Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Making Room

I met Lou Ann for lunch today, we do that every once in awhile.  She brought me some yummy tea she had just picked up in Knoxville, and I brought her some of my blue jean stash.  She thought I was crazy to give up that treasure trove of blue jeans, but actually I am starting to feel the pinch!

I have 2 more tubs of blue jeans, and I might keep a little bit of it, enough for a rug or two, but the rest is going to Lou Ann who is a beast when it comes to beating in that wonderful kind of weft!

I have fallen head over heels for re-cycling t-shirts!  Dear One went out of town this week, and as he was leaving he called me to tell me that he had gone through his drawers to clear out the shirts he no longer wears!  Isn't that sweet!

This is my stash at the moment.  I have separated the shirts into color families.  Reds, yellows, blues, greens, browns, blacks and finally whites and greys.  Most of the shirts are sizes medium to ex-large, but there are several blues that are smalls, so it will take a couple of those to equal a big one.

With all these shirts piling up I am really needing the space on the shelves that was taken up by the jeans.  I am eying some of my fabrics and loopers as well, I haven't decided about that though!  I would probably regret that de-stash!

I have also been slowly tying on the warp Lou Ann and I wound onto the little leclerc last week.  I think I am about half way done.  I think that tying on is definitely not faster than threading all over again, but one strong point for me this week is that I don't have think too much while I am doing it!  I work on it for 15-30 minutes, then move on to something else, only to come back to it again, when I have a spare moment.

This is that same long, long white 21/3 cotton warp.  I make Swedish lace napkins, and hand towels white or other colors as well.

This loom is perfect for Swedish lace, since it is a jack style loom it can do those uneven weaves with ease. 

When I use white as the weft, I get these elegant napkins, when I use a color, it would look good in any country cottage.  I love it!

That is it for now,

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Sunday, March 24, 2013

T shirt rug # 2

There are times when I am particularly glad I am a weaver.  This week, we had a new baby girl in our church family, and while I was clean out of baby girl blankets, I happened to have a t shirt rug that was hot off the loom, just waiting to be hemmed!

We also had a wedding shower this afternoon!  The couple is fond of blue, I was told.  Hmmm, the Bread cloths that I have on the loom right now are with the green stripes, so that won't do at all.  The next thing that I usually give these dewy eyed couples would be a set of napkins or hand towels.  That loom is not quite on line right now, so that will not do either!  (I do have a set of white napkins, but they are much too fancy for this couple.)

Next in line is the Hollywood rug warp, and I thought that this would be a good way to put it through it's paces so to speak. (Maybe put me through my rug designing paces that is!)  I started by picking out some blue shirts that I thought would be good together, then I added a couple of white shirts and grey shirts.  I liked how the colors were looking but it lacked something.  I looked at the shirts I had on hand, and chose a red one and a gold one.

I have streamlined my processing of the t shirt to have as little waste as possible.  When I am done with it, all I have is the crew neck and a couple of triangles of cloth in the shoulders!  Here is what it looks like all balled up and ready to go!

 I actually ended up using another blue as a broader center stripe.

and on the shuttles!

I quickly decided what I wanted to do, as soon as I started weaving.  I love how this Hollywood warp shines with these t shirt fabric!  I use a twill treadling with this warp so the weft really packs in close, making a very tight rug.

By this morning, I had finished weaving the second rug and hemming them both.

Baby girl rug!
Newlywed rug!

I love the detail pic of the hem, it is as decorative as the rug itself!

My center stripe is not exactly in the center, but I think I may be the only one to notice it!  I will bring out the adding machine paper next time.  Everyone  at the shower asked me how long it took me to weave the rug, and then they told me I should open a shop!  I just laughed and told them that I didn't want it to become that much of a job!  Then I put a plug in for more t shirts!  I think I may have found the next item in my portfolio!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Time for Tea!

I have been on a tea jag lately, or maybe I should say that I have been looking for a teapot lately!  Any tea pot will do really, and cups and saucers to match too!  My good friend Lou Ann knows that several years ago I was on the hunt for a coffee pot, an on top of the stove percolator, mostly for camping.  I couldn't rest until I found one!  We hit every antique store in the area, we went even as far as the Smoky mountains.  There are a ton of antique stores for the tourists there!  (We did finally find one.)

My jags usually start harmlessly enough, this time it all started a couple of weeks ago when we had company.  We asked them if we could get them anything to drink and they requested hot tea.  No problem, I have a kettle for the hot water, and I have tea bags as well.  But what I didn't have was a cute little teapot with cute cups with matching saucers.  All I had were the mismatched mugs that we use for our coffee in the morning.  Normally things like that don't really bother me, but it did that night.   Ever since then I have been scouring the thrift stores waiting for something to catch my eye!

I didn't go every day mind you, just a couple of days a week, I do have a busy life!  I found several skirts to round out my wardrobe, and a couple of shirts that went well with them, at one shop.  Then I also found a really cute pair of tennis shoes called Grasshoppers that I really like, and that have barely been off my feet since!  I also found a rack for Dear One to use on his car to load up his bicycle, but no teapot and cups and saucers that I wanted to take home.

Monday morning, Lou Ann came by and helped me load up my little Leclerc Alice with a long warp.  I am still using those long 12/3 cotton warps that I got in an estate sale a couple of years ago, and it really helps to have someone on the winding end and someone on the wrangling end.

