Screenshot

After seeing a friend do this on Facebook, I decided to give this a shot.  I typed “ludicraft” into a Google Images search just to see what would come up.  Here’s a screenshot of what I got:

All things I’ve posted here and about!  I was just curious to what would come up. It’s kind of nice seeing a sort of snapshot of all the things I’ve posted about.  Shown here is the top of the search. 

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Free Form Crochet Pt. 2

Can I just say that free form crochet is cool?  It definitely is.

I arrived at the class location at the PA Guild of Craftsmen HQ on Saturday.  I had a range of hooks and three balls of Lion Brand’s Amazing yarn.  I was ready to rock.

The instructor, Amber Kane, is a weaver, artist, and well, a teacher.  She teaches art at an area high school.  It was very kind of her to offer her time and efforts to teach this class.  There were about seven of us who took the class, I believe.

Her style of free form crochet is very interesting.  With some research, a lot of free form crochet is sort of compact, while hers flows, has holes and drapes beautifully.  It’s very appealing and unique.

After some introductions and instructions, we got down to letting our hooks do their magic.  It was a fast and fun four hours.

One thing Amber does with her scarves is felt them.  I love felting, and we both have the same felting yarn go-to:  Paton’s Classic Wool.  It’s works the best, it’s economical, and it comes in fun colors.  Oh, and uglier the multi ombre colorway, the cooler your felting project will be.  Just a note.

I left the class inspired.  I had my DH take me to a craft store that evening so I could get a bigger crochet hook and more of said Paton’s yarn.  I was hooked, pun intended.

I have here a photo of what I did, but if you are interested in more of what a complete project looks like? Check out Amber’s Etsy page.  I will also be posting my completed project here when I get a moment to take a really good photo.  My scarf?  It is very awesome.

Free Form Crochet

So I’m taking a class tomorrow on free form crochet.  I’m looking forward to it.

I am a member of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, and they offer classes offered by different members.  It’s a neat group of artisans.  Since I just really learned to crochet, this class caught my eye when browsing the guild’s site.  I signed up, and got my supplies together, and am ready to go for tomorrow.

Not sure what free form crochet is?  Neither do I, but I’m going to learn more about it.  If you want to find out more, please take a look at Amber Kane’s website, the instructor who is also a weaver.  The guild’s page on the craft sums it up pretty nicely, too.

As a note, if you want to join the guild, you don’t have to be a resident of PA to do so. Just plug for them. 🙂

Fair Isle Knitting and Color

I recently got a new book on Monday, titled Alice Starmore’s Book of Fair Isle Knitting.  I highly recommend it if you are interested at all in giving Fair Isle knitting a shot.  Besides going through knitting basics and concepts, Starmore also discusses how the Shetland people of Fair Isle got their inspiration for their famed designs and colors;  from what’s around them.

Inside the book, there are photos rocky shores, flowers, boats, etc.  Each one has a Fair Isle pattern and color scheme inspired by that photo.  It got the dusty wheels in my head creaking to a start and turning.

Hmm.  I’m a photographerI have photos.  I know of places on the Internet where I could play with this idea.

So, to start, I picked a photo.

It’s from an art reception my Aunt Suzy had for the release of her new book.  Quite cool.  The photo is of tarts and fruit representative of Italy.

Next, I decided to create a color scheme.  Now, I could get into color theory and stuff, but I went to the best place to get a color swatch on the Internet:  Adobe’s kuler.  It’s free and fun to play with.  I’ve used it for website designs and such, but never for knitting. 

New to kuler?  Sign up for a free account, import a photo, and see what you can do.  Kuler will then create a color scheme based on your photo.  Play with the variations.  See what you can get.  It’s a great tool for any artist.  Here’s a link to my profile so you can see the schemes I have public.

Here’s the kuler scheme I got from the above photo.  I had to do a screenshot of it to show you.

Nice, right?

For the next step, I went down to the local drugstore and bought a pack of 24 colored pencils.  They didn’t have graph paper, so I went to this site for free graph paper to print.  I them plunked down on my afternoon break and started to color, matching colors in my pencils to the ones in the scheme. I came up with two examples.  Please excuse the graphing errors, as this was done in sort of a rush.

Using an extremely basic Fair Isle design, I came up with two color schemes that seem to be quite nice.  I prefer the bottom one to the top. 

My last step?  Get yarn, swatch, and see what happens.

This is only the tip of the ideas I’m getting from this book.  The inspiration for designs is amazing, too, but I need to give that part a closer read.  My hope is that I have given you a few tools to start thinking about color and designing your own patterns. 

Entrelac

I’m still recovering from tendinitis in my  left shoulder and elbow.  I hate it.  It’s painful, it gets in the way of work, play, and sleep.

I’m still doing a little knitting.  I can’t quite crochet yet as it uses my left arm and hand a lot.  Spinning is completely out of the picture until I’m better.

What I found works well with knitting in little spurts is entrelac, a method of knitting where you get a nice, basket weave pattern.  It’s fun, goes quickly, and I can put it down and pick it up frequently when I need to rest my left arm.

Entrelac was a  little confusing for me at first, but Interweave has a wonderful tutorial on the subject that is free on their website.

I practiced on a test swatch on some Liberty Wool that I had left over from another project.  It had some pretty color changes that I thought would look nice with entrelac.

So that’s how I’m keeping sane during this physically painful time.  Entrelac enabled me to keep working at something I love and be able to rest what I need to take care of.  

Farm Show Thoughts

I had a good time at the PA Farm Show on Saturday with Joan.  There were a massive amount of people there.  I couldn’t believe it.  Granted, this is a statewide show.  I’m glad and fortunate for it to be fairly close by.  And, this was my first time there.

I loved looking at all the animals.  There were so many fancy chickens, pretty cows (who got some amazing pampering, including hairspray), prancing horses, and a very happy mama pig.  Oh, and there were alpacas!  They were quite entertaining. 

Of course, I was interested in the fiber vendors.  There was, of course, an alpaca fiber vendor.  I didn’t get any yarn from them, but I did get four ounces of their farm blend roving for spinning.  From another fiber vendor, this time featuring wool, I got another drop spindle kit with some of their wool roving.  I was quite pleased with my purchases.

I wore the special hat knit with the yarn I spun.  In fact, one of the ladies at the fiber vendors asked if I knit it.  I told her that I did and enthusiastically added that I spun the yarn, too.

Speaking of handknits, I saw an amazing amount of handknit and crocheted items being worn by people at the farm show.  Mostly, they were hats and scarves, but I did spot a few sweaters.  I was in good crafty company.

I also got to watch a high school/middle school rodeo competition.  I never thought I’d enjoy a rodeo.  Western culture is not my thing, but I thoroughly enjoyed that rodeo.  I cheered for the kids as they roped calves, raced, and worked their best in front of 7,000+ people.  Impressive job!

I ate pork barbecue, a mushroom sandwich (PA is the biggest producer of mushrooms in the country), and had one of the best milkshakes I ever had.  The food court was packed.  Kudos to all who worked in those stands and moved people through quickly!

It was so cool seeing what people have to offer agriculturally, artistically, and industriously in Pennsylvania.  I am proud of my state.