Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

If there is anyone reading this blog still (almost 3 months with no blog post...ick)

Happy New Year to you!

I know a lot of people have had a rough 2009--ours has been somewhat stressfull with some things going on with Aidan..but we are happy and settled with life right now..things could always be worse.

I'm not usually one to make resolutions...I aim to improve my life whenever I see the need... but this is a good spot to post some Knitting/Spinning goals.
(pictures to be added later)

This year saw me attending my first Knitting retreat--it wont' be my last!

I dyed yarn for another Sock Club and would welcome any opportunity to do so again.

I started a Wool/Fibre Club and that has been resurrected , starting in January for 2010.
(I have been asked to start a yarn club also..that is a big possibility!)

I aquired a floor loom and hope to get some time to use it very soon (tomorrow too soon??)


Knitting: Knit more from my handspun--that's the point of having handspun right? I always seem to have little bits..either not enough for a project, or too chunky for what I want..which leads me to my next goal

Spin: with intention for projects. Plan out my spinning and do my very best.
Learn some new techniques and practice them (ie; woolen long draw) bu at the same time have fun with my spinning--fun yarns, artistic yarns!

Process and spin my first sweater from a fleece (I have several fleeces sitting, waiting to be worked on--some a very generous donation from a friend, as well as one that I purchased with a specific sweater in mind)

Yarn in general: Dye in more volume and with inspiration. I see colours everywhere and get ideas for things that I don't jump on right away. I need to strike when the iron is hot and motivate myself to do better.


Learning: I want to do more in the garden, want to learn to weave and make some things, sew with patterns and make things that I will use!

What are your crafty goals??

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Blog, I have a blog?

Wow, 2 months...okay.
Let's just dive right back in.

There has been some Knitting--but I"m in Christmas Knit mode now, so no pictures.

There has been a lot of dyeing.
I got a new Merino/Cashmere/Nylon blend that is dreamy..
Here's what I did on the first day:

and I tried some Masham wool--different..
Haven't spun this up yet, but I intend to!

Those are the pretty pictures for now..more Christmas Knitting pictures to follow after gifts have been given!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Show and Sale

Every year my Spinning Guild hosts a show and sale.
I haven't participated in the sales part the past 2 years (first year I didn't have anything made and last year I wasn't able to attend).

This year I had some things in that sold (yeah!)--I didn't get pictures of them before submission though :(

This guy I made from some Handspun local Shetland..and stuffed him with wool

(it's a Sheep in case you can't tell :) )

These are some little baby mittens I whipped up the night before--Handspun Targhee, from this same yarn.

I also put in a baby had that I had knit last year but it didn't get entered:

The wool is from the Spunky Eclectic Club (last Easter I believe)

I spun on the Sunday afternoon and helped clean up.
It was a good weekend, sales were down only slightly and everyone seemed to have a good time!

Next year, I need to get going early (hear that self: get going) and have a stash of different things.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


This was the fastest Knit I've done in a long time.

I was playing around with making some mittens out of handspun, but the yarn was not good for the pattern and it was a bit fiddly.
I found a pattern to try, cast on, kept knitting and by the end of the night I had one mitten half finished.
(the colour is truer in the first picture)

Cast on the next one the next night and almost finished it...Knitting in the car while on the way to the Spin In, finished it up last night and today made the thumbs.

The yarn was spun from this wool

From Lori at "FromtheWoolroom".
It's a Targhee roving, in the "Sangria" colourway

Yummy, soft, squooshy.

Yeah mittens!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

My People!!!

This morning I piled in a car with some other Spinners/Knitters and went on a road trip to Cambellford for the 20th annual Spin In!

I've never been before, but it was tons of fun.

The Warkworth/Campbellford Spinners GUild has been hosting a Spin In for 20 years--a day to get together for all thigns fibre, buy some things, make some new friends and SPIN.

This is Lori, owner of the Black Lamb in Port Hope.

I saw her as soon as I walked in the door and showed her my sweater :)

We had our names entered in a draw for some awesome prizes/gift baskets at the end of the day, received a cute little lavender sachet and we were off to Spin.

I bought some bumps of roving from Kim at Cornerstone Fibres (I have bought some wonderful Corriedale from her before and loved it).

This is what I spun all day.
I am going to ply it with this (this is me, branching out of my colour scheme)
I'm going to make a very warm wonderful shawl.

I also bought some new black dye since my other stuff is giving me fits.

I saw Alvin Ramer (THE Alvin Ramer of Wool Combs fame) and his lovely wife Barbara Anne

Lots of food....mmmm lamb burgers

lots of people
(This is Muriel with her sister, who doesn't Spin and was gracious enough to give Muriel her wool door prize--for Muriel to Spin and give back!! ;) )

This is a picture with just some of the people there (I couldn't take in the whole room)
There were more than 100 people sitting down at any given time, and more people that came and went throughout the day

lots of fibre everywhere.
(3 Alpaca Farmers, Yarn Store owners, Shepherds with their fleeces, Dyers, makers of things)

and on the way home, we may have stopped at the Worlds Finest Chocolate store... (amazing chocolate that is so inexpensive that you want to buy the whole store...)

It was a good day

Monday, October 05, 2009

Bloggety blog blog

So, I used to be a really good blogger.
I'd blog every day.
I seemed to have, exciting things to report...

Where has that gone??

I am aiming to do better, and am going to try this:

Got the idea from here

We'll see how it goes!

Today's post is all about the fibre-y stuff

I love yarn.
I love fibre
I actually said a few weeks ago: "I have too much wool"
and meant it

I have stopped buying yarn and fibre (and have for a while now), I don't' belong to the Spunky Eclectic Fibre Club anymore (I loved it, but it was getting to be $$ since my Etsy store isn't hopping right now)...and I wasn't taking the time to spin up what I have.

I have purchased a couple of fleeces, been given some fleece, participated in a Sheep to Shawl and brought the leftovers home...
I dye yarn, therefore I have many pounds of sock yarn around....

BUT: I love it all...
It makes me happy.

This is my new love:

My first batt

My friend Karen scored a drum carder and wheel in a super amazing auction sale (actually, someone else found them, but Karen brought them home ;)
She let me borrow the drum carder to try out some stuff

I dyed up some Superwash Merino/Nylon blend and carded them together.

It's basically the Goth Punk Princess colourway that I've dyed in yarn and fibre before...

Anyways, more fibrey stuff

Tomorrow is the 20th Anniversary of the Campbellford Spin In and I get to go!
We cancelled our monthly Spinning Guild Meeting since a lot of us are going to the Spin In.

I'm going to be wearing this:

and will show it to Lori of the Black Lamb, since I purchased the Fibre from her store


Thursday, September 17, 2009


I finished my handspun sweater and decided to enter it in the Fall Fair.
It won first prize and best in show for the Handspinning/Knitting division!

Here are some pictures from the "photoshoot" (ie: 7:30pm before it went off to the Fair)

also, I had a little helper..he was matching my hand positision as I turned was too funny!

I also entered my February Lady Sweater, which one First Place and Judges Choice.
I had a little crochet Lamb which places 2nd.

I didn't make my "famous" bread this year--no time--I was working on another project..which will be revealed soon.

Brenna made a Princess Ballerina key chain and got first place also! (She's very excited about winning $5)

(old Pic of February Lady Sweater--taken by Brenna--I think I need a new photo shoot!)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

First day of school

aka My baby is growing up.
Aidan is almost 4.5 and started JK this year.
He's been so excited waking up early and asking every day to pack his Spiderman lunchbag.

During this past summer he participated in a School readiness program that ran 8:30am-2pm daily and was teaching routines, expectations units on Math, Nature, Science etc (in Kindergarten terms)

He had a blast and still asks almost every day whether he can go back to that classroom.

I made them some special Cinnamon buns and packed up their lunches.

He was all ready to go early, had his backpack on and let Daddy do his "Dude hair"

He didn't quite want to sit still for picutres, but he gave me this classic Aidan face.
(We like to make faces at eachother at dinner--when he's crabby I know that little game will get him laughing)

Princess Brenna has decided that her best picture is taken when her head is almost sideways--it's her "cute face"..

We got there with about a minute before they were to line up. Brenna agreed to look out for her brother and they held hands over to the line.
We decided we would walk in to show Aidan where to put his backpack...there are 5 kids in his JK class and it's a split with Brenna's Grade 1 class--so they get to be in the same room!

They sat on the floor, were fine and then we left....

We let Aidan choose his dinner for first day (Just as we did with Brenna) he chose Subway and was nice and tired at the end of the day!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sweater progress

I have been making great strides (or great arms) on my Handspun sweater.

