Saturday, April 28, 2018

Fluff N Stuff

LouAnn and I made it to the Museum in plenty of time to set up for the school kids, I think 2 or 3 different schools came to spend some hours running about the place.  In the winter time LouAnn and I are inside the Peters cabin, but when fair weather once again shines upon us we go our separate ways, she to the loom house and I go out on the front porch.

I put my wee great wheel up on the bench to keep Cinderella's spindle well out of reach of all those fingers.  While some of the kids raced passed me, with "exploring everything right now" on their minds, several of the kids and the teachers and parents seemed interested in what I was doing.  I was able to answer many questions and show how important a skill this would have been 200 years ago.  (Can you see my wild socks?  I always try to wear the unexpected item!)  

After the museum, I had to race home to send Dear One off on a short trip, and then I got to pick up some grandkids from school and take them home to there house, where we were joined by their Mom within 30 minutes.  I then raced home to meet Karin, who wanted to see how my fleece washing set up worked.

We managed to get a fleece from last weeks "sheep shearing day" skirted and in the wash before she left.  We also pulled out one of the clean Jacobs fleeces and I was able to show her how I used the 18 inch hackle together with my wool combs.

This bag has 3 fleeces in it, the top one being white with some lilac patches.  I quickly set to work combing some of the white locks,  then I did a lilac/gray batch and then back to white.

By using the hackle that you can see behind these beautiful bumps of hand combed top I can load 3 combs full on it and pull off a much bigger quantity of top than I could with a single comb full.

This week I was also able to finish the T shirt rug order that I had started a week or two ago, I had already finished it actually, but it was about 6 inches shorter than I had intended.  So I rewove it increasing each section by just enough to give me the ratio of colors that I was looking for, as well as the added length.

I love how the blue stripes turned out on this one,  I had decided that I would get a better looking rug by combining different blues, sometimes light combos and sometimes darker combo.  It did not disappoint!  I will deliver to the buyer, and we will discuss other things that she would like for me to make.

Life as always is busy, but I get done what I can, when I can.  Everybody has been very patient with the extended time that it is taking me to get these orders done.  I have one more rug that needs prep and weaving, and then I can weave what I want for the fall show.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, April 26, 2018

80% Chance


  You know how it is with those "best laid plans"....right???? 

  I have always wanted to try Deborah Chandler's "hybrid method" of warping a loom.  This method would be great to use at the Museum, I thought, since I wouldn't have to take a raddle or lease sticks.  This was my thinking on Wednesday, when there was only a 60% chance of rain here in this area.  So, I gathered up my 6 dent reed (for rough sleying) and my warp....and I thought I was ready to head to the Museum.
  My alarm system starting acting up, and I ended up on the phone with the company for an hour.  In the end, they had to schedule me for a service tech on Thursday morning. 

  Sure enough, the tech was here at 8:00 this morning...and for two hours, I was punching in code on the panel to stop that annoying little beep.  But, now the system is on a wireless phone that doesn't require my house phone to be in service.  All in all, this turned out to be a good thing.
     Now, back to the Museum warp:  I used my time to reread the "hybrid method" and walk myself through the process.  And, it hit was I going to move the reed behind the heddles????  AND, this method would require me to leave that reed at the Museum (since I would not have time to get the heddles threaded.) 
  So, back to the tried and true (I'm a back to front warper.)  I have loaded up the crate with the raddle, lease sticks and sticks for the warp beam. 
   The forecast for today was 80% rain with a high of 58 degrees.  Needless to say, the warp didn't go on the loom today, either!  It can wait.  Tomorrow is another fact, I'll be there in the morning for a school group....and only a 10% chance of rain for tomorrow!!!!!

  An update on Sheep Shearing Day at the Museum.  Karin took over the carding, combing and spinning duties on Saturday.  She did a really fantastic job.
  We had nice weather and lots of great questions.

I hope it's sunny where you are!
Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Dear Carol,

Dear Carol,
  Please rest assured that while you are healing at home, we, the Tuesday Weavers, are doing our part to insure that more handwoven items will be available to those folks who need them!  We continue to weave quality items in a happy atmosphere....just like you taught us!

