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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Farewell 2013

Well, it's nearly 2014 and the New Year and I'm still getting Christmas lovely! 

My lovely niece, who has her own business - Cuppycakes by Kirsten - shopped a local Etsyan and had this lovely hanger made for me for my Chrissy present from her. I love it and will probably used it in my show booths. I have yet to find a good showy place for it in my studio. It's by Sara Allen Designs . Both these young women ply their trades while looking after toddlers and newborns!!! Had I had children I think they would have starved! (just kidding..)

 I had to throw this in as it 'spoke' to me. It was Google's Winter Solstice doodle...knitting your way
through the darkest hours?

Then my friend Georgia aka Iggy of Clayamies fame, delivered my Christmas Ornament Swap
ornaments. I had made three to be sent out and these are what I got in return....this is so much fun. Just as an aside, the knitted piece they are lying on is on my ironing board, it is the back of a new cotton design for the Spring.

What is there more to say about this. Another dinner guest were we gathered last evening had this on her knitting bag! I love it and want one for my car, my last one eventually fell off (as were bits of the car)..... 'Gone crazy - Be back later'. If any one finds that one please let me know...I got it in a sex shop in Philly!

This delightful knitter said she was a bit worried when she took the bag through the airport check but she got through. Better than the other sticker...'  have sharp sticks and I know how to use them'!

Last but not least a money order arrived, in this card, from my friend Sonja who, with her partner, is joining us in the house in the Outer Banks we have rented for two weeks in the Spring...yeah, a vacation!  We have decided that between the two of us there will be one knitting machine so we can play. We've been teased endlessly by the windsurfers about this but we stand firm...on our woolsack*!

Just hours away from the ball dropping, it's already 2014 in half the world..I had better pop out and get some bubbly!

*The Woolsack is the seat of the Lord Speaker in the House of Lords, the Upper House of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. In the 14th centuryEdward III commanded that his Lord Chancellor should sit on the Woolsack, in council as a sign of the pre-eminence of the wool trade. Indeed it was largely to protect the vital English wool trade routes with continental Europe that the Battle of Crécy was fought with the French in 1346. 
Courtesy of Wickipedia

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Winter Wonderland Woolly

 Whew! Christmas is over but on Christmas Eve I found my self short one gift...something for my 15 month old great nephew. Last year I got him a little toy but it was time to start making him something...hmmm.

I know my niece and that side of my family is not into natural fibres so I didn't even go for sock yarn as I have done with my grandsons....a trip to Knit Traders here in Kingston lead me to this lovely yarn which I have used before. King Cole's 'Wicked' ( It's 100% Acrylic.

I worked a V neck with a squared of bottom to take both ends of a strip of ribbing for the collar. I thought that would be easier for a toddler to get his head through and take a shirt collar which my niece and her husband like to put on him.

Though the yarn is colourful and twist variegated I put a bit of cabling down the sleeves of the dropped shoulder. I find a dropped shoulder works better on wee ones as they don't have much in the way of shoulders and they can never keep their clothes straight anyway....after a while they always seem to look as though they just got out of bed, what with folk picking them up all the time!

Not the end of the story, I made 2T in Garment Designer and it only just fit him (I didn't have a chest measurement as it was supposed to be a surprise) so, as luck would have it, my niece is expecting another boy in the Spring so it will go on him next Winter. I went back to KT and got another couple of balls in a slightly different shade of blue...and will knit up a 4T this time.

I don't make many small sweaters (I used to in the '90's) but this will go quicker as it's so soon after the last one. Then I'll be able to get a picture of him in it. Yeah!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Oh, busy, busy, and so is Roxana. I love this vest and one like it that I sent to her at her shop L'ARTellier du Village in Pointe-Claire in Montreal sold on the snowiest day last weekend!

Roxana is such a busy woman, running this fun 'fashion and art and lots of other things' shop for 10 years. I love looking at her posts on Facebook too (look for the shop there too) as she posts lots of photos of her almost get to shop before venturing out to try things on there.

Tomorrow I get to have lunch with my team mate and Veep, Michele, to write on another site: Kingston Arts & Letters Club where we had a lovely holiday 'do' last week. We even had live music provided by my lovely husband and a few of his mates. We usually have a couple of speakers on various topics concerning different aspects of the arts but this was music, food, conversation and good cheer!

Just a few more shopping/knitting days before I had better get back to my machine!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

November Workshops & Events.

I love taking workshops! Even though I have been doing what I do for 31 years I  am always learning, we learn until we are gone.

Learning new felting techniques.

November afforded me the opportunity to take a workshop with Marjolein Dallinger of Her work is inspirational even if we don't actually pursue that avenue of felted work. My passion is wearables, not sculpture but it is all technique and learning.

My TIArts show spot at the Rockport Rec Hall.

After finishing the workshop the Thousand Islands Arts November Art Show happened. What a great weekend that was. Working with other great artisans like Sandra McRae and Sally Chupick and meeting lots of new people who came by our four locations around Rockport.  I was in the Rockport Rec Hall and there were three other locations. This was my first time though I have done the Spring show on and off for years...usually locating my tent on Margot Miller's front lawn. An aging artisan I gave up my tent last May for an indoor location....the weather is iffy in May.

Dennis Burr went around taking our photos.
Now November is over I'm catching up on custom work, getting some things shipped off to L'Artellier du Village in Pointe-Claire where Roxana carries some of my work. I've endeavoured to put the little 'movie' Roxana made, here. It's on the Facebook Page of the store.

I wish December had 60 days...but I know they'd all be filled!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

A fun thing that happened at the recent Wearable Art Show was Steve Di Monte the photographer taking pics all day, each day. CYL Photography is his studio. Then on after the last fashion show he went around saying he would do a quickie photo shoot of any of our work for a small are two of the ones he took of my newest designs.

This is a photo of a new thing I tried from a design I already liked, thought I'd try to work it in my own way. I started out with red yarn and a red plastic zip but thought I might not have enough red to finish. I also got bored with the red and knew I needed a pop of another colour so I worked the left front and left sleeve in Cerise, and changed the zip...added a pocket and some interesting detail at the back....I'll get it up on my web site.

I have this one in Black with White stripes...I did make it as stock but decided to keep it for a sample. This one has matching buttons at the front and, though they aren't visible here, the side slits and slits in the sleeves are faced in different colours which are reflected in the buttons I made. I wanted a cute bit of back interest with the shaping.

It was so nice to have a model in a couple of my pieces, though these were taken outside on the front steps, with drizzle happening and packing up going on!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Busy Fall

Well, November is proving to be a really busy time of year (like I don't know after 31 years!). I'm not doing the One of a Kind show Christmas edition but I have some small events that should be fun.

The first one is at the new Anwyn Yarns  just up the road from my house and studio here in Portsmouth Village, Kingston. This is the weekend The Kingston Handweavers & Spinners annual show and sale at the old Portsmouth Village Town Hall.  The owner Meriel Taylor has a lovely space to sell her soft hand dyed yarns, teach dying and knitting and so on. This weekend I will join her with my buttons and will sit and make some buttons in her studio for the event.

Also joining Anywyn Studio will be Purlin' J's Roving Yarn Company fire truck 'Lil Dorothy'...

On the steps of Lil Dorothy at WIFF.

This weekend Portsmouth Village will become the 'textile district' of Kingston! With Annette Willis of Chasinglightningbugs just down the street...around the corner from me, it's wonderful to be surrounded by like minded women.

I met Meriel at the Sheepdog Trials in August where she had a lovely selection of her hand dyed yarn. I have purchased hand spun alpaca and hand dyed yarn over the years to knit up a few lace scarves to have at shows... I may pick up some this weekend for the show I'm in next week. I hope to do a couple of workshops in her space, perhaps over the Winter.

The show I'm in next November 17 & 18 is the Thousand Islands Arts November show and sale in the Rockport Area. There are 25 artisans in four locations and some nice places to eat along the 1000 Islands Parkway.

Thousand Islands Arts November Art Show and Sale 2013

November 16th & 17th

Then I'm at the home of Latimer Soap Works for an open house involving three other artisans. Tamara of Latimer Soaps, Yolanda of Glass Jewellery and Corinna of Nikita herbs and dressings (if you shop the Kingston Market or Cook's you will have found them there. We will have refreshments and samples at this Holiday Open House.

Holiday Open House
Latimer Soaps Works & Friends 

November 23 & 24
27 Riverside Drive, Kingston
(Hwy 2 East from Kingston to Milton Ave)

Well, I had better get back behind the knitting machine! Georgia at Artemisia Gallery in Westport ON has some of my felted things for sale there.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Wearable Art Show... Toronto now for the Wearable Art Show (moved from Mississauga) and I'm off in a couple of hours when I have loaded up my PT!

Trio of Felted Hats.

I've been working on a couple of new designs for my knits, some hats and also making scarves and wristlets which are fun to make as I can go to town with the colours...and they are so hot right now.

Gotta run and finish sewing on some buttons that I made late last night, finish packing and try not to forget anything. This is a new venue 918 Bathurst St in Toronto and as I haven't been there I don't know what to expect in the way of room, amenities, loading and unloading our stuff, setting up, wi fi for sales and so on. I know there are stairs so no dollying in and out which takes it out of you if you have to carry, but we are told there will be lots of help (big burly blokes!?)

     Anyway, as they this space....better yet...see you there!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

To Demonstrate or Not To Demonstrate.

I love to teach! I love to impart what I have learned over the past 31 years to other potential machine knitters, polymer clayers, felters.

I love to travel....anywhere, I don't do it enough to be bored or fed up with it, exploring the world has been instilled in my by my Dad (who at 88 is in the Greek Islands at the time of writing!) However I have had to cancel a date in San Diego due to health problems that cause distracting pain. I'm so bummed by that and hope the wonderful ladies (who I have yet to meet) of the San Diego Machine Knitting Guild invite me back when I can give them my all.

Me with Karen & Jackie.

However, I did manage to have a great weekend at the Finger Lakes Machine Knitting Seminar. I was fortunate enough to have a friend who lives right here in Kingston ( the Summer) who wanted to go so she did the driving. We proved to be comfy roomies...she wears ear plugs at night so my snoring wouldn't have kept her awake!

Feung, me, Karen & Jackie at Friday night's banquet & fashion show.
 Friday night was banquet and fashion show night and there was a lot to be shown, from shawls and scarves to sweaters and a lovely baby blanket, with lacy, hand manipulated alphabet letters all over it.

Karen modelling one of my cotton jackets.
Karen and Jackie modelled a couple of my jackets and I wore my 'Coalman' vest which I love. We got into the spirit of the evening and voted for the ones we liked best....Karen won second prize with her own knit!!!! She got $50 to spend so she got to spend Saturday shopping the vendors.

After the banquet Jackie (who came up from Florida) came up to our room where I went over Garment Designer with them for a while.

I love this...she wore a different saying each day!
'God grant me the serenity to accept the yarn I cannot return...courage to change the yarn I can....and the receipt to know the difference'

We were short one instructor/vendor as  Cheryl Jiles was stuck in Colorado away from her home due to the recent floods....we all wish her well and back in her home soon.

Working hard in the weeks leading up to the seminar and with Karen's help, I finished the pattern of 'Fairground Fling'. Jackie modelled it in the fashion show. I sold all I had and then some so I look forward to the different interpretations of this design. I worked in sizes 8, 12 & 16 and am working on sizing for 20 as it is flattering for the fuller figure.

Back detail reminds me of fairground awnings.

Yes, I made matching buttons.
I'm working on some workshops closer to home and prior to Christmas...a felted Merino scarf anyone?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Felting Again

Helping the shoppers.
It's been a busy week that actually started on Saturday in Haliburton with a trunk show at the studio of my friend Susan Watson Ellis of Paradigm Designs. We had a nice stream of folk visiting and a book club of ladies from Ottawa!

It was a great day spent with Susan. When we weren't dealing with visitors we talked shop and also tech...web sites, etc.

We enjoyed the lovely scenery on our drives to and from Haliburton.

 We got home just in time for me to meet my knitting buddy Karen at the Wolfe Island ferry to head over to the island to catch a last hour or so of WIFF. Yes, Toronto had TIFF...we have WIFF: Wolfe Island Fibre Fest....what fun. It's always lovely to ride the ferry over to the island then to wander around Marysville...from the town hall to the United Church and locations in between, bumping into friends and fibre folk and catching up, talking wool!

Here I am on the steps of Purlin' J's Roving Yarn Co fire truck! I picked up some yarn there too as did Karen. What a treat.

It was fortuitous that I was able to hit the festival as I stocked up on some extra roving for my Hat Workshop the following day.....

Monday was Workshop Day....Hats...

The same group of crazy ladies I had in July for a polymer clay workshop....I knew I had my work cut out for me! Alana Kapell had lead me a lamb to the slaughter again!!! (they were a blast)

Everyone was to make a hat, we unloaded my car and spread out the materials on the table.....lots of lovely Merino roving and fancy yarns to choose from.
Alana & Meryl's table....early in the day

Brenda & Barb working away, laying out...
 After much fluffing, huffing and rolling we had HATS...of a sort. We needed to do some tweaking, cutting, squeezing out the excess water, molding and fixing but I think they all look superb.

 Alana is actually wearing one of my hats which I think suits her!...but it's not for sale. And down in front we have...not a hat but a vase!

I'm in this shot wearing another of my hats.

Back view with some  decoration.

Alana Kapell was busy taking notes and pics and put together this 'story'... 


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fibre Summer Fun

It's been a busy August with a wet felting workshop and a birthday trip to Vermont (my birthday trip from my husband).

We stayed in a lovely old Victorian B&B in Shelburne VT just down the road from the Shelburne Museum which is more like our Upper Canada Village or Black Creek Pioneer Village in it's lay out and buildings. Though it doesn't have re-enactors in costume it's buildings and installations are filled with furniture, art and artifacts collected over the past several decades.

In their Hat & Fragrance Textile building is currently an exhibit of hooked rug art by Patty Yoder...I took pictures of the ones with sheep.

This is a quote from Patty Yoder:

"I am in love with wool. I love to bury my hands in the living wool of our beloved Border Leicester sheep. I love the feel and smell of new sheared wool when I gather it into bags as our shearer does his work. I love the yarn produced from each individual fleece. But most of all I love the glorious pieces of dyed wool fabric stacked by colour waiting for the perfect spot in a hooked rug that I will create."

There was a lot of art in Burlington, shops & galleries where we viewed and shopped for something to remind us of your weekend by local artists. I also got a beautiful pair of earrings which were hand made in Quatemala using Swarovski crystals, beads and such. 
"Firefly provides employment and training in comfortable working conditions and fair wages to the indigenous people of Santiago Atitlan, in Guatemala. The workshop employs over 80 skilled artisans, both men and women. The indigenous people of the village are very skilled in their traditional arts; the women weave on the backstrap loom and are skilled in embroidery, the men weave on foot looms and are skilled in making fishing nets.
The workshop is spacious and filled with skylights and windows; every artisan has their own worktable and light. It is built around a plant and flower filled courtyard, with the ever-vigilant terriers, Ricky and Rocky around to greet the workers and roam the gardens".

Well, then it was time to come home and get back to work. I had a felting workshop on August 21st with ten women. Three of them stayed at my place and we all met for a day of wet fun. This is a shot of the room full of busy creators. This was a workshop of just fun creating, no heavy expectations but to complete an item. I had two women making hats and..... making jewellery blanks. These had silver findings worked into the ends and Sandra will embellish these. I hope to see them at the Thousand Islands Christmas show in November....I'll be there too.

Here is a lovely hat made using roving, this young woman had never worked with roving or fibre before so I was very proud of her accomplishment!

A vest back.

The Gang!

Marie's vest...she had buttons already made to match!

I did some work and find I love making hats but need lots more practice working with roving.

I also dyed some silk and hope I can reproduce this kind of patterning again! It just came out like this and I didn't tie to figure out where I will use it.

Next is a felted hat workshop with a private group of fun women.....

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Another Polymer Clay Workshop

I had a great workshop on Monday with a group of women here in Kingston and while I was fishing around for photos to put in this post artists Alana Kapell, who organized the day, sent me a 'story' of they day. Check it out. we had a super time with even wine and a swim in our hostess Barb's pool thrown in!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Another 'Charley'

I received a wonderful email this week from one of the talented ladies I met in Peru, Indiana at 'Spring Fling' in April.
That was a great weekend that I got to share with my friend Sonja (knitter extraordinaire).

Miriam Nordstrom purchased my pattern: 'Charley' and worked it up to her own unique design. She used Nomi Lee Cotton, a yarn I haven't used but perhaps if I find some I'll give it a try. I used Yeoman Cannele that I get from Pat at Cardiknits.

She did a great job of arranging and balancing the colours and worked the  back all in one colour but put the 'patch' on to break it up. I did one colour on the patch but Miriam worked a rainbow...clever girl!

The other thing she wrote to me about was making her own buttons, I think she did an amazing job creating the buttons for this jacket, matching the colours and creating her own design...they are also shank buttons. She may have used blanks and covered them with the clay, which is a great way to go.

I saw some of her other work while in Peru...lovely.

                       Kudos Miriam!