Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Smith and Ewe at Desert Mesa Spinning Retreat, October 2012

The semi-annual spinning retreat was held in Cache Creek, BC October 12-14, 2012. As in the past 3 years, I was invited to be a vendor, and brought as much dyed spinning fibre as I could cram into my van.
Sometimes we forget to look at the beauty around us, so I stopped on the way at a rest area for some photos. This is the view of Kamloops Lake from the west end. At the far east end is the city of Kamloops. The North and South Thompson Rivers join in Kamloops and flow through Kamloops Lake, then on to the Fraser River and the Pacific Ocean. I met a young family who had also stopped for the view. They and their 2 sons were from France. They had purchased a small motorhome in Massachusetts and were taking a year to travel North America. They were thrilled when I told them how beautiful the next leg of their trip would be - they were going to Vancouver via Lillooet and Whistler - in my mind, the most beautiful drive in all of British Columbia.

These are hoodoos being formed from the winds that blow and carve into the silt bluffs along the lake.
And this is overlooking the world famous Tobiano Golf Course.
It doesn't take long for friends to gather round the table and try to catch up on the last few months.
 And of course, we have these goodies non-stop to help keep our energy up and our brains functioning the way they should.

And here we all are - no TV, no phones, no internet, nothing but the soft whirr of 60 spinning wheels and the conversations - what are you making? what kind of fibre are you using? where did you get it? and on and on.

A lovely bunch of roses brought in appreciation of all the hard work that goes into organizing this event every year.
The sign at Gudie's wheel says it all.
Some on the go spinning - no two are alike. This is Gail Dickson's fibre on her Louet wheel.

This is fibre from Smith and Ewe being spun on a Hansen electric spinner.
This is some of Sandy McNaughton's beautiful handspun that she makes on spindles.
Julia Armstrong is playing her harp that she built herself, and in front is the spinning wheel that she also built. And on the right is Anne Carmichael demonstrating a sock knitting machine.

Presents all wrapped up - ready for the gift exchange.
Lots of fun opening them up together and showing what was inside.
Of course, there was a "Show and Tell". What was demonstrated the most is the heart of a true friend - This beautiful hooded capelet was knit by Sue Henry and given to her friend Renate Bareham to wear at her daughter's outdoor wedding.
 And this incredible skein of yarn was handspun by many of Gudie Hupfauer's friends, to help comfort her at the memorial for her late husband Werner.
Gudie is also wearing a pair of handknit socks made by The Socklady, Lynne Rettberg
(link to her block is on the home page here).
 More of Lynne's socks - the wilder, the better.

This is the dining room - where a fabulous breakfast, lunch and dinner were prepared by helpers from the church - and the priest, Father Ignatius is making sure the stray kitty gets fed too.
Our gang comes from far and near - here are Nancy Goodman, Bert Antosh and Marilyn Ward from the 70 Mile House BC area.
and here are Renate Bareham, Suzanne Robert and Sue Henry from the Whistler/Pemberton area of BC.
I found Diane Brady all alone in the hallway, plying her handspun yarn. She was taught to position the lazy kate as far away as you can (it is way behind her held in place by the chair legs) as you are plying - to help even out the twist. I watched her for a while and it worked!
The quietly colourful Dale Friend of Fibres Plus working on basketry in her vendor space.

And finally, children must play. In Gudie's gift bag was a small kaleidoscope. We discovered these pictures by looking at some of the colourful fibre in the Smith and Ewe shop, and took pictures by holding the kaleidoscope in the lens of the camera. Amazing!

So once again, our thanks go to the organizers of this wonderful event - Sheila Kirk and Donna Faulkes. Next fall is the 10th anniversary of the Desert Mesa fall spinning retreat - the space is now fully booked - the challenge for each person is to come with something related to the Number 10.
This is going to be even more fun!!
See you all in the spring - and then again in the fall 2013.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

At the Open House and official opening of New Gold Mine, Kamloops

Once upon a time, there was an open pit copper mine near Kamloops called Afton Mine. The mine, owned by Teck Corporation, operated from 1977 to 1997, and shut down due to economic times and lack of ore deposits.

Abacus acquired the holdings from Teck in 2002 and continued explorations. They determined the ore body was large enough and profitable enough to open a new mine - thus New Gold (or as some people refer to it, New Afton) was born. However, this is not an open pit mine - rather an underground operation. To get an idea of scale of the previous open pit mine workings, the little dots in the white at the bottom are full sized dump and work trucks.
Actual processing of the ore began in spring of 2012. New Gold now employs over 400, and held an Open House to allow the public onto the property to see what has been done to date, and what they plan to accomplish over the next 15 or so years.

There were speeches, free pizza, bannock, hamburgers, hot dogs, beef on a bun, veggie and fruit plates, and CUPCAKES!

Then, instead of a traditional ribbon cutting to declare the mine officially open, New Gold did this -

Lots of demonstrations and information booths all around the grounds.
The inevitable - my husband meeting with a student whom he taught in elementary school - now very much enjoying his new career with New Gold as a heavy duty mechanic.

Employees of New Gold.

The busiest people in the food area - the bannock booth.

Thank you, New Gold, for this great family day and allowing us to see what this undergound mine is all about.

The final gift - a fireworks display for the city of Kamloops.