Motoring On

Motoring On

Hi everyone!  I’m back from our little trip.  The trip was a great time to engage other artists about their work.  I was able to attend the Okotoks, Alberta spinning drop in and take my knitting.  It was interesting talking to the ladies and I was able to wind my next ball of yarn there.

I was also able to visit a fantastic fibre artist – Deb Loosely – while in the area, and had a tour of her huge studio!  Deb quilts, spins, knits, and weaves.  Oh, and she sews as well.  Found a wonderful costume book on her bookshelves that I haven’t seen in years!

By the time we made our way to Edmonton, I was in need of another fibre fix.  I met up with an excellent intuitive painter.  She is just on the cusp of deciding whether to go professional or not.  I encouraged it as her work is very good.  When she is ready, and gives the go ahead, I will post some more about her and her work here.

While away I took some time to knit.  I finished the neck warmer to go with the hat I knit.  Next up are the wrist warmers.  They are knit from Fleece Artist’s Canada’s 150th National Parks yarn, in the Sable Island, NS colourway.  The pattern is a free one from DROPS.  I found it through Ravelry.

I’ve also been spinning a bit.  A friend had some very fine stranded yarn given to her.  It’s actually six fine strands laying together to form one strand.  However, because it’s not plied it will probably split easily when knit.  So I plied one ball and we processed it.  It’s hanging to dry.  Once it’s dry I’ll wind it into a ball and we’ll pass it off to our expert knitters to compare with the original yarn, to see which is easier to knit.  If they like the plied ball better, I’ll ply the rest of them. There are a lot of balls.

In-between all that Hubby and I have been packing stuff, selling stuff, and designating stuff for charity.  It’s a time consuming process. But we are managing to whittle things down slowly. We want to be done the process by the end of the month, when the painters come to move most of our stuff into storage before painting the interior of the house.

 

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

I have been absent for some time online.  My father passed away recently.  He was known for his bright and lively L.L. Bean shirts.  I was given (at my request) nineteen of them.  My goal is to make something for each descendant who wants something.  Right now that adds up to 23 people who want small items like cushion covers, tote bags, wall hangings, potholders, baby quilts, a table runner, and a pocketknife pouch.  Currently I am working on the cushion covers.  Eight people have requested these.  I finished four today and will do another four tomorrow.  I’ve set everything up to operate an assembly line for sewing and pressing.  I’ve had to borrow an ironing board.  I sold my big one in preparation for the move (which has been postponed), and cannot find the small one I packed…somewhere…

Aside from the sewing, I’ve been busy knitting.  I found Fleece Artist’s National Parks 150 yarn on sale at Unwind Wools in Okotoks, Alberta in mid-April and bought up as much as I thought I’d need, as it is being discontinued.  I have one taker for the hat I finished on the subsequent trip to Dad’s funeral.  The yarn is the Sable Island, N.S. colour way.  The pattern is out of an Ann Budd’s “The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns”.

Other than that, we’ve made two trips to Alberta since mid-April.  We’ve met many new people and visited with family and friends.  I thank all of them for their love and support at this difficult time.  While Dad was quite sick this past year, it was still with sadness that I heard the news he had died.  He lived a long and full life.  I am sad he is gone, but glad he is no longer suffering.  Peace be with all my readers.  Take care and have a great week! 🙂

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Hi all!  We’re back from Alberta.  We stopped in at the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer to see Alberta artist Doris Charest’s exhibit.  It was lovely work!  While visiting Ms. Charest later I found out she has published an adult coloring book on a nature theme.  I looked at some of the coloring pages and commented she needed to find a rug hooking pattern maker to turn some into patterns.  For anyone interested, her website is dorischarest .

We spent time visiting family and friends for most of the week.  Not much artsy going on.  I did finish knitting my Garter Stitch Scarf from Shannon Okey’s book “Spin to Knit”.

I also purchased some of the Canada 150th Birthday National Park yarn by Fleece Artist from Unwind Wools in Okotoks.  Thanks ladies!

Now I’m home it’s time to catch up and decide what project to work on next.

Weekly Review – Just Traveling On

We made the trip to Calgary area one day later than planned.  There was a snowstorm in Calgary Monday and we decided to avoid it.  Or so we thought.  We headed out on the road Tuesday and found the snowstorm between Moose Jaw and Swift Current.  But it was okay.  Only an hour long drive at 80 kph behind a semi-truck before we drove out of it.  Otherwise our trip over was smooth sailing.  Stopped at the Swift Current and Medicine Hat malls to do some shopping and to stretch our legs.  Arrived in Calgary area by suppertime.  Our hosts fed us a wonderful supper and we chatted the evening away, while knitting.

Hubby and I have been busy visiting IKEA in Calgary, checking out their furniture.  When we move we want to leave most of our furniture behind.  We’re checking out what we might replace it with and how much it will cost us.  In case you’re wondering, it works out to about $1500-2000 per room to furnish an entire room. We decided to keep our old Billy bookcases because they are 1.5″ deeper and more stable than the new ones.

We also visited Okotoks and stopped in at the Heartland Cafe for tea and dessert.  I had the best Carrot Cake with Pecans there.  And huge slices!  After snack I headed to Unwind Wool, while Hubby headed to the bike shop.  I found some of the 150th Birthday yarn from Fleece Artist there and purchased enough to make quite a few hats and neck warmers.  I have plans to gift these ones.

Since being here I have finished another homespun hat and started a homespun garter stitch scarf.  Hope to finish it by the time I go home.

I hope everyone has had a good week and will continue to have a great weekend!  Take care and God bless.

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Hi everyone!  Finished my slouch tam hat from the free pattern, Three Way Chunky Hat, on Ravelry.  Had to take off the ribbed edging and reknit it on needles two sizes smaller.  It worked!  Fits like a charm now.  Though one lady did comment the hat was too big for me.

Not much happening here…well…not rug hooking related, unless you count ‘liking’ various rugs on Facebook and Instagram!  I’m loving what I’m seeing from other rug hookers these days.  Lots of variety, and excellent quality work.

I’ve been focused on knitting.  I started the blue Corriedale/BFL (Blue-Faced Leicester) wool hat from handspun yarn.  It is a pattern from Ann Budd’s book “A Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns”, modified of course. I’ve knit the pattern once before for someone, slightly different yet again.  This will take a while to knit as it’s on 4 mm circular needles.  However, it will be a nice, warm, comfy hat.

Aside from that we’ve been busy with friends.  Last night I was out with a friend to a movie called “I Can Only Imagine”.  It was a stunning movie of forgiveness.  A great theme song too.

We’ve had friends in several times for meals and games.  I thoroughly enjoy those times too.

I took a friend out to an art gallery opening reception.  The art was gorgeous.  The people were a bit of a disappointment.  No one greeted us or talked to us the entire time.  Really weird.  Usually gallery staff are right there to answer questions.

We had a gentleman come look at the house, but I suspect no sale yet.  No problem.  We actually were going to hold off putting the house up for sale till next year, due to extenuating circumstances in the extended family.  The only way this man made it through the door to look is because he knew someone who knew Hubby, and well, one thing led to another.  Right now there is far too much work to be done on the house to make it desirable to a buyer.  It’s in a great location, but it definitely is a fixer-upper!  Solid house, just we haven’t been able to keep on top of things over the years, what with everything else going on in our lives.

I’m off to visit relatives the next couple of weeks.  I’ll try to post, but can’t make any promises.  My iPad Mini and iPhone don’t like the Word Press app for posting to blogs.  Frustrating.  We’ll see.  I’ll keep posting to my Facebook page – JLT Studios though.

Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂

Friday Finale – Weekly Review…

Friday Finale – Weekly Review…

Hi everyone!  It’s been a busy week. It started with Easter and all our company.  We had great food (see photo above) and a great time.  Reports back from company indicated they all had a great time too.  We finally called a halt to festivities at midnight and everyone either went home or to bed by 1 AM.

We’ve been dealing with taxes and our accountant this week.  It’s tax season here in Canada!

We’ve also been dealing with our health insurance provider.  Some funny doings happening there that need a little explanation!

We’ve had company twice this week for games nights.  The life of leisure we lead!

I continue to sell excess stuff online…downsizing for our eventual move.

I’ve been preparing a Traveller’s Notebook style bullet journal for the second half of this year.  It’s a bit early, but I have a feeling it could get busy, especially if we sell the house.

I finished knitting my wrist warmers to match the neck warmer and hat.  I loved spinning and knitting the silk/Merino blend.  It is so soft!

I started knitting a slouch tam hat out of some homespun Corriedale wool.  It, too, is soft, but it has more body than the silk/Merino.  We’ll have to see how it turns out.

I’m eyeing up my next homespun wool to knit up.  I’m not sure what I’ll knit with it.  It’s finer than the other two yarns I’ve knit.  I have a lot of hats now, but I do love the blue color.  I think it would make a lovely hat!

Well that’s it for this week!  I hope everyone is enjoying spring, wherever they may be.  We are currently in a deep freeze of -20 C weather.  Sunny, but cold.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Easter Week Post

Easter Week Post

Hi everyone.  You probably won’t hear from me on Friday, so I’m posting mid-week.

  • I’ve spent time working on my new bullet journal, preparing it for the next few months starting Easter Sunday – April 1st.
  • I’ve finished the first fingerless mitt and am about the start the second one.
  • My friend came back from the other city in time to help her daughter at the craft and bake sale Saturday.  I think they had a good time and made some money.  Time will tell if they do it again.
  • I finished reading “Six Hours One Friday” by Max Lucado.

It’s a busy rest of the week and weekend ahead.  We have company coming for Easter.  We have five at the dinner table Saturday evening and ten for an Easter buffet Sunday evening.

Our company is of Ukrainian heritage, so there will be a lot of Ukrainian food.  I hear we will be making perogies (pyrohy) Saturday afternoon. There will also be a traditional Ukrainian Easter basket. Plus some Baked Cottage Cheese.  Company is also bringing fiddleheads and asparagus!!!  We are going to dine well.

As Hubby is of Danish descent we will also make a nod to Danish tradition by having a salmon dish with rodgrod (a raspberry jello/pudding) for dessert on Saturday evening.  And, as some of our guests are Chinese and some Korean, we will incorporate whatever they bring to the feast as well.  I’ve tried to make sure there are some familiar food items available for them.  So it’s roast pork, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.  Everything else will be new I think.

I’ve had a request for my cinnamon buns for Sunday morning breakfast, but need to wait for company to arrive with some frozen pumpkin puree Saturday morning to make them.

Hubby and I spent today finishing packing some boxes that were in the living room, and rearranging things to make room for ten people to sit.  Just general tidying up.  We brought our round drop leaf table and chairs upstairs to help hold the desserts or drinks.  We’ll have to see how it works out.

I’ve packed my iron and sold my ironing board, so the tablecloth will be a bit bedraggled and in need of an ironing job.  But it will be covered with food anyways, so hopefully no one will notice.

This week I have to bake bread yet, and bake a carrot cake birthday cake with cream cheese frosting.  We are celebrating three March birthdays on Sunday too.

Plus there’s the usual Easter services to partake in.  It’s going to be an interesting holiday!

Easter Menus…company arrives before noon Saturday…

Saturday Lunch: leftovers from the previous night and fresh cinnamon buns
Saturday Supper: Salad, asparagus, salmon custard, perogies (pyrohy), brown and wild rice, rodgrod (a raspberry pudding made with cornstarch) and whipping cream.
Sunday Breakfast: Cinnamon buns and fruit.  This is open to adjustment if we feel the need.
Sunday Lunch: contents of the Ukrainian Easter basket – cottage cheese, kobasa (Ukranian sausage), krysanky (dyed hard boiled eggs), beet and horseradish relish (or horseradish), green onions, babka (a bread), paska (another bread), parsley, butter, and any other Ukrainian meat products company can find to bring.
Sunday Supper: Salad, roast pork, sweet potatoes, broccoli, fiddleheads, sauerkraut, baked cottage cheese, perogies (pyrohy), carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, and ice-cream.

 

Weekly Review…a little late

Weekly Review…a little late

Hi everyone.  We’ve been feeling better this week.  I managed to finish knitting the hat to match my neck warmer.  The hat pattern is the Benefaction Hat, a free pattern by Knit Picks.  I modified it, as always.  No stripes for me.  I’ve started on the fingerless mitts now.

It’s been a busy week with lots of people.  We’ve had a lot of company coming and going.  I spent Tuesday baking and hosting a games night for our young friends.

I’ve been mentoring a young lady who is going to be a vendor in a craft and bake sale this weekend.  She is quite excited.  We spent yesterday here baking…she baked, and I coached her.  Truth be told, she knew how to do it.  She just needed the recipes!  She spent today baking at her home.  We are ready to go.  Due to bad weather her mother is stuck in another city.  We offered to help out in this case.  Should be a fun, but long, day tomorrow.  Hopefully her mom will be home before the end of the sale to see her daughter in action.

I sold a couple of big furniture items this past week, which has made for a busy time here.  We’re taking furniture apart, moving it between floors, and then reassembling it.  Slowly, but surely, we’re whittling down the mess in this house.  Suddenly I realize how crowded this house has been.  I don’t know what I’m going to do in the next home.  I simply have to decrease the amount of hobby stuff I have!

We had an in-depth conversation today about how heavy certain items are and whether to sell them or move them.  The old IKEA bookcases came up.  They are heavy and cost a lot to move.  But the new IKEA bookshelves aren’t as sturdy.  This is a tough call, because sometimes the older ones aren’t strong enough for my needs!  If we had to put them in storage as well as move them, well, it just wouldn’t be worth it.  On the other hand, what would we replace them with?

I changed my Instagram account from private to a business account this week.  If you’re looking for more information on my rug hooked items you can check over there.  Also on my Facebook account.  Search for JLT Studios in both places.

Taking a Sick Week

Taking a Sick Week

Sorry folks.  Not much to report here.  Hubby and I have both been sick with colds.  We had company last weekend, company this weekend, and company in-between.  We’re still sick, but slowly getting over it.

My sole creative activity has been setting up my bullet journal for the next three to six months.  I’m starting a new book.  I wish I could afford the Traveller’s Notebook.  I suppose I could, but if push comes to shove, I’d rather spend my money on fibre!

I’ve also been half-heartedly looking for my short lace 4mm knit needle tips for my Addi Clicks.  I cannot remember what project I used them on last.  So frustrating.  I need them to knit the fingerless mitts I want to knit next.  I don’t want to unpack boxes and I don’t want to buy a new needle if I can help it.

I’m hoping I’m better by Monday, so I can do a more thorough search of the house for those needle tips.  If I can’t find them I’ll move onto another pattern.  I still have lots of yarn to knit!

Into a New Week

Into a New Week

I was busy this weekend and knit up a neck warmer, using short rows and an elastic/stretchy bind off – both new techniques to me.  Though I did take a course on Craftsy a long time ago on short rows.  I discovered I couldn’t access my Craftsy courses, which is very discouraging.  I cannot only not remember my password, but I can’t remember which email I had my account under!  Sigh… I’m debating buying the year membership through my new email address…so I have access to everything all year.

In other news…Friday we went to a friend’s place for food and games.  Saturday we had company over all day and overnight.  I made low fat cinnamon buns in the afternoon.  We had a very tough stewing hen for supper, courtesy of me not reading the label.  Had I realized it was a stewing hen I would have cooked it longer and slower in the crockpot.  Ah well.  I cooked it for another four hours after supper, stored it in the fridge overnight, and made a lovely chicken noodle soup for supper Sunday.  Company also brought us some cooked farm fresh bacon.  Sunday morning we feasted on it, scrambled eggs, and toast/cinnamon buns.

Sunday, after company left, we went to a nearby mini multicultural festival in the city.  It’s called Community Connections and happens one afternoon every March.  They give away ethnic food and the kids perform (and some adults too).  Plus there are tables for different organizations and cultural groups to advertise themselves.  It’s all people from that one area of the city.  They also have a lot of really cool door prizes, including two kids bikes.  This year I won a gift basket of beauty products.

