Friday, 22 February 2013


The last couple days have been fiber-oriented and exciting. Finished mittens, cast on fingerless mitts. Worked on those today - spin-in afternoon at a friend's. She made a decadent dessert for us - chocolate cake with whipped cream and Oh Henry bar topping. Received KnitPicks March catalog with my Pysanky kit pictured in it, and papers from Storey Publishing - the pattern proofs and papers to sign for the two shawls of mine that will be in the newest 101 Skein Wonders book, coming in the fall. And I signed myself up to test-knit something for the end of March.

But dudes, I am looking at the next week or so, and it's going to be a doozy. Two more days before back to school, to finish homework and study a bit, and maybe have a crack at the Garden Club proposal I promised I would look at over the break. Then it goes like this:
Monday - Print and hand in draft business proposal and portfolio for English class.
Tuesday - Study, do Geology homework.
Wednesday - ID quiz AND midterm on tropical and indoor plants, then assignment due for design class (that's ready to go, at least).
Thursday - Hand in step/retaining wall project AND midterm in Construction class.
Friday - Evergreen ID quiz, and co-op job interview, back-to-back.

Then I get to hare off to the country for a couple days, recuperate, deliver some of these mitts and things I've been knitting for Johanne, (and discuss payment options and the possibility of writing up patterns for a few of the things we've made with her yarn) and collect the stuff I loaned her for the show (the one I was spinning at a couple weeks ago.)

So yeah, going to be fun. See you on the other side, probably. I daresay I'll survive, but it's the anticipation that gets you ;)

Tuesday, 19 February 2013


There's a bit of knitting on the go...

But I have been trying to be good, and doing homework - mostly projects that involve me sketching and calculating, and generally quantities of paper. This occasionally becomes a problem when Her Royal Highness decides that I've paid enough attention to the papers instead of her. Then she lies on my work and swats me if I try to shift her.

Today she's been good, so I've been taking advantage. For our design class, we had an assignment to do a step and walkway for the front of a house, and a deck and steps for the back of another. Nothing fancy specified. Mostly to make sure we know how to calculate appropriate height and depth of steps. Janice (the prof) handed us the base sheet and said it should only take a couple hours, if that.

We haven't discussed line widths, or use of colour in class yet, although we were asked to get drawing pens and coloured pencils. The last couple assignments have been pencil on paper or tracing paper, very basic - and boring. I got started, and then I had a little fun. Well, those pens and crayons were there, and I was itching to use them...

...and now the day's mostly gone, but I had lots of fun. Sorry, Janice. I may have gotten a little carried away.

Sunday, 17 February 2013


A little bit of everything to share today, if only to get caught up. This coming week is Reading Week - no school, just a number of assignments on the list, so I'm aiming to get a little more blogging and pattern-writing done than has been the norm lately.

Two pair of mitts done for Johanne's farm store, blocked, photographed, and bagged up.  A third, a pair of fairly basic gloves, should get done today, and I have to plan out what the pair after that will be.

I meant to get pictures of my Wednesday stint at the Green Trade Expo, but never had time. Basically a Horticulture trade show, and one of our profs offered us as volunteers to help out with things like registering people. So I was out at the CE/Ernst & Young Centre all day. I signed up for 2 shifts, figuring I could use the third shift time to see the show, but ended up working all three shifts, and getting 10 minutes of free time just as people were packing up. I did wander over to the booth where they had a plant ID guessing game, and discovered something new to me. A little shrub, species Kerria,  with rather astonishingly emerald-green stems. The man at the booth said it's not terribly hardy here, which explains why it's unfamiliar. Found it in a book here, with golden-colored double flowers. Very striking, isn't it?

In construction class, we're back to stone. Our group was to build a light pillar this week, and the teacher said to think outside the box. Umm, yeah, I guess you could say we did that - ended up with a spiral design. Now for our logbooks, we have to do sketches with measurements, like plans of the pillar.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

New Projects

The cria shawl is done and blocked (with expert supervision from the cat, naturally). Turned out very nice, 65" across and 28" deep final size. I'm thinking Tiger Moth for a name - the center pattern is Tiger Eye, but it looks moth-like to me in this orientation. And yes, there is a bit of striping going on - innate to the handspun, not a different lot or anything. If I'm very good, I could get the pattern written up this week and start hunting testers, but I suspect it will take a bit longer.

Finished shawl means I get to start a pair of mittens.

The pattern is a nice basic one, doesn't require a graph, so good to take around. Actually got it from a weaving draft in a book on Latvian weaving I borrowed from the Guild this week. There were several promising patterns in there - a source I'll have to consider more often.

For a change in pace in Construction lab today, my group ended up in the wood-shop, making planter boxes for the upcoming show. My woodworking tends to be like my gardening - few if any power tools involved. But today it was all power tools. Miter saw, table saw, jigsaw, band saw, and brad nailer. I feel like I've definitely added to my repertoire! That's my group-mates in action, below, using the brad nailer. We basically take turns doing things and taking pictures and recording - we need records for timesheets in our logbooks, and pictures for that and for our portfolios in English class.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Alpaca, Various

I'm putting the edging on the first shawl of the handspun cria I'm doing for Johanne. It is going to be very pretty, I think. With any luck, it'll be blocking tonight or tomorrow.

When I get that done, I have some more alpaca to play with for her, for the farm store. They sold a lot of their finished products over the fall and winter, and a restock on some of the smaller things is needed.  So Mom and I will do a bit of knitting - scarves for her, mittens for me. I'm happy - make a little money, and get turned loose with license to play with colours.

If that wasn't enough alpaca - I finally got to this month's Guild Meeting after missing a couple, and got to take home a prize for Viewer's Choice Award from the Spinning Challenge - a bag of 100g raw, cream-colored cria fibre. Alpaca is definitely the fibre of choice this week!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Brin de Culture

This post's pictures are coming to you via my Dad's camera. Mine decided on a murder-suicide this weekend - first it screwed up my card, and then it died. I'm not terribly pleased about it, you may imagine.

Anyway, I spent Sunday afternoon with my borrowed camera at the vernissage for the show Johanne and Chantal put together, called Un Brin de Culture / A Strand of Culture. Object being to celebrate the alpaca and its fibre, and show the steps involved between the animal and the finished product. I got to spend the afternoon demo-ing spinning and chatting with people - there was quite a good turnout, for sure! And they did a great job of setting up the show.

It always looks so much more impressive with a fancy invite, and a write-up in the gallery pamphlet. The alpaca who modelled was apparently Pivoine Jolie (Pretty Poppy), who has a gorgeous, fine black fleece.

The Salle Alfred Langevin, where the show was held, is in The Chateau in my hometown. Back when train travel was a big thing, this was a fancy hotel. After standing derelict for a while, it now houses the municipal offices, a cafe, and the gallery space.

Entry to the Salle Alfred Langevin

A huge old barn loom dominated the center front. I do not envy anyone the job of set-up and take-down for that. It's taller than most people, pegged-together timber, with a back beam the size of a telephone pole, and string heddles.

My spot was just near the entrance, on a bit of a stage.

Around the perimeter of the room, different stations showed fibre, tools old and new, a weaving project in progress, natural dyes and the alpacas' colour range, finished products and yarn, and a slideshow of the alpacas and last year's shearing.

If this is the newest trend in modern art, I'm all for it.