Friday, October 31, 2008

sharing


each month the fibre group on etsy (etsyfast team) participate in a thematic challenge. october was candy. november is "big ticket" item (giving us all an excuse to make a higher priced item to list in our shops). december is about sharing. we will make an item that somehow involves one or more etsyfast members. robyn at weeballyarns will spin some yarn for me to knit up and i will spin some for her to knit. this week i received some exquisite bfl roving from annie at coloressence. i spun it up with some other roving (reds and pinks and purple, added some commercial novelty yarns and some mohair fibre locks and knit up a pair of fingerless gloves called "kissed"). i love how it turned out so last night i spun up the rest and will send it to robyn.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

what i've been working on


i've packed up all my scarves and shawls to send to toronto for the one of a kind show the end of november. anything else i make between now and then, i'll take with me. this week i've been spinning alot of yarn. i've also started knitting fingerless gloves with my handspun. i finished up an order for a mail box and today i'll start on an order, for the rooms in st. john's, of small hooked mat ornaments and some painted wooden magnets. the dull rainy weather these past few days makes it easy to stay inside and work.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

young at heart

corner brook has two theatres and a few video stores, but it's rare for a movie to come here that isn't an american blockbuster. fortunately there is a group that bring in indie movies and show them the last monday of each month. this past monday i went to see "young at heart" - a documentary about a group of old people (average age 82) who put on musical performances in the states and around europe. this movie is breathtaking. it made me feel "old age" as i never have before. it was heart breaking and incredibly positive. i can't see this clip without crying.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

two swans


there have always been swans in corner brook. in the early 1920's bowaters pulp and paper from england built the mill. they built the glynmill inn hotel for management to stay in. in front they built the pond and they brought over 2 swans. in the early days of the mill and the town there were company picnics and baseball games. and labour day parades. there's none of that now. but there are still swans. last year for some reason they were down to one. swans mate for life so this guy was pretty lonely. the city arranged for a mate to come from bowering park in st. john's and luckily it was a good match.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

new life

i love being able to "repurpose" - to give new life to objects rather than throwing them away. my children's line of clothing is made from recycled fabric (some vintage, but others from clothing i find at 2nd hand stores that has wonderful patterns and colours) and old chenille bedspreads. even if it's too worn to patch and use on the bed, i can always find good strong parts of it that are large enough to cut out for my children's clothes. this past week i finished off an order of jumpers and overalls that will be in the craft council shop booth at their fine craft and design show in st. john's a couple of weeks (the shop' booth always has a theme and this year it is children). this photo is of my favourite pair of overalls. the floral fabric is from a family heirloom bedspread that robyn sent me from her new york home last year.

Friday, October 24, 2008

grabbin' the good ones


the light is bright and low and shines into the livingroom all morning. the air outside is crisp and still. perfect for drying fleece. when i stood out in the back yard i could hear the falling leaves hit the ground.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

morning rituals



my days are pretty static.now that the weather is colder i make small changes to my morning rituals. i get up a little later because it stays so dark (and this is one of the wonderful perks about working at home and making your own schedule). we're trying to save on heating costs and because i'm working in the living room (spinning and knitting) rather than my studio, we don't need to heat the whole house during the day. so i turn on the propane fire and move the fleece/yarn drying rack in front of it. the "girls" and i check out the day and decided where to take our morning walk. i miss my morning stroll around the garden with my first coffee but there is still alot of beauty when i look out...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

it seems to be working...

all i want to do right now is make yarn and it seems to be what i should be doing. in just over 2 weeks (when i started posting my yarn on etsy), i've sold 11 skeins. yesterday morning i finished "bon fire night", posted it and it sold last evening. this is all so positive and tells me that i'm on the right track...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

falling




yesterday morning we woke to the first heavy frost of the season. every surface was frosted. all day, without a breath of wind, the leaves fell. i spun up this yarn in celebration of the beauty of the day.

