Thursday, June 28, 2012

Goodbye June

Is it just me, or are the months going by faster? Seems like yesterday it was the first of June and we were so happy to have summer here. Yikes.

Anyway, today's post is a bunch of bits and bites from June.

First of all, the Dead Fish Hat window display is up at The Purple Sock.  Lynn, the owner, was kind enough to send me the pictures, which look awesome. The hats are all so different!!

What a great display. Even the little mannequin children are wearing the hats.

Love the net and the other props - great job Lynn!
Next up, a rug that was hooked by my good friend Debbie. It did take a bit of time, but she is one busy lady, so I'm impressed that she got it done. She is an art therapist and seems to be into a lot of wonderful,  interesting things lately.

Here is her rug, which she designed a while ago for her daughter Erin who loves whales. You can definitely see the talent behind this rug. All I did was show her the mechanics of pulling loops. She did everything else herself. An amazing first rug if you ask me!!!

And to end the month on a high, I spent a few days in Peterborough this week. A visit and sleepover with the ma-in-law on Monday and then off to my friend Jane's for rug hooking fun and a Wing Night at a restaurant in Young's Point.

Jane lives in the Peterborough area and she and two friends have made the leap into becoming hooking suppliers, mostly because they couldn't easily find supplies in their "hood" and decided  to "go for it" themselves. They are doing some incredible dyeing and have an interesting business model. They will bring their wares to hooking groups within a 100-km radius. I think of them as "Wool on Wheels" and envision little red wagons full of wonderful fiber arriving at hooking get-togethers all over their neck of the woods.

I got to catch up on their progress on Tuesday afternoon and then joined 19 friends for wings and beer that evening. Such fun!! Then Wednesday, the regular hooking group got together and we spent a delightful few hours hooking, laughing and enjoying each other's company.

Here are a few pictures from the get together. I love the candid shots at a hooking get together. There is a palpable energy level and everyone is having so much fun working on such diverse things.

Other Jane is working on a mini mat based on a Japanese wood cut. Completely hooked with silk.
Hostess Jane has started a new Deanne Fitzpatrick pattern. Great red for that house.!
Helen, Wendy and Gwyn multitasking - having lunch, sharing design ideas, talking and laughing                             surrounded by wool and friends. It's the best!
Hostess Jane in front of an amazing piece of art by the group's friend Marilyn.
Helen showing off a little swatch dyeing - gorgeous colour!
A little fiber - this is actually yarn, not roving
Gwyn's amazing project -every colour in the rainbow. Can't wait to see this rug finished.
We were joined by a 91-year young mother-in-law of one of the women. She kept saying that she wished she had a notebook so she could capture all the things we talked about in the time we were there. As usual, we solved all the problems of the world!!

I can't believe it is Canada Day long weekend tomorrow and then July! Wow.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Three Passions - One Day.

It's not often that a day includes three of your major passions. But today was just that kind of day.

Passion 1: Rug Hooking
Start with a rug hooking meeting in Barrie (about an hour and a half from where I now live). The meeting took place in the Starbucks at the Chapters in Barrie, since I couldn't really think of another place that was easy to find and happy to have you loiter for however long the meeting took.

We waded through what needed to be covered, I heard all the great stuff about the Green Mountain Rug Hooking School in Vermont last week - now on my calendar for 2013 - and we caught up on other stuff. Yes, it would have been better if we had actually hooked, but I'm ok with that.

While standing in line to get my drink, a very dear friend showed up - so random because she never goes there and neither do I - but we have been trying to connect for months. I think it is a sign that the Starbucks is our "place",  so now we just have to figure out a time.

Passion  2: Sewing
I left the meeting and headed to the Fabricland in Barrie to try to find fabric for a bunch of patterns I have in my stash. I had success with the following ones:

This tunic is totally cool and I got a graphic navy and cream fabric.

I got a black and a white batik to do this skirt. Not sure about how to embellish in the front yet. Later.                                You gotta love the pockets!

No luck with jersey, but three striped chambray combos for this wonderful little french dress.

I really don't need any more sewing projects, but lately, I have been buying Vogue patterns when they are on sale for $3.99 or $4.99, which is a far cry from $30. I get email alerts and there is always something.....

I am proud to say that all the fabric for these, plus a separating zipper for the tunic and taxes came to the grand total of (drum roll please)  $67.29. Let's face it, none of these could be had for that, let alone all three.

Passion 3: Knitting
I stopped in at the Purple Sock in Coldwater, expecting to see the Dead Fish Hat display, but poor Lynn has been crazy busy and hasn't had a second to put it up yet. Soon - and when she posts about it, I will go and take pics.

But, never one to let an opportunity pass me by, I took a look at her pottery yarn bowls and am now the proud owner of this one:

If you are new to the land of pottery yarn bowls (which I am too), you put in your ball, feed it through the slot, and no more chasing your ball around the room, deck, wherever. I am seriously considering an introduction to pottery class in the fall, so I can see about making some of these as gifts for my fellow knitters. (Someone should seriously shoot me before I add another potential passion to the list.)

So, a very good day all around, even with the driving. And now even more projects to add to the list. I now have enough rainy day projects to last for a very long time. But I can move around among the 3 passions and have something wonderful to do in all of them. Yippee.

Monday, June 18, 2012

What's SUP?

Hope all the dads in your lives had happy Fathers' Days. Our Dad had separate celebrations with his offspring, since our son had to work the weekend. He came on Thursday and left Friday. Our daughter and her beau arrived Friday night and left yesterday afternoon.

Since the weather was beautiful part of the time for both of them, they "racked and stacked" all their favourite water activities into the short time they had. It was quite funny to watch actually - sort of went like:
1. jump in lake for quick swim
2. climb on stand up paddle board and go for a quick jaunt
3. hop into kayak and go around the island - in Matt's case, go to seagull rock and take pictures to email to friends who aren't here to see for themselves
4. jump in lake again to cool off from frenzied activity
5. drink beer, eat a big meal, have a wonderful sleep in the quiet room (sans sirens)

Repeat the next day.

They gave their Dad wonderful gifts that suited their personalities. He was very pleased.

Speaking of the SUP (Stand Up Paddle Board), I was out twice on Saturday as well. Luckily, it is like riding a bike - you don't forget, so my fears of a chilly dip in the lake were for naught. Unlike my offspring, I wait till the lake is warmer before doing things "in" it. Right now,  I do things "on" it.

But, now that my required hooking projects are done, I have finally got around to starting my series of "fun things to do in summer at the lake" mats. (It is pretty much the list above.) And the SUP is the first one. I got a few hours of hooking in most mornings last week and it is coming along nicely.

I started with this picture of my daughter on the board.

Then I uploaded the picture to Be Funky and creates this impressionist sketch, to drop out some of the smaller details. Go check it out - you can create a lot of effects with pictures - make cards, do all kinds of fun things.

And with this nice, simple sketch, I started hooking. First I hooked Laura and now I am working on the water. (I think her head is a little large, so I may go back and adjust that after I get more background around it - I love how things are so much easier to see when you put them on your computer.)

This is a really good lesson on how the colour of water is merely what is reflected in it. Laura was in front of a veritable forest across the bay - hence all the green in the water, from nearly black to nearly white. Even her shadow on the board takes on a green cast.

I love all the movement in the water and the reflections in front, which I have just started are really interesting in how realistic they are. The upper part of the mat will go more quickly because it is just a series of vague green shapes, so that is why I tackled the bottom part first.

I think this ended up a bit larger than I intended (it's 20" high by 11 wide), I guess because of the height of it. But I hope to make the rest of the series a bit smaller.  I do love the little 8 x 10 size sketches, since they go so quickly.

Anyway, I am very happy to be hooking something just for me, and will continue that trend for a while. As I always say "Hook What You Love and You Will Love What You Hook." (I am in the process of designing a pattern of that saying, which I will also add to my hook-for-me list.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Frivolity and the Fish Hat

So, the Dead Fish Hat has definitely been the hit of the week! Everyone loves it and I had lots of fun taking pictures of people wearing it. As suspected, my son wants his own, so I may have to knit a few more, which will be a joy.

My daughter with my son peeking from behind.

Rick, looking suspiciously like St. Nick.

The only shot of my son where he isn't clowning around.
See what I mean, but I guess this is the hat for it!!

A young cottage neighbour...

and her dad.

On a different note, another neighbour, who is an emerging sculptor, installed this in one of the ponds over the weekend. I have always been a fan of knit bombing, so I guess it stands to reason that I really liked this. Apparently, he placed it there at 3 a.m. It is right beside the road, so there's no missing it, yet somehow it seems totally in place where he put it.

White balls on metal rods, like some intergalactic flower.
And last but not least, in case you think I have totally stopped hooking, I realized that I forgot to share a picture of the Snug as a Bug in a Rug rug. Here it is.

The Bug theme display at the Annual this year was the largest in my memory (which is holey at best), but the variety was incredible. There were beautiful recreations of bug beauty, as you can see from the fragment of the rug on the left.  Mine was about as buggy as I could go, since I am not a real fan of very many bugs. But there was even a VW bug, which I thought was pretty clever. The winning entry was for three dimensional bugs, standing proudly at the foot of the display. Sorry I didn't take a picture - as I said, bugs aren't my favourite subject. Jenn has a few snaps on her blog.

And, in closing, I am back on the frame, starting a summer series of things we do here on Salmon Lake in the summer. I should have something to share by next week.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hilarious Off and On

Well, I finished the Dead Fish Hat last night and took some pics. Here are two views - one semi overhead and one more overhead.

And here is one "on my head". Trust me, it took a few tries to get something I was willing to share.

Now this is a hat that would always make you smile - while making and while wearing (if you are brave enough). And others as well. I heartily recommend making one or ten. There is a woman on Ravelry who was making 52 for a charitable cause. Here's a link to the pattern. 

You will have a lot of chuckles looking at the 4638 hats that are there. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Swift and Not-so-Swift

How did I spend my rainy weekend? Well, doing lots of relaxing things, mostly knitting related.

On Saturday morning, I decided to wind the wool that I bought from Stix and Stones of North Bay at the OHCG Annual. It will be made into this tank - from the summer issue of Knitscene magazine.

As I was winding the beautiful Tanis Fibert Arts hand dyed merino, with the skein around my neck feeding into the winder, my eyes fell on a white box on a shelf across the studio. The Swift that I had bought in Vermont in November - DUH!!!!

Later on in the weekend, I opened the Swift and set it up on my table to wind a few skeins that have been waiting. Man, there's a reason it is called a Swift. I think I did these five balls in less time than the first one for the pattern shown.

If you don't know what a Swift is, it is a holder for skeins of yarn (shown on the left) that helps to wind skeins into balls using a ball winder - shown on the right. There are a number of different types, including an umbrella variety that clamps onto a table. This one is an ingenious Amish design that is easily assembled when you need to use it, and stows away when you don't.

As you can see, there are a number of adjustment options to accommodate different sized skeins. This one is a fully collapsible model - you will see the name and product number in a picture nearer the bottom of this post.
Here are the two balls that I will be making into the tank top. If you look at the one on the left, you can see it is considerably larger than the one on the right. The one on the right was wound with the Swift and I'm sure the constant tension as it wound is much better for the yarn.

So here are the goods on the Swift. It is ChiaoGoo and the Item # is 1098. I think the price point is between $40 and $50 which is far more reasonable than the umbrella type. Best of all, the wooden pieces on the right of this picture below fit into the nice tidy box on the left. It's incredible.

I have been knitting since I was 9 years old. I have absolutely no idea why it took me 50 years to get a Swift (and then another 6 months to remember that I had LOL). I guess I'm just not so swift myself - after all, I only got my ball winder about 5 years ago.

There was some actual knitting this weekend too - a Dead Fish Hat, which I will finish tonight and share with you this week.

Big Bird is Coming Along Nicely

First of all, welcome to another "theme" for my blog. The last one was just too hard to navigate - as an author or a visitor. This...