Saturday, December 30, 2017

Hummmmming Right Along!

Yesterday LouAnn and I made another trip to Asheville to pick up a couple of my Antique wheels from the wheel repair shop, Bobbin Boy.  While we were going that way, I took the spinning wheel that I had picked up at the Estate Sale a couple of weeks ago, to get the whorl repaired and to get it on it's way up to NJ.

One of the wheels I picked up was my Canadian Production Wheel.  I had taken it to the repair shop for a couple of reasons, it needed 2 hooks replaced and there was something amiss that affected how the yarn was taken onto the bobbin.

This wheel is wicked fast and likes to spin a very fine single, but the yarn wouldn't load fast enough onto the bobbin and it would balloon out from the flyer, which interrupts the flow of very fast yarn production.

Alan, Bobbin Boy, worked miracles for this wheel.  He replaced the 2 hooks and he worked on the bobbin whorl so that it was a much better fit to the ratio of the flyer whorls.

I began to spin a little bit this morning while I was waiting on a fleece that was soaking in the washer.  I tried a little long draw and found that the take up was so improved that I could back off of the tension on the drive band.  The bobbin was rattling a bit and I remembered that I hadn't oiled everything before I started.  So I oiled all the usual places, bearings, bobbin and drive wheel.

I started again and the chatter was almost gone, I oiled around the bobbin again and all you can hear now is the whisper of the drive wheel and the hum of the flyer.

I have left this wheel in the kitchen for now, I may move it up to the family room where the wood stove is, if I can squeeze it in.  As it is, the wheel is convenient to both the kitchen and to the laundry room, where it is easy to fit in a few minutes of spinning while I wait on the pasta sauce that is simmering and the washing machine where I am soaking  yet another Jacobs fleece clean.

Jacobs fleece "#10 Heart" is what I am spinning right now, and it is the first of several of these Jacobs fleeces that I plan to spin into a fairly fine 2 ply yarn with which to weave a blanket or two.  I think that these fleeces are soft enough to make a really fine blanket.

The wood stove is pinging, keeping us warm, the pasta sauce is bubbling for dinner tonight with the grandkids, the washer is working it's magic on fleece "04-15" and the Canadian Production Wheel is humming, and that is what I call a perfect morning.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, December 28, 2017

I Open At The Close

  You might remember that line from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  "I open at the close" appears on the golden snitch right before he faces Voldemort.  I think it applies to this week....this in-between week.  It's that time between Christmas and New Years where you don't know what day it is or what you're supposed to be doing.
  I think it's a good week to tidy up a few things, and try that project that you've been putting off because of all the holiday "stuff."
  I decided I was going to finally make that blue jean purse using the tops from some blue jeans that I've saved. 
  Our friend, Andy, uses braided inseams to make her straps, and I thought I'd try my hand at that.  Some of those strips are thicker than the others!  (If you're reading this Andy, I have that bucket of seams for you!!!!)
  I'm still playing around with this project.

  I've been wanting to try my hand at up-cycling a man's shirt to make a tunic.  This is still in production!
  I cut off the bottom of the shirt and flipped it around.  I took off the top part of the collar, which I really like!
  The sleeves were cut off right above the cuff opening.  This makes a nice three quarter length sleeve.  And, since there was a big ole ink stain at the pocket, I added an additional pocket to cover the spot.
   I think it will be fun to wear with a turtle neck during these cold, bone-chilling days. 

  I don't know why I put off trying this.....

  My cup cuffs were well received....and my DIL had a similar idea!  I like her use of small elastic rather than using the thicker hair elastic.  (Thanks for the tip!)

Thanksmas was a blast!  There was lots of yummy food and lots of laughter.  We had several games that were played during the thing always leads to another.

  I think Cupid had the best time of all!!!  She decided to check out the pool cover thinking it was a puddle.  She LOVED it.  She rolled in the water and dashed from one side to the other.  (I'm just glad I didn't have to ride four hours in a car with her afterwards!!!!)

