Sunday, November 11, 2007

Starting and Finishing (eventually)

We all seem to have projects that take us forever to finish and, occasionally, others that are created with a specific imminent deadline that actually are completed to meet that deadline. For me knitting projects are more likely to fall into the first category. (This is not the case for certain members of TBC members who are much more diligent knitters than I.) Weaving projects seem to take longer in the design phase but once on the loom, the actual weaving goes more quickly.
I completed two projects in October - one in each category. The first was The Bees and Ladybugs sweater set for Rusty's granddaughter (when I started the project it was for a grandchild, gender not yet known, so this pattern appealed to me as being OK for either a baby girl or boy).

It went with me on my travels this summer, a very portable project with enough variation to keep up my interest. However, the fairisle pattern was challenging and the sections that required knitting with three colours in a row were very slow to knit. I now see that my LYS is offering a class in fairisle knitting - where was that 6 months ago!
At the beginning of October I decided I wanted to weave something to donate to the United Way silent auction at my workplace. I thought that having a deadline to meet would force me to finally use some the bamboo yarn that I had been collecting in my stash for the past couple of years. I picked a design of Pat Boswell's from the Weavers Book of 8 Shaft Patterns (one that had also been used by the GVWSG for their bamboo sample for the GCW swatch collection and also a scarf purchased by Amber's husband Amethyst at the Peace Arch Guild show and sale. The loom was warped on October 19/20 and I finished twisting the fringe while handing out the Halloween candy on the 31st. When the auction concluded on November 8th, I has happy to see the scarf go to a colleague who was taken with it's softness and lustre and wears colours from the same palette.
Now on to finishing the magical mitered vest and starting the FATCards! When are they due? I think I need a deadline.


Still here...

We haven't fallen off the face of the earth or got swallowed up by our fibre stash. I think everyone has been busy with our respective projects and family stuff.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

FATC/TBC 1st Annual Fibre Artist Trading Card Swap


It sounds like everyone is interested in the swap. Rose, you have to do this too...this will give us a perfect number 6 participants.

Swap date to be determine sometime in December?


1. Card size - 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" (64mm x 89mm).

2. Can be made out of anything and embellished with anything. Silk fusion has
been discussed, felting, paper, fabric etc - whatever you want, using whatever
technique you want.

3. Name, date, & other pertinent info on the back of the cards.

4. They're not for sale - not that any of us will sell ours.

5. Each person makes 6 cards and trade 5.

Here are some links for ideas:,1789,HGTV_3302_40091

Friday, April 06, 2007

Sock Day Part 2

So remember that sock yarn from a way long ago. Some of it has actually been transformed into socks! Take a look:

Here are Rose's socks (with a little help from Mum)

and here are Teal's:

And here are Jade's:

Now Lavender needs to show us hers and then we need to get Amber and Rusty started on theirs!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Silk Paint day

The Twisted By Choice had all our members in one Province and decided to try silk painting. While I was just a spectator for this event, I thought I would share some of the pictures. The colours in the photos are absolutely brilliant, Jade! The finished scarves were equally bright and colourful. I'm not sure what dyes/paints/metods were used but maybe someone more knowledgeable could elaborate?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Trials and tribulations of a city girl gone country aka Diary from a Prairie girl

Trials and tribulations of a city girl gone country aka Diary from a Prairie girl

My name is Rose and I have a problem.
Last summer I told my colleagues I was quitting to become a livestock farmer in Saskatoon, they laughed and didn't believe me. My fibre buddies believed me.
Now I have 12 adult cashmere goats, 19 kids, 2 alpacas, 3 livestock dogs (to look after them all), 2 rescue ferrets, one guinea pig (found by the side of the road) and one long suffering husband, not necessarily in that order.
It has been a real learning curve as a) I am a city girl, b) I know nothing about real Winters (UK and Vancouver, 3" of snow for 4 days is a bad winter) and c) I have never had livestock before. That being said I have survived with all my fingers and toes and take less for granted. I never realised having one's mail delivered and one's garbage collected was a luxury! Occasionally the power goes off and then the well doesn't work, that still pushes me over the edge.
Over the last few months I have learnt many things....
Electric fencing is wonderful, things stay where you put them. I am wondering why there is not a child/teenager version.
A PO BOX is not a real address according to my bank and they seized my funds. Took me over 6 months to explain that just because I lived off a gravel road with no name I exist, honest.
Before everything freezes decide if you want the canopy on the truck and things on or in the ground. Once it freezes it is too late. My husband proved this point to me by bending an iron bar trying to leaver up the tiniest fork in the ground.
There is difference between 'natural' ice and 'artificial' ice.
It is possible to survive living over 40km away from the nearest Starbucks (hyperventilating). I wonder if there is a support group?
On the brighter side I have my robotic vacuum and it is wonderful. Works really well on hardwood floor.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Sock Day!

