Friday, January 19, 2018

Snow Days

We had some more cold (for us) weather this week and we even got a few inches of snow!  The Center follows the schools snow day schedule so since the schools were closed, the Center was closed.   That meant that the weavers did not meet at the Center this week and I also did not have the usual babysitting gig Tuesday night.   Bonus day!   That meant that I could spend all day in my pjs, doing whatever I wanted!

So, I washed another fleece, Jacobs fleece #18,

 and finished a pair of socks, and worked on my taxes, and changed my sheets, and did some laundry and I did a small sample with some yarn that I had made while I was demonstrating at the Museum of Appalachia.

This was supposed to be sock yarn, but I could tell from looking at it that it was more like DK or even Worsted, and that would not work for the socks that I like to wear.  That is okay though, it will be marvelous for a hat I want to make.

I made this a 3ply yarn because I knew that I wanted to knit with it, for weaving I would do 2 ply, but the wool of this kind of sheep really poofs up when it is washed, so I think I will have to try spinning even finer if I want sock yarn!

This is the "LOL hat", a free pattern on Ravelry.  It has some rib and some cables, just right to show off the yarn.  I managed to get about half of the hat done, I may finish it tonight.

 When my daughter saw the yarn that I was using  she said that she would like a hat out of that yarn too!   I already have a second skein just like this one, so her wish will be easy to fulfill!

The snow is almost gone now, and the roads are pretty clear, in fact it is going to get all the way to 46 degrees this afternoon!  Yay!   Back to the normal life for us all!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, January 18, 2018

In Praise of Grilled Cheese and Wool Socks!

  Yep....the south was hit with another snow storm.  It blew in from Texas and danced up the eastern seaboard bringing snow and ice to some places that had not seen such weather in ages.  We have not been above freezing in a few days, which is a little unusual around here!
  That means COMFORT FOOD!!!!
For some reason I really wanted a grilled cheese sandwich.  Me and a million of my best friends hit the store Monday looking for bread (I already had milk and TP.)  To properly prepare for a storm, you must have these basic supplies...just add cat food and coffee to my list!
  I haven't had a grilled cheese in years, and this really hit the spot.  The chili just added the icing to the cake. 

  I finished the multi-color apron.  Of course, then I found I had set the pocket too high.  So, out came the seam ripper....what would I do without my seam ripper?  That apron is down beside the sewing machine waiting for me to change the thread.
  Yes....I have denim blue thread on the machine right now.
  Yes....that's a denim skirt on the cutting board.  And, that's my new apron pattern pinned to the skirt.  (This was my favorite skirt for many, many years....I couldn't part with it!  Now, it will be my favorite apron!)  It's about half way finished at this point....and, I'm looking at my pocket "collection" to see which ones I can use.  Fun!!!
  Wool Socks....the only way to survive this weather!  I really hate to have cold feet!  They are the comfort food for the body, I decided. 
  Tomorrow will be driveway should be thawed by then.  It will be nice to get out for awhile.  I may treat myself to lunch grilled cheese!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Still not Weaving

I'm not sure why I can't seem to get clear pictures on the blog but here goes!
I gave away this quilt last night. The baby is well over a year old but I didn't know about him til Christmas! So this was a rush job. It's 50 x 60 inches.
More Berenstain bear fabric.

I'm sorry you can't get more of it!
The back of this one is bugs.
The other quilt I finished is about 40 x 50. It's going to Alberta for the grandbaby of a cousin. Baby's not due til about March but I don't want to wait that long. The couple decided not to know the sex before birth so I wanted the blanket to be unisex.
Either one can use the quilt. Blues and pinks all together.
Even the bottom blocks cover the bases. If you look very carefully, you can see pins in the big blocks. I haven't free motion quilted that area yet. It's on my list for today.
The back is the overall print we all remember from the books.
Last night the father of the quilt recipient told me he remembered the books from when  he was young. He's going to have to read them to his son! 
I love books and helping spread the love of books while also keeping them warm is a win win deal!
That makes 3 finished quilts using the Berenstain Bear fabric with more waiting to be finished. 
I'll get back to weaving soon but I first need to finish the bookkeeping from last year and decide what the plan is for this year!!
Until next week, keep weaving! 