We had a slow evening last evening as Hubby is coming down with a cold.  I was plotting my next knitting adventure.  I have to measure my circular needles to make sure I have a 9″ one.  If I do, then it’s on to fingerless mitts to match my neck warmer.  I have lots of yarn left! 🙂

Have a great week everyone!

Jean’s Cinnamon Buns (modified from “The Best of Cooking Light 3”)
Serving Size : 18 large buns

5 teaspoons instant quick rise yeast
1/2 cup hot water
7 cups flour — divided
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree, or fresh
1 cup skim milk, hot
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter — chilled, cut in small pieces
1/2 c. raisins, soaked for 20 minutes

Mix yeast, 6 c. of flour, 2 tbsp. white sugar, and nutmeg.

In separate bowl mix 1/2 c. hot water, pumpkin puree, warm milk, oil, and salt. Mix well to dissolve salt.

Add wet ingredients to dry. Stir. Let sit 10 minutes. Knead approximately 10 minutes till smooth and elastic. Add flour as needed.

Divide dough in half. Roll out to 12″x10″ rectangle.

Combine streusel ingredients: 6 tbsp. white sugar, 6 tbsp. brown sugar, 4 tbsp. flour, 3 tsp. cinnamon and chilled butter pieces. Cut butter in with pastry blender. Sprinkle half of mixture on each rectangle. Sprinkle on the raisins.

Roll tightly, starting with long edge. Press firmly to eliminate air pockets. Cut roll in 1″ slices. Place on greased cooking pan. I line my pans with parchment paper or wax paper to make for easier removal of the buns after cooking.

Let rise till double in size (approximately 45 minutes). Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake 20 minutes until golden.

Cool in pan 15 minutes on wire rack.  Remove carefully and enjoy!

Opt.: Mix 1 ½ c. icing sugar, 2 tbsp. hot water and ½ tsp. vanilla extract to make a glaze to drizzle over buns.

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Pumpkin Puree

To cut the costs of this, I make my own pumpkin puree every fall at Halloween, when pumpkin is cheap.  I cut up the pumpkins – two large ones will give the equivalent of about 20 cans of pumpkin.  I cut them up, clean them out, and put them skin side up on a baking sheet with sides in the oven.  I bake them in a 325 F oven for up to an hour, maybe more.  I scrape the pulp into the food processor and puree it.  Then measure it out in can size amounts into ziploc freezer bags and freeze it till needed.  Instructions courtesy of “Joy of Cooking” (1980 edition).

Another way to make pumpkin puree is to simply poke the outside of an entire pumpkin with a sharp knife or fork, so that steam can escape, and bake in the oven for half an hour to an hour at 325 F.   Take out and let cool.  Cut and scrap strings away, saving seeds to make a pumpkin seed snack.   Then scrape the flesh off the pumpkin, puree, and freeze like above.

A Late Weekly Review

A Late Weekly Review

After sitting around directionless for about a week, I decided to grab what was handy and work on it.  That would be my yarn and knit needles.  I have most of my yarn still accessible in a plastic tote bin.

So this week I knit two hats, or toques, as we Canadians like to call them – one for Hubby and one for myself.  I used the Emergency Rolled Brim Hat pattern in the back of “Knit: a Personal Notebook”.  It’s by Melanie Falick and it’s a quick knit.  Plus the instructions are varied enough to use with my homespun Romney wool yarn.  Hubby and I are both pleased as punch with the results.

I’ve started knitting a neck warmer from an unnamed free pattern off Ravelry.  It’s by Garnstudio DROPS.  There are fingerless mitts to go with it, but I think I’ll use a different pattern for those.  I’m knitting these from some 2 ply silk/Merino wool blend I spun many moons ago.

In fact, I have quite a bit of homespun that needs to be knit up.  I am going to focus on that for now.

Another thing that caught my interest was an email from Craftsy saying classes were under $20USD.  I checked out their site and found several for sale for that, and some for sale for $25USD.  What really got me though was the unlimited access for a year for $150CAD.  I might bite.  We’ll see.  There’s no rug hooking there, but there are some mighty fine short courses.  I’ve taken a few before. I’m just not sure what happens to your classes if you don’t renew your membership after a year or two.  Must ask…

Aside from the knitting I’ve been preparing a new bullet journal for April.  I’ve whizzed through my first official one in three months.  I’m hoping the second one lasts a bit longer.  I’m trying to stick to using it primarily as a planner and place to record health data for the medical profession.  Still, I’m having difficulties keeping it under control.  There are so many things you can do with a bullet journal!  All this free time, now I’m not hooking, is driving me crazy!  I’m thinking once I get my yarn stash under control I just might crack into my rug hooking again…

Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Changes happen. All my rug hooking is packed. I am not ruling out unpacking it, seeing as we have postponed the move for a year.  But in the meantime I am finishing up some projects I started last year.  This baby cardigan is one of them.  It still needs buttons, but that can wait. I gave away all my buttons.  I started this cardigan last fall to match a hat and baby mitts.   I made so many mistakes I did not finish it.  Finally I decided to plow on through and add the band. It is done, short of the buttons.

Knitting is not my forte, or strong suit.  But I do like home knit products, especially those from hand spun yarn.  My next knitting project is a winter hat for myself from yarn I’ve spun

It’s been an interesting week   Aside from making the decision to postpone the move, I have been busy organizing trips to visit sick relatives and coordinating visits with and around my siblings.  I am waiting for spring to come and roads to clear up to make a few road trips.  Right now we are waiting for a severe winter storm to pass through Regina this weekend.

