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.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Mawata silk hankie dyeing

I have been busy dyeing silk hankies, and getting ready for Fibres West in Cloverdale, BC, March 13-15. I thought I would show you my process.

First I separate the hankies into about 10 gram parcels, which conveniently is the way the supplier has them stacked. I fluff up the edges, as I have found if I don't, the dye won't penetrate fully.

I fold them in quarters, and stack them about 12 at a time in my plastic bin. The bin has water as hot as I can get it out of the tap, with a capful of Synthrapol or a couple of squirts of dish washing liquid, and 4 tablespoons of citric acid. I leave them to soak overnight.

The next day, I squeeze out the excess water, open up the folded hankie, and start dyeing. I have a 9x12 glass cake pan that I line with plastic wrap, and place the hankie on top. My dye is mixed - 2 cups of water, 1/4 tsp dye powder and 1 tblsp citric acid. Using a condiment squirt bottle (like the dollar store ones for mustard and ketchup), I randomly place the colours according to the whim of the moment.

The package is then rolled up like a jelly roll, squeezing out the excess water as I go, and they are placed in my canner to steam for 15 minutes. 

After steaming, and after they are cooled, I unwrap them and soak them in warm water, again with a bit of Synthrapol, to get rid of any excess dye that might not have been exhausted.

After drying, they are packaged and ready to go!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Took a mini road trip

Called up my travel buddy Sheila, to see if she wanted to accompany me on a little road trip to check out some yarn stores and deliver 2 broken swifts to my woodworking friend Julia Armstrong.

Our first stop was in Salmon Arm at Intwined Fibre Arts. What a lovely store - everything easy to find, and Althea and Sara were a pleasure to chat with.

Then back on the road again, to visit Elena Nodel in Sicamous. She is a knit wear designer and yarn dyer, with her business name for designing Anadiomena (on Ravelry and Etsy) and her yarn dye company is Colour Adventures. The double garage belongs to her dye business - and she was very welcoming and sharing. She has over 200 different colourways for her yarns! Before she started dyeing yarns, she was a painter - and this is just one series of paintings that she did.

Sheila and Elena.

And just a few pictures of Elena's busy dye studio.

I could have spent the entire day with Elena, but we had other places to go. Our next stop was into the woods between Salmon Arm and Enderby, to bring the sadly broken swifts to Julia for repair.
This is just part of Julia's woodworking tools.

Julia has this lovely old wood cook stove, 
almost ready to be used in her kitchen. 
It is a true family heirloom.
A little walk outside to check out her wood supply. The snow had avalanched off the roof and the light shone through.

Have you ever seen a neater wood pile?

And just a portion of Julia's 30 acres.

Our last stop was through the woods again, over to Highway 97, and to the cute little yarn store inside the Falkland General Store. A treasure trove for sure!

Thanks for the company once again, Sheila. 
And when I got home, there was a message from Julia. 
Both of my swifts are fixed! Maybe another mini road trip in the future?