Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saturday ETA!

I am continuing on my journey to improved physical health.  I have been running 2.5 miles with the dogs every morning, and walking 2.5 miles in the evening.  It took about a week, but my legs adjusted well to that routine.
This morning  the dogs missed out on their run because DD and I ran the Susan G.Komen 5K in Knoxville.  There were lots of people there and we really had a good race, coming in  at just under 40 minutes.  In 2 weeks we will be doing the Buddy's bar-b-que race for the cure.  My DH will join us for that one.
I was so tired last night, I forgot to add the picture of my Dye Day creation. I can see that I have some dye drain off, I am not sure if that is normal or not! Oh well, unfortunately I was called home twice to help with goats that had found a loophole ( when you can't find the hole in the fence, look for their trail in the high grass), so my visions of yesterday are pieced together. We really did have a great time, and the weather cooperated with us. Cool and crisp and dry, we couldn't have asked for more. Food, fellowship, and a learning experience, that is all we ask for!




Here is the first Baby Blanket that I took off the loom, and I gave it as a gift to this beautiful baby.  His parents have said that I can use this picture in my advertising if I want to.  I just think it is a precious baby, don't you?






Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Queen of Weft!


  While the other weavers are concentrating on warp, I seem to be stuck on weft!  Last week I showed you how I took a wad of pearl cotton and turned it into a shawl blank.







 This week I am taking some  white fabric strips that we found at the center and I am skeining it up and tying loosely in a couple of places.  We will probably use this for placemats once we are done with our dye pots.  You may not know it, (but I don't know how you could have missed it), but this weekend is our second Weaving Weekend.  This time we decided to do a Dye Day.

I was tickled to death, since it would be impossible for me to teach any of it!  You see I have drawn the line at the Dye Pot.  I have sworn that I will not take on another hobby.  That means I will NOT buy anything that has to do with dyeing fiber, I will not store anything that has to do with dyeing fiber (or dyeing fabric for that matter),  I will not initiate anything that will suck me into the vortex of another hobby!

That being said, I will happily prepare fabric and gauze that are already in my possesion for such an event.  The gauze was some that I got at the same time as the pearl cotton.  I had donated it to the center, cause I didn't have a clue what to do with it.  We played with it some a couple of years ago, in a dye bath, and we were really pleased with the results.
It is amazing how many gauze skeins I got from this one wheel.


There have got to be 5 or 6 of them in there.  I tried to get them about the same size, but I didn't really measure or anything.   So there you have it, tomorrow I will finish the shawl blanks and I may take a look at my fabric spools to see if I have anything that is dye worthy, (since I already own it).  I will then be set for the Weaving Weekend.



Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Festival Prep!

The  handwork is done!  I blogged yesterday on Loomy Tunes that I just had to buckle down and get it done.  There were Rugs and Bread Cloths and Placemats that needed to be hemmed!

I still need to press the Bread Cloths and tag them, but the Rugs are all tagged and on the shelves ready to go, as are the Placemats and Runner.


 Before I tagged  them however, I took time to inventory every single piece I had.  I already had some that would need new tags too.  I counted more than $1,000.00 worth of inventory!  I am in shock!  I had no idea, and that is not even counting the Baby Blankets I am doing right now.






I am getting ready to demonstrate at Blackberry Farm in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee.  I went last year and while I didn't sell anything, I really had a good time.  This year I hope to have a greater variety of things to offer.  I am taking more than double what I took last time.   I will be demonstrating the last 3 Saturdays in November.  This isn't really a show or anything like that, but it will be interesting to see what kind of interest we get.
After that is over I will open an etsy page and see if there is any interest in what I have to offer.  I am really pleased with the Baby Blankets I have been working on.  In fact I am planning to concentrate on them, and Couch Throws for the next year or so to see if something as simple as that can be my Thing!  They are incredible soft and squishy, and warm too!  I was able to hold a baby in one of them this last week.  It was so cool to see something that I have made look so good, and be admired too.  My Daughter took a picture or two and I have permission to use them in advertising.  I will post one so you can see what they look like in use, as soon as I can, they are stuck in her I phone.




Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina


Monday, October 18, 2010

Make way for bucklings!


I went to pick up the bucklings today.  My friend and I met Linda in Norris, at the center where we weave.
We loaded up in Linda's car and went to her friend Patti, who lives not far away.   There was a little work to do before I could take them home.  They both needed their ears tattooed, and one of them need to be "fixed", or as we say in the goat world, wethered.  Nobody needs 2 closely related bucks on a small property, and one does need a companion for the buck when his services are not needed at this time, thank you very much.
 This is a picture of their Sire.  He is rather plain looking but he throws wonderful colors in his offspring.  He also has blue eyes which are very prized in the Nigerian Dwarf world.

 
 You can see the splashes of white on the rear of that buckling in the carrier at right.  The wether is further back in there.  I had just gotten them home and had opened the door.

They were soon knee deep in untouched grass and loving it.  Before I left to have lunch with my buddy, they were eating grass, peeing, pooping, and talking with the lady goats in the pen across the yard.


I will keep them separate, for a little while so that the boys can get used to being here, away from their mom and all.  Then we will introduce the girls, probably the younger of the two first to get aquainted.  In a month or 2 the buckling should be ready to do his job, and they can all stay together til just before the young ones come.  It should be fun, pray for doelings!
Until next time, Happy grazing, Tina

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Farm Stuff

We have been doing a bunch of outside chores to get ready for winter.  We don't really have harsh Winters usually here, but every once in awhile we will get slammed with  a good one!
The stack of wood above is the wood we got this year.  This one here to the right is the wood left over from last year.  I usually try to get the wood earlier in the Spring, but just didn't get to it this year.  I think we will be fine.
Mostly because we have all these bucked pieces to split with a splitter!  A bunch of this is Elm, and there is no way we are going to try to split by hand!  It is like it is glued together!
I have used this outhouse for many things, a place to put the cat food, a hen house, and now it is a garden shed.  The only thing you can be sure I haven't used it for is a bathroom!
Mopsie and Snickers are enjoying their time in the chicken pen, grazing down all that grass and weeds.  I am getting ready to seperate them to a new plot of grass, probably on Monday.

I will be picking up a buckling from Linda this week, I am also going to take his brother which will have been wethered, to keep him company when he isn't supposed to be in with the girls.
Now for the promised chicken photos!  This hen is a Silver Laced Wyandotte.  I think she is the prettiest of the bunch.  She does have an unusually short beak however and I will have to keep my eye on that.
This one is a Colombian Wyandotte.
This is a mixture of Silver Laced Wyandotte, and Black Australorpe, and she is the only one I cannot keep in the pen!
And here in preparation of the long winter months are 15 bales of hay.  I will be going back for more this week.  Linda tipped me off on a good deal!  Thanks Linda!










Until next time, Happy Weaving , Tina

Monday, October 11, 2010

Confronting my fears!

After my last post I got an email from my friend Carol.  Carol is a very talented production weaver.  You can see some of her brilliance shine thru over on Loomy Tunes since she posts over there one day a week.  Anyway, I got this email, she said "You really need to get a serger!  It will save you so much time!"  I had to shamefacedly confess to her that I already had a serger, and that I just was not that comfortable with it yet! 

You know first of all what a pain they are to thread, then what if the tensions are not just right, and what if a thread breaks!!!  I could really go on and on about it!  The truth is I was a little overwhelmed with it and too chicken to buckle down and learn how to use it!   But, I had that stack of stuff looking at me, just laughing at me!


You know what I did next don't you.  I pulled the little machine out from it's hiding place, rethreaded it, and got started.  Now a couple of times a thread did break, and you know what, it wasn't the end of the world!  I just rethreaded and continued on.  First I did all the stuff that needed the white thread, then changed to dark threads for the rest.  I had to rummage around in my thread bag for some dark spools since I don't have the big spools of dark.  It went ok really it did!

You see before you 6 Rag Rugs, 6 Placemats and a Runner, and 10 Breadcloths!  It really did take about half of the time it would have taken me if I had insisted in chickening out and not using the Serger.  Now I can hem them up and they are ready to go.

 
And now I would like to introduce you to my new best friend!





Thanks Carol, for the kick in the pants!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saturday morning

The Breadcloths that I wet finished last night were almost dry early this morning when I got up.  I let them hang there while I put the Placemats in the tub to soak.

Then I went about my usual, laundry, feed animals, walk/run dogs routine.  When I got back home the Placemats were ready to hang up.  I can't find my other clothes rack so I tossed the Breadcloths in the dryer for a few.


Here is a good pic of the Rep Weave Placemats and Runners I wove off awhile ago.  I think I have 6 Placemats and a Runner.  I got the idea for this pattern from an Inkle Weave pattern!
These are items I finished weaving months ago, and they have been hanging around nagging at me the whole time to finish them already!

Starched and ironed on both sides, these babies are ready for the sewing machine and cutting board.  I have to carefully stitch down both sides of the dividing threads so that I can safely cut them apart.  I will then machine hem them, then run them thru the washer and dryer til almost dry.  I will then iron them into submission, checking again for errors, then they will be ready to tag, and sell. 

 I will not get to all that today.  There is a wedding in my DIL family, and we get to do a spot of babysitting.  These are our Texas grandbabies and we appreciate every moment we can spend with them.

My first Baby Blanket is going out as a gift.  I gave the first Couch Throw as a Wedding gift last night.  You can see some of the process I have been following over on Loomy Tunes, I am the Friday blogger there.  These 2 articles were my "sampling pieces"  and while both of them were great, and I wish you could feel how soft they are, they are not the size that I am going for in my retail shop.  So out they go to bless someone else while I plug away at the full sized ones.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Instead

Over on Loomy Tunes I had made these big plans to finish the blue Baby Blanket and then do another one at least.  Well I must tell you that by the time I had finished the blue one, my backside had decided that I needed to do something else!





I looked around and found a pile of finishing that really was as important as the baby blankets were.  I set right to it.  I fixed the errors on the placemats, and the bread cloths.

Here the cloths are soaking even as I type!  I will hang them up when I am done here.



The rep weave placemats may need to wait until tomorrow for their bath but it's a coming their way!

I also have a roll of the rag rugs that are woven as well.  Tomorrow I will tackle that job while the placemats soak.
I some how feel  like I have done beyond what I had imagined for the day.  All because I really  needed to change it up!  I think I will explore this tactic further.

That is all for now, Happy Weaving, Tina

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New things!

Last post, I was troubled by a carpet that kept scooting all over the place as I wove.   I was in search of some boards to put at the front of my looms when I realized that both of my benches have rather large feet. 

This bench was made by a fellow Tuesday Weaver, and it gives me quite a bit of wiggle room!




This bench is a little narrower and I really have to sniggle in there, but let me tell you, it has really made a difference in how my weaving feels, and I am sure that I can really pack it in much more than before!  This loom is working on some Overshot Baby Blankets that I am posting about on Fridays on Loomy Tunes.








My Daughter is a Graphic Design Artist.  She has been working with me on these new lables.  I really love them.  She designed one for each article I make.   I am printing them at home on some cardstock that Lou Ann gave to me, wasn't that sweet!






 I have begun to put my finished articles in this sweet shelf unit my SIL made for me.  I have told my DH that, contrary to our normal behavior, nothing is to go on that flat surface!  (Though I may put my handspun there.)  I fear that this is going to quickly become too small!  I don't think I have room for the rugs and placemats and bread cloths I have woven and not finished yet!  That is going to be a sweet problem to take care of. 


I found some fresh hens to add to my flock of layers.  Mine are so old (3-5 years) that I cannot keep up with my customers demand.  I brought home 8 this afternoon, and tomorrow I will get some pictures to show them off.  They all look wonderfully healthy, and are only 6 months old.  So I should get plenty eggs!  There are some real beauties in this bunch.  My favorite is a Silver Laced Wynadotte.

Thanks for checking in and watching my slow progress. 
Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, October 1, 2010

Buckling under pressure!

I have a floor rug in the Studio, and it really drives me crazy!  It allows this loom to really move across the floor like crazy.  I thought that the rug would help minimize the noise, but I am not so sure it is a good idea.
I suppose I could put some of that nonslip stuff that you are supposed to put under it, but I wonder if it would really work.
I have thought about taking it up, and turning the looms to face the walls and putting boards on the floor to keep them in place.  I would appreciate any input from cyberspace!


We have a woodstove that we use for our main heat supply.  We do have a heat pump and I keep it set at 50 or so, so that if the stove goes out during the night we don't wake up to a frozen house.
That, however means that we have to put up a substantial amount of wood to feed that woodstove.  The wood was delivered today.  I ususally try to get it in earlier in the summer, but didn't make it this year.  We have enough wood left over from last year to get us well on our way and let this cure a little.

This is 2 dumptruck loads, enough to keep us busy for a day or two stacking it.  You know what they say about firewood,  "It warms you twice"  even if you don't have to split it, I have found out.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina