At the studio

Feeling a bit scrappy. Sorting through bits of stuff, kid mohair, locks, silk, bamboo,merino, shetland. 297 yards of blended goodness. I think everyone should have a drum carder.

Still scrappy, but thinking more rag rug look. I always joke with my students about the condition of the studio and how you could spin straight from the floor. No longer a just a joke.

A bit bulkier –plied onto itself with some glitter bit, definitely a rag rug vibe. 147 yards, just enough for some funky mittens.

WTFebruary?

I don’t know how it happened.  January —puff—–gone.   And what do I have to show for it?  Some hand spun, a few new designs, a reasonably tidy house and a terrible cold.

Okay, not as bad as I thought, it seems I did get quite a bit done, but not nearly where I hoped to be.  I am still doing my last minute scrambling for show applications.  Thank goodness that I have enough seniority now that I’m not rejurying for everything from scratch.  That is a killer.

Birkeland is closing down at the end of the month.  For those of you that follow the blog or have taken classes from me, you know that this is where I did most of my teaching.  I’ll be sad to see the shop close.  It has been a landmark on the Main Street strip now for 73 years.  I’ve made many friendships through the shop that are irreplaceable.  I’ve had so many opportunities come my way because of my affiliation with the shop.  My gig with Disney is because of a referral from Cara.  So ends a chapter.

February is a shorter month, but also the month where things kick into high gear.  It’s when my calendar is set for the whole year.   It is also the start of the new yarn project.  Details to follow.  I think you’ll like this one.  New half pound skeins of the thick and thin BFL.  Imagine, an entire project with no ends to join.

Classes….

I’ll be doing a lot more teaching at the studio this year.  Yes, my schedule is organized such that I have carved out more space for classes.

Check back for some updates shortly!  I also am happy to hear from anyone who has a special request or an idea for  a class they would like me to teach.

Cappuccino machine…….just saying.

You Spin Me Right Round Baby

Actually spinning my own base yarns has been a bit more time consuming than I planned.  That’s okay though.  It’s not like I don’t like the spinning.  Besides, I’d rather be spinning than filling out show applications and booking hotels.  John is taking over that responsibility.

While I decided that I would not have $5 take out coffees, I seem to have found another way to spend even more money by having already gone out for dinner twice this year.  Note to self, do not let your alcohol bill exceed your food portion of the bill.  Primos is the oldest and best Mexican restaurant in town.  Thanks for keeping pace with me on the Bombas Nancy!

I had dinner for the first time at Les Faux Bourgeois last night with some crafty friends.  The meal was amazing, but really, eating out twice in one week is a bit decadent for me.  Full austerity measures are now back in place.

Monica will be working with me on a new cowl pattern as well as a scarf pattern for the lovely, lumpy BFL that I am spinning.  If anyone has a better name for this hand spun bulky weight thick and thin BFL than lumpy, could you please let me know.  I would be happy to send a skein to whoever can think of the best name.

So, it’s pretty, it’s soft, it’s lumpy and it needs a name.  Help a spinner out would you?

I resolve….

I never do this, because there are certain things I will and will not do and resolutions or attempts at change have never worked in the past.  When I woke this morning I felt this weird charge of energy that made me feel like I could do just about anything.  No idea where it came from —-not going to ask.

So in your face 2012 —-this is what’s going to happen

  • No yarn store purchases of yarn —sorry yarn stores.  I have given you plenty of money so this year you’re going to have to get on without me.
  • No new wheels.  Not a Sidekick, not anything new or shiny or used or in need of attention.
  • One wheel from the herd must go.
  • I must not leave stock dye in the studio without putting the lid back on.
  • No more $5 coffees ($2.50 Americanos are still okay and only if I haven’t any coffee at home
  • No takeout food unless we are out of town for a show.  If I’m eating at home it will be the food from my own fridge.  Not a health concern more than budgetary.  A year in review of expenses can be quite shocking
  • I will not get another kitty.  It was hard losing Hadiya this year.  She would be impossible to replace.  Not even gonna try.
  • I am taking a fibre vacation this year.  Most likely to Salt Spring for one of Terri’s awesome classes.
  • I will learn to hug like Pearl but give it my own spin.  I don’t want to be a copy cat hugger.

The punishment for breaking one of these “resolves” is that I have to clean the house.  You notice that I have nothing about housework in my list of things to do/not do this year.  Yep…nothing at all.

