Monday, 23 June 2008

Celebrating the Fictitious One

On Saturday, June 21, in Almonte, weavers and spinners gathered together to honour the fictitious patron saint of our craft. Although Saint Distaff rests solely in the minds of my fellow fibre enthusiasts we celebrate St. Distaff's Day by gathering together with the like minded and do what we love best.

Sounds like some kind of cult doesn't it?

Each year one of the guilds from the Ottawa Valley hosts the event. They plan, prepare, provide lunch, and have a selection of activities for participants. This year I took triaxial weaving in the morning.

Ribbons are placed vertically, then the second colour is woven in. A third colour is then added. For a while, I was beginning to think that I would need a degree in engineering to figure out how to add the third colour. No wonder the instructions label the third colour as the most difficult step in the whole process. When I add the fusible interfacing to the back of my weaving I'll put this piece in a window card.

And voila, I'll have my first Christmas card. And a way to use up all the ribbon that I have, hidden away. (But you knew that already.)

For the afternoon's activity,
everyone got to dye a silk scarf. I'd show you a picture but mine came out so subtle that it looks like one colour with no pattern. I have immediate plans to over dye the scarf.

WOOT WOOT.....I have a stalker!!!!!

No restraining order needed though. My stalker is none other than Lisa from Ottawa. I told her that I was going to be at St. Distaff's Day, so she came to introduce herself. So I guess that she isn't a stalker in the truest sense of the word, but it is a start.

In other news.....

The teen is finished school for the year and the other two have today and tomorrow to get through. Translated this means I have until Wednesday to get prepared for a summer with my children. Sigh....

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Monday, 16 June 2008

We interrupt these cables

I've been busy with cables for the past little while. I've got a cabled sweater for my niece and the must have cardi, for me, on the go.

Cables, cables and more cables....I adore cables.

But then one day it hit me. I want to knit some lace. And not just any lace. I want to knit lace that is intricate and mind boggling but most importantly....challenging.

I decided to start by finishing this half done scarf from the UFO pile. It is a simple garter stitch lace pattern made with a purple alpaca blend. I now want to bring it up a notch. I've got the book Victorian Lace and I'm going for it.

However, in the mean time, I've got this scarf.

I won't wear it and I have no idea why I bought this gorgeous ball of fibre in a royal purple colour. I like purple, but have nothing to go with it. So it looks like I'll tuck this number, after it's blocked, into the Christmas gift stash.

Now all I have to do is find a purple lovin', scarf wearin', alpaca adorin' person to give this to. Any suggestions????

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Countdown to Chicago


I'm so excited, I could almost burst, but that would be messy, so I won't.

This August I'm heading to Chicago, for the first time. Technically, I have been there before as I ran from one gate to another to catch a plane home.

This time I will be landing, getting off the plane and exiting the airport. Unless civil war breaks out in Canada and it ceases to be a country so I'll be forced to live at O'Hare until stability returns to my homeland. Hmmm....I'd better develop some carpentry skills before I go.

I know what you are thinking.....I watch far to many movies.

Actually the reason for my visit is none other than Stitches Midwest. (So you can understand the bursting.)

I will be taking a couple of classes, pushing my way through lines to get knitting celebs to hold my sock, eating authentic Chicago deep dish pizza, seeing the local sights, and shopping. Yes, there will be shopping, lots of shopping.

Best of all, I am guaranteed (hopefully), not to have an embarrassing encounter similar to the one MadMad had at the butterfly exhibit.

While I have no proof, I'm guessing that at a convention such as Stitches, people bond over yarn.

Me: Felted Tweed?
stranger that I've been stalking: Why yes it is.
Me: I just love your sweater.
Stranger: Oh thank you, it took me forever to knit it.
Me: Where can I find the pattern?
Stranger: It started off as a commercial pattern but then I totally changed it. Let me tell you all about my modifications.....

Somehow I don't see anyone wearing wool in Chicago in August. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm thinking that it's still stinky hot, in August, in Chicago. And finishing a fabulous wool sweater just in time for Stitches, so you can show it off is ....well.... is either insane or down right brilliant. I can't decide.

In any case, I'm off to knit something fabulous in the hopes of getting my very own stalkers at this event.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Monday, Bloody Monday

It has taken me several days to write this post, but it is something that I need to do.

The people of Ottawa woke up this past Monday and either heard on the news or read in the newspaper about the death of Alicia Bateman.

She didn't die in an accident.

She didn't die after a long illness.

She didn't die of any natural causes.

She was murdered by her ex-fiance.

I don't have the heart to go into the details but you can read about the story here.

I met Alicia last year. She was a member of the Canadian contingent that went to a conference in Canberra last May. I got the chance to know her when she joined me for breakfast.

The funeral will be in Calgary and there will be a memorial for her at her workplace here in Ottawa. Since she worked at CSIS and I don't have the security clearance to get into the building, I am writing the post in tribute to Alicia.

Neighbours described her as cordial and someone who kept to herself. I would like to add something to that description.

Alicia was nice, friendly, intelligent, well thought of, fun loving and down to earth. We spoke of our adventures in Aus, the future, the difficulties of maintaining a long distant relationship, dogs and a few girly things.

You will be missed Alicia. Not because we were close friends and spent a lot of time together, but because the world needs more people like you. While the world may remember you only from your death, I promise to remember you from those days of your life in May 2007.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic

Sunday, 1 June 2008

If you build it.....

......they will hatch.

The Internet is a wonderful place. It's full of all kinds of information. So when DH got it into his head to build an incubator, he went straight for the triple W. And much to his own surprise, it worked. On Friday night I was at the computer and heard a chirping.

This is the little guy starting to escape.

Using a few purchased items and some things we had around the house, this is what he built. While I'm not surprised that something he built worked, I am surprised that something this simple worked.

  1. a cheap Styrofoam cooler $3
  2. a candy thermometer $3
  3. the plastic from a picture frame $1
  4. a dimmer switch $6.49
  5. fan (already had)
  6. light bulb and socket (already had)
  7. container for water (already had)
You've got to like a DH with an unusual stash of gadgets.

This is chicken #1, we've had two more hatch since. The eggs were added at regular intervals so hopefully there will be more throughout the week. Cross your fingers because hopefully by next week end we should see a couple of ducklings emerge from their shell.

These little ones are almost 24 hours old and with any luck will go to replace my aging hens.

****Lesson on chickens****

Chickens will slow down on the egg production, due to age, and eventually stop laying eggs. While I like my chickens and treat them very well, there comes a point where you've got to let go and cull the flock. We're passed the sentimentality of feeding chickens that don't do anything. It's kind of like forced retirement for the baby boomers and hiring a batch of college graduates.

Until next time
Yours in Yarn,
The Fibreholic