Monday, June 25, 2012

What I have learned

I have finished the first bread cloth, and I have learned a ton in weaving it!  I learned that I really like this lace pattern, my own variation of Brooks Bouquet.  I also learned that it does Not hurt my hands to do it, like it did when I was having a flair up of some sort 2 years ago! That is a relief, I was really worried I would have to suffer through this project!

I have also learned that I will need to either borrow a 30in temple from the weaving center or order one right away.  The draw in with the lace was incredible and so there was lots of yarn breakage! So this project is on hold until I can get the temple!

I have also continued working with the white Suri Alpaca. It is really interesting to work with, cause the top wants to just fall apart at the slightest movement.  That means, I comb the top and when I take it off the comb it goes directly into a 13x9 pan.

That pan goes on my lap and I spin directly from the pan, trying not to lift the top any more than necessary! It is going well but I cannot prepare more than a pan full at a time, it just makes a mess!

Here is a bobbin of the Alpaca, I will Navajo ply these fine singles on my jumbo Louet bobbins.  I will be able to get 2 regular Ashford bobbins on one jumbo bobbin.  It makes a big satisfying skein of yarn when you are done.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, and Spinning, Tina

Saturday, June 23, 2012

While in a tent

As I posted yesterday on Loomy Tunes, the Tuesday Weavers blog, Dear One and I went Camping this week.

Here is our tent on her maiden voyage. I purchased a tarp to fit over the top of the tent.  There are several reasons to do this:

1. It protects the tent from debris.
2. It protects the tent fabric from the sun.
3. It makes a cool shady porch for us to sit under if it is raining.

Speaking of rain, we did get just a little bit, just enough to feel smug!

We have decided to get an even bigger tarp for next month, just a little more coverage, and a bigger porch!

I had also purchased this cool two pole shade tent to go over the table/stove area.  It performed wonderfully as well.

In the rare moments when we were sitting on our shady porch, or over by the river, I worked on a few things, I thought I would show some pictures.

Here finally are the May/June socks, they fit great, are are much too warm for this time of year!  I will  work on a shawl for the rest of June, and decide what July's project will be.  I have plenty of sock yarn but I may do a skinny scarf with some of it.

I also worked on this cool drop spindle, though I was using it supported in a little bowl in my lap.  You can see the mass of silk in the silk hankie I am working from. I have spun 3 or 4 layers from this one and there are probably 10 more layers to go.  I am able to get a fine silk thread spinning this way, though I am still fine  tuning the process.

Someone asked for a picture of what Dear One was working on.  I have asked permission to show you his fine workmanship, and he has granted it.

Unfortunately, Blogger has decided that it should be posted like this!  It is a pen and ink drawing in process, of Casper Ten Boom.  A Watch maker in Holland before and during WWII.  His brave efforts during the war were made known by his daughter Corrie, in her book, The Hiding Place. 

Sorry for the double picture post, ( I posted this pic on Loomy Tunes), I just can't get enough of this!

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

On a Line

We moved out to the "Farm" in 2001, to fulfull one of my dreams, to live in the country!  I had spent many years in high rise apartments, dreaming about putting in a big garden and having animals, chickens, sheep, goats ect.  I have done most of that, but because this farm is just 1.25 acres, I can't do some of the big things I had thought I wanted to do, like horses, and cattle.  I have also found that a small garden is more in tune with my life right now!

There were many things that we had to get used to when we moved out here.  There is no garbage pick up for one, so we take each bag of garbage to the recycle center ourselves. ( I am trying to get good about adding to the compost pile from the kitchen, but that is proving a little harder to do, besides the chickens like all that stuff too.)  There are also ditches on each side of our road that you need to keep in mind when you are backing down the driveway, (don't ask!)  There is/was a functional outhouse, which we do NOT use because I closed it up tight!  We have one bathroom, and it is downstairs which, when the girls were home, they did not appreciate!

One thing we had to get used to, was the sound of periodic gunfire in the neighborhood.  The first time I heard it, I just about went ballistic!   I soon however, became used to it.  Our neighbor has a large property and is very careful about where they shoot.

There is  a great clothesline out between the house and barn, that I really haven't used until recently.  Months ago, I gave up the use of my dryer, mostly because it sounds like a jet engine about to take off, and I am too cheap to get it fixed!  However,  I have found that I like not using it.  (I did it for years in Italy when there were 6 of us!  There just weren't any dryers there! ) I like the much smaller electric bill, and I like the hand of the fabric that comes off of the line, well most of it anyway, you know how towels get!   Dear One commented that by not using our dryer, we had knocked out one of the leading causes of house fires. ( The other one is those little plug in air fresheners!)

I use the line outside for the big stuff, sheets and towels and things like that.  I also have 3 laundry racks that I use out on the porch when weather permits, but they can also be moved indoors in the evening or when it is going to pour.  In the winter, they are in all the time.  I can get a surprising amount of laundry done on a clear day!

I had to wait until these were empty to photograph them, cause I did whites today, and nobody needs to see that!  I can easily get 2 loads of laundry on these babies, and if they are outside on a breezy day, they will be dry in 2 hours,  if it is inside, with a fan or two, it will take 12 to 15 hours, so I have to stay on top of it!

I cut off the Napkin/ Towel warp today, I had hoped to finish it, but I needed to get a couple of these items finished for gifts.  There are 6 white napkins, 4 tan napkins and 2 hand towels.  I think I have enough left on the loom to make 2 more tan napkins to finish that set.

That has been my day today, enjoying the breeze, the smell of fresh laundry, weaving in the studio, and the sound of gunfire in the neighborhood.  It doesn't get any better than this!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Monday, June 11, 2012

In the Middle

I am at the half way mark threading the custom order bread cloths.  It is going smoothly, no surprises.  I decided to take a break and work on the Swedish Lace napkins, or actually I am doing a couple of hand towels right now, I am almost to the end of this warp, and wanted to have a couple hand towels to give as a gift.
 Half way through the last hand towel, I started to think about the bread cloths and how I was going to mange the hand manipulated lace in the center.  I was weaving the lace pattern on the towel and realized that part of the problem I have with the Brooks Bouquet lace is the counting of the threads so that the little laces are centered!

Wait a minute, the Swedish Lace center pattern that I am threading on the custom order will give me a frame work for my  counting, or maybe I could use the treadles to help me lift the threads I need to wrap!  I tried it out, right then and there, in the middle of a towel!  It will take a little more sampling before I am really happy with it, but I think it has promise!

Now back to our regularly scheduled activity, or actually, now I have to go un-weave that towel!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, June 8, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012


I have started loading the 45in Leclerc with the custom Bread Cloth order.  It is all going smoothly, but I quickly realized that I would have to order more of the 8/2 "Currant" from Webs.  Unfortunately the sale is over, so to get a little bit of a discount I had to order a few more lbs of something!  I chose more 8/2 cotton, a third lb in Currant just to be sure, a lb in Posy Green, ( I have one already) and another lb in something else, I can't remember what.  That is sad, I just now placed the order too!  It will be a nice surprise anyway!

Today, I  loaded the Currant stripes along the sides of the Breadcloth. The color is showing up much brighter than it is in person, it is a subdued blue red.

Tomorrow the tension box is taking a trip the The Appalachian Arts Crafts Center in Norris, Tn.  I weave there almost every Tuesday, and one of the sectional looms is almost empty.  Lou Ann will bring her warping tree and I will bring the tension box and we will put on a really long warp for someone.

Later this week, I will finish winding on the natural sections of this project, then I will thread it.  The custom order is calling for a hand manipulated lace square in the center of the cloth.  I will thread for a Swedish Lace, instead of plain weave, so that I can switch directly to that once this order is complete! I can also do a couple in plain weave if I want too!

I prefer a loom manipulated lace rather than hand manipulated.  First of all, it goes much quicker and secondly, it is much easier on these hands of mine!   I am patterning these cloths after the Bread Cloths I wove a few years ago in Blue and Natural.  You can barely see a lace pattern in the center of the far left cloth.  I did several different ones, then wove the last 6 in plain weave.

These were fun to do, and I expect this project will be just as fun if not more!  With 10 sold already as incentive, I hope to have the rest off the loom, washed and hemmed in time for the fall shows.

Until next time, Happy Weaving and Spinning, Tina

Friday, June 1, 2012

When you need to give yourself a break!

It is June 1st, and I haven't finished my May socks!  I finished the April socks in early May, you can see them to the right in the picture below, (ends not woven in!)

Then I pulled out all the things that I had finished since January, and decided that I wasn't going to get my panties in a wad if these socks became June socks too!  I really have churned it out.  January it was a scarf, for February and March I did 2 pairs of socks, April, and May, I finished the blue Shawl and one pair of socks!  So enough already with the self condemnation!

On the weaving front, I am almost finished with this first Napkin/Towel warp, I am so excited!  I can't wait to load her up again and just keep going!

I have come to enjoy this end feed shuttle, it is an old one that I purchased off of ebay, and had Allan smooth the pointy ends so that they don't poke me.  It gives me really nice edges that I don't have to fuss with at all!

The only thing I don't like about using an Endfeed Shuttle is unweaving.  You can't just roll it back up on the bobbin, like you can with a boat shuttle. So, if I have to unweave more than 2 picks, break the yarn and I pull out my Ski Shuttle!  It really makes unweaving go smoothly, and once I have fixed the mistake, I use the Ski Shuttle to weave it back on!  I have also started using the Ski Shuttle when I have to unweave the Overshot Baby Blankets, because I use a Double Shuttle for the colors.  It has really made unweaving much easier!

The grandkids were over on Monday, (Memorial Day) and I pulled out all of the fun things I could think of,  a Frazier rug cutter to make some strips,  various spinning wheels that they could treadle.  Even the electric one, they love to make it go fast, and see if I can keep up with them drafting! (H remarked that the thinner yarn had more twists!  He is a bright one, who is celebrating his Birthday today!) I had them weaving on Alice with me, I would change the shed and they would pass the shuttle between them through the shed, then I would beat and change to the next shed. (Not exactly a flying shuttle!)  We also started a looper rug, they would take turns stepping on the treadle on the 2 harness rug loom and I would pass the rug shuttle thru, then run around them and take it out the other side, it was quite comical!  Each of these stations lasted about 30 minutes, with the electric spinner the clear favorite!  Then we had lunch and a rest time for Mimi and Papa mostly, then it was time to go to the pool, then we took them home, tuckered out! ( I think they were too!)

A couple of months ago, I found a Great Pyrennes Pup just running down the road.  He joined up with us and has been a welcome addition to our farm ever since.  Yesterday, a gentleman stopped by to ask if I had any Billy goats for sale.  Then he asked how long I had had that white dog, a couple of months?  I said "yes" with a sinking feeling in my stomach.  He said that his name is "Caspar", and that he had bought him when he was just a fur ball.  But, he was unable to keep him from wandering off the property, some 10 miles away.  He was in with goats at his place, and evidently there was a grumpy goat that kept running him off.   He also refused to eat anything for him!   We asked him if he wanted him back, and he told us that we could have him!  He is happy that he has found a good home, and we are happy to know the rest of the story!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina