Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Chatty Tuesday

I'm sitting at my loom just looking around.

 It's the catch-up talk that happens every Tuesday morning when we get to weaving.  (Liz found a cute pine cone ornament on her trip.)
  Sometimes it involves cell phones.

    Sometimes it is just heart to heart conversations.

   Sometime we share our unique techniques.  (Anna even has an app for her hemstitch!!!)

  Sometimes we are just trying to get to the end of this scarf!!!

  Then, there's that moment when you realize that you are going to have to prepare more weft for your rugs!!!!

Then we have that moment when it's time to cut off the towels that are on the cloth beam.  And, while you're here, go ahead and serge them!  Those thirteen towels will get hemmed next week, and then they can be wet finished.  Someone might think we're getting ready for the Fall shows.

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, August 18, 2017


My Husband asked me this morning, what my day was going to look like.  He often does that  and just like a lot of days, I had a date with one of the grandkids for about 2 hours this morning, but other than that, I told him that I was going to play.  Then I added, though I didn't have to, that I call it "playing' even though technically it could be designated as work, since most of what I am doing these days is geared towards inventory for the fall shows.

That being said, I did get in some play time this week, if not this morning.  I have been messing around a little bit with the tapestry loom.

This is the sampler in "Tapestry 101", and I was being very faithful, following all the instructions.  Then I got a little bit antsy, I did not like that there was not a dividing line between the class sections and I decided to umm, play a little bit.
I slide the tapestry sections that I had already worked on up the warp and I inserted some "Egyptian knot" above the "shading" section.

 Then I slide the "striped" section down on top of the "Egyptian knots" and I added a wee row of rya knots, before I slide the "unjoined" squares back into place.  Then I did some "soumack" in dark blue, which you really can't see very well, (and I might replace that) and finally above the "joined" squares I did 2 rows of  contrasting plain weave.
I have a ways to go on this sampler, but I am learning quite a bit, and  I can see how learning this new art form will improve my floor loom weaving as well.

Now for what I call  "work",  I did finish the first fleece rug, and if I can get my phone to cooperate and download the picture, I will come back and post it.

The rug is everything I wanted it to be!  I have a couple more obligation rugs to make to give to the shepherds, so I am not sure if I will be able to make some for the shows this year, as there is a lot of prep work that is involved, but I know that next year, there will be several ready and waiting for the fall shows.

On to my  hand spun  BFL shawls I am working on.  The first gradient shawl you saw on Tuesday's post.  This shawl was woven with a gradient yarn in the warp and also in the weft.

I washed that shawl today and I decided that while it is going to be a wonderful shawl, I think I would be happier with a slightly closer set.  So for the second shawl I upped the set from 8 EPI to 10 EPI.

I almost had enough yarn left from the gradient hand spun skeins to complete the second warp, but I was about 2 inches short of the goal.  I had some silver Romney (you can see it in the above picture) that I had spun a long time ago that I thought might do for weft, and I had plenty to supplement that last 2 inches of the warp.  I staggered the very last of the gradient warp leaving a few spaces to blend in the new yarn, and I can barely tell that I had to add something new!

I also have a cone of silk that might have worked well for the weft, but I  didn't want to darken this shawl and in the end I decided to go ahead and use the same hand spun that I had used to supplement the warp.

I love how this gradient looks in the reed.

I started with 2 skeins of gradient handspun, which I thought was going to give me a single shawl, but I am ending up with 2 shawls by adding a third skein from my hand spun stash.

This second shawl is going to have a much different look than the first shawl, as this warp does not have any of the dark shades that were in the first shawl as warp, (skein #1, dark to light) and also in the weft, (1/2 of skein #2, dark to medium tones).  That left the medium to really light tones  of skein #2 for the second warp and with the Silvery Romney weft, it is going to be a stunner!

That is it for now, until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tell and Show

 Sometimes weaving involves other skills besides warping a loom!!!  Polly has many skills, and she is often called on to help us out of sticky situations...like today!

  Carol likes to use paper to pack a warp on the back of a loom.  But...Carol is NOT here....and I am!!  I don't like paper...I like sticks!  I looked high and low for sticks to use on the table loom for Sara, and the ones I found were either too long or too short.  That's where Polly came to the rescue!  (I'm sure that by this point, Sara was ready to strangle me!)  She trimmed some longer sticks a few inches so they would fit on the table loom, and we were off and running.  You can see that Sara is threading the loom, and will probably finish that next week!!!!


   Speaking of warps....the warp on Alyce's loom came off this afternoon!  She was so excited!!!  She's already talking about getting on one of the Pups....there's nothing quite like weaving on a floor loom!!!!  (I remember that excitement...do you?)


That lovely woolen shawl deserves a dramatic entree!!!

This is Tina's handspun--handwoven shawl that is just too wonderful for words.

  And, speaking of lovely shawls, take a look at Marie's bamboo shawl.  It sure was the hit of the greet and meet this morning!
  Our Studio was visited by the Leadership class of Anderson County earlier today, and this shawl was tried on by many admirers.  I was sure it would be sold before they left!!!  (I wouldn't be surprised to hear that one of them comes back later to buy it!)

  Talk about showing off other skills....take a look at Bonnie's quilt top that she finished this summer. 

We are so lucky to have this group...and what talented folks we have!

Come visit......

Happy Weaving!

Friday, August 11, 2017

A Continuation

This post is indeed a continuation of sorts, first there is an update on the tapestry loom.  I ended up taking some of the pieces back to the hardware store to tweek things a bit.  We shortened the uprights by half and I had a metal bar inserted into the long crosspiece that is on the bottom of the loom.  This copper pipe is only 1/2 inch, and I was afraid that it might bend if it was not reinforced.

