Thursday, May 31, 2018

Motivating Factor

  When I was in high school, I told my Mom that I was going to make a jumper using "pillow ticking" fabric.  She said, "NO!"  According to my Mom, that was not appropriate.  To her, pillow ticking was strictly used for utilitarian purpose.  I could, however, use "railroad stripe" fabric....which I did.  But, I never lost my love for pillow ticking.
  Last year, Marie made some dish towels in pillow ticking design....I had to have one!!!!  In the back of my mind, I started to think about using that for my oven mitts.
  Time passes.......

I came across this article in an old Handwoven issue:  March-April 1989.  Ms. LaLena had researched the history of this fabric, and I was amazed that in the 18th century the linen was sett at 60-64 ends per inch!  Sometimes it was even set at 72 ends per inch! 
  Needless to say, I won't be using that sett.

  And, once again, the project went on the back burner.

  Yesterday, Carol sent out an email asking for a volunteer to demonstrate weaving at the elementary school in Norris for their summer enrichment program.  And, it just seemed's time to get those oven mitts on the loom.
  I had a great conversation with the teacher in charge, and got busy with my calculations.  Since this is a 30 thread repeat, and it is a twill (3 harness) I decided to set it for 16 e.p.i with my 8/4 thread.  I'll need six repeats of the threading.  My first group is done.....only five more to go.
  I'm going to warp the Inkle loom in a reduced ticking pattern for tabs.
  The students will be going to the Museum of Appalachia on their last day of enrichment camp, and I'll meet them in the Loom House during their visit.
  Isn't it funny how a plan comes together????  I finally got the motivation I needed to get this project going. 
  If it ever quits raining, I'll get back to my wayward vines....before they grow over my house!!!!!

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Look Who Came To Weaving!!!!

She's Back!!!!
  Bonnie has moved back to our neck of the woods, and she took time to come visit us today. 
  Yes....Pat is back, too.  She's been on grandmother duty lately.  But, today she was back to weaving on her Wall of Troy cloth.

  Carol has promised Bonnie the Leclerc that she loves so much when she's ready to return.

  Pearl also returned!    And, she brought her friend Sharon to check out this weaving thing.  With Carol's supervision, the warp is on the loom and ready to be threaded.
  Charlotte is almost through threading her forest green warp.

Elsewhere, it was business as usual.  The Ladies were hard at work on their looms.  Linda was set up to work and be part of the conversation.

  Judy finished threading and sleying her warp and she's ready to weave.  This is her second warp.

  Tina is on the last pocket of her walker bag, but the other shuttles of her print fabric have gone missing. 
  If you see two shuttles of black & white fabric running around, please tell them to come back to the studio!!!

   Can you see how close the end of the warp is to the heddles?????
  Talk about not wasting any of that painted warp!!!!
 Way to go, Betsy!!!!

Here's a close up of the last length of her warp off the loom.  This warp produced four placemats, a runner and some cloth for a tote bag.

  With the pink shawl off the loom, those fringes need to be twisted before it can be wet finished. 

  That's a lot of threads!!!

  Sharon moved her loom over to the "Ladies" side.  She says it is a little more lively.  I think Frieda agrees with her.


  No weaving day is complete without spending some time with Carl.  He is dedicated to weaving those wonderful rugs back on that old barn loom.

  Since today was the end of the month, that means it was book study time.  We had read Chapter 5, Twills, in The Key To Weaving.

  We didn't get off topic too often!!!

  For June we'll be reading the Chapter on Overshot.  (That's my favorite!!!)

Happy Weaving!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Tiny Lace

I have begun my journey on the road to learn how to do "Honiton bobbin lace".  In the package I received that had the pillow, bobbins and a book, also had a dvd with one simple project and very clear instructions.

I have had to un lace about as much as I have laced, but I think I finally got the idea of "gaining on a pin", as they say in Devon, though I think we say it differently here in the US.  The idea is to use the inner pinholes twice and the outside pinholes only once, so that the petals are like a fan and not slanted.

This piece is really tiny, with tiny thread and tiny pins.  I had to buy some magnifying glasses to see where to put the pins.
To give you an idea of the size the flower head is about the size of a dime.  It is a challenge for sure, but I aspire to so much more!  I love the flowery laces like Honiton and Duchesse, but I must first do the baby steps.  (Be sure to look these up on Pinterest)

Carol, my Weaving teacher who got me into this in the first place, has suggested that I make hankies for my granddaughters to carry in their weddings.  The books I already have on hand, have many patterns for me to choose from.  Let the lacing beginning!

Until next time, Happy Lacing, Tina

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wandering Vine

Wandering Vine--AKA Snail Trail or Cat Tracks

  This is probably my favorite overshot pattern to weave.

Sadly, vines have become my most disliked thing about summer.

  After being totally ignorant of this vine for over 50 years, it has finally made itself  known to me!  Yes...."leaves of three...let them be."  I am NOW very aware of that little rhyme.  I had on my gloves, but the leaves brushed my arm above the glove....and you know what that means!

  Poison Ivy isn't the only vine I'm at war with here on the Ridge....oh, no!!!!

Grapevine----mean and hard to get rid of!!!!

  Honeysuckle.....looks so sweet!  The bees love it.  It will climb any fence and wrap around any bush!!!! will TRIP you!!!!  But, it is a nice ground cover if you keep it under control.


Virginia Creeper........don't get me started!!!!


  English will cover your house if you aren't careful.....just ask me!!!!
  "Little lambs eat ivy" as the song goes....where are they????  Come to my house and have a feast!!!!

  I do need to get back to my "wandering vine" pot holders for the fall sale, but, these vines need my attention, too.

  In the meantime, my little bottle of Caladryl lotion goes everywhere with me!

I'll leave you with this tune from my early sums it all up for this week:

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Time Flies

  Carol has picked right back up where she left off with her teaching duties.  Peggy's second warp went on the table loom this morning.  This also gave Helen and Alyce a chance to review the process. 
  It's amazing what you can do with a sling on, right????

  That's Linda B.'s loom on the left with a scarf warp.  She's going to keep it at the Center for now so that she doesn't have to cart it in and out.

  Helen finished her pillow top warp, and she was ready to cut off her warp.    Now....what's next????

  Sometimes Marie gets to sit at the loom!  She got the hemstitching completed and that shawl warp came OFF the loom!!!!

    Marie's bookkeeping duties keep her busy lots of days....and, today was one of those days.  The Tuesday Weavers ordered copies of the revised edition of Sixty Scarves for 60 Years by the Weavers Guild of Greater Baltimore.  It includes six new scarves, and the needed corrections were made.  Marie took care of everything in her usual, organized fashion!

   Linda has finished the stole she wove for her cousin.  The colors really pop, and the neck treatment is really first rate.  It's all ready for her ordination in September.

This is a close up of Linda's towel warp.  It's hard to see the design when you back away from it!!!

  Tina was not happy with the clasp weft technique for the walker bag on the black warp....and out it came.  She is alternating the black fabric with the black & white print to give it a more classic look.  This is a keeper!

  Sharon treated us to lemon cake's a good thing I got this picture early.   There wasn't even a crumb left at the end of the day!  Thank you, Sharon!!!

  And, she even found time to weave on her scarf warp!!!

  Christy spent the day cutting blue jean legs into same size panels to join together for Carl's rugs.  But, there's always time to catch up with friends.  Anna added the tags to Charlotte's mug rugs so they could go upstairs in the shop.

  Carl finished another rug today.  He's using up some printed denim from our stash along with the blue jean strips.


  And, before we knew it, it was time to pack it all up and get ready to go home. 
  It's true....time flies when you're having fun!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, May 21, 2018

