Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Art Yarn?

Carol brought a bunch of her thrums yesterday, thrums are lengths of yarn, sometime almost a yard long, that are left over from a weaving project.  You never can weave the whole length, there is always some left between the back beam and the reed.  I was supposed to have brought my Louet S10, but like so many other things I was supposed to bring, I forgot it!  

We caught a glimpse of some yarn on a blog this week that was so interesting.  It seems that someone took some thrums and spun them up into Art Yarn.  The blogger then took the yarn and used it as weft for place mats. I have never spun Art Yarn before, and I am not at all sure how to do it.  I have looked on You Tube to see if there was any video that could give me some guidance, but was unsuccessful.

I took the thrums home and today I decided to try a few things,  I first started by sorting by length and colors.  I combined as many colors as I could, trying to get away from just using blues, which would be my natural inclination.  Here is the bundle, blues, greens, grays, purples, black and white.   The lengths are anywhere from 25 to 30 inches. 
I bundled them loosely with a single strand of yarn.
I then hung them on the distaff, what a mess!

I decided to not use a core thread for the first go round.  The colors work well together, but as you can see by the "yarn" below on the bobbin, there is a lot of yarn sticking out from the "yarn".  It is also really thick, and seems over twisted too!  I am not sure I like it.  
Next, I will try using a thin yarn as a core to see if I like it better.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Birthday Presents!

Yesterday was my Birthday!

I got a lot of good presents!  Nuff said!


Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, December 16, 2011

Something Special!

This always makes me think of the kids!

 We spent 11 years in Italy as Church Planters.  Our first year was quite difficult for us all.  Italy has many wonderful foods that we had to get used to, and we did in a very short time.  One of the foods that is pure Italian is Nutella.

I would have never let my kids touch the stuff before that first hard year, but I have to tell you we were looking for comfort wherever we could find it!  It is 50% sugar, and the add says, "It is as good for you now as it was for your mother then!"  What exactly is that saying anyway!

My Daughter has gotten me to sign up for Pinterest.  I still haven't gotten my invite, but while I was peeking at the page they let you look at, I saw a recipe for homemade Nutella!


This is all you need!  I took me awhile to find the Hazelnuts, but I kept at it until I found them.  I couldn't find them already shelled though.



There are several recipes, I chose the one from the Oh-Nuts website.
First:
3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and with that skin removed, then chopped and pureed in a food processor til smooth.
mix:
3 squares bakers chocolate, melted in a double boiler
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
and 3 T of honey



Add the chocolate mixture to the hazelnuts in the food processor.  Mix away til blended, you may have to add a little bit of milk to thin it down a bit. It will keep for a month in the fridge, but I am sure it won't be there that long!



This is absolutely yummy!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A looong day!

It is getting close to Christmas, and we have the great pleasure of having my Daughter and Son in law come stay with us for a week or so.  If I am not mistaken, the last time they stayed with us was last Christmas.  A lot has happened to that bedroom since then....

In that room there was camping gear, (more gear on the landing too), boxes of stuff that I have been ignoring for way too long (we moved here 10 years ago!), 2 looms, all the knitting yarns, all the rug fabrics, 2 sewing machines and 2 spinning wheels.   I planned to move the camping gear to the shed.  I looked in the shed, no way was that going to happen!  I have to clean out the shed first!  In order to clean out the shed, I have to finish putting up the fence for the goats.  Well, I suppose I didn't have to do that, but it was one of the things I really wanted to get done today, so it came first.  I had the fencing up by 9am, ( I had put the posts in yesterday),  I transferred several long boards and planks to the barn, and I put them on top of the walls of the chicken room, I hope it will keep them a little warmer.  The shorter boards I stacked under the work bench, and ecco fatto, there was the floor!  I put all the chemicals that Dear One loves on the shelves, then I was ready to bring out the camping gear.  I finished all that by 11:30 am, then had lunch, and I may have taken a micro nap!

