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The Adventures of two Fibre Artists.



Contributing Artists

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weekend Knitting Retreat

This weekend I was truly blessed to spend a couple of days at our second annual knitting retreat, held at Saints Mary and Martha Orthodox Monastery. While initially designated a "knitting" retreat, spinning, weaving, crochet and other fibre activities emerge as well.

The nuns of Saints Mary and Martha are wonderful hosts, not to mention, cooks, who worked very hard to make us comfortable. I am sure I was not the only one there that appreciated having my needs met instead of busying myself meeting my family's needs.
What better way to really relax than sharing knitting tips, spinning and weaving demonstrations and more importantly, prayer.

While I have quite a few years experience in knitting there is always something to learn. This weekend I was shown a different knitting technique. Our Orthodox Christian parish includes a wonderful Eastern European community and I discovered, even though I am a continental knitter that they seemed to be knitting a little different, what I would consider backwards. That is they were working on the backside of their needles and stitches rather than in the front. I found it a little more difficult, having to look behind the needle to get to the stitch, but the result is the same. I guess it is a case of what you are used to rather than one being better than the other. It is always pretty cool discovering pieces of different cultures through fibre arts.

Sharing time, knowledge and experience in anything is a wonderful gift for all concerned. I bet if more people would gather together to share creativity, like fibre arts, they too would benefit from the peace and relaxation that surrounds these activities. We should all "give fleece a chance"!!!

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Projects Lost, Another Started

As I mentioned in the previous post our new furbaby, Onida, had tried her hand/teeth at knitting awhile back, resulting in me loosing more than one knitting project, including the Azalea bed jacket as well as a knitted cross sample that I had intended to display on the front of a card, both of which I ended up having to rip out. I am not sure when or if I will re-attempt these projects but in the meantime I have decided to start, in their stead, an afghan (the Tree of Life ) that I found on the Mary Maxim site that they were offering as one of their free patterns.

Recently, while inventorying my stash I found about 10 skeins of Superwash Bamboo (the light green on the right shown with merino lace also available at Elann) I purchased some time back from Elann. At the time they were running a sale and I was able to pay next to nothing for this number of skeins, but even when not on sale they are priced very reasonable.

I am not real sure what I had in mind when I purchased this many skeins originally but it will be perfect for this project and while I am a little apprehensive, starting a project this size with all the others I currently have in progress I feel confident that with spring on it's way, it is in the 70's today, I should have plenty of time to finish this afghan before I have any real need for it next winter.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Knitting in Tandem

Our new furbaby, Onida, had made several contributions to my "headcovering" project that resulted in loosing approximately 10 rows...twice. There is nothing I enjoy more than trying to put lacework back on the needles after having to rip rows out. Finally the third time I caught her working on it I just couldn't find the energy to rip enough rows out to attempt to get it back on the needles, instead, out of frustration, I chose to tear the whole project out, set it and all my other knitting projects aside.....up high, until I could help her understand that my knitting basket is not her toy box and dogs just don't have the facility for knitting. I could hardly blame her, she is just a puppy, but happily she learns quickly and it really did not take too long for her to recognize what is hers and what should be left alone. Now that I am able to set my knitting and other work down, without fear of finding it strung out all over the floor, I am enjoying my fibre activities once again.

I have chosen, long ago, to look for the good in everything, even the not so pleasant experiences can be turned to something positive, in most cases, if nothing else a lesson learned is better than nothing. In this case, while I was waiting to go back to my knitting I came across a free pattern online, Plymouth Yarns' Wedding Shawl. As soon as I saw it I thought of my friend. The fern pattern that borders the shawl, reminds me of her love for plants and the more structured lace pattern in the centre reminds me of her reserved nature, so I took advantage of having to tear the old project completely out to replace that pattern with one that I feel suits her batter. I am modifying it a bit to size down from a shawl to a headcovering and am having a lot more fun knitting this one than the previous one, I imagine due in large part to the fact that now all conditions are now just right.

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