  The new floor plan is working very well, and Liz is especially happy to be with the Ladies on the back row.  I'm not sure what is going on with Sharon....she seems to think that she would miss something going on in the kitchen.  Peggy got her warp tied on with Marie's help.  Ms. Ila finished the first shawl, and is ready to start on the second one.  The black weft is really working with that warp.

   Carl and Linda are holding down their corner of the Studio, too.  Linda finished one towel, and is ready to start another one.  Carl is using some of that roll of printed denim for this rug.  He's thinking about mixing it up with some denim blue jean strips.  I think he's mulling over his options.

 In preparation for our discussion on Chapter 4 of the Mary Black book, Tina wound a short warp for demonstration.  Since the Ashford loom was handy, she just popped it right on the loom.


   In addition to Tina's demonstration, Betsy brought us a great sample of a "laid-in" technique.  Her grandparents had bought napkins and tablecloths that were woven with laid in motifs when they visited China back in the early 1900's. 
  Truthfully, I don't think you're going to see many examples of finger manipulated weaving from our group.....just saying.

  And, you'll be glad to know that Jocelyn was able to keep our energy level up with some oatmeal cookies (that were sooooooooo yummy!!!!!)  So sorry you missed this!
  Liz brought some smoked Gouda cheese and crackers to counterbalance the sweet stuff.  Good idea, don't you think?
  Thank you Jocelyn and Liz!!!!!

See.....we're being productive!
  Be patient....follow your doctor's orders!!!!  (You can get started reading Chapter 5 in the Key To's about Twills!!!!)
Get well soon!!!!!


Friday, April 20, 2018

Sheep Shearing Day #2

LouAnn posted photos yesterday of us setting up the booth for Sheep Shearing day at the Museum of Appalachia.  Today I get to show you how the tables look with the display items in place!

Here is the table I use to showcase some of the clean fleeces from past years.  You can see the table on the far left is set up to receive the first dirty fleece straight off of the sheep.

This week I moved my wee great wheel and clock reel to be between the dirty fleece table, (which was still empty) and the clean fleece table.

On the other side of the booth are the tables for the finished pieces of clothing or rugs that we have made with wool, so that the public can see just how handy wool can be.

LouAnn's tape loom got a good workout today!

Here is one of my fleece rugs and a sample of what purple wool fabric looks like before and after washing.

The dirty fleece table was still without a fleece for a long time!!!!!  We have come up with a solution for tomorrow though.  We kept a fleece back from todays clip that we will unveil as soon as we get there in the morning and we will be ready right away to demonstrate the process from the very beginning of skirting and washing, all the way through combing, carding and spinning yarn to finished  woven or knitted products.

It was cold and breezy today, but the public were real troupers, and I came home with more fleeces to wash, Karin is going to take the fleeces from tomorrows clip.

You can't have too many fleeces....

Until next time, Happy Fleece Washing, Tina

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Blue Sheep????

Sheep Shearing April 28, 2017
  It's Sheep Shearing time at the Museum of Appalachia!  Tina blogged about it last Friday....neither one of us took any pictures, though.  We'll be back at it again tomorrow, and I'm sure Tina will take some pictures for her blog.  We had over 20 school buses full of kids last week, and they are expecting around the same for tomorrow.  Saturday is Family Day, so there's no way to predict how many folks will come out to the Museum.  A lot will depend on the weather, I'm sure.

  I had warped the tape loom with a two yard blue and white wool warp for this event.  This wool was a commercially spun, and wove up rather quickly.  Plus, I've gotten a lot more comfortable weaving on this loom!
  The wind blew like crazy last was so strong that it blew a whole fleece off the table!  Karin and I had a time keeping the display items on the table from blowing away...we were constantly putting them back in place.
  Tina skirted the fleece, and washed a bucket of the dirty wool.  She also carded some clean wool from last year and spun on her wee great wheel.  As they came around the table, Karin was also spinning on her wheel while I was weaving.  The students picked up on the fact that the wool was different colors...from white to brown and even some darker wool.
  And then, there was the kid that said, "Are there blue sheep, too?"

