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A Little More Abstract

Crafting For Those Dedicated to Experimentation

Month

January 2016

Phat Fiber Box

I managed to pick up a Phat Fiber Sampler Box, mixed yarn and fiber.  There was a huge variety of fibers and yarns to play with.  Between the stitch markers and the different cards from supply providers, each with some kind of discount, this box was a veritable treasure trove of goodies.

I am certainly not sad that I picked this up.  However, I am never going to get another box of this type again.  The wide variety of fibers does not offset the fact that the samples are only about 1/4 oz each.  I have been using my tahkli to spin these samples and managed to get them quite fine, then I triple plied them for strength.  I was able to get 5 yards from the iChing sample and about 8 yards from a colorful wool I already had.  Since it takes about 7.5 yards to create a Zoom Loom square, I was quite disappointed that I would not be able to create a sampler of Phat Fibers squares.  C’est La Vie.

iChing singles and plied yardage on my niddy noddy.

Colored Wool Singles with my Tahkli Spindle and the plied yardage on my niddy noddy.

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Jimmy Beans Beanie Bags

For Christmas, and at just $10 each they are a steal, I was given a 3 month subscription to Jimmy Beans Beanie Bags.  I have since then received my December and January Bags, both of which were an absolute delight.  While there are instructions for a suggested project included, I have been using my Schacht Zoom Loom, purchased from Woolery, to create amazing squares.  Those squares will eventually become a piece of either clothing or a scarf, I’m still working on figuring them out.  Each bag, and it really is a woven cotton bag with a zipper, also comes with Soak samples to wash your projects and an accessory.  In the December bag we were given a pom-pom maker and in January a wooden shawl closure.

Christmas Projects (2015)

Before I start in on what I have done so far in 2016, I wanted to post about the Christmas ornaments Mom and I made for the Christmas season!

One of my workplaces has a display of homemade ornaments that the staff have contributed.  I used my new Zoom Loom to make 3 different ornaments and mom created a plastic canvas cardinal.

2016 Project

As 2015 winds to a close and 2016 begins to pick up speed I am left thinking about what I want to do for the next year.  Certainly learn new crafts, at this point that goes almost without saying.  To that end I am utilizing a 14 day free trial of CreativeBug.com which is a site that allows you to watch videos on a wide variety of topics.  So far I have been watching videos on Japanese Binding, Coptic Binding, and Beginning Calligraphy.  While I have been interested in binding for years, the same of Calligraphy, I find these videos to be very instructional and useful.  While I will probably cancel my subscription at the end of the trial, I fully intend to pick it back up over the summer.  At $5 a month it is very cost effective when I have time to watch the videos.  The same can be said for Craft Daily videos, which at $20 a month are more expensive, contains videos on Spinning and Weaving in addition to more mainstream crafts.

On the topic of new crafts, I have decided to try my hand at Japanese Binding, at least a little.  What I find most fascinating about this craft is the sheer versatility of how personalized it can be.  I know, all crafts can be personalized, but this really takes the cake.  Except for your needle, and I know some people can make that and the awl (though I wonder if an ice pick would do) the rest of the components can be made.  I know there are plenty of people that enjoy paper-making, spinning fiber into yarn to create the threads is fairly simple, and from there it is simply a matter of punching holes and binding.  I wonder if this would be easy enough to teach at a library, well actually I know that it is.  There is even a version with a hole punch and large yarn that can be used for kids.  I could even get those plastic needles that really can’t hurt them….I’m going to do a couple of samples and see if any of the librarians would be interested.

New Years Resolutions: I will finish at least 2 large craft projects this year.  I have already started weaving the squares for a 140 square top, 48 squares woven, 24 squares crochet edged.  I need to weave another 92 squares and crochet edge all of those as well as edge the 24 squares I have woven but not edged.  Yay!  It sounds like a ton but since I have woven 48 squares in less than a week and edged half of those in 3 days (mom is helping with the edging so I have to slow down and crochet better since hers are so even!) I don’t anticipate this taking too long in the end.  *I know some of you are looking at this and thinking that I’m crazy, “why are you so worried and calling this a ‘large project’?  I can crochet 5-10 sweaters in a year and a half dozen afghans, up your productivity!”  Yes, well I can’t go that fast and often can’t get myself to stick with something that long.  As you probably can tell since I’m writing about weaving the squares, crocheting them, watching videos on binding and calligraphy, and all of that without mentioning that I broke into the cotton spinning kit I got for Christmas and have been playing with that a bit.  LOL.*

I have some other resolutions revolving around doing some professional development stuff and getting closer to my 100 books a year goal, but those are for another blog!

Happy, Healthy, Joyous, Blessed 2016.

Craft ON!

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