Friday, March 25, 2011

Setting up Shop!

This week I have been hard at work opening an online store on Etsy.  I had to take new pictures of my finished works and I have also weighed them so that I can get an idea what I am looking at for shipping.

Here is a sample of what I posted.  It is one of my Looper rugs.

I am really excited about the whole thing, in fact I have had a few nights when it has been hard to fall asleep, the mind is just a whirling!





I only have a few more items to post, a placemat or two, plus I will probably put my handspun up there as well.  You just never know what will sell.  In a few minutes I will be on my way to the Post Office to get the supplies I will need to be able to just drop them in the mail once they are purchased. 

I am trying not to check my business email every 5 minutes, I am sure twice a day is enough.  I have a confession to make, I have actually already broken one of my rules, in fact I did it with my very first post! 

I put a photo of a completed Baby Blanket in "Cat Tracks and Snail Trails" as the very first item, it wasn't even started though it was the next in line!  ( maybe that is why I couldn't sleep!)  I am pleased to say however that it is almost half way done, and I should be able to finish it this afternoon, and then I can hem and wash all three of the blankets on the cloth beam tomorrow morning.

On another note, I ran across a really cool tool the other day at one of my favorite stores.  It isn't intended to be used in the way I am employing it, but my initial idea was to use it to hold seed packages and the odd tool while I am in the garden.  It isn't really supposed to be for that either!  Now without further addo.....


A loom apron!






Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

 I almost forgot:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/FarmsteadStudio

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Getting the garden ready

This year we will have a much bigger space in which to garden.  In fact we are going to invite a couple we know that don't have much sun at their place, to claim a patch to plant for themselves!  I may see if my Daughter wants a plot for the kiddos to plant stuff too!

My neighbor stopped by yesterday with the big plow, for the first go round.

Here he is just getting started.  Last year we had the animals on most of this piece of dirt, so we should not have to fertilize this year at all!
A most exciting first furrow!
The finished product!  I took this photo from the back fence near the Outhouse.  To the left of this picture along the fence line, we will be able to drive the truck thru the gate in the fence (that isn't there yet) and unload feed directly into the barn.



That is it for now, I am working on opening an etsy shop, and I will have more of that later. 
Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Monday, March 21, 2011

Playing with Color

All of the blankets I have done so far have been in a single color.  I figured there  was enough pattern going on without adding more colors to it.  This week I ran across what I thought were 2 dye lots of acqua blue, and only one cone of the lighter color.  So I began to play a little with the idea of blending the two colors in one Baby Blanket.
I used only the darker of the two colors for 5 inches then, mixed to two colors for about 13 inches, then just the lighter of the two for 7, and that was my pivot point.  13 more of the blended colors and then 5 or so of the darker color.  It is all on the cloth beam so I don't really know how it looks, but you may be able to see the color change getting ready to load onto the cloth beam.

I then realized that I had really used 1 spool of acqua blue, and 1 of light jade, and I have plenty of both of them, they were just hiding!  Oh well, we will see later on this week how it looks.

My neighbor is bringing his tractor and tiller over tomorrow to till up what used to be the animal pens.  It will now be a huge garden plot with room for some friends to come out and have a garden too!  Where they live there is no sun, just shade!  I will post pics of that soon too.    His (our neighbors) daughter who lives up the road dropped by today, and we chatted about chickens and gardens.  I love the spring, I can't wait to get my hands dirty!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Red and Blue

This week I have finished the "Kings Flower" throw in Kentucky Cardinal and also one in Navy.  I love to see the woven part make it's way over the front beam and onto the cloth beam.
 Here you can see thru the navy throw to the red one on the cloth beam.






 I rethreaded the edges of this warp to flow into the pattern better.   I had to make the hem border design area bigger to match it.  That makes it 7 repeats instead of 5.

Here is the navy throw just before it went into the wash.
I modified the hayrack by putting a couple of hinged boards in it to limit their wastfulness.  They seem to be doing better at eating more than they trample.





That is it for today, it is a sunny day out there, and I plan to spend some of it outside.
Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, March 11, 2011

Making Progress!

I posted this morning about the results of my Color Fixing Trial on the "Loomy Tunes Blog".  You can access that blog from my blog list if you are interested in reading about it.
With the success I achieved in the trial, I felt confident to start one of my Kings Flower Couch Throws in Kentucky Cardinal.

It is sooo nice to know that I can wash with confidence!  This is a Thank you gift Throw, and the recipient had originally wanted red anyway, but I had told her that I couldn't do red!  So she will be thrilled.

Next up I will do one in a dark blue, for another thank you gift.  I really need to get these out of the way before it becomes embarrasingly late!  The husbands of these dear ladies, helped us a great deal to build our barn, they could do things we could not do on our own, and I thought it would be a good to return our thanks with a gift that they could not do.

During the color trial, it was so good to have a small loom downstairs close to the washing machine action.  It is warped up in an Overshot pattern called "Ancient Rose", from the Davison book.  I churned out many Mug Rugs while I was listening for the washer to finish.


