Sunday, 10 July 2016

A new event and our spring retreat

This year, the Barriere spinners hosted their first spin-in on April 10, held at the Blue Jar Bistro in Barriere. There was a great turnout of almost 50 spinners! There were 2 vendors, myself Smith and Ewe and Melanie Stutt of 
4 Bar S Ranch Wood products.

I hope this will be an annual event - it was a treat to meet with friends from long ago. I also met Jayne D'Entremont who has cashmere goats, among other animals, on her farm. I asked her where she got her goats from, and she mentioned someone named Heidi from Harmony Farm in Quesnel, BC. Jayne also has milk goats and makes lovely products with the milk, including soap.

After this weekend, was the semi-annual Desert Mesa Spinning Retreat held in Cache Creek each spring and fall. It is a weekend not to be missed! No pressure, no lessons, no classes, just a lot of fun and learning from each other.

There was a lady there with her cashmere, who had a very educational display on raising cashmere goats and harvesting their fleece, as well as lots of information on the different grades of fibre. And her name was Heidi Krause, from Harmony Farm in Quesnel!


 And of course, the leisure wear had to have something to do with sheep!

Until October - for the fall retreat, October 28 - 31. For information on this event, contact Sheila Kirk in Merritt, silk@telus.net.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Where have I been?

Well, my computer needed fixing, and when it came back with a new hard drive, of course I did not backup everything I needed. So it has been a while trying to get things back to the way they were.

But in April, I attended the Desert Sage Spinners and Weavers Spin-in, held once again at the beautiful Walnut Beach Resort in Osoyoos (www.walnutbeachresort.com). What a fabulous weekend! Great weather, great friends, great food, great fun.
 Meals are always wonderful - but the size of the eating area is what limits the amount of attendees to this retreat. Too bad, as I know many other people who would like to come.
I took this picture with the sun shining perfectly on Sharon Wickstrom's (Homespun Haven) setup.
Linda Schultz from Oliver brought alpaca fibre, rovings, and these cute teddy bears made from alpaca fleece. I purchased some oh-so-soft grey pencil rovings, and spun a single and plied with the 
mauve merino singles that I also spun.

Jen Allgeier from Oliver was there with her mohair fibre, 
raised and prepared by herself.
So sunny, I had to wear sunglasses inside!

Sandy McPherson once again blew us away with her show and tell of spindle spun yarns, knitted into gorgeous shawls.
 This one was spun from some merino/silk rovings that I dyed. Pattern is Botany.
 

The last shawl is Rock Around The Moon.

And on my way home, I had to stop and take a picture of the vineyards 
that go for miles and miles.





Friday, 29 April 2016

Fibres West 2016

Back to Cloverdale, BC, for the annual spring Fibres West, held March 18 and 19. This year was bigger and better than any before, and there are no signs of the attraction for fibreholics to slow down. 
As usual, the drive through the Coquihalla was stunning.


My booth was set between two large and popular vendors - Birkeland Brothers from Abbotsford (Danielle and I always request this because we are good friends and keep each other company during the few slow times), and Sweet Georgia Yarns. I created a hint of mystery.



By the time the event was over, the yarn rack was pretty empty, as was the supply of spinning fibre.

 The shawl I am wearing is one I knit (Reyna pattern, free on Ravelry) out of hand dyed and handspun Bluefaced Leicester that I made.


There was an actual Ewe roaming the facility, so meet my new mascot!
Hope to see you again next year - bring your friends!

Monday, 14 March 2016

4th Annual Thompson Treadlers Bash the Stash Spin-In

I can't believe it is March already, and our informal group of dedicated handspinners once again hosted the first spin-in of the year. Many thanks go to Terry Prehara, who has taken the responsibility of leading our group in organization and hosting.


We had a full house of 37 spinners and 2 vendors: Anne Carmichael with her sock machined socks, stitch markers, and various other tools for handspinners, and myself with fibre and yarn.


The morning was taken up with the Bash the Stash - people brought in something fibre related that they did not want or need anymore, put them on the table and wrote their name on a ticket. After all was placed, names were drawn, and that person could go to the table and take something that they wanted in exchange - always a lot of fun.


Lunch was provided by Mandy again - she takes over the kitchen and always feeds us well. This year she made a Danish dish of chicken, asparagus, mushrooms and rice, and a beautiful spinach-mandarin salad, as well as her home made buns. Thompson Treadlers provided lots of goodies to keep us going before and after lunch.


The after noon was show and tell -
and there are always treasures to be oohed and ahhh'd over.
Barbara Articus of Lumby Loves to needle felt, and is working on a shepherd with sheep. So far, the shepherd has been done. She also brought some handspun handknits that were dyed with stinging nettle.The yarn was treated with alum, the nettles were dried, then chopped up and soaked into a tea, strained, and the yarn then dyed.

Judith Glibbery brought some fibre that she had dyed, and another spinner brought some handspun skeins, one of which she made from fibre bought from me at a previous spin-in. I must repeat that colourway.
Margaret Fryatt of Ranfurly Farm near Chase brought some of her prize-winning fleeces - she raises Gotland and Bluefaced Leicester and crosses
them from time to time.
Of course, everyone then has to admire and ask questions.

Terry Prehara showing me the shawl she made, handspun from my Camo colourway in merino/nylon, and handknit in Nurmilintu pattern, free on Ravelry.

Another lovely shawl, made by Janet Payne of our group. Handspun from a batt purchased at Knit City from Calliope, and handknit in the Indian Feathers pattern, free on Ravelry, highlighted with beads.

I was spinning a blend of Polwarth, Mohair and Silk and have a finished skein of 530 yards. This was spun as a single, aiming for a pair of socks.









Sunday, 28 February 2016

Exciting times!

When we moved here, plans were to get the bathroom and kitchen renovated. The bathroom turned out great, installed by Rona. The kitchen took a little longer in planning, etc. and we decided to go with Counters Only, as they had more detail in the proposal, plus they had done a refacing reno for us in our previous house 15 years ago. Here are a few before pictures.

The previous owner had coated the countertop with something, and when it got wet, the coating bubbled up and peeled like it had a bad disease. Not healthy and no way to clean it.



And here are the after pictures.




It took only 2 days to rip out the old and install the new, so I still had plenty of time to activate the dye pot. The round of spring retreats and spin-ins begins next weekend.



 Building up stock of Bluefaced Leicester top, superwash.



and adding lots more merino/silk dyed top (80% merino, 20% silk)
a gorgeous handspinning fibre.
I found more hand dyed locks in my spinning stash - beautiful long Border Leicester fleece - which I spun in the lock, and then plied with a thread - 82 yards.
Should make a beautiful cowl knit on 8-10 mm needles.


Kamloops Spin-in March 5, then off to Fibres West in Cloverdale March 18 and 19, a great event that gets bigger every year.
See you around!






Friday, 19 February 2016

On my needles

Right now I have 3 projects on the go, which is usually not my style. But I came to a halt on two of them because my brain could not get around the concept, and I needed to knit something else. So I started this Maryanne's Shawlette with one of my favourite sparkle yarn colourways, Persian Nights.

I was knitting this Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf, (free pattern on Ravelry) but put it down and could not remember how to get the triangle to go the other way. Pause until Knit Night for help, should be finished this week. It is my Rock Your Socks colourway.

My second put down is a pair of socks using the Fish Lips Kiss Heel. I have never knit this before, and decided it was time to try. But I needed guidance as the pattern seemed odd to me. I am carrying on though, and if it doesn't work out, goodbye Fish Lips.


On Ravelry, I am a fan of Rachel Smith (no relation) and her blog and podcasts. She is known as Welford Purls. In the group "the wool n spinning podcast group" she has started a Spin and Knit project thread, where you spin your fibre and then knit it. I chose to spin some merino/nylon pencil rovings that I have dyed, and I am making a sport weight 2-ply yarn. I have only one spinning wheel now, my trusty Louet, and using the technique of lacing the bobbin, I am able to spin a very fine yarn on this wheel.

And this is the vest I am planning on knitting.

With all this going on, I am getting ready for a busy season of fibre events, starting with our very own Spin-In in Kamloops, and then on to Fibres West in Cloverdale (www.fibreswest.com)

See you next week.




Saturday, 13 February 2016

Knitting and Dyeing

I finished the shawl that I was working on last week, it is now blocked. This pattern is free on Ravelry, Simply Basic, a one skein shawl.





I found this free pattern on Ravelry, for a different kind of cowl. It is called Summer Cowgirl, and you knit the bottom part, block, sew together at the top, pick up stitches, and knit until you run out of yarn. It is also a one-skein cowl. I knit on 4mm needles, but the next one will be on 3.75 mm. It is out of a skein of Maryanne's Bliss, merino/cashmere/nylon blend.


I found these socks in my stash area, forgot about them. They are a sock blank merino/nylon that I dyed in Vancouver Canucks colours.
And speaking of sock blanks, I dyed several this week. My friend knits the
 blanks for me on her knitting machine, and then I dye them and wind into cakes. If you are making socks, start one from the outside and the other from the centre, and they will be identical.



I am knitting a scarf right now out of my Rock Your Socks colourway. It is a free pattern on Ravelry Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf, the triangles are done with short rows, all garter stitch.