Saturday, May 26, 2012

Polymer Lessons

We had a blast learning about polymer clay last weekend with Lisa. From conditioning it, to skinner blends, making a leaf cane and contemplating all the items that can be made with it, all the possibilities left me a little breathless and anxious to put some of the ideas into play. To the left is a beautiful Natasha bead Lisa made, a slice of the leaf cane that we made in class is on the right and at the top is an extremely simple cross cane I made that will make a perfectly matched shawl pin for the New Tower Shawl I'm making.

These are some tins that Lisa has created with clay
and here is a needle/stitch marker/tin set I made using a faux abalone technique.

So many ways to use this medium!! I don't see an end to the ideas that will be rolling out from this. Come in and join us for the fun!!!

Some More Charity Goodness

WWKIPD is approaching rapidly and we have had a good response to the raffle to benefit the SPCA but let's continue to show our 4 legged friends that we support them wholeheartedly!

The donations continue to come in so there is no telling what awesomeness we will be giving away but at $2 a ticket, you can't go wrong. Oh, and did I mention that you don't need to be present to win? Even better!!! Lisa has also donated WWKIPD buttons which you can purchase for $2 that will also go to the SPCA. Great way to raise awareness for our event.

Another charity that we are currently working towards are for the Native American Lakota Sioux residents of South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation which is the poorest spot in the US. You can learn more about it here and here. Later in the year we will be working on helmet liners for the ski patrols as well as hats, scarves and gloves. Right now squares are a great item to be working on, whether they be dishcloths or blocks for assembling into afghans. I finished this one last night using left over hand dyeds and Encore.

This was a really fun free crochet block pattern utilizing some different techniques. Anyone interested in learning how to make it? Come on in and learn something new while you contribute to a marvelous cause!

And please don't forget about Project Linus. One of my all time favorite labors of luv, I will be making several projects for them over the next few months including another version or 2 of petaghans. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

A' Stash Busting We Shall Go!!!

I often hear people say "I (can't, won't, shouldn't) buy any more yarn because I already have too much". Personally, I will never have enough yarn because it is something that sparks my imagination and it doesn't have an expiration date. But I thought it might be a good exercise to see what one might do to work on that overabundance of stash. 
I don't know about anybody else but I tend to sort my stash by color. Not very scientific, I know, but it is what appeals to my inner child. When I want to take things out to play with them, I always go by color first, then I fine tune it (gauge, fiber content, etc....). So in planning a stash buster project the first thing I did was to pull out a storage bin in a color that was calling me-namely pinks/fuchsias/purples and, of course, greens.
Green is a basic to me, it goes with everything.  First I found several skeins of the solid lavender then I added four partial skeins of coordinating novelties (sorry, guys, but I still like my texture and bling!).

These are all on the bulky side and I found I had around 600 yds combined total so next I needed to decide what kind of project I wanted to make with them. Something quick and Summery since the fibers are all cotton and synthetic blends and, well, it is that time of year, so I searched my ever growing queue of favs on Ravelry and came up with the Ribbed Lace Bolero.

Perfect! It called for a bulky weight, is a basic adaptable shape, a warm weather project and although I had more yarn than it called for, I knew I would be upsizing it so that was all to the good. I swatched (yes, I do that!) and decided that I wanted to go up on the needle sizes so settled on #9 & #11. I did the ribbing in the smooth yarn then began the lace pattern st using the remainder of the first skein from the ribbing and incorporating the novelties. The big question here was how to use them. I could have made a Magic Ball but didn't really want to put that much work into it. I could do random stripes, Fibonacci stripes or.......??? but finally decided to just work 1 row stripes using 3 different yarns. The beauty of this technique is that once you have all 3 joined, you don't have to think about it; when you get to the end of the row, the next color is sitting there waiting to be used. It blends the fibers and makes a very eclectic fabric. I also decided that when I ran out of one yarn, I was just going to tie the next one on and keep going even if it was in the middle of the row. No reason to wait to the end, do you think?

I don't really see that in the overall scheme of things
that it made much difference and how liberating is it to be able to use every last morsel of a skein up? I luv, luv, luv it!! And, since it is a bulky knit, before I knew it, Presto, Chango and Bob's Your Uncle!! I had a lovely, drapey shrug that used up 6 skeins of stash yarn.  
Now, that is what I call prime stash busting !! Anyone want to try it?

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

WWKIPD Raffle Prizes- the Beginning.

Well, it is almost time for Worldwide Knit in Public Day again. It is actually observed for a week but we decided that we would organize a meetup on Saturday June 9th at Mill Creek Park in downtown Bakersfield. Here is the Facebook page if you are interested in signing up. In conjunction with the meetup we wanted to do something to give back to the community so we are raffling off an amazing collection of fibery goodness with 100% percent of the proceeds going to the local SPCA. To kick it off, take a gander at the awesomeness already donated. 

Vickie of Tired Mommy Spinning has donated one of her hand spuns, a hand spun from Corgi Hill and one of the project bags from ruddawg with Brenda of ruddawg donating the other 2. Then there is a skein of Feza Alp Premier and 3 autographed books, 2 by Nicky Epstein and 1 by Cheryl Potter of Cherry Tree Hill. All raffle tickets are $2 and there will be many more prizes coming in, including handmade stitch markers, shawl pins and sticks, tools, kits, hand dyed yarns and rovings, a painting by local artist the Poet and so much more.  Hope you can join us at this event and help support a local animal charity at the same time!