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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!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Little Retro Design

When I knew I was going to be in the Artfest Kingston it spurred me on to make something a little new but at the same time traditional.

When I first moved to Kingston I painted on unbleached cotton garments (vests, dresses) and sold them in the market, my knits were in Cornerstone and I wasn't allowed to sell them within a 50 mile radius. I had so much fun learning to stencil and paint on fabric, then I took it to cotton knits and did lots of pullovers, they sold well. This was before I did a lot of jackets and made my own buttons.

The two I did recently were not from my usual cotton but a softer non Mercerize (though the over dye in the black did pose a few problems). I washed the garments then pulled out my colours and stencil designs and this is the result.

I have a dress of cotton/linen which made years ago which I have worn and washed and worn and washed and the Morning Glory design is still as strong as it was when I first finished it.

It was fun playing with the colours again, then making  buttons along he same design.

Pink cotton with Morning Glory motif.

Back and sleeve detail.

I just did my first jacket of cream Mercerized cotton with coloured accents. It was lovely working with the client and I liked what we put together. This is an all purpose jacket to go with my client's Summer skirts and tops. We chose the colours carefully and I repeated them in the buttons.

The back detailing includes coloured godets and some little 'blips' that my client saw on another cardi and liked, they completed the back neck detailing.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Losing a Friend....

As I learned at the funeral of my friend Patricia Hames...I must be 'interesting'! Apparently she didn't suffer fools gladly and only did things and hung out with folk that were 'interesting'.

I first met 'Miss Hames' in 1966 when I came to Canada and started in grad 11 at Loyalist Collegiate and Vocational Institute....she taught 'home ec' as we called it back then. I was intrigued by her choices of fabric that she got somewhere very chic in Toronto and her sewing skills. I learned tailoring in that class...and decided never to do any ever again, though it has stood me in good stead in some of my sewing projects....and knitting!
Buttons from the button tin.

At Pat's funeral there was a biscuit tin of old buttons and we were invited to take some in memory of Pat. I found these first I found only one but then I found another. I don't quite know what they are made of but I will design something to put them on so I can wear them.

Wonderful Wendy.

Pat made many beautiful jackets with wonderful embroidery on the back and perfect piping around the edges....I wish my sewing was so spot on.

These photos are of friends and carers of Pat who wore those jackets to the funeral. The photographs don't do the work justice. One of her closest friends was Magaret Millar of Stitch by Stitch, here in Kingston, Margaret had dinner with Pat every Tuesday night and took her about while she was still mobile but unable to drive.

 Pat and I wend through breast cancer the same year, as a full figured lady it was obvious the evening she climbed my studio stairs for the opening night of the studio tour in 2007 that something was missing. Only five women were present that evening, all but one survivors, we quaffed wine and munched on nibbles and talked and talked.  She used to tell me about her hunt for a decent and comfortable prosthesis and one day, while I was in my Fanfayr booth, she told me she had a comfortable one....and I should feel it! I wish I had a photo but it's in my mind's with my hand down the front of Pat's T shirt 'copping a feel'!!!! 

Well, Pat, I have missed you coming up my studio stairs as you did so many times..with lots to share. I haven't had you tell me that my dress was too revealing (a lovely sun dress  I had made in high school at exam time) and to go home and put on a cardigan.....yes she stopped me in the hall...hard to relate to the way kids dress today. I won't be making you any more knits...and the one you, last month, asked me to fix....maybe I'll just put it away safely in my studio.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Road Trip! Women Abroad...

Paddye Mann's Studio Garden

This quite, peaceful bench is situated behind the studio and shop of Paddye Mann in Pakenham Ontario. Three women took a textile fuelled road trip. My fibre, costume, textile friend, Heather; knitting designer extraordinaire Elizabeth McCarten of Chez Lizzie blog, and I piled into my car and headed North. (Also check out Elizabeth's post about this day)
Pat & Elizabeth chat, Heather explores.
I had met a wonderful designer this year, Paddye, of Paddye Mann Clothing and had an instant rapport. She's a warm, creative and brilliant designer with a smart business located out in the back of beyond but a beautiful place. She visited me in Kingston a few months ago to talk over a knitting project of blankets she had....we nattered on, worked test swatches and she left with a knitting machine to try and a promise that I would be up to her studio soon.

Heather, Paddye & Elizabeth chat in the studio.
 Well, life, work and shows got in the way but by the time I was planning a trip I Heather and I talked about visiting Almonte and the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum there, somewhere I had never been. It was decided we'd to both in one day. Then the day before our planned trip I was chatting with Elizabeth and said 'Wanna come?'... and our road trip was formed.

It was a wonderful day of four textile/clothing/woolly/creative/knitting/etc women together and Paddye was so generous with her time.

I know what it's like to have a visitor to your studio, however welcome, you still have in the back of your mind all the things you have to get done in the remainder of the day. Paddye took us all over her beautiful studio and we got to talk with her right hand woman Pat. We met two amazing hand sewers who put the stunningly perfect final touches on the garments.

 We spent a bit of time exploring the internet as we shared resources and ideas, work we had done and useful links.
Button, button, who's got the button.

