Tuesday, April 6, 2010

From Across the Pond

Last week, my normal daily trip to the mailbox ended in a lovely surprise! Does this shawl look familiar to you? You may have seen it at Dorothy's blog "Little Garth Lochmaben". It is nothing short of spectacular! The pattern is beautifully symmetrical, the colour bright and refreshing, the yarn, merino/ angora blend, is soft and cuddly. My difficulty is that we don't have a table for me to spread it out properly and so I had to wait for the work in the kitchen was done and get the pictures while we had a patch of sunshine today! The kitchen seems to be the best room for natural light here now. Dorothy says the pattern is called Girasole and she did tell me who designed it but I can't seem to find the name right now. Girasole is by Jared Flood from Brooklyn Tweed - a lovely pattern. Thanks DebbieB!

Here's a close up of what I like to call the sunflower centre. I think my flash has bleached out the colour unfortunately. The knitting is simply beautiful! I believe this is what Dorothy was knitting while her hubby was under going heart surgery. I'm not so sure I could have kept my mind on the pattern at a time like that! A most special birthday present....thank you.
We have had more progress in the kitchen and here's a picture of the wood surround on the centre island.
There is also a touch of the wood at the far end wall which we are calling the 'message centre'. Our phone and calendar will be set up there once the jack is installed. The far right of the island is to have some tall stools so it becomes a breakfast nook. So the search is on for the right look and colour for stools or tall chairs and so far, no luck. We're in no hurry though and the right ones will appear in due course.

I like the wine rack built in and my recipe book shelf directly above. Clearly I need more books! Around the corner and out of view in this picture is a large stainless steel rod set into the wood as a showcase spot for my handwoven towels! I'll set some up and take a snap or two for the next post.
So... what's left to do? Well the tile back splash needs to be installed and the window sill and new trim needs to be painted. The painter, Shawn, is coming tomorrow to paint all the additional trims and the new 'old-fashioned' paneling in the stairwell. I hope to show you the before and after pictures of that next post as well. Trust me, its a big change! Lynnette can verify this fact..
I had hoped to have the silk warp off the Louet before now but our Easter weekend was taken up almost completely by this fellow:
Connor is a Lakeland Terrier, so 'from across the pond' as well. His sire was directly from the Lake District of England and Cruft's 1994 winning terrier. Well, Connor is 13 in May and has struggled with ulcerative bowel disease since he was diagnosed at age 2. He has taken a daily medicine combination to supress his auto-immune system since then and has had tried special diets since he's allergic to most proteins (beef, pork, fish and lamb) He has dined on canned rabbit (at $2.00 a can, 2 cans per day) for a time, vension and until recently he has eaten chicken, barley and raw veggies. Now this poor guy is down to rice and cottage cheese with a little chicken as the condition has become worse. He's lost weight and his tail isn't so perky anymore. The vet gave him some shots to settle his system and told us to consider euthanization as he's in pain. This past week and weekend we took turns staying up with him all night as he was so ill and we thought today would be his last, but he has somehow rallied again and seems more his usual self. We may have delayed the inevitable, but for now he's still our couch buddy at night and he plays hide the ball in my loom bench (whether I'm there or not.) Ever reach for a shuttle and get a soggy dog toy instead? Ya, it's great....
It seems my great expectations of getting a third scarf off the silk warp was a bit optimistic! So there will be samples after all... nice ones too with silk yak blend as weft. Not sure what is going onto Lilibet next as I have been a bit distracted. I received my draft and threading notes for a workshop with Alison Irwin called "A Good Deal More On Four" that I'm taking April 24th and 25th so I must warp up my Jane loom. The outline reads:
TITLE: A Good Deal More on Four
INSTRUCTOR: Alison Irwin
DESCRIPTION: Learn how to expand your 4-shaft loom's potential with a little pick-up! Alison has a passion for it and over two days she'll introduce you to three techniques: Doubleweave Pick-Up, Mock Satin Damask, and Finnweave. This is NOT a round robin class. The samplers you'll create of simple light/dark images will be woven on just one warp because you'll be working on just one loom -- yours. What makes each part of this project distinct is each technique's colour order and treadling sequence.
NUMBER OF STUDENTS: 8 minimum, 12 maximum.
LENGTH OF CLASS: Two days (9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with an hour break for lunch).
WHEN: Saturday/Sunday, April l 24/25, 2010.
Sounds just what I need right now to get me back on track! I'm looking forward to it...
So that's it for this time...


LA said...

The kitchen is lookin' GOOD! I know you'll be happy when it's all done. I'll be thinking good thoughts for Connor...........

DebbieB said...

Girasole is by Jared Flood from Brooklyn Tweed - a lovely pattern.

Kitchen looks great!

Theresa said...

Oh Susan, I hope Connor's rally continues. Fingers crossed and if you need anything, you know where to reach me. Terriers are such stoic creatures, it's a lessing and a curse.
The class sounds like great fun and the kitchen looks
simple divine.

Lynnette said...

My fingers and toes are crossed for Connor's continued good health; he's such a special fellow! He's the only dog that I ever met who would tuck his toes under when standing against a kitchen cabinet so as not to leave a scratch!

Anonymous said...

Wow, there is so much going on in your life! You deserve to wrap up in a splendid shawl. The kitchen is amazing, and the message center looks like a great idea. I'm sending my feel-better wishes to your little guy.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, lots of ups and downs... ups for the fabulous shawl, and for more progress on the kitchen (love that wine rack, by the way) but downs for poor Connor. It is SO hard to make these decisions, but I am sure he will let you know when he has had enough. In the meantime, lots of doggy love!!

Susan said...

Thanks everyone for your comments.
Cally is right, lots of up's and down's around here like I'm on a hobby horse!

I think I'm ready to get off this ride for while :)

Connor is sleeping a lot more but has better appetite (even if it is rice and cottage cheese) They are such troopers aren't they? He's the neatest dog we have ever owned and although he might be small in stature, he's huge of heart.


Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio said...

Now THAT is a wonderful Birthday present!!! ;) The kitchen looks wonderful......I just love the white with the wood!

dorothylochmaben said...

Hi Susan - many thanks for the special mention - glad you like the shawl, it looks good on your dark worktop ! Hoping Lynnette will be next to do one in between bursts of tea towels !
The kitchen is looking great and hopefully you are beginning to think worth all the effort ! I love all the bottles especially the one on the counter !
Poor Connor, he is struggling but being very well loved and looked after. Hopefully this might pass and you will have him a bit longer.
The class sounds intensive and it will take your mind off all the other things going on. Be good to be out for a couple of days.

Carrie said...

My goodness that shawl is *beautiful* Truly an heirloom item (no I'm not hinting at anything- I just mean it's so amazing.)

I'm so glad to hear Connor rallied a bit- I thought of you guys all day yesterday. The kitchen looks great, I love the wood work on the island and floor!

All of a sudden it won't let me post with my livejournal identity. it did this to me on Dad's blog too- must be blogger?

bspinner said...

The knit shawl is amazing!!! Did Dorothy use to knit it with? She's a wonderful knitter!

Did you design your own kitchen? Seems like you thought of everything.

So sorry to hear that Connor's not well!

Susan said...

The shawl was knit up with a merino /angora blend and so is super soft.... thanks for clarifying the yarn Dorothy!


Dorothy said...

Sorry to hear of Connor's illness, I enjoyed your other news though, the shawl is such a wonderful present to receive, I'm in awe of Dorothy's knitting skills.