Saturday, March 7, 2015

March 7: Adventures

Oh hi.

It's still winter here. There is still a six-inch thick coating of ice on all the sidewalks. The snowbanks are still taller than I am. It's still cold.

But I'm sitting in a quiet house right now and I can hear the snow melting off the roof. Somewhere nearby a red-winged blackbird sings. If you look carefully out of the corner of your eye as you speed by on the highway, you can see that the branches of the maple trees are reddening. Two nights ago it was the sap moon. Spring is coming.

Last weekend I drove out to Gaspereau Valley Fibres. It's a yarn store on a working sheep farm in the Annapolis Valley, not far from Wolfville. Every knitter I've met here talks about it reverently, so with a car and some free time on my hands I made the trek.

The store is in an old barn that's been fitted out with shelves and tables and a woodstove, and it's chock-a-block with (mostly local) yarn, plus knitting, weaving, felting and rug-hooking supplies. There's a store cat, and a sign on the door warning about store-cat-eating eagles. A bit different from the urban yarn stores that I'm used to. Definitely worth the drive.

I was in search of two things: a skein of Koigu for a baby layette for a girl I work with (if you want the quickest, easiest, cutest baby gift, one skien of KPPPM is enough to make these booties and this wee hat) and a loom.

Yep, a loom.

I took a weaving class a couple years ago and that sated my curiosity for a while. But then a couple of weeks ago I saw Shireenn's colour-shifting scarf. It's beautiful – a far cry from what I'd made with my scraps of Cascade 220. Inspired, I headed to GVF because I knew they had rigid heddle looms in stock.

I came home with a 15" Cricket loom and a new hobby.

It only took about 45 minutes to put together, including the time it took to find the screwdriver. Warping took about half an hour.

I'm using TFA yellow label left over from my African flower blanket. I think it's important to use nice things – even if you're just learning, even if the results might be a bit wonky.

I have to remind myself that sometimes the doing is the thing, and to give myself a break if it's not perfect on the first go. Nothing's ever perfect on the first go. 

Sometimes people see me knitting and say they tried to learn to knit and gave up because they couldn't do it, usually after one crooked potholder. As though I haven't made my fair share of hats riddled with unintentional yarnovers or wibbly-wobbly scarves. It drives me crazy. I don't believe in making ugly things on purpose, but I do believe in giving yourself room to make mistakes as you learn.

I'm trying to keep that in mind as I weave.

(Don't be fooled: I'm still a little vain. This is my second attempt. The first one was pretty – you guessed it – wibbly-wobbly.)

Perfect? No. Fun? Yes. I've got a lot to learn, but I don't mind. Maybe I'll be a bit better by the time spring rolls around.


  1. Sounds fantastic. Keep on *doing*! :) -c

  2. Oh, how I missed GVF! It is, without a doubt, my favourite LYS. I'm so glad you you got there!

  3. Gorgeous! I love your colors and pattern!

    I went to Gaspereau Valley Fibres when Darryl and I meandered through Nova Scotia on a motorcycle several years ago. It was a really inspiring place.


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