Friday, July 29, 2005


Grandmere is complete. I hope to deliver her this weekend and make sure that my fitting modifications worked. Now, what next?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Yes, I contemplated cria-napping, but only briefly, Very Briefly. I was stalled by the fact that it wouldn't fit into the sports car, something about alpacas being herd animals, the fact that they belong to very, very nice people, I'd need some acreage before I can have alpacas and I'm really not an illegal kind of a girl.

Mine for a half-second

Oh, and if you're skirting fleeces before you send them off to the processor, make sure you hide the bag of skirtings, really, really well. Otherwise you face the embarassing prospect of telling the announcer that it's not a Nice Fleece that someone has lost in a garbage can, it's, well, mostly the back end of a fleece or three.

One of the good ones

I haven't forgotten Grandmere as a project. I did manage to make it to the island without buttons and when I got home, I couldn't find them in the house either. I made the ultimate sacrifice and went down to Button, Button and bought some more. Amazingly enough, I did not leave the store with any extra sets of buttons. Pictures tomorrow if I get the band knit and the buttons sewn on.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Salt Spring Fibre Festival 2005

The Flame, Melanie and myself headed out Thursday morning for Salt Spring Island, home of great food, great art and, as it turns out, great fibre. I love so many things about ferry travel - the views, the pace, the relaxation that occurs when your body knows you are on vacation. None of us had signed up for any classes as we had friends coming and going for the weekend and all of us wanted to enjoy as much time together as possible.

The indomitable Karen biked(!) from the ferry terminal and met up with us at the farm. You can imagine her delight, and ours as well, at a dinner of farm-fresh produce and fresh wild sockeye salmon.

After dinner, plans for exploring the Island were made, there was some knitting, some spinning and then it was off to bed for all of us.

The resident rooster turned out to be an afternoon-crower, so the natural alarm clock turned out to be the baa-ing of the sheep next door as they waited for their breakfast. Feeling a bit like sheep ourselves we puttered about the kitchen before pulling ourselves together and heading South down the Island in search of bread, cheese and any galleries we could manage to stop by. Our first stop turned out to be Mt. Maxwell Provincial Park - no food here, but Mother Nature sure provided us with a great art show.

Then, back down the gravel and dirt road we bumped and onwards to the Salt Spring Cheese Company (David Wood) and the Salt Spring Island Bread Co. (aka Heather the Bread Lady). I was delighted to find some hard cheeses that are not generally available in Vancouver and the lunch plan of bread, olives and cheese was born. A quick stop at the Willow Web made me realise that basket weaving has entered the computer age.

The ferry pick-up team misjudged the time to the ferry terminal which meant that a detour could be taken to Ulrieke Benner's studio. A worthwhile detour as I couldn't leave without some of her work. Back at the farm, Kim and Holly had arrived just in time for lunch nibbles and a brief meeting with Karen. Karen deserted us for travelling plans out East in Toronto and Montreal, but I'll bet she'd gone with us on our afternoon drive to St. Mary Lake Alpacas.

A 13 day old cria, sigh...

We're sure it's dinner time...

The rest of the weekend passed in a fibre-enduced haze but highlights include the sheep magnets the Flame picked up for the group, wandering the Saturday Market with my friend Georgina and the fibre-shopping. No fibre-flashing here though.

And our final view as we sailed away on Sunday night. I'm ready to go back already. Anyone want to join us next year?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


This just crossed my desk. A gorgeous overview of wearable art from the Arts and Crafts movement to the present day.

The cover design is Fan Vest by Ana Lisa Hedstrom

Well, there's been a set-back on the plan with Grandmere.

If I follow the instructions for the sleeve cap, I end up with a too-short sleeve and a too-deep armhole.

I have now ripped, and re-knit and things are looking much better. I'm still hoping to get this done before I hit Salt Spring tomorrow for a wonderful weekend of friends, food and fibre.

I've got big plans for W once I'm done with Grandmere. Plans that involve a gorgeous yarn from Lisa Souza in Elektra - check out Caroline's new roving in that colourway.

I'll make sure to take the camera, but I don't know if there will be wireless access from our accomodations. Fibre Festival updates may have to wait until Sunday night.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I've spent the end of this week nesting and enjoying the company of loved ones. How else to react to such tragedy in the world? In BC, an additional loss was felt with the death of Chuck Cadman, a man who worked hard to make a difference in victims' rights both locally and nationally. May the road rise up to meet you Chuck...

As a reward for getting through the week, a trip was made out to the Ladner Farmer's Market. This runs every other Sunday during the summer and it just keeps getting busier and more popular. There's a good mix of local and semi-local (Vancouver Island or Okanagan) producers and it's always exciting both to see what's new and find old favourites. I'm still hoping that the Chung's will show up with their salmon and I'm waiting patiently for the lavender lady, but no luck so far. We did find some lovely potatoes, lamb sausages, fresh cheese curds (squeak) and herbed cream cheese, and pie. Boysenberry for dessert after dinner tonight, and a little baby Blackberry-Peach pie for my breakfast tomorrow - mmmmm. The pies do sell out quickly so you have to get there before noon if you're interested.

Now, it wasn't ALL about food out at the market, it was also about the plants. I found some French lavender and Elfin Thyme and I've got it potted up with some Bacopa from the local nursery. The front stairs are slowly gathering a nice set of plants. While we were at the nursery I found a beautiful clematis, but I haven't decided where to put it yet, so pictures of that will have to wait. As well, there was a very interesting succulent that I had not seen before so there is now some Lewisia waiting to be potted up for myself and my mum.

With all this shopping and eating (squeak) did anything fibery happen? Why yes...

I met my goal of finishing the body of Jamaica this weekend, and I'm more than halfway up the 1st sleeve so I'm well on track to get this done before the end of July. Spinning wise, the green merino/silk is coming along, but is not photogenic on the bobbin so you will all have to content yourself with a picture of the Wool Peddler's Shawl in the making.

I think there are probably another 3 skeins in the bump so I'll finish that up before I start chasing all these ladies with their beautiful, handspun, renditions.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

It's about time

I've been talking about getting a blog for ages, so this is it. The food content's going to be a bit low for a while as I'm on Virus round 2 (or is it 3) and no one wants me cooking for them right now.

Fortunately, I can knit, spin and generally futz around when I'm not napping. I just finished a test-knit for my friend Sivia (hoping to get permission to post photos). It's the first time I've done a top-down Faroese, and like all shawls, the rows are looooooong at the end. What a relief to go back to the cardigan I'm knitting for the Flame's grandma. It's Jamaica from Dale Book No. 122. Instead of Dale's Svale, I'm using Sirdar's Denim Tweed DK to better withstand the rigors of institutional laundry. This should give you an idea of the colour and style.

On the wheels? Combed silver-grey Romney on the Rognvaldson - practise for the huge Romney fleece in the basement. A bump from the Barefoot Spinner from M$W 2004 - red, white, cinnamon, pink - this is destined to be a Wool Peddler's shawl on the Tina and some hunter green merino/silk noil that my friend Melanie did not care for on the Polonaise. I'm just letting it do it's thing and not worrying about the noils. The Polonaise is going to go live with my friend Jen for a while so I need to get this done and off the wheel! I've got this much left.

That's it for now, time for some more cough syrup and the house painters are finally back to finish up the outside.