It was time to tackle the guest room,  with the camping gear gone I was able to maneuver the smallest loom out on the landing.



Next, I went through a bookcase that was overflowing with old school papers and stuff.  I threw away a lot of stuff!  I pulled the bookcase out from the wall, and cleaned the floor under it.  I moved it back in place and replaced the stuff I kept. I probably should have worn a dust mask!!

I  finally sorted through the 4 or 5 boxes, and found that most of it was books that could go to Dear Ones office!  (When he came home he loaded up the truck, and took  it all, right then and there!)  All that there is left is one box for my west coast daughter to go through when she comes home in March!

I put the Electric Spinner in it's case and under the Sewing Machine cabinet.  I centered the rug loom on the craft half of the room and put the other Spinning Wheel beside it.  I then dusted and vacuumed, cleaned the window, damp mopped the floor, and heaved a sigh of relief! 


This is a little blurry but you get the idea, bed and dresser.


I can see the floor!  Why can't it always stay like this!



I sat down in the rocking chair of the previous picture to show you the craft side of the room.  I am really pleased with how it turned out. It looks good and it smells good too!  Tomorow is our day off, so I will be resting!

Friday, I will organize and clean the main studio, but at least I don't have to clean the shed first! Now where is my Aleve?

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Place-mat Warp 2

I don't usually weave on Thursday since it is our day off.  This afternoon Dear One went on an errand, so I went up and wove  the first place-mat.   I had chosen the fabric last night and had already cut 2 shuttles worth of strips.  


I cut the strips to 3/4 inch. and pressed them folded in half.  I didn't really  fuss about the fabric in the shed, sometimes it was straight and sometimes it was twirled a bit, I just let it be. Next batch I may try a wider weft to accentuate the fun threading, maybe as much as 1.5 inches.  These are wide place-mats 16 inches in the reed, each place-mat will be 21 inches in length with 2 inches on each side for the hem.   This 12 yard warp should yield 16 place-mats, or maybe 12 place-mats and a runner. (if my math is correct!)

 

 A close-up....




Straight on.....

 I chose to do a hemmed edge instead of a fringed edge, I usually do.  I think it gives the piece a longer life.  I was able to do a bit on this second place-mat, before it was time to feed the critters. 

I may do a lighter fabric next set,  I plan to do 6 place-mats for both fabrics.  

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sampling!

I got home a little early this afternoon, so I ran upstairs and finished winding on the new placemat warp.  I have cut down the Hollywood rug threading pattern that I found in the Rag rug book, so that it will work for placemats.

I was able to do a little sampling before I head out to Knit Night.



I used both light and dark fabric, so that I can see how the warp plays!  I love it, and I can't wait til I get some strips cut to weave up a batch!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Monday, December 5, 2011

New Placemat Warp

There are as many ways to put on a warp as there are kinds of looms.  They all, however, are all about taming yarn, lots of yarn!  I have 2 looms with sectional back beams, and I can put a really long warp on those, (so far the longest has been 40 yards on both at the same time.)

Today, I am putting a 12 yard warp on the newest Leclerc, Alice.  She is only 28 inches wide, she is so cute! She does not however, have a sectional back beam, so I am using my warping board. This warp has the 3 colors that I showed you last time, and they are spread throughout the warp.  I wound each color individually, and threaded through the reed, placing each thread in it's proper place.




The foundation is laid by the color that is most predominant.   This took a little doing, because I am also using a 15 dent reed for a 10 epi warp.  I had to watch the color progression, and skip that 4th dent too!



Then I laid in the medium color.



Then the dark color, I had to correct a couple of mistakes along the way, I told you it was tricky!  I think it looks really nice, I can't wait to weave some up!

This afternoon I got it threaded, and this evening I may see if I can get it wound on.  If not then Wednesday for sure, tomorrow is Tuesday, so I am tied up with the weavers during the middle of the day, and then in the evening I have Knit Night at the Panera in town. Busy, Busy, Busy!

