooga joins us, and we have a lively time.  Since our gathering can happen anytime between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, we just call it Thanksmas.  This year it is right before Christmas here at my house.  (I should have waited and let them help me make tamales!!!!)  I figure I have three weeks to get everything done....surely that is doable. 
  After all, I only have one more weaving project to do.........

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Lashing On A Warp

  Weavers have their own favorite ways to tie on a warp to the front bar.  Some of us tie bouts to the front bar, and some of us lash on to the front bar.  Theresa (Camp RunAMuck) suggested that we show how we lash on to the front bar.
  Since we had THREE looms that were ready, Carol did a quick demonstration on how she likes to lash on the loom.

(So sorry.....the movie clip was too large to open in blogger!!!!  Thank you, Theresa, for letting me know.)

  Afterwards, Helen got her warp lashed lickety-split.

  Then, it was Liz's turn to lash on her warp.

It's always a good idea to try new ideas (although this is certainly not new to many weavers out there!!!!)

  Betsy was busy today getting another towel warp ready to wind onto her loom.  It seems that we are always in need of more towels!!!

  Jocelyn decided to tie on her warp, but she's ready to start weaving on the new shawl warp next week.
  Yes....that's Carl back on the barn loom.  After cutting more blue jean weft this morning, he got right to work weaving on his rug warp.

  Not the best picture, but you can see Anna, Sharon, Ms. Ila and Bonnie at their looms.

  We still have lots of ideas floating around about our's so much fun sharing ideas with each other.  And, we are talking about what we want to weave in the new many possibilities!

  Have you tried a new technique?

Happy Weaving!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Time to Play

Now that the weaving schedule is done, I can sew!! I've been going through my stash of UFOs and decided this is it! I don't know how many years ago I sewed this quilt top. It's really a throw. DH held it up for the photo shoot. It's such a simple pattern but the colors are lovely. I had to go Saturday to buy fabric for the binding. I don't know if I had some planned for it but if I did, it's well hidden.
This is going to be a Christmas gift for a friend whose family owns a Mexican restaurant that we frequent, a lot! I make baby blankets for each new grandbaby and she was saying how she'd love one to cuddle with when she doesn't feel well. So this is it! She was on my list to make one for sometime so this will fit the bill!!
The second one I finished this weekend also needed binding fabric! Also, I have no idea how long the quilt top lay there in that pile. It's flannel and comfy to snuggle with!
It's twin size and I stitched it in the ditch as well. Simple quilting works for me. I like using a very thin batting since we live in the south. Also, that makes it easier to sew. I'm not sure where this one will end up but it's on my checked off list!
Not having to weave anything for awhile, I shall continue to tackle sewing projects that have been "speaking" to me for a good while. I've got another flannel throw in progress and a doll blanket well on its way, using a small stack of charms someone gave me. We'll see how much I can get done this week!!
Until next week, keep weaving while I sew!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

New Year?

It feels like the New Year has already started for me!

A resting rug warp......... waiting for.......

Enough fluff prepped for one more fleece rug, but there is no hurry now, the crafts shows are over for the year.

I spent Friday in my PJ's, moving reeds from loom to loom, getting ready for new projects.  (I also did all of my Christmas shopping for the grandkids,  I like to do it early and get it on it's way, so that too is done.)

Finished Kitchen towels on the cloth beam of the Hearthside, but these are for me.  (I'm in no hurry)   The next batch of towels will have green stripes on the same white background.

(I got the new inserted eye heddles on this 6 harness loom this week and I can't wait to get the new warp on the back beam and start threading, the heddles just glide along the heddle bars.)

Cutting lengths from the never ending 100 yard warps for the Kitchen towels and napkins can get messy and it is not for the faint of heart, but it can be done.  These new towels will be a little wider and longer than last years towels,  pictures of that project will be posted in a couple of weeks when it is not so scary!

I will be out of town for the next week, so I will probably miss my post next Friday.  I hope you had a good Thanksgiving on Thursday, we supped with my Daughters In-Laws once again this year.  The food and fellowship were very good.

See you in a couple of weeks, Tina

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


  We always try to get a shot from overhead looking down at our booth.  The shot this year was just a little trickier since we were under the walkway.  But, you can see Carol's booth on the left, and our booth on the right.  This was Sunday afternoon just before we started to pack away all the goodies.  That's Carol, Tina and Ray in the booth.  Sales were very slow on Sunday!

  Since the sales were slow, Tina and I rearranged the left side of the booth to see how it worked for us.  We did like having the table towards the rear of the booth.  That's kinda dead space anyway, and it meant that people looked at the items on the shelf.  That's a great shot of Ray's rug, too!
  Hilary asked about the spiral rack for the scarves.   It came from  They have several different styles to choose from on their website.
  I'm in love with the kiosk idea.  It holds so many items....and they are in full view!!!!

  Marie and Tina played around some more with the grid at the Center today,  looking at different ways to hang the placemats.  Yes....we're already thinking ahead to next year.
   Our sales this year were okay....thank you, Marie for all the bookkeeping!

  We sold ALL of the Christmas towels!  That means that Tina went back to the loom to weave more!

       And, speaking of towels, Liz is almost through threading the pillow ticking towels.

  Theresa asked about Pat's warp:  it's from Next Steps In Weaving by Pattie Graver, page 39.   The pattern was used for a scarf, but Pat wanted to use it for runners.

  Linda's warp is nearing the end!  She had another loose thread that required another fishing weight!  Sometimes the back of our looms are really interesting!!!!

