Thursday, October 17, 2013

Canadiana: Upper Canada Village and the CBC Hockey Night in Canada SongQuest (and some Doctor Who)

Back in August I had a great day out at Upper Canada Village.

Here're the knitting-related photos that didn't make it onto the writing blog:



more spinning


sheared wool!

the gears underneath all those machines...

I've got Doctor Who links!

Here's a list of some the most intriguing Doctor Who items on Etsy. And here're some adorable stitch markers:

Meanwhile, some music news:

Hockey Night in Canada on CBC is running a contest!
"Hockey Night in Canada Song Quest is on the hunt for songs that celebrate what hockey is about: teamwork, commitment, hard work and going for the goal."
Whisky Trench Riders have two awesome songs in the contest!

Please like/vote/share the word, if you can! The best is to play and like directly through the SongQuest profile pages (you don't have to log in, except through Facebook) so that all votes get recorded. Thanks for your help!

If we reach 100 plays on each song within the next two weeks, I'll do a book giveaway on the writing blog!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Celebrating Wool and Yarn and Knitting! And Scotland!

I'm trying to at least blog on here once a month, but as you can see it's not working very well. There are lots of interesting things to note, but somehow I never get around to compiling them into a blog post.

However, this week is Shetland Wool Week, and next month is National Knitting Month in Canada, so I didn't want to miss calling attention to those!

I'm still working on the leaf pattern blanket, which is about 50 rows away from being finished! Then I've got two new babies-to-come to knit for...

I found out about Shetland Wool Week from the awesome Kate Davies, whose latest pattern, The Shepherd, I purchased the other day.

My question exactly!

In other dates, 11 October is I Love Yarn day! And boy, do I. Just looking at all the handspun undyed wool from those Shetland sheep gets me drooling.

Well, the sheep are adorable, too

Speaking of patterns, the Celestarium is a gorgeous one:

If I finish all my current projects, I'd like to try it. If you're looking for other interesting patterns, Knitty, which is in its eleventh year, is a great place to start.

While I'm dreaming, I'd also like to sign up for the KnitTraders of Kingston knitting tour of Scotland! And I have Kate Davies' recent pattern book, but would love to own her Legacy of Shetland Lace.

Hmm, I think I should write a story set in the isles...then I could justify all these books as research!

Another of the islands has an interesting history:

And look! Costume designers on The Hobbit talking about wool!

What craft projects are you working on?
Any festivals (like Rhinebeck) in your area?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Knit Gandalf!, Updates, and Why We Knit

The Lord of the Rings knits!

from Jess Hudson's Twitter

Aren't they adorable?

Meanwhile, I've actually been working on a project! I completed another ruffle hat, and started a new blanket, both for a pregnant friend.

I cobbled together two patterns for the blanket, one new (from the pattern book I got at Myrtle Beach), and one old.

The old pattern came from my reread of the Anne of Green Gables series. I started wondering what Mrs Rachel Lynde's appleleaf pattern quilts looked like, and discovered a post on Lady n Thread's blog, which linked to this leaf counterpane pattern. I've taken the top frieze from that pattern and inserted it into the plain centre of the blanket pattern.

It begins!

(the postcard is from the upcoming Twist Fibre Festival)

The Knit Cafe has an ongoing Why We Knit series of interviews. I like some of their questions. If you'd like to answer them I'd love to interview you on the blog!

How did you learn to knit?
What first attracted you to knitting?
What keeps you knitting?
What has knitting brought to your life?
What are you knitting now?
Where is your favourite place to knit?
When do find time to knit?
Who or what are your knitting influences?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Upper Canada Village

Upper Canada Village knits!

We visited Upper Canada Village during the Revolutionary War weekend, when there were lots of reenactments taking place. In between the battles and the soap making and the other events, I took some knitting related photos:

spinning wheel - like something out of a fairy tale

hook rug


another hook rug (I think that's what they are)

natural dyes

I still need two classes, on crocheting, and on using my drop spindle - the goal is to someday create a garment from step one (raising the sheep) all the way to the end, step five or so (raise the sheep, shear the sheep, spin the threads, knit the wool, wear or gift the item!).

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Craft Fair Photos! and Other Parties...

Night at the Museum!
Cross posted from my writing blog...

Featuring... The Tower of London, a spaceship crashing through the roof, monks, warriors, a veteran of World War I, a veteran of the Viet Nam war, a man cursed into Beast form, King Charles II, a race on a Ducati, a koala, a cave that leads to Australia, a talking garden gnome...

All of that, and more!

Yup, the Writers' Houseparty is in full swing, and if I'm falling behind on blog comments that's the reason. Non-stop writing, creating, exploring, and making friends.

Five of my characters are attending this round, including Kedi the cat.

Here's a very brief snip, featuring two of my characters meeting another:
The hair rose on the back of his neck, and before he could prevent it, all the Beast's senses were rushing to the forefront.
He growled, deep in the back of his throat, and made to fling Len off. He'd pin him down, and then... well, his Mistress was always hungry.
"Fred, what are you doing? Stop!"
As suddenly as the Beast had risen, it was tamped down. His hands - hands, not paws - fell from the man's neck.
Lyne had grabbed his arm, and just like that, the Beast had receded.
He stepped back on wobbly legs. "Sorry, man. Look, we didn't see any girl, right? But if you need help looking for her -"
"I heard voices from over that way," Lyne said. "I'm Lyne, by the way. What's your name?"
And the Beast caught a new scent. Of musk, and sandalwood. She found this bloke attractive? How could she?
How could Beauty even look at another?
Not much time left for ROW80, so I'm hoping this party will kickstart my motivation and get me back on the editing wagon. I've got to submit a snip for WRiTE Club!

In perfect timing, Nathan Bransford has a post on When It Feels Like You're Never Doing Enough, and Kait Nolan's got a post that summarises my own lifelong attitude to trying, not trying, and avoiding failure.

This year is the 40th anniversary of the publication of John Bellairs' The House With a Clock in Its Walls. A perfect excuse to reread all his wonderful, mysterious, thrilling books.

illustrations by Edward Gorey! Read more here

I was at a beerfest a couple of weeks ago!

Wey Beer Cream Porter - yum!

A list of Rogue Ales

I had the Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout - yum!

A display of Molson bottles over the years

A massive German bottle

Local microbrewery Boqubiere

Good old Newcastle

Round about the same time, I organised a charity book fair at work!


We raised 925$ for a children's library in Tanzania, which the office 'International Fund' sponsors. I, er, contributed by picking up a few handfuls of books for myself...

And last month I was at a craft fair!

Me on arrival

Setting up

Panorama shot


Ready to sell!

Lots of knitting - a baby hat

Other vendors had interesting items, including homemade soap, handmade dolls, jewellery, jams, baked goods. I won't pretend I didn't use up some of my profits buying from fellow sellers!

Homemade lipgloss in the bottom righthand corner - this, oddly enough, turned out to be my bestseller that day

Have you attended or hosted a fair recently?
Which book's anniversary are you celebrating?