Everything old...

... is new, again!

This is...

... where I spent my day!

Working away on "Book 2010".... which I am happy to announce is called........
The title gives a lot of it away, but there are bits and bobs of specialness to Gifted that I'll share with you as we approach G-Day.
The day was a rain threatening one. I plopped myself in the living room-- amidst a very highly organized chaos-- with my back up against that round, gold cushion near the center of my pillow filled sofa. Most of the pillows have a story.... made by friends, bought abroad or made by me. I have always loved my needlepoint homage to Kaffe Fasset's "Foolish Virgins" original jacket design-- now available as a scarf in this book. Someday I hope to knit a rendition, but this pillow--- made m-a-n-y years ago on 7pi canvas using a chunky weight wool--- will have to keep me content and inspired until then!

Oh, and under the sofa?
Ms. Skeeter Mudhen, of course, keeping me company....


All about...

... the feltin' and the needle feltin' and the stitchin'.
What a lovely Sunday!!!
Lovely weather...
lovely music...

lovely colours...

weedy garden... who cares?

BTW, I have been given the go ahead to start chattin' about "book 2010". Later this week I'll start being less cryptic and more excited and sharing..... yippppeeeeeee!!


There will...

... be jam!
This year the strawberries are small and easily bruised but are very sweet and very juicy.
Every year I put up at least one batch of jam from strawberries we pick just down the road.
My go-to recipe is from a Donna Hay magazine--- Issue 7.

Strawberry Vanilla Jam
6 or so cups

3 lbs strawberries cleaned, hulled and halved
2 lbs sugar
3/4 c lime juice-- freshly squeezed
1 vanilla bean halved and scraped (I subsitute 1 tbs of a good quality Mexican vanilla extract when beans are not in my cupboard)

Combine strawberries, sugar, lime juice and vanilla bean and seeds in large saucepan and bring to a gentle boil.
if using vanilla extract do not add until jam has thickened.
Skim foam as needed.
Let bubble away until jam has thickened--- 25 to 35 minutes.
If using vanilla, stir it in now.

Ladle into jars and process as you would your favourite jam.



... and orange.
Today I marveled-- as usual-- at the combination....

Enjoy all the colours of your weekend!


Web Wandering Wednesday....

... has a little something for all the dog lovers out there!
Click on the picture... kick back... and enjoy!


A hint..

... a soupçon.
I have always loved that word....
soupçon.... a very small amount; a trace; a hint.
My first trip to Paris--- when I was 20--- included a must visit to Chanel on Place
Vendôme. I wondered, fondled and sniffed e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g in the luscious shop for what seemed like hours. At the very end of my swooning I settled on the purchase of one single item--- a blush. The iconic black box with softened corners and silvered linking 'C's' would be my proof it was not all a dream. The name of the shade.... soupçon!
But, I do digress...

soupçon pertains to what is now known as "Book 2010". I know I have said it before, but it is very hard not to share knitterly things that I am excited about without breaking the rule of not sharing knitterly things that I am excited about that have not been published!!!
This is all I dare to share.... at least you might get a smidge of the colours and snippet of the textures...



... Summer!!!

Well? Didn't spring just get away from me?!? Absolutely no excuse for my poor little blog to be neglected!! Time management... priorities... life "busys"... needed a break...
Anyway... I'm back now and will work hard at not falling off the blogging edge.
Over the next few weeks I'll get you up to wabi-sabi speed on my goings ons.
Until then, I must share one little event that had taken up some of the past 3 months...

My partner-- Terry Shewchuk-- and I have opened a gallery! We transformed the old summer kitchen of our big, ole' country home into a fabulous combination of "fibre + foto"!

You can keep up with this latest adventure at our Makers of Stuff blog.
More and more will be added to the gallery's collection as we continue exploring our respective craft and ready ourselves for the Prince Edward County Studio Tour in September.
More to come...



... Spring!!!

O.K... these blossoms were captured last year in Georgia... but they will be here soon!
I am dropping in quickly to announce the winner of my latest give-away.....
Once again, the stories shared were lovely, touching, warm, funny, weepy and above all... hopeful!!
I used the Truly Random Number Generator to select the winner.... and she is... Teresa, "The Treadler"! YIPPPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!
I've been very busy hitting the first deadline for my latest book but have come up for air and will be updating you on what I can.....
Have a F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S first weekend of Spring!!!

And now...

we do...

is wait...

Don't forget to enter my giveaway by clicking here!


What gives you hope...

... that it will soon be Spring?

Winter will not end here. I swear a record has been broken this season.... we have had over ten, dix, diez consecutive weeks with snow on the ground!!!
Most years it snows... then melts... then snows... then melts. This year? Arggghhhhhhhhhhh.

Just so you know, it is very Canadian to complain about the weather...

Anyhoo, to make life a little bit more bearable I am having another giveaway. I really enjoyed the first one and all the stories and memories of buttons.
This time I am asking you all a question....

What gives you hope that it will soon be Spring?

For me it is when the morning sun begins working her way through the kitchen door window sending strands of sunlight leading me to the coffee pot.
And, for you? Please share and keep it short... say, 25 words!
On March 20th--- the first day of Spring-- a winner will be randomly drawn!!!
Please make certain that I can contact you by email. Include a link to your blog or site or leave you email address with your comment!
Oh.... what will be the winnings?
Hmmmmmmm..... about 2 skeins of Knitpicks Shimmer Hand Dyed Lace Yarn in the very hopeful colourway.....
...Happy Dance!

ps--- we have another Kiva recipient, Maria! Thank you Ebay shoppers!!!



... popping in!
I have a deadline looming so I am doing all I can to avoid distractions by anything bright and shiny. But.....