I’ve also been dealing with my own health issues  No worries  Just keeping on top of things can take time sometimes.

I finished watching “Art 21”.  Most of it was interesting. I think it depends on your taste in art.  It was primarily about installation art and performance art, neither of which really excites me.  But I have learned a new appreciation as to what goes into those works of art.

I am currently watching the DVD “Understanding Art: the Baroque and Rococo.  I’m on the Baroque.  The narrator is entertaining, even if I don’t appreciate his taste or viewpoint all of the time.  Most of the time he is very good and, really, the worst is I am left with lots of questions and wishing he didn’t have to move so fast through the material.  I wish I could snag him and take him on a trip to Europe with me!  His insight into what I would be seeing would add a whole new dimension to the trip!  As for the Baroque period.  As far as I can tell, it started out good, but degenerated into a sad state.  I’m glad something came along to replace it!

 

 

On The Road Again

On The Road Again

Hi everyone!  I’m back on the road again!  Hubby and I are heading to the west coast to Vancouver and Vancouver Island.  I’m hoping to check in with Val Galvin in Chemainus for a fibre fix.  Possibly I’ll be able to check in with a rug hooking retreat at Yellow Point on the Island too.  We’ll see about our timeline.  We are visiting friends for the most part.

In Vancouver I hope to check in with a fibre gallery I discovered. Hopefully we’ll get to Granville Island to check out the Craft Council of BC’s gallery and a few other galleries there.  I would like to check Michelle Sirois-Silver’s studio out on Nov. 4th as well.  Once again, family comes first.

We’ve spent the last week in Edmonton reconnecting with family and friends.  Had a good visit with an artist friend from long ago.  I brought my sketchbook and laptop so I could sketch some rug designs from our South Korea trip.  I managed about four drawings so far.  These are going to be much larger wall hangings than I’m used to doing.

I’ve also been knitting on the Baby Cardi from “60 Quick Baby Knits”.  I’m almost done the second sleeve.

I also took part in the Facebook Black & White Photography Challenge.  I didn’t do as well as I’d wished to, but considering my distractions, I did well.

I’m off to enjoy a breakfast here at the hotel.  Hoping to make Vancouver by nightfall.  Take care everyone and have a great weekend!

 

A New Look!

A New Look!

Welcome to my new website everyone!  Take a look around and tell me how you’re liking the new look by posting a comment below.  I welcome feedback.  🙂

The last month’s posts are missing on this blog, but that’s okay.  I’ll update you here.

Since the middle of September I’ve finished “Escapees”.

I’ve also been out plein air hooking at Echo Lake Provincial Park here in Saskatchewan.  It’s beautiful in the fall with golden yellow leaves on the trees against the bright blue prairie sky.  Here’s what I was hooking in.

The other side of the lake looked a bit barren though.  The leaves had already fallen and the golden brown of the grassy hills was showing through the bare dark branches.

The end result was a small approximately 5″ x 9″ piece I call simply “Echo Lake”.

I attended Art Now! in Regina this fall.  It was an inspiring event for me.  I was able to spend Saturday listening to presentations, and enjoy the artwork in-between sessions.

I’ve also been spelling off my hooking with knitting.  I’ve finished my Painted Desert Shawl by Karen Klein (available free on Ravelry) from Sea Turtle yarn.

I’ve been knitting some baby items… a hat and some mitts with an i-cord string attaching them.  I am currently working on this baby sweater, which requires I pick up stitches around the neck and down the front to knit a collar and button band.  I am knitting to learn new techniques.  I’m finding baby items ideal for this.  They are small and quick to knit…when I’m not distracted by other things… The patterns for these come from “60 Quick Baby Knits”.

I’ve also been spinning.  It’s come to my attention that I have a lot of fibre that needs to be spun.  I just had my wheel serviced and will be working, when I have time, to spin it up.  Here’s a couple of small skeins of old singles that I plied together to make yarn.  I will overdye these to make them usable.

And, now that Canadian Thanksgiving is over, my eye is turned towards the upcoming Christmas season.  To that end I diverted myself to scrapbooking last week.  My daughter was married about twelve years ago and I promised her a wedding scrapbook.  I think twelve years is a long enough wait!  I had the tools, the time, and the money to finish it off.  Traditional scrapbooking is not cheap! It is my daughter’s Christmas gift this year.

On September 23rd I took part in Sunrise Library’s Old Fashioned Fair.  Sunrise Library is a branch of the local Regina Public Library.  I had a blast!  So much so I forgot to have photos taken of me there!  I was with a group of weavers and spinners and we had a great time chatting and demonstrating to the public.  Definitely on my repeat list if asked next year.

As a result of the Old Fashioned Fair I ended up at the local Weavers and Spinners Guild one evening.  Had a blast spinning away while listening to the meeting.  Lots of people doing interesting things there.

I’ve also been approached for information to include on myself and my hooking in a book to possibly be published in 2019.  Writing everything down about my en plein air hooking was a bit of a novelty.  I didn’t realize it was such a process, or that I knew as much as I did.  It was good for me.

And in-between all that I’ve been helping my web designer with the new website, including the new videos for my classes that help explain what they are about. Please feel free to provide constructive feedback.

 

 

 

Week in Review

I’ve been having difficulties with my website this past week and weekend.  Please bear with me till we figure out what is going on.  Until then there will be no photos on the blog.

I have, however, managed to finish knitting my Painted Desert Shawl.  I need to weave in ends and block it.  Then it will be ready for a photo.

I have also worked a bit on “Escapees”.  Not as much as I’d like, but quite a bit none-the-less.

Plus we’ve had painters come and paint the exterior of the house.  They will have to come back and do some touch ups in a couple of weeks, but basically it’s done.

Next week there will be no blog posts.  I’ll be off in Winnipeg watching my niece swim in the Canada Games.  It will be a fun family time.  I hope everyone has a great week! 🙂

In My Studio…

Sorry for the late post this week folks.  Managed a few things last couple of weeks.  I finished re-reading “Vacations for the Spirit” by Alan Walker.  Also designed another poetry wall hanging based on a poem my youngest daughter wrote when she was sixteen.

I am currently hooking “Escapees”, my nasturtium wall hanging.  I will be working on it more this coming week.

I am also knitting a shawl from Sea Turtle Lagoon DK yarn,  I only had one skein of bright blue and bright green to work with, so it will be a very bright and interesting striped shawl.  But I love bright colors.

Mostly I am getting outdoors and enjoying the sunshine.  Hubby has been re-laying our front walkway after it was torn up for a sewer and water line replacement a couple years ago.  I’ve been helping and cheering him on.  We’ve been resetting field stone borders and back filling with dirt.  Also spending time getting quotes on work to be done on the house.

I am also culling through our belongings and selling them or giving them away.  We have lived here over 20 years and it shows when you walk through the house!  There is more stuff here than we reasonably need or want.  In the process of culling through things I am also reorganizing things to take up less space.  Hubby and I are wanting to downsize from our big old house in a year or so.  It’s a good time to be getting rid of things.

And…in the news…I am in the Top 60 Rug Hooking Blogs worldwide according to Feedspot!  Pretty cool, eh?!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Painted Desert Shawl pattern by Karen Klein. Sea Turtle Lagoon DK yarn.

Home Again!

Dancing Sheep – CASA art gallery – “Ganglamb Style”

For those of you following me on social media, you know I’ve been busy buying supplies, touring art facilities, and visiting art galleries.  I’ve also been researching artist retreats and residencies.  Unfortunately my iPad and iPhone would not let me post to my blog.  That will have to be remedied somehow.  Not sure how.  That’s the quick recap, now for the details.

We headed to Edmonton to check in with family and relax.  My stepmother is a prolific knitter and I spent a good hour or so one day going through part of her book collection, taking photos of ones that might interest me.  I’ll check them out at the library first.

Elk Island National Park – beaver lodge

While visiting Edmonton we went to Elk Island National Park for an inspirational (?) outing.  We went on a walk by Astotin Lake with tons of mosquitoes and frogs!  I think I managed to take some good beaver lodge photos.  Plus later we were able to catch a bison photo or two in the bison paddock.  Three cheers for Parks Canada and their free pass for Canada’s 150th birthday!

After a few days in Edmonton we headed south on the old highway – Hwy. 2A – through Wetaskiwin, Ponoka, to Lacombe.  Hubby and I like to find local places to eat – places with homemade meals and unusual items on the menu.  On the way to Edmonton it was Lionel’s Place in Vegreville, where we had the Ukrainian platter, with perogies, cabbage rolls, and kobassa.  It was delicious!  It also came with a tossed salad with olives and pickled beets! And how could we turn down home baked lemon meringue pie and a cup of tea?  So when we were closing in on Lacombe I pulled out my cell phone, did a trusty Google search, and turned up the Morrison House Cafe.  It is a lovely older home where the main floor was turned into a cafe and the upstairs is where the owners live.  It was very busy and I was glad I called ahead to reserve a table.  We had a wonderful meal there.  However, because it was so busy it was an hour before we were on the road again.

Legacy Studio – wool, linen, “Primary Fusion” kit, bent handled scissors, and ProChem sample cards.

That made us a bit late for meeting up with Laura Johnson at her home studio – Legacy Studio – in Cochrane, Alberta.  But Laura is very kind and accommodating.  We arrived an hour after we thought we would and I spent another hour in her studio shopping and purchasing supplies for this coming year.  I am now supplied with wool and linen.  Laura also solved my problem with cleaning my drum carder.  I purchased her flick carder out from under her.  It works like a charm Laura!  I was also able to pick up two rug hooking books – “Scrappy Hooked Rugs” and Deanne Fitzpatrick’s new book,”Rug Hooking with Deanne Fitzpatrick” – and a “Primary Fusion” kit on how to use ProChem dyes.

We raced from Laura’s studio to relatives in Okotoks via Bragg Creek.  Originally we were going to stop in Bragg Creek, but we just didn’t have time.  We were already an hour late arriving at Okotoks.  We are glad we arrived when we did, because not long after our niece arrived with a birthday cake for her mom.  I had no idea it was my sister-in-law’s birthday!  To say we were unprepared is putting it mildly.  I went out with my sister-in-law in the evening and was glad to see her friends, where we went, celebrated her birthday too.

Unwind Wool – yarn and book

While in Okotoks I had the pleasure of visiting the new knitting shop downtown, Unwind Wool.  It just opened in February and is quite small, but packs quite a bit into a small space!  I walked out with a lot of yarn, and a new knitting book.

“Prairie Sky – Altocumulus 13”

My sister-in-law also took me to a spin-in at a friend’s place.  I took some rug hooking with me and finished a “Prairie Sky – Altocumulus” wall hanging there.  I was fascinated by what I was seeing at Robin’s house.  Robin had a weaving studio too.  We wandered upstairs to see her Canada 150 project – a large blanket she had spun and dyed warp for that was on the floor loom awaiting her weft.  It was the most beautiful warp I’ve ever seen!  Every colour of the rainbow!  And I didn’t get a picture of it.  Sigh…too caught up in her studio and how she did things.  I quizzed her up about her dyeing methods. I noticed a sketchbook being used to record weaving patterns and asked about that as well.  I need to use my sketchbook more.

Which brings me to our next stop – Michaels.  There was a Buy One Get 50% Off the second deal on large sketchbooks.  I bought.  I now have two large sketchbooks to work in this year.

Later that day Hubby and I headed off to Lethbridge.  It was quite funny because it turned out my sister-in-law was heading to Lethbridge the day after with a group of weavers.  They were going to have lunch, visit the Lethbridge weavers, and tour CASA – the art center there.  My sister-in-law wanted to know if I wanted to join them for lunch and the tour.  You bet I did!  So we had a wonderful time of it.  The weavers took us up to their studio in CASA and we spent time looking at warp and chatting with them.

CASA – Weaving studio

One of the ladies had just come back from a residency in Iceland.  That got me thinking.  It never occurred to me there would be residencies for fibre artists.  I chatted her up a bit and noted the link for where she found the residency.  I spent considerable time later in the evening and during our visit researching art residencies.  There really is nothing out there for rug hookers.  The more I thought about it, the more problematic it became.  In discussing it with other relatives we were visiting the question came up “What is your goal for the retreat/residency?” and “Why not design your own?”.  Both very good points.  I sat down and designed one on the spot.  I think I will be giving the idea a dry run at home though.  I may have some quiet time in July for it.  We’ll see.

After spending time at CASA in the weaving studio a young man showed up to give us a tour of the facility.  We asked a lot of questions I’m afraid, and he ran over his allotted time, but it was fascinating!  An artist can become a member for $200 per year, and rent a cupboard space that is about 3′ x 8′ with a locked door for another $200 per year.  That gives you access to a shared studio space for 24/7.  I could go for that.  Just over $1/day for studio space!  What a deal!

CASA – 3D studio

CASA – Pottery classroom. They have a gas fired kiln too.

 

My sister-in-law and I parted at CASA and I met up with Hubby at the public library.  We didn’t spend time looking around however.  Instead we headed right out to the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens.  We had a relaxing time walking the gardens and taking photos.  I have lots to work with for awhile.

In the morning, before I went to lunch with the weavers and to CASA, my husband’s cousin took me to the CCWG (Canadian Wool Growers) shop.  I picked up some roving to spin.  Then we went to Knitting Time, the local yarn shop, and I picked up yarn to hook and knit.  Then it was off to Marshall’s – the local fabric store – to check it out and pick up a few sundry items.

Lopi destined for wall hangings or rugs.

A word about Knitting Time…I was fascinated by this small shop.  The proprietor not only carries yarn for knitting, but also fibre for crocheting, thread for tatting, rayon thread for Brazilian embroidery, cross-stitch supplies, felting supplies, and spinning supplies.  Plus she has pattern books too.  For a small shop she packs a lot in there!

The next day found us at SAAG (the Southern Alberta Art Gallery) checking out exhibits we did not understand.  I wish I could have talked to one artist in particular.  I liked her exhibit.  I think I understand what it’s about, but when my very logical and practical Hubby started asking questions, I was at a loss for words.

We also went to the University of Lethbridge to check out their gallery, only to find it closed.  But they did have the hallway exhibit – “Habits and Habitats” – up for viewing.  That was good.

Habits and Habitats

On Monday, yesterday, we headed home.  We stopped in Medicine Hat and Swift Current.  Tried to get into the art gallery in Swift Current, only to find it closed and them taking down the exhibit we wanted to see.  Oh well.  They did have a few pieces of the artist’s work in a display case in the library in the same building as the art gallery.  So we ended up checking out the library.

I found a book, “Where Women Create” by Jo Packham, which I took out and read on the way home.  There are a few good ideas in the book that I will implement.  I was reading the description of some of the studio spaces to Hubby.  He was floored to think some people have more space than I do. lol.  I must admit, my crafting takes up two rooms in the house – one for rug hooking, and one for everything else.  I keep trying to get it in order, but it seems as fast as I empty a space, it fills with something else.

We had supper in Moose Jaw at the Mitsu Cafe.  There is a sushi bar in the back of the cafe, and you can order dessert from the cafe out front.  We shared a Caramel Apple Crepe.  It was huge!  And delicious!

Mitsu Cafe – Caramel Apple Crepe

 

Weekly Review

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Sorry for the late post folks.  It’s been a busy day.  Unexpected company and some running around town.  I’ve been busy working on my website.  I think I’m done transferring files from the old blog to the new.  Next up is to post a few more items for sale.  We’ll see how it goes next week.

Also been creating draft listings on Etsy and posting items for sale on Etsy in my JLT Studios shop.

I did manage to hook a bit more on “Moss”.  I had a friend hold it up a distance away from me and decided the problem is values again.  Seems if I have color issues it’s usually in the values.

I started knitting swatches for a sweater pattern I want to knit.  A friend helped me wind two skeins into balls of wool yarn.

I had fun this evening at Nouveau Gallery’s 11th Anniversary Celebration!  I love this gallery.  If you’re ever in Regina I highly recommend it.  They represent a variety of local artists working in a wide variety of different media and styles.  Tonight’s work did not disappoint.  It was wonderful!

WIP Thursday

WIP Thursday

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A very bad photo of some gorgeous yarn.  I love this yarn.  I visited the ranch the wool came from and bought these from the rancher’s wife.  I over-dyed the pinkish red color with a green and got this beautiful variegated brown.  It will be interesting to see how it knits up.

I’ve started making a sweater from this yarn.  I hope it works.  I’m currently still knitting swatches to make sure I have the right gauge.  I want something that fits in the end!

“Moss” is at a standstill.  I’m busy creating my new website and uploading new items to my Etsy shop.  I need a clone.

Current reading is “Everyone’s An Artist” by Ron Tite, Scott Kavanagh, and Christopher Novais.  I just started and so far so good.  Makes me feel a lot better about my Liberal Arts degree.  Did you know one third of the top Fortune 500 CEOs have an arts degree of some sort behind them?  Makes me feel better already!  Looking forward to this read…

Lots happening on the home front today.  So we’ll see what actually gets accomplished here.

 

WIP Thursday & Weekly Review

WIP Thursday & Weekly Review

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Knit cellular baby blanket with lots of mistakes in it.  In my defense I have to say the kinky yarn was not a good choice.  As was my decision to knit it while visiting with friends.  The yarn was the most problematic though.  It was difficult to see mistakes until quite a ways after they happened.  I figure it will be good enough for charity.  I won’t be knitting that pattern again.  Plus I think I’ll stick to straight knit and purl when I’m busy visiting.

Hi everyone!  I am getting a lot done this week.  No hooking on “Moss” yet, but the week isn’t over. 🙂

I did manage to finish knitting the cellular baby blanket.  I’ll be blocking it soon I hope, and then donating it to charity.

I’ve been working on matching Certificates of Authenticity with all my finished hooked pieces larger than 6″ x 6″ that are original work.

I’ve been writing draft posts for my Etsy shop.  Keep an eye out for more items for sale on Monday.

And I’ve been working on my website.

I’ll be taking tomorrow, Friday, off to help some friends and to remember those who have fought and died in war for Canada.  I will be back on Monday.

poppy

WIP Thursday

WIP Thursday

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Knit Cellular Baby Blanket – almost finished!

I am almost finished the knit baby blanket!  Only a few more rows to go!  I want to try a new cast off method.  I’ll be checking in with my friend about that.

As for “Moss”…I am decidedly unhappy with it and haven’t worked on it all week.

Instead I’ve been preparing wall hangings for sale on Etsy and working on my new website.

I did not get to the Certificates of Authenticity yesterday.  So I will be working on those today.  I did manage to get about 150 cup hooks into little plastic bags (2 each) and into the wall hanging packages.

I have spent a lot of time planning our trip and studying Korean.

 

Weekly Review

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Wall hangings and ornaments yet to be posted on Etsy.

It’s been a busy week.  I’ve been posting wall hangings and fiber bundles on Etsy for sale.  Check out my shop to see what’s new!  I’ll be posting more work next week.

I hooked a bit on “Moss”.

I knit on the cellular baby blanket.

I worked a lot on my new website I hope to have up and running by January.

I finished putting together my green wool and silk fiber bundles…for now.  I have a lot of green fiber!

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WIP Thursday

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I haven’t hooked at all this week.  But I have been knitting on the baby blanket.  I can smell the end!  Just need to knit 2″ more in ribbing and cast off.

I’ve been a bit preoccupied since Hubby retired the end of September.  We’ve been running errands, on a trip to see extended family, and busy learning Korean.  Yes, we are going to South Korea next spring.  A friend invited us to meet her family and show us around her home country.  We said “yes!”

So we’ve been busy planning immunizations, travel insurance, booking flights (there was a really good deal if you had Aeroplan), and learning Korean.  At least I am learning some Korean.  Hubby thinks they will all speak to him in English over there.  He’s never traveled outside of North America.

I’ve been trying to think of fiber things to see and do in South Korea.  Not coming up with much.  I know they quilt and embroider.  But I don’t know of any rug hookers in South Korea.  There is a special cloth made from local plant materials on the west coast.  But we will be focusing our visit on Seoul and the east coast I think.  At least that’s the plans so far.

In rug hooking news:  I sent more “Star Rug” blank greeting cards up to Saskatoon for the SCC Fine Craft Boutique.  So if anyone is wanting any for Christmas they can contact the Boutique or me.   I’m hoping to get back to making more bundles today.  Lots of fun and inspiration in those. 🙂

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Star Rug blank greeting card – $5 CAD

Other Christmas themed or winter themed cards people might be interested in purchasing are below:

Noodles and Tea

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Hi everyone.  I’m feeling a bit under the weather today.  But I have to go out in an hour or so for a lunch meeting.  So I’m sitting down with my Wellness Tea from Epicure, generously laced with echinacea and honey.  I admit I slept in quite a bit this morning.

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I’m soaking some rice noodles to cook for my lunch (my meeting requires I bring my own lunch).  I use doctored up store bought Classico spaghetti sauce to put over it.  Sorry, no photos of the sauce.  As I’m watching my sugar intake as well as being gluten free I just buy a very simple basil and tomato sauce, add ground beef, onion, garlic, and sometimes part of a chopped green pepper and grated carrot. The grated carrot gives more of a meat taste to the sauce.  If I use a lot of meat I omit the grated carrot.  I usually like to add 1/2-1 lb. of cooked ground beef to a jar of Classico sauce.

Today’s goal is to package up some more “Star Rug” greeting cards to mail to the SCC Boutique in Saskatoon.

Hope everyone has a great day! 🙂