Friday, January 12, 2018

All About Space

I have a problem.......

 As many of you know if you have read some of my previous posts, I bought 51 Jacobs fleeces last fall.  It was a big pile of fleeces, but what I hadn't planned on is that a clean fleece is twice the size of a dirty fleece.

Luckily I have used 4 of the big fleeces in some fleece rugs for the fall shows.  One rug sold and one rug I sent to the Shepherd, and then LouAnn took 2 of the lamb fleeces.

I began doing a little research on how to handle this problem.  I looked at "Space Bags" and other brands of vacuum bag type products, and I calculated the cost and found it prohibitive, for my situation.  Then I found something that I thought was the answer, it was a product called "BagButton", a reusable button that you use with a good quality garbage bag and your vacuum cleaner.  I ordered it immediately, and was dismayed to get an immediate refund because they were out of stock.  I then thought for a minute and realized that if I put some netting on the wand of my vacuum cleaner I might be able to get the same results.

I picked out a fairly good sized fleece, this is a kitchen sized garbage bag.  I divided this fleece between 2 clear Kirkland bags of the same size.  I put the netting on the wand and a rubber band on the bag.  I placed the wand into the bag and started the vacuum cleaner.

It worked!

Here is that same fleece, half the size as before.

There are 5 fleeces in these 2 tubs, I am hoping that the tubs will protect the bags a little bit.  I think I will be buying the Kirkland 33 gallon bags in the near future, I believe that the plastic on that size is a little thicker and that I would be able to get one of the bigger fleeces in one bag and not have to split it between 2.

There will still be a lot of fleeces at the house, but this storage idea has me looking at all my other fiber stash.  I think that I will be able to consolidate so much that there may be room for these new fleeces on the shelves after all!

Until next week, what is your favorite storage solution?


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Real Life

    It's back to reality here on the Ridge.  I had lots of fun playing during the "tween weeks" and it's time to knuckle down and get some work done.  End of the year reports and tax forms await my attention.  I always feel like I have a close relationship with Excel!!!
  I've been using my new purse, and after the second week, I can report that I need to take up the handle another few inches.  Also, I've decided that it's too big.....I don't really need ALL this space!  (If you're not careful, you will keep putting stuff in your purse and it will weigh a TON!!!!)  I'm going to go for jean purse 2.0 when I get the chance.  (I've got some ideas cooking on the back burner!)

  I did get another apron cut out this week.  I have found that I really like wearing them around the house.    Having that big pocket handy helps to prevent me from getting side-tracked:  the item in question just gets tucked away until I'm through in that room.
  I got used to wearing them at the Museum, and I can see why women have been wearing them for eons!  They are not just for cooking!!!!
  (I really want to make a "sewing/weaving" apron with pockets for miscellaneous  tools!)

  One last little project:  my pin cushion  and clip basket.  The pin cushion is a tomato sauce can with a wool filled sleeve glued to the metal.  I like having it right by the sewing machine/serger to handle the pins as they come out.  I keep the seam ripper and scissors handy there, also.  I needed a liner for the chip basket because the clips kept falling out--and I need it beside the machines, too!

  I had some feedback about my cup cuffs that I gave for Christmas:  it seems that my SIL is using his at school each day.  One of his students was amazed that it was woven by his mother-in-law!  Do I have more?????   Not right now!

We're in for another round of winter weather tomorrow night....maybe I can get ahead of the book work and get some fiber time.....fingers crossed!

Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

New Warps

  This is NOT a green warp!!!!  I think Frieda is really happy about her new warp....I'm looking forward to seeing what wonderful designs she uses for her new scarves.

Looks like another colorful shawl warp going on Ms. Ila's loom. 
  But....what is Bonnie doing???

