Tuesday, June 30, 2009

what to do with your skein of handspun. guest blog post by parallaxknitting.

a couple of weeks ago i was approached by sarah at parallaxknitting in saskatoon to write a guest blog post about my process of making handspun yarn - inspiration, materials etc. we did it in the form of an interview. sarah agreed to do a post for me in exchange. she knits wonderfully simple but imaginative hats, scarves, vests etc. where she often incorporates handspun with commercial novelty yarns.check out her article on her blog at parallaxknitting and her shop on etsy

Monday, June 29, 2009

tiny fruit

i haven't been paying as much attention to the garden these past 10 days. preparations for going away. being away. coming back and re-grouping. the weather has been cool and rainy. but yesterday afternoon it cleared and got warmer and i looked around. major weeding needed today. but the biggest surprise was the tiny fruit in the greenhouse. the cherry tomatoes and the cucumber - so small like miniature dollhouse food.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


last week i started dyeing with chemical dyes. i love the idea of only natural. plants i've collected myself (dandelions, poplar leaves) or plant dyes (sandlewood, logwood) i get from maiwa in vancouver. but natural dyes don't give me the rich colours i crave so i've continued to buy roving online from other etsy shops to fill in the gaps. so i've taken the plunge with ciba dyes from maiwa. if used properly -ventilation, mask and gloves, they're pretty safe. and the colours are magnificant. i'm listing my first yarn "marigold" on etsy today - a combination of naturall "dandelion" in the pale yellow and the shockingly gorgeous lemon and orangey-yellow ciba dyes.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

what nanas do

i had one full day in st. john's with the grandchildren. soo...
1. walked eamon to school in the rain on his last day of primary school
2. hat shopping at posie row with lucy to find me the perfect sunhat - wide brim, tight enough to stay on my head without a "tilley tie", and stylish.
3. held almost 6 month old finn in my arms as he slept for over an hour and got to just touch him and stare at him.
4. moo-moo's ice-cream after school to celebrate the beginning of summer holidays.
5. chapter's for books for myself and the children
6. lester farms to see the baby animals that have been born this spring - the lambs and rabbits and a couple of baby emus. the children each got a sunflower plant of a different species - eamon chose "ring of fire", lucy chose "gold" and they chose "baby bear" for finn. when we got home we planted them in the front garden that gets the most sun.
7. lots of stories, hugs and kisses.
(and i'll be seeing them all again in a month's time when they come to corner brook for their summer visit...)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

a little trip

i'm heading out today for a little trip to st.john's and will be back friday. finn is almost 6 months old and changing every day. i want to see him at every stage. my friend catherine travels back and forth alot for work so i'll grab rides with her whenever i can. i get alot of knitting done on the 8 hour drive...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

the peppermint twist

i entered adolescence in the early 60's just as cubyy checker's "the twist" was hitting the charts. that was our dance. dance competitions in grade 6 gym class. that summer my mother converted our garage into a neighbourhood hang-out (my sisters were 13 and my mother needed us all out of the house)we spent the summer dancing to our '45's in the cool of the garage. the peppermint twist by joey dee had that extra little "hop" that made it exciting. my "peppermint twist" yarn is now listed in my etsy shop

Monday, June 22, 2009

putting words to it.

last week i was invited by sarah at parallaxknitting in saskatoon to do a guest interview for her blog. sarah is a fellow spinner/knitter/etsian/blogger. she made up a series of questions for me to answer. i always find it a challenge to reflect on what i'm doing, but putting it in words always gives clarity. sarah will be doing a guest blog entry for me in the coming weeks.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

after a week of heat, the garden is grinning

i feel that the garden has a huge grin on it's face after a week of warm weather. big changes in the garden every day - in the size of the vegetable plants in the greenhouse and in the garden. in the unfurling of the hostas (my front yard is shady with big trees so i've planted alot of hostas). in the blooms coming and going.

Friday, June 19, 2009

those hot summer nights

newfoundland rarely gets hot. and it's never too warm at night to sleep. i grew up in toronto in the '50's and i remember my sisters and i dragging our mattresses out onto the back lawn and sleeping under the stars to escape the heat of the house. and as a young adult in the late '60's, living in toronto with my boyfriend/soon to be husband, we'd walk the streets of the city at night and end up in a park seeking a spot that felt cooler than our above the store apartment. if the heat of those nights had colour, it would be the colour of this yarn.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

the innocents of the garden

pansies are the innocents of the garden. they are like small children. with open faces.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

early morning in the greenhouse

early morning in the greenhouse. the sun hits it first in our yard. even after a cool night, the temperature is rising by 8:00. the plants are preening themselves. shaking off sleep. a perfect place for my morning coffee.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

travelling back and moving forward

almost 10 years ago i stopped paintng and started working almost exclusively with textiles - first sewing quilts and cushions, then rug hooking, children's clothing from vintage cotton and chenille bedspreads and now , over the past 2 years, spinning and knitting. recently a friend asked me if i could convert a child's quilt that i had made for her then toddler son into an adult size cover (he is now 12). so that is this week's project. mornings in my studio. afternoons in the garden. and evenings experimenting with my new bar-b-q...

Monday, June 15, 2009

what's on the bar-b?

because keith and i don't eat meat, we've never owned a barbeque. it never seemed to make sense to invest in a big barbeque to roast up a few veggies. but recently my daughter bought a portable little propane barbeque (president's choice brand for $49.00) for the family to take to the beach. so keith and i got one for our "13th anniversary together" gift last week and, after the rain finally stopped this weekend, set it up and tried it out! i love it. last night was veggie burgers and corn on the cob and asparagus. today i'll pick up some skewers and tonight we'll have tofu kabobs. i love that it keeps me outside to cook. i love the summer-time feel.

Friday, June 12, 2009

world wide knit in public day

if you are a knitter (spinner or crocheter) or a wanna' be knitter (spinner of crocheter) and live in the corner brook area, join us on the majestic lawn tomorrow from 1-3 for a couple of hours of sharing. bring along your needles and fibre and a chair for comfort. if it's raining we'll huddle under the gazebo. join knitters world-wide in celebrating the act of knitting.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

3 bags full

on tuesday robynand i drove up to daniel's harbour to pick up 20 lbs of washed uncarded newfoundland heritage wool (read robyn's blog entry for a complete description of the day). we've been searching for a source of newfoundland wool for the past year. at one time there were alot of sheep on the island. every isolated community depended on sheep for both wool and meat. now there are few sheep and they are almost only kept for meat. the fleece is just discarded. so it was wonderful to connect with kay henson. she was willing to wash the fleece (a labourious process). yesterday i dyed some and spun some (because it isn't super soft, i've carded it in with bfl, bamboo and mohair). i also dyed up some with marigold and a little green kool-aid. i've been spinning for a year now, and finally being able to use newfoundland wool, somehow makes me feel that the process is complete...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

day trippin'

yesterday robyn and i and her children drove up to daniel's harbour to pick up 20 lbs. of newfoundland heritage sheep fleece. a day out of town. along the northern penninsula highway we saw 5 moose (including the youngest i've ever seen) and a fox. the day was cool and dull and breezy so we ate our picnic lunch in the car. in the afternoon we dropped in at neddies harbour inn in neddies harbour and dropped off some skeins of yarn and knitwear for them to sell. the best part of the day was being able to spend hours chatting with a good friend who has just moved home...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

slowing to garden time

newfoundland has a short summer. weather can be cool in june and cool in september. we can get frost any month. so when the warm weather comes there's always a sense of panic - "it won't last long". and time seems to speed up. but not this year. i'm following the speed of the garden. which is slow.

Monday, June 8, 2009

this one is mine!

sometimes i make up a skein of yarn that i'm so delighted with i don't want to sell it for someone else to knit up. that's how i felt about this skein. last week i cooked up a large pot of dandelion flowers and adding iron to one batch and a mixture of lemon juice and a small bit of blue kool-aid to the other, i got some really intriguing colours of fleece. so i'm knitting up a scarflette and also made another skein that will go up on my etsy shop. i just had to try it out first!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

another check on my list

i keep a running mental list of things i want of this community where i have chosen to live almost all my adult life. one of these has been a farmer's market (i spent my last years in toronto in my early 20's shopping at the kensington market - a 5 minute bike ride from where i lived). yesterday's first ever farmer's market in the centre of town was everything i hoped it would be. a sunny warm day. wonderful music. colours and smells and smiles. good sales (i sold lots of my scarflettes). starting july 11th (when the produce here comes on full-force) it will be held every saturday until october. a few of the members of our craft collective will take turns each week looking after the booth and selling each other's work.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

to market

join us today for corner brook's first ever farmer's market on the majestic lawn from 10:00 to 2:00.

Friday, June 5, 2009

spinning up the sun

we've had a run of beautiful days. sunshine and warmer temperatures. yesterday i took my wheel outside for the first time this year. i remembered why i love spinning outside so much. the sunlight glistening off the colours in the wool. like spinning the sunlight in with it.
tomorrow a few members of our craft co-op will be participating in corner brook's first ever farmer's market. it will be held on the majestic lawn from 10:00 to 2:00.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

knit night

last night was knit night. i've missed the last two gatherings and in my absence the group has grown. last night there were 14 of us. and the best part was the age range - from 10 years old to almost 60 (moi). from beginner finger knitters to delicate lace knitters. pots of local spearmint tea and locally baked muffins. 2 hours of creative sharing...