Peace.

Humming and Thrumming

I’ve been spending more time in the studio over the holidays than I thought I would.  I thought that after the craft crash, I might enjoy a little time off.  Nope.  Want to work, want to play with work.

  These made me happy.  I was definitely smitten with the mittens.  This was after I stopped swearing.  A miscount in the number of rows for the rib cuff had me, dare I say it, ripping it back to correct.  I was only about 14 rows in to the knitting when I noticed it, but damn, it still hurt my feelings.

The yarn is a hand spun and hand dyed 2 ply merino wool.  The thrum is some hand dyed merino from my friend Jennifer (part of her giant destash before she left for India)

I core spun some wool today so I could make a non matchy scarf.  I might be feeling weavie —we’ll see.

While cleaning today I found some more hand spun that I think would work great for mitts.  Well that’s my evening planned.    Did someone say cozy fireplace knitting?

A Few Changes

Every year I do a little soul searching about the business. Things to change, to improve, to do more of….and finally –things never to repeat.

I am thrilled to say that this year there were no “let’s never do this again moments”. I’ve been navigating through the craft system in this province long enough to –dare I say it–have things reasonably figured out.

I am no longer going to be buying commercial wool to dye for my kits. If it ain’t hand spun it’s not landing in one of my kits. This means I am changing my strategy to be much more production geared…Yes, more than before. With John’s help we’ve set out a ridiculous production schedule, a grueling list of shows and yes—I couldn’t be more thrilled.

More workshops at the studio. Yov’ve been asking for them, now help me fill them up so that I can continue to offer them! Spinning, knitting and crochet classes are what are on the table. If you are looking for something different, let me know. I’m always up for a good challenge.

Decluttering I will be selling my Kromski Sonata and my Louet super fine carder (excellent for alpaca). There is just too much in the studio right now. I want to make room for my electric fireplace and new comfie chair (yet to be purchased but coming soon to a studio near you)

A regular studio schedule. I need to not be mood motivated for the studio so expect to find me there Mon – Thursday starting in the new year.

To never stop spinning .  Making yarn for others to get their creative on is a joy I can’t imagine being without.

A Magical Holiday

I have been watching my Dr. Who special since 4:30 this morning (in my fabulous TARDIS socks). I know. I have made excellent use of my time, working on some knitting and preparing various side orders and the turkey during commercials. It took a while, but the results were well worth it, with us sitting for dinner at 7PM and me only missing one of the old Christmas specials.

My curried turkey with lentil rice and cilantro stuffing worked out nicely. My cranberry sauce was runny. I consider this a success since I have hosted some pretty awful holiday meals!

I am enjoying working on a lovely pure angora scarf and taking my time with it. This is the luxury of a semi day off. The fibre is divine. John is cleaning up so I can get back to my TWho – a- thon.

Had the most awesome dinner at our friend Claire’s last night. We started with her pate with fig balsamic jelly, a pinch of hibiscus salt with a rosemary brioche. And the meal only got better if you can believe that. She makes her own holiday log as well. I think I may be able to enjoy the cooking of others and left overs right until new years.

I hope everyone is enjoying knitting with some great yarn over the holidays. I have been asked to work on some new kits for next year. Consider it done.

Might not make it to the studio until Tuesday if you are planning on stopping by.

All Done

It’s unusual for me to go so long without a post.  It’s also over the top for me to have 3 huge shows almost back to back.  All done.  It feels great to say that.  Of course there are still a few loose ends to tie up.  Just a few more orders to knit —and a lot of unpacking and reorganizing.  It will happen and I will stand back and marvel at the fact that I am still in once piece.

All the help I had this year was stellar.  Due to a lot of donated time things got done.

Just having a few custom orders to contend with is a nice way to end a year of knitting and spinning.

I’ll be pulling back from a lot of shows next year so I won’t be as visible, but you will still be able to find me for yarns and classes.

Stay tuned for an update to the website.  New yarns will be posted and for sale straight from the post.

There will be new kits available in the new year as well.  Seeing what others make from my yarn is quite a high.  Having people at the studio who have been inspired to take their craft to the next level is another rush.  This is what I want to put my focus on.

I’ll have a list of classes and workshops posted in January.  I look forward to seeing you at one of them.

Warm wishes for the holidays.  Still time for last minute Christmas knitting!

This is a demo store for testing purposes — no orders shall be fulfilled.