The more things change….

….the more they stay the same in my world.  Yarn, yarn and more yarn.

Don’t get me wrong.  I have done other things, I swear.  Took days off, read books and hung out with friends.  Even crossed the border and did some antiquing.  Even did a bit of  shopping online, worked on paperwork and watched another birthday come and go.

It hasn’t been high excitement, but I find myself more content than I have ever been in my life.  It’s a big statement for sure, but it is a truth.  All of the events of our life strung together with these beautiful spun threads.  Hand spun wool runs through all of it.

The new yarns from the Rustic Collection are almost ready as is the hat pattern that goes with it.  It feels great to be releasing a new pattern for this yarn.

Show acceptances have been streaming in.   I’m not sure what I was thinking applying for so many, but it’s exciting to see that my season will be busy.  I don’t really enjoy breaks in the work (even if you’ve heard me say otherwise).

I was planning on going to the Game of Thrones Marathon at VanCity Theatre tomorrow.  I would only have to line up at 6am and spend 10 hrs there knitting.  I even bought a pair of knitting needles with tips that light up so I could see my knitting in the dark.  But I’ve decided not to go.

I think a day in the studio with CBC radio is an excellent way to spend a Friday.  And instead of watching something I’ve already seen, I can take a few breaks and make some headway on Book 5.

Happy knitting and spinning this weekend!





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.

Finding my Comfort Zone

I haven’t had a chance to be in my comfort zone much lately.  Everything I’ve been working on is pulling me away from that.  It’s always good to be able to think on your feet, but I am finding my brain is creating solutions before problems even present themselves.

On set this week, the wheel has changed (again).  I’m trying to keep up.  I want authentic, I really do, but filming requires bigger than that, so it’s been a lot of retooling.

Prop guys are the really the unsung heroes of tv/film and I’ve had a small chance to live in that world.  While I was working on my spinning props, there was a firestorm of activity around me—a broken trident needing to be repaired,  a bent sword and the matching hand that went with it….it doesn’t seem like much, but on screen —-pure magic.  I love what they do and realize I could never, ever do it for a living.  It’s such a high sense of urgency for everything.  It’s almost scary.

I got my first call sheet last night.  Emailed at after 11:30 for today’s production.  I need to be there for 2pm and Robert is spinning in the first scene that they are filming.  Even though the wheel is not in the subsequent scenes I will still have to stay on set for when they turn the set around and shoot it from other angles.

I’m a bit nervous with them shooting a film behind the scenes on the “Making of Once Upon a Time” and will do my best to stay out of their way.  However, some lip gloss just in case.  I am still wearing the scar of evil cold sore and would not want to see what that looks like on camera…Perhaps some green screen or some other Disney magic?

I am looking forward to returning to the slow comfort of fibre.  I set my objectives and expectations high, but at the end of the day, I am not working at a pace that puts me at risk.  The expectations are my own, so the whole world doesn’t know if I haven’t met a target.  (Unless I blog about it, of course)

Best Laid Plans

So I spent a few days at home, nursing a giant cold sore and a few canker sores (gross) realizing that stress will always manifest itself in some fashion.  But still working.  A  lot of knitting can happen from the couch.

I used my gorgeous Paula calendar to write out a proper production schedule for the next three weeks, making sure that nothing is left out of inventory replacement.

Or so I thought. When the show called today and asked for a few more days on set next week and the following, I almost lost my lunch.   Each minute of every day is crafted to create the maximum inventory for Butterdome.

Confession: I loved working on the show: with the wheel and the people. And it’s one thing I do that is not about inventory so how could I say no. Also, it is Robert Carlyle….who needs justification for that?

John, who is always reminding me how much sleep I need to get, is now calculating how much I can safely live without. It’s a small margin, let me tell you.

Here are a few before and after pics of the Circle Craft set up for you until the next time I update the blog.

The set up was pretty intense.  Driven straight from Williams Lake and plopped into the booth.  Ignored for several hours and then tossed up with rapid fire pace.

This photo is a bit more civilized.  All that was left of the hand spun.



Hey, I think I may even get more done by trying to juggle both scenarios.  A day on the set makes for awesome studio chat later.  And due to Kristen’s last coffee run, we have enough java to last us through to the new year.

Drowning in Dye

   Today’s post is brought to you by the colour —all of them.  I am on a solid rotation now for spin, skein, dye and repeat.   It’s been hard to get anything to dry with this weather, but I’m plodding along and things are getting done.

Disney is taking a little nip out of my time again and I’m on set today with a new wheel and making Rumplestiltskin spin more straw into gold.  It’s exciting and a bit scary to go on set with an antique wheel and be the one to tweek it, spin on it and make it work for the actor in the shoot.

I’m so lucky to have already worked with Robert Carlyle (who has a natural knack for the craft) and John was right, it turned out to be an amazing experience.  Robert’s spinning translated beautifully on film and the drive band only tried to jump ship once.  I even received a round of applause from the director and crew for my down and dirty wheel repair prior to the last take.

I had the good fortune to meet Deborah Sparrow for the first time who was also consulting on set.  Although we both teach at Birkeland, somehow we just never managed to cross paths.

Deep breath……now the real work begins.

Once Upon a Time…..

….a young girl wanted to knit some stuff.  Then she wanted to spin some stuff.  Then she wanted to teach others to spin and so the story goes.  But the metaphor for spinning straw into gold takes on new meaning when you get to incorporate your love of fibre and see it translated on camera.

The full morning yesterday was spent in the prop warehouse.  There were thousands of metres of flax to rewind.  It didn’t stop me from being distracted by the millions of things that had nothing to do with why I was sitting in the prop warehouse.  Swords, marionettes, musical instrument, containers and vessels of varying sizes—-it was dizzying to be surrounded by all of it.

The prop guys are amazing.   Alchemists in their own right, I was watching them create out of nothing.  It’s a tougher job than I could have ever imagined and they are superstars, really.
After all the consultations, I came face to face with the Great Wheel —repaired.  She was a beauty for sure, modified to fit the screen needs but not my personal needs…..(which saved me the trouble of trying to figure out how I was going to fit it in the car after shooting was over for the day)

I found the most beautiful vintage spools to wrap the fibre around and stuck to that task.  The rolags had already been done and the mountains of unprocessed fibre wouldn’t be necessary until the scene was ready to shoot.  I couldn’t get over how nicely the core spun prep turned out, but not a preparation I would ever recommend for spinning bast fibres.  Hence Pearl’s gift of the goggles.

The wheel was spruced up and beautiful with a new whorl and drive band; cracks were filled and it was truly a work of art.  The morning flew by.  The film industry is always trying to feed you, but I really didn’t have much of an appetite and didn’t want to leave the prop room even for a minute.  I did enjoy mega doses of caffeine which was in sympathy with the pace I was working at.

Then setting the stage was before lunch.    The green screen is like nothing I’ve ever seen before.  Very little was on set except for the wheel and fibre and a table full of alchemist tools and potions.   So I went to work, first the unprepped fibre mountain, and then the collection of rolags piled on top and arranged just so and then arranging the wheel and the fibre for the actor.

Then a walk through of the scene with the actors and suddenly everyone was gone…Lunch.  OMG, cold grilled mushroom salad, steamed orange roughy and a rhubarb crisp –and more coffee.  I’ll let you know how the afternoon went tomorrow.  I still have a lot to process and I think a massage may be on the agenda.

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