There, that's better!  I have a book "Tapestry 101" that I can't wait to dive into, but the loom needs to sit for 24 hours to let the pieces stick together really well, and honestly, I really need to get a couple of things finished for the shows before I start something new!

Speaking of new things, you heard of course that LouAnn got a drum carder this week, and she is really wanting to use the recycled fiber in a spinning project.  Well today,  I went over to her house for awhile and we tried out a couple of things to see if it would work.  We first used the drum carder to loosen up some ginned cotton.  Once that was done we made a sandwich with the cotton and the recycled fibers.  We ran that batt thru the carder a couple of times to smooth things out a bit.

 Then I sat down and started to spin it on her Hansen e-spinner.

After a getting to know you phase with the e-spinner,  I managed to get a textured thread that held together pretty well.  While I was spinning, I realized that if we plied this single with cotton sewing thread it would increase the strength of the yarn and not take away from the texture that LouAnn is looking for.  So,  LouAnn rounded up some serger thread and I plied the yarn sample pretty quickly.

I think it looks quite nice, and it was fun to try something to see what would happen, I don't get many chances to do that!

Now it is back to my drum carder to do the last of the batts for the first fleece rug, life has gotten in the way once again, but I am going to keep at it!  I hope to finish that rug today, and start rug number two.

Until next time, Happy Weaving and  Spinning, Tina

Thursday, August 10, 2017

*Wild * Life*

  Do you ever have those burst of inspiration?  You know...you see something, and it ***ding, ding, ding!  What could I do with this? 
  My niece subscribes to one of those food clubs that send you ALL the items you'll need to make a fab dinner for your family.  Everything is fresh, and packed carefully.  They are even super eco-conscience!  Instead of Styrofoam for insulation, they use this mat of cotton and jute.  Their thinking is that it is biodegradable. 
  My niece thought of me!  (How well she knows me!)
  And, now that I'm spinning (beginner!) I wondered if I could blend this fiber into something and use it to spin for weaving. 
  I consulted with my fiber friend, Tina.  She's thinks we can combine it with cotton and spin it.

  That led me to this!!!
I couldn't help myself....this Little Brother Drum Carder needed to come to my house and help me with this project.
  Brother Drum Carders are made in Silverton, Oregon.....I love it that they are American made!  It arrived Tuesday night, and I got him all set up on his very own table.

  They recommended using dark fleece for the first few projects.  I had some short pieces that Tina had given me to make dryer balls, so I thought they would be great for my practice batts. 

   Sure enough....I'm getting better at this.  I think this will be fun!
  I'll let you know how the experiment works.  This could be recycling at its best!!!!

  Another project in the works.  I love the look of a wound warp!  Now, I need to take it to the loom!!!!

****Details later!!!

  Uh-oh....can you see the picture????  Yes...my two new visitors!  It was almost dark the other night when I looked out to see these two eating under the bird feeder.
  Sorry the picture is so dull....I took it through the screen door.  I wasn't about to go all the way outside!!!!!
  Last night at dusk I saw bats zipping around the front yard.  Tonight, there is a doe and her fawn outside the living room window.
  Never a dull moment!

  I'll leave you with the hummingbirds.  There have been as many as eight at a time buzzing the feeder....just not when I'm trying to get a movie!  If you turn up your speaker, you can hear them chirping.  I have to refill the feeder twice a day.
   Boy oh boy....I sure do live a wild life around here! 
Happy Weaving (carding and watching!)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

It's Your Day!!!!


  We hope you are having a fantastic day!
Happy Birthday!

The Tuesday Weavers

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Re-building a Loom

Last Tuesday I was rummaging around the Appalachian Arts Crafts Center looking for a small tapestry loom to use as I learn about this form of weaving.  I have a floor model at the house but it is busy right now making fleece rugs.

Anyway, as I was saying I was rummaging around looking in all the corners between boxes, you know the drill, surely there was an odd tapestry loom hanging around somewhere!  I caught sight of piece of wood with a spring stretched across it and I went to investigate.  Sure enough I had found one in the storage area set aside for barn loom pieces!  Although, when I managed to get it out from the barn loom pieces it was only half of a tapestry loom.  I spent a good bit of time looking for the other half of the loom, but it was nowhere to be seen.

I brought it home with me that day, to see if I could come up with any ideas about how to complete it.  I got to thinking about some plans for a tapestry loom that I had seen, made from copper pipe, and I went looking for them and I found them on the "Brennen-Maffei.com" website.

Armed with my diagram and the top half of the loom I went to Downtown Hardware in Oak Ridge, TN to see if they could help me.  We talked about what I was trying to do, and having the diagram really helped them to see what I was trying to accomplish.  I ended up leaving the dear loom with them over night as they fitted the new pieces.

The completed loom has a 36inch height and a 31inch width.  There are the threaded rods and bolts to use as a tensioning device and the cute angle pieces at the bottom to hold the crossbar in place.

The pieces are not yet glued together, and I think I will be bringing this piece to the Center on Tuesday to get some opinions about it.  I am thinking that I may have gone a little overboard in the over all height of the loom, the diagram we used was for a much narrower loom, so I figured that as we were already adding to it for width we may as well add to the height.   I also think it might be wise to reenforce that lower crosspiece by inserting a dowel or a rod of some sort into it before we apply any glue.

The loom is back in pieces and ready to go back to the Center for an evaluation, I don't know what I would do without this weekly get together with the Tuesday Weavers, where we share ideas and finished objects, hopes and dreams, and sorrows and joys.  I hope you have someone in your life that will cheer you on too!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina