Sunday, May 29, 2016

Indigo Dyeing Workshop

Last weekend during our long weekend here in Canada I spent a day at Ziraldo Alpacas helping Debbie with the Indigo dyeing workshop she was hosting at her alpaca farm. The day was so fun;  we had a wonderful group of ladies interested in fibre and this unique dyeing process, friendly alpacas to visit, the weather cooperated and we all went home with beautiful indigo yarn or roving.

Curiosity got the better of these two girls as they peeked around the corner to see what was going on.

dye stock was made

one dye pot was filled with rain water

 we set up shop in the shed to ensure lots of natural ventilation 

and the dyeing fun began!

Several times during this dyeing process there is some wait time.  During one of these times Debbie took us right into the pasture field to visit with the alpacas!

I'm not sue who was more interested in who; us in them or them in us!  They were certainly happy to visit with us and a few were happy to be petted.  

Then it was back to finish off our dyeing.  We had great success!

Remember we filled one dye pot with rain water? Well, look at the difference between rain water - skein on right, and well water - skein on left.  Both pretty but most definitely different shades.  

Of course the fun still continues on as these beautiful skeins are knit and the roving spun into works of art!  I'd love to see everyone's finished projects!

Happy knitting and have a fabulous week!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Retreat Weekend

Last weekend was an amazing weekend.  Thanks to Kathy from the Thread & Eye  for putting together a fun and relaxing weekend of cross stitching (and a little knitting) at the Brentwood Bed and Breakfast.

 As you enter the B&B this sign greets you; enter with a happy heart.  If you didn't entering feeling that way it didn't take long to be transformed.  Between the view overlooking the lake and the friendly Stitchers who made everyone feel welcome you couldn't help but let the stress of the week fade away.

View over looking the lake

The basement was set up with tables, comfy chairs and good lighting.  Just what we needed for all day and late night stitching. (Late as in 2 am!)  It has taken me all week to catch up on my sleep.  But it was so worth it!

Some of the girls set up their work in a sitting room upstairs that had a great view of the lake.

The projects that were being worked on were incredible. Tracey is stitching a Star Wars piece.

And this is Kathy from the Thread & Eye shop working on an incredibly detailed, large project.

And there were Knitters there too!  Meet Robin, a reader of the blog.  Hi, Robin. It was great to meet you in person!

And Adrienne, taking a break from stitching to work on her sock.  She also had the best project bags from Zig Zag Stitches.

Once Adrienne and I realized we were both sock Knitters, we compared hand knit socks each morning at breakfast :)

These are the "Upstairs Girls" that I spent most of the weekend stitching with.  If you thought other knitters were enablers, I can tell you that cross stitchers are just as "encouraging" when it comes to suggesting new patterns to buy, designers to check out and stitch a longs to join!  Thanks for making me a part of the group ladies!

I did venture outside a few times over the weekend when I needed to give my eyes a rest and stretch my legs.  The weather outside was windy and cool - even a few snowflakes - but my knitwear kept me warm.  

Happy knitting (and stitching) everyone!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Painting with Fibre

In my last post I talked about discovering needle felting at the Knitter's Frolic in Toronto and promised that I would let you know about the fibre artist I met at the show.

Well, meet Wendo, the  fabulous needle felter that got me hooked on this new craft.  Wendo does many types of fibre arts but her booth at the show was just dedicated to her needle felting.  She obviously loves her work and her excitement for it was contagious.  I was addicted as soon as we started talking. She has a background in animation and it shows in the faces and expressions she gives to her creations.

a hippo in a tutu
The show was super busy but I did manage to get a few quick shots of some of her work between crowds of people.

a rhino and a zebra

a pretty laid back tiger

These pigs and sheep are so cute!  I would never have though to use golf tees for the legs.  Take a close look at the sheep's feet!

And then there are my first attempts.  The birds is one of the kits I bought at the Frolic.  I don't think it turned out too bad for my first try.

My second attempt was a card for my Mom for Mother's Day.  I played around layering colours and added some embroidery embellishments as well.

My third attempt is this flower picture.  I'm by no means artistic and I no talent for drawing or painting but that is what this is like; painting with fibre and I'm really liking it.  This needle felting is fun, relaxing (as long as you keep your fingers away from the felting needle!) and fairly simple.  If you are looking for something new to do, my suggestion is to give needle felting a try. 

Wendo mentioned that she will be teaching at the Woodstock Fleece Festival in October.  I'm definitely going to take her class and visit her booth to stock up on more materials.  Until then I'll keep playing around and see where my creativity takes me.

Thanks Wendo for the inspiration!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Frolicing at the Knitters Frolic

Saturday was an amazing day!  It's hard to beat a day out with knitting friends at a knitting show.  Really.....can you think of anything better?  We always have so much fun together and always seem to end up having some sort of adventure on the way home!

I had to miss the Frolic last year so I was doubly looking forward to it this year.

Orange was definitely my colour of choice.  I love these yarns.  The two larger skeins are a merino wool and silk blend hand dyed by Stitch Please.  The orange and yellow yarn is cotton.  Both of these are going to be knit into lace shawls for this summer.

Besides looking at all the amazing new yarns for knitting I spent some time looking at drop spindles for spinning and looms for weaving.  But, what really, really got my attention was the needle felting.

I met the amazingly talented fibre artist Wendo whose booth was filled with her needle felted creations, kits and fibre.  I came home with 4 kits plus a bag of fibre to make my own designs.  I think I've found a new addiction!

In the next post I'll show you more of Wendo's work and my first attempts at needle felting.  Until then, have an amazing week!