Friday, November 9, 2018

Saying goodbye

This past August my big beautiful Max died unexpectedly. He was only six years old. I went to the farm to do chores and there he was. My husband and son believe he died of twisted stomach. I knew that could happen to horses but dogs? My heart is broken. He was my all time best livestock guardian dog. He will be missed by me forever.

The goats miss him too. I had tried unsuccessfully to move them to other places to graze but they refused to go without Max leading the way. Even luring them with chips, their favorite treat, didn't work. So I made the decision to sell them. I have had animals most of my life. Now none at all. Several times a day I think to myself I need to check on the animals. Then I have to remind myself they are gone. Change is hard.

To keep me busy I weave. The shows keep my thoughts occupied too. From now until early January I have five. That should keep me from thinking animals right? I sure hope so!

Until next time,

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

My goals of late

I am finally in a place where I have nowhere to go and now I can get some things done. My goal is to have every loom with a warp on it. Great plan right?

I have some Leclerc sectional rakes that I wasn't using so I asked my husband to cut them down to fit the Glimakra Ideal. I am going to like this a lot. This will speed up the warping process for sure. I am now winding a placemat warp on it. I didn't remember to take a picture of it.

On the Leclerc Meco I have a shawl warp waiting to go on. This will be white on white. The warp has a nice sheen to it. I think this is going to look really nice. It looks much better in person.

On the Leclerc Minerva I am going to weave another shawl. This warp is a bit heavier but really nice. The wound warp is sitting on the bench.

I even warped up the Cricket loom so I can weave in the evenings at home. This scarf is 100% alpaca. This is very soft.

When I brought the loom home to warp it I realized I had forgotten the warping peg. Not wanting to go back to the studio I had to improvise. This is what I came up with. It worked very well!

On the warping rack behind the Gilmore loom is a warp waiting to be wound on for rugs. Now with all this free time I have I can loom hop and get the warps on. I can't wait to stand see every loom with a warp on it. That will be so satisfying! I will be sure to get pictures.

Until next time,

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

It happened again?

It sure did! Another loom found it's way to my house. This time for restoration. It had been in storage for at least 14 years and needs a good cleaning and oiling. There are some missing parts that need to be replicated too. I really enjoy bringing a loom back to life and weaving again. Hopefully this loom restoration will be a success.

I have never seen a loom quite like this one. No one I contacted has seen one like it either. Perhaps one of a kind? Perhaps a loving husband built it for his wife? The top of the castle suggested a Scandinavian loom with a hanging beater but looking more closely I saw that the beater is supposed to be pinned at the bottom. The rounded elements are something I have never seen before.

My first show is next week. It is The Lavender Festival in Oak Ridge, Tn. Many years ago someone I met at this festival gave me a loom. It is unusual in that it is a four harness floor loom but the weaving width is only 12 inches. I have never found any information about this loom other than it was a kit put together by a family member. Each year the family come to the festival to see the loom.  Yesterday I wound a scarf warp for this loom. The colors did not show well in the picture. The wool blend yarn is burgundy, green and cream. The lighter yarn is cream with a strand of gold. It is an acrylic blend.

The rest of this week and all of next week will be a busy time for me. I have a pile of placemats and dish towels to hem and scarf fringes to twist. I had better get going!

Until next time.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Another loom?

I don't know how in the world it happens. Every time I think I am done buying any more looms I get the opportunity to buy another one. I don't mean for it to happen but it does.

This is the one that came home with me last week. It is an early Mountain loom with 8 harnesses. It has a twelve inch weaving width. Here it is being warped for mug rugs. Isn't it cute?

Recently someone asked me to take pictures of the warping process. They had no idea of what was involved.

After planning my warp it has to be wound. This is a warp for overshot mug rugs to test out a new loom.

After it is wound I tie the warp to get it ready to take to the loom. The ties keep the warp from tangling.

When I remove the warp from the warping mill I chain it. I am not the best at warp chaining but it is good enough for me to get it to the loom without it tangling.

I put the lease sticks into the cross. This keeps the warp threads in order and easier for me to thread the loom.

Before winding the warp on the warp beam I need to spread out the warp to the width I would like to weave by using a raddle. This one is made for a 36" loom but will work well with this loom too.

On some looms I like to use bamboo placemats as I wind the warp. They work very well to keep the layers separate. If I did not use the placemats the warp would nestle down into other layers and create tension problems as I weave.

Now the heddles can be threaded for my pattern.

After the heddles are threaded it is time to bring the yarn through the reed. After this I can tie the warp onto the cloth beam. Now the fun part can begin. This warp is a twill so I am using two floating selvedges so that every throw of the shuttles with catch the last warp thread on either side. I am looking forward to giving this loom a trial run to see if I enjoy weaving on it.

Last weekend was another thing I enjoying doing. Living history. The historic site I volunteer at has been closed all winter. Now we are ready to educate the public on some of our country's history. This is where I live one weekend a month. It looks pretty primitive, doesn't it. It is but I really enjoy my time there. The evenings after the public leave is really fun. We all sit around a fire to tell stories, sing and listen to someone play a musical instrument. The whole weekend truly feels like I have stepped back in time. If you are ever in Ewing, Va. please feel free to stop by and see what Wilderness Road State Park has to offer. The park has a reconstructed fort, picnic areas, hiking trails and more. It is a beautiful park.

Until next time,

Friday, April 6, 2018


I have wanted a greenhouse for a very long time but never seemed to get one. You know how it is. You think you would like something but then forget about it for a while. I had picked out one I would like to own but never took the final step of ownership. Then a year ago I saw the one I liked was on sale at a much better price. I took the plunge but then it sat in the box until recently. It took three of us to get it set up but here it is. Since this picture was taken I have removed the rain barrels and pallets. I had thought I would use the pallets as a floor but then changed my mind.

This one is 6 feet by 8 feet. Not huge by any means but it will be large enough for me. My goal is to get plants started early then later in the year move some tomato plants in there so we can have tomatoes farther into the fall.

Another thing that has been occupying my time is the dish towel warp. I have woven four and only have a few more to go. I use a novelty cotton yarn with a stripe of color at each end. I have been making them this way for years and this is what my customers like. I am weaving two of each colored stripe.

This is the Leclerc Meco that we restored. It was in really bad shape but with a good cleaning and lots of new parts it is performing well. It hardly looks like the same loom we brought home! I had originally thought I would restore it, put a short warp on it, test it out then sell it but now I am not so sure I want to. It doesn't take up much room and weaves well so I think I will hang onto it for a while.

Living history at Wilderness Road State Park in Ewing, Va. is gearing up for the year. Re enactors will be gathering there next weekend. It will be so nice to see everyone again. We haven't gathered since last December. Not really a long time but it feels like it has been. The weather should be pleasant so that is good. Time to get ready for weaving and spinning for the public and teaching them how clothing was made in the 18th century.

There are some questions that are asked frequently like, is that real food? Is that a real fire. You don't really live here do you. ( Yes I live in a log cabin for the weekend) Aren't you hot in those clothes? You get the idea. I guess it is hard in this day and age for some people to understand what it was like  back then and then try to understand why anyone would want to live like that today. For me educating the public is enjoyable. Talking about what life was like then. What people needed to do to survive. Talking about freedom from English rule and the western migration across America. Things Americans need to know because after all...if you don't understand where you have been you can't know where you are going.

Until next time,

Sunday, March 25, 2018

What is happening

When I sold the large Finnish loom recently it created a large space in a room at the studio. The space didn't stay empty for long. I moved the Glimakra in that spot. That left me room on the other side of the room to bring in two Leclerc looms from another room. The Minerva and the Meco. The Meco is a loom that we rescued a few years back. It took a lot of work and replacement parts but now it is ready to weave on. This is a warp for dish towels,

Recently I was given a Leclerc Nilec two harness table loom. It, too, needed some restoration work. It didn't have any heddles, a crank, ratchet or a cloth beam and it was covered with lots of dust. Clearly it had been sitting somewhere for a very long time.

This loom has long been out of production but thankfully Dorothy parts will fit it. The ratchet was ordered from The Woolery. I already had heddles that would fit and thankfully I have a husband who can fix things.  For the cloth beam he took a piece of wooden closet pole, drilled holes for the lashing cord and drilled a hole at one end for a metal rod that will hold it in place on one side. On the other side he mounted the ratchet and crank he had made from a metal rod he already had. Now it is ready for a test run. I chose to put carpet warp on for mug rugs. This is a good way to use up small amounts of yarn left from other weaving projects. It weaves beautifully now. It is so satisfying to take a loom that doesn't work well or has missing parts and bring it back to something useful.

On the puppy front. Beau is growing by leaps and bounds. He is now the same size as the goats I bought him to protect. He is now getting along with Max, my other Great Pyrenees. Well mostly. I do have to separate them when they eat. Neither one likes to have the other close by when they eat. Three to four feet of separation is working so that is good. Other than this one thing they get along very well. I have seen them playing together and sleeping side by side. I sure had my doubts about the new puppy and the older dog, Max, getting along but so far so good. Here they are together waiting for me to come through the gate. This picture is a couple of weeks old so Beau is bigger now.

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Introduction update

When I first brought Beau home I put him in a large dog kennel hoping the goats and Max would check him out and get to know him. Things did not go as planned. No one wanted anything to do with him. After giving this a lot of thought I bought a smaller kennel and thought I would put it where the other animals like to hang out. I let Beau hang out here for a few hours each day. This has been a better solution but not as good as I had hoped. Max is less than impressed with this furry bundle of liveliness. This is going to take longer than I thought.

I am weaving placemats this week. I didn't think to take a picture. It is always so good to sit and weave. It is so relaxing and it makes me happy!

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Snow and cold

It is bitterly cold here today. Right now it is 17 degrees but feels like 11. That is better than what it was this morning. 6 degrees but felt like five below! It snowed about 1 1/2" yesterday. The sun is shining and everything looks clean and beautiful. I love the snow!

So what does one do when the road is snow covered? Weave of course! I brought a loom home from the studio a couple of days ago because I knew we would be not going anywhere any time soon. This is a black silk warp with a variegated orange weft. I am weaving three shots of the orange then one shot of a bit of sparkle. I think it looks better in person.

One week ago today I brought Beau home. So far Max, my adult livestock guardian dog, doesn't think much of him. Hopefully soon that will change. Introducing a new animal to the farm isn't always easy. It has worked out in the past, I fully expect it to work out this time too. This is Beau in the crate on the way home. Isn't he adorable? The former owners put the ribbon on his for identification purposes. My husband thinks he looks like a bear! I think he looks like a big fluffy ball of cuteness.

Until next time,