I'm not sure how it all started. One day, the group of us were sitting around the Clubhouse and decided it would be fun to paint our own self patterning sock yarns. And with our usual reserve and careful attention to details (NOT!) we jumped in and planned a special sock yarn day.

The day was cold but not raining. We met at the Clubhouse early-ish and planned our next set up the workspace (Teal's garage) so that we wouldn't get dye everywhere. Things had to be covered with plastic. Tables had to be moved and set up. A good idea was to raise the tables up to our working height to minimize bending over all day. (Some of us were at a Nuno Felting workshop the day before and found it hard working over low tables.) The yarn needed to be pre-soaked in vinegar and water.

Jade's husband had very kindly made the two jigs. A marvelous piece of woodworking...except he forgot that we were not that adept in putting the pieces together. It took a couple of tries before we got the arms of the jig matched up and ready to go. The two jigs were finally set up and we were ready for warping (or would that be jigging?? - Teal).

The next challenge was to get the wet skeins warped onto the jigs. We thought the wool would soak more thoroughly if left in skein form but it would be a challenge to wind wet yarn around the jigs. A swift was set up and more time was spent trying to figure out how to put the wet wool on the swift without ruining the wood. Plastic cling wrap was an option but not practical. It was funny watching us trying to wrap plastic cling wrap around the arms. Rose came up with the idea of using a plastic garbage bag which worked wonderfully.

We were FINALLY ready to paint! The first two skeins were finally ready for steaming by 4pm! A total of six hours had gone by! The next couple of batches went much faster but it was still close to midnight by the time the last skein was done.

It took such a long time because of a few unexpected problems - setting up the jig, wrapping the swift, and mixing just the right shade of brown for Rusty. The dyes ran as we took the yarn off the jig. No matter how careful we tried to keep the yarn leveled, the dye still ran. One solution was to set it a bit with the hair dryer.

The yarn was wrapped with industrial size cling wrap and rolled up to fit on an old pizza tray for steaming.

I really wish we had a picture of us trying to pull all the plastic off the yarn. It was like unstuffing sausages! This was result of a very full day...six skeins of brightly painted yarn!

Lavender's note:

The effect I were hoping was a fairisle repeat but that didn't happen with the dyes running into each other. I did get repeating stripes. While it wasn't planned, the stripes repeated itself fairly evenly on both socks when knitted up. The pattern is Elann's Toe-Up Chevron socks.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Nuno Felted Vest

Teal, Rose, and Jade spent a full day at the recent Fibrefest in Abbotsford (forgoing valuable shopping time!)participating in the Nuno Felted Vest workshop instructed by Ayami Stryck from Cortes Island. Ayami studied Arts and Textile design at Kyushu Sangyou University in Japan and then worked in clothing design for 5 years before moving to Canada. An accomplished dyer (in Vancouver she worked as a dyeing specialist for Dagoli) weaver and spinner and is now a member of the Cortes Island Spinners and Weavers Guild since moving to her new home.

We spent the morning listening to Ayami explain the process and material requirements and watching her demonstrate the techniques. We picked the colours of our rovings as Ayami distributed the precut silk georgette vests and bags of special fibres (silk, nylon, mohair locks, hemp, etc) that we could use for embellishment.
After a quick lunch to fortify ourselves for the work ahead (darn the vendor booths were still closed so no quick shopping fix) we return to our tables that were covered in a towel and a sheet of bubble wrap and started to lay out our fibre on the vest.

This is Rose's vest - she choose a whole new colour palette
Hot soapy water was poured over the vests which were covered in a sheet of clear plastic and then gently rubbed to begin the felting process. All the edges of the vest were finished except those on the side seams, which were left open.

Then with Ayami's help we added more fibre to fill in the side seams allowing the one size vest to accommodate a variety of body sizes.

Once the side seams had been added it was time for the serious felting! With the plastic on the inside we rolled the vest in the bubble wrap around a piece small round piece of foam (think swimming noodle) and covered all in our towel and started rolling and rolling. And rolling and rolling. Once we were satisfied that the vest was properly fulled we washed the vest in a hot water in the sink followed by a cold water rinse. And here they are: