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Have you booked your place at the 2011 Maritime Spinners Retreat?

Mimi and I just did.

This year’s Retreat is being hosted by Gaspereau Valley Fibres & The Potluck Spinners; it promises to be a real treat. The theme this year is ‘Spin Local’. At last year’s closing banquet is was suggested that the theme is really going to be Spin Local, Drink Local but I’m not sure that anyone else will remember that…it was a jolly evening!
2010’s Retreat was themed ‘Spin Wild!” focusing on wild fibre and art yarns so no surprise, I had a great time. Last year’s PEI hostesses Louise and Elaine are packing along their feathers and we three will still be spinning slightly off kilter this year (I know I can’t help it). We hope you’ll join us, especially with the event (at Old Orchard, Greenwich NS) being so close to Halifax.
You can find more information and the nuts and bolts of booking your spot at the official retreat blog by clicking here.
Here are some fun moments from last year:

Games included forcing ‘straight-laced’ spinners to spin a single blindfolded…and it was a race!

I bought a lot from our fellow vendors…The Loop made money that weekend, but I spent a lot of mine.
Mimi and I taught mini sessions playing upon our wild theme; Knitting Without a Map and Freeform Crochet.
On Day 2, fully into the swing of things, we were encouraged to wear wild outfits…luckily I had brought my Noro Tutu. Oops, I guess I never blogged that project.

We had a great time as vendors. Hope to see you in the valley this year!

David sports a crocheted rainbow beanie with giant pink tourie on top. He has the best seat in the house for the 2011 Halifax Pride Parade.

Rainbows abound, and giant ric-rac sprouts twisted lengths of coloured crepe paper. They reach towards the sky optimistically.
Ilga Leja’s “Earth Maiden” sampled in Kauni’s Effekt yarn, colourway “EQ” looks right at home. Draped over a triangular metal form it makes a cheerful yet sophisticated statement despite being placed in the background, away from direct sunlight.

“Better Together” is the motto this year.

The formally longest scarf in the world cascades down the back wall, embraces the vivid yellow Judy (repeatedly) and coils into a tumshie seat at her feet.

The swift kicks up a breeze when used which sends the paper garlands dancing.

This year, Lamby wears Red Velvet Platformed Stevie Boots, an Art Yarn Necklace and Blue Feathered False Eyelashes.

Pride Week is coming to Halifax and it’s Pride Parade is coming to Barrington Street. This is always a treat and shops along the route try to join in.
I see it as an excuse to gussy up the window.
Lamby sees it as a chance to dive into my shoe closet.
Here’s what happened last year.

I posted this late. oops.

Last summer we were tagged by mystery yarn bombers. We loved it!
Your new Challenge: Get us this summer with a romantic clue to your identity.

Are these our Bombers?

Early tomorrow morning, Thursday September 10th, tune in to CTV in Halifax to see Mimi on the morning show, Breakfast Television. She is probably going to try to teach one of the hosts to knit, in record time.  This will be live, so anything could happen! Very exciting. Just don’t forget to set your alarm.

This year’s NSCAD Wearable Art Show is scheduled to take place next Wednesday evening on Granville Square.  The square will be transformed into a canopied gallery and performance venue. The show promises to be a fabulous and fascinating evening of avant-garde fashion and art. Tickets are $15 in advance (available at Venus Envy or on the NSCAD art supply store). Proceeds from the event will go to the AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia and to the Wearable Art Scholarship Fund. See you there!

This morning’s Chronicle Herald comes the announcement that the Maritime Fall Fair will no longer include livestock events and homemaking competitions.  Citing a lack of public interest in the agricultural and artisanal competitions (including the knitting category won by Richard Stilwell last year), the organizers want to develop the retail craft component of the fair instead.

Aren’t agricultural fairs meant in part to provide an opportunity for farmers and artisans to promote their skills and educate the public? If these events are not attracting the public, then maybe the organizers aren’t doing enough them! Am I right in thinking that it is completely backwards to be cancelling these components of the fair at a time when interest in local agricultural poducts and self-sufficiency is on the rise?

We would happily host a homemaking salon des refuses here at The Loop!

This week the “Holiday Hop” is happening downtown, with many shops downtown participating in sales and a contest to get the festive season underway.

Last Saturday the annual Parade of Lights kicked off the Holiday Hop, making its way through downtown and up to the Dalhousie University campus.  The weather was probably more what I’d expect in Bermuda than Nova Scotia, at 17 degrees and pouring rain.

I had volunteered to walk in the parade on behalf of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, parade sponsor and resource organization for all businesses located downtown. We were positioned at the front of the parade along with the other sponsors (Halifax Chronicle Herald and Eastlink).

At 5:00 the proverbial crickets were chirping on Barrington Street as we made our way to the marshalling area down by the Navy dockyards (just past the brand-spanking new & stinky sewage treatment plant). While we waited, I walked the length of the parade as floats and marching groups were getting themselves organized. I was impressed by the number and quality of the floats… it seemed like it took me ages to walk all the way back to the front of the line, jingling as I went!

We finally got underway just after 6 p.m. I was sharing banner-carrying duties with two other clown volunteers. I really got a kick out of seeing the faces of tiny little toddlers agape with excitement as we came into sight. Tiny! Little Cindy-Lou Whos were everywhere.  We were the first costumes in the parade, and I suspect that the loud jingling noises we made with our hand-held bells really set the Christmas excitement neurons zinging in all those little brains. It was very cute to see how many tiny little faces lit up when a clown with green swirls on her face (that’s me) made eye contact and waved at them.

Due to the rain and poor visibility, it was hard to get decent photos of me or the rest of the parade. So you’ll just have to take my word for it, that’s me on the far side of this banner.  Next year I have to figure out how to get my hands on one of those shriner mini-bikes.

The Holiday Hop promotions continue downtown right through Saturday December 22nd. Check The Loop’s website to see what’s on sale … something different each day. And of course you knew that parking is FREE downtown on weekends right?


October 24th, Morgan and I pulled up stakes, folded up our wheels, and headed for the Gaelic College in St. Ann’s, Cape Breton, for the 7th annual Maritime Spinners’ Retreat. The scenery was beautiful, the weather was perfect and the bobbins were spinning fast and furiously.


With 100 spinners from throughout Atlantic Canada in attendance, as well as a number from other provinces and the Eastern US , it was a great opportunity to connect and commiserate with other fibre enthusiasts. Every skill level was represented, from absolute beginner to expert, and a mentor system and a series of mini-workshops provided everyone with a chance to pick up new skills ranging from drop spindling to Navajo plying. In fact, the retreat provides those with little or no spinning experience with a rare chance to see and try many styles of wheel and to get many different perspectives on the craft.

A daily vendors’ market presented a dizzying array of fibre and tools, and there were yoga sessions, mini-massages, Celtic harp lessons, a milling frolic, a Ceilidh and scenic walks. There was hardly any time to spin!

Next year’s retreat will take place in New Brunswick and–as always–all spinners and would-be spinners are welcome. Stay tuned for details!

The combination of the Nocturne art festival and our knit-a-thon was a great way to spend a Saturday evening. It was fun to see how different Barrington Street in downtown Halifax was, transformed by excited crowds discovering art displays and new ways to look at the city.

Thanks to our knitters, we have 26 blanket squares and counting. We’ll be happy to collect any more you are working on, right up until November 20th.

We saw a number of familiar faces during the evening, and many new faces … people who probably wouldn’t normally come into a yarn shop. Mimi, Morgan and Karla spinning in the front window were a real draw though.

Thank you to everyone who contributed some knitting! We’ll give another update later on once we’ve sent all of the donated items off.

Cathy is merriment
Mimi is starlings
Morgan is pomoboho
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