  OK.....tomorrow....only natural colored wool on the tape loom!!!!  This looks gray in the picture, but it's actually brown.  And, since it is handspun, it tends to want to stick.  This is a four yard warp, which should get me through Saturday afternoon!!!

  Think warm thoughts for us tomorrow....the low in the morning is the upper 30's.  Brrrrrrrrrr.....

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Circle The Wagons! It's Spring Cleaning!!!!

  It looked like an ordinary day.
The weavers came in and pulled out their looms and started weaving. 

  There was a lot of discussion going on about things that needed to get done.  Bags of cloth and yarn had migrated under looms, along with several bags of blue jeans that need to be worked.  You know....the usual stuff!!!

The consensus was that we needed to reconfigure the loom other words....some looms were going to get MOVED!!!

  The plan was that the "stationary looms" would get put on the perimeter with their warp beam to the middle. Winding on warps will be easier this way.
  As looms were moved out of the way, Bonnie vacuumed the empty, linty space.

  It was a group effort!!!!

Jocelyn was quickly in place and back to weaving.


  Did Bonnie move that Macomber by herself?????


The looms that fold up are put in the middle at the end of the day, along with the looms on stands.  Everything is out of the way for the week ahead.

Oh, yes...I forgot to show you Marie's summer and winter baby blankets!!!!
 Sharon finished winding her ball of weft from the skein of dyed bamboo.

  A very Happy Birthday to Frieda!!!  

  We sure got a lot done today....and everything looks so much nicer.  We'll have a new warp going on the Gilmore next week, and now we'll have room to work.  Also, Ray will be able to get to the back of his loom for threading!
  Great idea, ladies!!!!!

Happy Weaving!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Sheep Shearing day

LouAnn, Karin and I had a great day at the Museum of Appalachia.  We spent the day there at the first sheep shearing day of the season.  I heard that there were over 1000 kids there, but it sure didn't seem like it.

We got there early to set up our booth, soon the shearers would bring me a fleece fresh off of the sheep.  I then take the public through the process of skirting the yuck off of the fleece and then washing a bit of the fleece.  (I am sure to show them the filthy water that comes off of the fleece.)  I then go on to how I process the clean fleece, using wool from last years fleeces, then finally I show them how I spin the wool on my wee Great wheel.

I always carry fleece and yarn made from the previous years fleeces, so that I can show people what can be done with this wonderful stuff.

I also bring plenty of fluff that is ready to spin so that I do not run out of rolags, as it usual takes me longer to prep a rolag than it does to spin one.  I did run out of prepped fiber the first year and I vowed to never let that happen again!

On the other side of the booth, Karin had a spinning wheel with a flyer and bobbin, and LouAnn demonstrates how to weave wool on a band loom.  On the table there are knitted and woven wool products to show what can be done with wool.  The kids can touch and ask all sorts of questions, and they do!

Karin and I took home several fleeces to wash and prep for future Sheep Shearing days.  There are 2 more Sheep Shearing days next Friday and Saturday, and you will be sure to find us there educating the public on how yarn has been made from the early days of human history.  I made sure to tell them that if they knew where to look they would find artisans that still make yarn this same way!

Until next week, Tina

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Spring In The Studio

    It was a hive of activity in the Studio this morning from the get-go.  The old table looms were pulled off the shelf and evaluated.  The Tuesday Weavers received a grant to replace the old table looms that are not reliable with newer, lighter table looms for teaching.  We are well over due for the upgrade!
  Polly and Linda were hard at work checking out each loom.

  What a morning to start weaving!!!!
A big welcome to Peggy, our newest Tuesday Weaver!  Peggy is a member of the Cricket Club at the Clinch River Yarn Company, which is where she heard about our little group.  She's ready to step up to weaving on more than two shafts!!!
  Carol got her to work winding her first warp.


  Over in the corner, Irene was busy on the sewing machine while Pat threaded her Wall of Troy warp for soup cozies.

  This is a look of intense concentration!!!!  Levers up....levers down......Frieda is really good at working on the eight harness table loom.

