Let’s Connect on Spoonflower!

I have been having fun designing fabric around some of my original colored pencil drawings over on Spoonflower.  Have an account over there?  Let’s connect!My designs aren’t for sale right now, but as soon as the samples I am getting are proofed, they should be.  Still, I’d love to see what you are doing on Spoonflower, too.

Ah, the proofs.  That’s the one catch I’m not a big fan about on Spoonflower.  You have to buy at least a fat quarter size piece of fabric with your print on it to review before you can sell it.  I can see what they do that;  they want good, quality work that works well as a fabric on their site.  Still, that about $10.00 per square…..hmmm.

On the other hand, their editing and social media tools seem great!  I’ve enjoyed playing with their tools to see how I can get my designs to look their best.  They’ve even integrated with PicMonkey which I use anyway, to make your stuff even look more spiffy.

I’m using drawing that I’ve done, like the funky tulip up there.  If you want to see more of my drawings, head on over to my Facebook page where I feature them.  I would greatly appreciate it if you would!

Otherwise, let me know if you’re over on Spoonflower.  Leave your shop link in the comments so others can take a look, too.

Bad Dog

It finally happened.  Sputnik, my almost nine month old puppy, got into my one knitting storage chest and got at a skein of Lopi Einband yarn that I needed to use on my Faroese shawl that I work from time to time.  Bad dog.

I can understand why Sputnik went after it:  it’s wool!  It smells like an animal.

Luckily, and surprisingly, he left the actual project alone.  I’m thankful for that.

It’s one of those crazy situations that you have laugh, really.  Still, I’m not amused.  I think the skein is salvageable.  I still have it and put it in a sealing freezer storage bag, and away from the dog.  I’ll have to take a look at it when he’s not looking.

The skein before Sputnik.
In memorium.

Knitting Over Lunch at Work

The government entity I work for is having a “Knitting Over Lunch” group once a week.  A lady from another department runs and teaches it.  I’ve gone twice now.

It’s awesome to see different people from different departments and how diverse our knitting group is, and not just in skill level.  Beginners are certainly welcome to the group, as well as the most season pros.  Rhonda, who runs the group,  patiently works with those who are learning.  A few others, myself included, volunteer to help beginners, too.

I helped a lady named Aiesha who had started knitting a while ago, but stopped.  Same for her daughter.  She explained that she takes the train to work and would like to knit on her commute.  Aiesha had brought her previous work in to show that she had done this before, and wanted to continue with it.  I reviewed the knit stitch with her, and taught her how to purl.  Now she can go back and show her daughter, too.

It’s nice way to spend a lunch hour, and I’m meeting a few new people in the process outside my own small department.  It’s so neat to see that so many people in our local government organization knit!

Snowflake Turtleneck: Take 2

Stitch Mountain: 30 Warm Knits for Conquering the Cold by by Laura Zander is a cool book.  I got it in one of the fun bookstores in the Outer Banks, NC, USA a few years ago.  I saw the Snowflake Turtleneck pattern in there and knit it, and TOTALLY messed it up.  I think I botched the shoulder shaping.  I dissected the completed faulty sweater the other day, and that’s what I think. I never did write a post about its completion because I was too ashamed and frustrated from having a messed up sweater.

After analyzing that sweater, I decided to give it another go. I cast on with a creamy white worsted yarn that I had left over from another project, and there’s plenty of it for a nice sweater.  It took three tries to get there right gauge, but I did, so I know at least that correct!

So, here’s to giving it another go, and hopefully I can show off a completed sweater before the weather gets warm again.  I’m being cautiously optimistic that I will have a correct fitting sweater this time, too!

Art and Interacting with Kids

My friend Mary is an art teacher, and is currently working with students at the Quarryville Public Library in Quarryville, PA, USA by having them create ATC’s, which is sort for artist trading cards.  Artists and members of community are being encouraged to create ATC’s themselves, and to send the cards to the library, and, in return, you’ll get cards back for the kids.  It’s a great way to encourage and interact with kids through art!  Learn more about this great program over on my artist page on Facebook.  Don’t hesitate to participate!

I sent in five cards, and if return, I received five back.  Top image was created by Frances N., and is titled “Do What You Want After All You Choose :).  The smiley face is included in the title she wrote on the back of the card.  I love it!

Here are the other cards.  I really like them!  It’s great to see the creativity and thought process kids and other artists have with these ATC’s.

"Ducky Paddle" by Hannah Keeler
“Ducky Paddle” by Hannah Keeler

 

"Stars" by RKennedy
“Stars” by RKennedy

 

"A Not So Cool Design" by Sarah
“A Not So Cool Design” by Sarah

 

"Ow! Owwie!" by Emily Miller
“Ow! Owwie!” by Emily Miller

 

I love these, right down to the titles.  Thanks, Quarryville Public Library!

ATC’s aren’t hard to do, really.  Follow the instructions in the article to find out how to make your own.  You can also buy ATC sized paper at craft and art stores.

Get busy and start creating!  For those fiber artists out there, think outside the box.  All that scrap yarn from woven ends and tangled messes?  Cut it up and think of what you can do with that!  Add some glitter paint, and you have some pretty cool art.

Go create art!!

 

 

Darn Good Yarn: A Review

I had a Visa gift card for $50.00 that I received as a Christmas gift.  I was poking around on Amazon, and it’s unusual that I can’t find anything on there that that I want, so I decided to look around my bookmarks on my web browser to check out other merchants.  I saw one for Darn Good Yarn.  Hmmmm, I haven’t bought cool yarn in a while, I said to myself.  I opened the page.

I am one for a bargain, so I clicked on their Sale tab and was taken to Best of DGY Packs.  It was $45.00 for four skeins of recycled silk sari yarn.  Why not?  I bought the Holi pack, which includes one skein of each of the following in a pretty silk bag:

  • At the Bahamas, a fairly traded silk sari ribbon yarn
  • Nepalese *Hand-Spun* Recycled 100% Pure Silk yarn
  • The Blender, a fairly traded recycled silk yarn
  • Tibet Jewels, another fairly traded recycled silk sari ribbon yarn

With $4 for the economy shipping, I received my package in a few days, and set off winding the three that were in hanks, and got to work.

Fair Trade

I’m going to change gears slightly now and tell you a little bit about Darn Good Yarn.  They employ women from India and Nepal to make their yarns, giving these women a good living wage and selling their products at a reasonable rate.  This is basically what fair trade is.  In addition to this, a lot of the yarn is recycled, mostly from saris, which are those brightly wrapped dresses that a lot of people in Nepal and India wear.  You can read more about this idea on the Our Story page.

I adore fair trade.  There’s an awesome fair trade store called Ten Thousand Villages in my area that I sometimes go to.  I also have a dress and a skirt made from recycled saris, too.  DYG’s product and philosophy sucked me right in.

The Yarns

Yes!  Let’s get to the yarns!

At the Bahamas

Scarf knit from At the Bahamas sari yarn from Darn Good Yarn

At the Bahamas was the first skein I sunk into.  I got a pattern for a one skein sari scarf that I found on DGY’s site, and started to work.  I had the needles it called for, and now I had the yarn, so I went ahead and started knitting.

The yarn sections are knotted and sewn together, so they are really fastened well.  Don’t worry about the knots, as I think it gives a nice texture.  The colors are fun, too!  I have finished this scarf, and am wearing when I go outside now.  It’s a great length to wrap around with!

Only drawback:  it does have a slight odor to it.  It’s not bad, but it’s strange.  I’ll have to have the scarf dry cleaned to remove the smell.  No biggie, though.

Nepalese *Hand-Spun* Recycled 100% Pure Silk

Nepalese Hand spun recycled silk yarn from Darn Good yarn

This is a worsted weight yarn that comes in a ball.  It’s got slubs, thick and thin parts, and lots of fun texture.  I really like it.  It takes the fun fur concept and makes it sophisticated.

I knit a scarf out of it on small-ish gauge needles ( I think US 4), and cast on 15 stitches.  I used seed stitch until I had only enough yarn to bind off.  All I have to do is weave it the ends!

This yarn is a little frustrating work with at times.  I did have a spun join break once, and only once.  I just reattached the yarn and kept on going.  It also has a tendency to curl back into itself like it’s overspun, which is part of the charm of the yarn, really.  Just an FYI.

The Blender

The Blender yarn from Darn Good Yarn

The Blender is probably the least favorite, but I still like it. The skein makes one short scarf on big needles.  I intend to sew the two ends together and make a really cool cowl.

I think this yarn would be fantastic for arm knitters!

Oooh, and maybe a few skeins together would make a really funky shopping bag, too.

Tibet Jewels

Tibet Jewels yarn from darn Good yarn

Ah, the last gem in the pack.  Pun intended, of course.

I like Tibet Jewels!  The colors and the fuzzy textures make nice contrasts.  Again, this is a recycled sari yarn complete with knots that are reinforced with machine sewing. You will be fine.

When I knit the scarf, the skein again rendered a scarf that is really short, so I’m going to sew the ends together to make a cowl.  Think how those colors would look against a black shirt!

That’s my review of DGY’s Holi pack.  It’s a great bargain and you get some fun yarn to play with.  You really do!  There’s tons of cool stuff on their site besides yarn.  There’s ready made jewelry and clothing, as well as beads to make your own projects, too. It’s really worth your time to check them out.  You’ll be helping women, helping the earth, and helping augment your yarn stash.  It’s a win-win-win!

Look How We’ve Grown!

I really want to say that I love being a part of the Wrap Up! Project, and want to share how we’ve grown over the past three years. We’ve done two scarf-bombings this year and already have put out almost as much as we had total the first two years. That’s awesome.

The Wrap Up! Project

Happy New Year from the Wrap Up! Project!  To start the new year off, we want to share some awesome statistics with you to show you how the project has grow, well, exploded, over the past three years.  We couldn’t have done it without your participation and support!

Ok, let’s see and take a look how we’ve grown!

First Season

During the first season of WUP, we had four scarf-bombings, and 524 items were put out in various places around Lancaster City.  Not bad for our first season!

Second Season

For the second season of WUP, there were are total of five scarf-bombings, which included both Lancaster City and Columbia.  Ready for this number?  1132 items total were put out for people to take during the cold weather months.

Third Season

Now, keep in mind, we are currently in the third season, but here’s what has been done so far.

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