Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year's Eve

I got me-self a head cold and hope that it clears a bit before we hoot and hollar in the New Year. We are all heading over to Linda's house again this year for a games night. This year, I guess that the game shall be Clue. I haven't played Clue in years. I remember playing it in the hay loft a summer years ago with the group of kids that my sister and I ran with. We sat up in the huge empty loft by an open door and played, pondering who did it with what and where.

I wonder who shall be guilty tonight?

What are your plans?

And while I have you here, I have a question for the weavers. Harnesses are all numbered. Threading blocks (for crackle or overshot for example) are all capital letters. Tabby is notated as treddles a and b (usually in cursive) What about the other treddles? I use numbers, but my studio head has been teaching the second year students to use capital letters. I brought it up with her, and she said that it was how it was always done. Mary Black uses numbers. As does the drafting book that she calls her bible. What do you use?

Friday, December 29, 2006

sock issues

How many times have you frogged a knitting project before you decided to call it quits? My socks from Lorna's Laces Shepard sock yarn just aren't meant to be. This will be the fourth time that I have started the suckers. And I have to say that I am getting a little perturbed with the whole situation. I am not really sure what happened the last time, but I ended up with way wrong stitches and pulled the knitting back to where everything looked right and then dropped a few stitches while trying to pick them back up. And then everything went to hell in a hand basket and here I sit, with ball of yarn and a few pointy sticks. Again. I am going to give them ONE MORE TRY and if I fail, again, I shall save my beautiful Lorna's Laces yarn for my loom ( I can weave with fine yarns no problem) and knit socks with fat yarns only.

Here they are in all their round glory. Again. The first bit is just a wee spot crinklier than it used to be. Sigh

And in the blog issues, Firefox is working MUCH better than Safari ever did! I have all sorts of choices like text colour, that I never did before! I can even change my font! The only choices that showed up in Safari were spell check, and up load images. And since switching to beta, neither worked. Things are looking up!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Look! A picture!

Look! It's a picture! Blogger allowed me to up load it. The difference.....Firefox instead of Safari. Apparently blogger doesn't like Safari. I like it well enough. We'll see if I can find a solution to my e-mail problem.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing Day

Note: It was boxing day when I started this post. Life sort of got in the way

Bill thinks that Boxing Day is all about spreading the joy and love of Boxes. Bill loves his boxes. He is the king of cardboard, as he puts it.
I, however, know the true meaning. It is the day to deal with all of the boxes that are left over from the day before.
Well, sort of. The true origin of boxing day was back when the rich in England had servants (I know they still do, but bear with me) and after making them work all day Christmas, the servants had the following day off and were able to box up all of the leftovers to take home to their families. So then, as now, Boxing Day is about leftovers.

Christmas day, however, is about the ripping of paper, the opening of presents, good food, good company, good wine. And we had a lot of everything.
The first sign of Christmas life in my house came at 12;30 am. This was about 45 minutes after the presents were tucked under the tree and Bill and I went to bed. I got up to make a trip to the loo and saw Mira's light was on. She was awake and was just about to open her sock. In my house, the rule is "open your sock when you get up. Play quietly. DON"T WAKE US UP!" I told her that is was still night and that she had to go back to bed. Small grumbles, but she was tired and complied. The next I hear was at about 4;30. Now this one was my fault. In the socks, I had put a few small things, one of which was a nose flute. Bad move. I got up and said " if it makes noise...NO!" The noise subsided. They then came in and tried to wake us up at 6;00 to which I said, "6 is too early, it must be 7 at least" . At 7 they were blissfully watching a movie and we go up at 7;30 when the movie was over. And sometime over the course of the candy and chip eating and the movie watching, my sock pattern disappeared!
After devouring presents, candy, chocolate, and breakfast here, we went to my parents place where more of the same occurred. My sister and her husband, along with his mother were all visiting and we had a great time. I was even able to hide upstairs for a while and work on a puzzle. I love doing puzzles. Not the mind bending ones. Just your average 500-1000 piece puzzle of something nice. But I don't do them any other time of year. I think that it's the time thing.

I hope everyone had as pleasant a Christmas as we did.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

I hope that you and yours have a happy and safe holiday.
Sorry, no before and after pictures of the tree, but I still can't up load pictures.

