After Tour de Fleece was over, I honestly needed some time away from my wheel.   It was a lot of spinning in a short amount of time, my ankle was hurting and I wanted to enjoy some more of summer with my kids.

After our puppy had surgery, she couldn’t be left alone for very long so my 5 yr old and I took in Calgary Folkfest for the day and had a lot of fun while the littlest and Daddy stayed home to take care of doggy.  Unfortunately, even though I had the best of intentions knitting did not happen at Folkfest. During the next week, I actually slacked off on a lot of fibre work, but did manage to get my bulky cabled sweater finished that my beautiful daughter is modelling here:

And yes, over two weeks later and it still needs to be have ends weaved in and to be blocked.

That weekend, Milly and I were reacquainted as I spun some Polwarth/Silk in this lovely purple for a friend.   It was exciting to be back in front on my wheel.

I love the silky shimmer

That Sunday, I was beyond excited to be attending Canmore Folk Festival .   Not only was I getting to go watch watch some incredible music in the mountains, I was going sans children, meaning I’d actually be able to listen to the music AND get some knitting done.    I had a special project in mind to bring to Canmore with the shetland “Tartan” colourway I’d spun during Tour de Fleece.   Unlike a lot of spinners, I don’t spin with projects in mind and the only yarn of my own I’ve actually ever knit with was to make my lovely husband a hat with my very first handspun.

While I spin, I like to listen to music, and more often than not, I’m listening to the incomparable Martin Sexton.   I was introduced to him on Jam Cruise 7 , when my old co-worker Cheryl told me not to miss him on the boat.    The first time I listened to him, I was sitting in a theatre, probably in costume with tears streaming down my face and, he’s had my musical heart ever since.

Where am I going with this?   Well, Mr. Sexton was going to be at Canmore Folkfest the day I was there  and I was thrilled to start my “Hut in the Woods” shawl while listening to him, with yarn I spun while listening to him.   Yes, I am incredibly cheesy and not ashamed of it, not even a teeny bit.

What is my “Hut in the Woods” shawl, you might ask?   Well,  a couple of my close friends (one in particular) and I always talk about running away to a hut in the woods on tough days.  You know, those days when the news is particularly stressing, social justice seems to be on losing end of the world or the kids are just making you want to pull out your hair?  On those days, all we have to say is – hut in the woods, and our sentiments are vividly clear.  A dear friend once shared the story of La Loba, from Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.  In the book part of the story goes:

There is an old woman who lives in a hidden place that everyone knows but few have ever seen. As in the fairy tales of Eastern Europe, she seems to wait for lost or wandering people and seekers to come to her place.

They say she lives among the rotten granite slopes in Tarahumara Indian territory. They say she is buried outside Phoenix near a well. She is said to have been seen traveling south to Monte Alban in a burnt-out car with the back window shot out. She is said to stand by the highway near El Paso, or ride shotgun with truckers to Morelia, Mexico, or that she has been sighted walking to market above Oaxaca with strangely formed boughs of firewood on her back. She is called by many names: La Huesera, Bone Woman; La Trapera, The Gatherer; and La Loba, Wolf Woman.”
The imagery of this crone driving in a burnt out car with the back window shot out has stuck with me and I imagine her wearing a wool shawl on that trip.   I can also imagine myself in her place, as that crone.  My “Hut in the Woods” shawl is the shawl I will wear on such a road trip, when I go to that hut in the woods to make pretty things and when I just need to embody that primal female crone energy.   To be able to knit it while listening to Martin Sexton in the Rocky Mountains was just a bonus.    My plan was for a very plain, rustic garter stitch shawl.   

The weather turned out to be so hot, it was almost too hot to knit, but I managed to do a bit!   

My view for the day!!

During every Martin Sexton concert, I find myself in a moment of tears streaming down my face.   That moment came for me as the sun was setting over the mountains,  the air was perfect, I was knitting and Martin started singing Black Sheep, my absolute favourite song.

My moment

After I go home with the first triangle Hut in the Woods, I realized that I was really dumb and had started it on the wrong needles, I’d miraculously even swatched the damn thing and then cast on with the wrong ones. Sigh.   So, I frogged it all, knowing that it still held the magic of Martin & the mountains.   Later, that week we took the kids and the dog camping for a long weekend.   During moments of quiet, I managed to get some more knitting done on the trip.

Nothing like knitting beside a roaring campfire.  Pure bliss.

Alas, another issue arose when I came home.   After knitting almost 3/4 of the shawl, I decided that the angle was too much and it wasn’t going to wrap in the way I wanted to.   So, rippit, rippit, a frogging I went.  Once again, I cast on Hut in the Woods shawl for (hopefully) the third and final time and I’ll post some progress shots as I go.

I also finished plying the polwarth/silk purple yarn from Sweet Georgia, and I think it looks great and I can’t wait to give it to its new owner.
When I returned home from camping, my monthly instalment of my fibre club from Wonderland Dyeworks AND the fibre that I won from Westcoast Carding and Colour.   The fibre club is polwarth/silk and the colourway is called Dragonfly and the Westcoast is BFL/silk.   I have some fun and funky plans for it.
Left – my prize from Tour de Fleece & right Dragonfly by Wonderland Dyeworks

So, that is what has been going on with me and my little fibre world.   Until next time!