I can't......yet

It's been over a month since I posted. Actually I haven't created anything in months! I'm not used to this. I've been weaving for 38 years. Each day I've done something related to weaving, either actually working at the loom or assembling pieces I wove.
The first three months a year ago were busy for me. I had a deadline to weave the last batch of curtains for the lodge on Mt LeConte. Then I wanted to get way ahead of my rug production and worked hard on that. My loom is set up so I can weave five rugs before cutting them off and retying the warp on to weave more. Rugs are heavy. Actually, I generally weave more than 16 yard warps for clothing. When I cut them off, it's a fairly heavy pile to carry over to my serger.
I've been doing this for 38 years, right?
Well, last spring about the time I finished those rugs my arm felt different, it was hard to lift certain ways. So, I figured, ok, I'll cut back a bit plus I don't weave in July or August due to other responsibilities. It'll get better, right? 
I keep weaving in fall but more slowly because it was hard to catch the shuttle with my right hand and pull the yarn off it in preparation for the next throw.
I finally went to the doctor. They won't do an MRI until you do physical therapy and get your arm abused as they stretch it. I did that a couple of months before I put my foot down and insisted on an MRI. 
Guess you have it figured out...tendon tear and a spur that needed shaving off.
I had surgery a month ago. He found my bicep was also torn.
I knew I would live in the recliner for the first two weeks, at least. DH slept on the sofa. What a guy!!! I felt sorry for him and the recliner got less comfortable at night so now I'm in the spare room, sleeping surrounded by pillows, wearing my sling to protect that arm.

I prepared ahead of time. I did not put a warp on my loom. It was hard to wind one on the warping board anyway. Plus I didn't want to tempt myself. I did cut out three small quilt projects figuring I could sew them. They won't let me. My arm would be at the right height but I guess they're afraid I'd overdo it. 
So what can I do? I can hand embroider. I like redwork so there are a couple of pieces ready to go. However, I don't want to overdo it! So I've pulled out stacks of old quilting magazines I thought I wanted to keep but don't have room for so I'm ripping out ideas and giving away all the magazines.

I can't do what I want to do yet but I'm back at physical therapy. Most of it's easy but when they force the arm beyond what it's doing, you just have to grit your teeth and hold on because the goal is to be back weaving and being productive again. My range of motion has improved immensely but I still can't do my hair. It took 3 weeks but DH is now a pro at pony tails and I even had him help me with putting in my earrings a couple of times. I can't get into a lot of my tops because the arm isn't ready to move that far but it's slowly getting there as well. I'll be glad to get rid of a short sleeved blouse that I bought just for this purpose. It's big so I can slide my arm in and good for therapy. My stack of magazines is shrinking slowly. TV is being used a lot here in the living room. Have you watched The Crown on Netflix? Bosch on Amazon? 
It's getting old but I am trying to learn the art of patience!

So I won't post anything til I can get something done. It could be awhile. I was't going to post this but LouAnn suggested the title when I mentioned that I couldn't do anything. 
Nothing yet but by fall I should be weaving again. The arm needs to heal. Weaving caused the tear due to the repetitive motion and inactivity post surgery will heal it!

Keep weaving especially since I can't!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

She's Back!!!!!!

  I guess she had to check up on us.......
With her sling in place, Carol braved I-75 (and Alcoa Highway) just in time to open the door for the weavers!  And, wouldn't you know it....we added two new weavers since she's been gone!
  After looking at Davison's green book, Peggy found a weave structure she wanted to try...Carol wants her to do one more warp on the table loom before she moves to a floor loom.

  Marion finished her plain weave, and she got started on the three inches of basket weave. 
  Pearl wasn't with us today...she'll meet Carol next week.

  Helen is going to be ready for a floor loom very soon.    She just keeps weaving away!!!!

Carl got right to work cutting blue jean strips for his rugs.  These are the panels that he joined last week. 

  Now that Christy is back from her travels, she got right to work prepping more blue jean legs to join. 

  We had lots and lots of laughter coming from the Ladies this morning!  I understand....weaving IS fun!  And, weaving with your friends is just too much fun!!!!

  Alyce is back to work on her towels...she related that she's becoming very good at UNweaving!!!! 
  Betsy has been brainstorming what she's going to make from the leftover cloth on her placemat warp.  She's really near the end!

  The closer you get to the end, sometimes there are loose threads.....don't you love the bling at the back of Betsy's loom!!!!


  Marie is also getting close to the end of her warp.  That hot pink shawl warp has produced three eye catching shawls!
  Sharon just left her loom tucked behind Marie and got a lot of weaving accomplished.

  Liz finished her warp of placemats today.  She got twelve placemats and one 72" table runner from the twelve yard warp. 

  Pat is weaving Wall of Troy for some soup cozys.  She's using a dark green warp, and will change the weft to give more choices.

This red towel is almost finished.  I wonder what color the next one on Linda's warp will be?????