And here's a news flash! I actually worked on my socks last night. The heel is turned and the instep decreasing is about half way there. It takes me a while, but I'll have another pair of socks eventually.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

This is getting annoying

I have been unable to load pictures for a few day now. Seeing as my next post is dependent on the picture, I have been unable to post for several days.
And since moving to Blogger beta (which is no longer beta I might add) I have been unable to respond to comments. Annoying to say the least. I have enjoyed your comments and apologize for not replying. All comments comeback as "". Grrrrhhhh. Even the ones that used to give me an e-mail address. Double grrrrhhh.
I have to say that I am beginning to get rather annoyed and have been considering a move to typepad or some other blog web site. Or thingie, Or whatever. (Can't you tell that I am sooooo computer literate?)
In any case... I have a question for you all. What Blog website do you use and has any one else who has switched to blogger beta been having that same problems that I have been?
Christmas is coming and I don't expect much activity for the next few days. But thanks for your comments and suggestions, and may you all have a happy and safe holiday.

As for me... there is a wee spot of over indulgence in my future. I have had my final week of market and it was a good one. Now I get to relax (a bit) and do some experimentation on the multi shaft looms at the college. (happyhappy me). But all of that is in the new year. For now I shall relax, eat, drink, be merry, and above all, enjoy my family and the fact that I don't have to get anyone up for the next two weeks!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

It's Christmas time

On Saunders Street!

We have officially started the Christmas season. Because we are spacially challenged, I wait until the last Saturday before Christmas to get the tree. This year, because the last Saturday was the 23, I broke with tradition, and picked it up the second last Saturday. Which was yesterday. I came home to a house in which nothing was prepared. In my house, moving anything is like a Chinese puzzle. You know the ones. There are 9, 16 or more squares on which there is a picture. One square is missing and you move the pieces until you create the image. I loved these as a kid and the knowledge of how to shuffle things around has come in handy in my life. So eventually, the grapefruit tree ended up in the front room, the computer desk went in to Mira's room. Her room was shuffled in it's own right, and my loom was actually able to remain in it's working position. The last scarf came off last night and will grace my table at the market on Saturday. Hopefully not for long. It is black merino with sari silk ribbon that is sparkly. I hope some desperate man comes by and needs to snap it up for his wife/girlfriend.

In any case, here is the tree. I set it up, did the lights, and then went out to brave the malls and try to find something for Bill's mom and dad. I was unsuccessful yesterday, but went again and found what I hope will please them. It is hard to buy for people who have what they want and buy what they need. I am sure that many of you out there know from where I am coming. I also have been very bad in getting things in the mail. Like Christmas cards and presents to those who are far away. I think that everybody gives gifts in December, but it is really nice to receive something in January when it is least expected. That's my story and I am sticking to it.
As for the string that is keeping the thing upright... After two toppled trees, I don't take any chances any more.

Getting back to the tree. After the lights, the kids did the rest. I have been decorating a tree for six months at market (really, it was a bunch of branches for most of it) and somehow the joy and wonder has gone out of decorating. I think that they did a marvelous job. Most of the ornaments have been homemade, or gifts and I have at least twice as many that they left in the boxes. I am impressed with their restraint. Mira was the grand poo-bah, and supervised with an iron fist. No more than one ornament per branch and none that touch each other. Liam complained, and papa supported the original verdict.

Tomorrow is our Christmas party at work. We are having a Secret Santa exchange and I can hardly wait to see what the wonderful bunch of creative people that I work with have come up with for their gifts.

More Felt: ethnographic samples

Why "ethnographic samples"? I really have no idea. That is what Denise called them. It was apparently what her teacher called them.
What they are is a way to show different felting techniques. We started with the research of a symbol. I started with spiders, the goose, and the hand. I settled on the hand because it is a form that I have been exploring since high school. As a crafts person, where would I be without my hands? I use them everyday and try to be aware of how valuable a tool they are. Hand symbols are in many places in our every day life. They have been used in textiles and in art and crafts for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years.
What were suppose to end up with was 4 samples of different techniques that were the same size and shape.

First is felt on felt. The hand was cut out of a piece of soft felt that I made and then laid on a felt bat which was then wet down and felted. The hand was Nicole's little hand.

Next is felting on a secondary structure. In this case, black polyester sheer material. You lay the fleece on the fabric and felt until your arms feel like they are going to fall off, and then you felt some more. The symbol is a healers hand. This is one of the old symbols.

Next is cut work. When you initially lay out the bat, you use different colours for the different layers. I used a red/orange for my bottom layer, burgundy for my middle layer and purple for my top layer. When it is all dry, you carefully snip through the felt layers to reveal the colours beneath. Amber, my class mate, used many more colours and I liked her results better.

Applique was next. For this I took one of my sketches "for a walk". "Take it for a walk" is what my first year 3D teacher, Peter, used to say all the time. I hated it at the time, but now I see the value in being able to push an idea beyond its humble beginnings. Thanks Peter. For this it was a simple cut out an image and sew it onto another piece of felt.

And last is the mosaic that is (to my mind) unresolved. I ran out of the blue felt and I need to make another piece. I though that if I mosaiced the border, it would fit will with the piece, but alas, it did not. Because I had my required 4 samples, I didn't feel the need to complete this last one in time for assessment. I will finish it at my leisure. No. Really. I will.
You in the back. Stop that snickering.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Done class!!!!!

I had so much fun in my felting class! My head is just bouncing with ideas. First we learned about flat felting, then it was three dimensional felting. Here are some of my final 3D projects.

Booties. They were started on a flat pattern and finished on my feet. We took turns felting on each others feet, and let me tell you, I didn't expect to get a foot massage that day in class!
These are actually destined for Mira for Christmas. Shhh.

This was my first exercise in flat pattern felting and the flap didn't quite turn out as I expected. I cut the offending piece off and beaded the flap to balance it. This guy is small. About 8 inches across. Very cute.

And last is my "mermaids purse". Kelp, shells, and a wee fishy finish off this one.

Today is also the Christmas concert for my boys. I hope that they are early in the program for once. Then I can slip away. Every year we have faithfully stayed until the end, but this year, I have so much to do on my days "off" that I feel like a whirling dervish has taken residence in my brain. I still have to come up with something for my in-laws for Christmas and I have NO IDEA! Not one. I usually can come up with a little something, but this year..... And the bottle of scotch for Grandpa won't even work this year because he is on medication that keeps him from having a drink.

And Judy asked for a book review (which I will give at a later date) and about the progression of my most dusty socks. I am afraid to say that the socks had been abandoned so that my hands could work on fringing, tagging, origami folding, felting, and note book maintenance. I have traditionally done most of my knitting in idle time in front of a movie. I haven't watched a movie in months. Except "Racing Stripes", and I was weaving during that one. And there was "Over the Hedge", during which a small girl took up residence on my lap. But things are looking brighter for my socks! My friend Linda just lent me the first season of "Lost" to watch "at your leisure" It runs over 1000 minutes! I just my get those socks done!

Concert up date

I just got back a few minutes ago from the concert that lasted over 2 hours. And , of course, my boys were at the very end. Again. The concerts used to be about an hour. Which was good. But the new principal likes to "showcase" all of the talent in the school. Which is nice. But most kids in elementary school have siblings. Quite a few of them have younger siblings. Like my boys. I can't tell you the number of times that I hear "I want to go home, mama!" Two hours is far to long for a Christmas concert. The performances by the kids were all very good. Some were touching, some cute. But in my estimate, each class did not need to sing three songs. One per class used to be enough. Sorry about the rant. I just had to vent a bit.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Just for fun

You have to love these "tests". I often wonder if your answers actually make a difference or if it is all just chosen randomly.

You are The Moon

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


I'm glad that that is over! It was really great to be at the Christmas Choice at Mem Hall show, but it was a different routine than I am used to at the Artist Market. The set up that I use at the market didn't work as well here. I would have prefered to be behind the table. I also had less space to work with. And we won't even talk about the door. I also had a major sugar crash near the end of the show and when that happens, it not good news. I had not thought about bringing something to eat because the market has The Happy Baker right there, should the need arrise. I know mem hall has no food venue, but you know what routine is like. In any case, now I can relax a bit. There were about 24 exhibitors and the crowd was not what was expected. It was really nice in that it was only 4 hours and not 3 days. I did well, but not as well as last year, which had been an exceptional year. Mira came with me and she did fantastic! She sold her seahorses and flowers. Everybody was quite amazed at her talent. I have 3 markets left before Christmas and after I take my black scarf off the loom, I shall be done weaving for sale. I may have a few Christmas things to work on, but the big pressure is OFF!

Here is my gal helping to set up.

And here we are, all set up. I meant to take some more pictures of the hall because it is really a beautiful building (dark wood paneling, stain glass windows) but...chalk it up to low blood sugar and loss of brain function.

And I would also like to take this moment to thank Jo. She had talked about a sock book, Knit Socks! one day and when I commented that I had seen it at the library and though that it was great, she offered me her spare copy! Of course I say YES! And a little bit later, it arrived in my mail box. Knitters are such a wonderful, generous group of people!

I have chosen my pattern and have my yarn ready to go. I had meant to use this yarn for a lace sock pattern, but I STILL suffer from lace fear. I hope that I do fine with my chosen pattern. It actually calls for Lorna's Lace's Shepherd Sport. Which is what those two beauties are. If the pattern is totally lost because of the dyed colour, then I will just knit plain. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I know that there are some of you who can knit socks in your sleep. I am not among that number. I can set up a loom and weave like that , but I need all of my marbles when I pick up those pointy sticks.

Thanks again Jo! Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

As for me... I'm off to bed. It has been a long day.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Almost ready

For my big sale this weekend. I have had a lot of positive response from people about my weavings. The ones that I like best are the group that is stopped cold in their tracks on the way to pick up their bread. The colour on the table grabs them. It is always a pleasure to see. On that note , here are my latest two scarves.

And because I have been feeling a little overwhelmed by colour lately, I decided to weave a series of white shawls. I relied heavily on my stash to find white and only had to buy one skein of loop yarn. The first two are off and ready to get washed (which will happen tomorrow) and the third is about half finished. It has been a very problematic warp to weave with because of tension issues, the different stretch of the different yarns I used, and the fact that the mohair in the warp likes to grab everything!

I have an idea for another two scarves and I am now off to do some more yarn dyeing.
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I missed my blogaversary

How silly of me! It was actually on the 17th. I guess that my only excuse is that I am a wee bit busy right now. In fact, I'm soon off to the college to do some more weaving. And I have one more scarf in mind before I'm done. But isn't it always that way? "Just one more, just one more".
And to calm Bill, I am going to tell you a short tale about how he did a MacGyver and fixed my washing machine.

A few weeks ago, I was doing laundry when the washer started making a nasty loud buzzing, humming, grinding sort of noise. Not good. I turned it on and off a few times in the simple hope that it would miracolusly start to work again. No such luck. I look for the owners manuel. I know that we have it. Somewhere. No luck.. So I do the next best thing. Google. I actually find a thread on a "fix it" site a about my type of washer filling with water and not draining, or not spinning. According to the site, all you have to do is take the front panel off the machine, which I managed, slip the clamps off, and remove the "bobby pins and coins" from the impeller motor. Or impeller drive. Or what ever. The impeller pump (if I am correct) is the part that removes the water from the washing machine. Very important. Especially on a front loading washer. In any case, I took one look at the clips that I was suppose to "slip" off and thought "not likely". These are huge spring type clips that were designed to hold back the waters of the Nile. I suppose that I COULD have gotten them off, but there would have been a lot of swearing, some skinned knuckles, and the potential to break something. Having decided a long time ago that there are somethings that I just won't do, even if I might be able to do them, I decided to wait for Bill. In the mean time, I emptied as much water out of the machine as I could and then started supper. When supper was out of the way, we got down on all fours and peered into the bottom of the machine. Bill got to work. He removed the clamps, flooded the kitchen with the water that I could not get out, I ran for towels and mopped up the excess. I had some errand to run at this point and left. I come back a bit later, to a proud Bill who had put the machine back together after having removing a few misceleanous things (including an underwire) from the pump. We gave it a test run. It filled with water (no surprise) and then started to make that horrible noise again. Bad. Very bad. Machine gets taken apart again. More water on the floor (it needed to be washed any way) and the impeller motor was removed again. After some careful tests we discover that the impeller pump still ran, but stopped spinning when it was called into service. Some small piece inside had worn so that the motor was shifting a bit on it's shaft. And the matter of a millimeter was the difference between it running and not running. Bill was thinking of attaching some metal clip to the mount and having it push on the end of the motor when I suggested a split washer (although, at the time, I didn't know what it was called) be put on the shaft and it would keep the part inside that had to spin, in the position that it was able to spin in (are we confused yet?) There was no split washer in the house, but Bill did have an old pen that he had in his "Useful Materials" box. Or pile. It was the right diamater and was a bit flexable. He cut it to the right size, slipped it on....and.... it worked! And it has kept on working for about 3 weeks now. I am sure that the little piece from the pen will wear out at some point and have to be replaced, but I have plans on going to the machine repair shop just down the street and picking up a few split washers to have on hand for when it does. Bill says that he has lots of pens to use, but the thought of having to take apart the machine every time the last piece wears out seems a little excessive. He also wants me to stop complaining about his "useful materials" that he keeps on hand. I'm not sure that I can until they are in a barn or shed or somewhere that I don't have to deal with them. In any case, thanks to Bill for his ability and knowledge. I'm glad to be living with someone who can pull a MacGyver every now and then.

Make sure you tell him how great he is

Monday, November 20, 2006

I have been remiss

in posting lately. Life is taking on that hectic buzz that happens around crafts people at the approach to Christmas and students at the end of term. I am working on homework and weaving and fringing like mad trying to get things done.

I would also like to thank Valerie for her donation to my fibre knowledge. She sent me some raw alpaca fleece after I mistakenly called wet alpaca "greasy". The fleece is far from greasy. It is soft and looks ready to spin, although I have been warned that it will need to be washed. I can't wait to give it a spin, but unfortunately, I will, because I am up to my ears in "to do's". In two weeks, I should be able to slow down and enjoy the coming holiday season and the anticipation that the kids have at this time of year. As well as having a bit of time to finish my Blue Faced Leicester that came from Margene's in my yarn aboard box.

And a few more things off the loom and a few more things still on the loom. I can call this picture "the great unwashed" and unfringed for the most part. Must finish some of them before Thursday so they can be dry for market on Saturday. I might be keeping the purple one that is tossed over the loom. I'm liking it very much and I have yet to keep one of these silk scarves for my self. I am also approaching the end of this particular stash of silk and will have to find a new place to get some more because the people that I bought this from went out of business. Sigh.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Can some one tell me why, if I am so sleep deprived, that I find myself awake at midnight? I was a good girl tonight and went to bed early. About 10. I slept for about an hour and then I was awake. Lying there. Just awake. But tired. But not tired enough to actually get to sleep. After an hour or so of non productive awakeness, I decide to get some work done. Work of choice? Warping my loom. Thankfully, I had a warp ready to go on. All of the thinking and dyeing was done. I don't think that I am much good for thinking right now.

And I have made some more progress on my handspun. At this rate,, I may be ready to start plying over Christmas vacation.

In any case, I'm off to bed. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

More yarn

I'm having fun with the mixing of the colours. I'm liking these ones better than my earlier skeins too.
Also, the first toned down scarf is off the loom as are the three green ones. With some fringing and washing left to do. Weft is dyed for the purple warp and a new white/cream warp of mixed yarns is made up and very lovely , if I do say so myself. I am about ready to fall down. But in the mean time, I'm going to spin a few yards more on my new drop spindle! Wahhhooooo!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Look! Yarn!

I took my new spindle for a little whirl today and look! Yarn! It is so pretty and spins well. The new spindle is very nice. It has a good weight and is well balanced. Bill was looking at the book last night and he said that he likes the way that it is written and he is going to learn how to spin too! I can't see him having any time until next summer, but he can have fun watching me spin away.

In the mean time, here is another new scarf. I am feeling a bit overloaded with all of the colours and have decided to weave a couple of toned down scarves. Here is the first. This is an 8 harness pattern that I am able to weave because of a vacant loom at school. I'm loving the 8 harness. I want.

Here is a couple of new green scarves that have just come off my home loom. They still need to be fringed and washed. There is one more to weave and then the purple warp goes on. I just have to dye some purple weft.

And in the morning, I say good bye to Ferdinand Magellan. We had a good time while he was in port at Freddy Beach. We visited a few of the sights and he even helped out at the weaving studio. He's shipping out tomorrow to his next port of call somewhere in the USA. Keep your eyes peeled and he may find his way to your door.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

It's Here!

Yesterday, I opened the door to let the kids out to go to school, and found the long awaited for Yarn Aboard box!

I was really excited and automatically grabbed for it like a kid at Christmas. Then I paused. The babe still wasn't ready for play school, Bill needed to be driven to work or he would be late, I still had a few more things to do to get myself ready for work. I decided that I would enjoy opening The Box much more if I waited and was able to savour the things that came out. So I took a deep breath and stepped away to do the frantic morning thing and went to work. The Box was never far from my mind.
When I arrived home, there was supper to make and kids to talk to and Bill had the camera at work, so I had to wait for that too, but I did take a better look and what I thought was my pal's enthuastic wrapping job, was really a Canada Post plastic bag in which they wrap damaged parcels. On the out side of the bag, an appoligy. How Canadian.

Damage report, not to bad. No holes or rips, just some slight crushing. Magellan's vessel is still sea worthy.

And what did that wonderful explorer bring me? First to catch my eye is some beautiful Blue Faced Leicester in purples and blues dyed by Snake River Fiberworks, a friend of Margene's in Idaho. Next was a beautiful drop spindle from Greensleaves Spindles in Utah. And then, I have to admit, the chocolate bars. I had to beat the kids away from those babies! One was shared around, but the other is all mine! There is also a book called Spinning in the Old Way which looks full of tricks and tips. I have taken a quick glance inside and have already learned something! There is also some ginger tangerine tea which is wonderful! I'm on a ginger tea kick right now and this is a welcome addition. And something new to me! Cedar & Sage tea tree and mint cuticle bar. It is heaven on my hands! lastly a note pad and some post-it page markers for my new book. Thanks Margene for a wonderful package!

Let's get a close up of that spindle and roving. I might actually have a few moments to give it a whirl (pun intended) later on today.

I have to say that this is the hardest post that I have ever had to write! Not because of the content, but because of the technology! Our home internet connection keeps timing out at inappropriate moments. When it is on it is slowslowslow. Then Blogger wouldn't let me up load pictures. Then my browser quit on me and took my post that was 75% finished. But all is good now! And Ferdinand Magellan will set sail on Tuesday for his next port of call. He'd go out tomorrow, but the government takes a holiday for Remembrance Day and all of the post offices will be closed.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


New shawl
Next warp
New felted purse
Two chenille scarves
Another new shawl

And still no word on my fantastic fiber bundle that is coming my way. With my luck, some spinning customs officer is fondling my fibre, wondering if she will let it across the border or not.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

It's Been A Long Week

Why? you may ask? Because last Saturday, my Yarn Aboard Swap pal sent me notification that there was a package in the mail for me! How exciting! And every day I have been waiting for the postman to ring or drop one of those little cards in the mail box that says that I have a package waiting for me. And so far, nothing.
I have been weaving though. I cut off two more chenille scarves and another merino shawl. Today I am going to fringe them at market. This afternoon is my second dyeing workshop. Which reminds me that I still haven't gotten the pictures of the last workshop from Karen.
But I must scoot so that I can get to the Farmers Market before going to the Artist Market.
Happy Saturday.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Life in my house for the next week

I used to try and regulate the candy. The good old "only three treats a day" thing. Silly. Not to mention I quickly got tired of the nagging. And it went on FOREVER! So now, it's "eat 'em if you got 'em" and no nagging, and everything is gone in less than a week. Except for Mira. She will hoard, and nibble, and drive those boys crazy by having lots left after theirs are all gone. Last year she lasted until the Christmas treats started coming.
And speaking of Christmas, I know that those of you south of the border have your Thanksgiving yet to look forward to, but having already eaten that turkey, we Canadians have nothing between us and Christmas to buffer us from the advertising that is going to start assaulting us as of today. I just hope that some places can hold off on the Christmas music for a month at least.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Can someone tell me why

The tree planting guys in this town insist on planting trees right under power lines?

This is actually two trees. Look for the trunks.

This is what we refer to as a "slingshot" tree. How embarrassed must this tree feel?
I understand that there is little room to play with on residential streets, about 8 to 10 feet, but if you stand next to a tree and look up, the power lines are right there. There is a bit of wiggle room to be had. The thing that really gets me is that even down on the Green, the trees are planted under the power lines. For those of you who are unfamiliar with my stomping grounds, The Green is a strip of green space in downtown Fredericton that runs along the Saint John river. The narrowest section of this area is about 20-25 feet. The widest must be somewhere around 150-175 feet. And still. There are the trees. You guessed it. Under power lines. DUHHH! Wind blows, trees bend, branches break, power lines snap. Sigh.

On the fibre front, I made two warps yesterday, dyed two, and dyed 5 skeins of yarn for the table. Pictures to follow. And I am patiently awaiting a very special box filled with fibery goodness! O.K. Now that I know that it is on its way, maybe I'm not so patient. My drop spindle is all cleaned off and ready to go!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A few more things...

off the loom

Three chenille scarves. They seemed sort of popular last year, so I've done up three warps and have finished one and a half. Actually more than that. I have been having a hard time finding the time to weave (she says blogging, but the kids are still asleep and banging on my loom might wake them up, so right now doesn't count) so yesterday, I brought my loom to market. Have I told you lately how much I love my loom? I love my loom. It is a good size and easily transportable. I managed to weave a scarf and a half yesterday, as well as demonstrate to many folks who came through. Educate them a little bit as to why my scarves are priced the way that they are. Which , I've been told is too low. Pricing is a funny dance. Shifting between what a product is worth, and what the market will bear. As I have often said, if I was selling in Toronto or New York, my prices would be higher. But I'm not.

I love my loom. However, I cannot weave anything wider than 17 inches. Luckily, I now have access to other looms. Larger looms, Multi-harness looms. So now I am weaving a few shawls. The first one came off early last week. I know that this is not the greatest picture. Unfringed, unwashed, wrinkly, but at least you get the picture. I did all of the finishing over the last few days and clipped my ends at the table yesterday. The colour in the picture is a little off, though. It is really more purple than blue.
I am about half way through the second shawl that has been sett a bit tighter for a twill. The threading is a rose path, which, when treadled in a reversing twill gives tiny diamonds. Very pretty. I need to get more silk warps dyed and woven off before the end of November. Busy times ahead.
And about those greasy alpacas.... They didn't actually let me get close enough to touch them. But their coats looked like a long haired teddy bear that had been through the wash a few too many times. And the tips of the clumps had a bit of a sheen to it, as if it was greasy. So maybe they just LOOKED greasy, but were really just a bit damp because of the recent rain? Who knows. My experience with farm animals has been pretty much limited to cows. And the sleek holstein kind. No coat mystery there.
In any case, until next time...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Furry critters

Today was field trip day! The spinning class went to the Country Pumpkin, a vegetable stand about 10 km outside of Fredericton. I thought that the babe might enjoy seeing some animals and so we tagged along. It was a cold and breezy day, but those furry little guys didn't seem to mind a bit.

The gals were so happy to see these fellows. There was a lama, two alpaca, a few pygmy goats, some sheep that totally ignored us all, two donkeys, several chickens and some horses.

These two were scratching each other on their shoulders and, of course, when I got the camera out they turned away. How could I resist a shot like this?

The alpaca were much smaller than I had expected. And much greasier. I suppose that that makes them much more water proof.

This fellow was the lone lama. He was larger than I expected. He was also so funny when you offered him something to eat. Every offering was inspected with a sniff before he delicately took it out of my hand. He also had really crooked teeth. Every time I walked by him, I handed him another bit of cabbage. I take my spitting lamas seriously.

And here he is with a couple of the goats. It's been a while since I had seen a goat and I forgot how creepy their eyes are.

And I had an anonymous commenter who said that there has been no spinning on my blog. This was said because I am part of Yarn Aboard and signed up for the spinning swap. There is a good reason for the lack of spinning content, and that is my lack of time right now, and my low level of spinning ability. Our studio head just came back from a weekend spinning retreat, and it was all that I could do not to hide in her suitcase. She had a great time and said that next year it is happening on PEI. I am definitely signing up for that one! I will hopefully be more organized next year at this time. Stop laughing! It's possible. Highly unlikely, but possible. In any case, it is one that I will aim for. And I didn't even mention the goodies that she brought back. Oh, my.
As for the low ability of my spinning, I have made arrangements with the spinning teacher for a few private lessons, but that is not until life has settled into a dull roar for both of us. Read: After Christmas. Two months until Boxing Day people! 9 more markets for me, and 7 weeks of classes. The kids are in school until Dec. 22 and don't go back until January 8 so we will have a couple of relaxing weeks after the big day.
So my anonymous swap buddy, you will see spinning, it might just be a little bit on my drop spindle to satisfy the urge that I know I will have when a BOX ARRIVES ON MY DOOR IN A FEW DAYS!!!!!!
I'm so excited! It's like Christmas two months early! I can hardly wait!