Sunday, November 10, 2013

Fibre Fun in Portsmouth

Portsmouth is a neighbourhood on the lake in Kingston that started life in 1784 as a village founded by United Empire Loyalists. It's a bit west of downtown, still has the feel of 200 years ago, boasts a harbour built for the 1976 Olympic sailing events----and now has a new hangout for fibre enthusiasts. Yesterday marked the grand opening of Anwyn Yarns,

a dye-studio and classroom space that is the brainchild of Meriel, shown here teaching Michael to knit.

This place is all about colour, from the art of the walls (see photo above), to the yarns (all dyed from nature),

 to the mugs for coffee and tea.

The studio is a bright, welcoming place, although it's hard to tell that from my photos, taken on a grey, rainy day.
Portsmouth is also the home of Carolyn Barnett's studio, and Carolyn was present yesterday in a corner of Anwyn Studio, working on some of her incredible buttons.


Carolyn's work is colourful, energetic, and stylish. When I arrived, she was working on a clay pin with dots,

some of which were teeny, tiny,

to go with with this amazing felted hat.

Love orange but can't wear it next to your face? (Who can?) This is the answer. Notice how the orange features at the crown of the hat while purple frames the face.
I put in a special request for some buttons in red, to form the basis of a new design. Sometimes yarn is the inspiration, but sometimes it's buttons. Carolyn then hauled out her "red bag", full of these multi-hued balls of clay wrapped in plastic and looking for all the world like little candies.

In short order, she'd finished the buttons, but when I tried to get a photo, my camera refused to take any more closeups under the lamp glare. The buttons still needed baking when I left, but you can be sure I'm already thinking about a design to feature them.
To complete the fibre goodness of the day (which I should mention included a visit across the road to the Kingston Handloom Spinners and Weavers annual sale), Purlin J's Roving Yarn truck was parked in the lot next to Anwyn. You can read more about Purlin J in the current (Holiday) issue of Vogue Knitting in the Made in Canada column. The day was wet and close to freezing, so I ran across the street to the local Tim's to fetch some hot coffee for Joan, who was kind enough to pose with her hot drink and her cozy wool.

The truck/shop will remain in Portsmouth (conveniently across from the Tim's) for the next couple of weekends. Go visit; this is the time to get going on those holiday projects.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Elizabeth, I loved reading this about us. Your buttons are ready for you! Great to see you over the weekend.