Monday, October 20, 2008

mittens

during the summer, on a visit from st. john's my 3 year old grand daughter lucy helped me make yarn. she chose colours and arranged them for me to card. she sat on my lap as i spun. we drove out to felix cove to see the alpacas at newfoundland alpacas and bought roving. i knit her an "icecream" hat from pluckyfluff's "intertwined" out of sparkly pink and purple yarn we made. now she wants mittens and a scarf to match. so this weekend i took some time to make her some "princess" yarn with soft white alpaca and sprinkled with all her favourite colours and some angelina glitter. i spent all saturday evening figuring out how to make tiny tiny mittens with chunky yarn. i love the result. she'll feel she has cupcakes on her hands.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

takin' care of business




some weekends arrive and you don't know where the week went. other times you look back and think - wow - i got it all done! last week was one of those. i worked hard on my final order - 6 children's jumpers and 6 overalls (recycled chenille and cotton) for the craft council shop and almost finished them - just hemming and button-sewing to do this weekend. yarn is selling well on etsy so i tried to make a skein of yarn each day. i also took care of my body - a healing touch session, my annual doctor's check-up. yesterday ivan came over and tackled many of my little and annoying computer woes. i was finally able to upload my artisan profile on the toronto one of a kind show website www.oneofakindshow.com(just click on see the artisans). in the afternoon i had the courage to see catherine, my financial advisor, and face up to what was happening with my investments. tough but not as bad as i imagined. we've come up with a new plan, and with a little more belt tightening, i can continue to do what i'm doing for now.

Friday, October 17, 2008

the corner brook stream trail

















the corner brook stream trail, right in the heart of town, is always a wonderful place to walk - after an early snowfall - the snow heavy and sculptural on the trees, in the early spring to see the fiddleheads unfurl, in the summer to escape the heat. but especially now.











Thursday, October 16, 2008

puzzle pieces


the world outside looks like a big jig-saw puzzle. as many leaves are on the ground as on the trees. you look up, you look down - the colour is the same. the spaces between the leaves are equal. the low light flattens everything. the sky and earth have merged and shattered into pieces...


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

we had an election

at one point during the long evening of watching election results i thought i was going to throw up. we all knew that harper (the conservative party) would get back in with a minority. but at one point it looked like it could be a majority and i felt really sick. i don't understand what canada is doing with a conservative government. we are a liberal nation. we need the factions of the left to stop politicking and come together. at least harper was not given a mandate to do whatever he wants because he is scary...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

healing touch

yesterday, thanksgiving, i treated myself to a session of healing touch
from my friend tess. i 've been going to her for the past 2 years. for me it can be - as it was yesterday- like a gentle massage (although she just lays her hands lightly on different parts of my body). at other times it's like a session of deep therapy. yesterday she re-aligned my second chakra - sexuality but also creativity and passion and at the same time security. i always come away knowing more about myself. last night i slept blissfully.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

a good day

last night my sleep was tortured. i'm fighting a cold. i partially live off of investment savings so am very nervous about what the future holds and how i'll manage. i'm devoting all my time to production of expensive scarves and art yarn and don't know if there will be a market. so last night - all night - my thoughts were not just troubling and crazy - but fragmented like sharp shards of glass or ice crystals in a puddle.
i got up this morning to discover that i'd sold 5 of my 6 skeins of yarn i've placed on etsy this week. the sun is shining. the light is glorious.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

phatfiber



i'm involved in a neat promotional project. jessie from illinois invited me (through etsy) to be part of her "knitting boxes" project. she'll be collecting samples of knitting products (rovings, batts, hand spun yarn, knitting cards, stitch holders etc) and making up boxes to sell to knitting groups, knitting stores, home knitters etc. we're each asked to submit 45 samples (for me it will be tiny skeins of yarn - enough to knit up into a 4" swatch). so far she has around 60 people participating. this will be a monthly event - i'm part of the debut box - and each month has a theme. mine is "winter mix". this is a good way to get island sweet yarn known. for more information about this project you can check out the link on the right side of my blog.