Next week, I will have to do a major Studio clean up!  My daughter and her Husband are coming in for the Holiday Season, and their bed is in the Studio overflow room! (Heavens there is even camping gear in there!)   I have one small light weight loom going to a new home, and a ton of sorting and organizing to do!   I do have their bed already made up though, so that is something.

Now, let's go wind one on!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Inventory!

I was packing up my inventory to send to the Nashville Show, when I realized that I am really low on a couple  things!  For example, I only have one set of  placemats and  1 runner, and I hope they sell this week!  I was casting about for ideas, and my eyes fell upon the Hollywood threading in the Rag Rug Book.  I first saw this threading on a loom that Lou Ann bought a couple of years ago.  We were first fascinated by the colors that were used, light and dark purple, pink and yellow!  It took Lou Ann some time to figure out the best treadling for this threading, turns out is was 2x2 twill.

Let me see if  I can give you an example of  what it will look like,

',' ,', ',' ,', ///\\\///\\\ ,', ',' ,', ',' ,', ',' ,', ',' ///\\\///\\\ ,', ',' ,', ','  ( this is the threads as they appear in the rug, sort of.)

OK, that took forever!  One of the cool things is that the chicken track  formed by the ',' are either light or dark and the ones that are opposite are well, the opposite! Also, the twill parts are divided between light and dark as well.

In the Rag Rug book, they use black and white as their light and dark, I think I will soften it up a bit and use tan for my light and 2 shades of blue for my dark.


I haven't yet decided how I am going to split up the blues, I will try it out on the weavedesign program first.  This is a wonderful tool that we ran across on the Pike Peaks Guild website.  The program is provided for free, though you are encouraged to send a donation to help defray their costs.  I can play for quite awhile using the program, and not have to waste time doing it in real life!

I have however, begun to wind the tan, I am doing a 12 yard warp, that should be enough to last awhile.  I   have chosen to use 10 epi, and I will use rag strips as weft.  I could of course use bunched carpet warp as weft as well, and I may try it too.  I do have carpet warp!

 

That is it for today, Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

ETA: Photos  of weave design, emphasis on dark on top, emphasis on light on the bottom. I think I will go with the top one!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Now that the Show is over...

Now that we can all breath easier, my thoughts have turned to Thanksgiving and what in the world I will bring!  After a quick text conversation, it was decided that I would bring :
A broccoli  casseroule
A large green Salad
A gallon of Sweet Tea
and last but not least my Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies!


My recipe is from the Make a Mix cookbook.  I have had this cookbook for several years, and this is my favorite recipe!  It is a quadruple  one and you can easily freeze the extra dough for several months.  This time however, I am baking the whole thing.


Here are our little beauties all  lined up ready to go.  I always use parchment paper under my cookies, they have enough butter in them already, don't you think!  Yes, I use the real thing!  One of my girls is lactose intolerant, and I made the switch for her, and never looked back!  This time I also ground the soft wheat kernels too!  I don't always do that, but it tastes so good when I do!


Here it is,  the first pan out of the oven!  Oh No!  Do you see that broken cookie!  Here let me fix that!



Now that's better!  Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Tina

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Blow Dryer and Plastic Bags!

These two items may seem totally unrelated.  Usually they are, however today they played a major role in the last task I had to do before we put the booth together at the Foothills Craft Show in Knoxville tomorrow.



You see, I have one of the Bakers Racks that we will use in our booth this weekend, and I thought that I might be able to just scrub it up a little, and maybe a waxing would make it look as right as rain.  I was wrong, and to top it off it was raining cats and dogs around here today!  Luckly, I had purchased some spray paint that would work. 

The instructions state that it needs to be clean and dry before painting, the temp needs to be between 50F and 97F, with low humidity.  As far as the temp was concerned I was good, but the humidity was 100%.  I could do nothing about that!  I dragged the thing off of the porch and scrubbed away in the pouring rain.  I then let the rain rinse it off, and pulled it back on the porch.


