Sunday, October 31, 2010

Greetings from Vermont

Greetings from Vermont!

We hit the road early this morning, when it was still dark outside. It really feels a little like we entered a sort of weather time warp over the course of today – going from this….(in Algonquin Park, around 8am)

To this…… (just outside of Bennington Vermont, around 5pm)

We took a different route than usual, and it was nice to see some different scenery along the way. This is the first time we’ve used the GPS for such a long trip….and it has already noticeably reduced the tension between driver (me) and absent-minded navigator (my poor mum). I think it will have to tag along on all of our trips together from now on…..

After finding a place to stay, we had a great supper at the Madison Brewing Company, here in Bennington. The food was delicious, but definitely the highlight was the beer sampler – 4 oz samples of their 7 most popular brews. Mum and I shared it, and had lots of fun discussing (in a very inexpert way) our thoughts on each one. The final conclusion: 3 were excellent, 2 were quite good, and 2 were not finished.

Our plan is to hit the road fairly early in the morning, and head east through the National Forest, stopping at Dorr (I have a funny feeling that my self-imposed wool diet will soon be over in a very big way) and a few fabric stores along the way, and eventually looping our way around to Lebanon.

Back soon…..with more from the road….

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

the sweatshop reopens....

Since Sunday, most of my spare time has been spent in production mode, getting more patterns and new linings ready for some upcoming workshops. It's not hooking, but it's the next best thing...and this way, nothing should stand in my way of getting back to hooking on Jumbo again, as soon as I'm back from Vermont. Speaking of Vermont, I can't wait to see what fun and interesting batiks I can find on my trip next week -- you can never have too many pretty batiks! ;-)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

substantial Selvedge savings

I promise not to gush about just how much I love Selvedge, but I do want to pass along some information about new Canadian subscription rates that make it a little more reasonable and result in substantial savings.

The new Canadian rates are the same as the previous US rates, but in Canadian dollars. You can find out more details here.

the charm of Chantry

I'm back home from a wonderful week at Chantry. Everything was wonderful: the people (friendly and very welcoming), the food (delicious), the students (enthusiastic and fun), the organizers (so helpful and well, organized!), the helpers (friendly and eager).....and the town itself (picturesque and chock-a-block full of neat stores, with great stuff).

I had heard mention of this school many times, and though it was my first time there, it definitely won't be my last! I am already signed up to be a student there next Fall – and it's a good thing, since all of the classes are already full! (There is a waiting list, though....and spots do become available, so anyone who is interested should contact Vicky Cooper: vicky AT bmts DOT com for more information and details).

I didn't take a single photo in or of my fact the only pictures I took all week were taken down by the lake one morning before class. I don't think I could ever tire of looking at water and waves....

Friday, October 15, 2010

MP by OP • Karin's Bullseyes

I am outta here for a week or so.....I will try to post from the road, if I can. In the meantime, I want to share a pretty picture I received this week. Karin recently completed her Bullseyes purse -- and I think it looks gorgeous! Good job Karin! ;-)

P.S. MP by OP = My Patterns hooked by Other People ;-)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

lucky me!

I've been fortunate to have many pairs of socks hand-knit for me.....but of all of those pairs, my absolute favourites have been knit with Noro Kureyon Sock yarn. Not only are they beautifully colourful, they also felt just a wee bit upon washing, so that they become the most comfortable handknit socks ever (IMHO). I don't feel any ridges under my feet with these socks, and I can comfortably walk for miles in them.

They are so much my favourites, that I really don't like to wear any other kind. The only problem with this preference has been a lack of supply. I only had 4 pairs – and one pair had sprouted a hole.

With winter on its way, I asked my mum if she would knit me a few more pairs – if I bought the yarn. I delivered 3 balls of yarn sometime in August...and my mum quickly got to work knitting the socks. There is enough yarn in one ball to knit 3 socks, so she had quite a selection of yarn leftover when she was done. She mixed it with some other leftover bits and also frogged the shawl I had been knitting on....and ended up making me six more pairs, for a total of NINE new pairs. Plus, she was able to repair the holey ones, so I have lots of socks to keep my feet warm this winter -- and I won't need to wear anything else but Noros.

Since Noro yarns are self-striping, she separated the leftovers into colours and divided each of them in half, forming two balls (one for each sock). To join the strands, she knit several stitches with both -- and since it's a fine yarn, it is barely noticeable. Some of the pairs have the same subtle changes as the original balls....and others have more dramatic switches.

As the leftovers were getting used up, it became more of a challenge to choose the colours. There are a few pairs that are more lively than the others....which will be great for the dark days of winter than lie ahead. When things are looking gloomy, I can always look down at my feet for a smile ;-)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

what's been happening in the sweatshop....

I've managed to sew a couple of CPs together, and prepared about 45 patterns.....and now I'm fully immersed in sewing linings. AB's machine has been a real lifesaver.....and honestly, I don't know how I'm going to like going back to using my clunker when it's fixed. I think there is going to have to be a new sewing machine in my future....I would also like to have a seamstress on retainer, but I think a new sewing machine is a more realistic prospect.

As I cut and sew these fabrics, I am falling in love all over again with some of the batiks. I've been tempted to cut off a special section for colour planning inspiration many times, but so far I've resisted that urge. When they are all sewn into linings (very soon, I hope!), I hope that some will inspire others in the same way -- minus the cutting, of course!

Since I'm having a double-weekend (Monday is Thanksgiving and I'm also taking Friday off to get more done and hopefully preserve my sanity)....I am really hoping to have all of my workshop prep finished by the end of the weekend. I'm dangling the notion of being able to do some fun hooking as my "carrot" hopefully it all comes to pass -- and I will have more fun stuff to share soon....

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Just discovered....

I just happened on a new (to me) site called Imprint about half an hour ago, almost by accident. If you have some free time....check out these cool articles about the Wonderful Colour Wheel through the ages (here are links to part 1 and part 2).

I can wait to see what else I can discover's a pity I don't get paid for surfing.....LOL!

Monday, October 04, 2010

a request....

I received an e-mail today from Carol, reminding me that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and requesting that I bring a bit of awareness to a recent post of hers. Carol talks about a fellow rug hooker in Missouri and how she and her wool have been inspiring.

Carol had ordered a pattern from me a while ago, but I had no idea she has a blog. There is lots of eye candy there....both rug hooking and also many beautiful Hermes scarves. It's definitely worth checking out for more than just the linked post!