Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Approaching Human

And by that I mean that I am starting to feel better. I think that I did to much to soon and my body told me to slow down.

I started to feel a little better on Sunday and thought that I was out of the woods. So I went to an artist talk. Monday I had a mini-workshop to teach to the third years and so went into work. This was probably a mistake. I was so tired when I got home and I started to get the chills again. Yesterday was spent in bed again trying to get warm. I hate the chills.

Today I am feeling slightly better but still very tired. Thankfully schools were cancelled today, including mine, so I get to stay home and try to get better.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Has it been that long?

I just realized that it has been a few days since I posted last. A couple of busy days at work, followed by busy nights at home and then being hit with the flu Friday after I got home has kept me away from the computer except to check my e-mail occasionally.
Yesterday was spent alternating between shivering and sweating and it has been three nights since I had a half decent sleep. Only half decent because I haven't had a really good night sleep in years.

Seeing as I haven't really got anything right now ( I do have some new yarns for scarves, but I have to down load them and touch them up and I really just want to go lie down again) I am going to send you somewhere else.
My sister just started a blog about her travels around the world. Stop by for a visit.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tumeric 2 or Strange Child

Mira just came in and asked "If someone took a bath in tumeric water would they turn yellow?"

And after having dyed my hands a slight yellow yesterday while rinsing everything, I knew the answer.


She was very excited by this bit if information and decided that someone doing such a thing "could play a carrot. They could dye their hair green and have it sticking up! They would make a great carrot!"

Haloween is only eight and a half months away!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Post Cards from the Selv-edge

I have had my first "post card" for almost a month now and tomorrow is the day that I am suppose to pass it along. When I first picked it up, I was astonished by how much responsibility I felt being the first one to alter this cloth. It is a white jacquard fabric that Ellen stitched to a piece of muslin using the natural floral pattern as a guide.

I had many ideas of "I could..." but none of them seemed quite right. This went on for almost three weeks. I would take it out in a quiet moment and contemplate. I would think up a couple of more possibilities, revisit a couple of my old ideas, and then I would put it away.

And then one night, I had a break through. We had a curry dinner. I don't know if you have ever made a curry dinner before, but there are a lot of dishes to clean up afterwards. A lot. And my nice new very white dishcloth came out of the experience a lovely soft yellow.

I suddenly knew my problem with this piece of fabric. If any of you (and I am sure that most of you have) have ever sat in front of a blank white paper looking for that first word of that first sentence, or in front of that white canvas wondering where to put that first stroke, (and what colour should it be?) then you know my dilemma. It was just too bloody WHITE!

So I dyed it. With the ingredient that had made my dishcloth coloured.

Tumeric. I did a little research and after boiling the tumeric in a lot of water for 15 minutes, I put in the fabric and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. I am amazed at the colour concentration. I put about 3 tablespoons of tumeric in my pot. There was so much colour left in the pot that I decided to dye some fleece. The colour came out very bright, but it was hard to rinse out all of the excess tumeric from the fleece without felting it so I won't be doing that again.

You can see the pattern much better now because the fabric was made up of two different materials and different types of fibres take dyes differently. There are a couple of hot spots that I am not to pleased about, but I tried dyeing it again in a new dye bath and it didn't help much.

And while I had dye stuff left in the pot I decided to do a little more experimentation. These are two skeins of cotton that I had kicking around. Normally dyeing cottons requires Fiber Reactive dyes and there is so much rinsing involved and so much dyes wash down the drain that I don't like using them. No problem with tumeric. The skein on the right was in the dye bath for about 30 minutes. And the one on the left was in for about 2 minutes.

Cool eh? It it smelled great too. If you like the smell of tumeric, that is.

Monday, February 18, 2008

the things they say

Bill and I are in the kitchen and Nicole comes in being her ususal cute self.

Bill : Oh! What a treasure! Are you a treasure?

Nicole: No!

Me: Oh yes you are!

Nicole: No I'm not. I'm made of bones!

I guess that she is a bunch of treasured bones.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It looks like WHAT?

Mira went to the grocery store again. And this time came home with a passion fruit. Bill loves them and had raved about them, and at $1.49 each, they seemed like a bargain after the Dragon Fruit experiment.

They are roughly the size of a baseball, only oblong instead of round and kind of soft but with a leathery texture. Apparently, you can tell when they are ripe by how wrinkly the skin is.

So Mira cut one open and her description of the interrior of a passion fruit?

"Hmmm. It looks like a leathery bag of frog spawn"

Well, I could only agree.

She loved the taste though, and came home with a few more the next day.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

no name yarn

Here is my latest skein. Still in it's unwashed state, this started out as something completly different from the colours seen here. It was an experiment from some of the dyeing that I have been doing for work. Every now and then, experiments fail and I end up with something butt ugly. When this happens with fleece, I fill a pot with water, add my acid, add some dye that goes by the name of "evergreen" and let the magic happen. I have yet to be disappointed with the way that the final yarn turns out. Sometimes when this happens, it goes into the "not reproducable" pile and gets marketed as a "true one of a kind".

Here are the stats....

My own dyed merino
spun on a Louet
60 yards
250 g 0r 8+ ounces
2 ply

Thursday, February 14, 2008

New Yarn

Here is my plied Shetland. This is in the Fortune's Rock colour way. It turned out much different than the last batch that I dyed in this colour because the fleece was grey instead of white. Lots of brown and orange and next to no purple in the finished yarn.

I have been spinning the past few evenings and so I will be back soon with more yarn. I have been enjoying a break from weaving but need to start up producing for sale again.

Dragon Fruit

Mira has been facinated by the look of dragon fruit for quite some time. The other day, Bill went to the grocery store and Mira gave him some money (and a drawing) with instructions to pick one up for her. He came back with a nice looking one, but we were all shcocked at the price. $7.70.
In any case, she cut it open and while we didn't quite know what to expect, we certainly didn't expect this!

It had a very lovely but very subtle flavour and I am in love with the colour combination! She saved some seeds in hope of growing one, but after doing some research and finding out that the plant that the dragon fruit comes from is a cactus and a rather large one at that, I think her propagation dreams have been put on hold. Thankfully.

Snow Day. The Valentine's Edition.

As suspected, schools are closed today, roads are in horrible condition, both UNB and the Craft College are closed until noon. I won't be going in this afternoon because I don't want my mom (the babysitter) to have to drive on slippery roads.

Here is a shot of yesterday that I took on the way home.
This mornings offering of the house across the street.
Streets and the driveway that are icy. The city crews are concentrating on the roads and the sidewalks on the main streets. Which means that our sidewalk will probably not be plowed for a couple of days. I am NOT looking forward to walking on them.

And yesterday after I got home from work, Liam and I set off for the grocery store to pick up a few things for supper tonight. I was short a few esential items for Scandinavian Chicken Salad. that is going to be our supper tonight and the forcast was for rain yesterday evening. I didn't want to be out in it.
Liam (not surprisingly) said that he wanted a treat, and I agreed on the condition that he act as my pack mule and carry the groceries home. He readily agreed. We ended up in the junk food isle and he chose a sugary drink. He only complained a little bit on the way home.
I can harldy wait for supper time!

Update: the link to the recipe is fixed. Thanks to Bill for pointing it out to me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Rain, freezing rain, ice pellets, and snow

20 cm of snow followed by an indeterminate amount of ice pellets and freezing rain turning into 25 mm of rain? Hello! Some consistency here would be nice.

How much do you want to bet that I am NOT going into work tomorrow? Thursday is my dyeing day. I look forward to it every week. I get to spend all day in the dye kitchen playing. Sigh. What's not to love?

Look! A picture!

My first finished knitting project for 2008. Actually the first thing that I finished with the exception of spinning yarn. It is Noro Silk Garden and knit with the Noro hat pattern with an added 3/3 rib. So simple. So quick. So little yarn left.

And I just did something that I thought that I wouldn't do. I just signed up for Ravelry. I saw a hat on Rhonda's blog and I MUST KNIT IT! I can see it in some fat handspun. We won't talk about my UFO's, okay?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It's all so pretty......

but I think that I have had enough.

We have had two more storms since the last one that I complained about and another one on the way tomorrow.

And instead my usual shot of more snow falling outside my door, here are a few of some of the trees on my way to work at the end of last week.

I love the no parking sign in the middle picture. It seems a bit obvious to me.

Keep warm and safe.

Oh, yeah. For all of you who are feeling a little envy at all the pretty white stuff that we in the great frozen north are experiencing, come on up and shovel my steps and drive way. It's beginning to get a little stale for me. I'll make you a great dinner for your pains.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

C is for...

C is for many things in my life. Cats and cows, Christmas and Christine (my sister), colour and coffee to name just a few. But for me, right now, C is for Charlotte. She is my friend who died back in October last year. Her memorial service was just a couple of weeks ago and it was a beautiful service in which many of her friends and family stood and told stories and anecdotes from her life.

