Monday, 29 July 2013

A drive in the country to Tunkwa Lake region

A hot summer day - where better to spend it than by a lake? Since my daughter and her partner were camping for the weekend, we decided to take a drive and join them for a while. We headed out of Kamloops, taking the old road to Lac Le Jeune where we were guaranteed to spot a full complement of wildlife. We carried on through Logan Lake (home of the Highland Valley copper mine).

Just outside of town is the turnoff to Tunkwa and Leighton Lakes - a very popular camping and fishing area.
 And this was the only wildlife (other than ducks and geese) that we saw the entire day.

 Doesn't this look comfortable? I wonder if the mosquitoes got them at night.
 Dad and daughter walking to the fishing area off the shore.

A bit of geographical information.
 about the rocks we are standing on.

We drove back the other way, towards Savona and Kamloops Lake. We drove through historical ranch country - large ranches owned for generations by the Haywood-Farmer family.

 Here is a link with information on the Indian Gardens Ranch -

Monday, 15 July 2013

Dye Day, July 2013

Once again, Sharon Philip offered her beautiful country home as our dye headquarters - but not for just one day this year - for the whole weekend! Some of our group had their own travel trailers pulled up and stayed there for the night. Others went home and came back on Sunday.
Others stayed just for the one day.

Driving past Terry Prehara's home, with adopted-for-the-summer flock of sheep.


The day was perfect - just the right temperature and sunny. Kamloops is amazingly diverse when it comes to geography - you have to drive only a few kilometres to be in a different world.

Saw some wildlife, and some not so wild.

The entrance to Sharon's farm. Four sections of their property are now protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada - a private group who purchases parcels of land throughout Canada, with strict rules for future development - meaning NONE. The land is preserved for its special qualities for all to enjoy forever.  Check out this link:

Well worth preserving, wouldn't you say?

Okay, let's get to work. And Jen Wagner's t-shirt says is all -
no matter how much you know, you can always learn more.
 Jen is measuring out her dyes to apply to her home-grown roving.
Sharon had all the instructions written out for accurate percentage dyeing. She had the dyes already mixed in a 1% solution, she had large tables set up protected with plastic, lots of dye pots, Coleman stoves, rubber gloves - she didn't miss a thing.
AND provided an empty 3-car garage for us to work in.
Soak and rinse area.

Kim Gauthier is dyeing a sock blank.
I decided to try the ice cube dyeing method. I pre-soaked BFL superwash pencil rovings in water/citric acid (no measurements here)
and laid it out on a grate outside.
 I then covered the fibre with ice cubes, and sprinkled my dye powders directly over the ice cubes randomly (teal, purple and burnt orange).
I then left the sun to do its thing.
Unfortunately, the sun disappeared, although it stayed fairly warm. This is the fibre after being rinsed. But the magic comes in the spun yarn.
Taking a break, enjoying the summer heat, the fabulous view, and the sounds of the hummingbirds at the feeders.
Imagine, the only sound you can hear is the hummingbird!
A skein of yarn with dye solution applied with a sponge, wrapped in plastic and ready for 15 minutes of steaming to set the colour.

 Kim Gauthier with her skein prepared on a warping board, ready for painting with dyes thickened with wallpaper paste, to make a self-striping sock yarn. Yes, wallpaper paste.
It holds the dye onto the fibre, and rinses off perfectly at the end.
Time for lunch - plenty to choose from and plenty for dinner later on.
 Terry has dyed some grey handspun with a modified tie-dye technique, using 3 different colours, and is checking the results. Turned out that one more colour was needed and WOW!

Annette Gauthier and helpers are having fun dyeing a sock blank.

Some results from our play day. Sock blanks, hand painted handspun yarn, and hand dyed fibre waiting for spinning.
 The fence posts made a good drying rack too.
It's time for me to leave, but I had to take a leisurely drive back to the main road - there were too many beautiful pictures waiting to be taken.

Thanks, Sharon, for your hospitality
and hard work.

and some end results from my day

ice cube fibre dyeing

hat made from hand painted skein

3-colour tie-dyed skein