Saturday, December 29, 2007

Okay so I promise I'll try better

I really failed miserably in keeping my blog up to date in the last while. I'm full of New Year zeal so hopefully there will be an improvement. (It's not even New Year and I'm already posting so that must be good).

Although my posting has been so lax, it doesn't mean that nothing is happening around here. It has been a busy few months. I'll save all the news for future posting fodder. In the meantime here is a pic of the beautiful wild west coast of Vancouver Island. We went camping over Christmas. Great fun !

Can you believe people are mad enough to hang out on a surf board in the ocean on December 26th ? We didn't partake ourselves ! Although this picture looks idyllic, it doesn't convey the 1 deg. temperature and the snow.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Birthday party

We had a great camping trip for Simon's birthday. We went up to Lois Lake last Sunday night. We wanted to check out the new camp spots at the start of the canoe route. They have done a great job of creating some camp sites up above what essentially is the car park, but where people have camped up to now. We stayed down by the water but it's nice to know there are more private camp sites when it gets busier in the summer.

.....Oh wait ! this is summer.

Here is a shot of the fabulous birthday feast. Home made chili and rice, and of course a bottle of sparkling wine to toast the birthday boy.

The dogs really enjoyed the camping trip too. Here's Tika relaxing by the lake. As you can see it was kind of cloudy but it only rained a very short time so for that we were very thankful.

The week has passed by happily and we're getting ready for the market this weekend. Fern and I have been busy getting some more yarn ready to take to the market on Sunday. ( to check out some of our reclaimed yarns)Here's an obligitary fibre shot of the yarns drying on the washing line on this breezy Friday.

......and a close up just so you can see how pretty they are.

So that's all for now.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Summer Solstice

I always feel Summer Solstice should not pass without acknowledgement of some sort. When I was younger (quite a bit younger, actually !), I went to the Stonehenge festival a few times. An eye opening experience, I must say. Whilst the anarchical aspect of the festival was slightly scary, the highlight for me was the sun rising over Stonehenge on Soltstice morning and Druids would come from all over the UK to mark the occasion. It was always so interesting to see them dressed in Druid garb, (long white robes etc), piling off the numerous motor coaches that brought them to the site.... of course that was in the days that you could actually go into the monument and even TOUCH the stones. Not anymore I fear.

Anyway to mark Summer Solstice here at Periwinkle, Simon and I had an impromptu "campfire" in the backyard and roasted weiners !! Very fun and luckily we were partyed out by the time it started to pour with rain.

But then we saw this......

A Double Solstice Rainbow. How special is that ?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lovely day in the neighbourhood

It started out a bit cloudy and cool but the sun came out and it really is nice out. Here's one of the visitors we had at Periwinkle today.

It's a Western Tiger Swallowtail. If you want to know more about it, this site describes it well.

He, or she maybe (?) carefully circumnavigated the red hot pokers while I took a few pictures.

Another visitor today was Katrina with some of her Romney fleeces. This is what happened to some of it when it came out of the dyepot.

Sorry about the rather distracting yellow dairyland box in the top right corner, (if you didn't notice it before you will now !!). I thought about doing something creative in Photoshop with it but as you can see, the thought didn't last long.

Anyway, here is the lovely coloured fleece we ended up with today. In the middle, at the top is Katrina's gorgeous silver grey fleece that is now this fabulous blue. In the same pot we put in some white fleece. In the other pot we threw in some other Romney fleece that is now various shades of red.

Lots of fun ! Too bad you couldn't make it Fern, but I can see lots more fibre colouring in the future for us !

Better go, Tika is on her way back from the vet, (not on her own of course, Simon has driven her in the van, and Tia went along for the ride to support her sister), so I should go and see how that visit went.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Batty about batts

I've been a bad blogger lately, despite the fact there's lots going on I could blog about...... but then I guess that's why ! I've been too busy to blog.

Here are some batts that I carded recently. Simon brought the drum carder into the living room so now I have the full complement of fibre machines cluttering up the place. It does make it more likely that I use it though, so this is the result.

The violet batts are some dark and white romney fleece that I threw in a violet dyepot as locks. The dark jewel toned one is also some romney fleece that I dyed with dark colours (for a change, I have to force myself once in a while !) I do like it though, and I'm looking forward to spinning it up. The two pink ones are Babydoll fleece in my more usual colours. I blended some dark brown Babydoll with the pinks on some of it.

This is another of the pink batts that I spun up. Although the spinning is not the best in evenness etc I do like the look of it.

And here it is, plyed with some mohairy stuff that has a slight shimmer to it. I'm still working on improving the plying but now I think I'm doing better as I have a new "Lazy Fran" than Simon and I made. It works great ! I'll post a picture of it another time.

I'm planning on making some short gauntlet type gloves with it. Katrina has pictures of hers, here.. She also made a pair for Julie, our Open Air Market Co-Ordinator with some more of her handpun yarn. They look really nice too and are warm and practical at the chilly Exhibition Park grounds where the market is held, so Julie will get lots of use from them !

