Life of a Yarny Update

I have almost finished year three of this grand experiment, also known as my show season. Life as a yarny is both really awesome and kind of terrifying!

I finished tallying my inventory and now I know I sold around 280 lbs of silk, 100 lbs of cotton and 80 lbs of Romanian hemp this year. It was interesting to see what sold and did not sell this year in my categories.

I have a huge backlog of pictures to post and many new ideas bursting outta my head now for the upcoming year. I bought acid and indigo dyes to experiment with. I have some yarn design ideas I really want to follow up on in the new year. I also plan to put together an email newsletter, but since I personally hate spam, its a slow process trying to balance relevancy and self advertising.

I finished this hand dyed silk scarf in Sept in time for the fashion show of the KW Knitter’s Guild Fair.

In Nov & Dec I am weaving up xmas gifts of tea towels and finishing up a knitted scarf.

Its snowing today and I kinda wish I did not have to leave the house!

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Yarn Dyeing Segue

Five shows in three months, oh my! I have many pictures now backing up in my camera. And instead of posting things in order, I’m going to jump around and show off my latest yarn!

I’ve tried out a number of mercerized cotton cone yarns, and then I found skeins of lace weight yarns in a bin at my suppliers. A happy occurrence at the Twist Festival, allowed me to provide indigo blanks to a girlfriend who gave me back reference colour samples for both the cotton and hemp. I really liked the way the mercerized cotton resisted taking in the dye. These are pictures from my first batch.

I started the first batch primarily dyeing in colours in thirds on the skeins.

I liken this dyeing very much to developing film. In some ways it completely reminds me of some really great times I had inĀ  the school film club, always wondering what the end product would be like!

The ombre worked so well, at the end of the first batch I made a few fully dyed skeins.

I have been dyeing up full colour skeins with as many of the dye colours I have on hand now. I want to see how they all look! To see the pooling interval, in the multicoloured skeins, I have begun knitting up a washcloth on 3.5 mm needles. There are a few intrepid knitters out there trying out patterns they are interested in with this lace yarn as well! I’m hoping to entice some crocheters to try out my new lace as well. I know interest in cotton lace will subside a bit through the winter, but I plan on making some kind of sweater for next summer now.


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Full up on yarn & fibres!

I made it to NJ and picked up Romanian hemp yarns. We discussed a few weaving sizes of natural 2 ply linen yarns this time around. I am looking forward to seeing the samples in the fall!

I am show ready with undyed natural hemp yarns from Romania and Lana Knits hemp yarns colours and overdyed colours. I have hemp and linen fibres for spinning and bamboo and ingeo rovings. On the environmental side, I have silk and cotton remnant (repurposed from various industrial manufacturing) yarns. I have a few pounds of merino pencil roving remnants, that were a fun find this year. In the last few years I have also tried out a lot of different yarns, those that have not worked out are in the clearance bucket.

My next show is the Twist Festival in St Andre Avellin, QC in August.

Can’t wait to see everyone that I travel to meet!

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Jaffo Port, Israel – June 8 – Part 1

On Sunday we headed to Tel Aviv to be tourists. We started our day touring the ancient port of Jaffo.

The view started in the parking lot with murals.

We are right by the water, and there were no seagulls! Not many birds at all, it was a bit odd. This raucous fellow was one of the only birds I got on camera.

It was interesting to walk along the docks.

At least there was this magnificent specimen!

One of the highly visible structures of this Port is the lighthouse.

Its like the Life of Brian come to life here. I keep thinking some old man or woman will throw open the shutters and say something incomprehensible!

Now it is time to climb.

On the way up there were a lot of interesting sites and doorways to see.

Its a lot of walking up very uneven stairs.

The walk to the top was totally worth the effort!

Church clock tower.

Next we explored the area around the top of Port Jaffo….

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The last part of the tour on June 7th

On the way back from the Kibbutzim we made a few stops. First a restaurant called Limozine. The food was incredible and the decor was extremely eclectic. The place was packed, so no chance to walk around and take pictures!


The view outside was spectacular.

Later that afternoon, we headed to another family house for a visit and a tour of the vista points where we could see the West Bank. This is the first point.

From this second point we could see the buildings of Tel Aviv in the distance (in the last 2 pics).

In the next part of our adventures we headed to explore an area that is 4000 years old!

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Israel 2014 – Kibbutz Yifat

We travelled to Kibbutz Yifat specifically for the archive records stored there. It was a very interesting place to walk around. This one is a larger community, population around 800.

Me and my Mom by the signs.

This Kibbutz was beautiful to walk around in, really lovely gardens.

With amusing statuary here & there.

I think at home its too prude for this adam & eve totem pole!

I bet birds would nest in these hidey holes.

These are the archives we consulted! Of course the archivist ended up being the most important part of the equation.

My mom has been searching for her birthplace for years. She even spoke to someone from this Kibbutz long distance last year with no results. This year, armed with 2 historically relevant pieces (a picture and a tree planted in birth honour document) we found an archivist to talk to face to face. After a very enthusiastic discussion, we searched for both my grandparents’ last names, and found their records and my Mom’s birth records in a hand written book from the time.

It was fun to go find the spot of the original photo. Many physical changes have occurred in the area since the original photo was taken, but we think we got the same roofline as the original photo.

We continued to walk around the grounds in our tour. I got to take many pictures of plants I have no names for on this trip!

Wheelbarrow art.

Post modern art!

And some beautiful nature.

A grapefruit! Doesn’t quite look like the season around here though.

Truly awesome pomegranate tree. I have only ever seen the fruit before this!

A wonderful picture of how the flower becomes the fruit.

I never knew that it goes from red to green to red again!



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Israel 2014 – We Started With A Visit to Kibutzim

Just a small off topic note: I must wrap yarns from cones into skeins over the next 4 months of the show season! Its going to severely affect my crafting time, but I have plenty of travel photos to post in the next few months.

We have both lived in co-ops, so this is pretty special for us. But even more special for my mom, who has been searching for her birthplace for a few years now.

We headed out towards Afula, and started with a visit to friends in Kibbutz David, where the tour started.

The Kibbutzim are in decline as completely agrarian entities. We understand that they survive in the present using other skills than farming. This first one, Kibbutz David, does sheet metal work primarily for income. I think the population of this Kibbutz is around 200. Of the two we visited, this one felt more empty, but part of that was because we were visiting on Saturday, when people are visiting families.

They also rent bicycles!

I want a bar like this in my backyard!

Dates, but not human edible.

To the left is a school behind the trees, with a bus stop. What a view you get while waiting for the bus.

Work building (with a cool mural on it) and silo.

More sights around the Kibbutz. I found loads of old farm equipment monuments.

And some army trucks.

When we got back to the hotel we spotted something pretty funny, especially when there are two embassies for neighbours on the street.

Next we headed to another Kibbutz to consult the archives….

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