I have been a dyeing machine lately – and received a nice new shipment of bamboo lace, merino/cashmere/nylon and merino/seacell fingering weight yarns. The Etobicoke Fiber festival was also a couple weeks ago and I had a great time – it was really well organized with great volunteers, good attendance and a lovely space. The weather outside is making me feel energetic – it’s warm and breezy – really nice. Spring may finally be peeking it’s head out.
Last weekend I did a bunch of dyeing. I bought a load of silk cocoons and needed to get them dyed so I setup a bunch of dye jars and got to work. Being the waste-not want-not kinda girl that I am I decided to dye a bunch of silk carrier rods along with the cocoons and then fill the rest of the jar with this amazing wensleydale fleece (all young locks) that I bought at Rhinebeck. A great decision it was. If the upcoming photos do not make you drool, then you are not a fibre maniac like me – and I understand that.
So here are the jars with just the cocoons all lonely:
Then all filled up with locks and carrier rods too:
So now things have been drying away for a few days and I am left with this amazing palette of colours.
This is a yummy skein of merino/cashmere/nylon in the colourway ‘Anjou Pear’ that Mat and I dyed up – it’s part of a new line of yarns we are calling DALI-CASH, named after Salvador Dali and a promotional part of our podcast – yes, Muststashyo will be making it’s return very soon. We just had a lot going on – work, life, etc. but we think we will be able to get recording again. Mat has already started writing and I have an idea and plan to record something tomorrow night. I have SnB tonight so no dice.
And some of the new merino/seacell – this yarn takes dye so nicely.
There is also new bamboo aock yarn!
And bamboo lace!
I have managed to get some knitting done also! I just finished the ‘I Heart Poms’ hat which I call ‘Wrath of Poms’. I made it from Malabrigo Rios – that yarn is so decadently amazing. And, the pattern is so simple and cute – it cinches at the top so has a nice shape.
I made this cute, bubbly, cowl for a friend also. It was a lot of fun to make – my first experience with dropping rows of stitches, on purpose!
Sorry for the mannequin boobage. The knitting crowning achievement lately however happened lastnight when I finally finished the Flutterby Socks I have been working on forever – not because they are hard, just because I have been distracted.
And, as socks go – a pair off the needles and a new pair on – Nutkin will be next, from Malabrigo sock yarn in ‘Primavera’
In the next couple of days. I will be updating Studioloo with a ton of new lace and sock yarns, as well as new plush toys and handspun art yarns. So stay tuned…
So, apparently I have been too busy living my life to write about it….gosh, but I miss blogging! It has been unusually foggy yesterday and today…but I am not bothered. Mat won the use of a demo car, a Kia Borrego, for the week, so we are off on a roadtrip to the Paris and Woodstock, ON area and I am going to hide a Domokun letterbox!
I have been really busy just organizing different aspects of my life and trying to work on things here and there. I did manage to get a load of pottery out of the kiln…here are some pics of finished yarn bowls:
There are plenty more pottery photos on my Flickr. I made a ton of buttons, most of which sold at the amazing Woodstock Fleece Festival, and this little acorn pot.
I have also started a new vintage Etsy shop – Hullabaloos Vintage. It’s been lots of fun so far – a place for me to share the kitschy, cutesy stuff I collect – because mama’s running out of nooks and crannies to hide things!!
Also, if you are a Muststashyo podcast listener, fear not! There will be a Movember episode – Mat and I are putting it together this weekend. We just havent had time, both working in the technical and financial sectors – the end of the year is crunch time. This means lots of overtime, and just general job stress. Weewaw…
My latest project is one I am working on hopefully to be finished for this holiday season …we shall see. I have had little time to get to the pottery studio, or maybe it’s a motivation problem. Not sure, maybe because summer is over. I need to boost my vitamin intake and find a sugar daddy to send me on a tropical vacation.
Anyhow, here they are…my little Bird in the Hand project:
Also, one other thing I wanted to share! How cool are these socks?
They are the Rainbow Shell socks and you can buy them here on Ravelry or from The Black Lamb in person or via email. 100% go to this sweet little boy, Ben, who has cerebral palsy and is saving up for a second stem cell treatment in Mexico. His aunt, Pat, designed the pattern. She is a local, unknown on the internet, ingenious knitter and designer who creates incredible socks. These are actually a lot easier than they look!
So, my birthday was August 1st and celebrations only somewhat simmered as of lastnight. That is the sign of having really good friends and family. And, I can say, I am blessed with that. I went to Prince Edward County, the home of my birth, last weekend to visit the family, have much cake, beaching, and barbecue. It was a lot of fun. I am mildly bothered that someone has managed to tell the tourists about my favorite secret beach though. Having grown up in the small town I did, a big part of me wants it to stay somewhat close to what I remember, but things can’t obviously stay exactly the same. I am fine embracing change but I have to admit that I am somewhat overwhelmed by the tourist trap my hometown has become. It is now an art haven, food haven, wine country extravaganza of things that …well, it never actually was. I feel sometimes like it is a facade of glamour that hangs it’s halo around an otherwise normal, but beautiful place. Being the lover of art, literature, food, and all those things that make us human, I am happy that these things have moved there, but a part of me sort of feels distressed that the purveyors may claim they were always there. I sort of feel like they uproot the roots of the real people who live there and grew up there. It’s maybe a silly feeling but I am sure it is not a sentiment I feel alone. Seeing the changes in the farming industry, and a general scale down of the farmland makes me wonder how a lot of the locals feel. I know that my family now have to travel to land in the middle of nowhere to feel like they have ‘escaped’ and, home used to just …a constant escape….at least from things like cellphones, traffic, noise, pollution, etc. but it can sometimes not feel that way. Anyhow, enough of my passive wondering about the state of things. There was a lovely outdoor art show on while I wast there, with painters painting out in the street, and a street sale with craft and local vendors.
I was able to have my favourite pizza, favourite submarine sandwich and favourite ice cream all in one weekend…what can be better than that? This is a funny video I found from my favourite sub shop, Imperial Submarines, made by a local radio DJ (I think…) as you will likely also judge from his voice. You can get a real feel for how sweet the family that owns the shop are. They are lovely, and people that I grew up around. Just good people…
Also, guess who got an iPad for her birthday? Oh yes…and I have to say, they are awesome. I think that I still like the Kindle better for reading books however, mainly because it is ePaper so easy on the eyes, and it is more lightweight and small. But, the iPad is amazing for browsing, applications, reading in colour, magazines, etc. It is really nice and I am a spoiled brat.
I also stopped into Rose Haven Farm Store to replenish a whole new stock of art yarns, so if you are in the area and want to check them out…pop into the shop.
In other artsy news, I am working on a line of custom spinning supplies, including some plying threads. I came up with the idea because I am always looking for ways to make things more my own. So, I started working on my own plying threads and I just really loved the control over being able to chose the colours, texture, fibre content, weight and so on. Here’s a peek at one. There are a couple in the shop and more to come very soon!
This week I am planning an adventure in growing some hollyhocks. I learned recently that hollyhocks bloom every two years and the colour they bloom depends on how they are pollinated. Being that I love surprises, I think these have to be one of the most interesting flowering stalks. I did some research and learned about how to take care of a condition called hollyhock rust, which is like a rusty-ness that occurs on the leaves and can impact other weak plants in your garden. These are my little pods, drying up and waiting for their chance to be planted.
A couple of years ago, I was trolling the Freecycle lists and I came across a post from a man who was clearing out a huge collection of Playboy magazines. So, being the curious artist and reclaimer that I am, I messaged him telling him that I would love to pick them up and use them for art projects. A little while later he messaged me back telling me the story about them. They belonged to his late father who had recently passed away. The entire family had no idea that he had this collection, and his mother was a bit disheartened by these taudry bits of literature so he was hoping I could get them ASAP. I headed to his place that night and he relayed to me his relief in that an artist contacted him instead of some creepy pervert. The whole situation was a laugh for both of us. So, I now have all of the Playboy magazines printed from the early sixties to the mid-nineties. Some, I preserve, and some I use for art projects. Recently when wandering around The Value Village, I saw this whole box of 12 matching, tacky gold frames. In the interest of unique wall art….a plan was born and now all I have to do is hang these pretties.
Mat and I are working on the next episode of the Muststashyo podcast. I am hoping to get it done for this weekend depending on how things go. This has proven to be a very busy summer.
Lastnight I spent a great evening with my friends in Richmond Hill – one of my favourite knitting groups and just awesome people. We have started to have these little birthday celebrations each month to mark the birthdays of our friends from the group. It’s a great idea. I received some beautiful yarn, liquer and a lovely necklace from my lovely friend Kittynne. It’s a beautiful ceramic pendant necklace from http://www.etsy.com/shop/surly and yes, yes, it has a MOUSTACHE on it!!! Yay! The girl does lovely work, and custom orders!
I also wanted to mention something else that is dear to my heart, because of my friend Stacey…it’s Kayak for a Cure! Stacey is a really sweet, genuine person and a cancer survivor. She’s fun and awesome and doing her part to raise money for cancer – something that I think we all can relate to, unfortunately. One thing I have to say that I can find joy in when people have a serious illness, is that it changes them. In many cases of people I have been close to, and in Stacey’s case, you can see such a bright light that comes from them…a whole new appreciation for life and those around them. If you have it in your heart, please check out her story and donate some money to the cause: http://convio.cancer.ca/site/TR?px=3684970&fr_id=6600&pg=personal. If you have some time to sit and read her story, you will see how her sweetness, intellect, wit and charm shine though. She is a survivor of chondrosarcoma which I only learned about lastnight, in detail. It affected her skull base and she had to go through much healing and recovery, but she is now bright as a sunflower, getting back in her boat and doing something really positive! So, be inspired and donate some money to the cure and maybe send her a kind word. 🙂 Or, if you are into kayaking and want to participate check it out – http://kayakforacure.org
I have had the busiest, most whirlwind kinda week ever! But I have one more week until a wee getaway and then Maryland Sheep and Wool, which I cannot wait for! Tonight I am going to mellow out in the pottery studio and try to get some more work done. I should soon have enough for a bisque firing. I am planning on making a load of buttons and some more tea bowls, cups and mugs for an upcoming idea I have.
I have been working away on this bowl based on the tale of Pinocchio. It is Pinocchio’s head with a branch sprouting from his lying little face and says ‘never tell a lie or your nose will grow’.
And a little cup I call ‘Fat Crows’
I am also just about ready to record the next podcast. It’s going to be a really fun one!
I had a really amazing mail day today! I scored 3 skeins of Skinny Bugga from the last SG update! My favourite is Sea Urchin.
And a friend, Dana, send me these adorable little earrings and stitch markers made from handspun, hand dyed laceweight:
Now, its time to fill Winston’s water bowl – he practically had to get in there trying to forage for water! Yikes! I am a bad bug mommy!
And, Episode 8 of the Muststashyo podcast is recorded, this one focusing on Mel Blanc – what a fun guy! I am cooking up some really fun things for the podcast that will be pottery and yarn centric. Here’s a look at where my thought process is going:
It was overall a great weekend of knitting, spinning, pottery and just relaxing. I had lunch at one of my favourite restaurants that have this lovely platter of dips they serve with warm pita – kefalotiri, olive tapenade and hummus are my favourites.
That combined with a great shopping day, beautiful weather, new shoes….life is good!