Thursday, November 16, 2017

Rugs at Last!

I finally got enough of the Jacobs fleeces prepared and ready to weave last week.  The fleeces I used in this batch of rugs were from "Big Boy, #3, #13 and Olga 21".  I wove 2 large rugs and 2 medium rugs, trying to mix the colors with wild abandon. (Not my forte!)

"#13, #3 and Big Boy"  Large rug in the neighborhood of 30x48 inches.  This size takes about 1 1/2 lbs of prepared fleece to make.

It seems that I don't have a picture on hand of the other large rug, that featured this same fleece trio, but in very different proportions, with the addition of Olga 21.

This rug is made from "Olga 21 and Big Boy", it is a smaller rug in the neighborhood of 2ft by 3ft.  These smaller rugs take around 12 ounces to make.

We are back to good old "#13 and Big Boy" for this another small rug.  I have enough left over from the 4 fleeces to do at least one more of the small rugs.

These three rugs were hot off of the loom when I took their pictures on Monday, and I had not as yet decided on a hem treatment, so you can see that the white fabric is still on the ends of the rugs keeping everything in place.

 I was finishing up my chosen hem treatment on the final rug early this morning before I had to run to Knoxville to help set up our booth at the Jacobs Building, for the Foothills Guild Fall Craft Show in Knoxville, TN.

The booth is all set up and ready for the holiday crafts shoppers.  I don't have to work the booth until Sunday, when I will work the whole day and be part of the breakdown crew.  That is the last of our 2 shows, and a few of us  have been chatting off and on about what we are going to work on now that the show production is past for this year.  I know that I have more projects in mind than I can ever hope to develop this year, and I know that it is the same for the others as well.  I am sure that this is not an uncommon problem!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, October 13, 2017

Latest fleeces

You may tire of seeing these fleeces appear on the blog, but to me it will be a record of the fleeces that I will be using in the rugs this next year.  I will be able to pick out from the pictures of the raw fleeces,  what the clean fleeces that are now stuffed in bags look like!

Up this week are:

#10 heart

There is a lot of white in this fleece, it is a big fleece with a medium texture, so perfect for my rugs.

After that is "Other Ram"

I know, what a name, all I have to go on right now is what is written on the bags.  I hope to have more information as I go along.

This fleece is huge, it took 6 big laundry bags to get it all in.  It is also a medium coarse fleece, again perfect for the rugs.

At the moment I am concentrating on finishing weaving the hand towel warp that is already on the loom and washing fleeces.  Once the hand towels are woven, I will turn my full attention to the fleece rugs.

I think I have enough warp on the loom to do another big rug, then I plan to do several smaller ones.  All in time for the Foothills Guild Fall show in Knoxville in about 5 weeks.  I am not feeling a ton of pressure, but I am working steadily towards my goal.  I hope to finish everything well before the show, I hate waiting until the last moment.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, September 29, 2017

Side Note

For several years, I have been in love with the thin gauzy tea towels that you can get at many of the department stores.  I am not ashamed to admit it!  Recently however, I finished a few sample towels using the never ending supply of 12/3 white cotton that I have in the Studio.  It was a small sampling only 3 towels, one in plain weave and 2 in a twill, just to see how they look finished.  Marie and I have a deal, I will twist her shawl fringes and she will hem my towels.

 She does a beautiful job, and when I had taken the towels to her, I mentioned that I knew that the plain weave towel was going too be short to sell and that I was going to be keeping that one, and I did.  I put it in the draw 2 weeks ago, and even though I tell everyone to which I give a towel to use it, I was hesitant to use it.  It was so pristine, so beautiful in the drawer.   I finally pulled it out of the drawer on Friday and I started to use it.

I am in love with the fabric that I have created!  It is more absorbent than those this towel I have been using, and I don't have to use more than one as I dry my dishes

I will be making several of these plain weave towels for the Foothills Guild Show in November, and I can assure you that I will be making several for myself as well.

Use your handwoven towels, you will love them!!!!!!!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Monday, September 25, 2017

Big Boy

This is "Big Boy's" fleece, it is now on the drying racks and should be dry in a day or two.  I can no longer put the sweater drying racks out on the porch, the cats just love sheep fleece!

I am busy making batts, with the goal of getting 3 rugs woven by weekend after next.  Once I have enough batts prepared for 2 rugs (24 ish), I will start weaving rugs and continue with batt making at the same time.  I will get done what I can get done.

