Friday, December 30, 2016

Upcycle Old Calendars

Before you toss the 2016 calendar in the recycle or trash bin, check out these upcycle ideas.

HubPages shares 36 creative ways to use the glossy, calendar images.

Some of the ideas include:
Gift bags
Mini gift boxes
Envelopes or gift card holders

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Art Knitting

The term "Art Knitting" is not common, but Sydney-based artist Helen Pynor creates beautiful and unique works of art by knitting with single strands of human hair. 

The complete article abut her wispy and fine knit sculptures can be read on Twist Collective: The Knitted Sculptures of Helen Pynor.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Stash Control Question

Keeping stash under control is a common issue with crafters. Twist Collective's Problem Ladies answered one reader's question:

Do you have any advice on how to keep stash acquisition from getting out of control?     Mystified

Dear Mystified,

We are so glad you have asked us this question. As you can probably tell from what big know-it-alls we are, the Problem Ladies have been knitting for a combined total of . . . eternity. We’ve walked a very long stretch of the stash-shopping trail of tears that you are just starting out on. We’ve gone through repeated cycles of giving bins of luxury fiber yarns away to school arts & crafts rooms, and then promptly re-filling every cubic inch of livable space with more yarn than we could ever knit up, including a lot of yarn that we decided we didn’t like within 24 hours of buying it. We’ve hit bottom, rock bottom. We’ve realized certain truths, one of which is that knitting and buying yarn are two independent hobbies, and that we would probably want to spend all our money on yarn even if we never knit another stitch. There is just something about yarn that makes you want to buy it.

Although we realize the burden that a burgeoning stash can impose on one’s household, one’s budget, and one’s relationship with one’s life partner, we do not—repeat, do NOT—go in for “yarn diets” and “knit from your stash for a whole year” and other exercises in self-denial. Despite everything, we still happen to think that buying yarn is the absolute best, most pleasurable use of any extra cash one comes into. But we have learned, over time, that some kinds of stash are more satisfying than others. If you buy the right kind of yarn, you will enjoy having it around, you will not need to give it to the Tiny Tots Day Camp to make kid mohair God’s Eyes with, and you might even knit it up. Ponder our tips:

Rule Number One: The single skein is a sucker play.

People buy a lot of single skeins. A skein of something juicy and expensive seems like an affordable indulgence that will forestall a more catastrophic dent in the budget. But unless you knit a tremendous number of Baby Surprise Jackets, these singletons will sit in your stash forever, waiting for the Right Project that never comes.

(Exception to Rule Number One: Souvenir skeins. If you are going on a trip, you are quite naturally going to end up buying a skein of yarn from every yarn shop you come across in your journey. This is a cost of doing business as a knitter. Make these skeins into Baby Surprise Jackets.)

Rule Number Two: Figure out what your “flour and sugar” yarns are.

This is the rule that has saved the Problem Ladies from financial ruin and deep unhappiness. There are certain yarns that each of us is always going to be interested in knitting, until the day they pry the needles from our cold, stiff claws. One of us, for example, has a tendency to look at a pattern for a cashmere sweater and think, “Wouldn’t that be awesome in indigo-dyed denim yarn?” Another of us is always going to be knitting socks. Staple yarns, or “flour and sugar” yarns, are the yarns you find yourself actually running out of (once in a while). These are the yarns you can stash without fear. Figure out what they are, and steer the credit card in that direction.

Rule Number 3: Never buy a yarn just because it is being discontinued.

This is a key rule. Our stashes are filled with age-clouded plastic bags containing 10 skeins of yarns that at one time seemed vital to our very existence. Rowan Magpie, anyone? Judging by our garage-busting inventories of this fluffy favorite, it seems that we thought Rowan Magpie was the very last Aran-weight wool that would ever be manufactured, in our lifetime. We even considered stashing it for future generations, so that knitters yet unborn would someday know the Glory That Was Magpie. (OK, we didn’t just consider it. We actually did it. Our grandbabies will be knitting Magpie, doggone it.)

It turns out we were wrong. Magpie may be gone, but the spinners kept making beautiful Aran weight woolen yarns. Maybe not EXACTLY as good as the late, great Magpie but, as it turns out, pretty alluring stuff. And when a yarn has been discontinued, designers tend to stop writing patterns for it. This is when those bargain bags start to weigh you down. Have faith, people: they will keep making wonderful yarns. You can buy them when you need them. There is no need to stockpile.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Ponder This . . .

The following was originally posted on Jackie E-S's blog (January 6, 2011)

What kind of Fiber Artist are you?

The Day Dreamer – The joy for you is the anticipation and the search. You dream of the ideal project as you surf books, magazines and the internet in search of that illusive project that will match the vision in your inner soul.

The Collector – The joy for you is in the yarn shopping for the phantom project that may or may never come to pass. Even putting a gorgeous skein of yarn on display as a centerpiece on your table, or a basket arranged with pretty balls of yarn, would be enough to give you satisfaction as a project well done.

The Dabbler – The joy for you is getting underway with needles and yarn in hand to become friends with your yarn. As you sample and swatch, the feel of fiber through your hands as it transforms into even the simplest of fabrics is enough to satisfy your longing to find another best friend.

The Starter – The joy for you is seeing those first few inches of your yarn being transformed into the beginnings of the final knitted item you envision. It’s oftentimes a struggle to keep interest going beyond that, and your project was really destined all along as an UFO (unfinished object) rather than the completed sweater, or sock, or whatever that had originally been your intent.

The Long Distance Runner – The joy for you is in the process; the miles and miles of yarn that run through fingers as the project grows keep you in that continual feeling of euphoria. You know there is a finish line, but are not necessarily looking forward to when it is time to stop.

The Finisher – The joy for you is seeing the last few stitches being released from the needles. If you are a lace knitter, there is always a magic moment at the finale when the lace is blocked out to show all of its airy beauty.

The Gifter – The joy is in the giving, whether it is to someone else or even yourself! The project was meant to be used or worn all along, and that is the whole reason you set on the journey to make the item to begin with.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Warmth of Wool

In this clever commercial, the house "knits" itself to illustrate the warmth of natural gas. The advertising agency used the "stop motion technique" to show how the warmth spreads through the house as knitted wool.

A film of TBWA Brussels, directed by Olivier Babinet produced by Lovo Films.

Following is the video of how they accomplished this task.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Keep Your Place

This handy tip from WEBS will help you keep your place on a chart or pattern.

All you need is a plastic page protector and a dry erase marker.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Honest Gift Tags

Want some humorous tags for the items you created this year?

Little Monkey Crochet has a PDF of four "honest" gift tags. They can be found here.

Knit Picks also free printable tags available
       Gift tags #1

       Gift tags #2

       Care tags

       IOU tags


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Knit a Cake?

If you want to "wow" your knitting friends, you might want to try this:

Monday, December 19, 2016

Fabric Twine

Are fabric scraps taking over your sewing room? Do you need more ribbon for Christmas gifts? Want to create a quick garland for last minute decorating?

This video may provide the solution.

Note: the twine can also be used for knitting and crochet

Friday, December 16, 2016

Felted Soap Bar

No need to purchase a gift when you have the materials in your home to make one.

Birkeland Wool shares directions on how to create a Felted Bar of Soap.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Reminder - Holiday Meeting

Jane W-F., Cheryl O., Rachel B., Sue O.
meet last week to wrap gifts for the Holiday Surprise Program
December 2016

Fremont Fiber Arts Guild meeting

Saturday, December 17, 2016 

10 AM 

REACH Foundation
622 N. 8th W.
Riverton, WY 82501

(please bring a dollar for the use of the building)

After the business meeting, the Riverton crew 
has a holiday surprise planned

Why not bring a friend to the meeting

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Gift Tags

Yesterday's post offered some things to remember when gifting hand-made items to non-crafters.

Little Monkeys Crochet has a fun pdf of gift tags (a few specific to crochet) available here that might make recipients appreciate their hand-crafted gifts a bit more.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Non-crafter Gift Tips

Planning to gift some hand-knit, crochet, woven gifts this Christmas. Make sure to read Interweave's list of Five Things to Remember about Non-knitters post.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Fat Quarter Lollipops

Need a quick and easy idea for a gift exchange for a friend who sews?

Make some "lollipops" from a selection of fat quarters (FQs)

Complete tutorial on this Splish Splash Stash post.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Field Scarf Pattern

Use your Cricket Loom to create this lovely woven scarf. Purl Soho offers complete directions for Field Scarf on their website.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Weavers' Resources

Robyn Spady complied a list of Weaving Resource links -  glossaries dictionaries that are available online.

She explains: "Communicating about weaving can be confusing at times. The same term can be used to describe more than one thing. For example, a balanced weave can mean the same number of weft picks as warp ends per inch . . . sometimes also referred to weaving square. It can also mean the same number of shafts up that are down . . . often related to counterbalance looms.

Then different terms may be used to describe the same thing. In the United States, we often see the term shaft used interchangeably with harness. As a young weaver, I was taught the shafts make up the harness; however, if anyone tells me they are weaving on a four harness loom, I still understand what they mean. But, the definition of the shafts making up the harness is important if you come in contact with draw loom weavers and they speak about weaving on double harness looms, which are looms with two sets of shafts."

Robyn's links will help clarify terms for beginning and experienced weavers.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Self-folding Hot Pads

Need a quick gift idea? The self-folding hot pad can be made to any size from potholders to table mats. The pads are naturally double-thick as the pad folds in on itself as it is crocheted.

The pattern can be found here.

note: be aware that acrylic yarn will melt, so it's best to make these pads out of wool or similar fiber. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Orphan Block Minis

Do you have a box or bin containing orphan blocks?

We All Sew's tutorial will help those orphan blocks into mini quilts, doll quilts, or mug mats.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Spindle Hook Alignment

Spinning on a drop spindle that wobbles can be annoying. The wobble, and resulting imbalance, may well be due to the spindle hook not being aligned properly. 

Interweave offers tips on how to fix the alignment of the drop spindle hook in this Tool Tuesday post.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Crochet Socks

Why should knitters have all the fun in creating socks?

Fiber Flux's post provides links to 11 free patterns for Comfy Crochet Socks including some for infants, children and adults.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Working with Minky

Cool winter days motivate quilters and sewists to use Minky fabric on the back of blankets or quilts. The super soft fabric can be difficult to handle.

Some sites that offer advice on working with the soft fabric.

Clarks Condensed

Sew Much Ado

Easy Sewing for Beginners

Kitchen Table Quilting

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Advent Pouches

FitzBirch Crafts shares a tutorial for making small pouches for observing Advent or simply counting down the days to Christmas.

Charming Advent Pouches

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Pin Looms

Those who attended the Fiber Fest may have seen the demonstration that Laura B. held on Pin Looms.

The small looms are quickly becoming popular. Berroco's photo tutorial shows the steps involved in creating fabric on a pin loom. It will appeal to those who want to refresh their memory or try a new craft.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cleaning Handwoven Cloth

One of the most frustrating situations an artist can experience is soiling an article that took months or years to create. 

Interweave recently shared tips on Keeping Cloth Clean. While it addresses handwoven cloth, some of the tips can be applied to hand-knit or crocheted items as well. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Pocket Prayer Shawls

Prayer shawls provide comfort to those who make them as well as to the recipients of these special gifts. However, it can take a long time to knit or crochet a shawl and some people, although they appreciate the gift of one, don’t ever wear shawls. 

Pocket prayer shawls address both of those issues, allowing crafters to quickly work up comforting handmade squares that any recipient can carry at any time for constant comfort. These small squares can be knit, crochet or sewn.

Find more information on the Pocket Prayer Shawls on the Lion Brand site.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Tackle those UFOs

Weavers, spinners, quilters, crocheters, knitters - work on a variety of projects, and from time to time some projects become stalled or are forgotten.

Let's be honest: we all have unfinished projects (UFOs) tucked away in bags, boxes, and baskets. It might be time to come up with a plan to tackle them and to gain some room in your closets or project bags. You may want to find a new home for some projects, salvage supplies from another, and finally complete those that you love.

McCall's Quilting's blog published a strategy to deal with Projects in Bags, and maybe it will give you the nudge that you need.

Friday, November 18, 2016

No-sew zippers

Adding zippers to knit or crochet wear can be frustrating, but TECHknitting shares a technique and type of zipper that makes it easier.

Find information on this TECHknitting post.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Organizing Patterns

Is your collection of patterns out of control?

WEBS yarn store gives some tips to organize patterns. Find the tips on this post - read the comments for even more tips.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Fabric Scraps Memory Game

Use some scraps to create a fun memory game for someone's Christmas stocking.

The simple directions can be found on Skip To My Lou.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Left-leaning Decrease

Looking for a smooth left-leaning decrease for your knitting?

Yarn Sub explains a decrease that that is smooth, attractive, and nearly invisible on this post.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Twining Turns

Twining rugs on a loom is relaxing. Turning at the end of a row is often the step that is confusing to the beginner.

Country Farm Home prepared a step-by-step tutorial on the process.

If you're interested in twining, you may want to bookmark the tutorial.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Spinning Wheel Maintenance

Birkeland Brothers Wool (British Columbia) invited Richard Ashford (New Zealand) to their shop to speak about maintaining a spinning wheel.

Richard Ashford's maintenance tips are shared on this post.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Loading a Longarm Frame

Guild members who are quilters may be interested to see how the longarm quilting frame is loaded.

We All Sew shows the steps involved in the process.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Handspinning Video

Enjoy this creative look at the Revolution of Handspinning. The characters and background are  needle-felted, and it's fun to watch.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Katheryn's Bag

Guild members have long admired Katheryn E.'s knitting bag, and now they can make one of their own.

So Sew Easy shares a free pattern and a source for purchasing the handles.

The bag pattern can be found here.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Fall Leaves

Crochet some leaves to decorate the Thanksgiving table or to add a touch of color to the coffee table.

The Painted Hinge offers free patterns for decorative leaves:
     Maple Leaf pattern
     Oak Leaf pattern

Friday, November 4, 2016

Turning the Corner with Knitted-on Border

According to Roving Crafters, "It's difficult to find explanations on how to turn on corner with a knitted-on border because the specifics will be different for every border. A lot of what you do will depend on the pattern/motif you’ve chosen for your border. If you are tackling this on your own, you’re going to have to make some judgement calls."

Roving Crafters website provides specific information on the various techniques for turning the corner and how to make those judgement calls.

The tutorial can be found here.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Wired Ribbon from a Shirt

Wired Ribbon is used frequently in decorations and displays, but sometimes what is sold is just not the right color or type of ribbon desired.

Sadie Seasongoods (aka Sarah) shared how she made an Autumn wired-ribbon from a thrifted flannel shirt. The complete process is shown in a tutorial on her blog.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Making Buttons

No doubt the recent winds brought down some tree branches and limbs. Before throwing the wood into the compost or recycle bins, look at their potential.

Mark Montano shares a tutorial for making buttons from branches.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Helpful Resources

Cowgirl Yarn in Laramie, WY shares some helpful information on their blog.

Fiber-related resources can be found on this blog post.

A list of free pattern sites can be found on another blog post.

Check out Cowgirl Yarn's other blog posts here.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Craft Fair Vendor Tips

The season of holiday Craft Fairs is quickly approaching.

Christin Sander offers tips to vendors on how to set up booths and to sell their items at the Craft Fairs. She includes a handy checklist of items necessary for a day of vending.
Her tips can be found here.

More tips can be found on the website The Craft Booth

Friday, October 28, 2016

Therapy Mitts

Crafters' hands often suffer from repeated movements. Therapy Hand Mitts might be helpful in easing the pain.

We All Sew presents a photo and step by step tutorial for making Therapy Hand Mitts.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Making a Lark's Head Knot

The lark’s head is an enormously useful knot and quick to make once you’ve mastered the thumb and finger pinch action. It’s great to use when you have an intact circle with no ends available, such as a rubber band, or when you have a loop. It also can be made with a length of string folded in half (with two tails). It’s used to attach things—what is to be attached is encircled and held secure in the knot’s loop, which draws up and holds the object tightly. It is extremely secure and can’t come undone.

Peggy Osterkamp shares two methods for making a Lark's Head Knot on Peggy's Weaving Tips' post.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Spindle Storage

Need something to store drop spindles to keep them contained and safe from breakage when traveling or simply for easier portability?

Simply Notable shares a tutorial on making a travel case to contain a drop spindle and roving.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Bobbin Storage Tip


Anyone who sews knows that storing bobbins without loose threads is a challenge. Some people use small hair ties to secure the thread, but then it is nearly impossible to see at a glance what color the thread it.

We All Sew offers a clear solution in a Thread Storage post.

Monday, October 24, 2016

October Show and Tell - Fabric

Mary H. displays an English Paper-Piecing project in progress.
Mary encouraged the members to look at the back of the
hexagons to see the process involved in English Paper-Piecing.
Nancy S. made an English Paper-Piecing table mat
Nancy S. shared two examples of InkTense she completed
at the Lander Art Center with the Lander Sewing Group.
New member, Deidre F. proudly shows her quilting project,
the first one she's done on her own.
Sandy W. dyed a silk scarf with bleeding art tissue. 
Patrick and Briana are officially engaged.
Best Wishes from the Guild.