knitting weekend!

The Maiwa Symposium is happening right now in Vancouver and there are wonderful workshops, lectures and some fun fibre based events ( not something that happens often is it!?) happening all over town. I attended a lecture on Living Textiles of Mexico on Thursday night and spent this past weekend knitting!

I spent a wonderful weekend wrestling with knitting design! OK wrestling might not be the best word for it,  but it is a bit like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time. There are so many things involved in the creation of a knitted shawl! Thankfully we were guided by the brilliant Sivia Harding  who has no trouble at all patting her head, rubbing her stomach and juggling balls of yarn at the same time! And all done with a smile on her face.

I know it doesn’t look like much but I really accomplished allot this weekend! and enjoyed myself thoroughly. Nothing like a bot of a change to get the creative juices flowing.

Not sure how well it shows in the image above but I have learned to chart my own designs and place them within the triangular ever-increasing shape of a knitted shawl my mind is spinning with ideas! Sivia’s gorgeous shawls were eye candy and inspiration for the weekend, she graciously allowed us to try them on and get the feel of shaping shawls to our bodies. Who knew there was so much detail in a triangle!

The workshop was held on Granville Island in the Loft space above the Maiwa shop. The Loft is an amazing textile resource with a library and the Maiwa collection of textiles from around the world. It’s a  feast for the eyes or was before we messed it up!

Then of course there’s the other kind of feast you can find on Granville Island at the Public Market! Finding lunch was no problem, deciding on what I wanted was another matter all together.

There’s always the usual cast of characters entertaining the visitors on the island!

There were a couple of times during the workshop when I felt a bit like this fellow! balancing carefully on a rolling thingy on a stool and hoping for the best. But thanks to Sivia and her endless patience I have ideas brewing for a knitted design of my own.

Bye for now, Catherine


floating into fall…

Wow is it wet here!

The first official day of autumn starts tomorrow and we are experiencing our first heavy rainfall warning  in a long time.  For those of you who don’t live in a rainforest, a heavy rainfall warning gets issued by Environment Canada when they expect “significant precipitation”.  For my part of town that means about 50 to 70 millimeters  (2 to nearly 3 inches)  in about 24 hours! The weather has certainly brought a sudden end to summer.

These wonderful and well over 6 foot tall sunflowers are in my neighbor’s garden. They are doing their best to hold their giant heads up against the rain.

I know that taking photos in the pouring rain isn’t really the most ideal time for most people but I really enjoy some of the effects I get in the rain. Of course I have no control over where the water drops end up on the camera and really don’t know what I have shot till I get home and get the images on the computer, but every now and then I get a good one!

I’m sure proper photographers would have a fit about all the water on the camera lens ( it can’t be good for it!?) not to mention the soaking I take while trying to get underneath the flowers!  Of course there are those who love the cooler temperatures and rainy days…

and the giant almost wading pool size puddles (otherwise known as drinking bowls!) that appear all over the neighborhood.

Of course rainy days also mean days spent in the studio, not in the garden! But that will have to wait till tomorrow. I am off to a lecture tonight. The Maiwa Textile Symposium is in full swing here in Vancouver and I am attending a talk by Sheri Brautigam on  the Living Textiles of Mexico, sounds fascinating doesn’t it!?  A perfect way to spend a rainy Vancouver evening.

Bye for now, Catherine


catching up…

It’s been a bit of a boring week! nothing really special has been happening just allot of catching up on bits and pieces that needed to be done. I’ve been putting together class plans for a few workshops this fall and catching up on email, a bit of a yawn after the past 2 whirlwind weeks of openings and events!

I did head back to the Seymour Art Gallery to do a photo shoot for the local paper, the North Shore News. They sent photographer Mike Wakefield, an amazing artist in his own right!, to meet Ros and I at the gallery. Mike has just got his website started up and wants to add more images but there are some stunning examples of his work there. (click on his name above) It was great fun and definitely not something I do everyday that’s for sure!

Here’s Mike getting Ros and I set up. Ros is back to back with one of her wonderful garments.

I’m not sure what the newspaper will choose as the final image for Fridays edition, hopefully something flattering to both of us!

Meanwhile back at home… the figs I was marveling at earlier in the year are ripe! and boy are they tasty. I have been eating them with cheese, cereal and right off the tree. It is amazing to me to be able to eat ripe figs right off my own tree ( OK, I confess, the neighbors tree as well) but I think I may have had the last of them!

The raccoons have discovered the ripe fruit and spent most of the last 2 nights tumbling around in the branches of the tree. They are the cutest little bandits you have ever seen! no pictures of course, its pitch black when they come to raid the trees.

It is a bit of a fruit festival here! Not to be outdone by the figs , the grapes are ripening. Apparently they are supposed to be “wine grapes” and not good for eating but I have tried a couple of them and think they are delicious!

Sorry about the dark images but it was quite gloomy crawling around under the grapevines. And it’s raining! well not proper Vancouver rain yet just showery and damp but still I could hear the forest and gardens breathing a sigh of relief this morning.

One of the best things about rainy days is the garden-guilt-free studio time!

Bye for now, Catherine



image update

Well that easy, thanks to a helpful computer techie…

Here’s the images of Jabberwocky with the colours correct! in fact almost perfect.The blues look allot better for sure.

and the detail,

Bye for now, Catherine

made it!

whew, and just under the wire as well!

I don’t know what it is about a deadline…I always seem to see just how close I can get, I must work better under pressure or at least THINK I work better under pressure.

Anyways, Jabberwocky is done and hanging in the gallery, complete with hand mirror beside it for “reading” . It ended up being entirely hand quilted, not something I would recommend when you are fighting a deadline.

We had a great time at the opening last night and I was really pleased to see visitors using the mirror to read the poem!

Here’s a detail of the finished quilt. All the images I took last night in the gallery seem to have a yellowish cast on them ( sorry about that!) I will take some more images of the quilt when it comes home and you can see the colours a bit better.

Through the Looking Glass is on at the Seymour Art Gallery in Deep Cove, North Vancouver till the 18th of September. If you are in the area Seymour is a lovely little gallery in a beautiful place! well worth a visit.

I seem to be taking longer and longer between posts these days, no excuses but finishing quilts and attending openings has slowed me down. So has this!

Bart had to have a little surgery on Friday and of course my world revolves around him! We spent the long weekend at home recovering (both of us) and he is well and truly on the mend. He will be so thrilled tomorrow when the “cone of shame” comes off.

Bye for now, Catherine