Friday, December 28, 2012


On Wednesday, Lou Ann and I went on an adventure.  We all love adventures after all now don't we!  It all started a couple of weeks ago when one of our students decided that weaving wasn't really how she wanted to spend her time.  She sent word through one of the other weavers that she was interested in selling the floor loom that she had bought several months before.

In an email just last week she told Carol, the Tuesday Weaver's instructor, that if someone would come to get the loom, they could have it for free!  Now, not too long ago, I had told Lou Ann that the only other loom I would get would have to be a free one!

I waited to see if anyone else snapped it up, and when no one did, I said that I would take it.  I still wasn't sure what I was getting.  Some said it was an 8 harness loom, Carl said that he had woven rugs on it.  So you can imagine my confusion!

When we laid eyes on the loom, we quickly realized that it was a 4 harness, counterbalance rug loom.  In fact, it is a Cambridge loom made by the Reed Loom Company that is no longer in business.  In the paper work that came with the loom I discovered that it was originally owned by the founder of our weaving department at the Appalachian Arts Craft Center, Ellen Caine! 

I had known that our Weaver Carl had owned it for a time, after it had spent some time at the Center, and then it had passed to someone else named Heidi, then to the student, and finally to me.  I usually name my looms for the furthest back owner I can trace, but this time I think I will name him Carl, because I never met Ellen, but I know and love Carl!

To make room at my house, I am going to have to bring the Leclerc Mira back to the Center.  It needs lots of parts in order to work.  It is not a difficult task, just one I don't have room for now.  Maybe one of the other weavers will want to take that on.

Lou Ann graciously offered to house the loom in her garage, until my company leaves and I can make room for it in the guest room/Studio B, next to the Newcomb 2 harness rug loom.  Thank you again Lou Ann!  It needs a little bit of work to be fully functional, but nothing major.  Can you see the sectional beam hiding there on the floor!  Be still my heart!  I love sectional warping!  I can really pile on the yards effortlessly!

Tomorrow, the last of the kids will be on their way home and life should return to a more normal rythym.  I hope it does, I am ready to reclaim the Studio, both rooms, and get down to business!  Here's to a productive 2013!

Happy New Year!  Until next year, Happy Weaving, Tina

Monday, December 24, 2012


Pat it and roll it!

Spread butter and sugar and cinnamon!

Roll it up, roll it up!

Slice it just as good as you can!

Before you know it, it is in the pan!

You will have to wait until tomorrow for the final pictures, I will pull them out of the freezer tonight and let them thaw and rise overnight.  All I can say is YUMMMM!

Merry Christmas all!
Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, December 14, 2012

In Between

Last week Lou Ann sent me a link to a video, that her sister Joyce had sent her, to send to me!  It was a You Tube tutorial on felting wool around soap bars.  Of course, I had to try it out immediately!  I took some white roving and some red roving and some soap I had on hand and gave it a go.

I think they came out pretty good.   I have since watched several more such videos and have perfected my plans.  Wednesday, Lou Ann and I met at the Dollar Store here in town, and I picked up several of the Yardley soaps, and Lou Ann picked those as well plus a couple others they had on hand.

Today, between the cleaning and painting I need to do for the Christmas gathering that is going to happen at my place, I will be making batts of fluffy white wool for a base, and I think I am going to pull out the scraps of Alpaca I have from that last warp.  Of course, I have more of the red wool, as well as purple and blue and maybe some other colors hanging around.

These will be presents for our Mothers, who have everything that they need really, and who appreciate a hand made item, especially when it smells good!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Saturday, December 8, 2012

It's Time!

It is time once again for all those specialty foods to make their appearance.  You know the Chex Mix, the chocolate covered peanuts, the Egg Nog,  Cheese balls and crackers and finally, you guessed it, Pigs in a Blanket! 

I made close to 100 of these this afternoon for our Sunday School party tonight.  A quick warm up in the oven, and they were ready to go!

They were almost all gone when we headed for home.  Just enough to liven up breakfast in the morning.

I got a special order last week for a couple of hand towels using one of my Swedish Lace patterns.  I have wound the warp on and have threaded about half of it.  I just put enough on for a couple since I will need this loom for another order real soon.

