Saturday, June 3, 2017

Endings and a New Place in Time

My husband and I returned a few days ago from a trip to maritime Canada; more precisely eastern PEI. We spent a few days touring the eastern section of the island, spent some time with friends then went to visit family in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

We flew in to Charlottetown airport in the early evening and landed in what seemed to us to be gale force winds and very cool weather. The day before it went up to 30C, but this day was around 7C or 8C. It was cloudy, cool, but we were warmly greeted by our friends who had arrived to the island a couple years earlier.

After a brief tour of Charlottetown, we stopped at one of their favourite places for the inevitable fish and chips. How could we resist that? Not possible. Lovely little restaurant with a lovely tin ceiling and lots of ambience and a heat pump I noticed,

Then we packed ourselves up and left for the beautiful countryside ride to their new home in the country on 42 or 49 acres of beautiful land. It's a modernized century farm house with an addition. Beautiful, bright and decorated just lovely.

Since my friend is a weaver and a spinner and her husband needed a workshop, they have added a rather large addition to the property in the form of workshop on lower level and weaving studio on the top level - both very spacious and well lit. It is heated and connected to the house so they don't have to face the winter weather.

The farm is home to a draft horse, alpaca, lama and a few chickens. It is rolling hills and includes a woodlot and a stream running through.

A truly wonderful place.

We rented a car, because we truly value our independence and sought about looking at the island properties we had scouted out before we left Ontario. We had that list and a list our friends put together with information from people they know in the area.

Our goal was to find a little piece of land suitable for the dogs where they would not disturb any neighbours and a place without neighbours too close that would infringe on our space. We didn't care about an ocean view, much preferring the rural setting with the quilted farm scenes and planted fields. I was willing to downsize, but I still needed studio space and hubby still needed a sizable workshop.

We looked at a 16 acres place on Fort Augustus. With some work it would be an absolutely beautiful property and it would be terrific for the dogs, but a little too roughly built, though we did like the style a lot.
The next one on the realtor list was another century house, modernized recently with a gorgeous property. Again it needed a lot of yard clean up, but it was a gorgeous property with lots of acreage, a woodlot and a really nice location. At our age, the land cleanup was undesirable.
We went on to the one we bought and were really impressed with every aspect of it. First impressions told us that this family house had been well loved and impeccably maintained. It was a larger house than we wanted, but we both like space and I could have my weaving looms in the house along with all of my spinning wheels, The bedrooms are all a very fair size for our family guests that we expect to visit us in the future. The kitchen is not modernized with fancy cupboards, but solid and well built. I can live with that. The old fashioned island basement is more than adequate. It shows a foundation solid as a rock. If we go up to the second floor I'm sure we could see the water from the house. Actually it is closer to the shore than I would have liked, but I think it will be okay. Did I say how big the barn is? It is humongous!! The two adjoining workshops are at one end of the barn and the rest is storage. The metal roof should last much longer than we will live.

We saw one more house near Belfast. Lovely land, private, good location, and 'very pretty'. To be honest, it would have been fine, but I call it 'cosmetically pretty'. It was decorated very nicely and the location and land were great, but when I left this place I had one more in my mind that I wanted to see on Bangor Rd.

As Brad Oliver, our realtor agent, was returning with us to his office to make an appointment to see the next house on the list I knew which house was meant for us. Ten minutes later, from the back seat of the truck, I announced it would not be necessary to see anymore properties. The house for us was waiting on Cape Bear Rd. We were ready to make an offer.

So that is what we did. Offered, counteroffered, accepted and now we are at home packing up and getting ready to move.

Wednesday of next week we will decide on the actual date the moving company will come in and pack us up.

So after allowing ten days for house hunting, it was accomplished in four days. I connected with my brother and his wife in Lunenburg, NS and off we went for a visit til we had to catch our flight back in Charlottetown to ON.

My brother and his wife built a house in Lunenburg. I don't use 'built' loosely as Nancy designed the house and my brother literally built it. It is a very large house with all infloor heating and everything anyone could want in a home and more, so much more. It is built like a fortress and the landscaping is lovely with three ponds, but still maintains a little of the wild look. Bordering their house is a farm with sheep and border collies. What could be more perfect? We had a wonderful visit and then left May 30/17 for our flight home.

NS is really very beautiful and PEI is the perfect place for us.

We are both looking forward with great anticipation to our new life in our final years to an island filled with both farmers and artisans.


The artist living within me has returned!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

BFL Sock Yarn Dye

Dye Results for Blue-Faced Leicester/nylon (BFL) sock yarn purchased from The Black Lamb at the Woodstock Fleece Festival 2016. Colour of the undyed wool was off white or ivory coloured.

5 skeins of BFL sock yarn
1 skein is 115 g

Dye: Leftover acid dyes, various hues and depth of shade (DOS)
1 T citric acid in a pail of water

Method:
Tied figure eight ties to secure each skein in several places.
Placed in pail of warm water with 1 tsp TNA (like Synthrapol) for one hour.
Rinsed in warm water.
Soaked skeins in pail of water containing 1 T citric acid for 45 minutes. (Doesn't have to be this long, but I was busy. 15-20 minutes would be long enough.)
Squeezed water out of each one until I felt they were just wet enough.

Placed on a long piece of plastic wrap to be dyed so that it could be wrapped easily in plastic for setting the dyes.

I used the acid/water mix for diluting some of the dyes. Dyes were applied to skeins by either dipping parts of or whole skein or by syringe in different patterns.

I checked the underside of each skein to make sure there was dye all over the wool. When I was satisfied with the colours, I dabbed up any excess dye, then I wrapped each skein in the plastic it was laid on.

A couple of the skeins I microwaved to set the dye by microwaving for 2 minutes, with a few seconds break between, then microwaving in the same manner 2 more times. I let the skeins cool in the sink undisturbed.

The other skeins I wrapped and placed in a steamer for 45 minutes. I let the skeins cool completely before I washed them with a couple of drops of Dawn detergent. I rinsed the skeins in slightly warm water. No colour came out of any of the five skeins.

I'm pleased with the results.

Turquoise/brown

Shades and tints of turquoise and blue

Turquoise with some red

Yellow with black and a few orange spots

Lighter turquoise, blue, yellow and a little red

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Spinning for Spinzilla 2016

Spinzilla 2016 was running from Oct 3-9, 2016. It is a worldwide event where teams and rogue spinners compete to see who can spin the most yarn in a week.

From the Spinzilla page: 5,507,622 yards of yarn were spun this year. More results can be found on the official results page of Spinzilla.