Tuesday, September 30, 2008


i fret when the orders aren't coming in. and i fret when they are.
this year at the st. john's craft council fair, the craft council booth will focus on baby and children. because i won't be going in for that fair, it's important that i'm represented by the craft council. i've sent in alot of knitwear (hats, scarves and booties) but shannon would also like a selection of my vintage chenille goods - jumpers, overalls, bibs and pillows. brenda is driving in on friday so i'm spending this week trying to fill this order and she can drive it in for me. the pillows are great for little ones - no buttons. and the other side is made with vintage flannel so they're very cosy. they're about 12"x15" and i have bunnies, cats, birds and cod.

Monday, September 29, 2008

all together...

it's hard to draw anyone out of theirs studio this time of year, but yesterday a good crowd of us showed up at urve's for our 1st craft co-op gathering of the season. a couple of new members. lots to eat and see and talk about. i know i was feeling starved for that type of conversation. recharged and ready for a good week of production...
ps shep is urve's dog - a magestic, ridiculous pup - keeping us all well entertained.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

autumn glory

yesterday was glorious. i got out in the morning, but because i have another big sewing order for st. john's, i spent the afternoon in the studio. keith, on the other hand, went hiking with his buddy up into the blomidon mountains (just behind our cabin) and brought back this photo to show me what i missed...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

not all nicey nicey

when most people think of spinning and knitting they think of soft spoken grannies in rocking chairs in front of the fireplace. (hmmm - i think that's a pretty good description of me). but there is another group now. one with an edge. and i love that it's there. one of my first sources of yarn and fleece was from beth at whorlingtides in alabama - and my first skein of yarn i bought from her was called "sweeney tod" (you can just imagine the colours!). last week i got this roving from cloudlover9 (both have etsy shops). the names were "rotten"pumpkins" and "belledonna". irresistable...

Thursday, September 25, 2008


i was contacted yesterday by kim who edits an online magazine called wednesdaywoman. she wrote a piece on etsy and highlighted shops across canada including mine! check it out at wednesdaywoman and click on leisure. subscription to the magazine is free. i thanked kim and mentioned my blog. after looking at my blog, she's asked me if i'd be interested in writing an article for her magazine. i'm thinking...

i just finished my latest shawl "ripe fruit" and will list it on etsy today.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

first frost

the past 2 mornings there has been frost on the ground. in the morning light everything is edged with a fragile lace. this is my inspiration for my latest yarn which will go into my "first frost" shawl...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


yesterday was the first day of fall. we woke to our first frost. in the afternoon i went to the wake of an old acquaintance. i came home and in slow motion put away my summer clothes and got out my winter clothes. it was a day of quiet passing...

Monday, September 22, 2008

letting go

it's crunch time again. christmas craft fairs and shop orders. more work than i can handle. so i made the decision this week to hand over the knitting of the scarves to keith's mum, florence. she's a wonderful knitter and helps me with the baby wear (hats, scarves, sweaters and booties). the scarves are now made from one skein of my handspun yarn. the decision making and creativity goes into the yarn as i card and spin it. the scarves are simple - an irregular pattern of garter an drop stitich. so it's easy for her to reproduce what i have been doing. i hate to let go of any stage but can't do it all. this weekend the weather was clear and cool. perfect drying weather so i spent my time dyeing and spinning. florence is a fast knitter so i have to have enough yarn to keep up with her!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

what to do with a day that gets away...

friday is my domestic day - house cleaning, big laundry including the sheets and towels, bread making. and i always hope for time to get some work done -spinning or knitting etc. but yesterday got away from me. i woke up later than usual, had a confereence call that was longer than i thought it would be. other phone calls - business to attend to. tried spinning a bit because it was a lovely day for outdoor drying but didn't get far. only vacuumed half the house. very frustrating and felt i was going in circles. keith got off work early and it was such a beautiful day, that we dropped everything and drove up the humber river to little rapids. the trees in the valley are just beginning to turn. dropped in on kim who runs the greenhouse. bought a late flowering perrenial (i have one spot in my garden for a new plant). kim's growing a few vegetables this year (organic) so we got some tomatoes and cucumbers and sampled her grapes. getting out. seeing the beauty and the bounty of the season. it turned into a wonderful day...

Friday, September 19, 2008

cold air

late yesterday afternoon the wind shifted and we felt our first cold air of the season coming from labrador. last night the bedroom window was open only a crack and the duvet came out. it's sunny this morning so i haven't needed to put the fire on...but it's soon. spent a great day yesterday carding and spinning. with the sun today i can hang out the skeins to dry (you need to soak the spun yarn to set the twist). so much of this yarn making experience is about working with the weather...

Thursday, September 18, 2008


i think because i saw so much of the grandchildren this summer, it's been really hard not being with them this past month. so the quick trip into st. john's - a full day spent with lucy and some good before and after school time with eamon - has calmed me down.

and i delivered a big box of product to the craft council gift shop and dropped off some scarves at model citizen - a wonderful shop selling 2nd hand designer clothes (at great prices!) and the work of a few local designers. they've agreed to carry my scarves. and st. john's has such a small downtown core that it's easy to run into alot of people you know so i feel i touched base with alot of friends. and - because catherine was driving, i knit 5 scarves...

i got home to 2 boxes of dyed fibre that i ordered from whorlingtides and smokey mountain fibres. so i'm ready to settle in and spin and knit...

Monday, September 15, 2008

a side trip

i'm heading into st. john's this morning for a couple of days. catherine is driving in and wants company (she drives, i knit and we talk non-stop (it's an 8 hour trip!). so the weekend was frantic getting my order finished up (all but the chenille jumpers - cut out but not sewn). spent saturday and sunday knitting 12 baby scarves... and sunday evening making up some more yarn to knit up on the trip. sold a couple of scarves over the weekend on etsy so feel once again things are moving ahead...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

a lovely morning walk

i'm working flat out trying to finish up the order for st. john's (i'm driving in there on monday with a friend so want to get it done before then). but yesterday morning marilee phoned and sugested a dog walk around tipple's pond. it was one of those peak autumn mornings - clear clean thin air. the leaves just starting to turn. bird calls everywhere. and abigail gave me "that" look...

Friday, September 12, 2008

about face

i've dropped my spinning and scarf knitting and i've devoted this week to finishing up my order for the craft council gift shop order - knit baby booties and hats and scarves, chenille ornaments and bibs and baby jumpers (that's what i'm working on now), and a few of my new shawls and scarves. then knit, knit, knit for the toronto show...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

a new alliance

since keith and i got together 12 years ago, our house has had alot of pets. at one time we had 3 dogs and 3 cats. ( i volunteer with the local spca and we've brought many animals home). skipper died in the spring and now there are only two. flora the cat has always been a loner. but now that summer is over - the travel, the family visits, the confusion. the long sunny days turning into cool grey mornings and early evenings, she realizes that there is only her and abigail. and they have become friends...


this past spring i received an inheritance from a grandfather i never knew. he spent most of his life working as a groundskeeper in a catholic convent. this unexpected money gave me a summer where i didn't have to worry about money. it gave me freedom to devote myself to learning how to spin (william was from scotland so i know he would have approved!) while i was in nova scotia studying spinning, i purchased this wooden angel. she stands about 2 feet tall and is now on my mantel beside the spinning wheel. this is my "angel" scarf - organic merino wool, cashmere, mohair, corn and ramie - all white with a little ecclesiatical gold glitter spun in...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

it's raining, it's pouring...

we've had rain for days now - the tattered remnants of hurricaine after hurricaine. i think that explains why i'm making light coloured yarn and scarves this week ...

Monday, September 8, 2008


most of my middle of the night fretting has been about booth display! not about having enough product, not about sales but about how to come up with a booth design that is inexpensive, functional and portable. i'll be in toronto on my own without a car. my set up time is 4 hours (i'm going to the last half of the show so i get into the building at 6:00 am tues morning (dec.2) and the doors open at 10:00). so alot of planning is needed. i finally settled on a rope ladder construction for displaying my scarves. yesterday at canadian tire i got a lovely silky rope and some walnut dowels. there it is...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

thumb sucking

sometimes i go looking for inspiration for my work. sometimes it comes after the fact.

i sucked my thumb until i was 9 (and just too embarrassed to continue...). when i sucked my thumb i needed to hold my shawl to my nose. when it got too warm, i'd rotate it to a cooler spot. i was wrapped in this shawl as a baby, but by the end my "shawl" was no bigger than a 6" dreadlock ball of fibre...

on friday i spun this yarn and part way through realized that i was spinning my childhood shawl. the exact same colours - deep maroon and grey and black. this is the most "disorganized" yarn i've spun - huge clumps of chopped up yarns, dripping fibre locks etc. i knit it into a scarflette that night and put it up on my etsy shop yesterday.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

to market, to market

before moving to newfoundland in 1975, i lived in toronto. downtown toronto and a 5 minute bike ride to kensington market where i would do my weeks' shopping for $10-15 - pile the groceries into my basket or for a big shopping into my bundle buggy. the market was international and exciting. and 20 years later - when i went back to university - i was within drivng distance of the waterloo mennonite market - and no matter how busy i was - i'd get to the market saturday morning. this time of year i miss a good market. we have a couple of local farmers who sell their produce here. but newfoundland is a rock so produce is spare - root crops, berries...

this scarf that i listed in my shop yesterday is called "green tomatoes". the shawl "persephone" is knit partly with my "berry picking "yarn. it's just been sent off to fog forest gallery in sackville for their fibre arts show in october.

Friday, September 5, 2008

morning walk

most mornings i take abigail for a walk. it starts the day off well for both of us. on the trails (corner brook has wonderful trails in town), abigail sniffs and i look... everything is changing with the coming of fall. this leaf was yesterday's inspiration.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

the deep colour of slow

although it may appear that i'm living a "slow" life (working from home, spinning and knitting for a living), everything i do, i do fast. i eat fast, i read fast, i house clean fast, i walk fast. i spin fast, i knit fast and i dye fast. so on my new "path" i am putting alot of conscious effort into slowing down. i've been using natural dyes and not getting bright colours. yesterday i followed the instructions. i let this "lac" dye simmer for a long time and then i let my fibre soak for a long time. and look what i got for taking my time!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


since the family left a week ago, anxiety and sleeplessness have flooded in. this summer was a gift. i received an unexpected inheritance late last spring. this meant that i didn't have to think about money. about sales. i could devote the summer to learning how to spin and enjoy a more balanced life - time for family and friends. time in the garden. mostly i learned how to focus on what i was doing.my continuous interior dialogue (what if this doesn't sell? what should i be doing differently? etc) was silent. this past week, all the worries and doubts and questioning that i had set aside have come in strong. i'm ok during the day but at night when i wake up - it's there - and i lay awake for hours with crazy fears and doubts (and plans) running through my head.
yesterday on our dog walk, i talked to my dear friend marilee about this. marilee introduced me to buddhism (through thich nhat hanh) about 6 years ago. she gave me, as always, wonderful advice. " figure out a way to keep these thoughts out. all these thoughts are about what may or may not happen in the future. get hold of them and toss them away. what is is what is happening at the moment. " so yesterday i set aside time for meditation and yoga (i've been very lax this summer) and last night before going to bed i did some more meditation. and i slept - i would wake but then i would sleep again. i just have to listen to my heart and go with my gut instincts...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

a deep in-breath

there was a quiet to yesterday. the air was still. overcast but no rain. down the bay it felt as if nature had taken a deep in-breath - poised to begin it's descent into the cold and darkness of winter...