  It's fun to watch the shawl warps move from one color area to another.  Jocelyn does such a beautiful job weaving on this warp.

   Although Anna is getting ready to leave for a trip abroad, she was at the Center today weaving on her scarf warp.  Now, that's dedication!!!!

  Marie was on desk duty upstairs this morning.  But, the weavers kept sneaking upstairs to visit with her!!!
  We had several visitors come downstairs, too.  In fact, one lady had bought a set of placemats that I wove!!!!

  The lights went out after lunch, but these hardy weavers just kept on weaving!!!!  They were out for about 30 minutes!!!
(We never heard what had happened that caused the lack of electricity!)

Since Shirley's loom was near the door, she had plenty of light as she and Bonnie wound on that springtime warp!

Sharon finished hemstitching, and started weaving her next scarf.

Linda's towel warp tends to make your eyes go cross-eyed!!!  (Don't tell her I said that, though!)

  The shawl warp on Ms. Ila's loom moves from one color to the next.  Purple is the next color's hiding on the heddles right now.  We'll check back next week.

  Betsy finished this  placemat and will be starting another.

  It was time to advance the warp...that means you get to move that big warp beam and readjust the broom handle!  Carl knows this loom so well!

  Yes....that's Peggy in the back right.  She and Carol were winding on her warp.  Peggy started threading this afternoon!  Not too shabby for your first day!

  Helen just continues to weave away on her project!!!

What a great way to spend this lovely day!

Happy Weaving!


Monday, April 9, 2018

Three more

I know, it's getting a bit old but, I'm still making a few baby quilts. The pile of fabric seems to be growing instead of getting smaller!! Each quilt is different and that's half the fun. I do have sort of a formula for making them. I like 3 blocks wide and 4 blocks long. That is, if they're about 10" square. That varies, too.
This one had 2 strips between the blocks. The strips are an inch wide plus seam allowance so I cut them 1 1/2 inches wide. 
This is the main part of the quilt. Due to circumstances, I had to drape it kind of over a recliner and keep the cats away to take the pictures! This one is being shipped to California today. My cousin is going to be a first time grandmother. She lives in Saskatoon. Her son and his wife live in California. What's really cool is that I just wrote to ask if she wanted me to ship it to them or bring it in summer. She said they were flying to see the kids on Saturday so I quickly finished it and will get it in the mail today. Their son is due in June. I hope the baby likes it!!
This one is up for grabs when I hear of another baby coming along. Using 5" squares for the 4 patches was rather fun.
So, I have another one pinned plus I've been working on a throw or lap quilt that isn't bear fabric for a change. However, when I get a chance, I have been playing with all the scraps of left over pieces. Some are an inch, some a couple of inches and up to 40 inches long. Now, that's going to be a wild quilt. I'm not sure I'll have a chance to work on it this week, but we'll see.
Still no weaving going on but I have a chance this morning to go through all my yarns and figure out several projects for when I can get back to it. I am chomping at the bit, so to speak, but have to have patience for now. I'm just glad that I have other hobbies to fall back on when I can't do what I really want to be doing. The thought of doing nothing is mind boggling scary! So I surround myself with options. 
On a side, sad note. My sister used to live near Humboldt Saskatchewan. When I visited her in summer, we went shopping there. Humboldt is a small town, a close town where most everyone knows everyone. The bus wreck Friday evening was absolutely devastating for the whole town. More than that, the hockey team was special. The kids on the team were working toward playing for the NHL and apparently this team was very good at getting the kids ready for that. So, a good number of players were from out of province, from Manitoba and Alberta as well. These are 16 to 21 year old young men who were then billeted with local families. One local family had three young men staying with them. None of the three survived. The more we hear, the sadder it is. Last night on the news we heard that our local hockey team, here in Knoxville, was collecting money from their players to send up there to help. Funeral expenses and rehab for survivors will be expensive. One young man has a broken back and may never walk again. It just all makes you think. 
The small issues we all have seem like nothing when you hear of families that are so devastated.
Until next week, keep weaving!