Letters from Iceland: Hiking (and Knitting) with the Elves Pt 1: The Group

This past July, I spent 10 days in Iceland. It was my second trip to Iceland after an initial 4-day stopover last January, on our way home from Europe.
This time though, I signed up for a structured pre-planned trip. The majority of my 10 days were spent as part of a hiking and knitting tour created and run by Hélène Magnusson called “Hiking with the Elves“.
I have been meaning to blog about the trip ever since I arrived home.
I want to record my experience, but I also want to share it with others who are considering a similar trip in the future.
Unfortunately, this has proven to be such a difficult post to write.
Part of the challenge is to try and capture the experience without writing for pages and pages. I’m sure that you, my dear readers, have better things to do that sit in a comfy chair,  with a glass of wine, snuggled up to your computer screen while you read through the novel that is my Icelandic blog post.
The other difficulty comes from the fact that the experience was so tremendous.  How can I ever hope to capture the magnificence and grandeur of it with mousy little English words?

Unfinished Yarn Projects: I have ten…how many do YOU have?

Anyone who crafts knows what it’s like to have unfinished projects around the house.
Especially my fellow knitters and crocheters.
You know the projects I’m talking about.  They’re a bit too complex, requiring more attention than you can provide or they’ve proven to be too simple, unable to capture your attention for any length of time.
I got thinking this morning about the various projects I have in my home that are unfinished, and the various reasons why they remain that way.
I knew I had a few around the house.  I don’t think I realized exactly how many.
TEN!  I found 10 unfinished projects! (Oh and I should add that these photos do not include yarn bagged with a pattern that simply hasn’t been started yet, nor does this include any orders that are underway.  I also hazard to say that there is likely one or two projects I missed that are presently giving me the stink-eye.  When I find them, I promise to edit this post and give them their moment in front of the camera! 😉
So, yes, unfinished projects in various states of completion.
They sit patiently, each in their own bags with their printed pattern (yep, that’s the Capricorn in me), on shelves, in bins or on  the couch next to me, waiting for me to pick them up again.
For inanimate objects, they really know how to guilt trip a person.  Every time I see one, I mentally placate it. “Tomorrow you and I will hang out.” “This weekend.  I promise!  I’ll make some time for us!”
Sometimes I do, but often, they continue to wait.  Silently.  Begrudgingly.
So, today I decided to pull them out and give them a bit of freedom.  A bit of sunlight.  A chance to show off for the camera and maybe, just maybe, by showing them off to the world, I will be inspired to start things up again with each of them!
It also gave me a chance to reflect on the various reasons why we don’t finish certain projects.
So, without further ado, my guilt-ridden…ahem…inspiring, yet unfinished, projects:

Communal Scarves & Happy Customers: Vending at the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival

IMG_9964
Skull ornament on sale at Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival

Last weekend, a friend and I had a booth at a nearby festival, the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival.
I have sold at a market once before but this time we approached it properly, as though we were attempting to set up a small pop-up shop.  We discussed displays and stock items and I ordered a Stitch Noir banner! 🙂
Having a physical presence, even for a short time, was a lot of work.  Well, having an internet presence is a lot of work too, but this was work of a different kind.
Stitch Noir booth at the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival
Stitch Noir booth at the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival

I can work on photos and try to ensure that they really show off the product for my etsy store, but displaying product on a table or in a tent…completely different world.

Communal Scarves & Happy Customers: Vending at the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival

IMG_9964
Skull ornament on sale at Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival

Last weekend, a friend and I had a booth at a nearby festival, the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival.
I have sold at a market once before but this time we approached it properly, as though we were attempting to set up a small pop-up shop.  We discussed displays and stock items and I ordered a Stitch Noir banner! 🙂
Having a physical presence, even for a short time, was a lot of work.  Well, having an internet presence is a lot of work too, but this was work of a different kind.
Stitch Noir booth at the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival
Stitch Noir booth at the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival

I can work on photos and try to ensure that they really show off the product for my etsy store, but displaying product on a table or in a tent…completely different world.

The Magic of Hand Carding

In all the time I have been spinning (you know, that whole six months of time!) I have only completed a few skeins of yarn. I have SO many bobbins on the go as I experiment and play that they take a long time to get beyond the spinning part and become skeins! ….BUT I did just finish a skein of red/teal 2-ply yarn that I’m pretty proud of.  Sure, it has its issues…overplied in places and too loose in others…but it was made by me and that makes it pretty darn awesome!

118 yards of handspun 2-ply merino/alpaca
118 yards of handspun 2-ply merino/alpaca
This skein was made possible by some new toys I purchased….hand carders!

To Spin or not to Spin…Red & Turquoise for the win!

I spent a good chunk of today sitting on my front porch with Maddy, my spinning wheel.  It was a gorgeous day and I wanted to be outside…but I also wanted to spin, so I did both.
It got me a few looks as vehicles passed by and my neighbour paused at one point to ask if “that thing really works?” to which I said “Uh huh.”
I forget sometimes how odd spinning seems to those who know nothing about it.
So, I sat on my porch and started working with a heathered red 100% wool roving.  A good amount of time was spent fussing with the tension as the darn yarn kept breaking as though I hadn’t spun it enough to give it strength.

All the ends that kept breaking....
All the ends that kept breaking….

To Spin or not to Spin…Red & Turquoise for the win!

I spent a good chunk of today sitting on my front porch with Maddy, my spinning wheel.  It was a gorgeous day and I wanted to be outside…but I also wanted to spin, so I did both.
It got me a few looks as vehicles passed by and my neighbour paused at one point to ask if “that thing really works?” to which I said “Uh huh.”
I forget sometimes how odd spinning seems to those who know nothing about it.
So, I sat on my porch and started working with a heathered red 100% wool roving.  A good amount of time was spent fussing with the tension as the darn yarn kept breaking as though I hadn’t spun it enough to give it strength.

All the ends that kept breaking....
All the ends that kept breaking….