Vancouver Bound…


Perfect time in Vancouver taking a break from our very long and cold winter. Couldn’t wait till our trees and flowers bloomed here so I took a quick trip to the coast to get my floral, ocean and mountain fix. The weather was amazing with sunny and warm days throughout the trip helping my family and myself thaw after the cold winter we had here.

I love Vancouver, it is easily my favourite place to be. This is a small collection of pictures that I took along our trip which includes many of my favourite places in the Vancouver area. I am always inspired by the nature, ocean, mountains and the city life that abounds in this wonderful city. I have included a shawl I recently designed with thoughts of Vancouver prior to my trip as I was dreaming of the standing on the beach watching the water and it’s magnificent movements and sounds. I will have more pictures to share soon as well as more information about this new design that will be patterned at some point so you can make your own version.

I also had the pleasure of popping into SweetGeorgia Yarns http://www.sweetgeorgiayarns.com for a peek at their amazing facility and stunning yarns. I will share more on this in a future blog as well as the beautiful array of colours and yarns I picked up on my visit. I will be adding their yarns to my Etsy site http://www.intricateknits.etsy.com with patterns I will be writing soon so you can make one of my designs for yourselves. Come back soon for more…have a wonderful day today!!

Christmas Garland…just the beginning

Christmas Garland
Christmas Garland

Christmas Garland…just beginning the adventure of making my own Crocheted Christmas garland.  It will be an ongoing project likely throughout the next year as I keep dreaming of ideas on how to enhance the garland into a lovely treasured decoration for my home.  To start with I chose some beautiful hand painted yarn by Malabrigo with different tones of greens.  I will be adding other yarns and tones of greens in the future with holly leaves and berries and other evergreens, pine cones and more wintery treasures nature provides.  This is just a quick picture of the beginnings of the project.  I will be using this crochet technique to make the cedar type texture for the base of my garland.  I added a few berries just to see how they would look with a splash of red jumping from the cedar bows.  The holly leaves will come later on as I work on designing leaves and finding yarns that work great for that lovely deep green holly omits from it’s unique and glossy leaves.

I love holly, when I lived in Vancouver years ago I was astonished how big the holly grew.  It was stunning and beautiful.  I tried on many occasions to grow some while living near Toronto for many years, but I really don’t have a very good green thumb and failed on each attempt.  It was worth trying to succeed with such an unique and beautiful plant.  Instead I will crochet or knit my own holly tree, of sorts.  I am sure I will have more success at that.

Have a wonderful week…off I go to crochet and knit my garland goals.

West Coast Inspiration…Embellished broches.

West Coast Broches
West Coast Broches

West Coast Inspiration…embellished broches from my visit this past summer.  One of my very favourite places to visit as noted previously is the West Coast.  In my travels there this year I visited several amazing knitting stores such as the Beehive Wool Shop where I found some amazing Canadian dyed yarns.  Here is the outcome of some of these yarns I discovered.

These broches will accompany my various Calming Waters scarves and shawl as well as other Designs this Fall and Winter.  I used a variety of yarns for each broche trying to keep a bit of Canadian on each one.

Tide Pool Embellished Broche
Tide Pool Embellished Broche

This is the Tide Pool broche, made with Alberta Made Alpaca in the sand colour base from www.albertarosealpacas.com The purple starfish are often seen in the Vancouver and Victoria tide pools and on the rocks by the shore.  The Beach Stone and Seaweed are also strewn amongst the tide pools along the beach.  The Seaweed is done in beautiful yarn by www.ancientartsfibre.com with the stones being made in Rowan Felted Tweed www.knitrowan.com

 

Beach Stone Embellished Broche
Beach Stone Embellished Broche

The Beach Stone Broche is a combination of the sand with beach stones and the various plant life and seaweed that are placed around by the strength of the waves.  Bringing fond memories of walking along the beach with sand between your toes listening to the sounds of the water on a wonderful sunny day.  I used Ancient Arts Fibre yarn in this design as well adding a bit of Alberta to the design for another Canadian touch.

The Coral Reef broche is full of different types of coral with a starfish hiding amongst it.  The vibrant colours are seen in coral that dances along the bottom of the ocean

Coral Reef Embellished Broche
Coral Reef Embellished Broche

with surprises like the starfish nestled within.  I was inspired to make coral by the Zen Garden yarn from www.zenyarngarden.com as the colours spoke of coral and other wonderful colours in the ocean life.

The last broche is the Grouse Mountain Broche that was inspired by the yarn from www.sweetgeorgiayarns.com in their Grouse Mountain Colour way.  I embellished this broche with a mountain range in the back, stones and rock in the centre and surrounded by the beautiful trees of Grouse Mountain and the Cedars around the area.  For those who don’t know Sweet Georgia Yarns is a Vancouver Company, which is very fitting for the design.

Mountain Range Broche
Mountain Range Broche

This venture was truly enjoyable.  Designing some of my favourite memories and sights on my trip is a great way to record what I did and saw.  I am already looking forward to my next travel adventure.  You can view some of the scarves and the shawl below in the links.

Have an inspiring week!

 

https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/163633495/calming-waters-shawl-shrug-in-hand?ref=shop_home_active

https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/163618705/calming-waters-scarf-in-hand-painted?ref=listing-shop-header-1

https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/163723236/calming-waters-scarf-long-in-hand

 

 

 

 

 

Calming Waters Shawl…Inspired by the West Coast

Calming Waters Shawl/Shrug
Calming Waters Shawl/Shrug

The Calming Waters Shawl…Inspired by the West Coast, particularily Vancouver where this picture is taken.  Vancouver is one of my most favourite places to visit and just be!  I had the pleasure of living there for 2 years many years ago.  Love everything about it, but then I am a city girl by heart. I love nature and the country too, but I come alive in the city.  This particular shawl was in inspired by my many visits to Vancouver and most recently Victoria, B.C.  From the first time I set foot on the West Coast I felt an immediate calm.  Strange in such a large and vibrant city

Calming Waters Shawl
Calming Waters Shawl

that one could feel this peace and serenity, but it is the one place where I can stand at the very beach where the picture is take and just feel at one with the world, relaxed, calm and alive at the same time.  I could sit there all day just enjoying the sounds and sites of the water and everything around it.  I love strolling around Stanley Park and enjoying the different scenery as you move along the sea wall.  Smelling the scents of the ocean, local plants and trees enjoying every moment of it.  This is the reason I was inspired to do a collection this year on water and various ways it moves along this world.  This way we can wear a piece of our summer fun and great memories while we endure a colder climate and dream of warmer days.

Calming Waters Shawl/Shrug
Calming Waters Shawl/Shrug

The Calming Waters shawl is inspired by the movement of water with the rippling water seen in the base of the scarf in two different hand painted yarns.  I used the Malabrigo Rios hand painted Merino Wool in two different colours to add the various colours you see on the ocean while the water is moving about.  At the neckline the waves gently crash on to the beach (your neckline) and land softly around you reminding you of your favourite moments by the waters edge.  The embellished broche is a combination of waves and ocean plant life in merino wool, hand spun yarns, silk and cashmere of various yarns.  I may add some other embellishments later, still thinking about it.

There will be two sizes of scarves with the same theme in the future as well as a waterfall scarf.  Who knows what else I will design along the way.

Calming Waters Shrug Shawl
Calming Waters Shrug Shawl

To see more of my Water Theme scarves visit my website and link to my etsy store at www.vbaberdesigns.com or go directly to my etsy store at www.intricateknits.etsy.com  There are also a few past blogs on some of the current designs in my Ways of Water Collection.

You can wear this shawl/shrug in many different ways as shown here.  I will be adding more designs to this collection as I continue working on them with my inspiration of the water ways, or in this case the way of the water.

Have a most wonderful day and don’t forget to be inspired by your surroundings and people around you.

Calming Waters Shrug Shawl
Calming Waters Shrug Shawl

 

 

Victory in Victoria…Yarn finds of course!

Wall of  Yarn
Wall of Yarn

Victory in Victoria, B.C…..Yarn finds of course!  One of my favourite things to do while on holidays is to check out the local knitting stores to see what they offer.  I find most knitting stores are very different and each have their own unique style and character.  I managed to squeeze in two fabulous knitting store visits while in Victoria, I wanted to see more of them, but that will have to be on my next trip.  You can only make your family wait so long before they get antsy.  You know how it is, “I will only be a few minutes”, turns into a few hours. LOL

Beehive Wool Shop
Beehive Wool Shop

The first store I sought out was the Beehive Wool Shop downtown Victoria.  It was just a few blocks away from where we were staying.  A beautiful walk along the downtown core of Victoria, B.C. with amazing architecture and interesting and unique stores and of course coffee shops!!  🙂  I walked into to this beautiful architectural building and was pleasantly surprised with the vast amount of various yarns.  This is a knitting store worthy of a visit and a great place to get your friends together and spend some time relishing over the unique and vast array of yarns and other wonderful accessories.  I personally have never been in a yarn store so large and I was in my glory.  Didn’t want to leave and could have easily spent the day there, or maybe the whole weekend. 🙂   Very friendly staff and everything you would need or want just waiting for you to enjoy.

Yarn was everywhere, but what impressed me the most was how organized it was.  The colours didn’t overwhelm you as they played amongst the store enticing you everywhere you turned.  It was like a work of art in front of you each skein and ball of yarn perfectly placed.  Sounds strange, but it was really very lovely just to look around and around.   Next visit I will be spending a lot more time in this wonderful wool store, it was like being in yarn heaven.  http://www.beehivewoolshop.com/

Local Yarns and more
Local Yarns and more

My goal was to find some locally made yarn that I could use in my Water Ways Collection I am currently working on for this Fall and Winter season.  It was an easy success at the Beehive Wool Shop.  I choose three different yarns all made in Canada as I wanted to add a local feel to this group of designs.  The 3 balls of yarn on the right are the Rowan Kidsilk Haze Glamour.  I just had to purchase these for me, hmmm what to make.  This yarn is absolutely beautiful to work with an added sequin nicely spaced.

On the top left the yarn is by Sweet Georgia Yarns and is hand painted in Vancouver, B.C.  I choose it as it has the wonderful greens and browns of the very large cedar trees in Victoria and Vancouver. Made with superwash merino wool and nylon.  I have always loved these amazing trees and the aroma that eludes from them.  I even put in a cedar deck at home just so I felt like I was near them.  Felicia, Sweet Georgia Designer of this wonderful yarn was inspired to make this colour way as: “Grouse is one of my favourites… it’s actually named for Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. It’s where I first learned to snowboard and where my husband and I held our wedding reception two years ago. To me, it feels like an Emily Carr painting of the woods”.  http://www.sweetgeorgiayarns.com/

The skein below this one is by Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts, from the Calgary, Alberta, Canada region. This skein is the 100% Blueface Leicester fingerling weight in the Abalone colour way.  I purchased this skein to use for the amazing plant life in and out of the water ways and ocean.  I love finding out what other Artists are inspired by.  Caroline, the Artist who dyes this beautiful yarn, quoted:  “This is a very popular colour way and came about as part of my love of the west coast.   I called it Abalone as it is meant to capture something that feels sublimely west coast to me… Sea otters and shell fish!  I was particularly struck as a child by the idea of sea otters eating abalone while wound up in sea weed, and of course these shell fish are rare and desirable themselves, so put them together with sea otters and they are rather exciting.  And of course they have very pretty shells.  I remember the first time I saw an otter in the wild in the ocean – it was tremendously exciting as I had read about them as a child, but being a prairie girl I wasn’t able to just go see an otter.  When I saw the otters I was out canoeing on the ocean (no kayaks for us) and it was a gorgeous day.  We watched them playing for quite a while and it is a cherished memory.  We found shells on a little beach nearby later on.  So abalone the colour way captures the colours of the water, the trees on the shore, and of course the colours of something an otter really likes to eat!  http://ancientartsfibre.com/

I was excited to find that these Fibre Artists have a story behind their colour choices which are consistent with what I purchased them for.  They obviously do a great job at choosing their colour ways as I was instantly drawn to them all. Ancient Arts Fibre also has a wonderful collection of yarns that benefit rescue cats.  Be sure to visit her website for more information.

And the last skein is from Zen Yarn Garden, based in Ontario, Canada.  This wonderful yarn is a superwash merino wool, cashmere and nylon blend.  The colours will be perfect for the coral and other sea creatures alike of the West Coast.  Lisa quoted:  “most of our colourways are created to be complimentary, saturated and rich in colour so that’s our inspiration for the majority of them”.    http://www.zenyarngarden.co/

I wanted to support the local yarn Artists in my venture to design with a Water Way theme.  Check out these wonderful yarns and your local Fibre Artists to see what treasures you may find.  Be sure to visit the websites above and see what inspires their work and take a visit to the Beehive Wool store when you are in Victoria, B.C.

While in Victoria I found another local knitting store and spent some time looking at these amazing hand made clay buttons by a local Artist and of course bought more yarn! 🙂  I will blog that on another day.  As well we have a wonderful yarn local yarn store in Edmonton, River City Yarns, where I purchase many of my other unique yarns but I will save that visit preview for another day as I need some pictures of all their new yarns.  Check out their fabulous workshops at www.rivercityyarns.com

Off to be inspired by these amazing yarns and the memory of a beautiful holiday and fantastic wool store.  Here are more pictures to tease you into a visit to this wonderful wool store.  A link to their website and more information about them. Did you know they have been around for over 100 years.  Wow. The changes they have seen over the years.  http://www.beehivewoolshop.com/about.html

Another wall of yarn
Another wall of yarn
Fibre galore!
Fibre galore!

Dreaming of the Ocean…Eclectic Waves Scarf, Ear Warmer, Fingerless Gloves

Eclectic Waves Scarf
Eclectic Waves Scarf
Eclectic Waves Ear Warmer, Fingerless Gloves
Eclectic Waves Ear Warmer, Fingerless Gloves

Dreaming of the Ocean inspired the new Fall collection the Eclectic Waves Ear Warmer and Fingerless Gloves sets that compliment the Eclectic Waves neck warmer scarves.  These designs have a water theme and are based on the ocean or a body of water at different times of the day.  The Teal collection is the ocean colours during the day, the Orange collection is the ocean at sunset with the oranges and a hint of blue for the sky and water, The Dark collection is the ocean at midnight with the deep colours and accented with blues, purple and greens, and finally the purple collection is the ocean at sunrise with the purples and splashes of blues for the water and sky.

Eclectic Waves Ear Wamer, Fingerless Gloves
Eclectic Waves Ear Wamer, Fingerless Gloves

One of my favourite places to be is by the water on the sand just sitting or walking around.  It just brings such peace to a hectic day.  The sounds, smells and the atmosphere is fantastic.  I used to live by Lake Ontario and spent a few years in Vancouver by the ocean, we spent a lot of time by the water and beach.  I miss it everyday.  Designing this collection makes me feel like the water and beach is right here with me.

I am lucky to live near a set of lovely ponds behind our house and I enjoy walking the dog around watching the birds and other animals.  I still miss the Lake and Ocean views and just hanging out enjoying the scenery.   I can just hear the waves now or maybe it is the fountain running in my back yard :).  None the less, I love being by water!  I am in the process of designing more water themed scarves some with detailed embellishing and all a little different as there are so many types of bodies of water.  Most of all I want to feel like I am near the ocean on those cold winter days and dream of the coming spring and summer when I will find myself near a lake or ocean again.

Eclectic Waves Scarf Sunset
Eclectic Waves Scarf Sunset

Water is a wealth of inspiration just waiting to be discovered.  Oceans, lakes, the sea, water falls, rivers, ponds and the like are different wherever you go.  Both in and out of the bodies of water flow many different colours, textures, objects, styles and more to inspire your latest work of art.  It is calming and terrifying at the same time.  Exciting, beautiful, strong, soft, and such a contrast within it’s self always adding interesting features every moment you look at it.  Constantly changing and evolving each minute.  You never know what you will see or be inspired by each and every day being different with water.  The colour can change with in the same moments and the very same day.  These are the things that are inspiring my Water Theme designs.  I am currently working on some other pieces to this collection so be sure to pop by for another visit soon.  You can see more of my designs on the links below.

Midnight on the Ocean Eclectic Waves set
Midnight on the Ocean
Eclectic Waves set

http://www.intricateknits.etsy.com

www.vbaberdesigns.com

Eclectic Waves Scarf
Eclectic Waves Scarf