Sunday, 25 May 2014

Williams Lake Spin-in, May 3, 2014

I was invited to be a vendor at the annual spin-in hosted by the Williams Lake spinners. My favourite travel buddy, Sheila Grant, tagged along with me once again. So off we went with a van full of goodies for sale.
Overnighted at the Best Western in Williams Lake and the very helpful front desk lady directed us to the nearby Wal-Mart - we both needed bathing suits - the fastest bathing suit shopping I have ever done!! Back to the motel, to pick our roommate Donna Faulkes and head next door for dinner at the Laughing Loon Pub and then a hot tub soak.

I decided to try braised pork belly for the first time, and it might not be the last. Looking around the pub, it started to look familiar. No wonder - one of our favourite reality shows is "Timber Kings" on HGTV, a show about log home building company Pioneer Log Homes based in Williams Lake, and one of the episodes featured the owner of this pub negotiating a contract to build this beautiful addition to his restaurant.

Next morning, we could not believe our eyes. 
And it snowed like this all day long.
The Kamloops contingent - Terry Prehara, Sharon Philip, 
Sheila Grant and Donna Faulkes. 

 There were about 50 spinners attending - all made it even in spite of the nasty weather. What a wonderful way to spend a bad weather day with friends.

They all loved my hand dyed fibres.
 This is a cake made by Lyshia Goodhue, one of the members of the Williams Lake group. And we all enjoyed cutting it up at the end of the day and eating it!

There was a friendly competition to see who could produce the nicest handspun silk skein, won by Lesley Johnson, and also a test of our knowledge to see who could identify several different unnamed fibres. The smartest one in the group was Lori frame. But of course, the highlight of the day was the wonderful lunch that the ladies provided!

Lynne Rettberg learning how to use her newly purchased blending board.
Thanks, Williams Lake Spinners - 
make sure you invite me back next year!
First Saturday in May.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Some happenings at Desert Mesa Spinning Retreat, March 2014

This spring, we had 3 full days of nothing to do but spin, socialize and have fun. Some of us wanted to have even more fun. The 3 Evil-Doers came up with a great activity - Create the UGLIEST SWEATER COOKIE!!
And here they are - Karen Bonter, Gail Dickson, and Dotty Pon.
They brought the baked cookies and a ton of sprinkles and decorations, and made up icing bags. Then they brought us all downstairs and said GET TO IT!

 And so we did - Sheila Kirk, Heather Specken, Susan Millikan, Donna Faulkes and Sarma Leipins all hard at work.

Lots of fun and creativity - and good enough to eat!

But there was work done also - I spun a few skeins of squishy soft merino chunky yarns, perfect for hats and cowls, and toiled away spinning silk hankies, ending up with 280 yards of thread-thin 2-ply for that special lace scarf.

Next retreat is October 16-19 in Cache Creek - can hardly wait!!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Another wonderful time at Fibres West

Back to Cloverdale March 21 and 22, for the annual Fibres West event. I look forward to the next one as soon as the sale is over - it is so exciting - so many new things to see - so many new friends to meet -
and so many old friends to touch base with.

My display wasn't quite so crowded at the end of the sale
My neighbours, Danielle and Johanna, from Birkeland Brothers Wool in Abbotsford. Danielle's enthusiasm made the weekend fly by!

Margaret Fryatt from Chase, BC, with her luscious Bluefaced Leicester and Gotland fleeces


Tons of colour ideas!

Our organizer, Brenda Alexander, owner of Penelope Fibre arts from Surrey, BC.
Caroline Sommerfeld with an interesting sock display -
perfect way to show yarn samples.

Jane Stafford, weaver and teacher,  from Salt Spring Island.

Enthusiastic Kim Fenton from Gibsons, BC, owner of Unwind Knit and Fibre Lounge and Aurelia Wools

The 3 Musketeers - Marianne Iberg ( Langley, BC, Natalie Vivian (Blackcomb Fibre Farm, Kamloops, BC) and Jude Pilote (Ewesful Creations, Chilliwack, BC) at their combined booths.

Now this was neat - like a salad bar - you pick the colours and the fibre, and she cards them before your eyes into your luscious batt. ( from Alberta.
Had to take a picture of this sweater - hand knit and stunning.

And last, but not least, Vikki Robinson with her first nuno felted project - a gorgeous scarf. She is also a hobby researcher of sheep fleeces - check out her blog link - she is up to 115 different breeds. She also has a very good tutorial on how to make flowers out of silk cocoons and spin them into your yarn - beautiful!
There was so much more to see over these 2 days - you must attend next year!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

A quick drive in the country to Harmonious Homestead

Once a year, the hardworking owners open their hall to spinners for a day long get together. Here are Bob and Clare Fensom in their fabulous commercial kitchen, working on our delicious lunch, ingredients organically farm raised. And bags of freshly shorn fleece waiting to be purchased.
Part of my display - hand dyed rovings and pencil rovings.

Melissa Nasby (Soulfibre Studio) showing her felted octopus mask and below, many more examples of her incredible talent.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Top Ten Quotes About Knitting and Knit City pictures

At our recent spinning retreat (Desert Mesa Retreat, Cache Creek, BC), we were encouraged to do something with the number 10, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this retreat. I came up with a list of quotes about knitting.
One week after the retreat, I was a vendor at a fairly new event in Vancouver called Knit City.

The guest speaker on Saturday night was Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, otherwise known as The Yarn Harlot. Here is a picture of the organizers Amanda and Fiona, with Stephanie in the middle.
Because 9 out of the 10 quotes were from Stephanie's writings, I felt obligated to get her permission first before I posted this blog, which she gladly gave me. Don't miss the opportunity to hear her speak (or buy her books). She is a hoot!

So here are myTop Ten:

10.  Knitters just can't watch TV without doing something else. Knitters just can't wait in line, knitters just can't sit waiting at the doctor's office. Knitters need knitting to add a layer of interest in other, less constructive ways.”
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
9.    “ I will continue to freak out my children by knitting in public. It's good for them.”
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
8.    “SABLE- A common knitting acronym that stands for Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.”
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
7.    Advice for New Knitters When choosing a pattern, look for ones that have words such as "simple", "basic", and "easy". If you see the words "intriguing", "challenging", or "intricate", look elsewhere.  If you happen across a pattern that says "heirloom", slowly put down the pattern and back away.
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
6.    “It is important for knitters to know two things about frogging: that cats are capable of this knitting action, and even seem to enjoy it and seek opportunities to do it; and that foul language is a normal, healthy accompaniment to frogging, whether it is you or the cat that accomplished the task.”
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
5.    “A half finished shawl left on the coffee table isn't a mess; it's an object of art.”
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
4.    The twitch above my right eye will disappear with knitting practice.”
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
3.    “The best reason for a knitter to marry is that you can't teach the cat to be impressed when you finish a lace scarf.”
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
2.    “...the number one reason knitters knit is because they are so smart that they need knitting to make boring things interesting. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
1.    “Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either.”
Elizabeth Zimmermann

Finally, some pictures from the Knit City event.

My booth - it is amazing what you can get into a 5x10 foot space.
Some fibre from The Wacky Windmill from Alberta

 Batts to die for.

 Michelle Franklin from Hope with wonderful handmade garments.

Got to finally meet Facebook friend Tammy McDow with incredible hand dyed and handspun Bluefaced Leicester yarns.

Just a few of Melissa Nasby's creations (SoulFibre Studio, Salmon Arm, BC)

She liked it so much, she wasn't even going to knit it.

A customer from Fibres West, showing off a cowl she made from my yarn purchased last spring.

Oh, did I mention there was yarn for sale?
After a long weekend's work, my travel buddy Sheila Grant and I relaxed at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Gastown. A great weekend!