  Tina started a "walker bag" on the new black warp.  She's using the clasp weft technique for the pocket part of the bag.

  Tina also took some time to give a quick demonstration of how she uses the combs to prepare fiber for spinning.  Pat is going to be prepping some fleece to spin at home.
  By the way, on the table you can see Liz's placemats.  She was busy serging the edges before she hems them at home.

   Anna was our angel today:  she brought us "Blondies" for a treat!  My-oh-my....they were so good!!!!  Thank you, Anna!!!

  I know we wore Carol out today....but, it was so nice having her back with us!

Happy Weaving!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Always Learning Something New

The lace making bobbins have been whispering for me to bring them out of the tub, and once again throw some bobbins about the pillow.   As I seem to be always having to learn something new, I decided to learn a new type of bobbin lace.   I have done some basic Torchon style lace and then some other projects in a few other styles, but I wasn't  sure exactly what they were.  So this time around, I took some time to systematically look through the different types of lace from all over the world to see what kind I wanted to focus on. I settled on Duchesse/ Withof and Honiton lace.

These styles use very very fine lace threads and are what I think of as the flowery, filmy cloth category of bobbin lace.  I happened to already have on hand a couple of books on basic Honiton lace, and I ran across a really nice Honiton package on Ravelry, including  a Honiton pillow, bobbins and another book and video thrown in for a very good price, so that seems like a logical place to start.

The Honiton pillow is on the left, you can see that it is a different shape than the cookie pillow on the right, more like a marshmallow.  The bobbins too are different from what is used on other types of lace.

There are around 144 bobbins lined up according to their size.  I will not need near this many, so when I get a good idea how many I will need, I will probably sell some.

While I was waiting on this package to arrive, I ordered the thread and tools I would need from "Van Scivers " a supplier of bobbin lace supplies here in the States.  Everything in fact that I would need to get through the first of the beginning Honiton lace books.

I was at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival last weekend and along with everything else I did, I visited the demonstration tent several times.  There were spinners, knitters, angora bunnies, and also there were several ladies that were doing bobbin lace.  One of them  was even doing some Honiton, so I got to see first hand just how tiny these pieces are to work on and just how tiny the thread is!  It was fascinating!  One of the other ladies, that I spoke with quite a bit was wearing a pair of clip on/ flip up magnifiers to work on her lace.  I have recently graduated from readers to bifocals and I was trying to figure out how I was going to manage.  With readers, I just put on 2 pairs, but that didn't seem to work with my new glasses.  As soon as I got home, I ordered a pair  of the clip on/flip up magnifiers, and they just arrived today!  All the tools have arrived,  I have already watched the video once, now I just need a quiet moment or two to get everything set up.  When I have enough done to share, I sure will.

I am making preparations for another t-shirt rug, this time it is going to include the sports t-shirts of the son of a friend of mine.  I am having to supplement a little bit in order to have enough for a rug, but I think I will be okay.  Among the bag of sports shirts that my friend gave to me to use there were basketball and baseball jerseys that I don't feel are suitable for a rag rug, they are far too slippery, but I will suggest that my friend finds someone who can make a couple of quilts with them.  I think with the right backing it could be really nice.

At the same time I am also busy washing the fleeces I got from Sheep Shearing Day at the Museum of Appalachia, I have washed 4 and have 4 more to go.  It is way more fleece than I need for demos though, so I think I will see if the other spinners in our group would like a "scoured" fleece or two!   The fleeces are of medium-fine texture and very very springy since they are Hampshire sheep a meat breed.  The resulting yarn will be great for hats, mittens and sweaters.  The lanolin will be gone but there is plenty of vegetable matter to comb out, which works beautifully for this wool.

Several of my weekly obligations are winding down, a few may be added, but it seems I have gained a few more hours to devote to my craft,  so the plan  for this summer is a Studio clean up,  I will take this summer to go through things and clear out what I can, to make a less cluttered, calmer space.  I believe I will start by organizing all the spinning fibers and equipment in May.  The weaving supplies and tools in June and fabrics and crafting books in July.  My weaving friends will have first dibs on what  will be passed on for someone else to use, then I may put a couple of things in my Etsy shop, which I will have to reopen first if I decide to do that.

That is it for now, all I have to do is keep with the plan right!!!!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina