Category Archives: Mondays

Pickled Plans

It was a great weekend – Art in the Open was awesome and there was the most beautiful weather ever – so perfect for Farmer’s market – really cool and bright days.  I managed to get a lot of work done this week and it feels somewhat good. The trick is not looking too far ahead at all the stuff on my ‘to do’ list. All things will come with time.

I bought a big bunch of cukes to make the annual dill pickles and got them canned yesterday. Today I am making Lord Grey’s Peach Preserves out of the amazing peaches I bought.  I have really been feeling the cooking bug lately – more than ever now that I am adding ‘A Salad a Day’ to my diet. One of the highlights of the fresh eating was this zucchini noodle salad that I made.

It was a nice side to the steaks marinated in merlot that Mike grilled. Last year I went to a raw food class and purchased a machine to make these noodles. I love it! It is a great substitute for having pasta and very fresh, palette cleansing and cool for summer. I added little sprigs of cauliflower and then made a dressing from pesto, oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped cherry tomatoes, diced black olives, kefir lime leaves and finely chopped red onions. It was yummy!

I am also really in love with all the fresh flowers at the Farmer’s market. I don’t ever see myself as a flower grower. I think when I have the land to farm I am going to concentrate on fruit and vegetables because they serve more of a purpose. But that just means I can support other farmers by buying their amazing flowers! Look at these!

 

While I am writing I should likely mention that Worldwide Spin in Public Day is fast approaching! Check out events near you here – http://www.wwsipday.com/. If there aren’t any – book your own by emailing me through the website! My event will be on Sunday, Sept. 16th in Mississauga at Hiawatha Park – I can’t wait. I love sitting under the big willow tree and playing with all the fibres and hanging out with friends.

 

And I leave you with Toasty the amazing hand-balancing acrobat!

Great Dye-ventures!

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…

Longwood Gardens, Vacation Recap and Spoils in Winter

I am back from a very fun and restful vacation! Among my journeys was a beautiful visit to a lovely B&B called Sweet Water Farms. I would definitely recommend this B&B – the cottages and the house are so beautiful and they have really awesome dogs, which for me is always a super bonus becuase I love dogs! They also have sheep, fainting goats, horses, whirpools in the cottages, a hot tub, pool, nice breakfasts, etc. etc. etc.

Before arriving at the B&B however, I was treated to a lovely visit to Longwood Gardens, which I cannot begin to gush enough about. What a vision this place is! This is a massive property with a huge indoor and outdoor garden – all sorts of incredible and rare breeds of plant, flower, bonsai, tree, cactus, etc.  Right now they have a show called Orchid Extravaganza running. It’s amazing. Here are a few of the tonnes of photos I took. The whole set is here.

This was one of my favourite flowers:

Some of the orchids:

It was so nice to get inside the greenhouse, the minute you walk in the smell is heavenly. You feel like you are in the garden of Eden or that spring has just injected itself into your soul, right through your nose. I wish I could somehow express the delightful smell of this garden. They had a room with lovely, fragrant citrus trees.

 

I also didn’t know how awesome a nectarine tree is – they grow so interestingly, all spread out very wide. As such, the garden grows them against these gates to support their branches. I am not sure if you will be able to tell how this tree is shaped from the small photo below but worry not – here is the big one.

I was also dumbfounded by the hall of bonsais they have. Some of them are decades old. They looked like diverse forests, in a tiny format, in these little pots. This one has been growing since 1949 but the oldest I recall was 1929 (but that was only when I started to pay attention to the actual dates so there could be some even older).

Next to blow my mind were these great big flowers:



They look like a big fist before they come into bloom.

The entire garden has a romantic, beautiful feel to it and it would be an amazing place for events..they have a lovely ballroom, a giant organ the size of several rooms and you can peer into the back of it at all of the working parts, chimes and knobs.

I definitely have a lot more to talk about form this vacation. It was a lot of fun. I went to an amazing import/antique store, loads of yarn stores…did a little stash enhancement and just generally spent some good time away from the stress of the day to day 9-5. It was much needed and despite falling back in to the crazy schedule, I am still feeling renewed.

One of the nice things about coming home is that I received several packages from Ravelry swaps I have been part of. One of the greatest presents I received was my new Cloak of Ravens that was knitted by my swap partner.

It was from the Mythology swap, in which my partner chose to focus on Freya.
I learned so much about the Norse goddess Freya and wow, what a beautiful mythical being.

Here are a few pictures of my stash enhancement:
Schoppel-Wolle Ambiente (from Lovely Yarns in Hampden)

Claudia Handpainted in colourway ‘Red Wagon’ (from Nangellini in Philidelphia)

Alchemy Juniper (from Loop in Philidelphia)

Since getting back I have been feeling very much like getting lots of things done, prepping for upcoming workshops, etc. and I did manage to get a little shop update done yesterday.
There are a couple new art yarns here: http://www.studioloo.com/handspunartyarn.htm
A couple new sock yarns here: http://www.studioloo.com/yarnpages/bootsie.htm
A load of new spinning fibers here: http://www.studioloo.com/spinningfibers.htm

I am also in the midst of preparing the next Muststashyo podcast and shop update. So, much to do but I’m planning to have fun doing it.

Prince, Calming down, Yellow and Super Mario

Monday being the first day of the week at work I always feel a sense of needing to get everything finished or the world will meet some kind of demise. So, I am currently drinking some white tea with orange and trying to prioritize my everchanging job responsibilities and figure things out in how they should play out over the following year of going from being owned by one company to another. I don’t normally blog much about life stuff and the chances are I likely won’t too much here either…at least when it comes to work. We live in an age where I feel like people put too much of themselves on the internet without a real analysis of the potentials. Also, this is more of an inspiration blog for me..and a place to keep what makes me happy in my life, or takes up a lot of importance.

This week’s Fiber Friday theme is Prince, and the Picto Create image of the week is:

I think I am going to card up some batts to go along with this image. The colours are so rich and I think I have some perfect locks that I scored from HollyeQQ a whle back that would go lovely with this. I might even dye up some nice bamboo in gold and green. I have a ton of dyework to do both for myself and for The Black Lamb. I am hoping to get time to work on that this week. I also am planning to see The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus and spend a night listening to Prince music and spin a Prince inspired yarn. I think I have the perfect shiny purple bamboo…but who knows what will end up happening…

Tonight is my local stitch n bitch and I totally can’t wait to just sit down and work on some artsy things. I have this notebook I am going to work on tonight as a break from my knitting. A few months ago, my friend Michelle asked if I would take part in a project that she is doing and I have not given it all the focus that I need to so I want to wrap it up by week’s end. The project is to use an old chemistry textbook as the canvas for an multimedia art piece that will be put together by many artists. I have finished a couple of pages. I will take some photos at some point.

And, if I get enough of that done ,I might get to work on my Super Mario Socks!

Also, today I joined http://www.goodreads.com/

You can find me there also as ‘studioloo’.