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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nuno Felting Workshop

 For a change, instead of teaching a workshop I took one! Yeah. After weeks of shows and getting a lot of work ready, photographing and listing things on Etsy and such I took a day for myself to learn more about Nuno felting which is something I've wanted to do for ages.

I had found Wabi Sabi in Ottawa and found this class in one of the emails they send out with their classes listed.

Here is Tonia with the owner, Carol, in the doorway, giving us an outline of what we are going to spend our day doing and showing us a couple of examples.

One of Tonia's vests.

This is undyed prefelt being stretched a bit after cutting slits in it..the slits become holes.

This is my piece of prefelt which had been pre dyed...I loved the colour and the unevenness of it, darks and lights with some pink splodges.

This is the owners' dog 'Jam', so named because he's always in one!

He spent some time on the shelf under my table, must have liked the rocking when I rolled! Took my own pool noodle.

 A couple of hours of rolling, checking, changing, rolling, checking.....

Rinsed and spun, still damp and I'm wondering where I will place the armholes.

The colours become more subtle when it dries.

One of the other participants with her efforts which she decided to leave as a shawl with no armholes.

Close up of the felting of wool with the silk georgette I had in my stash which I took with me.

Finished garment .... with armholes.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Knitting Work Frenzy

As most of you must's show season! After returning from Chicago in October I got ready for the Maker's Hand in Picton at the beginning of November then Signatures show - in it's new location - the Ottawa Convention Centre (with it's commensurate costly parking)! My neighbour was the lovely Jennifer of Crumb aprons, we became friends and I look forward to having her as a neighbour in the future at another show..... not likely but I'd love it.  

Jennifer's Socks

Well, as in shows gone by, especially in the eighties, we traded. Jennifer  got  a pair of my hand knit socks and I got a great knitting needle caddy for my ..... sock needles!  I love it as I added the cache of sock needles my Mum had...I'll never run out again.
Crumb needle caddy.

 Speaking of needing needles I picked up a copy of Jane Austen Knits at my local Wool Tyme while buying more sock yarn...yes, only went in for one thing! I'm using a black and white cotton twist that is very soft and will work in Spring and Fall as well as Winter. Well, I was looking for a pair of needles and when I looked on the high shelf at my stash I saw... my Mum's knitting needles! Wow, I forgot I had taken them when Dad cleared out their house after she passed away and I cadged them. This cotton bag is full of needles, some of which are of a style/brand that I remember her using when I was a kid in England.

Mum's Bamboo knitting needles.

Then there is her case of pretty much a full set of bamboo needles. I've not used them much in the past but I might give them a try.

Wonderful Mesh Pressing Cloth

Another wonderful find is a supply of mesh pressing cloths. I've had one since I found it at a yard sale years ago and it's great for pressing anything but especially knits. It takes the heat and lets the heat and steam pass through without having the iron touch your work. I searched the 'net for them and then Pat Holbrook of Cardiknits emailed me that they were being sold a Added Touch in Oakville. They're only $2!!!  I now have 6 if anyone wants one from me + postage but do try Added Touch. There's nothing on the web site so I called them.

Kingtson at night from Fort Henry hill.

Now I'm in between two weekends at the Gift Giving show at Fort Henry here in Kingston. Artisans are in the lower fort displaying and selling our wares along with local Ontario wineries and some bakers ... so everything's OK if we get the munchies.
I took this picture after the first night while walking to the parking lot.

This is my display in one of the rooms of the lower fort.
Wandering Carol Singers

One of the artists in our room is Guy Wales who does three dimensional chalk drawings and is doing one on the floor of the fort. This is the first night, Friday, while he lays out and measures and plans. The gate behind him is locked but leads to a small room with floorboards which I believe lead to the moat and gun slits for firing out to protect the harbour of Kingston.

Sunday morning

Sunday afternoon from the correct perspective.

 I'm looking forward to seeing how far he's gone during the week when he will pop in and do a bit more work. The floor is to look sunken when it's finished...the white chalk lines around the walls are evidence.


This lovely young lady is Rose who's Mum Nessy bakes the most wonderful goods using natural ingredients and old fashioned recipes, making them vegan too. I ate a huge brownie guilt free as it was from plum compote with almonds and sweetened with maple sugar... the only sugar Rose is allowed. She's been helping Mum and also doing some cool artwork.

Well, back to work as I have another weekend at the fort and another little show and also I'm uploading pics of my work to my etsy shop:

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Makers Hand show.

Makers Hand booth 2011
 This weekend was the Makers Hand show weekend in Picton ON.  It was a lovely looking show with all of the four dozen or so artisans chosen from the cream of the crop. I was so honoured to return.  It also gave me a chance to tweak my booth before the Originals show in Ottawa at the Convention centre next week. A new bamboo shelf for all my scarves helped tidy things up. The above snap shows a tidy booth without a third tall form that I had taken home to photograph a couple of new jackets....didn't happen, I was so tired I just plonked in front of the was too dark. I'll do it today using the outside sunlight as usual.

Custom Top

I took a just finished top to display, it is made of Cannele cotton (Mercerized, French) and done on the Brother garter carriage. Sometimes you can just set it and forget it.... but I don't seem to be able to. I am always checking for dropped stitches and with this garment there was a lot of shaping so I would set it for a couple or five rows then pop over to work  a decrease or increase....then there were the armholes and neck shaping.... I love it... I hope it fits the client who ordered it!

I gave a small talk at October's Artists Round Table on self publishing with I recently built my new little notebook (in sidebar) on my way to putting another one together. I learned the software, which was fun and you can use your creativity.  Anyway, I was so thrilled a) to see Tina Roeder at the show, with a booth up ace spot, and b) to see she had made a book for herself and ordered it in hard cover. This was a handy little book for folk to look through at her booth, useful if she, say, is busy with a customer.

Tina Roeder's Catalogue
Inside Tina's catalogue.

A little extra.
Now I'm preparing for Saturday's opening of Focus on Fibre at Artemisia Gallery in Westport...with my friends Sylvia Naylor, Margot Miller and so many more. The opening is Saturday afternoon 1 - 5 and I will be demonstrating.

Then it's off to Ottawa for the Signatures show - the first time I've done this particular one...I'm a little wary of its location as the parking is way more expensive than at Lansdowne Park (for us and the visitors) but .... we'll see. At least we don't have to tote a carpet or a structure!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Studio Video - Chicago Workshop

Just after I finished editing and putting out my latest tutorial video I wondered where my first video was. I used to carry it around in my laptop bag and play it at shows, it's 13 minutes of an overview of making a sweater in my studio on my knitting machine.

Well, I found it and managed to get it uploaded to YouTube. It's not a tutorial but educational, I remember speaking with a woman at the Chicago One of a Kind show where she thought (and she was not alone) that got the fabric from somewhere and created a sweater by cutting and assembling..... I put her straight by showing her the first few minutes of this video and she said she would never assume again!

Also, sometimes I just don't have the time to take photos and that was the case recently on my second trip to Chicago to conduct a workshop in making one of my jackets.  What fun I had and what a lot of work...which I love, my only regret, but couldn't be helped, was that we couldn't add an hour or two to the days the Interknit group of Chicago. I'd love to have gone longer to get the ladies further along in their projects.

InterKnit Machine Knitting Guild of Chicago

However, I saw wonderful knitting happening, from some who really knew what they were doing to those who valiantly struggled along with this new (to them) craft....I praise them all!
Mary and me at the end of Navy Pier on a hot Fall day.

Mary picked me up at the airport and we spent the afternoon on Navy Pier, which I had only seen lit up an night before. We went on the Ferris wheel and looked at a wonderful display of stained glass.

Can this be knit?
Speaking of stained glass and women's work, an excellent read is 'Clara and Mr Tiffany' written by Susan Vreeland from letters written by Clara Wolcott Driscoll, a key woman behind Louis Comfort Tiffany's glass work.

The workroom we used for the Chicago jacket workshop.

Working hard.

Giving a little help.

Thanks Valoria  for the photos of the workshop.
Well, speaking of woman's work, I'm off to my knitting machines!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Handloomed Knit Artwear 10/12 by Crafted Spaces | Blog Talk Radio

Handloomed Knit Artwear 10/12 by Crafted Spaces | Blog Talk Radio

Yvette-Michelle of Crafted Spaces is having me on her web radio on Wednesday for a half hour interview. I'm really excited and looking forward to answering questions from in!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Show time! The Just For Us Originals wearable art show happens this Friday and Saturday, it will be the first show of what I just realized will be a very busy Fall season.

The Just For Us Originals is a wonderful show and I'm glad it's found such a glamorous venue at the Mississauga Living Arts Centre. Those huge windows throw such great natural light on all the artists' work.

Yesterday I was making a new sweater plus lists of what I had to do come Monday, plus working on my new tutorial DVD - Collars - and trying to figure out when my next free weekend would be when I suddenly remembered another show I'm doing in November that I had momentarily forgotten!!!

The Maker's Hand in Picton November 4th, 5th & 6th is a small but special show that I've been a part of since it's second show so I'm looking forward to heading back there.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to get some exercise so I took my bike out instead of walking and went down to the Kingston Market where every Sunday is held the Antique Market, the day was a beautiful, warm early Fall day and it made working in the studio the rest of the day a little easier...especially as I had a knitter friend come by for a bit of a play date! While at the market I bought the book all about the making of The Who's 'Tommy' back in the '90's in New York - I was commissioned to do 36 knits for the Toronto production.  Then I got home to have my husband say 'yes, like the one you already have!' So if anyone want's it ..... it's yours!!!!! (I thought it seemed familiar!!!)

When I get some photos of a couple of new designs I'll post them on my web site (another task...updating and freshening that!) but now I'm going to get a bit of rest as our beloved pussy cat woke us early this morning to pass away, he was elderly and sick so I'm glad he's more comfortable now though we'll miss him so much.

Well, now for a bit of a snooze before I hit the knitting machine and my list of shows in Spring 2012 that I have to start paying for!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Modern Fuel Gallery - September A.R.T.

1904 Signage on Modern Fuel Gallery

Yesterday was September's Artists Round Table meeting and, thanks to Denise Love of Lovetheworld photography, who volunteers at Modern Fuel Gallery in downtown Kingston, that is where we met. 

 I haven't been to the Modern Fuel for ages and was pleased to see the old building is getting smarter and smarter over the years. When I first moved to Kingston I went to an opening there where I got to chat with Nan Yeomans over a couple of lovely little watercolours she had painted of boats in Hatters Bay (now Portsmouth Olympic Harbour).

We were met and hosted by four of the staff....

Michael Davidge,  Artistic Director
Christine Mockett, Administrative Director
Riva Symko (President)
Jennifer Wakelin (student volunteer)

Christine, Michael, Jennifer & Riva.
The current show which we saw, The Rough Edge of Beauty, which ends this Saturday was very interesting and diverse:  Jessica Marion Barr, Mackenzie Browning, Decomposing Pianos (Owen Fernley and Julia Krolik), Frank DeSa, Rebecca Houston, Maayke Schurer, Su Sheedy, Andrew Sims, and David Woodward. It took me a while to become more familiar with some of the pieces but the became more fascinating as time went on. This is in the main gallery.

The State of Flux Gallery is a small side gallery for the exhibition of art limited to artists from Eastern Ontario. The main part of the gallery is open to exhibition from artists from just about anywhere.

This is not a gallery for sales (unless a viewer is put in touch with the artist) but for exhibitions of various artists’ work. It is funded by the OAC, Canada Council and Kingston Council for the Arts. The shows change every two months. 

They would also like to involve Queen’s art students to have their portfolio’s reviewed.
Modern Fumes is their newsletter to which you can subscribe by becoming a member...

I started going to shows when I first moved to Kingston in 1995 but the gallery has been running since 1977.
Annette, Tina & Denise.

  Nicole asked about the sparseness of the current exhibition and we learned of the fees paid to the participating artists which must fall within their budget...the exhibition was really cool though!

 I’ve always loved the side of the building as I drive along Ontario Street.
"The gallery is currently situated in a heritage limestone building that was constructed in 1848 to house the City of Kingston Gaslight Company. In 1849 George Herchmer Markland sold 1/5 acre to city of Kingston Gaslight Co. which was bought by the city of Kingston in 1904. It is this company that advertised "GAS" as "THE MODERN FUEL" at the turn of the century, a slogan which remains painted to this day on the side of the current building at 21A Queen St. (pictured above); hence the origin of the name, the Modern Fuel Gallery". (taken from the Modern Fuel website).

You can join them on their Facebook page and follow Michael's blog.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Well, a while back I started to put together my knitting notes and some instructions into a book....hmm still working on that, it'll take a while as there's a lot of writing. Then the software I was using announced they had added 'Notebook' to their stable of formats and after taking a look at a few samples I decided I would give it a try.

It really was fun to work at, for a first effort, choosing photos, finding out that the older ones taken with my first digital camera were low resolution and so forth. Learning to use the company's software, which was fun, and taking a couple of webinars. What a great way to share your ideas, work or just to put together all the photos from a project, trip, work, a creative way, as you can keep it private and only order one!

My friend Sally Chupick had also done a book with her wonderful watercolours of Kingston, see hers here 'I Spy A Sailing City'.

Feel free to's all part of the learning, back to knitting!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Button Making Workshop.

The Gang in the Upstairs Workroom.

Well, another polymer clay Button Making workshop at the Thousand Islands Art Center in Clayton NY successfully completed. Not a huge class, I'm used to 10 - 15 but the five lovely ladies I had this year consisted of the three ladies I had last year and two newbies. What a great gang!

Newbie work!

I just wanted to post some pictures I made of the finished work done during the day, some very creative items.  I love the colours on the button/pin selection above, I think this is Dianna's It also shows that you can work on a colour grouping, I see some rolled cane here, and then just run with it, experimenting with designs, shapes and combinations.

Susan got rolling right  away trying something that turned out to be just like my own Pansy buttons! Then, looking for a button for a creamy garment she has, she experimented with some white with translucent. Translucent makes a great cream but with depth. Love her 'pin' of 'bits' in an asymmetrical shape.

'You've come a long way, baby' applies to Edwina who was all organic last year and now is funky fashionable with her buttons! She even ventured into beads for a necklace to wear to a wedding. I think some black silky rattail with a nice fastener and it will rock!

Shank backs on Edwina's buttons.

Last year, Edwina had a knit garment under way and this year she brought it so show us with the button she had made for it. Cool.

Edwina's Vest

Beth's efforts.
Beth, of Sheep Thrills in North Syracuse NY,  was new this year but quickly got hold of the cane idea and ran with that.  I think the colourful work below was Dianna's (of Needle & Thread in Plattsburgh NY) and I love the use of colour (of course). I wonder if she's making something to go with these buttons, something simple would showcase them.

I think the buttons and flower are Paula's, she really went to town this year but I took these photos at the end of the day and I'm sure I missed some good stuff.

The pen thingy is a problem I'm trying to solve. 11 years ago my niece entered the Women's Art Festival here in Kingston and raked in quite a few dollars by selling the 'fridge magnets and pens and such that she had made over five weeks coming to my studio on Saturdays. I have covered pens to go with the guest book I have in my booth at shows and just for fun. I use to pick up a box of stick pens from Staples , take out the ink cartridge with pliers and put it back in when I had covered and baked the shell. In the past few years the I've tried all sorts of stick pens and the plastic is cheaper and melts leaving you with an awful mess in the oven!!! I'm really annoyed and am still looking for a stick pen that will stand up to the 275 degrees F of the toaster oven. Many books who have projects have covered and decorated pens... it seems we can no longer make those. 

What we did here was (thanks to Edwina) take a wooden dowel the size of the pens, cover and bake the slide off the 'skin' and slide it onto the pen... a bit of glue is probably needed but these are our results.

If anyone has any word on which pens we can still cover and decorate please let me know!

Edwina, Susan, Paula, Dianna and Beth. Thanks for making my day.