Paddye even dug through some of her stash and gave us some buttons cards she wasn't going to use...stashes always need padding and migration between colleagues works!

Paddye took a couple of sets of my hand made buttons and gave me a pack of Merino wool, also one of her patterns...the aim is to work on one of her designs with my knitting style....hmmm. As they say: stay tuned! I've not come up with anything in particular yet...first I need to make a knitting pattern from her paper pattern. Very exciting!

Heather tried on a beautiful jacket, the detail doesn't really show up in the photograph but it did look stunning on her.

This LBD beside Heather has a little surprise in back...a delightful godet in the back skirt slit space.

Here I'm modelling a silk shawl which is to go with an orangey outfit which was still in progress, the fabric and structure were fascinating and Paddye encouraged me to think about making a triangular wrap along these knit. Hmmmm more thoughts & ideas.

 This photo shows a bit more of Paddye's workroom and the lovely light and view of outside, yes that's one of my knitting machines on the floor, I think she's going to become a bit of a Singer knitter as well as working with her White machine.

Then, of course there are custom dress forms and piles of fabric 'n' stuff as in any worthwhile studio.
Paddye came with us to Almonte where we had lunch and then said our goodbyes as the three of us headed to the Textile Museum. I had never been there before and MUST return!!! we couldn't really linger as we had spent a lot of time at Paddye's and also wanted to get to Unravelled the yarn store in Merrickville. I was fascinated by the machinery and things like the old dress forms....I sooo want to have one of those or my show booth. Of course no one is shaped like this anymore, these were modelled around women who were wearing corsets and boning.

When we made it to Merrickville we just squeaked in before the 4pm closing time and Elizabeth got to try out the spinning wheel she wanted. Elizabeth is a drop spindle spinner but to make a lot of her own hand spun yarn a wheel will do the job faster.

Elizabeth ralling in Unravelled.
After quaffing ice cream cones we wended our way home in the late Summer afternoon along the St Lawrence River looking at the high water around the tiny cottage islands and reviewing our wonderful day. We are now bound and determined to make a weekend with Paddye here with us happen, we can experiment, visit each of the other women's work spaces, brainstorm, network and CREATE!

My next venture is once again the 
at Grass Creek Park 
August 9, 10 & 11.

Come out for food, fun, animals, sheepdogs, sheep, Sheep to Shawl...
a day in the country.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Artfest Kingston 2013

Buttoning up and getting ready.
Another show down as the Summer progresses and I'm happy I got into Artfest Kingston at nearly the last minute.

A class I was supposed to teach fell through for Saturday and we cancelled it a week ahead....I had thought about trying to get into Artfest Kingston but I always apply in the proper timing which was months ago. However City Park is big, a show can always use another participant and their fee and as I had talked with Lory MacDonald when she was working on organizing the show to start last year I thought I'd give it a DH always says if you don't ask the answer is always No.

Well, I was welcomed and had a few short days to prepare.

As I have done a couple of shows over the last month or two I was prepared and pretty much good to go...the last show was Art Among the Ruins in Newburgh with a pop up tent we recently found in WalMart, a great day that was too, but three days calls for the old battleship tent to go up. It's a bit of a chore, heavy, lots of tubes and corners, big cover etc but it's the only one I rely on for a long stretch. It stands up to most weather and has walls to tuck everything up an night. I always put up a 20' tarp under the roof to give shade and keep the booth cool and the sun of the fibres.

We put up the tent on the the drizzle! Organizers went around with bales of hay to fill in muddy puddles.

Some rainbow felted scarves.

This shot is from one side and behind my rack stands my old workhorse of a mirror...I shared it with the young woman two tents over who had fabulously colourful tie dyed clothing but no mirror.

There was music supplied by various local bands and performers, wonderfully local and healthy food in one section, a huge mural which was worked on by anyone who had a mind to paint, an acrobatic performance, a children's area for crafts and activities and porta potties scattered about

My shady tent.
The weather, which had been slated to be a bit rainy, was perfect...not hot so folk were dragging themselves around nor cold keeping them away. Many came from downtown, some on the tour train and I got to see most of the people I used to see come down to Fanfayr.

Once or twice I needed to set people straight that this was not Fanfayr reborn....the late Joan McGrath retired her show when she did and this is a whole new show run by Lory MacDonald who runs shows around Ontario.  She brings a crew with her and they run around all weekend keeping things in order.

Cotton, painted cardi.
Thinking of the Summer I knit a couple of new cardigans with some different cotton yarn I had recently purchased, I got them dried in time to stencil the motifs I had planned.

The pink cardi in this photograph has morning glory on the lower right, back neck and left sleeve. This is something I used to do years ago and had a hankering to do again...just for fun!

The pathways through City Park left lots of room for the foot traffic, lots of room for strollers, dogs and groups of friends who chanced upon each other and stopped to catch up. The part itself and the surrounding quiets streets and the lot behind the court house provided lots of room to find parking.

I'm going to get my application in early for next year! 2014 will be Artfest's third year in Kingston.

Some felteds.