By Tanya

This is a site to catelog, track and share all the various projects I create. It is intended to share and log successes and failures of my various craft projects. Soon you will see Handmade Cards, Knitting projects, Scrapbook pages, and Quilting projects, to name a few.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Spinning and Weaving

It's been very busy around here with not much time to blog. Now that I have a few minutes there is so much to share I don't know where to start.

For all projects check out my Ravelry account because I've just updated it (finally).

I'll start by showing off some fun spinning I've done lately.

Here is the BFL I spun at the retreat which has been navajo plied. I mistakenly referred to it as Polworth in my previous post because I forgot that it was Blue Faced Leicester that Heidi just started carrying in the shop.

When I got home from the retreat I immediately started spinning the Wensleydale that CJ bought me and then used a technique I learned at the retreat to add in tuffs of mohair locks. It didn't turn out perfect but it's definitely a fun yarn.

And here is some some merino fibre that I purchased from All Spun Up on Etsy spun into a 2 ply chunk/bulky yarn. It is very smooshy.

I made this Bounce hat but I'm not happy with it so I'm frogging it and making a scarf with the yarn. The hat ribbing is just not tight enough and doesn't fit well. I had intended this yarn for a scarf for Troy any way so it's only the yarn gods reminding me of that.

Last weekend I finally warped the loom again. It had been too long. I had some cotton and baby yarn that had been given to me (a garbage bag full) so I warped for a baby blanket. I used the entire width of the loom, 32", and warped it about 50" long with the cotton. It was just Bernat 1lb ball of cotton Handicraft. Then I used the fancier yarn for the warp. They matched very well but in hindsight I should have put in a contrast color for some pazazz once in a while. It's very pastel which I guess is good for a sleeping baby.



I still need to finish tying the ends and then wash it to set the yarns better. It turned out a lot shorter than I planned but that is due to me warping it backwards and then having to switch everything. I lost some of the warp when I did this. I have now marked my loom so I do not make that mistake again! I also realized while doing this project that I really need a loom stand. It is a bit tiresome and ackward to manipulate this size loom on the table and my lap. It is not impossible but just not as comfortable as I would like. If I had a stand I'd probably weave much more often as I'd have the loom warped all the time. As it is now I warp it only when I feel I can finish the project in a day or two so that the loom is not on my dining room table for too long. Maybe Santa reads my blog :)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

8th Annual Maritime Spinner's Retreat

October was full of excitement and the highlight was the 8th Annual Maritime Spinner's Retreat that was held in Cape Breton this year.

Line, CJ and I headed down the highway to Cape Breton on Friday, Oct 24.
It was a gorgeous fall day, perfect for driving.
Heading to Cape Breton

Welcome to Cape Breton

The first stop in Cape Breton was the Candy Shop. It is in Port Hawksbury and is a must stop destination if you go to Cape Breton. The chocolate bar serves an amazing blend of hot chocolate and coffee that is the best you will ever taste.
The Candy Shop

We stopped next in Beddeck at the infamous Baadeck Yarns. They had an awesome selection of yarns and hand knitted items. It is worth the trip just to stop at this shop. We made some purchases and were on our way to the Gaelic College where the retreat was to be held.
We arrived there just at sunset and the place was beautiful!
Gaelic College at Sunset
We found our room, which was located in MacKenzie Hall.
Dorm we stayed in
Unpacked and headed to the Hall of the Clans for some socializing and spinning. CJ has some great pictures of the festivities that night which included a harp player, a fire place and a wine and cheese. We were in heaven!

Later that evening we retired to our room in which we had created our own pantry including 'fridge' and all. It was PJ and show and tell time!
CJ's Day 1 stashLine's Day 1 stash

We stayed up until the early morning hours chatting, laughing, knitting and sipping wine.

The next day was jammed full of fun and activities. Started with breakfast in the cafeteria, followed by some spinning in the Great Hall.
Great hall of Spinners

I gave a drop spinning demo/workshop and thanks to Manon here is a picture.

Later the vendors opened as well as the weaving studio.
Weaving StudioMy purchases

CJ bought me this for my birthday Wensleydale and I had bought the mohair locks that matched perfectly:
Birthday gift from CJ I've already spun this up using a novelty yarn plying technique demonstrated at the retreat. Pictures to come later.

During the day retreat participants were asked to vote on their favorite hand spun skein of yarn and their favorite knit from hand spun item for an award to be given in honor of Audrey Stanley.
Skein table:
Audrey Stanley Skein table My skein is the red one in the shadows.

Knitted table:
Audrey Stanley knitted table My knitted item is the light green shawl on the left.

After dinner the awards were given out from the tally of the votes and my skein WON!

As you can tell from the picture I was very happy! There were some beautiful skeins there and it was a real honor to be voted as the favorite.

Here's a close up with the piece of Stanley pottery I won (along with $50 that got spent before I even came home):
My skein WON!

A ceildh (pronounced Cailie which I learned on the weekend) was held that night and we later went off to a common room and held a spinning, knitting, PJ and eating party of our own until the wee hours of the morning again. No pictures available as it was top secret (and we don't want to admit it was us making all that noise).

It was a fabulous weekend and I can't wait until next year! I'll leave you with a picture of the Polworth I spun during the retreat.
What I spun

If you'd like to see the full set of pictures they can be found here.

Also CJ has a great post of pictures and details on her blog.