Friday, September 23, 2011

Souvenirs of Sivia

Being the Fibre Arts Program Coordinator for Fibre Week is a big job, fraught with perils.  There are all of those people with pointy sticks waiting out there for next year's schedule already, and I'm typing and arranging as fast as I can.

But right now, I'm going to take a moment to remember Fibre Week 2011.  Or rather, the insidious influence of one of the guest instructors.

Meet Sivia Harding.

Oh, she looks sweet and harmless. (Well, actually she is sweet.  Very sweet.  And kind.  But sneaky.)

But she does little things like handing unsuspecting souls a little ball of silk yarn strung with beads, then whispers a few simple steps in their ear.  Simple, addictive steps. Before you know it, you have this...

(This is the kind of person we are dealing with here:  She couldn't find the clasp she had intended to include with the kit in her bag, so she mailed me one when she got home!)

Then there is this...

...Harmonia's Rings Sweater.  It's really Sivia's Harmonia's Rings Cowl, all grown up.  Fun, and tremendously clever. 

It started something like this:  We were waiting in the lunch line, and I mentioned a yarn I was spinning at home that I had no specific plans for.  Sivia mentioned that she had a pattern.  I expressed interest in seeing said pattern.  Later that afternoon, she handed me a photocopy of the pattern.  I stuffed it in my bag and went on with the week.

Sivia went off toward home, and eventually I did the same.

I decided the yarn should be a deep midnight blue, so I mordanted it in some alum and copper, then dyed it with Logwood...

Yep, I thought, this would be a great yarn for that pattern.  Blue-faced Leicester and silk, about 12 wpi and 4 tpi.   I tried to describe the project to a friend and after lots of vague blather about knits and purls and much gesturing,  I went hunting for the Ravelry link.  Nothing.  The sweater that I had begun to have dreams about, apparently, did not really exist.  So I dug out the pattern.

That was when I noticed that it was a photocopy of a proof copy, complete with Sivia's corrections scribbled in.  (I must state here that, while she is a lovely human being, her handwriting is just short of tortuous to decipher.  Anyone who was at the FW Fashion Show already knows this.)

It wasn't until after I had scoured Western Canada for the perfect beads for the collar and cast on that the rest of the world got to see this pattern.  I was somewhat gobsmacked by the generosity and trust that Sivia had shown in so casually handing me her lovely work-in-progress.

And now it's done.  It's beautiful, the perfect synergy of yarn and pattern.  Gloriously rich and deceptively warm.  And a reminder of the generous spirit of a newfound friend.

(PS.  I know Sivia doesn't need me to shill for her, but I'm gonna say "go to her website and check out all of her awesome patterns" anyway!  Every one is a gem.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Laziest Blog Entry in History

I was actually going to sit down and blog today, and may still do so later.  But for now, I'm going to let someone else blog for me:

It's a profile of me from a non-spinner's perspective.

Who knew I was so awesome? 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Who's Who At The Zoo

Your erratically scheduled fibre arts blogs has been pre-empted so that we can bring you the following information recently learned during a visit to the Calgary Zoo, courtesy of several very young zoo patrons...

There are no caribou in Alberta.  These are reindeer.  And reindeer do not really fly, 'cuz they couldn't keep them in a zoo if they did.

Wild turkeys look like buzzards, but taste much better.

The more female lions a male lion has, the happier he is.  Because the females make all his food for him.

Gorillas are monkeys.

Lemurs are monkeys.

(Insert brother's name here) is also a monkey.

Eagles are NOT raptors.  Everyone knows raptors are dinosaurs.  That's okay, even zoos can make a mistake.

The elephant god of India is called Ganja.

Boy camels have two humps.  Girl camels have one hump.  That's how you tell them apart.

These are snow leopards.  They're kinda like cheetahs, but they live in the Arctic.

Peacocks are pretty, but they're mean.  Kinda like Aunt Kathy.

And, most importantly...

...T-Rexes are like wasps-they can't see you if you hold still.

No, the zoo isn't just for kids, but I'm pretty sure the kids are the most entertaining critters in any zoo!