Friday, October 10, 2008

yarn for sale...






i'm feeling comfortable about getting enough scarves, scarflettes and shawls made for the toronto show, so this week i've devoted some time to spinning up yarn for sale on my etsy shop (i'll also be taking some skeins to toronto). each of these skeins are enough to knit up one of my 60" or 80" scarves.




yesterday was gorgeous. here's a photo of abigail just getting back from our walk around tipples pond. you'd swear i painted my house to match the autumn colours!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

tell me it ain't so

i looked up from my knitting yesterday to see snow falling. large thick wet flakes. melting as they hit the ground, but peppering the leaves of the large maple tree in my front yard and frosting the roofs of my neighbour's homes. in central newfoundland people were having to scrape their cars and children were playing in the snow. this is way too early!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

just an ordinary day

during the summer, at the cabin, i take breaks. to walk on the beach, to read a novel... at home i don't. because i am a full-time self-employed crafts person, it's so easy to fall into working all the time. and because my main process right now is knitting - i never have to stop. i can take it with me wherever i go. and in the evening when most people take a break from work, i can sit in front of the tv and keep working until i go to bed. especially this time of year, with craft fairs looming and never enough product made, it's tempting to put in 14-16 hour days.
yesterday i woke to cold rain. abigail hates the rain, so instead of heading off for her walk, we put on a fire, curled up on the couch and i read. now, this was a book given to me to review for the next issue of the craft council newsletter. and i didn't know when i'd fine time to read it and then write about it. as i sat and read, with my coffee and my dog, i felt such a peace come over me. my brain went still. the book "dyeing to knit" by elaine eskesen, was great. it was wonderful to just "do ordinary"...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

yarn painting




i've been a knitter since i was 6 years old. as an adult i realized that my attraction to knitting is not only the act, but also strongly tied up with the yarn itself . the colour, texture, smell. so these past 4 months (since i got my spinning wheel) i have been in yarn heaven.
my background is in painting. when i prepare to make a new yarn, i approach it as i would a painting. i lay down the main colour of (usually) merino. the blank canvas. then i lay on top other yarns (bamboo, silk...) other colours, mohair fibre locks for texture. then i cut up snippets of commercial novelty yarns. the last thing is a light sprinkling of angelna glitter (a metallic like fibre that is soft and shiny and comes in many colours). now it's ready to be put through the carder and then spun. hmmm... perfection!


Monday, October 6, 2008

ups and downs on the weekend

i don't do much i don't want to do anymore (one of the perks of getting older) and i keep stress out of my life if i can avoid it. when asked to do spinning demonstrations at the west coast fall fair this weekend i agreed - picturing myself spinning at the wheel and interested people coming up for a chat. when i found out late last week that it was really a presentaion - that i would where a mic and the audience would be sitting in chairs watching me as i talked - i didn't know how i could make it work. friday night was difficult. i couldn't feel the audience - couldn't get feedback. i came home deflated - not knowing what i could do to change it and make it work for the next two days. in the middle of the night i realized all i could do was show them how much i love this...saturday i asked everyone to move up to the front rows and i passed out little baggies of different types of fibre - so as i was talking - they were at least feeling the differences of say hemp to cashmere. i also moved into the audience for my talk and when it was time to demonstrate carding i asked everyone to come up and gather round to watch. it workd much better and even better on sunday. there is nothing formal about what i do and this is how it had to be presented...

Friday, October 3, 2008

fall fair




this weekend i'll be doing my first spinning demonstrations at the west coast harvest celebration at the pepsi centre in corner brook (7:30 this evening, 11:00 tomorrow morning and 1:00 on sunday). it's a little more involved than i thought it would be. i pictured myself sitting at my wheel and people coming around to chat. but it's actually a presentation - from raw fleece to finished product. i'll try to keep it very casual. i've been spinning up alot of yarn the past two days and decided that i'll have some skeins available for purchase (this will also be a first...). now - to get them to dry in time!