Getting to Know You

Morning Sunrise

I’m in my new apartment and it is delightful. I’ve been spending the past two weeks getting sorted and organized in the new place.

I’m right across the road from Bass Rock, a park in Bracebridge right on the Muskoka River.

Bass Rock

Apparently the swimming is really good, but I haven’t been in yet.

Muskoka River

Also, the high water from our spring flooding is still evident in the really high flow of the river.

Not only have I been getting familiar with my new apartment (pics to come once the couch arrives) and neighborhood, I’ve also been getting comfortable with my new spinning wheel.

Claudia, my Ladybug, has been an absolute dream to spin on.  It’s like there was no learning curve to get the yarn I wanted from it, and in fact I have spun up two yarns in the past week.

Left: 2ply semi-woolen Aran weight - Shetland - dyeing by Northbound Knitting, color Pablo Honey. Right: 2 ply semi-worsted sport weight - blended batt of merino, BFL, bamboo, and angelina - dyeing by Bohoknitterchic.

Left: 2ply semi-woolen Aran weight – Shetland – dyeing by Northbound Knitting, color Pablo Honey. Right: 2 ply semi-worsted sport weight – blended batt of merino, BFL, bamboo, and angelina – dyeing by Bohoknitterchic.

The yarns turned out just the way I wanted them too and I’m really excited to actually make them into something. Because they have such similar undertone colors, and totally opposite textures, that they would make for a really interesting woven scarf. I’m not sure who wants to be the warp and who wants to be the weft, but they go together nicely.

My Ashford wheel has found her way to her new home.  One of the women in the Trillium Guild was looking for a more modern wheel to spin on because her heritage wheel is a little fragile.

So I’m getting settled in to my new spot and I’m enjoying the sound of spring peepers and my little deck from which I can see glimpses of the river and I can spend the evening reading or knitting and enjoying the wonder that is summer in Ontario.

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CanCon: Yarn Edition

Hey SweetGeorgia, your yarns are always so wonderfully saturated.

For anyone who has lived in Canada, you are familiar with the concept of CanCon.  For those of you who haven’t spent much time in the True North, might not know that all our radio and television stations must play a designated amout of work by a Canadian each day (the percentages are dependent on location and type of stuff the broadcast).

Based on very cursory internet research (and by that I mean Wikipedia) it seems this number can range from 25% up to 40% of content on radio and 60% on television (although news shows count so most primetime is American shows).  On the radio the CanCon is hardly noticeable we have so much great Canadian music, and we send all the annoying ones to the US (you can thank us later for Celine Dion, Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, and Justin Bieber), on TV it can be a bit more painful although recently CBC really has been bringing up the average with Little Mosque on the Prairie, Being Erica and Republic of Doyle (which just got a 4th season pickup, which is awesome).

What does this have to do with yarn?

Hello Sweetie! Gotta love the indigodragonfly yarn colors and her great names.

We have so many amazing Canadian yarn dyers, both indie and artisnal, that going forward (and this has been in place for most of 2012 already) I want my stash to be CanCon-ed.  I want to make sure that I am supporting the amazingly diverse range of dyers and fiber producers here in Canada. Between Handmaiden/Fleece Artist in Nova Scotia to Sweet Georgia in Vancouver and in between Tanis in Montreal, Kim in Haliburton, Emily in Toronto, Lisa in Barrie, Hasmi in Banff, Kirsten and Melissa in Vancouver  and so many more I haven’t discovered yet.

One of the 2012 Year in Colour yarns from Tanis Fiber Arts

However, I couldn’t go 100% Canadian, there are too many cool indie dyers in the States that I would miss like bohoknitterchic, Gale’s Art, Winemakerssister and Wandering Wool (who I haven’t actually ordered from yet, but her stuff is so tempting) and the rest of the Phat Fiber crew who are working in their corners of the earth on amazing yarns and fibers.

Some of the colors at Northbound Knitting are just so deliciously complex.

And sometime KnitPicks has exactly the yarn you need for a project, and Felici, I do love my Felici.

So I am going to try to buy mostly Canadian yarn, I will tag projects that are either made with Canadian dyed yarn (or a pattern by a Canadian designer) with the tag CanCon. Let’s see if I can do better than the local stations and bring my CanCon up above 60%.

Nothing like a fresh off the bobbin single of a beautiful BFL from Viola in Toronto.

Either way I will have help with this,  I am currently signed up for three different yarn clubs, the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour Club (which is still accepting signups and you will get all the previous months in your next shipment), indigodragonfly’s Smart Ass Knitters/World Domination 1 Skein Club (there may be 6-mo slots in the fall, if not the next round of signups are in Feb 2013) and the latest one is Sweet Fiber’s Super Sweet Summer of Sock, Vancouver Edition (which there are still spots in for the the 3 month club, which ships May, June, July).

And it isn't just yarn, we have amazing fiber dyers too, like Two Sisters Stringworks who made the braid just the right colors for Lake Huron/Georgian Bay.

Also, I am headed to the Downtown (Toronto) Knit Collective big show, Knitter’s Frolic next Saturday (the 28th) so I will get to check out and sample all sorts of new yarns, bases and dyers at the show, and meet some of my other dealers (ie. Kim and Tanis face to face).

Just like the latest CBC shows, CanCon yarn is a great thing and I am excited to keep it a major part of my fiber diet.