  So, as this year draws to a close, it's time to be thinking about what I'd like to accomplish in 2018. 
  I've been thinking about that.....have you?
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Finishing Up the Year

  After getting the lowdown on everyone's holiday, we got to work at the looms.  Ray brought in a stash of yarn that he's had for a few years (given to him by a friend and taking up room in his house!)   There was some multi-colored yarn that can be used for our straw loom kits!  Since some of our weavers were absent today, we put it away until they could go through it, also.
  Ray is already thinking about his next warp on this loom since this will be the last rug.  Linda ended up adding another weight for a loose thread.....she's getting so close to the end of this warp!

 Even Carol got in on the action on that scarf warp that needs to be finished.   

  A close up of Bonnie's loom shows the end of the shawl warp coming around the back beam. 

  On the right is Frieda's scarf warp.  That's three scarves on the cloth beam!  I think she's ready for this warp to end!

  We had some visitors this afternoon .  Polly got one of the kids weaving on her table loom.  I think she really enjoyed it!!!!

  Dad had a good time talking to the Ladies about their weaving.

  Through it all, Carl just kept on weaving.  He reported that after this rug, there's probably enough warp left to weave one more rug.

  Marie went with the burgundy/chocolate weft for this shawl.  It works well with the bright pink!

  Polly made sure we could make it through the morning...she baked banana bread that was out of this world!!!!  Thank you, sure hit the spot.

  We'll start off a new year next many new projects to plan.  Who knows what we'll learn along the way!!!

Happy Weaving!

Friday, December 22, 2017

My Day!

Yesterday was the shortest daylight day of the year, also known as the Winter Solstice, it was my 4th day on antibiotics for an upper respiratory that got the upper hand, but most importantly it was also my Birthday!  I received many well wishes from all over the country, and I received a few really good presents, one of which I will show to you today.

This particular present I happened to request through my usual "little bird", and I was really thrilled to get it.  It is a Strauch  Flicker.  You may be wondering what a Flicker is and why on earth I wanted one?  A Flicker is a tool that I requested so that I could work on a particularly fine Targhee fleece.

I had washed the lanolin from this fleece successfully, but the tips of the fleece still had a lot of stuff in them.  I knew that if I tried to use my combs on this fleece there would be an incredible amount of waste, and I did not want that!

I loosened a lock of wool from the other locks, I put a twist in the lock and carefully starting with the tip end and  with a bouncing stroke I worked on the tip, removing debris and maybe a weak tip or two.

(A very fine fleece can be ruined with a too aggressive treatment)

Here is that same tip after a trip to the Flicker!  I then reversed the lock and flicked the butt end of the lock.  On the butt end I am removing any felted bits and second cuts.

Once both ends  of the lock are done, I check the center of the lock to make sure that all is well and ecco fatto, a beautiful clean lock from a less than perfect beginning.



I have a couple of fleeces that need me to use my newest fiber prep tool, this Targhee is only the beginning!

What is not to love!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, and Spinning, and a very Merry Christmas to you all, Tina

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Grinch and Mr. Scrooge

Remember that part of the Grinch story when he had his epiphany? 
  "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.  Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!"
  I always want to give a little bit of "me" at Christmas.  Something that came from my hands.  Now, don't get me wrong, they also receive something else.  But I like to make something at this time of the year.  I decided to make cup cuffs....they all drink coffee!
  This project was an experiment:  use up some of my partial cones of 8/4 and make a usable item.
After rethreading the pattern three times, I settled on my old favorite, Snail Trail.  It's always a winner!  I only warped 3 1/2 yards.  You can see that the warp was multi-colored, and I played with different pattern wefts. 
  Although this was 12 inches in the reed, after washing, it was 9 inches wide.  I tried just folding it over to make the cup cuff, but it made a bulky cuff.  So, I tried using fabric for the lining.  I did use some lightweight interfacing to give it some body, which was just the ticket! 
  I should also say that I found some earth friendly coffee cups that are cork, and reusable!  This is going to work just fine!!!  Tomorrow I'll find out what the kiddos think of my project!

  I've been doing a little cooking, too.  Thanksgiving weekend I made fruitcakes using dried fruit that I soaked in brandy for 24 hours.  I have been basting them every day since them with brandy...they smell very nice right now!
  Yesterday, I got my Scottish Tablet made, and it's getting mellow in the tin.
  Then, last night I made Reindeer Poop.  A little salty and a little sweet!  This is a good snack to have on hand for those folks that are dealing with the public this week.

  And, that's where this batch is going!

I am at the post office nearly every day, and I see those clerks deal with a wide variety of folks!  In fact, some folks come in with their Scrooge faces ready to scream "Bah Humbug" at their awaiting audience.  It's not the clerk's fault you waited until today to mail your package to Alaska!!!!
  Those folks get the same service as I do, and I'm thankful.
  I just hope this power snack will help them smile and carry on.
  I hope you're ready for your celebration (or getting close to being ready!)  
  Holiday cheer to all......


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Merry & Bright!

These happy weavers wish you and yours a very, Merry Christmas!
Don't they look TOO happy?????  That's because their wee tummies are FULL!  We had a feast fit for a Who down in Whoville today!

  My personal favorites:  the desserts!!!!

   And, we had sandwiches and Joan's bread!

  ****Sorry the pictures were after lunch, but you can see we dug into the wonderful dishes.  There's not much lamb left back on Pat's platter, that's for sure!!!!

   But, before we got to lunch, SOMEONE was busy getting blue jean strips cut for his next rug!!!!

  Marie showed us her hot off the loom towels that will be going upstairs to the shop today.  Although Liz is still kinda new to weaving, she wanted the down low on these beauties!!!!

  Pat's Quigley table runner stopped traffic this morning.  It is stunning!!!!  (Pat told us that there are over 100 picks in one repeat!!!!!  This isn't a project for the studio!)

  Carol brought her newest quilt project:  a bright and beautiful  king size quilt.  I think she had a grand ole time using up lots of her favorite fabrics!
  I wonder what her next project will be????

  Enjoy your holidays.....

Happy Weaving!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Mythical Best

We're on the road heading home after an excellent adventure. Let me backtrack.
Several years ago our daughter discovered Good Mythical Morning on YouTube. That's Rhett and Link doing a 10 to 15 minute zany, down to earth, humorous shows. Each morning she, and thousands of others, look forward to their podcast.
Then this spring they announced a 16 or so city tour in fall. Well, that caused excitement all around. Tickets went on sale in May. DH and DD decided that Atlanta was the closest show and to try to get tickets. It appeared to have crashed or be sold out when he went online so the next place was Durham, NC the last show of the tour (and also their hometown). Long story short, between the two of them, we ended up with tickets and a VIP ticket for both shows.

Saturday we drove down to Atlanta and attended the show. It was a 2 hour fun filled show of stories and music. Afterwards DD got to meet her heroes and have her picture taken with them. She did mention that she'd be at the next show. The guys were very nice, didn't seem to be in a rush and had to have been raised right. Their goal is to make people laugh.
Look at that picture. DD is over 5'6". The one on the left is 6'9" if you count the 2 inches of hair. You don't realize how tall they are if you don't see them. 
The Atlanta show was crazy. General admission with just a few chairs in the balcony. Guess where we headed!! DD was standing, yep, everyone stood, smashed close together, in the second row and took some amazing pictures with her phone.
They were so close to her. She was psyched!!!
Then we had to get up early on Sunday and head to Durham NC!! We got there in fine time and ready for a repeat. Seats were reserved so we could relax. DD was close to the front and we were in the second row of the first balcony of the Carolina Theater. Great seats!! So much better and the sound was better, too. Plus this is their hometown. The crowd was loud and excited.
The guys mentioned a lot of things including being your mythical best and not worry about stuff. The show is to help relieve stress. It works, for sure!
Again, she got to meet them later for a photo. They recognized her, asked if she'd had a good trip and how the show compared to the night before. Then they discussed the pose for the night.  Rhett suggested a peace sign so that they would know this was their second picture.
So they did!!
Driving back this morning, we stopped at the Asheville Cotton Company and DD and I looked at fabrics. You got it...bought just for her, a few pieces of fabric with a purpose...
I did more sewing last week. But the weekend trip was such fun, I thought you'd like to hear about it.
Google Good Mythical Morning and enjoy the humor...and attempts at eating gross things on the shows.
Until next week, keep weaving.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Estate Sale Fear

I was contacted by a friend on Ravelry a couple of weeks ago, to see if I could possible go to an Estate Sale for her that was close to me, to pick up a spinning wheel she wanted.  When I first saw the request, my first impulse was that it was an Auction, and I do not do Auctions they scare me!  My friend reassured me that it was an Estate Sale and all I had to do was go early and get a number, and when 9am rolled around they would let us in by the numbers.  That calmed my fears, a bit, but I did do a drive by, the day before, once I knew what the address was.  I simply must know where I am going in the dark!

While I was there I got to see the wheel and see what kind of shape it was in, which it was in good shape, a little damage to the flyer whorl, but I think that can be glued.  I also saw that the price was well within the price range my friend had wanted.  (The Estate Sale people mentioned that there had been a sale last week with 3 wheels and a couple of looms!  It would be very simple to become addicted to searching these adds.  Yikes! )  I communicated my findings to my friend, and got the green light for the next days adventure.

I arrived at o'dark thirty to get my ticket #8, then I went in search of breakfast and wifi to pass the hour before I had to be back at the sale.  Once I got back I sat in the car and did a little practice spinning cotton, and trying to see if there was anybody else I thought might be interested in the wheel.  I couldn't tell really, nobody else was obviously spinning.  I suspect that they are all after the Coca-Cola memorabilia!

8:45 rolled around and people started lining up to get into the sale, I was a little nervous, I so wanted to get this wheel.  A few minutes before 9am they let us in out of the cold, and they told us about upcoming sales in the area, full of antiques.  ( I didn't ask if there were any wheels or looms)  Then when it was time, there was the rush of the crowd as I made my way  past the brick a brack, to the back of the room where I claimed my prize.  Oddly enough there was nobody else at the sale that was remotely interested in a spinning wheel.  What is wrong with these people!

I was in and out by 9:05, it was so easy, and I can see how this could become addictive.  In the past I had avoided Estate Sales and Auctions alike as being too time consuming and scary.  Now, I am going to have to do my best not to check out area Estate Sales for my favorite collectables.  Now, I am really afraid of Estate Sales because they are source of affordable wheels.   I have enough, I have enough, I have enough.....

(If I get permission to post pictures of the wheel I will be sure to add them.)

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Santa's Weaving Elves

  It is now less than two weeks until the big day, and Santa has been busy with the weaving elves.
  On the table by Carol's elbow you'll see a stack of soup cozys that Betsy wove.  She sold a bunch at the Foothills show, and someone called wanting more!  They're getting new stickers to go upstairs in the shop.  Betsy just made someone very happy!

  Alyce has joined THE LADIES on the back row!  (Shirley will be back, don't worry!)  Now that she's on a floor loom, she's right in the thick of the action!

Ray is working on  the Studio rug loom (he kinda looks like someone we see this time of the year, don't you think????)


  Jocelyn is back to work on the peacock shawl.  She's putting in a spacer for her fringes (it's can just see the tip in her right hand.)

  On the back row, Marie and Tina got right to work on their looms.  Weaving elves always have a lot to do!

  Pat was happily back to her loom...she got the good news that her grandchildren will be moving closer to our area in the new year!!!!!

  Liz's pillowticking towels are coming right along!

  There's always time to catch up with weaving friends!


  Some elves just keep on's quieter in the back corner of the studio! 

  Joan is back from her trip "up North"...where exactly did she go????  She and Polly were looking over the yarn Ms. Ila brought.  (Ms. Ila is cleaning out her stash!  Merry Christmas to some lucky weavers!)

  Our very own Christmas miracle:  Carol gets to weave with the weavers!  This doesn't happen very often!  But, this scarf warp needed to be woven off the loom

  All of our weaver elves were super busy today! 

Happy Weaving!