I have all but a few items woven, tagged and inventoried and in the containers that will be coming with me to the Museum of Appalachia's "Homecoming".  It should be perfect weather, with the temps cooling off nicely, and a good variety of items in the "Tuesday Weavers" booth.  The booth will be in the Peter"s cabin behind me as I demo spinning wool on a great wheel for the public.  This year it will be a more interactive demo than in years past, I have found that everyone loves to turn the wheel while I make yarn.

Maybe you can come join us, October 6-8 at the Museum of Appalachia, in Norris TN?  Come join us for good music, lots of crafts and some really good blackberry cobbler!  I you do come, look for me at the Peters cabin, I will be on the big front porch,  see you there!

Until then, Happy Weaving, Tina

Sunday, September 17, 2017

More Jacobs Fleeces

I washed fleece from sheep #13 this week.  It is a huge fleece and is more like a fleece and a half!
This fleece is a lovely black under those brown tips, and once it is washed it is wonderfully soft.

I went on an adventure today, last night I learned that the 40 fleeces that I had already purchased from the Shepherd were going to be coming through Knoxville today, and could I please meet them at our favorite rendezvous, the Cracker Barrel, of course I could!

I took the little red pick-up and boy was I glad I did!  There are probably not many of you that actually knows first hand what 40 fleeces looks like.  Well I am here to tell you that it is a lot of fleeces!

The back of the little red truck was really full!

The passenger side of the little red truck was full!

And now the corner of the Studio is really really full!  I had to fold up the Hearthside loom and move it into the other Studio room to get all these in here.

The fleeces on the right side of this pile are first clip fleeces so they are about 1/2 the size of the full sized fleeces.  I managed a peek at a few of these but on the whole, I purchased these because I was so pleased with the fleeces I had already received.  My plan is to make rugs with the 7 fleeces I have already washed and dried, so that I can at least have  a couple of rugs done for our 2 Fall shows.  Why do I always get these good ideas so close to show time!

Anyway, I know that Karin might want a couple of fleeces and I will ask the other spinners that I know if they are interested in a first clip fleece at a good price, but I plan to keep all the full sized fleeces for now, until I see how this rug project progresses.  Oh, and the Shepherd says that she will have around 30 fleeces next year!

Until next time, Happy Fleece Prepping!!!!!  Tina

Friday, September 8, 2017

Jacobs fleece #31

Jacobs fleece #31 should be dry, but I like to make sure the fleeces are bone dry before I bag them up.  I don't want to take any chances that mould might develop before I can finish the processing.

I happen to have on hand a couple of Jacobs fleeces that I had processed early last year to spin.  I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to try out my project idea.

I am glad I did!  I learned a lot about working with these fleeces.  They are a different breed than the fleece rug I wove before, the fiber needs a little more help as I weave to keep in the roving form.  So I made some adjustments.

I also found that even though I thought I had plenty of roving, I did not.  The finished rug is about 3/4 of the size I thought it was going to be.  I weighed the finished rug and did some calculations and I estimated that I will need approximately 1 1/2 lbs of roving to make a rug 30x45 inches.  Then I weighed the rug I made that size out of the Museum fleeces, and found that it was exactly 1 1/2 lbs!


Here is the rug made out of the Museum fleeces, you can see why I am so excited by the colorful Jacobs fleece rug.  It is going to take a lot of processing, but I am so happy with the results that I think it will be well worth the work.

  Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

The girls are getting along pretty well!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Olga 21

Olga 21 was the next fleece I washed, and it is a beautifully soft fleece with grey undertones throughout.  I am sorely tempted to spin some of these fleeces instead of weaving them as roving, but that would defeat the whole purpose of buying so many at once!

When I pulled the bag of fleece for yesterdays wash up, I did a double take.  The bag said #7-15, and I thought wait a minute, I have seen that number before!  I went and checked the bags of clean fleece and there it was, #7-15!  I then pulled  up the photos from the previous fleeces and compared to the fleece laid out before me, and sure enough, I have 2 years of fleece from the same sheep.

(I think I could pic that sheep out from a line-up now.)

Since it takes 2 fleeces to make a rug, I am thinking about making  a rug that is all #7-15,  what a treat!

4 more fleeces to wash, then the real fun will begin, until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina