Accomplishments of the Week - June 17, 2018
Bees! One of the things I'm most excited about getting done this week is setting up a new bee hive. We've had hives in our backyard for the past few summers, but I haven't been really involved in taking care of them too much (it's been more my boyfriend and his brother's project). Unfortunately this year none of them made it through the winter, so we decided to do a bit of a re-set, with my boyfriend and I taking on more of the responsibility for them, and moving the hive up onto the roof of our building so we'd be less likely to get stung while gardening.
Our first big task was to drive out to Propolis-etc last weekend to pick up what's known as a "nuc", a small nucleus colony that you can start a new hive from. They came packed up in a cardboard box, and as soon as we got home we brought them up onto the roof, suited up, and moved them into their new hive. We won't really know how well they're settling in for another few days, but I've spotted several harvesting nectar from the clover in our backyard already.
I've been doing quite a bit of dyeing for wholesale orders lately, and was happy to start out this week with getting a special order for these custom Crescendo sets shipped off to Purlin' J's Roving Yarn Co. in Kingston. You can find Joan in her yarn truck at a variety of events in Eastern Ontario throughout the summer, starting with the Lansdowne Textiles Festival on June 23.
After a very long winter and a very busy spring, I'm definitely ready for a summer vacation, so my boyfriend and I are planning a trip out east for later this month. We're going to take the train straight to Halifax, but once we're there we'll need a car for a few days to get out of the city to visit friends and see more of the province. Since I'm a Communauto member here in Montreal, I realized that I might be able to use a similar service there. It took a few phone calls to figure it out, but I'm now a member of Carshare Atlantic!
I'm really pleased to be able to do things this way, both because it's more economical and because I'd rather support the carsharing business model than the traditional rental companies. Now that we've got that sorted we can finalize the rest of our vacation plans. If you have recommendations for places to see or things to do in Halifax, Cape Breton or Antigonish please let me know!
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One of our big goals for Sweet Paprika this year was to source a new line of Canadian wool yarns. We started contacting farms and mills last January, researching options, connecting with farmers, and collecting samples.
Eventually we settled on working with wool from Circle R Livestock, a family farm in southern Ontario. Over the spring we worked out the details to have the wool milled in New Brunswick, and we then spent the summer doing dye tests and creating colour recipes for our new Winfield (worsted) and Sutton (bulky) yarn lines.
Lately a lot of my crafting inspiration has come from my son, who is growing and needs things, and from my goal to live more gently on this earth and think twice before buying and using things.
My values of living frugally and buying ethically-produced clothing that is not damaging to the environment sometimes feel completely at odds with each other. For me, this is where mending, crafting, and buying second-hand come in. Can I mend something to extend its useful life? Can I knit or sew more of our everyday wardrobe basics? Is it something I can trade or buy second-hand rather than purchasing new?