This week my daughter and her husband celebrated their anniversary.  She asked to do a sleepover with the grandkids, at our house.  I had slept at their house at least twice, but we had never done a sleep over here at the house.  It went really well, the kids were excited about it, and so were we.  We picked them up after their naps and took them swimming.  Then we picked up a pizza and took it home, popped in a movie or two.  We even tried Coke floats, but they didn't go over to well. (too spicy!)  We were up entirely too late and we were all a bit sleepy the next day, but it was fun.

When the kids are here I ususally fix the spinning wheel so that the kids can spin them without harming the yarn than I am making.  Well this time I forgot, and my grandson made some fantastic Art Yarn!  I don't think I could produce it if I wanted to, but I think it is fantastic, and no harm done to the yarn on the bobbin.

Lunch break is over, so I had better get back to it.  Have a great rest of the day, we have sunshine!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Several Things (not favorite ones)

We all know that cotton is very absorbant, it makes wonderfully absorbant kitchen towels and bath towels and such.  However did you know,  that if you are out digging a ditch to deflect rain away from your barn, in the pouring rain, smack dab under the drip line, that your cotton jeans that you carefully tucked into your wonderful knee high rubber boots, will just channel all that water right to your toes!  I think in theory I knew that, but I now have the proof.

Another thing is, that no matter how many sides you dig, you will still have to do the last side, so that the dogs will stay dry too!  (Not today!)

 And another, wet clay is really heavy!

Your hair will come undone, but only when your gloves are covered in mud.

Digging in the rain is not that unpleasant really, you are working, so you are staying warm.  Once you have had enough however, you are suddenly wetter than you have ever been, and colder than you thought you were.

No matter how fast you try to make it to the bathroom without dripping, it doesn't really matter, it is kind of like trying to go fast enough to miss the raindrops.

Wet cold clothes are almost impossible to get off without a struggle. ( I was standing in the tub by then, still dripping.) 

The phone will always ring when you are trying to get off wet cold clothes.

On the other hand,

There is nothing like a hot shower and hot oatmeal to warm you up and get you ready to face the rest of the day.  (I usually have some coffee before I go out and feed, but I don't have breakfast til I come back in.)  I had gone out to feed everyone this am and was just fed up with all the water still making it's way inside the barn.  I was already out and a little wet too, and the shovel and wheel barrow were handy, so I started to dig the ditch on the west side of the barn.    One thing led to another and since I had increased the water flow to the sides we had already dug, I went over and widened the drain off ditch just a little where it seemed to be narrow.  By then it was 9:30am and that is when I decided that it was enough, and came inside.

Inside on a day like this is much better.  Today I will rethread the edges of the Kings Flower blankets to flow better with the pattern.





I will also weave another mug rug or two for  the Fiber Festival that is coming up.  Oh, I happend to go to Wally World the other day and there I checked out their stools to see if they had anything I could use for a bench  with the Glimakra.   I was pleased to find this:





I like it's small size, and it is just the right height!



Yesterday when we had finished at the Weaving goings on at the Art Center,  Linda and I high tailed it out to see a new kind of hay feeder to use for our goats when we have to be away for an extended time.


This is what we came home with.  I plan to alter this a little.  I want to put some boards inside the feeder in the shape of an inverted v, or maybe just from the top of one side to the bottom of the other side .  I don't want the goats to be able to get to all the hay at once,  I want it to have to slide down to them as they eat it.  They are such wasters of hay!  It will have to wait til everything dries out though, I am not going back out there!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Monday, March 7, 2011

Check!

This morning I was filling the dishtub to do the Breakfast dishes when I happened to look out the window and see, a Robin, a Red Headed Linnett and a Bluebird all at the same time.  It reminded me that I needed to put some seed out for the birds.  Instead of trying to remember to do that later, I turned off the water and gave them some seed right there and then.  Check that off!  ( even though it wasn't on my list today!)

I have a rather large list of  To Do's today.  There are my usuals, Spin some yarn each day, for example.  Here is todays progress shot.



This grey Romney wool is spinning up much finer than the Black Shetland, and it has a brighter shine to it too.  The yarn being finer is taking much longer to spin, but I don't worry about that I just spin a good bit each day, don't worry if I miss a day for some reason, and dream about what I will make with it.



I got the wheel all ready for the next couple of days spinning.  This time, I took the batt of carded fiber, rolled it up so as to have parallel fibers and I began to draft it into this long roving.  I then loaded it onto the distaff.  I think it looks pretty! Check that off!






Then it was time to weave the mug rug for the day.  With this one it makes 7 that I can hem up tonight and take to Carol tomorrow.  Check that off!



Tomorrow we will be having a very unusual day at Tuesday Weavers.  The next two items that I had to check off are related to the big day we have planned.  I will give nothing away except to say that you don't want to miss the Loomy Tunes blog post tomorrow evening!




Tubs emptied and ready to load in the morning, I didn't forget the inkle loom for Joyce this time and the triangle shawl that I forgot last week is in there somewhere!  Check that off!




Hang out garbage bags to dry.  What!  That's right I said hang out garbage bags to dry.  I have to take these tomorrow and they accidently got left out in the rain.  Moisture is a big no no in this case so here they are drying out for me to take tomorrow.  Check!