Here is the wrangling end!

And here is the winding end!

 It was so fun to catch up on some of our favorite topics, like the craft shows coming up this fall, what we need to make a bunch of etc!  We worked for a couple of hours, then we went out to lunch and to one of the local thrift stores, where I found a 4 piece luggage set that had never been used, it has wheels, locks and all, and it was a steal!  I really did needed that for an upcoming trip!  But no teapot with cups and saucers!  (We drank coffee!) 

Monday and Tuesday I had babysitting duties in the pm, Dear One still had a head cold, so he couldn't do his normal Tuesday shift.  Then this morning I got a call from DD, she was wondering if I could watch DGD for about an hour, while she had a conference at DGS school.  I agreed, and the timing was such that I decided that we would do lunch.

DGD wasn't really hungry yet, so we ran over to the Habitat for Humanity thrift store  that I hadn't managed to get to yet.   Oh, what fun to take a 5 year old little girl to the thrift store!  Everything was a treasure!  I had told her the things I was looking for, so that she could be on the look out too.  We went up and down each aisle, carefully looking for treasures.  I found a teapot that was functional, but not pretty, but I carried it around for a little while.   I didn't see anything else, and I suggested that we look for some cups that might match that teapot enough to take them home.  At first nothing really looked good, until I did saw a set of white cups and saucers that I thought I could be happy with.  I couldn't make out the maker, but I loaded up the 7 cups and 9 saucers, all for $10.  

Just then, DGD brought my attention to the lamps on top of the shelves and I made the appropriate comments.  Then, my eye caught sight of the cutest little teapot for $7! ( I have a feeling that it may be more decorative that functional, but I couldn't resist!)   It looks like a little antique store!  Cute!  The cups and saucers really look good with it too!  ( Actually, I am on my third cup of tea, and it is still warm enough for me!) 

I got up to the register, and what do you know, everything I had in my basket was 1/2 off, so for less than $10, I am a happy woman!  I bundled DGD off to lunch where we had a wonderful time.  I got her home just as her mom and brother got there.   I then took my purchases home to  have a good washing  and a try out!

Many of you can tell by looking, what I soon found out, that those cups and saucers are Pfaltzcraft,  I knew I liked them!  I will be looking for a couple more cups to round out my set, maybe the search is not quite over yet!  Hmmm, maybe I can find a cream pitcher and sugar bowl?!

Tea anyone?!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Prep Work is a Constant

These last few months, I have been focusing on getting all of my looms loaded.  That job is now almost complete.  Life has been unusually crowded  lately, and that explains why there has been such slow progress!

I have a list on my phone that lists which project I post about on this blog, and I have to consult it EVERY TIME, or I will mess up!  On this blog I can post about the 2 Hollywood warps I have in progress, the rug warp on the Cambridge Rug loom and the placemat warp on the "8" harness no name loom.  The former is a black and white warp that was 16 yards long, and the later is in blues and a tan, and I don't remember exactly how long that one is at the moment.

Now that those looms are loaded, there is still a certain amount of prep time needed to have something to weave with!  I could  use Sock Loopers for the rugs,  but I have decided that this particular rug warp is perfect for recycling t-shirts!  With that in mind, I have put the word out to a couple of my friends that work with teenagers, and of course to the other weavers that I know.

That means that I have begun acquiring bags of these  t-shirts in many wonderful colors!  I now have plenty to get me started!  While I was at the center on Tuesday, I opened up one of the bags that Carol brought me and pulled out one of the teal t-shirts, and I put it through the rag cutter.  I first took out the hems, then starting at the bottom of the shirt, I spiral cut a strip round and round all the way to the armpits.  Then I opened up the underarm seam, and started cutting strips from sleeve to sleeve.  There wasn't much left but the crew collar when I was finished!  It was cool!  I will sew those shorter strips together before I start weaving.  I like having strips long enough to load onto a rag shuttle.  I can always cut the strips as needed on the loom, if I am doing a hit and miss rug as the red/pink one above.

I am thinking about opening up the side and shoulder seams next time, and cutting off the sleeves.  That would leave me with two square pieces of fabric that I could sew together with others, either of the same color or a color combination that I wanted to repeat in a rug.  The sleeves I could sew together separately, and have small bursts of color throughout the rug if I wanted to.  Christy came up with that idea, and I think it is brilliant!

So, the prep work is constant when you are working with fabric as weft.  For the placemat warp, I have begun to strip the fabric that is light in color.  I need to  weave 3 placemats in this color way to complete a set of 6, then I will do a runner or two, and who knows I may just do another set of six for good measure.  I will also do at least 2 using a dark fabric, and a runner to match it as well.  I hope I put on enough warp!

I was half way through the prep process on this length of fabric, when I snapped this picture!  It was Tuesday night and we were going out to dinner with friends at 5:30pm.  I made the mistake of putting on an audio book and setting to work on this hypnotic chore.  At 5:34pm I got a text, "Are you on your way?"  I dropped everything, and ran out the door!  A few minutes later came the call, asking me if I was on my way, of course, I replied!  He paused, and said, "You forgot didn't you?"  I chuckled and said that I was on my way, and that I had lost track of time, in the time warp of weaving!

That is all I've got for now, tomorrow it is back to work with the rag cutter and shuttle, I love my job!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina