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Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday Shopping Season!!!

Just sent out an email for the Holiday Shopping Season! I've deadlines - knits to get done for folk who need to take them away for the holidays elsewhere, and making sure my online presence is up to date.

I'm working on some workshops for the help your work be awesome! I'll keep you posted on that scene as I plan dates....but don't hesitate to get in touch if you have ideas or want to put together a group workshop for your own group.
Hand Knit Socks 
As I have put work in the shops listed in the sidebar I'm not doing any shows this season, but what you might find in my Etsy shop is in my studio so do contact me if there is anything you would like to pick up if you are heading this way, and I'll put it aside.
Felted Cushion Covers
QR code link to my Newsletter

 You can scan this with your smart phone or just click the link. (I love QR codes and have had fun with artisan at a show had them in his booth and on his business cards....they took you right to his web site.....gotta get onto that!

Soft hand Knit Socks
Well, I had better jump in to my own hand knit socks (years old but still hanging in) and head out to the post office!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sweater Constructing - Finishing

It must seem as if I took a long time to finish this jacket but it's done and long gone to it's new owner .... and wouldn't you know it I didn't take a photo of the finished product. The same style in a different colour is shown in the fourth image.

After the jacket is assembled I use test swatches and patches from other yarns and experiments to make the 'patches'. I have soooo many I decided to implement them in this design which was partly inspired by the costume of Fagin in 'Oliver'.

The patches are just cut and stitched with double strands of contrasting coloured yarn.
Here I have them pinned onto the jacket on the form so I can plan what goes where. This part is fun. I have knit large patches in both stocking stitch and lace for 'godets' in the hem slits.

Here you can see how I've stitched the patches and also added a bead here and there.

Then there are the buttons to make in different colours. I make three as one goes on the back neck detail to accent the patches there.

Here is the finished's on the 'Jackets' page of my web site.

Well, I've been busy making pins and buttons which I do when I make buttons for an order or a stock item. I've been loading them up on my Etsy shop....check them out for Christmas prezzies for your sewer friends or to give someone for their shawls, knit scarves or wraps!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Construct - Deconstruct!

                                                                                               Just a couple of thoughts about the process of making one of my jackets. This is a custom order for a client and, of course, I want it to fit. I worked the back (it will have a godet in the back slit) and then the left front. Working the left front next means I can measure and size and if it's not right and I have to pull out the knitting I haven't wasted time on buttonholes. I've pinned the pieces on my form so see how it hangs and's easy to take measurements when it is pinned out on the form.

 Here is how I pull out my knitting and rewind the yarn. I always use natural fibres so they can be ironed (cotton) and pressed with no ill effects. In fact I learned many years ago, from a rep from the Wool Council,  to 'kill' wool knitting with my steam iron. It sets the knit structure and helps it keep it's shape over time.
Here I'm unraveling the left front, running it under my iron (set on med/wool) with lots of steam, letting it cool and puddle on the floor then rewinding it ready to reknit!

I've gone back to my Garment Designer pattern which I created for this client and mad the back to reknitting!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New Buttons...

Well, it's been a busy few weeks since I returned from PEI. There was a workshop at Frontenac Secondary School that was very interesting as I have not worked solely with teenagers before and it was a unique experience! From deciphering teen talk & slang to figuring out what each individual was really interested in. This was part of a fashion course in their life skills classes, run by Mrs. L Becker.

Funky three dimensional work.

I felted a couple of items for the small 1000 Islands gallery show but haven't listed them on my web site yet...they are not in any gallery but at my studio. I love this jacket as it has a newer collar for me. As I had already decorated the collar with silk I didn't want to cut it so the jacket has a deep V. Next time I'll try one not so deep, but the V is such a flattering neckline I need to do more.

I also made a scarf with hole in it and as it is made in three sections I added colour by joining the sections with coloured pieces. I love it, hope to do more and load them up onto my Etsy page.

Two weekends ago I did my workshop in Ottawa at Darrell Thomas Textiles on Preston. We had 9 participants including two young teen sisters who were hugely creative!!!
Here are a couple of shots of the work from that day. 

One participant brought a shawl in progress to match up some buttons. She learned the process of mixing colours to get just the right shade and that that part often takes longer than cutting, shaping and designing the actual button...

Watching over creation.

Making buttons for the long list of custom orders I am endeavouring to wade through (first inventorying and ordering yarn which is tricky when you are working with so many colours from different suppliers), I take a break from the order buttons to make a few from colours I am playing with and get creative with now rules (matching to yarn) to adhere to! I've listed a bunch on my Etsy shop so if you are looking for some buttons, check it out to see if there is anything you might fit the bill.

I went a bit nuts with black and white and some colourful cane I had made so there are lots of sets of 'Mod' style buttons!

Now I'm busy with the myriad Fall activities that lead up to the Christmas hols, our Artists Round Table monthly meetings do discuss the business of being a working artist/artisan. Then there is the Kingston Arts Council, (I'm on the board of directors) which is celebrating their 50th anniversary (great party last night at the Grand Theatre..also celebrating it's 50 anniversary of being saved from becoming a parking lot!). Then there is the One Of a Kind that I will head to Toronto to check out and touch base with friends & colleagues. I just got a notice that my friend Susan Watson Ellis has revamped her web site and now has it as an online shop. Then there are my friends Catherine & Dennis and there wonderfully colourful shoes.

I didn't do the Spring show but am looking forward to having lots of new stock for Spring 2013.

   Now back to the studio!!!!!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Weekend Show & Sale

Last weekend I got together with a small and select group of artists and artisans out along the 1000 Islands Parkway. I shot this clip as we had just finished setting up our work.

We had a whiz bang wine and cheese on Saturday afternoon and, despite the dreary weather, we had a good turn out and it was a good gathering.

More photos here....

Friday, October 19, 2012

PEI Trip - Return

PEI Potatoes from the red earth.
Well, I know it's been three weeks today that I started the East Coast Machine Knitters' seminar but things have been so busy since I returned that I have only just found five minutes to finish logging my journey. I started out to leave the island but stopped to pick up some PEI potatoes to take to my hosts of that evening. Then headed to the Confederation bridge which was neat to see in the daylight (I had crossed in moonlight just days before). I was a shocked at the fee to cross back to the mainland - $44 & change, and now have heard jokes about the population of PEI growing as people set up house while they save up to get off the island! I colleague says she goes online to send her parents a gift of ticket when they are coming to visit her in Ontario. I guess I have crossed many bridges in my travels and not encountered this kind of fee before....anyway...onward...

Catherine & Dennis - Shoemakers to the Stars!
I took the route through Edmonston NB then the TCH turns south to Quebec City where our friends Catherine & Dennis live...across the St. Lawrence river in a beautiful old neighbourhood built around the lumber industry of over a century ago. I would put a link but they don't have a web site but they built my Pink/Green summer slides which I have worn and worn. They can always  be found at the One of a Kind show in Toronto, check them out this year at the Christmas 2012 edition of that show.

We took a morning walk along the river and through the neighbourhood where I got to look at all the beautiful and historic houses and cottages.

The fall colours were out and even with the drizzle I fell in love with this neighbourhood...a little like my own though ours grew up around the Kingston Penitentiary!

Metal art weather vane atop a barn.
Barn under the weather vane...we thought it might make a great studio!

Here is a beautiful old 'lady' which was built by Joseph Garant 'marchand de bois' in 1906. 

Here I am with Catherine with Quebec city in the background across the river.

 Sadly I had to leave my little sojourn in their lovely French household (in their 1880's house) to head to Montreal.

I had an appointment with Roxana at L'ARTelier du Village in Point-Claire QC where she now has some of my work. I already have an order to make up a smaller version of one of my knits.

Roxana has been open for nine years and really is a go getter and has a wonderful array of art work both fine and wearables and other unusual work. She has made a great effort to stay in touch and I'm looking forward to more business with her.

I made it through the city traffic to my friends John & DJ for dinner. John is the founder and the Marr half of  guitars, a successful Dragon's Den entry! I remember him from high school and college days and forty odd years later and reconnecting I was so happy I could visit with him and is lady DJ for an evening and catch up.

Forty years on!

I had a great but long journey home and ended up staying with friends in Montreal when I had thought I would drive the last three hours home after our dinner and visit. However I ended up staying over and going out for brunch in Montreal the next morning. I love cities so it was super to walk around Montreal as we made our way to L'Avenue for eggs Benedict...not just ordinary EB... find it and give the place a try...especially the washroom!

Coming home my next task was to work up to our new venture the Kingston Chamber Ensemble for whom I built the web site and am in charge of the online ticket sales, emails, flowers for the stage at Currie Hall etc. Now that the first concert is safely and successfully over I'm concentrating on the orders and work that seems to be coming in!

Back to the studio.

Friday, October 05, 2012

PEI Seminar Trip Day 3 & 4

Friday was a half day as Edith Scott would be showing up to set up at around 2pm, so I went down into Charlottetown. I have been here once before but didn't get to mooch about on my own....something I love to do anyplace new. I found a huge cruise ship in the harbour just beyond the private boats....and lots of tourists. I met a couple from Tennessee!

Wandering around I got to enjoy the scenery of lots of little art shops with local work, coffee shops (picked up a latte) and 19th century architecture.

AB White introducing the seminar.
Time to get back, meet up with Edith and the rest of the ladies and set up my knitting machine and meet with the camera man who was setting up the video camera. Wow! I haven't worked with a video before and how great it was that every tiny move I made was shown on a giant screen for all to see comfortably.   Here is AB introducing the seminar. We got started on Friday evening.
The group and my samples.

Saturday was a busy day with lots of information, demonstrations and trying new things. I think I got a few to go home and dig out their garter bars!

Lovely big screen!

Lovely Stripes by Jennifer Bridgehouse.
We had tables around for show and tell, I got to try on one in particular...(should have taken a photo) that was beautifully done in short rowing. I really liked this jacket done by Jennifer....I like stripes.

A few years ago AB helped me when I started to try 'fulling', and I started making collars and such using the washing machine to full the pieces I had knit. Now that I'm making felted jackets and vests I thought I'd show them to AB to show her how she influenced me. Here one of the participants is trying on a red jacket. This jacket is now in Pointe-Claire in L'ARTelier du Village with three knit jackets. Roxana has some wonderful work in her shop, some lovely designer wearable art clothing as well as fine art.

The seminar book - instructions, tips, info and my hand outs, were given out in a wonderful knit-weave tote back made my Edith, AB and other ladies of the Prince Edward Island Knitters Club. I never thought of doing this with knit weave...I got one too and I love it!

I also found someone who is making the stops for garter bars as Mary Ann Oger doesn't have them any more.  They can be obtained from Lynn Laagland of Yarn Haven in  Hanwell, New Brunswick. Email: If you have a garter bar you need these.

I had such a great time hanging with the ladies from New Brusnwick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

PEI Seminar Trip - Day 2

Well, I got lost in Bangor but I then 'dyed' and went to heaven!  This sign was outside a building for  children's art and is so fun, the classes must be super!...there's a violin on the other side! Anyway, I digress. While hunting for Stephen King's house in Bangor I followed the directions of the lady on the desk...but it's difficult in a city that has a 'Broadway' and a 'West Broadway' which are two different streets. I drove around, across the Ponobscot River...and back and downtown, at least it meant I got to see enough to know I want to go back.... a lovely town. 

I came down a hill and stumbled upon this lovely little street with some whimsical stores on it and a bridge over a small river. I had to pull over and wander around looking at the stores and architecture which was old and beautifully preserved. I think this is Fairbanks St.

Here is a shot off one side of the bridge.

Around the corner from the bridge was Bagel Central, which looked to be a likely place for a sandwich for the road...boy, had I struck gold! I couldn't make up my mind, such an array food, but settle for a BLT with cheese on a whole wheat everything bagel...then I was offered a 'side' I chose potato salad, it all came with a pickle and the lot did me for my lunch in Maine and dinner in New Brunswick!!!

I popped back in for a drink and  huge crispy apple then carried on looking for Stephen King's house.

 I stopped a woman on the street for directions and in following them I drove past a shop with the word 'fiber' on its sign....of course I screeched to a halt and pulled into the first available parking spot...that's when I thought I had died and gone to fibre heaven!

Lori of One Lupine, welcomed me even though she was busy and had just opened...and had work on a wall in the studio happening today. She told me to go downstairs to the studio....
...this is what I found! Her yarn shop where there were bins and shelves of beautiful yarns, rainbow dyed, hand dyed, dyes, felted items...and her studio...I'm pea green with envy. Washing machines, (top loaders!!!), work space, tubs and room to hang stuff.
At the other side was a back door to this lower level where there was a nice sitting area, for classes, to peruse patterns? Also an alternative for ladies to reach if they have trouble with the stairs.

I spied this knitting machine box on the stairs...Lori said it wasn't all there but it looks like a predesesor to a Singer HK 100 (which I got in 1984). I picke up a Knit magazine and some packets of a dye I haven't used before, got some information on a fibre show she is doing this weekend and had to leave...I could have spent the rest of the day there. 
Scenic Maine view.

Now safely off the highways and in my room in Charlottetown I just saw a news item on TV about a moose which had to be shot as it was too close to the highway. The rangers said they couldn't tranquilize it as it's days away from moose hunting season opening and drugged it would have been an easy target. I remember passing a pick up truck with a trailer and a dead moose on it...right time, right part of the highway...I saw that poor moose!

Oh, by the way...I did find Stephen King's house!

A beautiful house on a swanky street.

There was a white Mercedes parked behind the spooky gates!

I know...looks like a Hollywood set!!!
I definitely want to return to this part of the I didn't make it to Bar Harbor.