Thursday, 4 July 2019

WOW - has it been that long?

I can't believe how long I have ignored my blog. Must be busy or something.

One of my new projects was/is the "temperature blanket" idea that I found on Facebook last year. The idea is you crochet/knit one row a day, depending on the temperature of the day. I checked the temperature around 9:30 a.m. each day, I made my graph, and assigned the temperature to colours:

Below -10C - multi colour
-9 - 0C - teal
1 - 5C - blue
6-10C - green
11-15C - purple
16-20C - pink
above 21C - gold

I started January 1, and ended June 30 with a few days missing due to not being home. I am starting another, as of July 1 and will continue until the end of the year.

I used a simple crochet stitch - chain 130, then Row 1 single crochet, Row 2, half double crochet, and that was used to the end.

So you can see early in January, our temperature was mild for the month, then we got a spell of really cold weather, thus the multi. This spell of cold weather doomed the apricots and peaches for the year - in January the budding started due to the warmth, and then the freeze killed them, so no fruit this year from those trees.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Knit City 2016

This was my 4th time as a vendor at Knit City in Vancouver, BC. This event has been getting bigger and better every year. I don't have pictures of other booths because I was too busy to wander around.

I do need lessons on taking selfies, but this is me with my friend Sheila, who is always willing to be a travel buddy. She is more than that, a HUGE help with the setup and take down. Drinks and dinner each evening.

 This is how we spend our evenings - the Atrium Inn right across from the venue site, has a lovely large lobby area - a great place to sit and enjoy other knitters' company and share a glass or two.

A customer came by modelling her Pi shawl that she knit, using 2 skeins of my October sparkle colourway, and a brown skein. The picture does not do it justice - it was stunning.

 A group of knitters all the way from Prince Rupert, BC with grumpy cat in the middle. She was just pretending.
The keynote speaker this evening was Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka the Yarn Harlot. No one could stay grumpy when she talked.
Already planning for next year!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Knitting with sock blank yarn cakes, and Chilliwack Spin In

I have sock blanks that I hand dye, and once dry I wind them into pull from the centre yarn cakes. People often ask what is it like to knit with that yarn, as sock blanks are a fabric that has been knitted before dyeing, and after it is dry and unravelled, the yarn is kinked like any knitting that you have undone. Here are a couple of pictures. The first picture is the finished shawl before blocking.
This picture is showing the yarn that I knit with. Once the yarn cake has sat for a while (in this case, a month) the yarn itself relaxes somewhat, 
and is far less kinked.
This picture shows the shawl after blocking - 
all signs of yarn kink have been removed.

September 17 was the annual Chilliwack Spin-In where I was once again invited to be a vendor. There were approximately 75 spinners in attendance. I love meeting with old friends, and in particular, seeing their finished products after they have purchased fibre or yarn from me at the previous spin-in.
This was my booth.
Here are some of the other vendors.

Brenda Alexander of Penelope Fibre Arts (and the organizer of the fabulous annual Fibres West held in March)

Danielle Kingma of Birkeland Brothers in Abbotsford, my favourite neighbour at any fibre event. The smile never leaves her face.

 Joanne Baxter of Lyndhaven Farms in Abbotsford with raw Romney and 
alpaca fleece.

Lori Giesbrecht of Redeemer's Garden in Chilliwack with a selection of 
cashmere fibres.

Dale Friend was there as a participant rather than a vendor this year, and was busy weaving a basket.

As usual, the Show and Tell portion of the afternoon was mind blowing. Here are a few of the items demonstrated.

 Harmen Kooyman, and 82-year-old gentleman spinner, was there with a wheel that he made, out of wood salvaged from a chokecherry tree that had fallen and lain on the ground for 16 years. It was a genuine gorgeous work of art.
 And his spinning matched the quality of the wheel!

Hopefully see you next year!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Speckle dyeing

I have been playing around with creating some speckle dyed yarns. I use a turkey roaster for a lot of my techniques. I found that the insert eventually lost its coating from the many soaks of citric acid, so I now use one of those aluminum turkey sized disposable pans that you can get at the dollar store. I have to cut off the edges to fit the piece into the roaster, but I have not noticed any problems with my dyeing in an aluminum pan. Eventually they also get pinholes from the citric acid, so throw away and use a new one.

