Another Batch of Coffee Sweaters Ready – handmade gift items available at Sunworks (Red Deer, Alberta)

Here is a quick reblog from my other site . The latest batch of Coffee Sweaters are now available at Sunworks in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. It is time to get knitting again, other than a few ornaments, everything has sold. My new year will be filled with dyeing, knitting, plus a list of new prototypes to play with!
If you are in town, check out the Coffee sweaters and Sunworks….it is a pretty cool shop.

Debra Hunter - Canadian photography, art and handmade

(Please click on the images to view full size.)

Another set of Coffee Sweaters were dropped off to Sunworks yesterday afternoon. The last batch sold FAST. I am starting to see my knit items pop up in use around town which is pretty fun.

This new group sports some brighter colors and bolder patterns. They are all hand knit and naturally hand dyed of Canadian produced wool that is milled right here in Alberta.

Sunworks is located on Ross Street in Red Deer, Alberta. It is a great place to look for niche items that make for special gifts.

Knit items by Debra Hunter
Red Deer Alberta & Pender Island, BC, Canada


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A Change in Light Can Make a Difference

The three pieces shown above have been hanging in one of my studios for a while. As I have walked past them over and over I noticed how the way they look in real life looks nothing like how they look on-line. It has been really frustrating. So a few nights ago I decided to go with a harsher, more directional light and it made an improvement.

The biggest change was in the appearance of “The Star Money”. Now it has more dimension where the first version really flattened out the piece, now the silk has more richness.

“Sunset, North Saskatchewan River” also improved under the directional lighting, especially in the beading. The piece is still more interesting viewed in person. It is hard to shrink a piece over three feet in height down to four or five inches high and expect it to have the same impact. The intricate beading can only be appreciated in person.

“Grain Elevator and Tansy” had only a small improvement probably as it is mostly cotton with few reflective areas.¬† The reproduction of this piece looks very much like the original piece with both lighting patterns. It was interesting seeing this piece shot both ways (previously it was soft, even lighting) just for the sake of the experiment.

So I have learned a lesson this week. The harsher, directional light will be the best option for pieces made of silk or with reflective areas such as the glass beads.

Now I need to find where the originals were posted and substitute in the “new and improved” versions!



Mystery Dyeing

blog mystery dyeingI decided it was time to use up some of the dyes that have taken over both my kitchen counters and fridge. Rumor has it these areas are supposed to be used for cooking and food storage……who knew. Yellow is turmeric dyeing some threads previously dyed in pomegranate, plus I threw in a small amount of lopi yarn. The purple-pink is a lac and logwood combination, so a real mystery mix. It is also dyeing some thread and lopi. The thread is currently a disgusting color so it will probably be redyed later this evening, I will leave the yarn for a few hours and then decide it’s fate. I have two more jars sitting on the counter and then I will start on what is living in the fridge. Eventually it reaches a point where it is nice to start with brand new dyes (and have room to cook and store food too!)

I am dyeing small amounts of lopi as our 6 year old wants a hat that has been naturally dyed. I think small amounts of different colors knit into patterns would be fun; a completely unplanned hat. The thread is for the bull skull stitched piece; this is a piece of a lot of different bits…..I am still figuring out just where it is going.

1:00 am Cookies

blog cookies 2Doesn’t everyone bake Christmas cookies at 1:00 am? Yesterday’s batch lasted a half hour, these will be gone by the end of lunch today as they will be packed in the kid’s lunches.

blog cookies 1Most people seem to do one big Christmas bake, but that doesn’t work in our house. It seems no matter how many dozens of cookies I bake the kids find a way to eat them instantly. Five kids, of which three are VERY hungry boys, can consume a lot of cookies.

Chances are some of these cookies may even disappear before morning…..of course my husband may have something to do with that!

Festival Lights The Night – Christmas Lights in Red Deer

(Please click on the above images in the gallery to view full size.)

On November 22, 2014 downtown Red Deer (Alberta, Canada) was the site for “Festival Lights the Night”, a celebration for the start of the festive season including the lighting of two very large Christmas trees.

Originally I wasn’t going to post the pictures from the event as it was hard to get images of lights without crowds in the pictures. After glancing through the images a second time I decided that perhaps the crowds made the pictures and gave context to the event being¬† well attended.

It was a great evening. We saw trees lit, heard a band, saw some mascots, enjoyed the lights, and saw a live nativity. Luckily we live within walking distance so we were also able to incorporate a rather brisk walk.

I especially like the picture of the nativity as the scene has been Canadianized……the shepherd is wearing snowpants….very practical and a little bit less traditional too.