Category Archives: spinning

Summer 2016

While the blog has been somewhat quiet for a while, behind the scenes Studioloo has been extremely busy planning for the lineup of shows we have coming up:

Aug 14th – Fibre Artist’s Marketplace at Lang Pioneer Village in Peterborough, ON
Aug 20/21 – Twist Fibre Festival in St. Andre Avelin, QC
Sept 10 – Kitchener/Waterloo Knitter’s Festival in Kitchener, ON
Oct 15 – Woodstock Fleece Festival in Woodstock, ON

And…then from there, we aren’t yet sure if we will be doing more shows for 2016 and will have to see how things go as I am due with Babyloo on December 3rd!

Summer2016yarn

Also, you will likley notice that studioloo.com is looking very empty right now. This is becuase I am in the middle of redesigning it entirely, and also will begin to sell Spinolution spinning wheels again soon. So, there will be lots of new changes coming up and many fun things to share, real soon. Meanwhile, come on out and see me at a show. 🙂

Summer buzz!

I know this blog has been really quiet, and I sort of have too. I guess that is what happens when life it this crazy whirlwind of summertime activity and building my house into the happy little nest that I need to make my brain work. I have been on many adventures so far..making the nooks of this new house more comfy for me, my husband and our fur-family. I have a lot of fun things coming up however. I updated the ‘upcoming shows’ section of the website so you can keep up with me. A great place to find me or my stuff is the Art in the Open event every Saturday in front of the Rose Theatre in Brampton. It works in conjunction with the Farmer’s Market so you can see me, get yarn, and stock up on awesome produce in one fun morning!

 

The studio is coming along nicely with most parts pretty much ready for production work now. The last thing to get done really is the installation of a big restaurant kitchen sink that I indulged in to allow myself an easier place for all of the dyework. This week I am hoping to get it all setup so I can start dyeing up some new yarns. I am going to have a new line of bootsie-loo sock yarn and lots of mini-loo mini skeins fresh off the presses in a couple of weeks.

This upcoming weekend I will be at Art in the Open on Saturday and then heading down to Peterborough for Lang Pioneer Village’s Festival of Textiles. I will be selling my wares and doing art yarn spinning demonstrations. There will be a lot of other fun things going on – natural dyeing demos, live music, animals, historic buildings and other fun museum stuff. It’s a great way to spend a Sunday.

 

This summer has been nice but really busy. I am looking forward to taking a bit of vacation soon because things have been really non-stop, but in a good kind of way. I have been working a lot and trying to find a new balance living in a different city with a different routine. I have not been online a whole lot as I have so much real life stuff to get done. I think I am somewhat addicted to working on projects around the house. There is just so much to be done, in phases. The next big project will be putting my library together – a room I have dreamed of having for ages. It’s safe to say that I have a lot of books and it will be nice to have them in their own little home where they belong. That way I won’t feel so guilty for having so many books. I think it will be a nice room to relax in, leave your troubles at the door and get lost between the covers of a good book.

It’s also almost Wordwide Spin in Public day – September 21st! So, I am in the process of doing a lot of planning and populating http://www.wwsipday.com with lots of activities!

Apparently…I am crazy when stagnant!

My poor little pup, Toasty, developed some kind of illness in the middle of last week and through the weekend so I stayed home with him…all….weekend. I have really come to the point in my life where I can’t ever stay inside the house for an entire day. I don’t know why…but it makes me insane…and makes me think about how I could be doing a million different things but I just sit there…and watch TV.  It’s bizarre but I think a testament to the human body and mind needing nature, activity and stimulation.

So, I looked at my to do list from last post…let’s see how I did:

1. Update Art Yarn page in the shop with all new art yarns.
2. Finish reading driving manual and look into booking test.
3. Review required updates to pottery guild website
4. Think about trip to US and PR stuff with husband, start a plan.
5. Determine packaging for wooden buttons and start packaging.
6. Dye sock yarn.
7. Photograph and update Ravelry with rebranding on new yarns.
8. Work on cowl pattern.
9. Walk every day.
10. Work on documentation database for work.

Ok, not too bad…I finished 4 of 10 things but also managed to finish a few things not on the list…like teaching the husband to weave the rope rug I have been working on so he can help me and as a result I finished 2 more circles and he finished a couple. Here are mine:

 

And, I made really good food, including lovely beef short ribs. Here’s a photo mosaic of the process:

On Sunday I finally broke down and had to take a walk. Toasty was starting to feel a lot better but still just wanted constant sleep so we packed him up in his own little, cuddly crate and walked the beach. It was a nice, inspiring walk and was very nice in that I felt like part of a busy, artsy city. It was quiet and had freshly snowed.

