Friday, December 31, 2010

what i did instead

yesterday i should have been working on my course outline. and i should have been spinning yarn for a new yarn order. i probably i should have cleaned the house. but instead, i felted another bowl. i want weeks and weeks just to play with this new technique. i want to turn my batts into bowls...

Thursday, December 30, 2010


i've been wanting to learn how to wet felt for a long time. when my course starts in january, one of the things i've been asked to teach is felting. so yesterday brenda kindly offered a felting workshop to a small group of us.i'm so excited about this process that i couldn't sleep last night. we made flat felt, then balls, then bracelets and then a 3d object - purses, hats, tea cozies and bowls. this is my first bowl. love it. of course it wasn't all hard work. we had a lovely festive picnic mid-day and some of us got silly... (that's robyn with her partially felted tea cozie on her head). thank-you brenda for passing on your knowledge.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

lucy's sweater

i knit for a living. so it's rare for me to take the time to knit for myself. or for family. i wanted to knit a sweater for lucy (my 5 year old grand daughter) over the holidays. so when we went into st. john's before christmas, i brought a pattern book of sweaters and lucy chose the one she wanted. and then we went to a good yarn and lucy chose her wool (a gorgeous lilac cashmere/merino). i'm on the first sleeve now. this is my holiday bliss...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

it snowed

this has been the craziest weather for the west coast of newfoundland. we usually have alot of snow by now, but with snow everywhere else, we've been green. until yesterday when we were hit with a storm (snow and wind) that blanketed the town. and reminded us all of how tough winter can be. today we're back to rain...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

just enough

it was a wonderful christmas. just enough. not too much rich food. not too much visiting. not too much christmas music. not too many presents. just enough to make it all special.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

happy holidays

may you all have the holiday you are wanting.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

living on an island

newfoundland is an island in the north atlantic. we have no snow so far this year (unheard of in the past) but for days now we've been pummeled with high winds and especially on the east coast of the province, heavy rain. ferries have been tied up unable to navigate the high seas. hundreds of people are stranded and not able to get home for christmas. surface mail stopped reaching the province days ago. and fresh food. it's times like this that we see how vulnerable we are.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

on this first day of winter

on the first day of winter i finally managed to slow down enough to bring a little christmas into the house. a few of my favourite decorations. this little gold cone will be just fine as a christmas tree. i haven't baked in so long so tackled a raspberry braid. as it was rising for the 2nd time, with all the lights twinkling - indoors and out to counter the dullness of the day - we had a power outage. it lasted only 2 hours. but i had to take the loaves to my mother-in-law to bake, and i curled up on the couch in front of the window, wrapped in blankets and read in the natural light. the wind and rain around me. on this first day of winter.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

i think that was christmas

i've always loved the days leading up to christmas more than christmas itself. so our quick trip into st. john's to visit with my daughter and son-in-law and the children this past weekend was christmas for me. setting up the christmas village. lucy is 5 and spent alot of time at the village playing the people and animals. the lights twinkling in the toy shop. the church. i leaned down with her and saw with her eyes the magic of the season. finn (almost 2) being alarmed at dada bringing a real tree into the house. but in the end sidling up to it for a deep smell and then dancing a little quickstep around the living room in his new hat. eamon (10) on the cusp of dis-belief but still able to throw himself whole-heartedly into the preparations (it helps to have young siblings). christmas music. and hitting chapters and the avalon mall on a saturday afternoon and finding everyone (shoppers and clerks happy and calm). a lovely birthday party for jessie - turning 3 - with lots of my daughter's extended family. every morning begun with the children piling into bed with their christmas books for stories. and then the long drive home yesterday. quiet, happy reflection. to a house that still isn't decorated. presents that aren't wrapped (or made, or bought). i think we've had christmas...

Friday, December 17, 2010

my holiday begins...

i came back from toronto with a yarn order from a good yarn so for the past 10 days i've been working on that and finished it off yesterday. the order also included batts (for spinning and felting) and i finished them off yesterday. this morning we're driving into st. john's so i'll be delivering them to the shop tomorrow.
so with the order out of the way, i finally was able to clean the house (but no time yet fror decorating - that will have to wait until will get back home monday). and i wrapped the presents that are going into st. john's with us. and last night i sat down and started knitting a lacey silk scarf (a shimmery oyster colour) for keith's mum (it will be a good project for the car) and later i pulled out my new "kobo" e-reader and started reading "anna karenina". my holiday begins.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

what's happening here

newfoundland is known for it's extreme weather. wind, rain, snow. but this week, with much of canada experiencing huge snowstorms (ontario and alberta), terrible rainfall and flooding (nova scotia and new brunswick) we are getting mild spring-like conditions. wonderful for walking....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

mycuban holiday

i'm taking a trip to cuba this spring. i'm going to soak up colour. i'm reading everything i can get my hands on. and dreaming.
"my cuban holiday" shawl is listed on etsy today.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

pass it on

one of the things i love about making a craft "supply" rather than a finished product is that i get to pass the creative process on to someone else. a few of my ooak customers have been sending me photos of what they have done with my spinning batts and yarn. adrienne knit up this cowl (i give out patterns with the purchase of a skein) in a couple of days. i'm always thrilled to see the final results...

