Monday, October 28, 2013

RETREAT!!!!!!

Oh wow, my feet are just landing back on the ground after "Retreat Weekend"!!!  I had such a wonderful time and would like to thank all the Ladies who put it together for us this year, making in another awesome event.

For those of you who have no idea of what I'm going on about, this was our Annual Maritime Spinner's Retreat which takes place in the Canadian Maritime Provinces.  This year, the retreat was here on PEI and we had people that travelled from as far away as Ontario, Maine and New Hampshire!  Of course, just to make it even more exciting, the hosts always pick a theme for the event.  This year was all about the "Mad Hatter", what a fun time it was both making and seeing other people's creations.

There were warm and cozy hats....


There were creatively, zany hats....


There were many, many more hats not pictured here, some for competing in challenges and more still that we knitted for charities.

There were 96 people in attendance, most of which had spinning wheels, a few had spindles and one lady brought along her small loom.  It was terrific to spend the weekend with old spinning friends that I've now known for several years, and of course meeting new ones was also a highlight (Julie, I'm talking about you).

For the most part, I hung out with Mrs. N and her daughter Miss H...great ladies that I met 6 years ago at a retreat in Cape Breton.  Ladies, thanks for a wonderful weekend full of laughs....


Look at them working away!  (you can see the lady with the loom in the back ground)

The goody bags and vendors are also a real blast!  We had all kinds of lovely things in our bags...


....yarn, needles, hooks all kinds of info and a bag of delicious fibre which I turned into the yarn and head band above as part of the weekend's "spin and make a hat out of your goody bag" competition.  I didn't place in the competition, but I sure had fun making and wearing it!

My stops at various vendor's tables were quite fruitful...


....I bought a beautiful hand made kitting basket, needles, hand made darning tools and spindle and a set of clips that assist you in making braided rugs.

Just before leaving, Mrs. N was packing up her stuff and I commented on how much I liked her competition hat and that I would wear something like that in public....so she gave it to me!  Lucky me!  I love it and I will wear it as soon as the weather turns cold (not long now).  Thanks N for my lovely hat.  (those are crocheted flowers on the top....adorable).


One last picture to show you, and that is of my competition entry........Fascinating!!!!


Friday, October 18, 2013

Truth

Truth:

I knit a lot.  I also do other creative stitching....a lot.  These little lovelies that I design and create are almost never for me.  In the end, some are for gifts but the majority are for selling to supplement my income.  The revenue generated from stitching is usually used for stitching related past times...like my annual spinner's retreat or to buy more yarn or notions or knitting machines or thread.   I posted last week that I had won a copy of Mary Jane Mucklestone's "Fair Isle Style" and now that I've read it, I really have to put away my sale knitting and pick a few projects out of this book to add to my wardrobe.





It's so hard to decided what to make first, I love that dress, but I also love everything else in the book.  Well, this is a great opportunity to work on my almost non existing, Fair Isle technique.

Yesterday, I was working on some "for sale" stuff that I had been itching to make for some time.  I used 16 inch pillow forms that I had purchased and covered them with MacAusland's blanket fabric, finished with a simple crocheted blanket stitch edge.  They turned out as lovely as they were in my head (that doesn't always happen).  And just in case I was unsure of how awesome they turned out...Penny gave me her full support when she nested her little self into one....


....I am going to have to make one for her.  

Happy Friday everyone, have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Turkey Day

This is Monday...Monday of the long, Thanksgiving Weekend here in Canada.  This is my favourite holiday.  So much so that the Mr. and I were wed on Thanksgiving weekend nearly two decades ago.  There is something that happens to me at this time of year, I've felt it since I was a little girl.  I get nesty and homey and want to make and put away things.  Some people find it a bit depressing that the days are noticeably shorter, but I find it inspiring.  The longer, cooler nights find me wanting for woollen socks and blankets, snuggling with the Mr. and the cats, mugs of hot chocolate and sticky, starchy, warm, comfort foods.

Since we had the day off yesterday, Mr. and I enjoyed a traditional turkey dinner with family.  It was delicious and made with good measures of home grown goodness.  The turkey was store bought but all the veg on the table and fruit that filled our pies, came from our own kitchen garden and orchard.  This little "pie pumpkin" was at the peak of perfection just in time for holiday pie....


....I told the Mr. that I think this little "pie pumpkin" gets it's name not just because it is the perfect variety for pie but also because it made a perfect 2 cups worth of mash which was the exact amount needed for my recipe.

Of course what Harvest Supper would be complete without an apple pie as well?!  After tending a Golden Delicious tree for the last couple of years, trying to return it to good health as it was left to run wild, we were happy to find that the apples were usable!  They are not as healthy as they will be, but, this is our first time being able to really enjoy them.


They made some pretty tasty pies, if i do say so myself.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my Canadian friends and Happy Harvest to all of those who celebrate the Harvest!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Something Good This Way Comes

I received a very happy e-mail yesterday from Kirsten Kapur, letting me know that I was the lucky winner of this absolutely beautiful book.


Image taken from Chapters/Indigo site

I am so excited to have won a copy and I cannot wait to receive it.  Yesterday started off to be an unpleasant day, dealing with an unpleasant and painful dental appointment...suffice it to say, I felt much better after having received such lovely news.

Thank you Kirsten for having the contest and thank you to Mary Jane Mucklestone, the author of the book for providing it in the first place.  Every single design in this book is beautiful, there is not one pattern that I would not make and/or wear myself.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Plan Whilst Dreaming

So, I have a dream that everyone in the world will get along with each other, everyone will return back to a simpler, healthier life and of course everyone will either learn how to knit or at the very least, buy hand knit loveliness that someone else has made.  Ahhhhhh.  Well, I'm only one person so I cannot hold myself responsible for world peace or for the decisions of 7 billion other people, but what I can do is turn my own little space into one that is more in keeping with my Utopia.

Mr. and I own an old country store, we manage it and also work shifts behind the counter almost like it was done 101 years ago when the store was new.  The stock has changed dramatically since it opened over a century ago based on what the public wants to buy.  Where you used to find horse shoe blanks, stove parts and fabric...you know find potato chips, fizzy pop and chocolate bars.  You can still find carriage bolts and lamp oil in the back though....after all, since we are a country store, we do need to carry more than just junk food.

I have been dreaming for years of how nice it would be to have a little shop with all of my pretty knitted things in it, along with knitting kits featuring my own patterns and a few other interesting things.  I have dedicated a small area in the store for my wee treasures, but this fall, I decided to make a larger, more permanent looking space for it all.  I've been selling knitted accessories and things to other stores on the Island for years, but I'm going to put more time and effort into my own space now.

It's not quite put together yet so pictures of that space will follow, but in the mean time, here are a few pics of the things I've been working on the fill it with.




I was well stocked with hats, but not with mitts so I decided to make a few pairs of "Newfoundland Mitts" as they are very popular around here.  The mittens hanging on the line are some oversized felted mitts that I know some of the men in my area really like.  Christmas is coming after all and I want to have a nice selection of accessories for people to gift.

What kind of knitted dreams are you having?