Monthly Archives: July 2007

My neighbourhood, a fibre artist’s Mecca

There are some things that you pass by, day by day, and never really take note of until one day they just jump out at you. Yesterday, for me, it was G & S Dye and Accessories. An entire store, just for dyes — not paints (though there are plenty of art-supply stores right nearby, too) — and fabric/fiber dyeing tools!

I kid you not. I mean, I thought I was lucky enough, living within 20 min. of Lettuce Knit, Romni Wools, Arton beads, and the rest of the crafty Queen West offerings, but I never even guessed that there would be a dye store within a 5 min. walk! I was heading to the pub after work, saw some pretty batik in a window, and then it hit me like a tonne of bricks: a dye store. I did a quick circuit of the inside to goggle at all the dyepots and bolts of silk and other esoteric dyers’ things, and then went on my way, but now that I know it’s there, I know I’ll be back. What shall I try first? Roving? Yarn? A silk scarf?

With discoveries like this, I have got to get out more.

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*paused*

Why is there no knitting to show*? Because, like millions of others, I’m reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, or at least I would be if I wasn’t at work. (The Dru is probably reading it right now; just as in Ladyhawke, there will most likely be only brief moments at dawn and dusk when we both see each other, before one or the other is swept away.) I don’t expect this pause to last for long, but between the book and our being away over the weekend, I don’t expect to have any exciting news on the knitting/spinning front for a few days. Or time to blog, save at work, when I’d rather be reading, or knitting, or spinning…

*Other than the fact that half a Pomatomus or yet more shawl edging is about as boring as things with Seacell in ’em can get?

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Good Mail, Good Evening

My final Secret Pal 10 package arrived today, and with it, the revelation of my pal’s secret identity! I have been lavishly and intuitively, surprisingly and generously, by none other than Melly!

How lucky have I been? First, there was lovely roving for spinning, just as I was beginning my hand-spinning journey (for the curious, it eventually became my Kool-aid dyed Monkey socks!). Then I was spoiled with a great letter-writing package — including custom yarn stamps! — the fruits of which are also being enjoyed by some of my correspondents and friends even now. I even was sent a great little pick-me-up card in the midst of it all! And now….

SP 10 treat package
THIS!

A card (secret identity revealed inside), a postcard of a beautiful Kentucky lakeside, feet-pampering (natural and vegan!) scrubs, soaks, and lotions,and (most indulgent of all) Lorna’s Laces Shepard Sock yarn in the Black Purl colourway! How does she do it, folks? How did she know that that was the very colourway I was petting at LK a few weeks back, mourning that I’d never get to use?

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock: black purl
Let’s have a close-up of that beautiful yarn! Whatever shall it become?

Thank you so much, Melissa. You’ve been a truly great Secret Pal!

I had been all geared up to write a whinging post about how, despite really wanting to get out to Lettuce Knit tonight, I am feeling terribly tired tonight and so was going to be moping at home. Though I’m still sad that I’ll have to wait a bit to see Amy’s new Vespa, and will miss out on tasting Glenna’s yummy-looking cupcakes, I think that a good, long, pampering footsoak and some quiet pattern-browsing for the perfect thing for the Black Purl skeins sounds like a pretty great evening, don’t you?

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Unravelling Ravelry

There’s been a heck of a lot of buzz out in the blogosphere lately about Ravelry. It think it’s tied to the new application that lets one track one’s place in line for sign ups, and if Kathleen‘s recent starts are any indicator of the norm, we’re talking people flocking in to it by the thousands.

In light of this, I have a confession to make. I am not on the Ravelry wait-list. I have, in fact, been on Ravelry for a good 2-3 months now, having received a generous invite from Jodi (who gets those kind of perks because she’s so cool, cool enough to spread the love around with invitations and high-fives-of-1-degree-of-separation connections to other cool kids).

I guess I didn’t realize how lucky I’d got it. I mean, it seemed nifty and all, when it was first announced, and I did sign onto the wait list quickly (before my invite). I’ve logged on (user “aemmeleia”, of course!). I’ve photographed some of my stash and logged my needles and added what books I can in the beta mode. It has noticeably caused my Projects page to be horridly out of date. And yet, I haven’t been religious about signing in, logging yarns/tools/projects, or chatting on forum thread X.

Now I see how much other people are wishing and hoping to be a part of Ravelry, I feel a bit guilty for having taken it all for granted. Maybe tonight, I’ll go e-stash more yarn, or see what’s being said on a few threads. I certainly do think Ravelry is a great tool, and will probably only get better and better (especially if they add a spinning section!). And I promise if I get any invites to give out, I won’t be tardy in spreading the love even further.

* * * * *

And speaking of spreading the love, Shelly, aka the Heathen Housewife, is having a great contest: just leave her a comment following her rules and you could win a copy of “Victorian Lace Today” and a skein of lace-weight merino, hand-dyed to your liking! (I’d love this so much, even with a shawl on the needles already! Probably won’t win, but it’s still good to get the word out!)

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Pomatomess? Sea Socks?

I know you’ve all been terribly worries these last few days about that Sea Wool so let me start by assuring you that it all turned out alright in the end:
Sea Wool ball

It took a while, and by the time I’d would in into a big ol’ ball o’ yarn once I really didn’t have the heart to wind it again into two center-pulls on my “nostepinne” (read: bit of dowel), so I abandoned the idea of knitting a Magic-Looped pair of Baudelaires and just jumped into a Pomatomus instead.
Pomatomus socks in progress

I’m kinda glad I did, though. I really like the way that the yarn shimmers, just like fish-scales should.

I’m wondering something: maybe getting ahead of myself, but has anyone out there knit a pair of Pomatomi that have reversed the scale-direction for the second sock? Can you even do that? (And if so, how did you do it?)

I’ve also (finally!) had a bit of time to sit at the wheel, and have been working on a lovely little bit (only 50g) of Fleece Artist merino roving I purchased on the TTC KAL. I think I’m just going to make it up into a simple 2-ply, and let it’s beautiful purples and greys and burgundy-browns blend together as they will. Excuse the poor photo, but this one does give a good idea of the colours:
variegated merino on bobbins

And that’s about it! Had a great visit this Friday and Saturday nights with Jodi and Peter, but for the sake of domestic peace we kept the knit-talk to low levels :) Otherwise my world is mostly full of new-jobness and summertime bustle. Is it just me, or do summers always afford less time for fibrecrafts?

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Big Mess O’Yarn

Something went horribly awry during skein-splitting.

Tangled!

Pray for me.

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FO: Manly Monkeys

Finished! One pair of manly Monkey socks; a week or so after Dru’s birthday, perhaps, but they seem to please him nonetheless. He loves the fit, and I still love the Monkeys!

Manly Monkey socks
Finished socks, complete with Max in background.

Manly Monkeys
The “Action Shot”. (Dru’s idea!)

Details
Pattern: Monkey, by Cookie A. (free on Knitty)
Yarn: Trekking XXL, green/brown/purple colourway
Needles: 2.25mm ‘handmade’ birch dpns (blogged here)
Project Timeline: Late June to July 4, 2007
Modifications: 7 pat. reps. for leg; slipped-stitch heel flap; slightly square-er heel.

I still am addicted to the Monkey pattern, but I really aught to try my hand at something else for a bit. Dru’s “you survived your first week on the new job!” surprise present should knit into some nice Baudelaires, don’t you think?
Fleece Artist Sea Wool yarn
Fleece Artist Sea Wool sock yarn!

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What I did on my summer vacation

These past few weeks have been trying and hectic, to say the least, but have cumulating in Very Good Things!

After extensive interviewing for those two jobs I’ve mentioned, I was offered BOTH! This was awesome in and of itself, and I accepted the University one with long-term goals in mind. After dancing about in circles for a while, Dru took me out for a very long walk, then I had a very long nap, and then spent the evening (this would be Monday last) planning our mini-vacation. I figured it probably wouldn’t do to go taking time off in the first month of a new job, eh?, so this week was going to count.

Tuesday we drove down to the happy chicken farm of Kelly and Raven. While we did a fly-by visit the other month, it is always so good to get to really visit with them; to drink coffee in the sunshine, to watch the chickens doing weird raptor-things and meet the new house-pigeon and and skritch the elderly, ever-dignified Bryan.
Dru with Francis
Dru and “Francis”, the tonsured house-pigeon, in the farmhouse’s red-walled Great Room.

And of course, to ramble on and on about fibre addictions with Kel! As you may know from reading her blog, she has recently got herself some silk for spinning, which takes the fibre habit to a whole new level (I have got to get myself some!). Likewise, when not spinning, we were both knitting Monkey socks… (what is it about that pattern?) A pair of “manly Monkeys” is shaping up nicely; I finished sock #1 in time to photograph it on the lawn in the sunshine.
manly Monkey sock
“Manly Monkey” sock #1.

We also took an evening to drive into Windsor to visit Jodi and Peter. After a delicious meal of Ethiopian delights, we walked along the river that borders Windsor and Detroit, and were treated to the spectacular people-watching afforded by the tourists out for the big two-country fireworks display. I found the freshest cotton candy you can get (at the cheapest price, too!) by waiting ’till the end of the midway, but sadly we had to drive back to the farm just as the first “booms” were echoing in order to beat the traffic. Nevertheless, the dinner, walk, and sit upon the porch allowed us some really great visiting time with two more old friends that we don’t see nearly enough of these days.
Jodi photographing her coffee
Photo-metablogging: my shot of Jodi taking a shot of her Ethiopian coffee.

After a few days of farm fun we needed to head back home, but not without a whirlwind stopover to hang out with our parents in London. Kelly had given me a parting gift, you see, that needed to be taken to the capable workshop of my FIL…
Spinning wheel parts -- in the shop

Spinning wheel parts -- bench/flyer close-up

Spinning wheel parts -- wheel close-up

She has a name in my mind, but I don’t think I’ll introduce you too her until she’s been restored to her full and proper glory. She’s a “Nilus” Leclarc made in L’Islet, QU, for those of you that care about wheel pedigree. (If anyone has any useful info. about this wheel/manufacturer, please contact me!)

The holiday weekend was mostly spent jonesing for the wheel to come and live with me for reals, watching the city’s fireworks form my panoramic 23rd-floor view, and mentally preparing myself for my first day of grown-up work (which went really well). All in all, a great vacation!

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