Life is really crazy busy right now so not much weaving or posting going on.  Soon, I hope to settle down a bit, maybe after Christmas?  I can only hope.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, November 29, 2012

In Praise of Captain

My Neighbor moved his cattle tonight.  They gather in the pen in the corner of the field across the street.  Once they are in there he opens the gate and they amble across the street through my field and then directly into his field.  It has happened so many times in the last 12 years that they know exactly where to go and what is waiting for them over there.  (fresh grazing!)  At least most of them do!

Each year when the calves are born there are one or two exciting passages across the street, until finally even the calves get the idea and go calmly.  They may kick up a heel or two, which I love to see, but they rarely stray from the path.  (I am really good at standing up the road, just close enough to keep them going but not so close to spook them.

This year we had a really late calf.  It has to be about 3 weeks old max!  The cutest little thing, but she spooked and headed back up into the fields.  My Neighbor went looking for her, but couldn't find her.  He came over to ask me to keep an eye out for her.  He has already lost a calf to the coyotes this year.   I asked him if he wanted us to help him look for her.  Dear one got on his bike and headed up the road to make sure it didn't go beyond the pasture, and I got Captain, (my Great Pyr who was a stray last spring) out and we met my Neighbor in the field where he had last saw the calf.

I let Captain off the leash and he started galloping around the field.  He followed my general direction for awhile and then he took off after my neighbor for awhile.  Once I saw him eating another neighbors dog food.  I thought, "Great, you are doing such a good job!"  In fact the next time I caught sight of my Neighbor I said as much!

About that time Dear One came back along the road, and we headed off to the farthest field and Captain thought it was great fun following along with the bicycle.  We searched a little while longer, but the sun was slowly sinking, and we were calling our thanks and good nights as we headed back, when I flushed the calf out of the brush!

I hollered to everyone that I had found it!  Captain was with Dear One and it took him a minute to realize what he was looking at as the calf literally high tailed it down the field toward the corner pen.  When he did, he took off!  There they were running full tilt, a black calf and a white dog!  I yelled at Dear One to go by the road on his bike and open the far end of the pen so that they could go across the street.  We could hear that calf complaining a little.  I wasn't sure exactly what to expect from Captain really, he had been practicing with the goats, but this was totally new.

I was still on my way when I saw them cross the street and straight to the proper field!  Dear One saw it all.  He said that when he got there they were staring at each other.  Then the calf went under the fence and the dog follow right behind him!  He chased him across the street and into the field and then he peeled off and started sniffing around at the cow patties that were there.  His job was done!

Dear One, my Neighbor and I are impressed with Captains skills.  Maybe next time he will know what we are doing from the beginning, and help us find the calf in the first place.  It is so nice to be able to help!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Good Sett

One of the things I have promised myself I would do, to kick start my production plans for next year, is to weave the scarf that my daughter and I started on the rigid heddle loom months ago.  It suffered some technical difficulties in transit for a weaving demonstration, and had to be re - wound.  I took that opportunity to put it on a delicate loom in the hallway of my upstairs studio.  Turns out I am not a fan of the rigid heddle, but with 6 looms in the studio, why on earth would I need one!

Today after my day at the Center with the other weavers, I came home and started in almost immediately on the scarf.  It took several tries to get the beat, or should I say lack of beat right.  After much unweaving, I finally got it right.

It really was a matter of nudging the weft into place very carefully.  By dinnertime I had finished the scarf, and I cut it off, checked for errors, twisted the fringe to keep it safe during the washing fulling process.

(It is funny how the light blue in the warp stands out in the photo more than in real life.)

After the dishes were done, I soaked, and then fulled the scarf.  It didn't full quite as much as I anticipated, though.  The sett is still good, just not as filled in as I had hoped.  I wonder what the fiber content is in this yarn?  I will have to ask my Daughter tomorrow.  Anyway, I am very pleased to have finished something, that has been in the back of my mind!

 I will be putting some of my own handspun yarns on that same loom, probably later on this week.   Maybe some of that silver Romney that I have been slowly combing and spinning this year.  That is the fleece that I thought I had ruined in the washing process, only to find that I could save most of it by using my Viking Combs.  It is a lovely 2ply yarn and I can't wait to try it out.  I know that it will full quite nicely!

Tomorrow, a few of us are going to R & M Yarns near Cleveland Tn.  I have some yarns I need to buy to complete some of the projects I have lined up.  It should be a fun day.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, November 23, 2012

Eye Opening

The Craft Show was an eye opening experience for me.  I learned that even though I had a tub full of products to sell, of a certain dollar amount that I deemed enough,  it didn't really mean that people would be interested in buying any of it!

That is right, at the Foothills Craft Guild Show, I sold nothing.  Big fat zero, nada, zilch, un bel niente!
I got to looking at what I had brought, and what I realized is that I had dropped the ball this year.  A couple of our weavers really worked hard and produced a beautiful array of scarves.  Several different styles and lots of each style.  I realized that I hadn't produced enough of the same things to be viewed as a serious merchant.

It has gotten me thinking really hard about how I spend my time, what I am producing and why.  It is true that I sold quite a bit of my production between the last show that we did in October and a special order, but I had enough Bread Cloth warp on the loom to have woven a stack of them for this show!  I just didn't do it.  I thought I had enough!

This year, I am going to put on a long Baby Blanket warp, 80 yds or so,  finish up the Bread Cloths that are on the Leclerc, and slap another Bread Cloth warp on there and keep going with those, because they sell well.  Then I am going to wind another "Hollywood" warp for placemats, a long one!  At one show I sold all three runners and 4 placemats that I had done with this pattern.  One customer however bought 1 placemat from one of my sets of 4, that left me with 3,  sigh.  (Now if I had had 12 or 24 of them, and priced them in 2's instead of singles, I would have been fine.)

You live and you learn don't you!  Now, back to work!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, (whether you feel like it or not!) Tina

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Step Towards Reconciliation

I have always said that we were barely on speaking terms, and it is quite true, we don't really get along. I don't know if it is because I can be impatient at times, or it might be the language barrier.  She is soooo complicated, and unforgiving!  She doesn't smooth over my mistakes at all, they are right there taunting me the whole time!

It all started years ago when I was just a kid.  I was just trying to get to know her, and she would just freeze up at the worst possible times.  I would get so frustrated that I would have to call my Mom in to try to fix it.  You see my Mom could do anything with her, she was like putty in my Mom's hands.  It was ok as long as Mom was in the room, but from then on I began to have a tense relationship with her.

 She was, after all, my Mom's sewing machine.  Mom can make her machines do anything! ( or that is how it has always seemed to me, the non-sewest!)  Mom is quite the seamstress, and seems at ease with the whole process.  The choosing of the fabric and pattern, the prep work, the cutting and fitting of the garment, and there I was stuck with a machine that would jam up on me without the least bit of provocation!  Also, the garments that I have tried to sew, really left me with no desire to continue.

I ran across a couple of sewing blogs a couple of weeks ago, and when I have a few minutes in the evening, I have been reading them. ( When I find a blog that interests me, I almost always start at the beginning post, and work my way to the present. )  There are 2 blogs in particular that have caught my attention.  One is "The sewaholic" and the other is "Gerties blog for better sewing"  Both of these girls are much younger than I and they are really into the fashion of the 50's.  They even go as far as to buy old patterns in their approximate size, sew them up and wear them!  I can dig some of the 50's fashion but other bits are just not in my future. (girdles for one!)  One thing however, that they have been talking about it how to make what you sew fit your body.  That is something that has always been a mystery to me, and I want to know how to do it!

I have been able to serge and sew the straight seams that my weaving project requires, so maybe it isn't "her" fault at all!  I just need to learn the process of fitting the pattern to my body!

So I have been flirting with the idea of trying some of the techniques that they use on their garments.  Before I do that however, there is the Foothills Guild Fall Craft Show next week.  That means there are a few unfinished items that I need  finishing, so that my inventory isn't just plain pitiful.  (It is a good thing we are doing this as a group, I don't think I could do it on my own!)  I have successfully made myself stay away from any new ventures until after the show.  But, I have been eyeing a few hand sewing projects that need my attention, just to warm up to the whole idea.  You know buttons that have left their proper place, seams that may have fallen to pieces on that old work shirt, and of course things that need shortening (one of my least favorite things to do!)

