Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mamoo's Yarn

Mamoo is what we call my mother. To make a long story short, my niece couldn't say "memere", and everyone else called my mother "mom" and in her mind, it came together as Mamoo. Seeing as my dad is a dairy farmer, we all thought that the name fit.

Ma-moo. Get it?

I decided that I wanted to spin her some yarn so that she could knit a pair of mitts or gloves or a hat or whatever she decided.

So I chose to blend some fibers that I had. Black superwash merino is the base of the fibers. I also had some purple alpaca, and a bit of green and blue merino. When blending fibers, I usually weigh everything so that I know the fiber content percentages. Not this time. Oops. I'm guessing that the superwash is about 60-65% with 30-35% alpaca, and a small amount, less than 5%, merino. I kept blending and adding until I had a colour combination that I liked.

Which was then spun into a relatively fine singles (sorry, no WPI)
And plied into yarn. I finished it on Christmas eve and had to set the twist. In most houses it would be no problem to dry a skein of yarn overnight in the winter. Some people even have to run a humidifier in the winter. Not here. We are horribly humid. Partially because of poor insulation. Partially because we cook a lot and have many house plants. And partially because there are 6 of us living in a relatively small place.
In any case, even though the skein was wrung out as much as possible, rolled in a towel and stomped on, and sat in front of the dehumidifier for about 10 hours, it was still a little damp when I wrapped it up before heading out to my parents on Christmas day.
It is 270 yards (I think I forgot to tell you that, Mamoo)
Mamoo, I hope you have fun knitting with handspun!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

From the Archives

of what I wove.

100% silk
Walls of Troy pattern
16 EPI
15 PPI
Hand dyed

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

How ever you celebrate this time of year, may you have a wonderful time.

My tree this year came complete with a small girl under it. May yours have wonders as well.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Post Cards from the Selv-edge

The December edition, part one.
Earlier this month I had two post cards handed to me. These have been handed around Fredericton as well as being shipped across the country and somewhere along the way, one was delayed and had begun traveling with a companion.
One of the other participants and I did an count and realized that one postcard has been lost altogether. We are trying to figure out who last had it. I guess that that is one of the problems with shipping things across the country. Things sometimes get lost. Like the Christmas parcel that I sent to my sister in England one year. It never arrived. Sending maple butter through the mail is always a risky prospect. One never knows who may snag it out of the postal stream for some personal enjoyment.

But I digress.....

This one was started by one of the Fashion instructors. It has a definite "pattern" feeling to it.
Here is the after shot. I took a few layers of pattern paper from an old dress pattern that I had (but never made) and sandwiched them between the main postcard (which was sheer) and some red printed organza. I then folded up the edges from the organza back and top-stitched the "frame"

Here you can see the window from which the lady is peeking. The letters behind her are from the pattern bodice piece.

And here is the back. The "message" for this one is simply the pattern preparation instruction. I had considered enclosing some sort of message, but in the end decided against it. I couldn't decide exactly what to say.

I still haven't decided what to do with the other one.

The next one to come back to me should be mine! It will be very interesting to see how it has been transformed.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Snow storm! Blizzard warning!
So I go to look out the back door and this is the sight that greets me.

The street with the lights is one of the main streets in the city. Barely cleared. The problem is that the snow is very light and fluffy, and the wind is very strong, so once the plows go by the wind move the snow right back into the void left behind.

Here's the driveway. Hmm. Shoveling fun!
Snow. Snow. Snow. And our street that hasn't yet been plowed. And probably won't be plowed for a while.

The back yard. And on the right of the photo, the other side of the back door. Covered in snow.

And I just realized that this is post 501 for one thread two thread! I feel like I should give something away.

Any one want some snow?

Friday, December 19, 2008


The past few days have been all about endings. I'm feeling that this is rather fitting seeing as it is the end of the year.
Yesterday was my last day of work for 2008. Today, the last day of school for the kids (again for the year 2008). And tomorrow will be my last day at my little market. I am happy to have two weeks off from schedules, and lunches, and homework. I will also be happy to see the end of getting up early on Saturday morning and slogging all of my stuff to sit for 5 hours and have very little chance of selling anything. It gets rather tiring after a while.
In 2009, I plan to do more spinning and dyeing and maybe even try and weave an art piece or two that have been bumping around in my mind for the past 3 or 4 years.
So many ideas, so little time.
I am also going to try and take a few pictures tomorrow and finally share with you all (you few but loyal followers) what I have been up to for the past few months.

And for no other reason than "just 'cause", here is a recipe for hungry cake. It is from one of Bill's mother's cookbooks that I explored while we were alone at the lake this summer. And by alone I mean just the 6 of us. I love how it is just a list of ingredients and the barest instruction. No time, no temperature, no pan size. I guess that there were made back in the good old days when people knew that you cooked cakes at a certain temperature for a certain time. Me? I'll go look up the temp and time in the Joy when I decide to make hungry cake.

And under miscellaneous......throat gargle? Apparently so. And it was submitted my Bill's paternal Grandmother.
And where would one find "resin"? I keep thinking that it is the by product of a tree.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's been a while

Life has been rather busy for me as of late and many areas in my life have suffered from neglect. House cleaning is definitely one as is the blog. I have been making, working, taking classes, as well as trying to keep up with the day to day stuff like laundry, dishes, meal preparations, grocery shopping....well, you get the picture. This time of year is always hectic, and this year has been the worst in as long as I can remember. I have been weaving quite a bit and a lot of what I produced this year has left the house and my hands without having the proper documentation. Yup. That means no pictures. Lighting is always an issue for me and pictures are either right colour but blurry, or in focus and washed out. The scarf below is a good case in point. It was a commission from a friend whose husband liked my work, but wanted something darker. It is actually a midnight blue.
I hope to have something figured out in the new year so that I can actually start taking some half decent pictures. It is starting to become more and more important. I have decided that I am finished with my weekly market and while I am still going to sign up for three (or four) craft shows next year, I would also like to start to have a outlet online to start selling. Bad time to start talking about a new venture, but Etsy seems like it is a pretty inexpensive place to begin.

And while I haven't been taking many pictures, someone has been using my camera. It has a panoramic setting and the only thing that I recognise is Liam's bed and the Lego containers under it. What is happening in the first two thirds is anybodies guess.

And I have officially finished producing for the year. The tree that normally sits where the Christmas tree is, is where my loom normally sits and my loom is folded up and jammed in behind it.
Last year, Mamoo bought a second artificial tree in the after Christmas sale season, thinking that she would like to set one up in the sun room (I think). This year she decided that she wouldn't bother and offered it to me. The kids put up a fuss about wanting a real tree and I put up a fuss about finding fir needles in strange places all the way into the summer. And since I like to think that I live in a Momocracy, I over ruled everyone and accepted the tree. It was so quick and easy to put up. It even came with lights on it! Whoever decided to string up the trees with lights before selling them was a genius! It took about 4 minutes to set up the tree (after spending 4 hours getting the living room ready) and then I walked away and the kids took over.

I think they did a pretty good job. Now if I could just convince them to not put themselves under the tree.....