Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spinning Retreat

The fun never ends at Fun Knits. This year we were invited to be the vendor for the North Island Spinning retreat held at Kingfisher Spa. It was so much fun. We spent the entire time there selling fibre spinning and eating fabulous food.  Lynne Anderson from Knitopia in White Rock came and gave a wonderful demonsration on spinning on various spindles. It was so wonderful and inspiring I bought a set of Russian spindles. Four of us bought these spindle sets and spent a lot of one morning leaarning how to work them. It is quite tricky but we all managed. Lynne also gifted me a wonderful little support spindle for spinning cotton. I love using it. It was great to get back to spinning as I haven't done much in the last year. Below are the pictures I took at the retreat. There was about 30 people there and lots of yarn was produced in the 2 days we were there.

Lynne teaching how to use many forms of spindles.

Linda plying her first handspun with the help of Vyvyan

We set up shop in the middle of the room.

My new Russian Spindle set and cashmere fibre

Even the spiders were in the spinning mood at Kingfisher

Monday, October 18, 2010

Maiwa Workshop

As many of you know I am learning to weave and I have taken several workshops with Jane Stafford but this workshop was the ultimate. I learned so much I don't know where to begin sharing this experience. Firstly the location. The Maiwa loft on Granville Island. We were in this room surrounded by one of a kind, hand woven, hand dyed, sewn, quilted fabric, wonderful wooden book cases full of every imaginable book on every form of fibre art, Trinkets - wooden block stamps, leather bags. It really set the mood for the course. There were 12 students and 12 looms in this room. It was fantastic to say the least.

Little displays of stuff everywhere you looked

We were surrounded by amazing fabric

Bookcases full of books from around the world about everything fibre

More trinkets

We spent a lot of time every morning examing fabulous weaving to see how they did it. This was so much fun

Finding your Zen
2/16 cotton 24 epi. 24ppi
this was an exercize in fine tuning our weaving
We learned how to make Double weave fabric with a horizontal join, Cording, Double width fabric, Fringe on 4 sides with an inlay and interior fringe, Denting with Elastic silk and Finding your Zen.
All of these are woven on 4 shaft table looms. We all wove samples of each of these weave structures.
I still have the fringe one on my loom to do at home as I didn't have time to finish it there.
For non weavers reading this post epi means ends per inch (the amount of ends of yarn on the loom in an inch) and ppi means picks per inch ( the amount of you weave in an inch).

Denting with Silk Elastic
12g Bamboo 20 epi, 20 ppi

Double width
2/18 Zephyr wool and silk
16epi. 16 ppi on each layer

2/60 silk
40epi, 40 ppi
My sample is 36 ppi

DoubleWeave horizontal join
12 g bamboo
24 epi, 24 ppi on each layer


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hand-dyed Yarn makes me Happy

Seriously, dyeing yarn makes me very happy. I have finished my striped socks from the yarn I dyed in the summer, and I love them! The yarn is super comfy (80% merino, 20% nylon) knit up, and the colours make me giggle. Now that I've mastered the stripe - who knows what's next?!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Babies this Spring

Remember a few blog posts ago I knit the baby sheep sweater for my new grand baby coming in the spring. A few weeks ago my son and his wife announced they were having a baby in May, so that makes 2 babies coming this spring. We were very excited about this and then last weekend I found out there will be 3 babies this spring. My son and his wife are expecting TWINS. Now my Mom has retired from knitting so I quickly phoned her and told her she is out of retirement cause I need help. That is a lot of babies to knit for. I plan to knit 2 more baby sheep sweaters a few hats and socks for each of them and weave them each a blanket. Wow this is so exciting.
We will have 4 Grandkids come spring.
In other news I cast on my Venus Rising sweater last weekend. I am knitting it with EY my favourite colours( purple, burgundy and pink) I will post pictures when I get a chance.
This week I am off to a workshop by Jane Stafford -  Weaving in the Maiwa Tradition- I can't wait.

Here is the first picture of the twins. We don't have a picture of Megan and Zach's baby yet.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Retreat Sunday Oct 3

(This is Shelley's post, with help from Kate at home to upload the pictures.)

The project for this retreat - the teddy bear sweater version of Lucy Neatby's Venus Rising Sweater.

Samples of Lucy Neatby's projects

Soaking up the knitting information!

HI Everyone from the retreat. This is an amazing retreat. I have been a knitter for about 50 years now, yes I started very young!! and I learned more this weekend than I have ever learned about knitting. Even simple things like counting your rows. Lucy has an amazing knowledge of knitting and design. Her approach to knitting and her descriptions of the family of stitches ex - the parent stitches and the grand parent stitches, the public and the private side of the knitting and many mores descriptions that make the knitting come alive and make you want to treat your knitting with much more respect.

We have many comments from retreat participants and lots of pictures to share with you but first this is what Lucy had to say:

I'm writing this whilst listening to the Pacific waves lapping on the shores of Quadra Island (just off Campbell River on Vancouver Island). Shelley and Linda, the Fun Knits team, are hosting a delightful knitting camp at Tsa-Kwa-Luten lodge.
I've just returned from an eye-popping show and tell. It's always a joy to see the fruits of the needles of ardent knitters. Many,various and breathtaking would be my brief description, but hardly does the pieces justice (but forgive me, it is late in the day). Thus far we've had two challenging days of wrestling with copious short rows, long circular needles and triple strand Navaho knitting, which is all now beginning to yield results in the form of a multitude of scantily dressed teddies, now clad in at least the first half of their future Venus Rising Cardigans.We are hoping for decency in apparel tomorrow!

Happy stitches and stitchers all.
Lucy Neatby

Here are some comments from other retreat participants:

It's wonderful

Great day wonderful retreat

Blow out

Totally wonderful

Better than I ever imagined

What a great retreat - super place, super people, super knitting
Thanks Fun Knits

I have forged a new relationship with my stitches I want only happy stitches, no strangulation, or internation incidents, with their australian cousins down under - Yes you really needed to be here to understand this comment. It is fabulous.
Linda C

The retreat is amazing and so intense. My head is full of great knitting ideas and new approaches to old knitting ideas.
I will always strive for contented stitches.