I decided to start with a gray wool skirt that I purchased at the Cleveland Tn Goodwill.  ( which is well worth the trip!)  The skirt is too long by several inches, this does not surprise me at all because, at barely 5"1' everything from skirts to pants to sleeves is always too long by several inches!

I took the photo on my striped couch so that we could compare the length when I finished.
This skirt was handmade by someone, who knows how long ago, but she was just almost my size, just a little taller maybe.  See the lovely hem tape!  I was careful to save the tape, and I reused it!

Recently, I wore the skirt to my Daughters house and while I was there, I pinned the hem up  2 inches all the way around.  (My granddaughter was fascinated!)  I  took a look in the mirror, and my Daughter and I agreed that it needed to go up more.  So I tried 3 inches.  "Nope",  she said it needed to go up even further!  3.5 inches?  "Up,Up,Up" she said!  I went up a full 4 inches, and it hit me at that sweet spot on your knee, where you can see the calf begin to curve in.  "There" I said, and I was happy.  She still had her doubts, but she let me be!

 That evening, I pinned up the hem at 4 inches, and basted it down by the new hemline.  Then I placed a pin at 2 inches all the way around the hem, and cut right along the pinned line.
Holding my breath the whole way!  Oops, looks like a basted after the cutting!

 I should have used a contrasting thread for the basting but you get the idea.  Then I reapplied the hem tape and sewed the hem with what I call a catch stitch, and finally, took out the basting thread!  Finito!  ( I took the picture below before I pressed the hem, but you get the idea.)

I realize that this project was all done by hand, and that there was not a sewing machine in sight, but I hemmed a skirt that actually ended up the length I wanted it to be, folks!!!  That is huge!

Baby steps, baby steps!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Moving right along!

Life has been very busy lately, hence the non blogging!  Not much weaving going on since just before the Museum of Appalachia Homecoming.

One commitment after another is claiming my attention.  First a conference in Denver, then we had a Son and his family in last week and this week my youngest daughter and her Husband are in for a couple of days.  To accomplish something, I finished the baby blanket that I had woven for their upcoming adoption and it was waiting for them in the guest room!

To top it all off, today we moved my MIL from her efficiency apartment into a one bedroom apartment!  It was great to have the kids in to help.  We got everything moved in, and even got the pictures hung!  We made plans about what else should come from her storage unit now that she has a little more room.  I think that may happen Saturday afternoon.  She is thrilled with her new digs!

I am planning to get to the looms on Saturday morning, right after the kids get on the road.  I have several pieces I would love to finish for the Foothills Guild Craft Show.  I have a very colorful looper rug to finish weaving with a cool black and white fabric one under it.

I also would love to weave up a couple of the Bread Cloths I have on the Leclerc, and I could possible weave up the last of the Baby blankets on Lillian.  I have a placemat warp on the little no name loom on the landing, it has one runner already woven, with warp for more.   I can't start something new on the little Leclerc as I am waiting for the specifics on a custom order. ( Hopefully, I won't hear from them until after the show!)

That is about it for me, the weather is getting progressively cooler, we have had a fire in the wood stove morning and evening for about 4 days in a row now.  I think there will be a warm up this weekend, but I have enjoyed the fires.  (I even rearranged the furniture so that I can see the fire from the couch!)

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Tiny bit of Lace!

This week, starting on Wednesday and through the weekend, the Tuesday Weavers are going to be setting up our booth at the Museum of Appalachia for their Homecoming Celebration.  There will be lots of music, food and vendors just like us.

We have to dress up in costume to participate, and I have to tell you that I have had a blast getting ready!  Linda suggested that we get long skirts, white blouses from the thrift shops around the area, and we were to stick with cotton, linen and wool as our fabric choices.

 I was able to find a linen tablecloth for under 10 dollars.  I used that
as fabric to make a bonnet and apron.  I also bought some granny boots to wear, (I love granny boots anyway, so it is a great excuse to get some!).

My sewing went very well, I started doing the seams by hand but soon realized that, 1. it was going to take too long, and 2. my hand sewing was terrible.  I left the side seams on the apron as they were, but I switched to the machine for the remainder of the project.

I finished both pieces last week, but I realized that the bonnet needed a little bit of something to finish the look.  I had lost my Tatting Shuttles last year when I left a baby bonnet project somewhere with them attached to it, so I had to go out and get a couple new ones to work up this little project.

I had first looked for Crochet lace, because I knew it would have worked up faster, but I fell in love with this Tatted Lace pattern.  It is called "Pie crusts", it is worked in 2 rows, with the first row taking longer to do because of all those rings!

There is a Tatter at the Museum.  He usually sits on a stool in the middle of the vendors area, tatting away, and I want to see how he holds his shuttles.  I am self taught so I am always looking for ways to improve my technique.

I should finish the lace tonight and I will hand sew this lace on the brim of the bonnet.  I will be sure to post a couple of pictures  of the Bonnet with the lace on it, and also the whole costume or Kit as the real re-enactors call it.  I don't think that there are going to be  "Thread Counters" at the Museum, I don't think I would hold up to their scrutiny! :)

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Spinning, Knitting and now Tatting and Sewing, Tina

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Worth all the fuss!

I had one more thing to do before I was free to go on a 2 night camping trip.  I had to deliver the teal shawl I had finally finished.  I had blocked it the night before, and it came out beautifully!

The first picture it true to color, I just love the magic of blocking!
I can't wait until my client sees it!  Knitting for money is not really worth the it, but it is really nice when someone likes what you have done!  

I have now knit the same pattern three times in a row, and in less than 1 month.  I have never done that before, and I probably will not do it again.  I loved the pattern, and I did get a little quicker at it, but I was really trudging along by the end of it.  Dear One can attest to the fact that when I finished the final cast off, I threw it on the corner table, and there it stayed until the next day!

I delivered it as we were heading out of town on what will probably be our last camp out of 2012.  We have continued to favor the Elkmont Campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  We have toured several other campgrounds in the park, but by far it is our favorite.  The sites are roomy, and sometimes you can get a site by the river.  We have camped 4 times this year, and we hope to increase that number next year.  Dear One is wanting to do a winter camp out as well, but we will need a smaller 4 season tent and some super sleeping bags to pull that one off!

According to the forecast, we expected Friday to be wet and cold, but we had done cold and wet before, so we were not dissuaded.  To our delight Friday turned out to be fantastic!  We had sunshine the whole day, Dear One got a long run in, while I knitted, and then after lunch, we enjoyed a hike, and a fantastic dinner.  One of my more complicated ones.

I like to have several really easy meals and one that I have to mess with a little.  Plus, I always take 2 or 3 extra meals, like soup and bread, or beans and cornbread. ( I was expecting it to be cold!)  This time, for my fussy meal, I brought some steak, corn on the cob and potatoes, and I wanted to cook it all over the fire! 

 I wrapped the potatoes in heavy duty aluminum foil, and stuck them in the coals.  I soaked the corn in water for an hour and then placed the two of them on the rack above the coals.  I turned all both vegetables frequently, and when I thought that the corn was done,(I could smell it) I wrapped it husks and all in foil and set it to a cooler spot on rack.  The potatoes took forever, but when they were almost done, I put the marinated (italian dressing) steak on the grill.   (fireplace tools really help when you are cooking potatoes in the coals!) 

I watched the potatoes and when they were done, I put them with the corn to stay warm.  When the juices appeared on the top of the steak I flipped them over and took the potatoes and corn to the table.  The corn husks came off like magic, and the potatoes slipped out of the foil, ready to be opened and buttered.

By then, the steaks were done and I placed them on the plates, beside the veggies.  Then the moment of truth, Dear One took a bite of the steak, mmmmmm, it was wonderful!  Of course the corn and potatoes were great as well.  We washed it all down with Mikes Hard Lemonade!  It was worth all the fuss is all I can say, I think this may become a camping tradition.

After an evening walk, it was time for Smores.  I ate mine and Dear One's as well, since he doesn't really like them.  Can you imagine that!  Not liking smores!  Unbelievable!

The rain did finally catch up with us, 2:30 am I heard a gentle rain hit the tarp that covers our tent and porch area.  It was raining softly off and on this morning, as we took down the tent under the cover of that tarp, and packed all of it up, until all that was left was the big tarp.  By then, the rain was over and we were able to shake off a bunch of that rain, and leaves too.

Back home again, the tarp is already hung up on the line for a good airing.  The tent is put on top of one of the cars to air out too, and dry the little bit of rain that it received.  As I write this, the camping boxes are stored the tarps are almost dry, the first load is in the washer, and the tent is ready to be stored.   Again, it was worth all the fuss!

I am going to miss this!  I can't wait until next year!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Spinning and Knitting, Tina

Friday, September 21, 2012

Brings back Memories

Last week, I posted a teaser about Crock Pot Granola.  I have just recently rediscovered Granola, it was a staple in my formative years, my Daddy loved it!  He also loved making it!

He would mix it up just right and then spend some time keeping watch over it in the oven.  I know that Mom made it too, but I remember how much he enjoyed the process. I must confess that I have not tried to make it in years, it is just too much fuss for something I can pick up at the store, right!  Plus it had always been too easy to burn!   Then about a month ago, Lou Ann started talking about making Granola in the crock pot.  I was intrigued.  She was going home to make some that very afternoon, because her sister was coming in for the weekend, and she thought that J would love it!  (She did!)

Lou Ann has started something here.  As soon as I got home I did a quick search on Google, and I found any number of recipes for it.  Like so many of these things, there is a great variety out there.  Everyone puts in what they like, and it comes out perfect!

I pieced together a recipe of the things I like:

Combine in a big bowl:

5 cups Old Fashioned Oats
2 T milled Flax Seed (Omega 3)
2 T Wheat Germ ( in the breakfast foods aisle with the cereal)
some Shredded Coconut (I like at least 1/2 cup in there)
Slivered almonds ( or whatever nut you like!)
Cinnamon (to taste)

Combine in a small bowl:

1/2 cup Honey (some use only 1/4 cup of sweet stuff)
1/2 cup butter (I use the real thing,  and again, some use only 1/4 cup)
1tsp of vanilla

Combine the two mixtures, then pour it all into a 3 qt Crock Pot that has been sprayed with a non stick spray.  Turn the Crock Pot on low and leave the lid off.  Most recipes say to have the lid on with a spoon stuck in it to let the moisture out, but I have to tell you that it takes a lot longer to cook that way.  In my Crock Pot it took well over 6 hrs when I had the lid partially on, so I am taking it off completely next time!

Unlike many Crock Pot recipes, this one you can't just fix it and forget it, you have to be around.  You don't have to stand over it, but you do have to have your nose on alert.  When you can smell that goodness in the air, it is time go give it a stir. Usually, that will be about every 30 minutes or so.  I have on a couple of occasions just turned it off when I had to go out, and resumed the cooking when I got back.

When the Granola is toasted to the color you want it to be, turn it out onto a cookie sheet to cool.  Now is when you can add all kinds of dried fruit.  My favorite is raisins, Lou Ann fancies Craisins,  but they are a bit tangy for my morning taste buds.  I have even heard that some add Chocolate chips to the mix once it is cool!  I have a plastic air tight container that I store my Granola in, it lasts me about a week, unless Dear one gets into it too! :)

The aroma, brings back such sweet Memories of my Daddy.  I need to see if  I can get their recipe from Mom, but then again, as I have seen, it was probably a little different each time they made it, just like mine has been.

What do you like in your Granola?

Happy Weaving, Spinning and Knitting, Tina

Friday, September 14, 2012

Couldn't Sleep

Every once in awhile, I have trouble sleeping.  My mind is racing in so many different directions, and there is no stopping it!  The only thing to do is to go upstairs to the Studio, and do something quiet, so that I don't wake up Dear One!

My plan was to go thru my knitting yarns and see what would be good to use to weave a scarf or shawl. (Lou Ann has let my In Town Daughter and I borrow her Rigid Heddle loom to use our wool yarn, and while Daughter has her yarn chosen, I have not.)  While I was rummaging around, I ran across the black shetland yarn I had spun up for Dear One's Cardigan.  I ended up doing a Vest instead, so there was a lot of yarn left over.  I found a couple of skeins and a sleeve and the back to the sweater.  I stopped sorting yarn, and I immediately began to frog it and wind it onto the Niddy Noddy.  I decided wait until morning to soak it.

Doesn't it look funny all poodled up!  I have found that a soothing activity like spinning yarn, or knitting, or even frogging a long discarded project, soothes my mind.  It lets me relax, and just zone for a minute or two, or 20!  Then relaxed,  I surveyed my skeins of yarn, with a slight feeling of accomplishment,  I glanced at the clock, it was 3am, and I was ready for sleep.

The next morning, I put the skeins in to soak before I did the outside chores, so that by the time I came back in they were ready to hang up to dry.  This afternoon, they are almost dry, and I calculated that I have 525 yards of fingering weight black shetland.  That is enough to do a smashing shawl for me, myself and I.  I have been combing Ravelry today to find just the right one.  If I really need to, for just the right project, I know I have another lb. of that roving that I can spin up!  Maybe on my next sleepless night!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Spinning and Knitting, Tina

Yummm!  Did you ever hear of Crockpot Granola!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Without Power

The power went out on Monday, for 6 hours!  It has been doing that lately.  We have had a little rain from Isaac, but really not much to worry about.  It got me thinking about all the jobs I have held, and what would have happened when the power went out.

When I was a Library gopher at 16 years of age, the place would have gone on just fine, we were still doing it manually when I started.  By the time I moved on to my next job, however, they would have come to a standstill, because they had become automated!

At the JC Penney candy counter, I would have been able to clean all the sticky candy bins, getting the sticky all over my arms, (I lost 10 lbs working there!) but no sales would have happened without the cash register!

At French's Market, or the White Store, we would have been in trouble, again, no cash registers!

When I worked at the Pre-school for a couple of years, I suppose we would have done just fine, except that the kids would have freaked in the dark!

I kept kids at home for a very little while,(4 kids under 4, call me crazy!) until my own kids started coming, we would have brought out the blankets and made a tent over the table, found the flashlights and had a party!

On the Mission field, it would have depended on if it was night or not, things didn't start happening over there until 8pm!  I don't think I could hang with them now!

The Coffee shop I worked in when we returned state side would have been out of luck, as would have the  Screen printing/ Embroidery shop I worked at for a couple of years.  The Vet Clinic job I had for 6 years would have had some problems!  We could have done the treatments of course, but all the fancy blood work machines wouldn't have done us any good, and we would have had to send out the bills later, when the power came back on.

Somewhere in there I cleaned houses for a couple of years.  That, my friends was by far the hardest job of all!  I often had 2 small houses in one day, or one big one.  I had to quit one of the farther out jobs because I almost fell asleep at the wheel coming home twice!

Now however,  except for the fact that I would have to pull out the camp stove to make coffee, it doesn't affect me at all!

Happy Spinning, Weaving, and Knitting, Tina

Friday, August 31, 2012

Spinning Pics

I took some pictures of the spinning I got done over the camping trip.

I started at the purple end of the roving, and you can see the blue starting to show up towards the end of this bobbin.   On the next bobbin you can see the blue underneath and then the teal covering it up.

I have found that I like to break off a piece of the top and fold it in half and spin from the fold, it just feels right. I hope to finish it off soon and have some pictures of the plied yarn next week.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Spinning and Knitting, Tina

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Little Bit of Fiber is Always Good!

We camped in the Smokies last week, and while we were there I was able to have some fiber time.  One day I was able to spin almost a full bobbin of  the Merino Silk I got at the Middle Tennessee Fiber Festival.  I will probably finish it up this week.

I also was able to make a lot of progress on another Lily Shawl.  A friend of mine saw the burgundy one I finished a couple of weeks ago, and she really loved it.  She then promptly ordered 2, a purple one and a teal one.  She wanted to use the same yarn I had used on mine, and that was Knit Picks Gloss fingering.  It is a lovely yarn, soft and with a little shine from the silk.  I was not able to find the Gloss in purple but they did have a soft grey, which she approved.

The cool thing about the Drops patterns is that you can knit them to sell, as long as you give credit to them for the design, and as long as you don't mass produce them!

Anyway, this time I am keeping track of my hours, I am up to 18 hrs so far, and I am coming to the end of the body of the shawl, with just a picot edging left to do.  I still like the pattern, which is a good thing  since I have to turn around and do one in teal!

I love the Lily of the Valley border!  The border alone took 14 hours!  I had a lot fewer mistakes to correct this time, I wonder how long it took me to do the burgundy one!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Spinning and Knitting, Tina

Friday, August 17, 2012

New Weaver!!

I have been taking my MIL with me to the center on Tuesdays.  We may have missed a couple here and there, but for the last 5 months or so, she has been coming.  She walks from loom to loom, and talks to the weavers about their project, she has ripped seams, and she has cut fabric strips for different projects.

This last Tuesday after lunch she whispered, "Sit down here, I want to ask you something.  How do I go about taking the lessons?"  So, I explained to her about the classes.  Most people start out with the 6 classes, and then they are hooked and they just keep coming!  That is how we get more weavers for the center.  (That is what happened to me in 2001, after I was given a floor loom!)

Lou Ann and I picked out one of the smaller table looms to get ready for her.  The problem is, it was used for kids camp, and has a couple of yards of the mug rug warp left on it.   We thought it might be a good idea for her to weave that off using fabric strips, just to try it out.

This is the Leclerc Dorothy, one of the lighter table looms we have.  You see my MIL isn't very big, and we did not want to overwhelm her!
I cut some fabric strips from my stash at home.

I tied the warp back on and wove up a sample of what each fabric looks like on this warp.

I will take the bag of strips to her today before I go out of town, once again.  I am ordering replacement lever tabs for the loom, and I need to get her a couple of shuttles to work with before I take it to her.  Our fellow weaver Carl lives in the same complex that she does, in fact they are on the same floor!  So that, even if I am unavailable, I know that he would be able to help her.

I think that next Tuesday, I will be showing her the ropes on this sweet little loom!

Here's to a new weaver, until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, August 10, 2012

Home again

While I was in Portland, visiting my daughter and new grandson, I finished the Lily Shawl, by Drops.  I did not have my blocking wires, so I had to wait until I got home to do that.  I had done most of the knitting in California, which was a good thing because in Portland there was very little knitting time to be had!

 I worked the lily of the valley border first and then I picked up along one edge and worked the stockinette body.  I worked in a  few short rows towards the end to give me a little shoulder shaping.  Then I picked up stitches along the other side of the border and worked a picot edging that I really like!

Below you can see the border all opened up during the blocking phase.

I believe if I were to do this again, I might find a pattern that has a single lily instead of the double one this pattern has.

That is about it for today, I am slowly coming out of my travelers fog, and looking forward to getting back to my regular schedule!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Spinning and Knitting, Tina

Friday, August 3, 2012

While in California

 I was in California last week visiting my Mother, and the rest of the family.  It was stop number one of my West Coast tour.

While I was there I was able to make a lot of progress on a new knitting project, the Lily Shawl by Drops.  It has a lily of the valley border around the bottom and then you pick up along one side and knit the rest of the shawl in stockinette.  It is really going good, I may be able to knit on it a little bit more while I am here in Oregon helping my daughter with her new baby.  I also took some sample bread cloths to one of my west coast customers for approval, and we finalized the order.  That will be my first order of business when I get home.

Just yesterday,  I got a text from my oldest daughter, back in Tennessee, who has been bitten by the spinning bug, showing me her newest skeins.  She told me it was really unfair of me to introduce her to a new hobby and then leave town!  :)

 She has really taken off,  she even has knitting projects in mind for these skeins!
 I will be home next week to answer her questions, though I think she is doing just fine.  It won't be long before she has passed me up in this craft too!
Until next time, find you a baby to hug!  Tina

Friday, July 13, 2012

Simple fix

I have been weaving bread cloths this week.  I have also been using a temple to prevent the excessive draw in of the Brooks Boquet hand manipulated lace.  When I use a temple, I will sometimes get a little loop on the side of the towel where the weft looped around the temple prong, and I was unaware of it.

Just like this! In the past, I have snipped one end of the loop and wove it in there along the edge.  Sometimes, that is a little difficult because the edge warp threads can be a little closer together than the body of the cloth.
What I have just started doing this week is carefully moving the loop further into the cloth
little by little,

then I weave a tapestry needle into the cloth,
carefully snip the loop in the right place,

and it is done!  

Once it is washed, you won't even be able to see it!

Here is a little taste of Summer from Farmstead Studio! ( I have been trying to work this picture in for weeks, so there you go!)

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina