Thursday, October 21, 2010

Out of the Shadows

I've been a member of the Guild of Canadian Weavers since 1997 and for a time, even served as their president. (There are plans for a whole new web page to come soon!) In 2007 weaving exchanges were revived and have continued successfully since and I have participated every year. There has been a wonderful variety: tea towels with a tartan theme,  finger tip guest towels, card inserts and for 2010, a scarf exchange. It started with Carolyn Houlden in 2007 as the exchange coordinator and for the past couple of years Lynnette has been their coordinator.  I dare say getting all those packages in the mail at the deadline must be very exciting!  Sort of like a Weaver's Christmas. (sorry I said that word.... but it is coming....)

This beautiful shadow weave scarf arrived in my mail box a few days ago and I'm thrilled with it! It was woven by Patricia who lives in Ontario and she would have received a scarf as well, (but not mine). It is woven with black and silver  2/8 tencel, sett 20 epi for plain weave and impeccably woven. Check the edges! (click to enlarge)

There were also a clear record of the project and draft:

Now, Patricia is weaver who I would love to visit and spend time in her studio! But as she is way over on the other side of the country so that is not going to happen any time soon unfortunately. The scarf will look wonderful on my black wool coat this winter!

One other participant provided a sample on her technique for the other weavers:

By using a shaped cardboard in front of the regular reed, it mimics a fan reed or 'ondelle'. (not sure if I have that spelt right)   A very interesting technique!

The scarf I sent in? Well, it was the green version of the scarves in this post .

Friday, October 15, 2010

New Play Things!

So my cold lasted a week and generally was your normal, usual miserable cold and cough where you feel like crap. During this time I held down the couch and didn't accomplish much. I did have time to read my new books!

I have been waiting for this rewrite for many months! The Scandinavian weaving book is lovely as well. It does seem to take two books to qualify for the free shipping at Amazon. That's a great hook isn't it?

 So in the (lonely) studio, I have threading under way on the Louet for guest hand towels:

On the big loom, I have the towel warp which has been waiting patiently for my lower back to get better so I can treadle (depressing the treadles can aggravate a lumbar pinch!)

I did manage to get myself upright, dressed and more productive and cleaned the house just ahead of a fast flip visit from Lynnette and her hubby. They were here to pick something special up and all the details of that, I will leave to her!   :)  We had a couple of grand days and the sun shone for our trip to see the fall colours. The last day we woke to rain and Michael said it was obviously time to go home.
Lynnette gifted me a lovely blood wood shawl pin!  Now I have to make a shawl for me.

So when a weaving friend comes to town, you *must* take her to the local yarn store (LYS)... right? So we went to The Loom which is just south of Duncan. Don't let the name fool you as there are only a few cones of weaving yarn and some bits and pieces of equipment parts. The store is crammed (I mean crammed!) with knitting yarns, and some spinning fibre... but mainly knitting yarns. We both found something to bring home... how could you not?  I found some interesting yarn to try my amateur hands at knitting this winter in the evenings.
This meant I had to buy these... which are a rare sight in my home!

I'll let you know how this experiment goes!

So I did promise to show you my loot haul from the Kelowna spin in (since I have no weaving news for you) My first goal was to look for a quad fringe twister and I scored! Hopefully this will help speed finishing up...

A friend loaned me a wheel to spin on (which apparently used to belong to a dear friend who passed away some years ago) It was much appreciated and so I had to buy some top to spin!

It has a hint of raspberry, peach and sage green. Lovely with 20% silk and 80% merino!  Andrea of Aurelia Wool and Weaving brings this yummy stuff in from New Zealand.

I recently wove using bamboo as my weft in combination with silk and loved it! I was happy to find these four  8/2 cones and snapped them up. (Security at the airport scanned them twice and for a time I thought she was going to keep them. Apparently yarn is a dangerous weapon!)

Gudrun also gave me a small hand towel for the kitchen. It was the tail end of a towel warp and its now a handy hand wipe, complete with its own little hanger.                                                                                   

The little tape hanger is handwoven! Gudrun said she wanted the tape to match. How cute is that?

So there were lots of little door prizes and many took one home... but there was only two raffle prizes. Two baskets: one had three local bottles of VQA wine and various cheeses, crackers. The second was this one:

It had a fibre theme and was due to a generous donation by  Kelowna's Ponderosa Guild member (Thanks Margaret!).
So with me having to fly home with weight restrictions, no one was more surprised than me when I won!
I can't really describe it too much as some if it is being gifted shortly, but an Ashford drop spindle, hand cream and some "The Wheel" spinning magazines and at the bottom was a lovely woven tray cloth:

A lovely plaited twill!  I spent some of my sick time researching plaited twills and one may be in my future!
No the basket didn't come home with me.....

* Please note that I have added a new page to my blog at the very top and will be adding books and equipment there for sale here as I sort through my studio and pare down! Check often   :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fast, Fabulous.... and Fun!

Fair warning! This looks to be a long post so grab a cup of tea...  I took a quick flight to the Okanagan and I stayed with my best friend Lynnette. Seems she had everything lined up for the next few days and it started right away!   Above is a shot of their home, complete with new siding and colour scheme. The acacia tree was a blaze of gold and this picture doesn't do it justice.

That afternoon we went out to Lavington and met with the Monashee Weavers and Spinners at their weekly get together. It was great to see old friends and above is Eileen (left)  and Louise (on the right). Sadly I don't recall the lovely spinner in the middle.  Bernice, the hostess, made a pumpkin cheesecake to die for!

The next day we went on a tour of the area and I got to see all the new development. One stop was Predator Ridge Golf Course and all the beautiful homes up there on the hills called the Commonage. We did a tour of the two show homes and admired, or picked apart their choices of layout and furnishings! I was happy to see the colours I chose for our older home are still in vogue.
Here's the kitchen in one that had a unique settle for the seating at the dining room table.

They thought of everyone! Including the pets..... Connor would have loved this!

At the very top of the hills, is a world class health wellness resort, "Sparkling Hills". This is front entry way and the architecture is amazing! The welcome signs has crystals set into them and they twinkled in the sun.

The next day was the Kelowna Ponderosa Weavers and Spinners Guild's annual spin in event!

It was very well attended with approx 46 spinners as well as visitors and shoppers, kitchen help, and spouses popping in and out. It was neat that I knew roughly 80% of those there and as you can see from the picture above, there was lots of chatting and catching up being done by everyone. This spin in draws people from all over the Valley and surrounding areas.... and some, like me, came from afar.  (Great idea Lynnette!!)
Here's Lynnette chatting and shopping. There were four vendors and they did a brisk business! We both scored some goodies (and mine I will share with you next post).

Lynnette did sit and spin, though neither of us got much spinning done that day. There was too much to do  and so many friends to see, and shopping to be done!
Gudrun came down from the Shuswap to see me! It was wonderful to see her and Alfred again.

My husband Bruce had been staying with his Mum and catching up on old times. He was visiting with old friends as well. (Bruce was a helper in the kitchen at former spin in's when we lived in the Valley and quite a hit with the gals!)

Show and Tell was simply amazing! I took many pictures but will show just a few here:

Gudrun wove these lovely double weave ladies shawls! Much nicer in person...

Lynnette's shibori scarves were getting close, appreciative consideration here!

Ngaire wove this lovely scarf as a test ahead of weaving the competition shawl at the recent sheep to shawl event  in Salmon Arm. The green scarf to the right is also her weaving as well.
..... and here's the 1st prize winning shawl! We went home tired and still buzzing from all the energy in that room. Inspired by the beautiful weaving and spinning we saw there.

Sunday was a day of rest ..... but also a dinner party to get ready for. Lynnette is an amazing cook and the onion glazed pot roast with marsala was fabulous. I enjoyed meeting her family and sharing a meal and conversation with them. Here's the table all set.

I had some time to browse the weaving studio and admire the latest projects and the array of those completed:
I also enjoyed the fall fresh air on their deck and  I snuck a few fresh cherry tomatoes off the vines in the garden:

This past Monday we all headed north to Salmon Arm, where we had a fabulous lunch at "Table 24", and then onto Squilax and over the Shuswap River to Roderick Haig-Brown Park to see the Adams salmon run. There have been dismal runs in past years but this one is a one in one hundred year event with literally millions returning to spawn.

Here's Lynnette and Ngaire as we head over to the viewing platform. Hubby/ Dad Michael was there as well but dodged the camera! I have some fish pictures but please bear in mind that they were taken with a mobile phone camera. Really nice clear pictures can be seen at Lynnette's blog post.

This seemed to be a pair that were going to see things through to the end and I did see the female start to dig a nest in the gravel. The Park Ranger told me that they had been there for two days off in the back water and the male fish had been running off other males. I guess I'm a romantic at heart and out of the thousands we saw there, these two stuck with me.

This was to be the end of their love story..... and as Lynnette said, the smell was quite something!

Here Lynnette is going above and beyond (the barrier!) to get the best shots! I took some short video clips but they would be too long long to load up here.

The next day I said my thank you's and good bye's and then went to my mother in laws and had a visit. Then off to the airport and home. Our flight home was beautiful as we flew home into the sunset:

Last view of Okanagan Lake as we head west....

Almost at the coast and now descending to 20,000 feet. The valleys are filled with low cloud or fog, and you can see the Fraser River. That white mountain is Mount Baker in Washington State. (click to enlarge)

Over the Gulf Islands... and almost there!

This is Sansum Narrows....

Here's the final approach over the Saanich Peninsula....      It was a grand time and I loved every minute.
The next morning I woke with a head cold..... oh well!