Monday, December 13, 2010

shades of grey

there was no colour at the cabin this weekend. the ocean, the foreset. the sky. the beach. the mountains. the cabin itself. all shades of grey.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

ready now for winter

this past month has been crazy busy. although we had managed to rake up the leaves and clean up the gardens and plant the garlic in october and november, we didn't get the greenhouse covered (to preserve the plastic for hopefully another year) or tie up the bushes (staked and wrapped in burlap in preparation for heavy snow). so yesterday, that's what we did.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

brand new

every year i try to have at least one new product at the toronto one of a kind show. my knitting kits were the big hit this time. i've always had knitted baby hats - usually a combination of handspun wool and commercial novelty yarns. but this year i used only my handspun wool and felted them. when the baby outgrows them, you can turn them upside down and use them as a decorative models are sadie and violet.

Friday, December 10, 2010

what (and who) i will miss

i won't be doing the toronto one of a kind show again. in spite of my success, in spite of the fact that toronto is "my market", it's too much. i've done the show 5 times. for the past 2 years i've sat in a virtually empty booth for over half the show (it's an 11 day show). i can't make enough product. i do it all myself - dyeing and spinning and knitting. because i am making "artistic decisions" through every stage, i can't pass work onto anyone else. i could do 1/2 the show but the expenses would be almost the same - the travel, the booth fees. so my profit would be too small. and i have to work too hard. at this point i want to slow down. have more balance. not expand. so i won't be going back to the big show.
but this is what i'll miss. mostly the friends i have made. although the show is huge (over 800 booths), you become very close to some of your neighbours. mary was my neighbour the first show i did and we've kept in touch ever since. she is a collage artist - making "paintings" with tiny pieces of torn paper. she can go days in the show without a sale, and then make a big one (that's what it's like for the visual artists). but she's never without a warm and sincere smile. her greek mother sends greek cookies to my booth every year. april makes wonderfully chunky pottery (and has my favourite booth display in the whole show). every year we seek each other out and do trades. and every morning i eat my cereal from her bowl and drink my coffee from her mug and always think of her.
nadia is a young jewellry designer and every year my sister and i buy each other earrings from her. we've also done a few trades. this year nadia is pregnant and i'll miss not meeting her baby.
and i'll miss the customers that come to my booth year after year. and the "blog followers" who come and identify themselves. the excitement and the energy. but now i need simple.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

knit kits

one of the most popular items in my booth this year at the one of a kind, were my knit kits - for a scarflette or a pair of fingerless gloves. they were bought to give as gifts to knitting friends. they were bought for children who were just learning how to knit. i sold out in just a few days. this morning they were highlighted on halifax's "breakfast t.v" and on their website sea and be scene. i did a little interview yesterday i have a new shipment of needles coming in the mail so hopefully within the next week i'll have some more kits up on my etsy shop.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

and home again.

i arrived home late last night. my mind still reeling from the past 2 weeks at the toronto one of a kind show.once again i did really well - the skeins of yarn, the knitting kits and the batss sold out in just a few days (the show was 11 days long.) i sat in my booth and continued to knit shawls and cowls and scarflettes and in the end brought home maybe 10 items. the contacts i made - both personal and professional were invaluable. keith went up with me and he and his brother helped with set up. how easy it is when you have help.
ps krista - you wrote with questions about the fingerless gloves. email me at and i can give you help.

Monday, November 22, 2010

and away we go...

our flight tomorrow is 5:30 am so we'll be getting up around 2:00. keith is coming with me this time for a few days - to help set up my booth at the ooak and to help out for the first few days. this will make the 11 day show seem alot shorter.
this time i'll be selling skeins of handspun yarn and batts, handknit shawls and cowls and scarflettes and knitting kits (that include handspun yarn and handmade needles and a pattern for a scarflette or a pair of fingerless gloves). my booth is R32 (around the middle of the show) and please introduce yourself as a follower of my blog when you drop by.
i'll be returning dec. 7th and will get my blog and etsy shop up and running again that week. see you then...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

it was cold but we felt warm

it was a cold blustery day, but over 100 people still showed up for our tire burning protest yesterday. we marched to city hall and then to the mill. we got alot of media attention (even made it onto the national news) so hopefully the provincial government will take notice. being part of a group that shared my sorrow and outrage at the prospect of burning tires in the centre of our beautiful city, made me feel not so alone.