Monday, November 26, 2012

Grey Cup weekend

I'll state it right away, I'm not a football fan!
hubby's cousins have been planning a reunion for a long time and they're all going to the Grey Cup, a boy's weekend.
This year, the game is in Toronto. 
So this means a weekend with the house all to myself, my own schedule, the remote control and the meal planning all left up to me!
So I do declare to love the Grey Cup weekend!
On the knitting list, I'm working on a scarf.

Well, seems that I've gone over the limit for photos with Blogger...I need to look into this before I can blog again. I'm not too interested in paying a monthly fee.
Be back when I find a solution!

Monday, November 19, 2012


I'm back from a busy weekend!
The 2-day craft show in Sturgeon Falls was crazy busy. It was great to talk to so many people, people I went to high school with, neighbors of my parents, relatives and friends from the past.
I brought a lot less home than what I left with which is always a wonderful feeling.
My wonderful mother helped me for the whole weekend, it was so much fun to have a partner with me.
The market for alpaca products is still very new in Canada and many don't yet know about the wonderful quality of the yarn or fibre produced by these animals.
Five times warmer than sheep's wool is an important feature in northern climates. Hypoallergenic is also an important bonus in this day and age where so many people have sensitivities and allergies of all kind. And the softness of the yarn will win anyone over.
I met one young woman that told me her hubby wears his alpaca socks all year long on the farm, even in the hot summers. Another talked about never having cold feet on the long hours spent ice fishing on the lake since she wears her alpaca socks. Others had purchased them for a bed ridden relative that was always cold and were looking for another pair.
Great feedback from satisfied customers is always good!
Even though the alpaca products play a large part of what keeps me busy now, I still love to make soap...guess I always will.
I made some gift-ready soap bags this year.
Perfect for teachers, hostesses, friends or a Kris Kringle gift.
My aunt had a table across from me selling her fudge made from a long time family recipe. My grandmother was well known for her sucre à la crème as we call it in french. (It translates to creamed sugar and believe me you'll feel the sugar high with just a small taste of it.) Memère used to make sure there was lot's of it on the table at all times and every wedding had sucre à la crème at each place setting for the guests. Now, my aunt is keeping the tradition going for others to enjoy.
This is not a chocolate fudge, although she had some of that too. It's a butter, cream and sugar treat.
I bet you could not just eat one! Mmmmmmmm!
Next to me was a talented young woman selling super beautiful mittens made from colourful felted wool sweaters. Such an eco-friendly idea.
The name of her business is Northern Smittens, what a great name!
Her new Etsy shop can be seen here! Let her know if you want anything and Josée will be very happy to ship it to you.
(picture used with permission from Josée)
Well, seems the week will be busy, I have a few orders to fill and then I'll get ready for the next show on Dec 2nd.
Enjoy your week!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Craft show season

Craft show season is here!
I'm participating in two shows this year.
I'll be heading to Sturgeon Falls for a 2 day show on November 17-18.
Then the Witty artisan show here in North Bay at the Portage Hotel on Dec 2nd.

I needed a sign to help people identify my alpaca products when they walk into my booth or come up to my table. Since we have not yet decided on a logo for our farm, I used a favorite picture of Alicia taken earlier this fall and had a 20 x 24 poster made from it.
It turned out pretty good.
I'm happy with it.

After several weeks of not touching my dye pots. I spent several days concocting brighter colours and it all started with the red I spoke about here.
And things got crazy after that!
What fun I had!

This is all LACE weight merino which I had not had for some time. They are mostly semi-solids and would look wonderful knitted up with beads...what do you think?
There are some wonderful shawls out there.
It will be available in my LYS and Etsy in the next few days.

Part of my 2012 alpaca fleece harvest is back from the mill as well.
I have wonderful fiber and yarns to get ready!
No time to waste, off I go to play some more!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

By golly, I think I've got it!

Creating the perfect red in my yarns has eluded me completely.
Yarns ended up being too pink or too orange, too light or too dark.
But since red is one of my favorite colours, I kept on trying and last night, the stars lined up just right! The perfect red, or pretty close to it appeared in the dye pot. It's a bright, happy poppy kind of red. I can't wait for the yarn to be dry to I can really see it. This is a lace weight merino yarn.
Do you know Susan B Anderson, the author of numerous knitting books?
I enjoy reading her blog. She's a positive, outgoing, motivated person. From her blog posts you can see that family is number one and that she's passionnate of her knitting. My kind of person!
Her baby hats are so cute!
Susan has a giveaway going on for two Winter Bliss cowl patterns. Get your comment in for a chance to win!

Now back to the dye pots and more poppy red, this time I'm dyeing some fingerweight yarn for MOI! I have a cardigan in mind and I've been dreaming about it since last night! Wonder if I could have it done for Christmas? A girl can dream ya know!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Winter Bliss!

You must think What does she mean...Winter Bliss?? at this time of the year.
Let me explain.
It's no secret, that my favorite time of the year is the winter...the great northern winter with lots and lots of snow and just cold enough to put on all those cozy knits I work on all year.
Well, this time I say Winter Bliss for a different reason. I've ventured out to new pastures!
Finding myself with loads of bulky hand spun yarns this summer, I knew I had better start knitting this stuff before I ran out of bins to store it. Not finding a cowl pattern that I liked, I experimented with a simple design of a very comfortable and cozy cowl for the bulky handspun yarn I kept spinning.
With a bit of encouragement, I've decided to publish this pattern on Ravelry under the name of
Winter Bliss Cowl!
Now you know!
Curious to see what it looks like?
It's knitted sideways and has a back seam. Then folded over, it offers great protection from the winter wind and cold. The back of the cowl is narrow in order to reduce unnecessary bulk.

I had the pattern tested on Ravelry by some great knitters and they offered wonderful ideas and suggestions to make the pattern more accessible to the beginner knitter and a better knit for all.

Lot's of Winter Bliss cowl projects are already posted here.

One knitter even showed us how to wear this cowl as a hat. See here.
I thought this was such a cool idea!

If it's cold enough in your neck of the woods, you might want to make one for yourself sooner than later!
The cowl can be knitted in approx. 3 hours. Making one in an evening is possible.
You could even cross out a few names on your Christmas list.


And I leave you with a picture of Alicia, the most photogenic alpaca we have. She just loves the camera!