Saturday, July 29, 2017

Springtime in Ontario

(I wrote this in the spring of 2017. I think I forgot to add the pics, so here it is now July and I published it and now it is out of order.)

It's hard to believe I haven't made an entry since last October 2016.

Winter has come and gone. I can't say it was a very cold winter, it wasn't really and we managed to save money on natural gas for heating. We still have the snow tires on and I guess they can come off now until next year.

I have kept spinning and knitting right along. I've made a couple of sweaters this past winter-one for hubby and an Icelandic for myself, both of them a dark green. I bought some worsted in pink for a change and made a pullover in an Elizabeth Zimmerman design.

(insert 3 pics)

I entered the Alpaca Ontario fibre art competition, hasn't happened yet, but later in April. I spun two skeins for the competition: one is 100% alpaca; the other 70 % alpaca.

A few pairs of socks were made with more yet to do in both purchased pretty yarns and my own dyed skeins.

I've combed alpaca for a singles in a three ply yarn I'm making with one singles of Genopalette wool and one singles of N.Z.  merino wool.
I used a fibre reactive dye to dye a skein yesterday using a 2% dye stock solution at 1%DOS.
It was first dyed fuchsia and then brick. The spun yarn was twisted into a skein for dyeing, though for the first dye it undid itself.

It's a very warm pink.

Closer to Moving

I have six days left to pack some things. The goal tomorrow morning before I have any visitors is to finish up my studio. At that point I will have all the easy stuff packed up and all of the oddities will be left for the movers to pack. Things like large paintings, lights, strange weaving tools, long skinny tools.

Then I can pack a few more things like in the kitchen.

Finally the things that will come in the car with us. First on this list is everything needed for the doggies. Then the suitcase stuff. (I) Have to remember sheets, towels, jackets, etc. for all weather.
Maybe an umbrella. Snacks. Drinks. Doggie cookies.

I will be so glad when we are finally on the road.

But I have a little knitting project on the go to keep me on track-a farewell gift from a friend.

You can't see the colour very well-it's a blue green and it is so very soft. It's a mix of superwash merino wool and nylon.

A little knitting and some sleep.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

An Update on Move Preparations

I have arrived at a point in time that is five weeks away from our move to Prince Edward Island (PE).

When looking at the large picture of moving, it's easy right?

After all, all that needs to be done is put everything in a box or few, put in in a truck, drive, unload and that's it-or is it?

When you're a Virgo and your age is sixty three, that's not all there is to it. Oh no!! No! No! No!

To a Virgo that packing part is literally a pain in the derriere or neck!! It amounts to:

1. Sorting, finding out what is really important to me and can't live without.

2. Washing, dusting and generally getting things the way I want to see them at the new house when I place things again which includes a lot of laundry first.

3. Trips to the Goodwill type of stores in the areas to pass things on that are no longer being used and have a lot of life in them.

4. Calls to deal with disposal of other things, like paint, etc. and washers and dryers since the new house comes with the appliances.

5. Then finally real packing and boxing.

6. Questions frequently arise like how do you pack woodworking clamps that are large and heavy?

7. How to pack a lamp and lampshade?

8. How do seven spinning wheels get packed?

I think this is enough to drive any fibre loving spinning girl ccc...spinny.

So I put every event in my calendar and step by step, like everyday that passes us by, they each get dealt with and pass by until moving day arrives and is over and we are packed up in the car with our doggies and we are on our way.

That part can't happen soon enough. Believe me.

The other part of this-the unloading and moving in...well it should be a little easier-don't you think?

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!!