Along with all this I am conducting an experiment with different washing methods, to prevent the unwanted transfer of color from dark to light cotton warp,  I posted about that last Friday on Teusday Weavers.  Next Friday I will post my results, complete with pictures!  It is taking days to do this wash testing, I am glad I have a few more!

I also need to hem and wash two blankets that I have finished and I may even be able to rethread the edges on my Kings Flower pattern, but that my be pushing it!
Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, March 4, 2011

"Hired" Help

We have had some frightful storms come our way these last couple of weeks, and while the barn we just built keeps the rain from falling on the critters, it doesn't keep the rain from coming in under the walls.  It is the worst in the goat area.  We decided that we would dig a trench along the  back side of the barn and then bring it around to the goat pen and off away from the barn.

The ditch is probaly about 15 inches deep and about 8 inches wide in this upper portion with the actual french drains in.






Along the way we had a herd of helpers, especially once we got into the goat pen.  Mopsie, Snickers (behind the wheelbarrow), Tinker and Tailor, all thought that they needed to lend a helping hoof.



Tinker and Tailor had never encountered a shovel before, fascinating!



Yes, there was dirt in the wheelbarrow!



While this may seem like a gratuitous butt shot (sorry Snickers), I was only wanting to show you the drain channel going thru the goat pen and away from the barn!

Rain is in the forcast for tomorrow, so we will see if more ditches are in order for next week.  I think we will have to go all the way around the barn when it is all said and done!  We also got a load of wood chips so that the dogs won't be in the mud anymore.


It has not been all digging and dirt for me this week .  I am doing some cleaning and organizing inthe studio and I am trying to do at least a mug rug a day to add to Carol's stash for the Fiber Festival coming up in April.  Here is one in Black and Parakeet, on of my favorite blues!



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

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Thrift Store Finds!

I was looking at the various thrift stores in our area yesterday, I was looking for a tall chair that I could use as a bench for the Sally loom, and I was looking for window blinds on the cheap, to use as sticks when I wind on a warp.
I found the blinds, and a few other things I was not looking for.

This paper dispenser is not remotely related to weaving, it just made me giggle.  I had to take it home.  At the check out we were talking about whether or not the new kitchen foils and papers probably would fit.  We thought they might be bigger than they used to be, just like everything else.
We were right too,  the only thing that fit was the waxed paper.  I can't remember the last time I used waxed paper!  The next time I buy foil or plastic wrap, I am going to see if I can find one that is 11.9 inches in length, because 12 inches is just too big!



Another thing I found that I had been wanting for a long time, is an old wooden ironing board.  I will use it when I display my wares at the next craft thing.  Isn't it just perfect!  It still has a sticker on it and everything!

I did NOT find a tall chair or stool to use with Sally, but I still have several thrift stores in the area to check out.  A bench would be a bit much in the family room, unless it was really small but tall.

Well, that is it for now, I spent the morning straightening up the studio, and then playing with the grandkids when my daughter brought them over for a change of venue.  They have had the snots since Saturday and couldn't take another day stuck at home. 

This afternoon we will work on some water issues in the barn, as in rain water seeping in, but that will be later when it warms up.  Til then I may go back to the studio and do some more cleaning and straightening, it is a frightful mess!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thinking outside the box

I am sitting here all ready to head out to Norris, where the Tuesday Weavers get together every Tuesday.  But I am waiting on an egg, you see I take my surplus eggs to the center to sell to the weavers, and I need just one more egg to complete a dozen.  If only take the one dozen there just might be a riot!  The hens are just getting going after the long winter months, and the eggs have surely been missed by all. 

While I am waiting, I thought I would do an update on Sally.  In the picture above you can see the shaft wonkiness I was talking about on Friday over on Tuesday Weavers.
One of the first things I did was buy 4 pulleys to see if I could improve the balance.  It  did seem to help, but not tremedously.  I was then looking at everything I could find online and noticed that the treadles were mounted on the top of their beam and not on the bottom, so I switched that around.  After re-adjusting  tie ups for the zillionth time there was still quite a bit of wonkiness going on.  I then noticed that the shafts are only pulled at the center, and I thought I would try something totally different.

I took a length of cord and fastened it to each end of the bottom shaft stick, using the holes that are there.  I then took a heddle and brought it up thru the lamm and around the cord and back thru the lamm.  I fastened it with a peg.  I really got a much better shed and alot less wonkiness!  It still needs help with the treadle fastened to shafts 3 and 4, but I can usually manage to do it or I stop to straighten.  I know that this is just a temporary fix, now we know why this loom came to LA with a totally different set of harnesses on it.  I plan to convert the loom to a countermarche system in the near future, I have heard several places that it will fix the problem and give me a wonderful shed each and every time.  I am also going to check into getting 4 more shafts for it, but that will wait until after the conversion.  Can you imagine 8 shafts doing all that crazyness!


The first mug rug that Sally and I did turned out pretty good I think.  I can see where I started to relax and beat a little gentler on the last half.  I am totally liking the overhead beater!




I am off to check for that egg and then ready for one of my fun days.
Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina