Sunshine just told me that Oon means “wool” in Hindi. Seems a suitable name for this little sweet faced toy from the gift exchange at the spinning retreat.

Desert Mesa Spinning retreat in Cache Creek was great fun. Lots of congenial company, knowledgeable spinners, and laughter. Bill did a minor adjustment to my wheel. (He gave it an experienced “whack” and corrected something that has been a bother for months. Bless him!) Participants from all over the province, a very supportive atmosphere. Spring and fall events to anticipate. ┬áRural life is proving very interesting indeed.



Barb sent this the other day. (Cross posted on Facebook so some repetition) The sentiment is appreciated.



We Called it Going to Church

Crescent Beach has been the subject of this blog several times before. It is amazing that all one has to do is walk just a little bit further and in this crowded city, one can sit on one’s own.



Both eagles and loons were heard but the heron was the bird of the day. There were several of them watching walkers from rocks just in the water. The tide was in all the way. I love the call they make when they take off and fly – kind of like a rusty gate creaking open, a complaintive sound.


A recent finished object, well objects. Gotland mittens, hand spun. You can still smell and feel the lanolin in these despite several very hot washes. They should prove warm.

And a bit of weaving from a warp over a year old. Just to get it off the loom I used up scraps of sock yarn in a twill of some sort. It came out better than expected, it should work up as a couple of bags I think.


More From the Golf Course…

Who needs to head out into the wilderness to have encounters? We hear packs of these guys in our green space, these wild urban dwellers. The lost cat posters seen in the neighbourhood are a testament to the adaptability of the coyote. These are creatures to be admired – like the urban eagles and hawks that live in the park near us they seem to have established a way to live here. It’s an uncomfortable collision between worlds at times – but this fellow seems to have a system worked out. Some poor old mouse in the grass is not so lucky.


Two ounces of cashmere, one in cloud form, and one as raw fleece became first this:


then this:


The raw fleece washed up into a much lighter, and much less “goaty” smelling fibre. Both spun up a bit slubby but as a two ply a lot of the flaws were absorbed into the yarn. There were a lot of guard hairs in the raw fleece as well, and even now as the gloves are worn hairs poke out to be removed. It’s OK, the gloves are incredibly light and soft, I just reserve the right to maybe only use the processed fleece in the future. These gloves are incredibly warm – made just in time to be stored for cool weather. Very basic pattern, essentially a tube with a thumb stuck in it.

Next project, carding up some washed Polwarth locks, just expanding the skill set bit by bit.


This is more rustic yarn in the making – this wasn’t a top quality bag of fleece and there are a fair number of short bits and hunks of vegi matter, but hopefully some carding skills will be improved. Rustic yarn is kind of fun anyhow.

The Gift of Time

A person has returned to our life from about a decade ago. No big story here, just someone who was a colleague and who moved on. A kind and skilled person, one who evokes a smile when remembered: “Oh yes, she was good to work with.” In recent weeks this person has offered her time. She has accompanied us to certain appointments, offered her considerable skills and presence. While we were on the road this was knitted with her in mind.

photoIt is fairly basic, based on a free pattern on Ravelry, called “I am Biased” though really it is more of a suggestion than a pattern, because it was pretty clearly straight from a stitch dictionary. But the pattern helped in the planning process so I want to acknowledge that. The yarn is handspun, which took a bit of time. And then knit, for several hours total – it gets a bit gruelling doing the same thing over and over on a piece this size, but perfect for travel. The colours are subtle, and meant to reflect deep forest. (Dyed by another, label long gone. Keeping the little tags is apparently not a priority. Too bad, this was good work.) It’s alpaca and silk, and I think the recipient may like that. The idea was to try to say thank you for the gift of time, in the form of a gift of time.

IMG_2234We saw much more than bears and moose on this last trip. What a wonder it was to travel in early spring. The bird life was amazing. All sorts of flying creatures were pairing off, squabbling and noisily finding places to nest and those with young swooping and feeding them. We were serenaded multiple times by pairs of loons. The only time they quit calling was whenever I went out, phone in hand, to try to record them.  Some things we cannot capture and maybe the calls of the loons on deserted northern lakes is just one of them.


Sneaky Old Spring…

photoIt was pelting down, the rain was this morning. It seems just when one thinks “too much”, mother nature offers a glimmer if we look. Sneaky old spring. With apologies to all my family, near and far, who are still looking at snow melting. (Or not melting even yet, in some places.)

A little bit of spinning completed:

IMG_2054260 metres of the Gotland I wrote about last week. Spun in the grease and sitting here as close to a heavy fingering weight 2 ply. One can still feel a bit of the lanolin even after a good bath, so it may end up blooming after another wash. It was delightful to spin and ply up. This might be terrific as part of a fair isle project…