Saturday night hockey

Saturday night hockey
Saturday night hockey

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A day filled with boats

Today was definitely a boat day and I didn`t  even get to go in one!  In Whitehorse there is a yearly boating race - the Yukon River Quest - 444 miles on the Yukon River.  I haven`t ever done the race and probably never will.

But my hubby did the precursor to this race.  It was called Dyea to Dawson, and involved following the route of the Klondike gold rush from Skagway, Alaska to Dawson City, Yukon.  The first part involved climbing over the mountains, the second part boating through the lake system, past Carcross to the Yukon River then on to Dawson.  They only ran the Dyea to Dawson race for two years.  I think logistics were pretty intense, crossing the border between the U.S. and Canada and getting boats to the place where the water part of the trip started - Bennett Station.  But the River Quest has been going on since 1999.

The start of the race was today and I went down to watch it on my lunch hour.  I know a couple of people who are racing - my God son, Wesley, and an old neighbour, Noreen.  They are both in voyageur canoes.  But with 95 teams in a mass start I didn`t see either of them but I did see Wes`canoe go by.  Here are a couple of photos.

Running to get the boats in the water when the gun goes off.

And they are off!

There were people lining both sides of the river watching the boats take off.  Lots of fun.  There is a tracker on the website too, so I can keep track of how my friends are doing. :)

After this excitement I wandered over to an exhibition that is happening a little further down the riverbank.  There, people are building boats.

This will be a caribou skin kayak.

Sewing the skins together.

This is a river boat.  It will be covered with moose skin.

And a birch bark canoe.

This one will be a dugout canoe.

I have been going by this exhibit every few days watching the progress.  Very fascinating!

That`s all for today.  The only sewing happening was on that caribou skin.  :)


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Saskatchewan Stitches Conference

I am finally getting around to writing a little more about my trip to the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference.  The event took place at St. Peter's Abbey/college/press/farm.  This is an active place!  It is the oldest Benedictine monastery in Canada, established in 1903.  There are only 15 monks here and the average age is 72.  But they still manage to keep the place up and get lots done.  I only saw two of the monks during the time I was there.  Father Demetrius takes care of the guest wing and the Abbott came around occasionally.  Yes there is a college there in the winter months - we got to stay in the dorms/guest wing.  I had a tour of the main building and walked around a bit, but I would have liked to have learned more about the farming.  We did have delicious asparagus from their garden at several meals.  And take a gander at the root cellar in one of my photos below.  this was about 1/4 of it. The press puts out a newspaper called "The Prairie Messenger" but apparently they are going to discontinue it next year.

A very interesting place!  There are lots more pictures and info available on their website.

One of the classes I took was called Eco Dyeing.  We were dying silk scarves using vinegar and leaves.

First the leaves had to be soaked in vinegar water.  The scarves had been washed, dried and ironed and they had to be soaked as well.

Then the leaves get laid out on half of the scarf, in what ever way that is pleasing to you.  However, these scarves turn out the way they turn out, so one can take all the risks they want and may not achieve the results they think they will. :)

The scarf is folded in two so that the leaves are encased between layers of scarf.  Then the scarf is tightly rolled on a stick or a copper pipe and tied in place with string or cord.

Here are our scarves, ready to go in the pot, where they will boil for three hours in vinegar water.

Here are the scarves, all cooked up.  The pot has to be aluminium.

We each had a string with a certain number of knots in it so we would be able to tell the scarves apart.

And time for the big reveal!

Here are the results of my scarf.  Some of the leaves give more colour than others.  I experimented with some leaves that were "unknowns" as far as the amount of colour they would impart and I ended up with some areas with very little colour.  I might redo this scarf.  I need to look at it again with fresh eyes before I decide.

Here is another person's scarf.  She used a lot of oak leaves which give really dark colour.  Hers was on a stick.  Another person used oak leaves and a copper pipe and her oak leaves dyed light brown, rather than dark brown.

This class was a lot of fun and I will definitely be trying this technique at home.  I have already found a large aluminium pot and I am thinking about what leaves I can gather locally to try.  Apparently raspberry leaves give good colour.  Lots of raspberries here!

That's all for this post, but be forewarned, I may be back with more on my classes.  :)


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Friday Night Sew In for June

Since I got back from Saskatchewan I have had no time for sewing... until this weekend.  I did sign up for and sew on Friday.  I had high hopes that I would have lots of ambition, especially as I was home alone, so would have time and attention for sewing.  But alas, I was too tired to tackle anything major.  I did finish another hexie flower.

I think I am up to 21 or 22 of the 27 I need.  I have to get back on a roll with this quilt!

What have I been doing instead of sewing?  Well after 10 days at the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference, I had a three day drive home.  Our route was a bit different than we had planned.  We left on Saturday afternoon and drove to Lloydminster where we planned to overnight, but there was "no room at the inn".  So we went on to Vegreville, Alberta, home of the world's largest Pysanka.

We checked into one hotel but it was so filthy that we promptly checked back out.  A few blocks up the road we found a lovely place to stay.  The next day we continued on to Ft. St. John, B.C.  Our hotel that night was connected to a casino.  This is irrelevant to me as I look at all the flashing lights and wonder what the attraction is, but my travel partner had fun there.  I went for a swim in the pool and a soak in the hot tub.

The next day was another Walt Disney day with many animals frolicking along the road - black bears galore, sheep with babies, grizzly bears with babies, bison with babies, moose, etc..  We stayed that night in Watson Lake, B.C. in an old air force barracks with bathrooms down the hall.  It was very clean and pleasnat though and other than getting a mosquito bite on my nose in the night, it was a great stay.  From there it was a short (5 hour) drive home the next day.  Then promptly back to work for me, and out to Fox Lake at night where my hubby was doing some work on my sister's cabin.  She was also there visiting from New Brunswick.

Last weekend was a family get together at the cabin.

I came home on Tuesday night with a list of things to do, including unpacking, but found my husband's cousin and her friend had stopped by to visit from Powell River, B.C.  So that took priority!

When I finally got home this past Friday after work it was all I could do to lie on the couch and sew one hexie!

Yesterday the bike relay race that takes place between Haines Junction and Haines, Alaska was cancelled due to snow.  But today it is sunny and beautiful and I hear they ran the race today.  Hubby is cutting our hay field and I am going to go and plant a few plants in the garden.

I hope you had a productive FNSI.  You can check out what everyone got up to on Wendy's blog.

I will be back in the near future to tell you more about Saskatchewan.  What a trip that was!