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Crafting For Those Dedicated to Experimentation

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Knitting

Crafting Articles

I’ve been neglecting this blog a little bit.  While I’m working on different crafts and working on..well work, I don’t have as much time to blog as I would like.  Fortunately for me much of my work involves my passions so I’m able to read a wide variety of articles, technology, crafts, library science, speech therapies, makerspaces, etc. while I am at work because my work involves everything under the sun.  Very rarely does something that I read not come up in a work situation later, it is a ton of fun and never boring.  Enough about work though, I wanted to let you know I’m going to be posting a series of articles about crafting topics I’ve read recently.  There will be links to the articles as well as a brief synopsis and any comments I care to make.

The first few will be about weaving, and we will see where these lead me from there!

To catch you up on my crafting, I’ve been slightly obsessed with making Hexipuffs.  To the extent that I have deluded myself into thinking that I can make socks.  Cross your fingers and hope for the best…it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Happy Crafting!

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Spinzilla 2017

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I had a ton of fun spinning for Spinzilla 2017!  I managed to spin 1.27 miles of yarn, this includes the singles and then the ‘ply credit’.  I am very pleased with the yarn I managed to spin, though I am disappointed that I could not get my WooleeWinder working right for spinzilla.

However the creator and owner of the company promised he would look at my WooleeWinder and see if he could figure out what is making it rattle so badly.  I just have to send my device to him, lol.  Haven’t gotten around to that yet.

I cannot wait until I have these skeins washed and ready to work with.  One of my greatest fears has been ‘ruining’ my handspun by knitting or crocheting or weaving the ‘wrong’ pattern with them.  Now after almost 2 years of spinning…I’d better do something with my handspun pretty soon, lol.  I have a 3 drawer plastic storage unit full of handspun yarn, and I love all of  it!

Recently I took the dive and purchased the pattern for the beekeeper’s quilt, and just love how simple the hexipuffs are to create.  I made 3 out of a self striping ball of commercial sock yarn, this brought about the delusion that I want to knit socks which is another problem on the horizon, then last night I took the plunge.  I knit a Hexipuff out of my handspun.  I love my little hexipuff and cannot wait to make more.  While I’m not sure I”ll make the 300+ it takes to create a quilt, I do think that these hexipuff’s might become my new  Granny Square.  My new go-to, quick to finish, project.

TIP:  I use the tip of my left index finger to push my needle through the yarn when knitting.  The tip of the needle is a little bit pointed, but not enough to stab me…However…repeated pushing allowed my skin, probably dry, to split along the natural whorls in my fingertip.  While it never bled, it did hurt a bit.  I realized that I would have to use something to prevent this from happening, and thought of a thimble.  Unfortunately I cannot feel anything through the thimble so that didn’t work.  Then I thought of some of those stick on thimble things I had seen…it turns out they’re a little expensive.  Fortunately during my search I turned up a tip, a Bandage.  Just a simple bandage, can get about 30 for $1 at a dollar store, is enough padding to keep the needle from splitting my skin.  YAY I Can Knit Again!

Happy Crafting!

Summer is Ending

I cannot, for the life of me, believe that summer is OVER!  It seems like summer just began and here I am looking at my last Wooly Wednesday Class Tomorrow!  We are starting up “Fall Crafting” next Monday during the afternoon but this still seems like the end of an era.

Wooly Wednesday’s could not have gone better if I had tried.  I do have some plans for how to modify these classes for the spring and summer in 2018 so that they are more comprehensive, don’t rush my students as much, and cover more students and class time for the same amount of supplies (my boss will like that one).

LOOK AT ALL OF THE COOL STUFF MY LADIES CREATED THIS SUMMER!!!!!

 

 

 

This summer of Crafting ROCKED, so did my Wooly Wednesday Ladies. I hope to see you this fall, I miss you already!

Happy Crafting

Books and Knitting

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Mom has been a busy beaver with her destashing projects.  In the midst of that goal she began reading the newest book in one of her favorite series, “Gone with the Wool” by Betty Hechtman.  In this installment of a quirky series about a woman that inherited her Aunt’s  knitting retreat business they are exploring loom knitting.  Mom wanted to explore in more depth what they were talking about in the books.  Fortunately one of the crafting motto’s we live by is “If you see it, get it, you never know when you’ll see it again.”  Yes, I know.  This sounds like a wasteful motto, but thanks to this motto we happened to have some knitting looms on hand.  (Okay so we have the whole set except sock and afghan looms because I had a coupon and they were on sale at JoAnn’s a few years ago).  I had a project already started on one and Mom has gone to town ever since!  She made these six hats in 3 days!  One of the white hats has a bit of a problem since one of the rows seems to be a bit looser than the rest but all of the other hats are lovely.  We are currently debating if these hats are going to go to Paradise FIbers for their donation contest or to the local knit and crochet group for the local hospital instead.  Either way!

Go MOM!  Happy Crafting!

Teaching Knitting

The knitting class that I taught was amazing.  There were certain aspects that I did not realize were as difficult as they are!  Everyone was able to create a slip knot quickly but trying to get the stitches cast on was very difficult for 2 of my students.  My third student was simply being reminded of how to knit, she had done so years ago and just needed reminders.

For my new knitters we put the slipknot on the needle and then began trying to stitch the cast on, by not telling my students how important it was to keep their needles crossed as much as possible in addition to keeping the tail held firmly against the needle I set them up for failure accidentally.  Their stitches kept spinning around on the stationary needle while they were trying to get the third stitch cast on, this meant that the second stitch they made spun right off of the needles.

Once we had the rhythm down (for the 11 year old I had to do the cast on for her) my students took off!  They were stitching their hearts out, the older woman managed to create a sampler swatch and cast on a second piece, my re-learner finished her project and cast off!  My 11 year old managed to do about 5 rows and she is hoping to keep this going until next week when we will work on her cast off!

By reminding my students that this is not something that gets picked up in five minutes, encouraging them to take the time to learn the process, and exampling what to do (and taking the time to figure out what they are doing to get the results they managed), all three of the students managed to pick up on the skills.  I am very happy and find the entire process very rewarding.  I look forward to Thursday when I will see my students again and hopefully we can progress on our way to crafting success!

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Update

Okay, sorry it has been a couple of weeks since I have posted on this site.  Recently I have volunteered to teach a few crafting classes at the Public Library that I work for.  March 9 I will be teaching Crochet, March 23rd I will be teaching a Creative Journal Binding class for teens and up, then on March 30th I will be teaching a Knitting class using the combined continental knitting method that I am familiar with.

Of the three I am most concerned about the knitting class.  Apparently there are two methods of knitting, three if you count the combined version, but essentially there is the eastern method and the western method.  Most people in America and Europe use the western method.  I use a combination of the two, and it works well for me.  I enjoy it, though I find Crochet faster, I can do this craft quite well and easily.

Oh well, so I had to work on getting the powerpoint presentations together for them as well as supplies lists and a press release (it only needed minor modifications when I handed it off so that’s great!).  For the knit and crochet classes we will be working on creating a washcloth.  Not too exciting, but not too complicated either.

The public library will also be offering beginners computer lessons this upcoming week and a week in March in addition to possibly offering other classes (it depends on what the library system decides).  In another job I might be teaching a class on Library Research Skills, though I doubt it, but I will have a high-school class to teach the second week in March.

So, even though I have managed to almost spin 1/2 of a Quarter Ounce batt I received in my Phat Fiber box, I don’t have any crafting to post or to speak of.  Let me see how March goes, and if I have a few craft posts at once I’ll try to spread them out more!

 

Happy Crafting!

Needle Sushi

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I am thinking of getting into bobbin lace.  One of the main supplies is a lot of pins, it really is an interesting craft that I hope to learn sometime when I have more time and patience.  To that end, I needed a pin cushion.  Since I did not have a pin cushion but I do have a lot of acrylic yarn I decided to look up patterns to create a pin cushion.  I regret to say I do not know where I got the original pattern from, but I did modify it anyway.  This really simple pattern created a visually interesting pin cushion with as many different colors as I could imagine.  Mom thinks I should make these to sell, and I wonder how they would go over.  As you can see they hold a ton of pins, and are really sort of cute.  Oh well, I enjoyed making it and will love using it once I get around to learning Bobbin Lace!  The Joys of a completed, practical, project!

Going Batt-y

This past week I decided to use my bottom whorl spindle to spin up a couple of mini-batts I purchased from Woolie Bullie out of Kansas, purchased through Etsy.  The first batt started out looking like this:

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These are two views of the same batt.  I split this batt into two halves and spun two singles.  I wound the singles onto (clean) chopsticks and plied them from there.  The plied yarn on the spindle looked like this:

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Then I used my Niddy Noddy to measure the yarn:

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This first 1/4 oz batt gave me 17 yards, all of the design elements that caused this to be less than a ‘perfect spin’ are my own and I love them!  I then cast on 20 stitches and using a stockette stitch on US9 needles I started knitting:

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This is after 17 yards, well I love it and so I spun up the second batt:

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Which yielded about 16 yards.  I have that knit up but could not stop there!  I am currently waiting with baited breath for my next Batt from WoolieBullie.  So exciting, I hope that there will be enough to make a very nice scarf or cowl.  I believe that when I finish knitting and wash the product, gently with Dawn, the finished knitted fabric will full out a bit and cause the absolute end product to look a bit different from this beginning.

For the WoolieBullie Dingbats, I highly recommend them.  My first batt spun very quickly and easily, while it looked like there was a lot of white the end product was very colorful.  There seemed to be a bit of a sticky substance on my second batt, but I believe that this is the result of having a few beautiful curly locks in the fiber and just surprised me instead of detracting from my spinning experience (obvious since I am getting another batt!).

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