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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Recycled Knits

'Sway' c 2000

On a recent trip to the beach at the Sandbanks in Prince Edward County we planned a stop in Picton to acquaint ourselves with some of the new shops. A comment on a friends ace leather jacket led me to City Revival, a huge and wonderful use clothing store that is like a recycling Holts or Creeds!

The clothing there is very chic and recycled out of Toronto and a good place to keep your eye on as they get in shipments of designer clothing, often. They have been there for seventeen years! (where was I?).

After my friend purchased a great Alan Cherry raincoat we moved on to the book store down the street which also joins onto a coffee shop and while getting coffees to sip on the next leg of our drive to the beach a woman called my name, we had said hi in City Revival but now we realized we knew each other..... this was a woman who was deep into machine knitting and sold me one of my favourite machine from her old business in the County, years ago!!!! It was so great to rediscover each other.... and she did look very smart from working in and hanging around the shop.

Carol told me that they have had my sweaters through their store, they go for high prices (still) and don't last a week!!! I didn't know how to take that but then realized I was flattered that my work lives on, is making money.... (for someone), and sharing fashion wealth.

How cool is that? It'll be when I see them in Value Village at $20 that I'll worry!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Validating Knitting

Image from the site "A Good Yarn: Knitting Blogs"

I don't read much with my eyes, waaaaay to tired when I get to bed and am usually working on a web site, blog or email when I finally nestle against my pillows. I usually 'read' my literature through my ears via my iPod ..... with my eyes closed. However I just finished a lovely book which I'm sure most of you have already read.... The Friday Night Knitting Club.

Unlike the Debbie McComber stories which round up nicely at the end this one had me in tears.... though it did end nicely, but in my sometime search for why I do what I do I want to quote this paragraph:

Does this skill have validity for the modern woman?
There is tremendous power when women hold on to - or reclaim, in the case o many young women today - the traditional skills of women who went before us. In the developed world, knitting is at once a reminder and a connection to the struggles of our collective past, when warm clothing was a necessity that could only be made by hand, and a joyous celebration of the ingenuity and creativity of our mothers and grandmothers."

The book also has a pattern for a scarf made by one of the characters and a recipe for muffins made by another.

I usually pass books on but I wrote my name in it and will hang onto it for a bit.... at least until I've tried the scarf and the muffins!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sheepdog Trials

So much has been going on since the Gallery Show but one thing that I have done for the past few years is the local Sheepdog Trials run by Amanda Milliken. It's at Grasscreek Park where the
McLauchlin Woodworking Museum is located.

I didn't get to park my display next to my friends Ann Woodall from Wool Tyme or Jane Thellwell from Anglin Bay Pottery but at the other end of the tent next to where the Sheep to Shawl event would be held on the Saturday. It is always fun each year to watch as the women grab their chosen fleece, comb, card, spin then weave it into a shawl which is later judged. The have four and a half hours to do it all. To women I know were on the Kingston team so I was rooting for them.

got to peruse the fleeces as they lay in the sun awaiting the start of the competition, there were two light ones and I think three dark ones, beautiful and full of lanolin.

The looms are already set up with their warp, the Kingston Weavers, and my old supplier Roberta McKinnon, had a warp of green gradient. Starting with a lovely very pale green and on to a darker version of the same shade of green. The shawls are to be at least 72" long so there's lots of room for that sort of variety.

It proceeds with the team members picking twigs and dirt out of lumps of fleece that they are going to comb and card, then spin. The reels of spun yarn are quickly passed to the weaver who puts them into her shuttle and courses ahead.

I got to go around and see how they were getting on and also what kind of pattern they had set up.... unfortunately I didn't take photos of the finished shawls!

The ends of the warp are worked into tassels or fringes to finish off the shawl and then they are judged. The Kingston Weavers took second out of the four.

It was only after this three day event that I felt my Summer started... but much work to be done and many orders still to fill before I head to Inspiration 08 in Cleveland and then to Britain with my sister, accompanying my parents to help them celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

I've been to the beach once, in a swimming pool once and now it's cool weather!!!! Anyway, I'm exhausted from all that has gone on this Summer so far. But I did get to go to Bead 'n' Bitch held
by Lindsey Fair who beads with beach glass that she collects. The evening involved four other women.. and some wine! Lindsey started out by asking us to identify ourselves and tell our passion and our bitch!

I made a necklace with three strands of tiger wire choosing from Lindsey's collection of beads. I'm not a necklace person but I've worn this one so much since I made it. There will be more classes, I want to learn how to wind wire around stones and glass.