  Uh-oh!  The heddle bar "popped" off and you know what that means!!!!  Bonnie came to the rescue and slid those heddles back where they belonged!

  Linda brought her rigid heddle to work on a wool scarf while Joan is working on her warp.

  Helen is using two colors on her warp.  It's so much fun playing with colors when you weave!

  It's the end of the road for Ray's rug warp.  He rolled off the rugs this afternoon....we'll serge the edges next week and get them hemmed.  He's planning on weaving double width next on this loom.

  Wanna bet that Anna and Tina are talking about spinning????  I didn't eavesdrop, but that would be my guess.  It's all fiber....right?

  Betsy's warp will be placemats and table runners.  Another bright, cheerful warp!

Before he could finish his latest rug, Carl needed to cut more blue jean strips.  Just keep it moving!!!!

  The Tuesday Weavers have started a study group using Mary Black's New Key To Weaving.  We will be taking a chapter a month and then meet together to talk about any questions or observations.  No skipping chapters!!!!  Yes, the first chapter is about Looms, and you'd think we already know about that.  But, who knows.....we might just find out something new we didn't know!  No pressure....just trying to expand our knowledge!
  We have several copies of this book in our library for check-out, so everyone can join us on our journey if they wish.
  New warps and new fun!!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Icy Morning

I'm supposed to be at the center in Norris right now taking a much anticipated class on kumihimo. There are about 10 of us that are home instead, now having  to wait until March for the class. What are the odds of that being a snow day as well? We'll see!
It was such an iffy date. All week they've talked about freezing rain this morning. It's been very cold (for us) but no precipitation that hit the east coast. 
However, this morning the predictions got a bit more serious and class was postponed. I'm glad because there are a ton of wrecks out there. My car is covered with a thin layer of ice. I'm not going off my hill til it thaws, hopefully this afternoon.
So instead of posting pictures of the class, here's one of the projects I've been working on.
A few years ago I got very excited when a new line of fabrics came out. It was the Berenstain Bears. I remember reading the books to my daughter a lot!! My nieces all had the books, too. They're wonderful. Small books full of teachable moments. We still have them upstairs somewhere!
So when the fabric came out, I went a little nuts. I bought all the colors I could. Then when a sale hit, got some more. There will be several baby blankets out of this series. But, first I promised DD a throw using the fabrics.
I haven't woven since late November. Instead, I've been sewing. All my UFOs are complete so I could pull out "the" tub!! The throw is about 50 x 70. I took it to the center last Wednesday and pinned the layers together. The center quilters were there working on their quilt. The comment was that it was certainly bright. OK. I like that. It's the kind of quilts I do like to make.
I finished quilting it and took it up to the living room to finish tacking the binding. Once done, I folded it and just put it temporarily on a stool. Meg likes it!
This is the front of it. It's 5 squares by 7 squares. A print alternating with a 25 patch square. I found a jelly roll of 2 1/2 inch strips in the tub and that formed the core of the patchy squares..
A close up look. There were several big print fabrics that were released and I cut them into big squares to compliment the small squares.
A quilt like this needs a cheerful back. So I obliged. It's like you're in the books. I do love this print line!
See what I mean?
Tomorrow is DD's birthday. This will be her surprise gift. It'll look great in her living room.
I already have one baby quilt top done and am working on another one. I'm hoping to take both of them to the center tomorrow and pin the layers for quilting. One is already spoken for and the other is probably going to be shipped to Canada for a baby due this spring. Then I hope to get several more made to get ahead of the game.
Might get back to weaving later this week. It's going to be nice and warm so the studio will be more comfortable. We were down to 8 degrees recently for the low and the hot water pipe in the  kitchen froze but 2 days later we went above freezing for 2 hours and it opened up. It's been dripping since. No need once it gets above freezing. Later this week it's going to be in the 60s!!! Welcome to East Tennessee!
Until next week, keep weaving!