Summer adventures

Where to start…….many exciting things have been happening.
The boys got ducks. They’ve wanted ducks so much that they’ve been pretending the hens are ducks.


They’re Magpie ducks, a rare breed. We’re hoping at least one is a girl. If they were all girls, that would also be fine as they are reportedly great egg layers.

I’ve been swatching my hemp for a bast fibre sampler smock.


And, perhaps most exciting for me, I’ve had an article published in Ply Magazine


Look at that amazing list of contributors, and me! I’m still working my head around it all.


I’d like to celebrate with a giveaway of a recent favorite skein of handspun. It’s 170 yards of mixed up fun……merino, mohair, cashmere, several types of silk etc.


I know some folks aren’t knitters……if you’re local or visiting the island this summer, I’d happily include a knitting lesson. Otherwise, if you’re a patient non-knitter, I will knit it into a hat or cowl.

Leave me a comment to enter. I’d love to hear what excitement summer is bringing you. If you follow, leave a second comment telling me how and it will double your luck. I’ll draw a winner in a few weeks.

(one of my secret weaknesses is a love of random drawings and contests)

Dishcloth Story

Dishcloths are the the best summer family playground knitting. I discovered this last summer and now travel with a small stock of cheery colors since the only cotton yarn I could find within walking distance last holiday was in x-mas colors. (and the red bleeds in the sink!).

The benefits of the dishcloth are its pocket sized appeal, simplicity, and indestructible nature. You pause before you toss your alpaca lacework in the wood chips and risk a miss catching the boy who suddenly leaps off the top of the rock. Dishcloths fulfill my fidgety fingers without resulting in more skinned knees. You can also leave them with your host as a thank you, if your home drawer is well supplied.

They’re also a perfect practice piece when you meet young knitters.

Dishcloth with the help of V. who practiced her purling!


Honeysuckle is the true start of summer


When we walk in the back gate, the smell is divine. Summer is well and truly here.

My lovely new wheel has made it to the island. It has been identified as a Ferdinand Vezina built in 1877, an even hundred years older than I. The flyer is out for repairs so I have to wait to take her for a spin.


I will be knitting to stay patient. I enjoy spinning so much the yarn starts to pile up. I’m dreaming up a vest for me.


Chickens on the Porch


If they weren’t so fun to watch……..when we leave the doors open in the nice weather, they pop inside to see what lunch the boys have dropped on the floor. Soon, they’ll be begging like puppies.

In other news, the sheep have been sheared……more wool to play with.
I’ve had my first success in spinning cotton.


And I’m picking up an antique Canadian spinning wheel on Monday.

Abundant Spring


This is a wonderful new thing in my life. It’s been perfect for the quiet moments that keep me steady amongst serious potato planting, a family trip, birthdays (boys and me), sheep shearing day, many wonderful cottage guests and all those other things that come with spring in the Gulf islands.

It came to me from Ashli to whom I feel immensely grateful. I love the rhythm of this wheel.

This wheel is a double drive built by a man who built wheels of this type in Seattle in the seventies/eighties. This is all I know of its history and maker. It’s lovely wood, I wish I knew what type. The bobbins have a center core of a different type of wood, something very hard

Yes, this is my third spinning wheel. I’m delighted by how different each is and how much I’m learning about different systems and setups. And they each have their specialties with very little overlap between them. I’m the daughter of a man who had at least thirty different sizes and shapes of hammer.



This is the first yarn of the new wheel.


It may look a bit like garden twine but I’m the culprit there. The wheel has a much better idea of how to do this than I do.


Delight in the form of a Flax Wheel


Isn’t this a lovely wheel that has come here to live? I’m learning so much as I clean and oil and start to spin. In free moments, I search for who and what. This shape seems to appear in both Normandy and Tyrollean wheels. From the emphasis on ornamentation combined with minimal wear, I suspect she is an antique parlor wheel from a middle class family. I would love to hear her story.

She is a bobbin lead and really does seem to be set up solely for flax (or other bast fibres such as the hemp I’m currently spinning). I don’t quite know what to do with a distaff yet and I don’t think it’s complete. Like many things……this is all a work in progress.


Louet Linens

I’ve been doing some sample knitting for Louet, which I was slightly sad to post back to them. Must knit one for myself….. I loved the crisp hand of the linen and the perfect blue of the shawl. It brought me dreams of beach days and garden parties as I knit through snowy afternoons.


The pattern, Susanna IC’s Blaeberry knit in Caribbean Blue.

I also knit a Gunnison sample for their spring collection in Soft Coral. Anne Podlesak’s pattern is simple and well written with perfect details.