And hanging at the edge of the stage, bearing silent witness to all that people had to say, was a tapestry that Charlotte had created a number of years ago.

She was an avid outdoor enthuasist. Her garden was a thing of beauty and she spent many happy hours there in the summer. Her and her husband John would go for long canoe trips and spent a lot of time at their summer cottage. More than once I heard her joke about going to the cottage for Canada Day so that they could enjoy "scotch on the rocks". Apparently there were quite a few rocks in their lake and canoeing out to one with a bottle of scotch was a tradition that they enjoyed upholding.

John told us the the tapestry was based on a photograph that she took on one of those canoe trips. She was intrigued byt he way that the sunset was reflecting off of the water. Her use of colour and texture was amazing.

She taught a tapestry course at the Craft College a number of years ago that I wish that I could have taken, but at the time I was fully immersed in three small children and Bill was working more than full time hours. I though that I was going to have another chance. Sometime you never get a second chance.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Blah blah blah blah.

Blah blah blah blah blah blah.

I think that I have the February blahs.


Spring better get here soon.

Monday, February 04, 2008

You Make My Day

Thanks to Valerie for nominating me for the You Make My Day award.
According to the rules, it is now our duty to do the following: "Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times."

So as hard as it is to chose, and in no particular order, here we go.
Hobbits Abroad
Spin Weave Knit and Cake
Canadian Crafter
A Simple Yarn
Snail Spirals
Two Wooden Sticks and a Ball of Wool
Leigh's Fiber Journal
Woven Thoughts
Spin Me a Tale, Weave Me a Novel, Knit Me a Story
Cabin Cove (Dave, can I link to you now?)

Happy reading!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I swore I wouldn't do this...

When I started knitting again, I used to laugh at those people that would start a project and not get around to finishing it. I swore that I would never become one of those people. I found out, much to my embarassment, that all you need to do to become one of those was to buy more needles.

It started out innocently enough. Someone mentioned somewhere that a good way to avoid Second Sock Syndrome was to get a second set of needles and work on both socks at the same time. "Sound advice" I thought and found my way to my LYS and picked up a second set of your typical steel needles. Little did I know that that one small purchase would start me down the slippery slope of having many WIP's in my house.

So let me introduce you to my newest wip. This is a hat in Noro Silk Garden. I won this yarn in a contest last year, and while I loved it, it didn't really scream out a particular project. On Thursday, Whitefeather, the first year weaving/knitting teacher, had her students start on knitting in the round. She asked me to photocopy a Noro hat instruction sheet. I made one extra copy and started after supper. I am about halfway through the hat brim. I love it!
Next up is an ill-fated sock. I read the pattern wrong and cast on too many stitches. So I ended up frogging it back and cast on again at my weaving group meeting. It is Briggs and Little and dyed by me. They are a fast knit, if I can get myself to knit on them.

Then we have my mittens that only need thumbs. Two little thumbs. That's all. Soon, I promise, soon.

And then there is the LACE shawl. I haven't fallen out of love with it, but I am having a hard time getting back into it. I set this baby aside about October when life got a bit busy with weaving for Christmas market and still haven't managed to knit a stitch since. But seeing as I have a 5 year deadline on this, I am not going to beat myself up.

And just so you won't think that I never finish anything, I did finish plying my merino silk blend. I had plied the first half of the bobbin quite tightly and when I came back later in the week, we watched a movie and had a glass or two of wine, and I wasn't paying too much attention to how much twist I was putting into the yarn and when I got to the end, I realized that I had plied way too loose. This is a beautiful yarn and I wasn't going to let my stupidity let it be anything less than it should be, so, with Mira's help, I unplied and wound two balls to get back to the place where the twist was right. There was a lot of sighing and a few well placed curses at myself. And now I am happy to present the finished skein.

She is a beauty!

And once again, sorry for spelling mistakes. Blogger is being stubborn!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Stitch Markers

I was fortunate enough to have just taken part in The Stitch Marker Exchange. This is a nice little swap with beautiful results. It is hosted by Kena and you get to chose how many partners you want to swap with. I chose three.

And here are the markers that I got from my swap partners.
These are from Catherine who is blogless. Aren't they lovely!

These are from Michelle. She even included a row counter!

And these are from Angie. I am tempted to make two of them into earrings!

I am blown away by how beautiful and how different they are. The markers that I sent out were nice, but the ones that I recieved are stunning. Kena is going to have sign ups for the spring session soon so if you are interested keep an eye on The Stitch Marker Exchange!

And I will appoligise for any spelling mistakes that you may find lurking. Blogger doesn't seem to want to check my spelling.