Monday, March 29, 2010

An important deadline & the Textile Museum of Canada

I wanted to give you an update about the 2010 tours: there are just six places left for the Italian trip. Don't hesitate to contact me if you'd like to register or if you have any questions. The important deadline for registrations on this tour is April 15/10 as after that, I'll have to release any excess hotel rooms I'm holding. Due to high demand, accommodation in Venice and Florence is very difficult to obtain, and although I may be able to get rooms after April 15th, I cannot be certain. I won't be increasing the size of the tour.

While you're on my website, don't forget to read about the trip to Vancouver Island.

Last week I was able to visit the Textile Museum of Canada,, located in Toronto. I was very short of time so didn't stop at the exhibits, but headed straight to the library. I love to spend time there, reading as much as I can from their marvellous collection of books and magazines. This particular visit I was reading back issues of Selvedge Magazine, where I get a lot of information about special events, mostly in Britain, but also extensive articles about textiles, history, shops and talented craftspeople. This especially helps me with planning itineraries for the trips. In addition to the library, there is always an interesting variety of permanent and temporary exhibitions. Unfortunately, I'd just missed the exhibition of quilts, but the one featuring Kashmir shawls is on until 30 May of this year.

For those visiting Toronto, the museum is easy to get to as it is centrally located in the downtown area and is close to a subway stop, plus is well serviced by several public transportation routes. Have a look at the museum's website to learn more of their current and upcoming exhibitions, plus their schedule of interesting speakers and workshops.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Shetland scarf pattern

I receive a newsletter from Yarns International and the one that arrived this week included a pattern called 'Shetland Ombre Scarf'. It is free to download at their site:

The yarn used in the pattern is a mixture of Shetland yarns in natural colours: moorit, yuglet, sholmit and katmollet. (I had to do some searching to learn the precise meaning of these terms!) The scarf is knit with two strands throughout and although we probably won't need the warmth of a scarf for awhile, I think it looks like a nice project to try.

I've been aware of the company Yarns International for a number of years, ever since Oliver Henry ("the wool man") at Jamieson & Smith first spoke to my groups about the Shetland 2000 yarns. He stressed the commitment of Yarns International in supporting the traditional, unique Shetland breeds. This has been against a persistent onslaught of the promotion of breeds with a white coat, as this takes the dyes. I understand the Shetland 2000 line of natural yarns has now been extended to a new name: Shetland Supreme Naturals.

I'm certain that anyone who has visited Shetland, comes away with an understanding of the importance of supporting not only the traditional Shetland breeds, but also the dedication of the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Knitters--in fact the traditions which make these islands such a special place.