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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

More Shopping - Silk & Pink Wear!!!!

Last year on our way down South we got stuck in horrible traffic on our way though Hagerstown MD so we deeked off the highway and found ourselves on 15 Southbound towards Gettysburg. What a find...the countryside was beautiful, even in the rain, and we drove past a corner junction in the hamlet of Lucketts with some beautiful old vintage stores...one is Lucketts Store, in Louden County VA.  The one pictured here is almost a whole field with a couple of buildings and tents full of antiques and vintage finds on the weekends. You can't miss the pink spotted cow!
This year we stopped here and ventured into this pink room full of vintage clothing, mostly prom dresses!!!!!!! What a treat! All things to wear to a garden party on MadMen and before!

Are there enough ruffles?
I think this little number might have been worn by one of the mothers of a prom queen...I thought it was beautiful! Wish I could have seen it on a mannequin.























Deep in one of the rooms we came across some bolts of silk, now, my husband, who is a great shopper glommed onto this one and I'm still not sure why, but he's really good with colour and just held it out in front of me.  I said I'd recover the cushions in our living room as we have a beige sofa and chairs. The tag on it said $20 which isn't bad for silk as I've made dresses from silk I got from Designer Fabric Outlet in Toronto and paid $18 a yard back in the '90's. When I asked if I could get a couple of yards we were told $20 was for the bolt!





When I got home and measured it there are 3.5m of silk....a bargain! Cushions covered....and maybe a little something for me!
One of the things I love to do when down in the Outer Banks (NC) is go bead shopping. I have no time at home and they have lots of bead shops where vacationers can go in and make items on a rainy afternoon, on a 'girl's' weekend away or when the guys are out windsurfing on the sound.  (I used to windsurf but now I wait for the wind to die down so I can go out on a SUP ... stand up paddleboard). So I grabbed these as inspiration in the way colours are put together...I'll work some ideas into felted jackets. The little black and white shells have holes in them...I'm sure I'll use them somewhere.

Now I'm back home and need to find space somewhere to stash my new purchases until I can use them...leaving them out to look at just clutters up an already packed studio!!!!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Gone Shoppin' (Yarn that is)

Once again on our way down to the Outer Banks for that first hit of wind surfing for my other half and some early SUPing for me (stand up paddle boarding) we have to stop at yarn shops.

My dear knitting buddy and friend Rose is now living in State College PA so she took me to her fave yarn shop to mooch about and get me a treat! 

We went to Really Clear and I got a skein of Sari silk - Leilaniarts and a skein of hand painted Merino wool from Rhichard Devrieze.                                                                                                                        I think I'll make another Swiss cheese scarf out of the yellow...maybe mixing it with some purple.                                                                                              The sari silk....well...as they say...watch this space!
On our way onto the Outer Banks I had to stop at Knitting Addiction in Kitty Hawk ... where the Wright brothers first flew, (my other half frequents a place called Wind Addiction!) The shop is huge, two level and amazingly huge place with the most comprehensive selection of yarn for miles around. Run by a Jeanne Shrader...who puts up with people like me tearing around the place once a year like it's the only yarn shop on the planet (well sometimes it is when you've been in a car for hours and hours).


I am a lucky girl as my husband treated me to some balls of yarn...he tends to follow me around saying 'get that' when I start drooling over a skein or ball. We all know yarn can be expensive but he puts his money where his mouth is....this is what I got this time. Besides the two balls of Regia to add to my sock stash, a pen and a bumper sticker I picked up what I got last year but different colours. Two balls of Crazy Zauberball....probably just for my own scarf collection. and a skein of Bamboo Bloom Handpaints from Universal Yarn which I will use to accent my felted jackets.

Driving away we went around the back of the shop and found this!!!! Jeanne's Yarn Truck...a year old. She has a name but I'm afraid I've forgotten it.

 





Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fashion Show at Passionate Artisans

Ooh, Spring Fun!  Passionate Artisans, where I have my work in Kingston, is having an artisan fashion show on Sunday April 26th at 1pm. 28 Bath Road, Kingston.



Here is Lynda talking to Bill Hall of 'WS Daily' yesterday


Here's Bill talking to a couple of the artisans....(yes...one's me).

I'm desperately trying to get my taxes finished....actually I just took them to the accountant, then work on some new work for the Beach Studio Tour next weekend.... whew...talk about overloaded. I think I have been doing too much volunteering and must cut back in order to get my work done.

Beach Studio Tour




Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Colour & Shapes

Though I'm nowhere near a knitting machine, wool or anywhere that needs wool at the moment my mind is still working on design.

Christmas lights still 'round the studio door!
Wandering around the island of St Martin/St Maarten in the Caribbean I'm bombarded by colour and it's wonderful...especially during a Winter of white on white with white accents at home in Canada! Fortunately our home is yellow so that adds a little colour to the scenery while I've been shovelling out the driveway...and there is, occasionally, beautiful blue sky. However...as 25 years ago, when we were first/last here, I'm inspired by the colour.


Marigot, then, had a harbour filled with dozens of brightly coloured fishing boats which inspired my multicoloured striped cardis. I just dove into colours then.




The green of the palm trees is such a beautiful green...you can get some ugly man made greens, and though here there is the red and green we normally associate with Christmas...the red here has a lot of pink in it and it's balanced with the white.



I love yellow, but it's a hard colour for most people to wear and needs to be softened with tones that compliment the face....like  this pink or the periwinkley blues of the window and lacy boards. Here white is used to soften the acidity of the yellow.  I also love the patterns in the baseboards interspersed with the green pointy fence posts....the border of a jacket or sweater which is all coral?






This is one of my favourites...wandering along the boardwalk in Philipsburg on the Dutch side of St Maarten I spied these pointy roofs down an alley. Two blues - sky & walls - with the stunning orange of the tiles...yum. I see a periwinkle or mid blue jacket with strong orange accents...somewhere.



Ravenous but still not 5pm we headed to the Hard Rock cafe and downed two 'Lenendary Burgers' (I won't have to eat for a week!)  and watched one of the cruise ships head out to sea. Of course I had to take a pic of Michael Jackson's jacket ...from the 70's or '80's I think. Great colour combo - orange & silver...or grey - and maybe work up the swirly pattern on a mylar sheet or program it into your Brother pattern library.

Try other colour combos...black on white, work a glittery yarn into the swirl pattern and silver beads where these 'bobbles' are.







Lumbering along the boardwalk after those monster burgers we came across this little girl who, we were told, was three that day. I asked her if she was making pudding as she stirred whatever was in the ash tray with a loose piece of wood from the picnic table....don't you just love her dress!!! Knit something in cotton and either dip dye it or hand paint with dyes. Or just find yarns with these strong colours...very 'island'.



This just spoke to me in the softer colour combination and the stripes and blocks (ventilation holes). This creamy banana yellow is much easier to wear.





Believe it or not this is part of the police station down on the Philipburg boardwalk (deceptive...it's concrete, no boards...and it wasn't there 25 years ago). Once again orange and blue but with the deep pinky red of the roof.



Last but by no means least here's another part of the pink house with the yellow and blue with the green pickets.


Why don't we paint our houses like this in Canada...wouldn't that look stunning in our brilliant Summers and really jolly up our white (or dull slushy) Winters.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Vintage Knitting Inspiration

While surfing the net looking for inspiration I found this blog....










 I started to download the magazines and one by one and found so much of use and interest...even among the oversize, drop shouldered '80's fashions I downloaded them all.

I found a few things I want to make for myself, some neat instruction and information.

This white V necked ribbed pullover will be very smart for Spring and Fall. Perhaps out of a cotton acrylic blend, Cannele cotton? We'll see. I think I'd do it using the Garter Carriage rather than use the ribber....never been very good with the ribber.




My husband, who was sitting next to me as I went through the mags glommed onto this one and said he even liked the gold colour....though he likes the lighter blue too. I think if I switch the colours it'll look super...it's a combination of Garter Carriage and Fairisle knit in patterning.






I really want to work this dress....but shorter to wear over pants as a 'top'.

Working through the patterns - all included in the mags - I'll have to figure out the yarns...do I have some similar? What sort of switches will I be making.


What fun to browse these mags and they're not taking up any room on my studio shelves!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Etsy & the Fluctuating CAD!

What to do...what to do! I've had an Etsy shop for years now and it's done OK..and not OK but it's a great way to have a shop attached to my web site and have it seen around the world. I know I'm competing in large market but rather that than not at all

My dilemma now is our fluctuating Canadian dollar, you see, Etsy is a US shop and all prices are automatically listed in US dollars, that's been ok when our dollar was strong or on a par with the US dollar but now it' plummets and I can't keep up



I had my student look all around Etsy to see how I could change my listings to CAD so I could put accurate prices on and not have them blow out of proportion with the exchange. A couple of weeks ago I sat with the Currency Exchange site open on my iPad and listed my work with the US equivalent of my Canadian prices....OK so far but then the dollar plunged again.  The other day I took a look at a pair of socks, clicked on the little blue USD next to the price and found that my $65 socks which I had priced at $50something USD translated at over $71CAD!!!!!!!

Now I have changed everything to CAD but on my 'dashboard' where I create my listings....they are still listed in USD!!! Whew:



So you can see that I had to list my socks at $51USD to get them even close to CAD ($66.55)!!!!

I have 49 items on my shop...I've sometimes had over 60...do I have to go in each day and change my US prices to reflect the correct CAD?!

Last year the One of a Kind started an online shop of their own and as I decided to end my 30year relationship with the shows I purchased a 'shop'. I started to work it but found the 'shipping' page to be ridiculous and haven't returned. They had you having to price shipping to every item using Post Office standards and having to refer to that. I tried to plough my way through that and gave up.....

I think I'm going to look at the OOAK shop (and get my money's worth before it expires) or maybe Zibbet.

Sheesh!!!!!!!!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Painting on Knits.

Winter and I'm working through my custom orders. I didn't to a Christmas or 'Holiday' show as I have done over so many of the past 32 years so I have't a lot of pending work. That could be good, no one likes to have no work, but it gives me more space, makes me go into the studio and push myself to do 'something. You know what they say 'if you want something done give it to a busy person' and that is soooo true! So I always keep busy.



One order is a pink cotton knit collarless cardigan...very Springlike, Summery. My sample has a purple Morning Glory motif and the order is to be worked in hot pink & khaki.


I had my student put in a few hours and had her work with me as I mixed the colours and held down the stencils...she was also very handy to hit the sink to wash off the stencils & brushes.


I first saw painting on knits back in 1988 when I went to Secaucus NJ for a Mac Knit conference....one of the neatest thing's I've attended. There was a mother & daughter duo - one knit pullovers in and the other painted on them...beautiful work. I learned lots that weekend but that stuck with me and I have used it since.


Not being a painter I cut my own stencils and Pebeo Setacolor...I have used many different ones over the years and have stencilled sweaters, dresses, walls, nightdresses, bags and more. After putting down the basic colour I use some shading and accents to give more depth and interest.

 Also...it's fun!