Knitting Daily's Wednesday mailing included not only a free pattern from Simple Style for the beautiful Twisted-V Pullover designed by Alice Halbeisen....

but also the first photograph I have seen of the design I contributed to Ann Budd's latest production!
The Stay-Put Wrap is pretty close to being an instant gratification project. Knit on 10us/6mm needles in yummy Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes, it is a low stress, almost mindless knitting project that creates an "impact garment" that goes with jeans and a T--- my choice--- or that LBD.
Even though Amazon has April as the publishing date it has arrived wonderfully early and is available now!!!!
I am really pleased with how the final project looks in print. I appreciate the “serenity” of the model… ahhhhh... simple... style...


Two more...

... for Kiva!
Oikhol,from Tajikstan, will be using her loan to purchase farming tools and fertilizer. Her bio shares, "working in fields brings her a lot of satisfaction" Can't you tell by her smile?

In the Ukraine, Oksana has plans to open a forth vending stall at her local market. Her wares are animal feed and accessories! Now that's diversification!!!


Pretty Thursday...

... thing!
I found knitalatte on Etsy and just had to share.....


... on Ebay!!
If you have had the time to visit my Ebay sellers site you may have noted that I am investing 10% of the proceeds of each sale into Kiva-- loans that change lives. Well, thanks to some crazy shopping by some fabulous yarnies, Anacleta-- a 3o year old Guatemalan weaver and single mother of two-- is one step closer to having a better life.
Click on the picture to find out more...


This is not good....

... this site could be a giant time and money suck for me!!!

Spoonflower.... how did I ever not come across you until just last week!!!???!!!
Imagine... designing your own fabric lounging in the garden... sipping on rhubarb spritzers... doodling on a laptop... no fuss... no mess... I call that Nirvana and a dream of a summer!

Oh, here's a small glimpse of "the book" progress...
This week it is about loving the Granny Square...
and Frog Tree Alpaca...
but not at the same time.
Believe me, it pains me more than you can imagine not being able to show you all the stuff that is being swatched and stitched and charted and planned for "Book 2010".

If you don't know about Frog Tree... you should!
Not only do Tricia and Chet offer fantastic quality natural fiber yarns in beautiful colours at a reasonable cost--- they do it working with not-for-profit spinners in South America with "funds from our project used to support worthy educational causes".
This is the new direction in knitting that makes my heart sing...


Help me...

... help you... help me!

Spring cleaning has begun in my studio and I am being merciless!!!
Starting today I will be having all sorts of "treasures" to spark creativity available for purchase on Ebay.
Yarns, buttons, books, patterns, fabrics, findings.... gawd only knows what I will be digging up!!

If you visit my Ebay merchant area , mags-kandis-stash, you will find that I am starting with only a sampling of my "collection" of Mission Falls 1824 Wool. I'll be adding more and different items as I sift through the archaeological dig of a studio space I occupy...
Happy shopping and knitting!

And the winner is...

... labibliotecaria !
Thank you... thank you... thank you to all of you for leaving your comments for a chance to win some luscious buttons!!
It was lovelier than I anticipated reading the wonderful button reflections you had!! It all boiled down to buttons old and new bring us joy and so they should!

Happy Groundhog Day!

Gong Hay...

...Fat Choy!
I just came across these fabulous knitterly treats that are perfect for the upcoming Chinese New Year.
Indigo Muse created these gems and has the pattern available for free.
They are so quick and easy you can whip up a baker's dozen in no time while doing a wee bit of stash busting in the process.
I can't think of a better way to spend this very chilly Sunday afternoon....
And, don't forget your opportunity to acquire some lovely buttons by clicking here!


Change ...

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity.
The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill


One hundredth...

... blog post celebration!
I thought it would never be achieved! I am more of a maker and talker than a writer, so these posts have been a very good exercise for me.
I'll use this auspicious occasion to share something sad and something happy.
The something sad?
Today I said good bye to our Christmas tree...

I wait until the absolute last possible moment to remove the decorations and wind up the lights for another year. This year's tree-- the most fragrant of Nova Scotia Balsam Fir-- was set up on December 9th. She glowed in the sitting area off of the kitchen until this afternoon.
Skeeter, tree and me went for our traditional "long walk" into the woods...

The something happy?
I know at least a handful of you have been visiting my blog on a regular basis... so, to celebrate my 100th post I wish to gift you!!
I have a token of appreciation for one lucky person who visits...
eight beautiful buttons.

They are hand crafted in Nepal out of non-endangered water buffalo bone and have been dipped in henna for an antiqued cast. These will look fantastic on all sorts of projects.

Just leave a comment sharing-- in 10 words or less-- why you love buttons!!
On February 1st a lucky winner will be announced and the buttons will be sent on their way!
Make certain that I can contact you by email. Include a link to your blog or site or leave you email address with your comment!
Thank you for your kind words and encouragement!
Here's to the next 100...
The giveaway has now ended and we have a winner.
Thank you for all of your wonderful comments!!!


Have you tried...

... Elsebeth Lavold Silky Flammé ?
Oh my G-A-W-D!!
What a scrumptious combination of Peruvian wool, alpaca and silk.
So s-o-f-t and s-i-l-k-y. And, those luscious undulations of thick and thin? Simply divine!
The quick knit gauge--15 stitches and 22 rows on 6mm/10us-- whips up a fast and satisfying project. You really do not want to do much more than stocking stitch or garter stitch with this yarn. I would suggest letting the "fabric" be made simply with more focus paid on a unique shape or detail
I'm working on a design for "Book 2010"-- as it will be called ;-*-- using the colour Olive 007.
I'm thinking about adding some of these...
I will certainly miss the knitting of this project when it is done.
Note to self- work with this yarn again.