Anyway that's about it for now. I should go and plant the peppers that I got at the Market on Sunday.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Highways and Byways

I love walking along our country lane. We live on the edge of a forest and there are always interesting plants that grow on the side of the road. Here are just a few of them I spotted today as I took the dogs for a walk.

This is wild orange honeysuckle.(Lonicera ciliosa for the botanists !)

And here is a pretty wild rose. Possibly called a Nootka rose too. I'm not sure of the latin name for it.

And hiding in the shade, these little red columbines. (Aquilegia Truncata)

It's really a very nice day on the coast. Warm and sunny with a light westerly breeze. I'm going to spend some time outside.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Shearing the shepherd

I recently went for a hair cut and was able to donate 12 inches of my hair to a program that uses the hair for cancer patients.

Here is a bad picture of what it looked like beforehand. Thank goodness I can crop most of the messy room out,(but not all, you'll notice !)

And here's what it looked like after Suzy at Eclips in Powell River had finished.

You can find out more about how to donate hair here,,3182,3172_14519_84874484_langId-en,00.html.

I'm having a busy week, with Simon away, just caring for the critters takes up a lot of my time.

......Talking of critters, here are some recent visitors to the Powell River Museum, where I work part time.

They are very cheeky and take a daily tour of the neighbourhood. They enjoyed the tulips at the museum recently as well as helping themselves to peoples' gardens !

If you are interested in finding out more about Powell River Museum, you can click on this link.

so that's it for today, I'm off to get some chores done.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Shearing Day one of the highlights around here. It's the day that Tom, our fantastic shearer comes over from Vancouver Island and turns our sheep into baldies. I had aspirations of being a sheep shearer at one time. After working with Jennifer up at Jay Springs Ranch in Kamloops, BC., and then a grueling, (at least for me !), weekend course in Edmonton put on by the Woolgrowers, I decided a career in sheep shearing was not for me ! I have a lot of respect and admiration for Tom, who makes it look SO easy, when I know it really isn't. I'm happy to watch a master at work.

Here he is, working on Cashew, our Babydoll/Romney cross.

And this is what we're left with.

Marmite looks like she's wondering where her jacket went.

And here's one of the fleeces laid out.

When Tom left I skirted all the fleeces and packed them up into coffee sacks until I get to processing them. I'm still working on last year's !!

All in all a very good day.

I found this quote relating to sheep shearing

Friday, May 11, 2007

Feeling Blue

.............That's how I've been feeling the last couple of days since Simon left for the UK yesterday.
Added to that none of the animals have co-operated with me today. All the sheep escaped and ran amock through the yard. The rams too, so that was tricky to get them back in with out being butted by the butthead Womble. The dogs were in funny moods too and we had an unsuccessful walk, ending up iwith one going one way and one the other and me being mad because they wouldn't listen to me. Grrrrrr........

Nothing like some retail therapy to help rise above the doldrums !

Here's a pic of the dyes that I ordered from

I can't believe they arrived so quickly. I ordered them Tuesday and they were here yesterday, (Thursday). How speedy is that !

I can't wait to try them out. My friend Fern and I are going to do some yarn dying for our recycled yarn business. Check it out here, We have some great yarns at great prices.

To continue the blue theme, here is a pic of the finished basket I made for my Mum. I sent it to the UK with Simon. I also sent some of Natalie's soaps for both of our Mums.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Dyed in the wool

Yesterday I got to play hooky from the open air market and went to a dyeing workshop with our local fibre arts group. What a great day !
We used Ciba dyes.

Here is some of the yarn we used in the dyepot. We turned the centre pull balls over and used a different colour for a variegated effect.

Here is the yarn I brought home.

The colours are all really bright and lovely. My favourite, though, is the darker one here. I couldn't make those colours again I don't think. We dropped the dyes onto the skeins of yarn in the dyepot which gave a more diffuse effect because it cooked on the stove top and the colours mixed together.

I'm looking forward to making something with the pretty yarns I brought home.

At the moment I am making a little basket for my Mum with this skein of hand spun (Cashew, our Babydoll/Romney cross), dyed with food colouring as a batt then spun up to get more heathery shades. Hopefully, I will post a pic in the near future when it's finished !

Incidentally, this is the definition I found, when I looked up this well known phrase.
adj : dyed before being spun or woven into cloth.
Well, I guess that makes sense !

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Hey I'm a blogger

Well, this is my first blog post. I was inspired to do this by my friend Katrina, over at She writes a very interesting blog and has a pretty turn of phrase, (as well as lots of colourful fibre shots). I don't pretend that life at Periwinkle is always exciting but hopefully I can post some pictures and write some snippets that someone on the planet might find remotely entertaining.
So here's a lamb pic for today. This is Cicely.As you can see life at Periwinkle is pretty relaxing.