Sunday, July 29, 2007

I walked into a new world today.

Last year I met a spinner, Marg, at a demonstration she was participating in at the local fair. She works at one of the two yarn shops in town, and invited me to join their Tuesday afternoon fiber arts meeting [hang out in the back of the store around a big table, craft and yak]. I never made it until last week. It was great! Knitters/Crocheters are the nicest people. I talked about learning how to spin and I was invited to the local spinning guild's casual spinning afternoon they have in a member's home once a month during the summer.

That was this afternoon. I arrived and found myself warmly welcomed into a beautiful house on one of the more ritzy streets around here, surrounded by 8 energetic women, none of them looked less then 10 -15 years older than me, all setting up wonderful looking spinning wheels and pulling out all sorts off amazing fiber: camel, musk ox, silk, dog, cotton, flax and wool. And I said to myself, "Kellie, you are way out of your league now. Don't say or do anything stupid." I was there to soak it all in. I watched, chatted, asked a few questions [didn't want to be a total wide-eyed newbie asking about a million things].

After about 20 minutes Marg asked if I had brought anything to work on.

"Ah, ya" I gulped. "I brought my homemade spindle." There was no putting it off any longer. I pulled out my homely CD & knitting needle spindle with my homely fleece [you know, the wool my friend cut off my BIL's sheep and that I am having such a hard time getting the VM out. Just follow the links if you don't.]

No gasps of horror.

No looks of disgust.

All I got was, well not much of a reaction at all. No one was shocked or dismayed. They obviously had seen it all before, beginner spindles, beginner technique, beginner yarn. All I got was encouragement. I was told I had a nice touch, well actually I over heard the expert spinner, Pat, say to Marg, as she looked at my yarn, "She has a nice touch. She just needs to get on a wheel." And I discovered I am being way too picky about my fleece. I saw others spinning with fiber that had VM in it. I was told that a lot comes out with spinning, more with knitting. I was shown the sweater the group worked on together in the spring on Sheep-to-Sweater Day. The fleece was spun and knit dirty, right from the sheep and then washed. It is beautiful. I was truly amazed.

Two hours gone and I was told we would be having tea and cake soon. Yahoo! By this time I had resorted to knitting on my Cardigan for Arwen by Kate Gilbert because my CD finally broke. I was told to make an other one with 3 CD's glued together to make it heavier and more durable. Will do! I walked into the dinning room and found a beautifully set table and elegant spread: coffee bread and
gruyère, mini strawberry tarts, blueberry and apricot bunt, chocolate cookies, mini cream buffs. wow. And wonderfully open conversation to boot. I had been thrown into a pool of wisdom and experience I couldn't even touch yet they made me feel like I was one of them and invited me to hang with them at this years demonstration at the fall fair. It comes full circle.

My eyes have been opened to new possibilities, new ideas, new adventures to come. I will be taking a spinning class in October and then I can rent the guild's spinning wheels for $5 a month. Ya! That's the truth! Now to get on with making that new spindle.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ram Wools

WARNING: Lots of pictures! I can't seem to tell a story without pictures.
June 16th, the day after my birthday, the day before Father's day and the marathon [story here] I made it to Ram Wools.....finally. I have only been here twice since my sister moved to Winnipeg 4 or 5 years ago. And both of those times I had about 15 minutes before closing to browse. Pl-ease! I can't work effectively with those kind of time constraints. This time I let it be known to all my traveling companions I wanted an hour of uninterrupted, unhurried gazing and fondling time. I had planned a budget and it was my turn.

Here's what you see when you walk in. The front is a large open space with a long table you can sit at and make plans. The shelves here hold the more popular, high end yarns. There's lots of Noro here. Behind those shelves are many more like it, much closer together, crammed with yarn almost to the ceiling and baskets on the floor.

Here we have a wall of cashmere, silk and the like. I believe that is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino in the foreground. Along the back wall are books, magazines, racks of single patterns and pamphlets. I don't remember seeing any fiber. I couldn't take it all in. I had to find yarn.

To the right of the door are the Fleece Artist shelves. Everything you see here, all the way back there, is Fleece Artist. I had already decided what I wanted.


After all I said about my Monkey socks, made out of Colinette Jitterbug would be the most expensive pair of socks I would ever own because I would never be so extravagant again as to spend $25 on one skein and yet... here is proof I could do it again
. But isn't she beautiful!

I also knew I wanted to find sock yarn for Barry. He deserves more than a pair of heavy socks made from scratchy wool. This is SandnesGarn of Norway. 80% wool, 20% nylon, 160 meters each ball. I hope that is enough for man socks!

In the last isle were the bargains. I found these lovely balls of Merino/Polyamid/Angora for $4 each So soft! Gedifra English Tweed, orange, yellow and purple.

Look how nice they play together!

All in the basket now!

Mission accomplished.

S of S and YARN CANDY!

Finally! I'm back! Well I didn't go anywhere but I've been very busy and had to leave the knitting community for a while. Lots to catch up on so here goes:

Summer of Socks: I am STILL working on the 2nd Monkey that I started on Canada Day, ya, July 1st. I know! But I told ya, I had to put "me" aside for a few weeks. So here I am knittng and drinking tea [Red Rose] at
Seattle's last night.

See, I'm knitting again! It feels good to have time for me again. And I mean real time. DD1 is away at camp till Saturday [she left Sunday] and DD2 is
attending a Day Camp this week with my nephew [whom she loves!]. On Tuesday my sister called and asked if DD2 could sleep over for the week. "What! The WEEK! I'll bring her over right now!" Hey, I LOVE my girls but I really stretched myself lately and needed refueling time. Thank you sister Shawne! I owe you! Hubby and I have been enjoying the time alone. Something I discovered this week: When the kids aren't around clothes are optional!

Here's what I was doing last night. Hubby, Barry, was taking engagement pictures of this cute young couple. I'm the assistant that carries stuff and holds the reflector. For those that don't know, Barry took photography at College before we met and instead of taking the great job he was offered at one of the top studios here, he went out to BC with a friend and became a trail cook on a dude ranch [the guy's got character]. His love of photography was put aside when we started a family and his equipment went out of date. This past Christmas, Santa [seriously, we have no idea where it came from] brought him a killer digital and he just start doing portraits and weddings again this summer but it is still a hobby....for now. [that's one kicking butt i've got there!]

Here's some yarn candy. I brought the yarn along to the park so Barry could take some good pictures in natural light. The bag is one I got for $5 a few weeks ago. Hard to resist a 5 buck bag. See what's peeking out? More on that tomorrow.

When ever
my dad goes to Winnipeg [about 3-4 times a year, more often than me] he goes to Ram's Wool and brings me home something. Always something amazing, something I wouldn't be able to afford for myself very often or even treat myself too [Like most moms I have a hard time spending money on myself.] My dad has some kind of sixth sense about what to get. He knows very little about yarn and knitting. He says he just goes with his gut and never spends more than a few minutes in the store.

This yarn I received last Christmas from my sister but we all know who went to Winnipeg and picked it out. I absolutely love it. It is something from Fleece Artist. I'll have to see if I can find the tag. Fire colours are my favourite and the best colour to pair orange with is purple and this yarn has it all, including texture. I love texture. Must be why I love cables.

I haven't found a use for it yet but I just love looking at it and feeling it. I like having it. My dad doesn't quite get that part of knitting, just having great yarn. He asked me a few times if I used it yet but then stopped. I told him I have to just wait for the right project to use it on. It will come.

In the spring he brought me this: Cashmere. So soft and pretty.

pssst. creamy beauty. what do you want to be.

tomorrow I promise to post more yarn candy.
What I treated myself to when I went to Winnipeg.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Summer of Socks

Here I am in Winnipeg on my birthday, June 15th, surrounded by all my 4 sisters, mother and father celebrating with the Monkey sock! The weather was beautiful. Most of us had just arrived that afternoon after an 8 hour drive from Thunder Bay and relaxing in the backyard was perfect. One of my sisters looked at this picture and said, "Kellie, in her natural habitat."

I finished this sock on the way home but didn't start the 2nd one until Canada Day, July 1st.

Every year we [DH, DD1, DD2] go down to the Marina with thousands of others to celebrate. We find a place to set up our chairs in front of the Main Stage [there's 2 or 3 others] and that becomes 'home base'. From there we take turns going off to stand in line.

Stand in line for: free coffee, free cake [which was awesome], tickets for jumping on the bouncing stuff, jumping on the bouncing stuff, paddles boats and the food: ice cream, hot dogs, corn-on-the-cob, kettle corn, spring rolls, cotton candy. There are street performers everywhere, there's the big drum circle anyone can join and this year giant games were added [giant chess, checkers, jenga, etc]

It is prime territory for DH, Barry who is a photographer so he did most of the standing in line with the girls while I sat, knit and chatted with my DMIL. So the second Monkey sock will be counted as my 1st summer of socks sock. I am hoping to get at least 2 other pairs done. Tomorrow I will post the yarn I picked up in Winnipeg which includes the sock yarn I will be using.

So here's to 140 years, Canada and to the 1st sock of summer.
A sock that will hold many good memories for me. Memories of sisters and joy in Winnipeg [more on that amazing weekend and what we were doing there on my other blog]. Memories of cool weather fun on the shores of Lake Superior. Reveling in the laughter of my girls, enjoying good food, good music, good company all in sight of the Sleeping Giant. Just made for a great Canada Day!

free counter