I layed out some huge plastic bags underneath, I couldn't find my tarp, and I began to dry it with a towel.  Then I pulled out the blow dryer, just to make sure it was dry.  It was still pouring down the rain!

I draped more garbage bags around the out side edge to cut down on the over spray, and I began to paint.  I have never used spray paint before, but it was as easy as pie!  I painted every available surface and thought that I had done a pretty good job, but when the first painting session was dry, I turned it on it's side to find a whole new angle of unpainted metal!  (Still raining, and I am such a rule follower, normally I would have obeyed the rules, but today I had no choice!)


Again, I put drapes around to cut down on the mess.  I only used one can of paint, and I still have enough to do touch ups if I need to. 

Do you have any idea how long I have been putting this project off, simply because I was intimidated by the process?!  A couple of years at least!  The rain has finally stopped, and the rack looks beautiful!  It is already dry and waiting to be loaded up tomorrow morning.

I wonder how many other things I have put off, only to find that the dreading of the task was much harder than the actual doing of it!  When we are done with the show this weekend, I am going to look around and make a list of those things, and Dear One better watch out, he may not want to get in my way!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bench Pad

This afternoon at about 1pm, I pulled the bench pad out of the washer where I had spun out all the extra water.  I immediately called Lou Ann and asked her if she wanted to see something fun!  She of course said "yes!"  Off I went trying not to speed!  I had wrapped it in a towel since it was still a little damp, but when I unwrapped it she was thrilled at what she saw!

Do you want to see too!


Here it is, exactly as she saw it.  We discussed the spacing of the fluff rows, I had done two different spacings, and the color combinations, stripes and mixed.

Before I had felted it, this is what I had.



Soft and fuzzy, and comfy too, in fact I may leave one unfelted to show the girls  on Tuesday.
Now the real question is, can I get a couple done, so that they will be dry by Friday?  To that end, I left right away and came home, re-tied the warp and got started.  I pulled out all my fleeces that were in roving form, much easier to work with.  If it is not in roving form, I have to get it in that form.  I decided to do a white one in lambs wool.

You should see it!  I haven't uploaded that picture, so that will have to wait until later.

I may be done for today,  there is dinner to fix, and laundry to do.  If I get a chance tomorrow I will post a picture of the white one.  I have enough to do a black one and a grey one and a brown one.  Or I could mix the colors a little if I wanted to.  We shall see how the white one turns out first.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina
P.S. I am going to need more fleeces!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Something New!

It is actually something I have been mulling over for quite some time.  While we were at R & M Yarns on Friday, Lou Ann and I saw a rug woven in a shag style using roving as the pile.  I have a lot of clean fleece, and I have a rug warp on the Newcome with spacing that would be perfect for it.

Last night I tried it out a  little bit.


The wool is some Romeny, that I have left over from processing.  It isn't suitable for fine spinning, but it is still very soft.  I have run it thru the drum carder to straighten the fibers out.  In the picture you can see the header and the first row of fluff.


between each row of fluff I am placing 3 pics of carpet warp as a binder.  I thought I had a picture of the underside of the rug but it isn't showing up in the right folder.  When I took the picture, however I realized that I needed a better plan for spacing the puffs O' fluff, and consequently I will be taking out the 3 rows that I have done, and work on my system.

I plan to make myself a couple of bench cushions, and I will be felting them somewhat in the bathtub, just to make sure everything holds it's place.  I will also play with the natural colors of roving that I have on hand to make it interesting.

That's it for now, it is up to the studio for me. 

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, October 28, 2011

Potato Chip Rug

I finished up weaving my daughters rug this afternoon.  I thought you might want to see it.  (I plan to do a sewn hem on it.)