Carl just keeps on weaving!  In fact, it's time to cut more blue jean strips....that's a job for next week!

   Polly knew we would need a little help getting all our handwovens back to their place in the shop.  Sugar cookies will always do the job!!!  She even made a chicken cookie!!!
  Thank you, Polly!!!

  Frieda has been busy on her 8 shaft loom at home.  She wove two scarves on the black warp using two different tie ups.  She was concerned that this one was too depends on who is wearing it, right????

  That's it for today.  Fold up the looms, store them away and turn off the lights.
  Until next Tuesday!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Last for this year!

The pictures aren't that good but you can see the booth as it was on Friday morning before the chaos of the show began!!
With the lights we have to use, you just don't see the glorious red of that jacket. My booth was in a dark spot of the floor, under a concrete walkway. Tuesday Weavers had a light overhead but mine was dark. Using every light I had, we were able to focus on the colors of the clothes to highlight them.
I love this coat. I wish I was tall enough to wear it but at my height, it would drag on the floor or else it would be mine!!
Can't go wrong with nice cotton jackets!
I'm low on tops. That's definitely on the list to weave next year!! If I get a wholesale order, these will be gone!

So today I figured out what to send where and the rest got packed in tubs with inventory sheets so that I can find items as needed to send off. It's been a good year but I'm ready for a break. There are some quilts that need finishing and one that hasn't been started yet that's got to be done by Christmas...
I'm also planning what to weave next year so when I am ready, the yarn for each project will be in its tub, just waiting to be pulled out and wound into warps! It's going to be here before we know it!
Until next week, keep weaving!


Friday, November 17, 2017

No Fringe for You!

I dislike cotton fringe on most anything but especially on rugs.  I know that that before long, that cotton fringe will start to look shabby and it will eventually disintegrate. ( I have a carpet in my living room that reminds me of that fact every time I go in there.)

I recently finished a couple of fleece rugs, and I made sure to pack the fringe between the rugs with several rows of fabric to keep everything in place while I chose my hem treatment.  The warp on these rugs is set at 4 EPI so that the fleece weft is made more visible, but it also makes  a normal woven hem less appealing.

I turned to my newly acquired, "The Techniques of Rug Weaving"  by Peter Collingwood.  Peter has a chapter dedicated to rug finishing.  Among the hem treatments, I found one that I really liked, it is simply called a "woven edge"  I added a little interest to the edge by starting with a 2 strand overhand knot to hold the weft in place as I learned how to do the woven edge.

I started on the left side of the rug with the first 8 ends, the first 2 ends are the weavers and they weave thru the next 6 ends.  Once that is accomplished the ends go through the little knot that I added and then through the 4 shots of doubled carpet warp that was the start and end of the rug.  Then you weave the next 2 end through the following 6 ends, burying the ends into the knots and hems as you go.

The first rug I did, I had just barely enough length on the fringe to do the weaving, but I managed it and luckily the first edge I did was the shortest. (8 inches of fringe are not too much) I was weaving it with my fingers only and I  felt like I was constantly fumbling with the threads trying to keep them tight because I was not weaving into the knot and hem as I was going, it was difficult to do.  Once I was done with that one, I put my thinking cap on and changed my approach a little bit.

The first thing I did was thread the "weaver" through a tapestry needle, and I wove the ends all the way through the knot and hem as I went.  That did 2 things, it anchored those loose ends so I didn't feel like I was fumbling, and it speeded up the whole process.

 Next I took a simple wooden clothes pin and clipped it around the ends I was weaving thru.  This small change made all the difference.  I then knew that I could and would finish those hems in time for show this weekend.  When I had started the first rug I wasn't so sure!

Then eventually you come to the end of the row, when you have to do something with the final 6 ends.  So far, this is what I have come up with,  still a tiny bit of fringe, but not nearly as much!

I have a few ideas that I would like to try on the next few rugs, and if I come up with  something interesting, I will be sure to post about it.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, November 16, 2017

It's A GO!

It's a lot like being an artist.

We start with a blank slate and work from there.

We met at 9 o'clock this morning in Knoxville.

The cars were unloaded quickly and pulled out of the way.

The display items went up first....and moved around several times until we were happy with the arrangement.

The tubs full of woven items just sat parked in the aisle until we were ready to unpack.

It's a good thing that there were not many folks setting up that early....we were really taking up space!!!!

One of our new display pieces this year is this four sided kiosk.  You would not believe how many items you can display on this!!!!!

We have placemats, towels, purses, scarves, bottle bags and hair bows.  Oh yes....I almost forgot...we also have tassels
  We just kept adding arms to the frame and hanging more items!

  I am really excited about our new rug display, also!  We have so many lovely, sturdy rugs....and folks need to be able to see them.

We have so many rugs that we have them on the table and under the shelves.

What a variety!!!!

 I promised you a picture of Anna's ornament tree.

And, you can see her cute little pin cushions, too.

You can just see the tips of some of Christy's bookmarks on the lower right.


It all came together.

Lots and lots of shawls this year!

Marie has several mobius scarves.

And, don't forget Betsy's soup cozys!

 We have placemats in several locations.  You never know what will catch someone's eye!

The scarves show well on the spiral rack.

Here's two sides of the kiosk.

  The best part of this???  We were finished by 12:30!

Oh.......well, some of us were finished!!!!  There's always something that needs that last minute touch, right?

Thanks to Marie, Tina, Pat and Anna for a job well done!!!

Here's to a successful show.......