Thursday, June 30, 2011

Now for the rest of the story

The last time I posted I told you only part of the story of my travels. Now for the rest. On June 17th  Carol ( Loomy Tunes blog) and I headed for the midwest. The first night Carol decided to stop in Columbus, Indiana for the night. I told her Chris Gustin of Homestead Weaving Studio lives there! I gave Chris a call and we were able to go for a short visit the next morning. Chris even had coffee ready for us! We had a tour of her studio and got to talk for a bit. Here is a link to her website. Chris's studio is wonderful! If you ever get the chance you should stop in.

The next evening we arrived at Karen in the wood's home. Karen lives in a beautiful log home in the country. I have known Karen for several years but never had the opportunity to visit her. She has come to my house three times so it was time I go visit her, don't you think? Here is a link to her website. and blog We had a wonderful visit. We had the chance to catch up on the news and weave. I had taken my Knifty Knitter with me so Karen and I knitted hats together, too. Some rv friends stopped by to visit and later in the week we went sighseeing here. I love steam engines. Sam does too! My DH and I took our children to ride steam engine trains in Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina when they were small.

At the end of the week Karen and I headed north to Hancock, Mi. to meet back up with Carol. We timed our visit so that we could go to the rag rug get together at the Midwest Weaver's Conference. Several people brought rugs for show and tell. I really enjoyed seeing what other weavers had woven and even got to see an antique rug. We spent the night there and Carol and I headed south the next morning. It was hard to say goodbye to such a good friend. Hopefully we will get to see each other again soon.

Carol and I had planned to stop in at Great Northern Weaving. We both kept looking at their website to plan what we wanted to look at and buy.

We each bought shaggy selvedges, rag cloth on coils and some jazzy strips. It was so nice to see the inside of the place we had ordered from before and meet the people who work there.

The night before our Great Northern stop Carol looked at the map and figured out we were only about Two and a half hours or so from Leesburg Looms! We just had to stop in, right? I found some shaggy selvedge I had never seen before. It is thick. I bought two bags. One of off white and the other in sage green. Yesterday I was anxious to weave it to see what it would look like. Here it is. Different, isn't it. It is soft and being cotton should be very absorbant.

By the time we got here, that night, it was dark but we unloaded my things at the studio with the help of my son. We said our goodbyes and then I crashed in the bed. We covered over 2000 miles on this trip. I was tired but oh so happy!

Here is a map of our journey. We decided to stop in at Leesburg Looms after the map was made so the mileage is different from what you see. Leesburg is in Ohio.

Being I had gone to volunteer at Wilderness Road State Park in Virginia just before this trip I can say....this month I have been in eight states in thirteen days!!

Until next time.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

What a wonderful week!

A week ago last Friday my friend Carol and I headed out for Wisconsin. Carol was on her way to the midwest weaver's conference. It turned out that she would be driving right past my friend, Karen in the woods home! We arrived at Karen's house on Saturday evening. Karen had a wonderful meal waiting for us. What a great time we had. Three weavers sharing a meal and conversation. What could be better than that?

I spent the week with Karen. We had the chance to be together, knit hats and weave. I have known Karen for several years. She has come to visit me three times but I had never had the chance to visit her so this was pretty special to me.

The week flew by all to quickly when it was time to meet back up with Carol. Today Karen and I got up very early and drove the four hours to Hancock, Michigan. We wanted to make sure we got there in time to go to the rag rug show and tell and to do a bit of shopping before the vendors packed up.

Janet Meany and I have written to each other many times over the years but we had never met. Today I got to meet her! She is a wealth of information about old looms and she had helped me many times. Standing next to Janet is Katie Meek. I had also corresponded with Katie about her book a while back. It was so nice to meet her. Don't you just love the tartan she wove?

Several years ago I took a Swedish weaving workshop given by Joann Hall of Elkhorn Mountain Weaving. It was very nice to see her again.

Another person I hadn't seen in a long time is Su Butler. Years ago I took her Understanding Rayon Chenille workshop in Kentucky. It was such a nice surprise to see her at the conference.

When I was at Karen's house I discovered she was selling a Newcomb Studio loom! One can never have enough looms, right? Poor Carol. I have filled up most of her van with loom parts! She is such a good sport. I asked her before I bought it just in case she didn't want to transport it. We do have to save room for our trip to Great Northern Weaving!

Tomorrow morning Carol and I will be heading towards Kalamazoo, Michigan to fill up the rest of her van with weaving supplies from Great Northern!! We want to be there when they open on Monday morning. We are both looking forward to seeing what all they have there.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

This is a loom?

I am a living history reenactor. Many years ago when I first became interested in weaving I heard about a tape loom. I didn't know what one looked like but at an 18th century trade fair at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park I saw something that looked interesting. I suspected it was a tape loom and when I asked I found out it was! I bought it then and there. There was someone there who was weaving on one. Throughout the weekend I would walk by her and try to memorize how she threaded it. After a while she asked if she could help me. I told her I was hoping to memorize how she was using the loom. She told me to go and get my loom then gave me some linen yarn and taught me how to warp it and after that how to weave. I was hooked! I really enjoyed weaving that first piece of tape but it sure was funny looking. You should have seen the selvedges! They looked like ocean waves!

After a few years I noticed that other women had tape looms similar to mine. I wanted to have one that looked different than anyone elses. In the book Spinning Wheels and Accessories by David Pennington and Michael Taylor there is a picture of a tape loom that was found in a barn in Pennsylvania. I really liked how it look and asked a woodworker I know to build me one. Here it is.

Not very impressive, is it. Neither was the original. When it was first discovered it was thought to be just an old box. When it was opened they found a treasure trove inside. Not only was it a tape loom but it also held a bobbin lace pillow, miniature skein winders and a multitude of other things. It even had storage spaces for sewing things. Mine is not exactly like the original. All I really wanted was the box and the rigid heddle. When it arrived I was surprised to find that the woodworker had made three divided storage trays for me! One goes under the warp and two are stacked. You can't really see it but there is a warp beam just behind the storage tray.

Here is another view.  Isn't it interesting?

This weekend I will be heading to Wilderness Road State Park in Virginia where I will be weaving on this loom. I have already wound the next warp.

I wish I had taken a picture of what it will look like once it is woven. I took the pattern from the book, Tape looms Past and Present by Bonnie Weidert. This book is really interesting in that it shows pictures of different types of tape looms, samples of tape with the drafts and also diagrams and directions of how to build your own tape loom.

So, for those of you who may be interested in weaving and want to start small a tape loom might be just the thing for you but be careful! It could lead to a life long addiction to looms. After my first tape loom I went to a 12 inch loom and then kept getting wider and wider looms until I had one with a 47 inch weaving width!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

The tavern room at the studio

I am still fine tuning the studio. I would really like it to have an 18th century flavor. Today our son helped me hang a flintlock in there. In the opening between this room and the kitchen I want to put a cage bar. I believe that will give the room a nice touch. Someday I hope to change the counter tops for something more appropriate. The floor needs replacing, too.

Here is another wall. We added the cider press today.

I will definately have to do something about the switch plate covers!

These are reproduction newspapers from Williamsburg, Virginia. One is from 1774 and the other from 1776.

It is getting there but slowly. So what do you think. Any suggestions.


Sweltering Thursday

Here it is Thursday already! My how time is flying by.

It is hot here. I don't just mean hot I mean horribly hot. It has been in the 90's for a while now with heat indexes in the upper 90's! Last evening hubby and I went to the basement of the studio. He noticed that the fan on the heat pump was running for a long time. I went upstairs to check the thermostat 83 degrees? I had it set on 74! With our son's busy schedule since school ended for the summer and now this I don't know how much time I will be spending there. I guess I could weave all night long and sleep all day! I hope the repair man can come soon!

Since I don't have any updated weaving to show you I thought I would show you what is blooming at the studio. I didn't plant any of this. It was there when we bought the house. I have transplanted some of it to other parts of the yard because the beds were getting too crowded. The flowers on the left are miniature roses.

Can you believe there used to be three large Nandinas behind those lilys?

As you can see there are lots of day lillies, monkey grass and other things I don't know the names of. In the front of one of these beds I can see the black eyed Susans. Later this year they will fill that bed with wonderful blooms. The pot in the bird bath is filled with chocolate mint.

I am toying with the idea of building a fire pit in the back yard. Wouldn't it be fun to sit out there, in the fall, with some friends enjoying the cooler evenings? Ahhh, fall. It is such a long time from now!