Sunday, 7 February 2016

What's in the dye pot?

This week I have been trying some new dye techniques, and can't wait to start knitting to see how the yarn turned out. I made my skeins extra large, then dyed 2/3 of them royal blue, and then with a squirt bottle, applied colours to the white portion, leaving some white in between. In the skein I used red, yellow and blue, and in the cake I used purple and lime green.
I love how the colours have blended.

I also have a new colourway in my sock yarn, called Opals. Do you see why?

I have a few knitting projects on the go. The first is a cowl called Summer Cowgirl, free on Ravelry. You knit the cowl to this point, block, then join together and cast on stitches at the top edge, and knit for the neck portion.
This is being knit out of a skein of my Maryanne's Bliss, merino wool,
cashmere and nylon.

The next shawl is not yet blocked, so will be almost twice the size when finished. It was knit out of Maryanne's Sparkle, in a failed dyepot. This pattern is called Pretty Basic, another free pattern on Ravelry.
And it is very easy - garter and yarn overs.

And did you ever wonder what to do with those sock yarn leftovers? Here are a couple of projects. The first is Greemy Baby Booties, free pattern on Ravelry. They took 12 grams of yarn. They are my Seattle Seahawks colourway.

Next is a really cute cardigan, which took 70 grams of leftover yarn. It is also a free pattern on Ravelry called Linnie.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

This week and what's in my stash.

Another busy week - got 2 large orders off to Wet Coast Wools in Vancouver and Kelowna Yarn. Took a road trip to Kelowna to pick up citric acid and deliver the yarns.

They have a cute pair of sheep outside at Kelowna Yarn. There used to be 3, but someone decided they needed one for themselves!

I decided to get into my spinning stash - this is what I am working on right now. I found a bagful of gorgeous kid mohair locks that I had dyed and
just lightly picked.

And this is the first skein I made. I spun the locks and then plied with a thread. The texture and feel are amazing.

So I dug into the stash to see what I need to do. Here are a few discoveries.
 A couple of hundred grams of Bluefaced Leicester and silk.

More silk hankies.
 Some dyed Border Leicester, loosely picked, will spin straight out of the locks.

Some more Border Leicester, loosely picked. Are you getting a feel of my favourite colours?

Also finished a pair of socks for my husband, in Seattle Seahawks colourway sock yarn that I dyed.

Will keep you posted on the stash busting.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

My lucky purchase

A friend of mine told me of an electric skein winder for sale that she saw on a Yahoo group. My friend had purchased from this person before, so recommended her. This is what she sold me -
at about $600 less than buying new!

Oh my - what a time saver! I am in heaven!

What's on my wheel right now?

I have been spinning some of my hand dyed Bluefaced Leicester pencil rovings - and found out that plying after a couple of glasses of wine certainly changes the picture! I have different weights of yarn, some will be used for a cozy cowl, some for a hat. But the bobbins are almost a lace weight that I will ply, and have chosen two patterns. Any suggestions?

And I have finally figured out how to dye a self striping yarn! Even though the Seattle Seahawks didn't win this year, their uniforms are great! Making a pair of socks for my husband, who has discovered how soft and cushy hand knit socks knit out of merino/nylon can be.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Some of my work this week

This week is "getting back into the groove" week. I finally got my supply of yarn for dyeing (ordered beginning of September) and can start preparing for my orders. Who says you need a turkey roaster to roast a turkey?

I have two of these on the go. I found that the citric acid eventually ate through the insert, so I now buy disposable foil inserts (which eventually get pinholes from the acid also). It has not changed the way my yarns dye.

I finished another pair of socks - these were a failed attempt at a self striping sock blank in Vancouver Canucks colours.
In case you are wondering where I got the cute sock blockers, they are available on Etsy, look up BurningImpressions2. Megan Tilitzky lives in 150 Mile House, British Columbia.

Completed another long lost colourway in Maryanne's Socks - this one goes great with denim.

And this is what I have been doing with my leftover yarn after socks are made.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

My Goal for 2016 is -----

Well, it has been quite a while since I wrote a blog, and my goal for this year is to faithfully post one a week. A lot has happened since my last entry
(April 2015) so here goes.

First of all, happy new year to you all. My husband and I celebrated at Tulalip Resort with a bus tour from Kamloops.

Since April, I attended several fibre events, with the largest and busiest being Knit City in Vancouver. This was the 4th year of this event and it gets better every year. I have already booked my space for October 2016.

I have been having a great deal of fun with my yarn dyeing, and I have chosen to dye only 3 bases - merino/nylon superwash fingering (great sock yarn), merino/Stellina superwash fingering (a sparkly yarn, great for shawls) and merino/cashmere/nylon fingering - super soft and luxurious.
Here are a few of my colourways:

The sparkly yarn is called "Maryanne's Sparkle"

And I designed my first pattern "Maryanne's Shawlette" which I give away with the purchase of the yarn.

Last but not least, is "Maryanne's Bliss", the merino/cashmere blend. I have dyed several skeins in a gradient fashion and here is a shawl I made
showing the effect.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Spring in Desert Mesa Spinning Retreat, April 2015

The annual spring retreat held in Cache Creek - Desert Mesa Spinning Retreat. Always a smaller crowd in the spring, but no lack of enthusiasm - 
and infectious laughter.
Gudie has been given "Flat Stanley" to tour British Columbia with her, on behalf of a young friend who is doing a school project. Only as Gudie can do!

 Some shawls at the Show and Tell made from yarn spun from fibres that I dyed. Sheila is modelling a shawl made from my Whoosh colourway.

This shawl is made from a merino wool and silk blend that I dyed in yellows, knit by Trixie.

This shawl was a combination - Isabel started with yarn made from my Creamsicle colourway, then searched her stash for more that would go together. Great job!

Some of Gudie's novelty yarns.
 A lovely fall scene made by Sharon, the river is felted wool, 
with real leaves applied.
 There was a lengthy discussion, as we carefully examined the very old piece of bobbin lace that Melody inherited.

 And of course, it would only be Karen who could find fibre to spin that would exactly match the shoes that she was wearing. It is my "Rainbow" colourway.

Bringing LOTS of fibre to inspire you all in October. See you then!

Where have I been?

March and April have been incredibly busy this year - starting with the Kamloops Spin-In on March 7. This is our 3rd year for having spinners get together, and once again, we had prime weather and a fabulous time.
 The cake tasted as good as it looked!

 Guess whose booth space?
 It's always good food when someone else makes it - 
and this carrot-pear bisque with Wicked Chicken and Coleslaw wraps was great!

Virginia Jalava from Barriere modelling her 
very cute hand painted spinning apron.

Just a sampling of another wonderful show and tell. Always something to learn.
The next weekend was the annual Fibres West weekend in Cloverdale - a feast for all those interested in the fibre arts.

 Here I am in my booth - all ready for customers and there were many.

 Some examples of exquisite lace work done by the Lace Makers Guild of Vancouver. The body on the left scared me to death every time I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye.

 Judith Gibbery with her class of learners. We will see her in Kamloops in October.

 A beautiful vest of nuno felting - the picture doesn't do it justice.

Next weekend, we are in Vernon with the Kalamalka Spinners and Weavers. This year we were at the Paddlewheeler's Hall on Okanagan Lake. Unfortunately it was rainy but that didn't take away from the beautiful venue.

 My booth set up right beside the goodie table - how convenient!

A new event for me - invited to a spinning retreat by the Desert Sage Spinners and Weavers in the south Okanagan. This venue was the Walnut Beach Resort in Osoyoos - can hardly wait until next year. What a beautiful location - great company - and great service by all the staff.

Beautiful rooms, heated outdoor pool, hot tubs, beach, and lots of walking trails.

After sitting at the wheels for a while, the muscles need to stretch out - 
let's ZUMBA!

Some of the other vendors were Barbara Robinson (Luscious Luxury) with her beautiful hand dyed silk and Jen Allgeier of Cattails Farm Fibre with her home grown and dyed mohair. We also had alpaca, soap, yarns and fleece for sale.

Hard at work

Donna Arneson demonstrating how to use a blending board.

A cute door decoration made by the host group, 
placed on the each door that participants were staying in.
 Each evening at 5 o'clock, there was a Happy Hour in the suite that Barb Levant was staying in. Lots of wine, crackers, cheese and dips for appies before dinner. A great get together!


After Easter, it's off to the spring Desert Mesa Spinning Retreat in Cache Creek.