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