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summertime

I’m having trouble motivating myself to update this blog. Life has been busy and full of family, adventure, fluting and lots of crafting. It’s hard to discipline myself to sit down and write, edit photos… etc. I guess that’s why more and more I’m relying on Instagram to tell my story… So quick and easy to update and then carry on!

But today it’s hot and I’m parked in front of my fan. It’s a good excuse not to move (and move my fan along with me). The two of us will be heading over to my spinning wheel in a bit.

My sister and I visited a local mill a few weeks ago and came upon the most lovely bucolic scene of sheep, llamas and rooms full of fibre! So of course we bought lots and are busy spinning for Room6 this fall. Lovely blends of alpaca, merino, mohair, angora… natural, undyed, delicious and wonderfully prepared for spinning. We feel so lucky to have found this farm and that it’s a local source.

While I spin, I listen to podcasts. I know there are many many crafting/spinning/wooly podcasts out there and I do listen to them occasionally, but for me I like something a little different. My two favourites are StarTalk with Neil Degrasse Tyson. Fun and informative and gets me thinking of things I never imagined! I also love Here’s The Thing, hosted by Alec Baldwin. He is a very good interviewer who doesn’t talk all over his guests. That’s something that is a “no thanks” for me. I’ve never been disappointed by his podcasts. Listening while I spin is a perfect way to spend an afternoon, imo. Of course, silence is golden too and is a good meditation time for me.

I’m knitting Through The Loops’ latest Mystery Shawl. I love her patterns… and knew that it would be a winner without seeing or knowing anything about it. I’m using some handdyed KnitPicks fingering weight and having fun. It’s addicting!

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In less than 2 weeks we have our first of four market booths. I think we’re mostly ready, but still have a little more dyeing to do and labels to print, etc. I hope this warm dry weather holds but regardless, we’ll be there under our newly purchased tent, with yarn and project bags and patterns and smiling faces, ready to have fun!

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summer market season

The weather is feeling very summer-like lately, even though we have a month left of spring.

The garden is blooming, the kale is planted and thriving and the windows are open and letting in some nice fresh air into the house. It’s also getting closer to the summer market season!

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Melissa and I will be setting up our booth (in a tent, not under the hood of a Corvair ;) ), filled with yarn and patterns, mitt kits and project bags.

A sneak peak of what I’ve been working on… a pattern for a lace wrap that I’m writing up right now, modelled by my daughter…

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We are also sewing up lots of project bags to sell at the market too. I made myself one earlier this year and carried it all over Southeast Asia and it held up like a dream. I’ve made four so far and three have sold already!

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I’ll put a link to the market and a map in the sidebar. I really hope we get a chance to see everyone again this year!

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may day: bits and pieces

It was a gorgeous spring day down in the cove. I ran down to Room6 bring in our latest baby ELF hats. These are mostly cotton, a few wool and a few cotton/wool blends.

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I’m knitting on a lace stole that I hope to have a pattern written for. I had a minor glitch (ran out of yarn!) and had to rip back unfortunately, but I’m back on track and I think it’s going to look pretty great. I feel like I’ve been knitting this lace forever, but trial and error does take awhile!

Our handspun mostly sold out in the shop. I brought the last couple of skeins home a few weeks ago and will be making some warm wooly baby hats for next Fall and Winter with the yarn, and then dyeing and spinning up some new skeins for the Fall.

We are getting our act together for the summer market season. A few patterns to write, yarn to dye and dates to be confirmed. As soon as they are, we’ll be posting them here and on our Facebook page.

Our Etsy shop is on hiatus right now. Not sure what we’re going to do with it, but for now it’s just in a holding pattern.

Okay… back to knitting!

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our group, singapore

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I guess it’s time to wrap up the trip! I finally finished editing my photos and uploaded them to flickr, made a slideshow to show the family and now I feel like I can move on. Except I need to finish here.

Thailand: Not everything will go as planned when you have a trip of this size, and I guess Thailand was our example of that. The port where our ship was docked was far from Bangkok, where we were to spend 2 days, but driving back to the ship at night. 3+ hours one way… yikes! We made it to Bangkok that morning afternoon, saw one temple; granted, it was a spectacular temple, got caught in a torrential thunderstorm, made it to lunch which was waiting for us (we arrived over an hour late) and then 4+ hours back to the ship due to flooded streets, collapsed buildings, crazy traffic and accidents along the way. And we were drenched to the skin… literally! It took my walking shoes 3 days to dry out!

Enter Plan B! Instead of heading back to Bangkok the next day, we detoured and went to Pattaya, a beach community close to where we were docked. We started our morning at the Sanctuary of Truth, a large wooden structure that is still being constructed. It was amazing! Every square inch of this large sanctuary is hand carved. And it’s huge…about 345 feet high and incorporates images from Buddhism and Hinduism from China, India, Cambodia and Thailand. It really took our breath away.

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Singapore: Everybody says how clean the city is and that is true! When you have laws against littering, spitting (thank goodness), chewing gum, etc… it shows! We arrived as the city was making preparations for the funeral of Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister and the father of modern Singapore. It’s a beautiful city and has changed so much since we were last there in 1981. The only thing that I recognized from that trip was the Merlion.

Shanghai: Our flight home had us connect through Shanghai and we decided to stop over and spend 4 days to see the city. Warren had visited Shanghai before, but this was my first time. We stayed with friends from Canada who live there part time teaching in a local university. It was nice to have a low-key time to really explore the city and eat the food! It wasn’t too low-key though since my fitbit says we walked just over 71,000 steps over 3 days. That’s 32 miles. The 11 hour flight home felt kind of relaxing!

All the photos are divided into albums. Here is the link to the collection if you’re interested. This has been a trip that had been a long time in thinking, dreaming and planning. It’s hard to leave it all, but I’m glad I took the time to get the photos organized.

Our trip was through UBC Alumni Travel Club and facilitated by Worldwide Quest. They did an AMAZING job organizing our trip and making it run as smooth as possible. We would definitely travel with them again. In fact, we hope that our group of 25 can do trips together in the future. We were accommodated in hotels in Hong Kong and Kaiping, China, and then for 2 weeks we were onboard the Celebrity Millennium. It was Warren’s first cruise, my 3rd. While it would have been nice to be able to spend more time in each city, it was a good way to get a flavour of the places and not have to pack and unpack each night. Unfortunately most of the ports were a distance from the cities and towns we visited, but we had very good tour guides that would make the bus rides go as quick as possible, a good group of people that didn’t complain and loved stories about the history, culture and food as much as we did, and gorgeous scenery to watch along the way.

The feature group photo at the top is not mine, but taken from the UBC Alumni Flickr site, album linked here.

Okay, now it’s time to get the yard ready for summer and my sweater finished!

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beautiful vietnam

I’d have to say that this country was number one on my list to visit. And it did not disappoint. I would have loved to spend more time here and hope to do so one day. The people were wonderful, the food was so, so delicious, the countryside and rice paddies were lush and the cities were chaotic and crazy and totally fascinating! And then Halong Bay, oh my! We took a 3-hour boat cruise on a junk around the thousands of limestone rocks coming out of the water. It was magical.

These are just a few of the many photos we took over our 4 days in Vietnam. More are on my Flickr site.

My photo album on Flickr Vietnam is here, and I also have sub-albums for each city we visited. Hope you enjoy it :)