The light isn't as good as it could be, but I am really pleased with how it turned out.  It makes me want to pull out all my fabric, and cut strips and make balls and just go at it.  I haven't measured it yet but it is really long and about 36 inches wide.  I love how the white warp lets the fabric shine.  

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Potato Chip Weaving

I have had the Studio Rug loom set up to go for quite some time now.  I had even woven the header!  Weaving for the fall show had really taken over all my weaving time.

Some months ago, my oldest daughter brought over some fabric balls that she wanted to weave up into a rag rug.  She had tried a crochet rug with them but was not happy with the results.  I asked her if I could please weave them up, and she said that as long as she could have the rug afterwards, I was welcome to do it.


Her Sister (Graphic Design) had helped her put them in a pleasing color order so I decided to follow the numbers.  One by one, I reach for them and weave them in, overlapping a bit with the old color.



Here are the first few balls,  ooh, that looks nice, what is next.  ( We are having company tonight, must walk away from the loom!)  Just one more, then I will stop.




There now, the loom is weaving wonderfully!  Let's just do a few picks of this next color.  Now, doesn't that look nice.  Maybe just one more, I will only do a couple of picks I promise!




Must walk away from the loom!  Really I must!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Monday, October 24, 2011

You want cozy?

The temps are starting to fall, especially at night.  I have been concerned about my little outside kitties, they normally have been able to get under the house to stay nice and cozy.  Last winter  however had the experience of skunks getting under the house to cozy up with each other!  We do not want to go thru that again, so we have dutifully blocked all the possible entrances to the crawl space.  That leaves the cats outside, in the cold.  Now they could head for the barn with the other animals, and, hey, there are even mice there that they could munch on.  But they haven't yet figured that out.

I ran across a pattern for a knitted, then felted cat bed, and that is where the last 3 days have gone!  I have lots of yarn that is worsted wt, and in either colors or textures that just haven't lent themselves to garments for anyone to wear.  I pulled out the scratchy yarn and the ugly yarn (6 skeins in all) and my size 15 needles.  (I felt like I was knitting with tree trunks!)  Three days later I bound off, and here you go....


There are 3 pillows in there, I wanted to check and make sure that the shaping was correct, cause, well, I kind of made up the top part.




Here you go!  After 3 trips thru the washer, hot and soapy, agitation, cold agitation, hot and soapy agitation, cold agitation......  well you get the idea.  Normally that would make me cringe, but this time I did it on purpose.  The bed will have to dry for 24 hours before I can present it to the kitties.  I may take it to weaving tomorrow and see what they think of it. 

Now back to our regularly scheduled knitting program, the shawl, and a little Christmas knitting.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hibernation!

I was a Knitter long before I was a Spinner or Weaver.  In fact I learned the basics of knitting when I was 6 years old.  I quickly gave it up because I couldn't make it look right!  (A perfectionist even then!)  When I married, at the ripe old age of 19, I took it up again.  It was the evenings really, sitting and watching the TV, I remembered what my Mom did while watching the boob tube.  She was always doing something with her hands, knitting, crochet, needlepoint or crosstictch.  I decided to take  another look at knitting. 

My first project was a hip length full cabled cardigan, in burnt orange.  (what was I thinking!)  It took me a full evening to remember how to cast on, and I kept at it until I had finished it!  Of course knew nothing of gauge, or fitting the sweater to my measurements, so it was way too narrow.  I don't know what happened to that sweater, but I do know that it was awhile before I did anything else!

10 years ago I took up weaving, this time I read everything I could get my hands on, books from the library, I even took lessons from Carol with the Tuesday Weavers,   at the Appalachian Arts Crafts Center in Norris Tn.  I have learned so much from the other weavers there as well.  We talk about our craft, we share ideas, we encourage, we comfort, we laugh, and we generally have a great time.  I am still weaving and enjoying it too.

Just the other day I was comparing  Knitting and Weaving.  I enjoy them both,  and they have many things in common.  Fiber of course is the basis for both of them, charts are very important for both as well, and you end up with some form of fabric in both crafts.

My main train of thought however was about what you do when things go wrong.   When things go really wrong in knitting, and you just can't stand the piece, (maybe the yarn was just the wrong choice) the only thing to do  is to frog it, (Rip-it, Rip-it).  In weaving, I can just hear one of our dear departed weavers, Grace, saying "just cut it off!"

If you are doing a cabled piece in knitting, and you look down and you find you have done a backwards cable, you drop down just those few stitches, and re-knit them.  In weaving, I have been know to cut carefully up the length of a very tedious lace pattern that just looked terrible, and that would have been difficult to unweave.

If you are working on a lace piece in knitting, and you get to the end row, and you realize that you have an extra stitch, you must carefully Tink backwards, stitch by stitch, until you find your error.  I suppose, in weaving that would be like unweaving.

Then there are those pieces that have to go into Hibernation.  I have seen that in weaving of course, that loom you know that just sits there with a project on it, there is something that is not right, but you are not sure what it is.  In knitting, I have just recently picked up  a project that has been in hibernation for awhile.  It is the Shetland Tea Shawl that I began not last summer, but the summer before!  All I have left to do is the lace border.  It is only 8 rows, and 17 - 21 stitches,  but I just couldn't get it right.  Here let me show you the chart.


It may not say much to you, but it tells me everything I need to know to pull it off.  I was, however continually having to Tink back because my rows were not coming out right!  Out of frustration, into hibernation it went!

I was recently re-listening to the Knit Picks podcast.  In one of them, Kelley Petkin talked about what she did with some of her lace knitting pieces, when the going got rough.  She would take 3x5 cards and put one chart row on a card, stack them up in order and keep them in a ziploc so that they don't get mixed up or anything.  As she knits each row, that card is moved to the back of the pack.  I decided to try it, and you know it really has helped me!  Here let me show you!



And,



I am only knitting with the 17 - 21 stitches on the border you see at the top of the work.  Each time I knit back to the edge stitches I knit 1 stitch together with that last border stitch.  I have now worked my way thru 45 repeats, (out of 112).  I have hardly had to Tink back at all.


I have spread half of the shawl out on the bed for you to see.  The rest is still bunched up on the long cable needle.  I can't wait to to finish it and get it blocked.  Blocking makes all the difference in the world, it will open up the lace holes in the pattern, then you will really see why I love lace knitting so much.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, October 14, 2011

All work and no play makes Tina ....

Wednesday and Friday are my big "work days", (if you can call weaving work, I like it so much!)  I finish up my outside chores and housekeeping chores and I am up in the studio about 10:30 am.  I weave until about 1pm, break for lunch and then work some more til about 5pm.

In the evenings, we are all about the current sport on TV, especially if there are play offs going on!  (Like right now!)  Since I can't bring the looms downstairs, I am usually happily knitting on the current project.  This last couple of weeks have been very productive in my knitting world.  I have finished several projects, I may even have blogged about them!  Let's see there was:

 Dear Ones Socks,


And then some socks for me

I wore them once and hated how thick they were, so I frogged them and made a Summer Shimmer Scarf.


Much better, the yarn can breath now!

I also finished a pair of socks I gave as a gift.  Los Monos Locos is their name.


(I know I have pics of the finished articles but I can't find them anywhere!)

Just yesterday I finished a "Vesterday" for one of my granddaughters!




Here it is after a nice warm bath and a good blocking.  I have enough to do another one for the other granddaughter that is the same size.  I need to double check and make sure this one fits before I start a second on though!  It seems to match the measurements I was shooting for, we shall see.

I get most of my patterns at Ravelry.com.  It is an online Knit/Crochet community.  If you are interested in these things and you haven't checked it out, you really should.  These were all free patterns!

Well it is time to go get to Work now, Until next time,  Happy Weaving, Tina