Wool in my soup

I am a 67 year-old grandmother living on Vancouver Island. I have crocheted, cross-stitched and rug hooked, but I always had yarn on needles. Recently knitting has become my primary hobby!

Location: Canada

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I'm Back Home!

I arrived home on Wednesday evening, but I have been busy settling in and admiring all my new yarn buys!!

I visited many yarn shops while away, so I will write about them in order!

Lismore Sheep Farm was my first stop. I have had trouble today making the link to the address so it can be reached at www.lismoresheepfarmwoolshop.com Here is where I bought myself a pair of birch swing needles. These are perfect for knitting hand-painted yarns, as you can work two balls of yarn at the same time. Many of you have seen them, and I have yet to give mine a try. I also bought a few little supplies to try my hand at dry needle felting!! John has been working on circular needles, but as I can attest, the join of the needle to the 'line' is all important and when he can find a means of perfecting this, he will create circular needles! I bought my first ball of Sea Silk in this beautiful shop with a view of the Northumberland Strait! I also bought my first shawl pin - it is made from birch and I plan to stain it. It is through a piece of Nova Scotia tartan!

After visiting friends, we went on to London Wul Farm! This was a treat and even though I only bought a book, it is my favourite book to date. It is Book 1: The Knit Stitch by Sally Melville. If you do NOT like garter stitch, this is not the book for you. However, I do like garter stitch and the book is full of techniques, hints and lots of good information, as well as some beautiful patterns. London Wul Farm is having a KAL starting on January 7 2007 of the Einstein Coat in this book! I have purchased the yarn and buttons and am awaiting the date to start. So that I got the technique in my head, I knit the Baby Albert Coat for 0-3 months. I liked the method, and found a few things I have a question about, so it was worth knitting a 'model' before attempting the coat! Actually, the Einstein Coat would be too warm for my climate, so I am knitting the Not So Warm Coat in Paton's Katrina!

This is the Baby Albert coat knit with SANDNES Smart. I will include a photo of the seam detail. With the method used at the first stitch of each row - sl1 purlwise, yarn in back and knit, you get a wonderful 'chain' on the edge, which makes picking up stitches and seaming so easy and gives a wonderful effect!

If you have gone to the London Wul Farm website, you will see all the interesting classes proposed for the coming year. Sure wish the commute was not so long and expensive! There is one on embroidery and I want to be able to do this on my knitting, such as Lene at Dances With Wool does on her beautiful work! It is a beautiful shop. Sheep can be seen outside the window, angora goats and also the dye garden. Heidi, the owner, told us she has seven full freezers. She shears her sheep, sends the fleece off to Briggs and Little for spinning and when it returns, so that she can be sure of no moths, she freezes it, thaws it and then freezes it again - this breaks the egg cycle of the moth. She also freezes the flowers and roots she uses in dyeing, as this time of year is very busy for her with getting classes organized, etc. If you have a chance, please visit, you will not be disappointed.

I had a few days break from fibery goodness, but my next visit was LK Yarns in Halifax. I had my trusty book in hand to get some yarn for my coat - what luck - the yarn I wanted was on sale!! It normally retails for $7.95 a ball and was on for $4.00 a ball - even further savings - if you took a bag of 10, it was $35.00 a bag, so 10 @ $35.00 plus 3 @ $4.00 and I had the yarn for $47.00 plus some wonderful pewter buttons! I also purchased some Fleece Artist Goldilocks in a green and mauve colourway to make the scarf to go with the coat. Goldilocks is 65% Kid Mohair, 24% Silk and 20% nylon. I knit the scarf on the plane on my return home!

I wish I could learn to write beside the photos! I am happy with my choice of yarn, buttons and scarf for the project. I did not truly enjoy working with the Goldilocks yarn, as it was 'catchy' and you had to watch the work! I do love that scarf pattern, as it fills in at the front of the neck and only needs one wrap and I know I will knit it again and again.

I also bought my second shawl pin - this one is pewter and is designed by the sister of the gal, Kathryn Thomas, who owns and manages Fleece Artist. The pewter designer also is the aunt of the gal who hand paints the Sea Silk - guess her relationship to Kathryn! What a talented group of ladies!

The shawl pin is on the 'shrug' I was knitting from DROPS rayon and cotton yarn - now it is completed and ready for wearing!

I am going to show some pictures from my wonderful trip to Fleece Artist! What a thrill! I felt like a child in an ice-cream shop and the colours delighted my soul. I took a photo of Kathryn, but unfortunately, for me, it was too blurry - excitement I guess. It was a beautiful day and when we arrived we were greated with skeins of yarn drying in the fresh air and sunshine. I had a wonderful chat with Kathryn and then peaked into the Dye House. It was just too strong to go in and the gal was wearing a heavy duty mask, so conversation was limited. I was amazed at how little dye water was in the two large stainless steel pans on the stove. Such beautiful colours! I asked Kathryn if she overdyes skeins that do not come out as she wished. She said that she has lost all colour prejudice, as those skeins she does not think will be popular knit up beautifully! She is the gal who also encouraged John of River John Needle Company to create the Swing Needle for knitting up more than one skein of hand painted yarn! She is a wee bit of a girl and while I was there, she was getting an order ready for Texas. Her shop is busy, busy and I hated to take her from her work, but my guilt did allow me to spend some time in a knitter's paradise. She showed me the vest that is currently appearing in Canadian Living magazine, October issue. I checked their blog at www.Canadianliving.com and the pattern is not there just yet, but I see there is a kit available at all the stores that carry Fleece Artist.

I think the picture of the yarn, sign and echanicea is particularly a good one, but the others do show lots of fibery goodness! Hope you enjoy them and feel you were there with me. It was one of the highlights of my trip! The first photo is of the inside of the dye house and the hooks hanging from the wooden frame are where the skeins hang for drying in less than ideal weather.

I went on from Halifax to my nursing school reunion down the South Shore of NS. It was 45 years since graduation!! I went to a delightful yarn shop in Mahone Bay called Have A Yarn and got a skein of Kid Silk that is shown with the Sea Silk. I learned from Kathryn that Sea Silk is produced in Germany, spun in Switzerland and then arrives in Vancouver, Canada for hand painting. Such travelled yarn!

I hope you have enjoyed the journey with me, now to find the time to knit up the fibery purchases. Now I am going to post this before something drastic happens!!


Blogger LaurieM said...

Whew! You had quite a trip. Welcome back!

I'll be tracking your progress with the Katrina. I bought some myself and I haven't swatched it yet.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Sounds like you had a great trip, thanks for sharing it!

5:10 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Welcome home!
Glad you had a good time and what a yarn trip you had. I enjoyed reading about it and seeing the pictures from Fleece Artist i must get down there sometime. Tell me more about these swing needles, i'm not sure I understand. Cricket Cove down here carries them.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Rain said...

Well you can't say you were deprived of fibre oin your trip. It looks like you had a fantastic time.

3:36 AM  

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