Sunday, August 31, 2008

this weekend's spinning

berry picking

green tomatoes


emily carr's forest

Saturday, August 30, 2008

my '56 chevy bel air (part 2)

finally finished my bel air shawl yesterday and put it up on my etsy shop. this shawl was made completely from my own dyed and handspun yarn. it has merino and shetland and bfl wool and mohair and angora fibre locks and angelina and strips of cut up vintage chenille bedspread. it's warm and heavy and so so soft. i love it's chunkiness - like the car. it makes me not mind cool nights...

Friday, August 29, 2008

a new creation

i want to spend all my time dyeing and spinning now. so i need to have simple items to knit (so that i can get back to dyeing and spinning!). yesterday i knit up "rosebud" cowl from one of my favourite skeins. it's large enough to be worn just as a scarf or slipped over your head for added warmth. i've just listed it in my etsy shop.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

the weather was fine

the plan was to spend this past week sewing (i still have 6 little chenille jumpers to make for an order). but the weather has been fine. bright sun and gentle breeze. so instead i've spent my time dyeing and spinning. as the fall comes on, these days will be rare...
today is cold and grey so i made the right decision.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

david hockney's swimming pool

when i did my 1st art degree in the early 1970's i chose to take 1/2 my courses in art history and 1/2 in studio. i'd just come home from a year of backpacking in europe and didn't want to stop looking at art.

alot of my world is referenced and organized by art i know. i see a fra angelico sky. a grant wood field. colours also. georgia o'keefe's poppy red. emily carr's greens. and turquoise always brings to mind david hockney's california swimming pools...

into the swing of things

it only took a couple of days but now i'm back in the swing of things. yesterday i finished off the 10 pair of baby booties (part of a larger order for the craft council shop) and also my "manly" scarf which i'll post on my etsy shop today as "felix cove" scarf . i finished cleaning up my studio (i had some studio visitors yesterday) and sold my "frida kahlo" wrap on etsy (to a woman from alaska who will wear it to her wedding!) so with a little extra money in my paypal account i put in a large order to beth at whorlingtides for some of her deliscious hand dyed fleece. i'm all set...

Monday, August 25, 2008

full swing

my summer holiday is over. i've had my anxiety parked for the past few months but now it's kicked in to overdrive. the past 2 nights i wake and lie for hours. my brain racing through lists of what i need to accomplish over the next little while. orders are coming in and i'm nowhere near where i should be for product for the toronto show in december. yesterday i sewed 12 chenille bibs for the fort mcmurry order and today am finishing off a dozen baby booties. and working on my "manly scarf"...

a manly scarf

i spent yesterday morning "reclaiming" the house after a month of family visitors. my studio (that has held grandchildren and cots and air mattresses and suitcases and toys and books) is once again a studio.

to give myself a treat on this day of transition, i moved my wheel outside and hauled out the alpaca roving i bought on friday in felix cove, and combined with camel and tussah silk (silk that doesn't involve the death of the silk worm), i've spun up the most gorgeous and luxurious soft yarn. a natural blend of cream and beige and grey. i'll knit up a "manly " scarf with it. although my scarves are for everyone, i know it is women who are buying and wearing them. i need to appeal more to the men too...

Sunday, August 24, 2008


the little family left this morning. eamon had been with us 1 month - the others for a week. always these departures come with mixed feelings.
today i ate my lunch uninterrupted...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

port au port penninsula

so yesterday we took the afternoon off and drove out to the port au port (about 1 1/2 drive from here between corner brook and port aux basques). i hadn't been there for about 15 years. a lovely gentle beach at piccadilly. and then to the alpaca farm in felix cove where the children met their first alpacas and i bought some fleece. a good family day. tomorrow they head back to st. john's...

Friday, August 22, 2008

a good day on fleece

in newfoundland when you have a day of strong sun and a light breeze, it's referred to as "a good day on clothes" (the clothes dry really quickly on the line). which also makes it a good day on fleece. so today i was up early dyeing and setting the twist on a couple of skeins of yarn.

i knit up "lucy's colours" scarf and posted it in my etsy shop this morning.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

the newfie bullet

i love trains. my grandfather came to canada from scotland in 1926 to work the trains. in my youth (in the late '60's i travelled across canada (toronto to vancouver) 3 times on my own. $50.00 each way. the elegant dining car with linen and cn china. the dome car through endless prairies and the rockies of b.c. sleeping curled up on the coach chairs with fellow hippy travellers you'd just met and would never see again.

newfoundland has no trains. 20 years ago the federal government paid us off with money to improve our roads and the rail beds were torn up. now we have no train, poor roads and excessively expensive gas.

my children and grandchildren have grown up without trains. so yesterday we visited the train museum. the infamous "newfie bullet" - so named because of it's slow speed on the narrow gauge tracks.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

lucy is big

lucy was born feeling big. you can not use the word "little" around her. she couldn't understand why eamon was riding a two-wheeler and she wasn't. so yesterday we pcked up a $5.00 bike at salvation army and she's totally satisfied... her parents have gone to the cabin for a few days and the children are with us. this is lucy's practice run at staying on her own with nana and poppy. no problem...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

lucy's colours

my grand daughter lucy is 3 years old. the sounds that surround her are soft and gentle. the arms that hold her are strong. her colours are bright.

lucy chose the colours for this skein.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

sugar sugar

the past 2 days have been solidly geared towards an 8 year old boy. swimming at the park and at the public indoor swimming pool . baseball under the lights. bike riding (a newly learned skill). the rest of the family arrives today for a week (my daughter and son- in-law and 3 year old grand daughter). so cleaning and cooking and baking.

last night keith took eamon to the movies and i staying home and carded and spun up this skein "sugar sugar" - shetland wool died with grass clippings and kool-aid, ramie, mohair fibre locks and angelina glitter. this morning it's drying on the line...

Thursday, August 14, 2008


i'm dyeing and spinning and knitting my products to sell. although it's important to me that i like everything i make, i also have to create for a wide range of tastes. my last 2 skeins of yarn are good examples of this. "cafe au lait" is organic merino wool dyed with coffee grounds and spun with a little ramie(a nettle-like plant), camel and tussah silk. very very soft and luxurious and "tasteful". "crayola" is the exact opposite. i chose my brightest colours of merino wool mixed with contrasting colourful mohair fibre locks and a generous amount of angelina glitter. it's loud and "clashy" and definitely "tasteless". i love them both...

fort mcmurry

newfoundland has a long history of out-migration. there has never been enough work for everyone and joblessness became a crisis in the early '90's when the cod fishery was shut down. over the past decade or more, the oil fields at fort mcmurry, alberta was the destination for many and now that community has the 2nd largest population of newfoundlanders outside of st. john's.

so no surprise yesterday when i got an email from jackie in fort mcmurry who had seen my etsy shop and wanted to place a wholesale order of baby blankets and bibs for her newfoundland shop.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


we spent yesterday in gillams on the north shore. there was a sad stillness to the day. robyn (who lives half the year there and half the year in nyc) will be leaving in just over a week. in the afternoon eamon and robyn's children (who have all become fast friends) walked the long beach ahead of us. such a quiet. a greyness.

i'm trying to keep up with my goal of a scarf or scarflette or shawl a day. here are some photos of my latest (all listed on etsy).

Monday, August 11, 2008

i'll capture the sun

these late days of summer, the sun is precious and fleeting. so on these days i'll dye as much as i can (it's so much easier drying the fleece outside than having it dripping into the bathtub). yesterday was coffee grounds and black oak bark and kool-aid. i feel the coloured fleece is soaking in the sun and will hold it as scarves in the dark of winter.
and i spun up the sandlewood/kool-aid organic merino with a little
hand-dyed fibre locks spun in for texture and excitement...

a good day on the beach

the sun was hot and clear, the wind down - so we spent the day at the cabin. keith worked on our new "potty shed", i knit, and eamon played on the beach. in the late afternoon we took a walk to the far point - a scamble over rocks as the tide came in. a quiet and peaceful day...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

taking a time out

yesterday we were preparing for a day at the cabin (the weather is cool and dull and eamon had developed a cough the night before so we cancelled our overnight plans). we were meeting keith's family down there. my throat was raw and i was feeling exhausted and i realized "i don't have to do this". so i stayed home alone and drank colette's spearmint tea and napped for 2 hours and spun up my "summer fruit" yarn (dyed with red clover and sandlewood with little flecks of black "seed") . and didn't use my voice. a quiet time out...

i've missed my garden

with all the rain, with travel, with spending time with eamon, with my spinning obsession - i've neglected my garden. so yesterday afternoon (after spending a morning dyeing (red clover from the meadow and purchased sandlewood) and spinning the golden rod yarn - i got out into the late summer garden - weeding and reacquainting myself .