Funny thing, when you actually sit down to Knit something--you make progress.

(Pardon the pool hair)

I love being able to try on the sweater as I go (note to self, don't try on sweater with the needles still in it while it's small enough to just go over your sweater....Others have tried doesn't work)

Since this picture I have finished the back and one sleeve..One or two more nights and this baby will be done!

I am happy to report that I will NOT run out of yarn. This is not me being hopeful--I know for a fact that I will have enough yarn. I left the bottom on a holder (not finishing the ribbing just yet) to let the rest of the skeins go for the sleeves. I had allotted myself 2 skeins each for the sleeves, and used only one for the first sleeve.

I will add a bit more length to the back and the figure out what to do with the collar. Looking back (actually I thought of it at the time) I should have done a provisional cast on for the collar--which would leave me " live" stitches to just pick up and knit later....but we shall see what I come up with.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blog blahs

I don't know about you, but I totally think my blog needs a new look. I have tried to tweak things myself and usually end up wrecking everything and having to start all over. I just don't have the time or knowledge to putting into making this space prettier. So, I found this contest where you can WIN a blog makeover!!! Click on the pretty button below and you will be taken to the designers website to see all that she has done!
(p.s. please excuse the overlapping ads--the button she has is longer than my typing screen will allow--see I need help!!)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

A Winning Weekend

This past Saturday was a busy one.
I was off to Kingston for the annual Kingston Sheep Dog Trials and the Sheep To Shawl Competition.
I was on observer two years ago when we won the Lendrum Wheel (!!) and was a Spinner this year.

The team consisted of 4 spinners and a weaver. We received a raw fleece (unwashed, unbrushed) and have 4.5 hours to Spin/Ply for yarn and weave a shawl to a specific measurement.

We received last pick of the fleeces this year (Not sure what kind of fleece it was--either a Romney or Texel I am told), a long stapled white/natural fleece, very very sticky with Lanolin.

Sandra brought her Wool combs which were a lifesaver.

I had purchased a dog brush to help with combing tips, but fully combing the wool made it so much easier--It took out more of the dirt/hay etc and got rid of harder spots in the fleece--so as not to have "lumpy" yarn.

Sandra or Muriel combed while we were spinning, then Sandra plied and gave the yarn to June Anne for weaving.

June Anne chose a natural/white, orange and green warp for the loom--which the Judge later commented made her think of "Sipping Margaritas".

We had fun, lots of people came in to see what we were doing--and we had Colleen this year who walked around an answered questions while we worked.

We finished up in the nick of time, wondered if we had a long enough shawl (it becomes smaller when you take it off the loom)--and waited for the results.

Kingston completed first with a pretty blue and white shawl that was woven to appear like waves.

Belleville had a beautiful warp of handspun--natural, a denim blue (hand dyed) and dark grey/black that was spun from dog hair!
They had challenging shawl that was put together on an angle to make a natural drape around your shoulders--they finished last as they needed the extra time to put their shawl together.

The Judge awarded us first place (!!) and we all received fibre from the Wilton Fibre Mill and Cornerstone Fibers (Both booths were conveniently right there so we could spend our money $$)

We had a blast and I would do it again next year!

While I was in Kingston, my daughter was competing in her Soccer tournament and made it through to the Play offs on Sunday
They had a very good team this year and I really liked their Coach (the Principal of a local public school) as he taught them some technique, encouraged them to learn new skills and was very encouraging--overall they played well all year and came in 3rd overall.

My daughters words after losing Sunday (Their only loss of the year): "Now we get TWO medals--the "Thanks for coming out medal" and a "Thanks for playing medal" and ice-cream--can we get ice cream now??"

The game ended just before a crazy storm blew in with lightening and torrential rain--the other games that were still going on, halted for a 1/2 hour to let the lightening blow over.

So, I came home with bags of fiber and a really cute apron (They were giving us a discount and we all bought one), Daughter came home with 2 medals and some ice cream

A great weekend :)

Update: Our picture was in the paper this past week

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The weekend of all weekends

So, let't set up the story
My sister bought a Spining Wheel from Susan's Spinning Bunny last year (awesome customer service--SUsan's husabnd actually dropped the wheel off at my sisters door because he would be nearby)
So then my sister received an e-mail about a Knitting/Spinning retreat for this summer.
She sent me the link months and months ago--didn't say a thing, just sent the link.

I have never been to a Knitting retreat. I've never taken a Knitting class. I've never done anything Knitterly related (except buy, knit, read etc)--so I was excited.

There was the financial hurdle to overcome--so I started a Fiber Club.
THe customers who purchased my Club bought my way to the retreat!! (Thanks ladies)

Hubby's work is busy, usually with weekend plans and activities for his "other job".
He did have an event to attend, however because of the awesome Spouse of his co-worker, he took the kids with him and they were well cared for.

The only hurdle left was how to get myself there: If I drove the car, Hubby couldn't do his work event, If my sister met me at the border we'd miss most of the first day.

All the details with work, the car, my son's summer school etc etc all worked out beautifully so that this past Friday we met Michelle at the Syracuse mall for a pick up/drop off.

Some bad directions and construction put us a bit behind, but after some luggage/wheel switch and some hugs good bye and we were off in the pouring raing on our way to Ithaca NY for an awesome weekend (we didn't know yet how awesome, but we were so excited)

We had some, um, trouble navigating the route to the highway in Syracuse (I seriously believe the roads are like a small intestine)--we kept following the signs, which would lead us to nowhere, we'd turn around and find the sign pointing to another direction.

It was stressful

but we found our way

Due to a strange warp in the time/space contiuum, we were only a little bit late (we missed intros and nametag making)--but caught up quickly.

About an hour in we realized that no only were we amongst "our people' (Knitters with a Captial K) and that our brains might explode with awesome sweater design.

The whole theme of the weekend was that we would purchase yarn (from Susan or on our own) or spin yarn to make a custom fitted raglan sweater.

We knew we needed to think about design elements (cardigan, pullover, cables/lace etc) but that was all we knew.

Once we got started measuring (necks, arms, etc etc) we were told that this sweater pattern could customize to fit our specific measurements (no back gaping because you needed to fit the front, no to tight arms or gaping sleeves or seaming!!)...we loved it.

Our hotel room was beautiful,

The "Lounge"

with the best pillows ever (we seriously contemplated buying them from the hotel and taking them home in our suitcase)

There was an awesome Swag Bag

with awesome stuff in it-- (click on the picture to go to Flicker to see the notes)

Originally uploaded by

Friday night was awesome food at the Moosewood .
I had big plans for swimming/hot tubbing, spinning and Knitting --but like a true tired Mommy, I fell asleep sitting up in bed with Knitting in my hand.

Saturday we received our custom fitted patterns from Cathy Chesnut (a Knitter, Knitting Teacher, Pattern designer extrordinaire).

That's TeAntae, she's a very excited Knitter

MIchelle and I were so excited we had written a song that we sang for Cathy (we actually wrote it Friday afternoon but since we were still in the "get to know you stages" of the weekend we didn't sing it until Saturday)

If you want to hear it, you can click on the mp3 link in this blog post (Thanks Louise!!!)

So, just before noon we cast on for our sweaters---
Susan and Cathy were there to help with the pattern and make some suggestions (ie: how to knit a firm button band so that it doesn't sag and pull when you button it up--amazing)
a great lunch and we were off to Susan's house/store to shop and knit away the afternoon.

I bought some awesome Merino/Bamboo, some Merino/Cashmere and some Superwash Merino for socks (her prices were amazing and her hand-dyed, you guessed it--amazing :) )

We sat and knit,

met the bunnies

were awed at Susan's view

Chatted and then some people needed to head for home.

The rest of us went out for some seafood (I had crab stuffed shrimp wtih rice and lobstser sauce..mmmm) and we all decided to knit at the table

(Dark picture--the sun was setting and we were outside

(MIchelle is wearing her "Hey Teach" that she just finished!)

This is Jane and Delia --they were the other set of sisters on the retreat!

Delia's face is saying "I think I knit too far on my sock"--so what's a Knitter to do??/div>

Try your sock on at the table.

Sigh...What a great weekend
We laughed, we ate, we knit, we ate, we talked, we ate--amazing

So, for a first year doing the retreat--it was a smashing success
I thought it was well organized, Susan and Cathy are great teachers who compliment each other beautifully.

My sweater progress on the way home:

Michelle is camping this week at WA, and I took a picture of her trying on her sweater-yeah! It totally fits! (of course it fits--we have an awesome pattern)

So that's my big old blog post about the amazing weekend.
Can't wait to do it again next year (right hubby? right Michelle??)