I pre-soak the skeins in water with citric acid (1 tblsp to 2 skeins) and a bit of Synthrapol. Squeeze out and lay in the roaster 2 at a time, then add enough water just to cover the skeins. I have premixed my primary colour (in this case, lilac) and use 2 cups to pour over the skeins, leaving white areas. Then I sprinkle the dye powders (I have the powder in those dollar store salt shakers) very carefully. I have been using 3 different colours. Then I don't touch anything for at least 15 minutes. Wearing heavy duty rubber gloves, I then take the skeins and flip them over, and repeat. After another 10 to 15 minutes, unplug, let cool a bit, and rinse. Here are some skeins that I have done.

What do you think?

Friday, 26 August 2016

Some of my projects

I knit at night while watching TV, which keeps the hands out of the snacks! So I thought I would show you some of the things I and customers have made with yarn that I have dyed, which also gives you an idea of how the yarn works up.
 This is yarn dyed in honour of the Toronto Blue Jays. I cast on 68 stitches using 2.25 mm needles. I have a line of Team Socks in my web store, so this will show you how those colourways knit up.
This is a pair of socks knit with my Confetti colourway, also 68 stitches, 2.25 mm needles.

I have a line of yarn called Maryanne's Bliss, which is 70% merino wool, 20% cashmere and 10% nylon, and I have a gradient method of dyeing. This is a Pretty Basic shawl (pattern free on Ravelry) knit with one skein of the burgundy gradient on 4.5 mm needles.
This is a pattern of my own design (Maryanne's Shawl) which I give away free with yarn purchase. It is knit out of Maryanne's Sparkle in Dazzler colourway.

I also hand dye sock blanks. My friend Sheila knits the blanks for me with her knitting machine and I then go crazy. The sock at the bottom illustrates how they knit up. I dye them so that you can get a matching pair of socks if you knit one from the middle, and the other from the outside.

This is a Reyna shawl (pattern free on Ravelry) knit by a customer in Maryanne's Socks in my Licorice Candy colourway. So cool!

It's been a while ........

Yes, I did not meet my goal for 2016, which was to write a blog once a week. So it's time for some catching up.

In May, my husband and I cruised to Alaska for the 4th time. The previous cruises were in the summer and we had gorgeous weather. Ketchikan, Alaska claims to be the rainiest town in all of North America, but we had yet to see a drop of rain. So cruising in May gave us a bit of trepidation. We flew to San Francisco from Kamloops, and spent 3 nights there.

Boy, did we get rain! Our first day in San Francisco was gloomy, but the second day when we took the cable car was a downpour. But we had umbrellas!
We boarded the Norwegian Gem and cruised under the Golden Gate bridge, but I have to admit that cruising under the Lion's Gate bridge in Vancouver is much more exciting! And guess what? The sun came out and stayed with us the entire time we cruised, for the next 8 days.
Sunburned in May in Alaska!
We visited Sitka, Icy Strait Point and Ketchikan, and I managed to find yarn stores in Sitka and Ketchikan.

We are heading back to Alaska for the 5th time next May. I belong to a Tuesday night knitting group (Needlemaniacs) and discussion came up about a group cruise. Before long, at least 9 knitters and 3 husbands have signed up! 
Stay tuned.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

A new event and our spring retreat

This year, the Barriere spinners hosted their first spin-in on April 10, held at the Blue Jar Bistro in Barriere. There was a great turnout of almost 50 spinners! There were 2 vendors, myself Smith and Ewe and Melanie Stutt of 
4 Bar S Ranch Wood products.

I hope this will be an annual event - it was a treat to meet with friends from long ago. I also met Jayne D'Entremont who has cashmere goats, among other animals, on her farm. I asked her where she got her goats from, and she mentioned someone named Heidi from Harmony Farm in Quesnel, BC. Jayne also has milk goats and makes lovely products with the milk, including soap.

After this weekend, was the semi-annual Desert Mesa Spinning Retreat held in Cache Creek each spring and fall. It is a weekend not to be missed! No pressure, no lessons, no classes, just a lot of fun and learning from each other.

There was a lady there with her cashmere, who had a very educational display on raising cashmere goats and harvesting their fleece, as well as lots of information on the different grades of fibre. And her name was Heidi Krause, from Harmony Farm in Quesnel!

 And of course, the leisure wear had to have something to do with sheep!

Until October - for the fall retreat, October 28 - 31. For information on this event, contact Sheila Kirk in Merritt,