The swans that I visited throughout the summer were there. I photographed these babies in various stages of their growing up process. Now they just look like baby swans but in an adult size.

There were guys filming a music video, singing and playing guitar. They had a cool, little rolling track that the camera could move farther and closer on.

There was even a lady letting her wee bunny take a run around on the beach. He was wearing a cute, little purple sweater and I even got to give him a little cuddle but I only managed to photograph his butt.

Then I collected a lot of amazing drift wood, some charred and a bit piece that looks like a bird head from Beetlejuice or something. I love it!

 

And there was much knitting hexipuffs for my ever-loving Beekeeper’s quilt.

And, in the shop there is a big new art yarn update! Check out the shop here: http://www.studioloo.com/handspunartyarn.htm

Take a peek at these handspinnies!

Also, I am in the middle of re-branding, dyeing, and photographing a ton of new sock yarn and other yarns. But, my best friend, Mat of Manspun fame has also written a lovely sock pattern for use with my yarn.  It’s called Man-Tastic Socks! and works for men or women. It’s a fun knit and great with variegates, solids or semi-solids!

Pick up your copy here! http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/man-tastic-socks

 

Camping Break

Labour Day weekend proved to be lots of fun, camping with the family – having awesome BBQs, smores over a fireplace, hiking around lovely woods, catching frogs and snakes (and letting them go of course), kayaking with dogs, and just relaxing. This is totally the break I need before a big knitting show. We stayed in a lovely area of South Eastern Ontario where there is a tiny population out in the middle of 120 acres owned by a friend. I was able to sit outside most of Saturday evening and Sunday morning and spin yarn outside while the dogs ran around, off leash, having a great time.

 

The dogs normally don’t get much chance to run off leash as I find a lot of the dog parks in the city are overrun with big dogs and lax owners who don’t really pay a lot of attention to their dogs. But the land we stayed at was basically a mowed field in the middle of the woods so the dogs were pretty good about not venturing away. Toasty, the pup, was the most adventurous so we had to keep our eyes on him a little more. But, he’s cute, so it’s allowed.

 

It was nice walking around in the marsh – although it was a bit dry because of the summer heat, but the frogs knew where the water was and there were literally hundreds of them all jumping around. This area seems to be populated mostly by leopard frogs although I did see a couple of bull frogs.

I even got to see a super cute hummingbird at the feeder near the camp site. Sorry for the blurry photo – they are always so tough to photograph or get very close to and I only had a point-and-shoot.

We took a drive to the Black River which is really beautiful black slate. The river was really calm and there were a lot of small speckled fish swimming around.

Then we got to check out O’Hara Mill – it is a nice conservation area, perfect for hiking and picnics, with several pioneer buildings – log cabin, blacksmith, schoolhouse and such. It was a nice day to wander around there.

Schoolhouse

Great poster

Mike, being Herculian

And, a cool rock

And, I got to meet my Aunt’s dog, Peanut, who is totally adorable..

Since arriving home, I have been working away trying to get everything all done for Kitchener/Waterloo Knitter’s Fair and I think I am finally finished. I dyed up a custom order lastnight and put the final touches on a few things and organized all the stock for the show. Come out and see me at The Black Lamb’s booth – we will have lots of great stuff. Other than being a great friend and partner working together at shows, Laurie is awesome because she gave me all these veggies from her garden! Yay for having friends that are basically like a CSA!

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!

Bread and Paper

So, poor week went really well actually and made me think a lot about what I am eating and how I want to change that more than before. I recently made a bunch of decisions about food. I am now eating almost entirely organic, farm raised and naturally fed things. I am not eating at any more big box fast food restaurants.  This week brought me to the salad a day idea – I am replacing one meal a day with salad. The funny thing is that naturally you would want to believe that this will be the dreaded meal of the day – but really it isnt! I mean, on day 1 I got to eat this!

I made my own vinigarette with olive oil, pineapple vinegar, homemade raspberry/strawberry jam, elderberries, and flax seeds – put them in a jar and shake and voila! Then I tossed baby spinach, salad greens, and fresh tomatoes in the bowl with some blueberries. On the side some awesome Edwardsburg cheese from Black River and some rainforest crackers – a real addiction of mine.

I have been reading ‘Made from Scratch’ by Jenna Woginrich and rather enjoying it so I thought I would try out her bread recipe – the standard country white loaf bread. I wanted something decadent during poor week, but also something that was very handmade from scratchy ingredients. So, I muscled my way through the 25 minutes or so of kneading to get to that baker’s window with bread where it is just perfect. And here they are – my loaves of love.

Last weekend I was also treated to a really amazing workshop on handbuilding with paper clay, taught by Lesley McInally.  I really loved the medium and I am finding myself really inspired to work with different shapes and textures in clay. It was a great, informative and fun time. Lesley is a great instructor – very giving of her knowledge and experience.

 

I make my return to the Farmer’s market/Art in the Open tomorrow.  I am looking forward to spinning outside and hanging out in the relaxing market environment. The next month promises to be really busy preparing for Kitchener/Waterloo Knitter’s Fair, finishing up 2012’s canning and preserving of food, and trying to meet a few goals before summer passes by.

Now to share a little sweetness before I need to get down to work on stuff…this is what I deal with every time I have a bubble bath – Toasty is a born water dog and always pleads to jump in. Usually he walks along the side of the tub giving me the cutie eyes.

 

Poor Week and Summer

It’s about time I update this blog. Admittedly I am so bad at blogging – I blame life…and well, Facebook. Somehow it seems so much easier to chicken-tap a little writing there. I have truthfully been taking a hiatus from a lot of places I used to write – Ravelry, and so on. I just feel like I want to spend more time living, not writing about living – so that’s what I have been doing.

But, this blog is sorely missed and I want to re-focus some of my wasteful energies to it. Because I have something to write about today, it seems about time.

This week I am decidedly poor. Well, not really, but I am doing a little project on ‘making due’. I have had a whole bunch of expenses with a lot of business stock ordering and preparing for lots of upcoming shows so my bank account is sort of complaining back to me. I am not truly too poor or anything like that but I am not wanting to spend money right now. I am just feeling anti-spendy. Mike and I have decided this week that we are going to not do a big grocery shopping – we are going to eat what is in this house. We might cheat to pick up some essentials though – eggs, milk, butter. But that is it – only those staples.  This will be a 7 day project and I will be doing little updates with our meals and what happened.

Today’s lunch was the first of these ‘poor man’s paradise’ we are creating. We found 2 frozen burgers in the freezer and had some hamburger buns left over from the BBQ the other day – so Mike BBQ’d them and I was tasked with making a side dish in the time it took him to BBQ. So, I came up with a salad made of…

– Cubed watermelon (leftover from a few days ago and packed nicely in the fridge)

– Pumpkin seeds (from the freezer, organic)

– Grilled pineapple (the rounds from a can, asked Mike to grill them for me while making the burgers)

– Elderberries – (from the farmer’s market – last year, frozen)

– Rosemary and apple mint (from my front porch herb garden)

The salad was really yummy and the elderberries melted and gave a bit of a nice coating on the grilled pineapple. It was really refreshing.

I will be posting a big huge art yarn update in the shop on Friday. Here’s a sneak peek:

 

Breakfast of Champions

It’s a nice morning – cool but sunny. I made blackberry sweet cream crepes and bacon. I woke up early and went to the potter’s guild to unload my bisqueware and organize the insane amount of buttons that now need to be sanded, dusted and glazed. A trip to the pottery supply house is in order for some time this week so I can get a banding wheel and new glazes. I have about a million things to do before I go on vacation.

Some spinning is getting done. I have actually been getting through a lot of my fibre stash which feels really great and makes me feel so ready for Maryland Sheep and Wool in a couple of months. I have made a pact with myself that I am not to buy any yarn. It needs to be all about fibre, felting supplies and weird stuff. I have way too much yarn. So much yarn that it makes me vision my own mortality and how much of it will be used before those dark days are upon me.

And this brings me to day 1 of OOD, or Object of the Day rather…

For those who know me really well, it is already known that I am an avid dollhead collector. This is not the same as a doll collector. I really am only interested in the head. I either use the other body parts in an artwork, or end up donating them back to goodwill with the hope that someone could love a headless doll. I also thrift for them, seek them out in antiques stores and obsess over them online from places like Germany, which are by far my favourite. This particular doll was picked up somewhere in an antique store in Ontario (I want to say in the KW area) in a big white house that was really cold. I got it with one other dollhead for about 10 bucks and when I brought it to the counter, the lady lovingly said ‘Aww….do you restore these? How nice. My husband wanted me to just throw these in the trash but I thought someone might want them’. So, I left her with the idea that I would restore this doll into something of Victorian beauty. But actually, no – it stays as it is and joins the happy menagerie. There is just something about dollheads that really appeals to me. They aren’t even funny to me…but they have some kind of dark..class. It’s weird but I see them as though they should be in design magazines. I guess this is why I am not an interior designer and why my house is kind of like a scary art circus maybe.

