Thursday, August 16, 2012


Just a quick one today! I’ve decided that a quickie is better than radio silence. I’ve just been so busy that it’s hard to do a proper post even once a week. Sheesh.

When last you saw Damselfly, I was heading to a demo downtown for VIVA Vancouver. I would say VV is kind of a bust. No advertising. No schedules of happenings. Come to think of it, not much happening at all! Minimal passing interest from the pedestrians and shoppers. Big expense (temporarily re-routing the busses!) and for what result exactly? Our little pavilion in the middle of Granville Street did garner some eyeballs and occasional questions. Beryl had a couple of folks passing a stick shuttle through a warp on the table loom. I’m not sure but I doubt there was anything much that sold – though there were beautiful handwoven scarves (Beryl), shibori-dyed silk scarves (Joanne), inkle-woven trims (April), and pine needle and cedar bark baskets (Dale). The wind was really strong, especially early on, and it was hard to keep things pinned down. Several spinners ended up wearing layers of woolies to keep warm in the shade – even though it was about 25C in the sunshine! I just wandered around chatting and spinning on my Houndesign spindle for about 3 hours and then T-Man and I went home. Sorry I didn’t even take one single photograph either. Doh.

In other news, I’ve been sorting out my next few knitting projects that will come with me on our September Vacation. You might remember (or not) the Oatmeal Sweater that I was knitting last year while we travelled. It didn’t work out at all – so I frogged it. The yarn was a wool 2-ply aran weight on a cone that I got second-hand from somewhere and there’s about 1500 yards of it, enough for just about any sweater. I decided that it’s going to become a Quercus from Knitty’s First Fall 2011. This is a nice cabled cardigan (Rav link) that should help to keep me warm this winter. I was going to make it from handspun but I like this yarn better. Especially after I skeined it all up and washed it. Yucky greasy, dusty and dirty wool is now nice and soft and smells much better.

Best news is that I got gauge first try! Albeit with a needle that’s 2 sizes smaller than recommended. The row count is a little off so I may have to watch that it doesn’t get too long. Since this sweater is knit top-down that should be easy to control. I can also add a bit more hip width if I need it too or widen the front band slightly. I’m making a size medium which matches my measurements exactly, aka 0 ease. I don’t want it to be too loose and baggy on me and the measurements don’t include the bands. More on this later. I’m not going to be able to control my desire to start this as soon as I’m done Rosebud’s dress. Nearly there.

What else? The garden is winding down somewhat though we have the usual oversupply of beans and summer squashes. The tomatoes are starting to ripen. We have 3 large spaghetti squashes which I think is pretty cool for a first effort. The butternuts are sadly way behind this year and it’ll be a race to see if we get any ripe ones before it’s too late. The peas are pretty much done though I’m impressed they made it this far into August. The sodden June must have something to do with that. The lettuce is done but we have gorgeous cabbages instead. I’m hoping they will keep ok in the fridge if there’s some left before we go away. There’s new arugula and mizuna but the re-planted lettuce didn’t come up or got eaten by slugs or something. Oh well. Depending on the fall, the mizuna can actually make it through frosts.

The weld harvest is drying nicely in the hot sun we’ve been having. I should be able to pack it up into ziplock bags today or tomorrow. I need to harvest and use the woad very soon, perhaps next week. I’d like to use it once anyway, before it needs to become compost. The rest of the dye plants are doing very well too. The Japanese indigo has grown visibly since we chopped half of it off last week. The madder is flowering – tiny little yellow things. I think it likes finally being in the real dirt instead of the old galvanised buckets. Harvest is going to be a little more problematical though. We’ll try that later in the fall when the tops die back.

Well, this wasn’t quick the quickie I expected. Gotta get now. Better post next time. I hope.

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