The Olds Fibre Week that is, which even though the Vendor area is in the maintenance area for the College, and the decor is sadly lacking in ambiance, the vendors came through for those of us just up for a few hours to shop.  (Aside: once again the weekend weather was lovely, and the grounds are gorgeous, why oh why does someone not rent these people tents to get them out of the machine shop???) All the vendors has wonderful items on offer, but I spent all my money in two places, which is a tad predictable for me.  I also got to see just how big my shopping bag could stretch:

Bag full of Olds Yarn

Erynn from Twist of Fate traveled out from Kamloops bringing lotsa goodies.  Her booth was Extremely Lovely, she brought so much nice stuff.  I managed to get the two presents taken care of early, picked up a beginners spindle kit with fibre, and a Sabine shrug kit:

Sabine Shrug

The yarn is already wound into two balls, ready to go, I’m very excited about this! 

The next rave is about the Wild Geese booth.  The lady who runs Wild Geese was unfortunately at a class while I was there, but her fill in was very helpful.  Working closely with the processing mill in Biggar SK, they have been developing some really interesting yarn.  The first item I picked out was a laceweight: it is a black fibre spun with green fibre.  You can barely see the green, but I think you will see it more once it is knit up:

Black laceweight, wild geese

Can you see just the hint of green fibre peeking out?  Also on display were black/blue and black/purple.  Second up in irresistible treats was some of her worsted weight, I bought a sweaters worth:

WG Sweater yarn pile

I’m thinking an EPS with the pink yoke detail, with some lace thrown into the yoke as well, as I love the fit that that gives across my shoulders.  The beauty of this yarn is the different fibres that go into its construction.  I had to take it outside into the natural light to truly see all the nuances.  Natural grey fibre, with small quantities of blue and pink fibre thrown into the mix:

Close up WG sweater yarn

There seems to be a beautiful relationship going on between the local fibre producers, yarn designers, and fibre mills in this area of the country, and I’m loving it all.  Is it any wonder I was so excited to head up to this show to see what was on display?  I was so impressed by what I walked away with, and by all that I sadly had to leave behind.  Each one of us shoppers displayed great restraint and discipline in that cold, echoing maintenance shop, and I’m proud of us all!

Will hopefully commence at 1 pm today, after a meeting with the client.  I’m currently waiting for a blower quote (for air silly, nothing else) to finish up at the hotel here.  Tis a beautiful day here once again, big sunny sky, and a lovely breeze caressing the landscape. 

The last two weeks I’ve taken advantage of traveling to focus my projects down, with much success.  In San Diego I finished my Raha scarf, which is waiting for me to block it at home.  Here in Saskatchewan I’ve been working on my February Lady’s Sweater which is being made in Silky Wool:

Lady Jacket half way down

Since that photo was taken I’ve done a bunch more, and in another two inches of Gull Lace I’ll start the garter stitch edging, then go back for the sleeves.  The silky wool isn’t too hot to work with in the summer, but the summer hasn’t been exactly warm here yet.  This is going to be a really good three season sweater, as I can see wearing it on cool summer evenings as well.  It won’t be warm enough for full winter however!

My purse/travel project has been the Bettie Stockings, I’m up to the upper leg now on Sock #1.  This pattern is beautiful, wait until you see it stretched out.  Its coming out beautifully in the Smoochy sock yarn:

Bettie Stocking

Remember my fishnet stockings?  They wouldn’t fit over my foot, so they need to be frogged and restarted on larger needles.  Hence the last minute replacement of the Bettie Stockings!

California Souvenirs

June 24, 2009

I left California on Saturday, made it to Denver, and got stuck overnight.  Oh well, I did make it home on Sunday, changed out the suitcase, and left again Monday morning.  At least Mr. J is at home spoiling the kitties with lots of lap sitting and scritches under the chin.  However the weather here in Saskatchewan is lovely with a big open blue sky overhead, and a beautiful breeze.  I keep wandering away from the water plant to go and visit the local lilac tree, just to smell the wonderful scent.  I went on a bit of a bike ride down the road yesterday evening the highlights of which are: slight turns left and right, and a 0,0001 degree hill, hardly noticeable until I turned around and went down it.  I rode a half hour, then turned around, and was able to see the goal, the steeples of the church in the distance.  Sure is flat out here!

I was able to find a cute little beading/yarn store in Old Town San Diego, and treated myself to the perfect California Souvenir: Golden Sock yarn specially dyed for the Sheperdess yarn store.  Isn’t it lovely and sunny?

Golden California Yarn

I’m going to save it for winter, so that the cheery sunny colours cheer me up.  I also enjoyed all the flowers in California, there were purple flowered trees everywhere, and we were walking on a carpet of purple:

Purple San Diego Flowers

Its always important to stop and smell the flowers.

Specifically this White Trumpet Flower painting on display at the San Diego Museum of Art.  Of course I’ve seen copies or images of the paintings before, but never a real one, which I found overwhelming.  It is so powerful in its simplicity. 

Having this day off, and taking a break yesterday evening even from sightseeing has helped slow life down again.  Things were going by so fast, rushing from one “to do” to another, its hard to take it all in much less savor a moment.  Slowly down again, taking the time to look at a painting, imagine how it was painted, why it was painted, and if I like it is one of life’s supreme pleasures.  Tomorrow I head home, and Monday I’m back on the road to le Bourg de Gravel, and life is due to speed up to lightening speed again.  Today I breathed, smelled the flowers, and enjoyed.

I did wander down to the zoo after awhile, giving into the hoopla.  My honest opinion is that the Singapore Zoo is still the best in the world.  All zoos however have those people banging on the glass, yelling at the animals so that they will look over for their “picture”.  Another honest opinion is that zoo photos are some of the most tedious in the world, which is why I tend to avoid taking them.  But this one, I couldn’t resist the uber cuteness:

baby dikdik

Sorry about that, I hope the cute factor overwhelms the tedious factor.  Screaming children have been edited from the photo for your viewing pleasure.

The Saskatchewan River (from my travels last week, still getting ya’ll caught up on my whirlwind adventures)

Saskatchewan River

Fishing Lake:

Fishing Lake

And…..

Sandy Claus

Sandy Claus!!!!  ‘Cause no trip to Saskatchewan is complete without a visit to Santa Claus.  I asked for baby alpaca with silk on top!

MSRide and Charity Sale

June 16, 2009

Or in the sub-title: one busy weekend!  We had wonderful weather for the garage sale, and really good traffic flow due to the huge neighbourhood garage sale that was going on.  Over 175 homes participated!  We sold a tonne of stuff, but didn’t have much luck with the higher priced items.  Overall Mr. J and I raised $650 to donate to the MS Society, $341 of which was from the sale. 

MSSale

Sunday was just as nice, and we had a great ride.  There were people participating on all types of bikes, of all ages, and of all sizes.  The lady who most impressed me was a Mum with a two month old baby, at each rest stop her Grandma would bring her over to breastfeed!  Now that is dedication on the part of her Mum! 

Anne and Julian at MS Ride

Next year Mr. J is looking forward to riding both days, which I think is a capital idea! 

I’m down here in San Diego now, and enjoying the Water Treatment Conference.  For me this is such a great chance to see so many old friends and co-workers, and make some new contacts.  I love catching up on all the gossip, and finding out how everyone is doing. I am however finished my socializing after a busy night last night, and tonight I’m taking myself over to Little Italy for a nice quiet meal.  Last night’s socializing involved a reception on a boat in the maritime museum, and a tour of a Russian sub (adroitly handled by me in my dress, somehow I managed to fit through the tiny hatches without revealing any secrets to the guys).  Photos tomorrow!!!  Now….food!

Also a note: The Western Canada Oddball Blanket Society is having an online auction to raise money to become an official charity by selling some items.  Check it out here!  The Thorpe hat made by me is made with Manos del Uruguay, and is slightly felted to be super warm.  The little baby hat is made with superwash wool.  Just don’t bid on anything I”ve got my eye on!!!

WWKOADD

June 13, 2009

Happy World Wide Knit on a Dinosaur Day

Anne on dinosaur

My dinosaur was blue with daffodils?  What colour was yours?

Tuesday Take-off

June 9, 2009

Tomorrow we head out for a highly exciting work road trip to Saskatoon.  Wooohooooo!.  Okay, so no one is very excited, and no one wants to drive in particular, but why not pretend we are having “the best time evah”.  Perhaps we will?  Hopefully I’ll manage to get some highly exciting Saskatchewan road trip photos for you, perhaps the biggest stalk of wheat, or a particularly funky elevator.  Not a silo. If I’m really lucky I’ll stop by the Wool Emporium in Saskatoon and visit their “Wall of Saskatchewan” which is truly a sight to behold. 

Next week (Sunday after the MSRide) I’m off to San Diego.  With my one day off after the conference, what should I go see?  I think I’m feeling in need of some culture, a museum, or art.  I’m planning on eating fish all week, and hunting up some tex-mex to feed my obsession.  Calgary unfortunately has a dearth of good Tex-mex restaurants.  I’m already drooling…

Cancelled our yard sale this weekend.  We woke up to snow falling gently down onto a city really pissed off at having to cancel their entire weekend, softly blanketing our houses, flowers, and other things we didn’t want to freeze.  Fireplaces were switched on, marathon mini-series were watched inside as outside it proceeded to either hail, rain, snow or sleet all day long.  All day.  Sunday was cold and windy, therefore all hopes of having a charity yard sale were abandoned to next Saturday which so far looks like it will be warmer.  I’m really disappointed, but I hope we do well next weekend.  We have until the end of the month to get the funds into the MS Association, and therefore plenty of time to raise as much as we can.  We have tons and tons of donations which is wonderful, my whole garage is full of really cool items to sell. 

Snow in June

With all our plans out the window we put in some good couch time, and I even got busy organizing the next few knitting projects.  I’m going to be traveling the next week and a half, so I need stuff ready to go.  We got a good photo of my wonderful ball winding technique, helped along by Piper who insisted on being attached to me in some way all weekend long.  I think all the boxes of donated items have been weirding her out.  If I wasn’t providing her a lap to sit on, she was demanding that my lap become horizontal for her, rather loudly.  She did a lot of glaring and dirty looks this weekend, poor kitty.  Don’t anyone tell her the lap is actually going away for 1.5 weeks, she could lose it completely.

Winding Yarn with Piper

As for my extremely fashionable get-up there, give me a break, its the weekend and it was snowing!  I’m winding some pretty pink alpaca lace for a new shawl!

Wingin’ it

June 5, 2009

Isn’t it fun to just sit down with a ball of yarn, some needles, a bit of an idea, and just wing it?  Making baby hats is a great way to do this, as it really doesn’t matter what size it turns out, as long as its in the neighbourhood of 17 inches in circumference.  If its a bit bigger, call it a toddler hat! 

There is a lovely lady in my knitting group, the soon to be Mrs B. who regularly knits like this, without a pattern.  One evening I found myself reflecting that I knit from patterns all the time, and may be a bit dependent on patterns actually.  That is not to say I don’t have a lot of good ideas for doing things on my own, but when push comes to shove I tend to sit down with a pattern instead of forging my own trail.  I never just sit down and wing it.  That is why it was fun to finally sit down and cast on 96 stitches, do a bit of rib, and then just see what happened.  Moss stitch sounded like fun.  And most of you know by now my love of bobbles.  Now it just needs a nice big pom-pom to finish off the final effect!

Baby hat in turquoise

I’m looking forward to wingin’ it more often.  We have received an overwhelming amount of donations for the MS Fundraiser yard sale to be held tomorrow chez moi.  Unfortunately the weather forecast now has snow, and maybe rain in it!!!  The current plan is to wake up nice and early, and if nothing is coming out of the sky be ready at 8 am for business.  If it is snowing, hailing, sleeting, or raining we will retire inside with cups of tea to watch the Space Channel.  The hard part will be not eating any of the four batches of cookies that I’ve been baking. 

Hope you have a good weekend in your neck of tha woods!