Weaving Through the Grieving

I’m blessed to live in a house full of love.    And even though there is one less kitty in the house, the love remains.  I spent our last few days in the spare bedroom with the loom and Hadiya.  Just the two of us.  I set her up in her bed on the table, beside the loom and listened to her soft breath.  I could occasionally reach out between shuttle tosses to rub her under her chin and drown out the sound of her breathing with that of a sweet grateful purring.

I will not forget the moments she gave me, all the love and the aggravation and her sweet little quirks, I threw them all into the spinning and the weaving.  Now more than ever, I am grateful for the grace of my craft.  It bends with my emotions, balances and pushes me.  Life is a tapestry….so many threads created by sharing my life with this small creature.

We took one last little visit outside on Friday. She stayed on the stairs.  Hadiya never liked the way grass felt under her feet, but she loved the fresh air and the possibility of a bird.  I can’t even describe the sense of loss, but right now I am trying to focus on all that I have gained from having 17 years with her.  And I will spin and knit and wrap myself in the love that remains.

I would like to thank everyone for their hugs and kind words.

Summer Market Wrap Up

What can I say ab0ut Whistler?  It was the best finale to a market ever.  So many people stopped  to buy, request custom items or just say “see you again next year”.

John and I have always felt very appreciated at this market and count many of the locals as friends.  Basically meaning, yes, you aren’t rid of us yet.  We will visit you in the winter and annoy you and borrow your spare rooms and well —-you get the picture.

However, no rest for the wicked and we jumped right into the Apple Festival the following weekend with John doing his own thing at Kitsilano Market on Sunday.  Awesome.  This festival is probably my favourite of the year.  Claire is always beside me with her wonderful hand made cards and when it’s not busy (which isn’t often) it gives us a chance to hang out and get caught up.  I never leave without a huge bag of new varietals to try out…The weather, again, perfect and well what a way to send off the season.  Now it is the biggest freak out of all, but what, wait for it——WHAT?  no freak out at all.

  • My yarn order came in when promised.
  • I am finally getting my woolie winder and a new Lendrum.
  • Jennifer has given me her remaining rovings as she is heading to India for 5 months.
  • The studio is full of willing friends all stamping, tagging and reskeining.
  • At the end of the month we are taking over another space in the studio and will soon rule the world.
  • Toni, Kristen, Pearl and Karen are awesome —just saying.

I should be completely overwhelmed, but several people have my back.  I feel it, I know it and I am secure in the knowledge that what I make will sell and what I run out of will be ordered.  I’ve never been happier with my designs, opting this year for a cleaner more polished look.  Gone is the wacky art yarn, replaced by something you will ache to knit or weave with.  Yes, finally coming into my own.

Hadiya is still with us for a few more days.  We’ve finally decided to put her down.  We’ve selfishly kept her with us long enough and how could we do anything else?…Look at this face…

I just realized while posting this picture that a lot of the carding I have done this week has been a lot of oranges…..Hmmmm.  We were treated to her having a mad run around the bed trying to grab at some skeined yarn the other day.  Flicking it with her mitten paws and flossing her teeth with what she was lucky enough to catch.  Probably her last play time.

I’m going to miss finding wet sections of yarn running through my hand when I’m knitting.  We’re staying at home today for some final cuddles.





I will not….

have a nervous breakdown.  I will not have a nervous breakdown.   I will not have a nervous breakdown.

I will have some chocolate.


Quantifying “Busy”

I’m always busy.  When people ask me how I’m doing or what’s going on I will usually answer “oh, same as always–busy”.  I’ve now realized that I can’t always be “busy” and if I am there are certainly different levels of said – busy.

Normal Busy-

  • house not clean
  • behind on paperwork
  • pile of hats to be finished
  • major shows still at least two months away

Panic Busy (includes Normal Busy as well)

  • deadline in danger of being missed (usually related to custom orders)
  • something not getting done because of waiting for fibre (usually my fault because I waited too long to order it)
  • realizing I am out of a certain style/type of hat/wool with no way to create it before a show


Category One Busy(includes Normal Busy and Panic Busy)

  • teaching 2-3 days per week in addition to other deadlines
  • pile of half finished inventory exceeds 100
  • out of bags or any kind of packaging, labels and hang tags and business cards down to one box
  • less than 2 months to major shows
  • possible night terrors

Def Com Busy(includes Category One Busy) and was named after something I think I saw in a Sylvester Stallone movie

  • less than two weeks before major show
  • business cards have not arrived (due to late ordering)
  • several felted hats will now accidentally become children’s hats
  • I start online shopping for bomb shelters
  • I start creating lists and spreadsheets so that I can feel more organized
  • there will be at least one crazy show dream

With the exception of the extra work for Once Upon a Time, I would qualify this as Normal Busy —Panic Busy doesn’t start until next week.

Fibre is the Best Way to Start Your Day

Especially if it gets to look like this little lovely.  It took hours to core spin flax on to a thread.  Why would I do this? Well, the smoke and mirrors that are filming have to hold up to sturdier stuff than a regular fibre.  It gave me ample time to study the behavior of the fibre —-and unlike last night, make me want to spin more.  It was coarse but still lighter than air and created magical little whispies as it slid by my fingers.  Just lovely.   I thought it was wonderful that the honey colour of the fibre matched the finish on the Sonata and the bobbins and that how it all was so matchy and organic.

i pictured myself sans bonnet in an old farmhouse with a Great Wheel, finding time for myself and not at all feeling like the spinning was some chore to complete.  Like “me time” but 1800’s style.

The reality was a rerun of last weekend’s episode of Torchwood and True Blood.  I somehow managed to miss seeing segments of both of them.

The fibre wasn’t perfect.  I wasn’t aiming for that.  I wanted something a bit more rustic and was pleased with what I achieved.  The full bobbin couldn’t have weighed more than  50 or 60 grams at most.  I wrapped it in a little bag, nestled on top of all of the carded rolags and waited for the guys to come by and deliver it to the set.  I kept a small bit back for my fibre scrapbook, a fly away hunk that wafted across the hardwood floor.

Who knows when I’ll have a chance to do something like this again.  I appreciate the opportunity it gave me to work with non wools.  It was a lovely experience.  I’ve left a small bit of the spun fibre trailing off the wheel and instead of packing it up like I usually do, I put the wheel beside the fireplace.

The cats are a bit miffed to have their place disturbed, but I thought it looked kind of cool, and we have the room, and well —I also managed to clean up the living room a bit.

I still seem to have flax eye and I didn’t put on goggles like I said I would.  But that’s okay….today was an awesome day and now back to the more mundane tasks .  Barring any complications, I’m not needed on set until next week.  And my spinning mojo —a bit ramped up.







Juggling as a New Skill

If ever there was a time that I needed this skill, now is that time.  There are so many different things I am committed to right now, all equally important.  I have classes to teach, inventory to make, production for the TV series and Farmer’s Markets to attend.

This week  is involving a lot of back to back events and double bookings.  Please don’t hate me if I end up having to move or cancel something.  I’m juggling as quickly as I can.

My focus this week is to start to replenish the hand spun inventory.  It never occurred to me that I would sell it all.  I had spun what I calculated would last for the rest of the season…..This after I finish with my gigantic piles of flax.

I have to tell you my experience with flax was not a good one.  Thank god the fairy tale turns it in to gold.  I found my long draw harder to control and my finished fibre felt like binder twine. But hey, you can’t get more authentic than that.

I can hardly wait to attempt it on the Great Wheel.  In the meantime, the Sonata is up to the task and treating it just fine.  I was thinking that I also might get a pair of spinning goggles as I ended up with a serious case of flax eye.  I am working on this post through scratchy wet eyeballs after letting Pearl first, then John dose me with crazy drops.