As Summer Winds Down…

I have been having a really nice summer full of good friends, fun events, good food, much love and learning some new things. This past weekend I was at the Textile Marketplace at Lang Pioneer Village. They were having the ribbon cutting and opening of their new weaving room and it was such a fun event. This is a wonderful place to take kids, or just hang out at. There are so many charming people and really interesting exhibits. I have dyed a ton of new Bootsie sock yarn and Wink Wink Worsted weight and unveiled it at this show. I am really trying to gear up for the Kitchener Waterloo Knitter’s Fair on September 10, 2011. That will be one of the largest shows I have done, and this time I am doing it without The Black Lamb and my good friend Laurie as she is off on a lovely UK knitting tour. Anyhow, here are some highlights from the weekend at Lang.

This is the new weaving room – it has a huge Jacquard loom inside.

I was not only in attendance as a vendor, but also as a spinning demonstrator. There were all sorts of demos going on all around the park. This lady was weaving rag rugs.

Women in period costume were doing some wonderful natural dyeing over the fire pit and they were even selling the Lang natural dyeing booklet. I picked one up – it seems a nice introduction to the basics of natural dyeing without getting too overwhelming – really well defined and organized recipes and instructions.

And, much to my delight there were all sorts of sweet beasties to play with including a really adorable chicken and duck that lived together in sweet harmony. They were the nicest pair of birds I have ever met. They were so cute and would come up and ‘gossip’ with you. Of course by this time my camera had long run out of battery life. Anyhow, here are some of the other sweeties.


And a couple shots of my booth..

My birthday also passed on by on August 1st and I was totally spoiled and had a wonderful weekend in Prince Edward County. My husband made me this amazing ‘PCOOKIE PCAKE’ which is…loosely understood as a custard pie with a giant chocolate chip cookie on top and then a 2-layer chocolate fudge cake on top of that. It was insane decadence.

I have also become a woman obsessed with knitting Tiny Owl Knits’ Beekeeper’s Quilt . It is so fun. Even Hippo agrees!

The other day when I was sitting outside knitting thinking to myself all morning ‘Dear Cicada up high in the tree, please go visit another neighbourhood not so close to me’ when all of a sudden BLOOP, right in my lap he came tumbling on down. I affectionately called him John Cicada before hanging out with him a bit and then hiding him in the crotch of my lilac tree where the birdies couldn’t see him.

He agreed with me that knitting is a great social event.

June is the Busiest Month Ever!

June has proven to be the busiest of months ever but if you want to see me, you can do so this weekend and I will have lots of new goodies at shows I am super looking forward to. It’s so nice it isn’t all cold and rainy so much these days – making me really want to get crafty and inspired. So, this weekend are the following shows!

Stitch n Kitsch in Kitchener/Waterloo!

More info here: http://www.stitchnkitsch.com/

And on Sunday, Art in the Park at the Neilson Creative Center in Etobicoke – this is my first time doing this show but I am really excited. A few months ago I did a really nice fibre festival there and it was a lot of fun. I will be an indoor exhibitor so come out and see all the wonderful artists! More info here: http://www.neilsonparkcreativecentre.com/special-events/art-in-the-park

I have been such a lazy blogger but I chalk it up to living life – planning my upcoming nuptials and figuring out a bunch of things. I am so looking forward to August when I feel like the most of the work to be done will be over. Phew! Then back down to crafty business. So, if you are following me on social networks, blogs, ravelry, etc. and have noticed I have been super quiet – this is why. For those of you interested, I also do plan to start podcasting with Mat again for the Muststashyo project, as well as very soon I will be planning for Worldwide Spin in Public day and need to start advertising and getting the sites up to date, and so on. So, expect all of that to come from me soonish.

Here’s a little sneak peek at some paintings for the Art in the Park show:

And, my plants are doing really nice in my sunny window – look, the cactus is blooming! First time in a few years!

And, now for some yarny goodness!

Oh, and there are so many more, and new hand dyed sock yarns, lace yarns and worsted weight. So much stuff. I will be doing a website update after all these shows too and will post about that when I get there.