Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fibre at the Festival

Summer has FINALLY decided to grace us with her presence, but she outdid herself with generosity yesterday. It was the perfect day for the Cathedral Village Arts Festival - sunny, 20 degrees Celcius (about 72 F), and just a touch of a breeze. The Arts Festival is an annual week long celebration that happens in the revitalized Cathedral area of Regina which culminates with a street fair where creators of (generally) handmade goods set up booths along the main drag of the area. There is also entertainment, food and lots of buskers.

My favourite LYS, Golden Willow Natural Fibres, is located on this street so they set up a couple of open tents outside the store. In one of the tents Gabriel and Ramone, alpacas belonging to Golden Willow's owners Sharon and Lloyd, posed for pictures and got lots of pets. Here is Katie with them (and our bag of shopping over her shoulder).
In the other tent they were spinning and knitting. And here is Deborah (knitter, spinner, teacher extraordinaire) from Golden Willow at a spinning wheel.
Katie and I just shopped and ate yesterday, but maybe next year we will go and join the ladies. Afterall, Katie now figures that I should give her my Pioneer wheel now that I have the Elizabeth (yes, it is still here) because it is little like her.

For myself I bought a fair trade bag from Cambodia that will go around my neck without hurting my back (too many years of hauling heavy books over one shoulder in university) and is perfect for toting around my knitting.

On a sadder note, my sister Susan suddenly lost one of her shelties on Friday. Harrison was a very sweet dog who loved to sit in the sun and watch the birds.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Elizabeth has Come for a Sleep Over

My sister Susan has been dithering if she should sell her Ashford Elizabeth spinning wheel. On one hand it is her dream wheel. On the other hand to spin on it causes her a lot of discomfort. She has been trying to convince me to buy it from her, but I have been hesitant for a few reasons. It is a much larger wheel than my little Pioneer and I don't have a lot of room. My husband is already complaining about the ever-growing paraphalia around my knitting chair (I cleaned up for the picture). I really like the castle style wheels (I told Susan that if she ever wanted to sell her new Schacht Matchless I would take it in a minute! That was a resounding no, though). And I really don't trust my destructo kids around such an expensive wheel.

But as you see I did finally break down and bring Elizabeth home for a visit. My sister knows me too well. She knows that once it is here it won't be going anyplace else. I have to be careful about bringing puppies into my house for the same reason.

I think Susan figures that I should buy it just so that she retains visiting privileges.

This morning Katie was telling me that now the Elizabeth is here that I should give her my Pioneer since it is little like her. I told her no, but that her auntie and I were hoping that she would take up the knitting and spinning so that we have someone to leave all our stash and equipment to when we die. Her response was "Yipee!" Ummmm... I hope she isn't hoping for it all any time soon.

BTW - the brightly coloured fibre that I am spinning with here is some superwash that Susan dyed that turned out way too bright. She thought she was safe trying to get some of the colour out of it because it is superwash. Who knew - superwash WILL felt eventually. So I got her rejects since it is a little hard to draft out in places and I will make a hat and mittens for Katie out of it without worrying about it being spun evenly.

Here is my second try at spinning sock yarn from BFL...
The one turned out much nicer than the first try. I got it spun finer with a lot less breakage as I was Navajo plying it. It is knitting up nice and soft. So I think I am ready to start spinning sock yarn from nicer (read more expensive) fibre.

And I know I said I would never knit with Noro again, but it is just such a cool yarn when it is knit up that I couldn't help myself and did another pair of socks from the Kureyon, this time in colourway S182. I still have the finishing to do on one sock, but I dislike doing it perhaps because I actually have to think to Kitchener stitch the toe. I won't be wearing them (I hope!) for awhile yet anyway.