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Monday, August 31, 2009

Buttons & Beyond....

Materials bag with some of the tools, clay and instructions.

I can't believe that August 22nd has come and gone. That was the day for the Rockport Development Group's Button's & Beyond, a polymer clay workshop taught by me, and set up by my friend Margot Miller of Rockport ON. Funded by OMAFRA it was a great opportunity for a workshop in a rural area.

Here is most of the group, including Margot (far right in blue) with their 'goodie bags' containing some starter tools, a tile on which to work and some instructions on making Cane. With the funding from OMAFRA there was only the $20 material fee.

Demonstrating use of the pasta maker and mixing colours.

I took three pasta makers that I have and two of the participants took theirs along. It's interesting to see that pasta makers vary in that some have the widest thickness on the lowest number and some have them on the high numbers! It's a bit confusing when you might be going back and forth between pasta makers.

The lower room at the Rockport Recreation Centre.

Using the lower room we had bright lighting and direct access to the kitchen, good for firing the clay in a toaster oven and for our coffee, zucchini bread and lunches. After we got rid of a couple of wasps we got under way.

Here I am talking about the clay and the colours, showing that some are metallic - Copper, Silver Gold and also Pearl. There is also pearl in Red, Blue and Green which I introduced later when the 'girls' got rolling and had a better idea of what they wanted to do with clay, as I didn't have a lot of it.

That was a great day and we hope to repeat it again further into the Fall in preparation for about making gift tags, napkin rings, I might even try covering Altoid boxes for gift boxes. Watch this space and....

Join us!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What I Looked At Today....

One of the first things I do each morning is look at my Yarn Harlot 'page a day' calendar which I got indirectly from Stephanie via her Mum and my neighbour (bless them all). Today she talked about knitters watching fewer foreign films because of the subtitles and how knitters prefer dramas, more listening and less looking. YES!!!

For years I've been so disappointed when my husband suggests watching a marvelous foreign film as I have to put down my knitting and read the screen!!!!!

Found this link on my local Wool Tyme newsletter for August: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Knitter', I love the sketches and the sentiments.

B'deer, b'deer, b'deer... that's all folks.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Friday at the Fort

David, daughter Claire, a friend and Donna (Dave's wife)

My neighbour Dave More has written his second book of an historic trilogy ~ 'The Lily and the Rose'. What has that to do with knitting...not much but that for this launch he invited six creative friends to exhibit at Historic Fort Henry here in Kingston along with launching his book. As one of those six I took my work up to the fort on Friday afternoon.

I hadn't been to the fort for a long time, not since the last time we went for the Kingston Symphony's 1812 at the Fort (a great outdoor concert including cannons!). It was a beautiful evening, finally cooling from the hot day it had been, and we were in two of the officers' mess dining rooms.

My display by the fireplace.

A lovely evening was had, three of the other artists were there too with paintings and photography, and one a history writer. We munched and imbibed, wandering out into the setting sun as David expounded on his newest novel and the history behind his story....all set in this area of North America.

A view of the parade ground sloping towards the Lake Ontario

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Halibuton... cont'd...

Andrea's Jacket

I'm overdue in posting these pictures of Andrea Orpana (my intermediate student) and her wonderful jacket made in my Haliburton class.

Jacket Back

She spent a lot of time afterwards finishing her beautiful creation. One thing I want Andrea and other machine knitters to become comfortable with is working in the loose ends of yarn as you go as much as you can. It becomes second nature, very neat and saves hours working them in with a sewing needle while assembling your garment.

Lots of threads.

Sleeve Added

Band detail

Well, the residual effects of my week at the Haliburton School for The Arts endure. First, in helping one of my students master, or at least tackle, the Passap Duomatic 80 knitting machine I learned more about it myself.

I had worked with a studio student on one years ago but still did not know my way around the way I do Japanese machines..... I have a better understanding (after h
elping her cast on a squillion times) of the beds and 'locks'. Unfortunately, mine is a Pink Passap and has a different threading and a tension mast that I need a Marsian to translate!!!! I took pictures to send back and forth to Peter Smith of 'Sew Knit Serge' in Toronto to help me and so far he's doing a grand job. What I really need is a manual for the Passap Duomatic PINK. I don't think one exists and the Duomatic 80 manual doesn't give the right set up.

Scraping the old cruddy sponge out of a sponge bar.

One thing we had to do was fix sponge bars as the newbies had machines they had not used and of course the sponge bars had never been removed (to preserve them). I found this great blog with a lot of info on it. 'Knittsings' has blow by blow instructions 'how to' fix your sponge bar. I have about four that I'll spend an afternoon reviving. They're not that expensive but it seems a shame to have a collection of metal strips that used to be sponge bars!!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Haliburton - My First 'Gig'!!

The front doors of Flemming College
"Within These Walls The Walls Disappear"

I've been back from my first whole week in Haliburton teaching Machine Knitting. Unfortunately I found that life goes on when you're out in the country, driving through rain storms to the BBQ's, hot tubbing and lake swimming. The work I left behind divided into the baskets according to the requirements of each order.... was still there in my studio awaiting the replacement of my absent knitting machines and firing them up again.

I had a blast yes but I worked for it and being so busy means you really want some quiet time to yourself at some point... still looking for that! Maybe next week, this weekend I'm setting up my wares at the Sheepdog Trials at Grass Creek Park just East of Kingston. I love the atmosphere, outdoors, lots of lovely well behaved and talented dogs, sheep, wool, food and folk from all over. My favourite part is the Sheep to Shawl contest which takes place on Saturday with teams of spinners and weavers competing in time and the finished product from the mad dash for the perfect fleece in the morning.

Me picking up a dropped stitch under the watchful eye of Marilyn Leonard of Romni Wools.

One of my treats in Haliburton was to meet up with Marilyn Leonard who used to teach the machine knitting and retired a few years ago. I was so pleased to be asked to try to fill her shoes. I had a great bunch of women but did spend the first few days fixing machines, padding sponge bars and getting them in working order. If a machine isn't used regularly and the sponge is left in it flattens and disintegrates rendering your machine useless until replaced. I did find a neat blog however on rebuilding a sponge bar yourself. We used weather stripping in a pinch last week though.

Well, now I must run and see if I can make another wrap before I go to bed tonight!!

.....more to come on my wonderful students.