Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Pot-Luck

Can you believe the holidays are here? It's been a great year in the Palmetto
Fiber Arts Guild and we'll take a little time to enjoy each other and celebrate at our
December meeting.

Please join us for a Pot-luck meal on Saturday, December 17, at the Bee's Landing  Recreation Center from 1:00 - 3:00. We'll also take some time for Show & Tell and have a gift exchange for all who would like to participate.

We don't have kitchen facilities so bring food that is ready to eat -- and remember, we'll have to take home leftovers. Paper products and beverages will be provided.

For the gift exchange, bring a gift that is somehow fiber-related and keep it under $15 in cost. We'll draw numbers and #1 will choose a gift.  Then #2 can choose a gift OR take the gift #1 just opened. And so on around the circle. It can get quite heated.

Don't forget Show and Tell. If you've made gifts this year, we'll keep your secrets

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Connecting your Way Towards Etsy Success

Kelsie recently contacted the Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild through our Facebook page and asked if anyone was interested in forming an Etsy team. Sandy sent out an inquiry and got quite a few positive responses from people who wanted to hear more. So, today, Kelsie is our guest blogger. Welcome, Kelsie!

Hello guild members!
    My name is Kelsie and I own the Etsy shop and blog In Favor of Fuzz, dedicated to anything and everything textiles and fibers. I recently came across your group and was curious to know how involved you all were on Etsy, and if the guild had thought about forming an Etsy team. A few e-mails later, I was invited to write a guest post about being more active on this small business phenomenon called Etsy.

    I am always hesitant to give Etsy advice. While I'm no novice, I have yet to achieve a level of success that would spur jealousy from the masses. Plus, there already exists such a wealth of information out there that I know I can't possibly be saying anything new. Yet, in my unending research, I have identified a few key practices that are built into the foundation of every successful Etsy business.


 Use Your Resources:  Etsy offers many tools for your success because, simply, your success is Etsy's success. The Etsy blog constantly churns out advice in the form of tips, video tutorials, interviews, and workshops, and the Etsy community forums is a great place to ask questions and get feedback from other sellers. At the very least, you should be signed up for the Etsy Success Newsletter, which delivers golden tidbits straight to your inbox twice a week, (Account > Settings > Emails > Your Subscriptions)


Participate in the Community: Selling on the internet is not the same as selling in a physical shop -- you can't just drop off your items and leave. You have to attract people to your tiny existence on the World-Wide-Web through your interactions with it. On Etsy, this means offering information about yourself under your profile, adding similar sellers to your circle, adding other people's items and shops to your favorites, and joining Etsy teams that reflect your goals and interests. Think of it as forming your online presence.

Conquer Social Marketing: In order to connect with buyers, you need to get your story out there by utilizing social media like Twitter, Facebook, or a personal blog. If your target demographic is older, you may consider doing a newsletter since even the aging population uses e-mail. The important thing to realize is social marketing differs from traditional advertising in that it is social: you are telling others about yourself in order to start a conversation and get them invested in your personality. Begin your education with this workshop by Diane Gilleland.

Feel free to share your questions and comments!

All featured work by Cindy Steiler of Mary's Granddaughter

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The lower floor of the arena at Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair, Oct. 21, 2011.
With so much going on this fall, it has been hard to keep up with blog postings. But we have participated in three events that have been real visual delights. Here's a quick recap -- heavy on the pictures.

Our exhibit "Connected by a Thread - Photographs and Tapestries from Lesotho" will remain at the Center for Women until mid-December, and then, the Guild's own wall hanging from the Maseru Tapestries Cooperative will remain on display there indefinitely.  Until we have a place of our own to hang it, what better place for a tapestry called "Women's Meeting"?

L-Linne Trettin of Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild, R-Jennet Alderman, Executive Director of the Center for Women. Between them you can see the wall hanging entitled "Women's Meeting". It was woven by the woman in the framed photograph to the far left, a member of the Maseru Tapestries Cooperative, and given to the Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild in appreciation for support and funding.

On September 15, the Guild gathered for a reception to view the exhibit and celebrate our fortune to be connected by a thread to the weavers in Lesotho. Many thanks to Linnie Trettin who matted and framed the 14 photographs in the exhibit, all of which were taken by her husband Carl at various times when he has been in Lesotho.
The photographs have captions that tell the story of weavers in Lesotho and of our connection to them. Don't miss it if you haven't yet seen it -- just stop in at the Center for Women (129 Cannon St., downtown) when you have 15 - 20 minutes to spare. You'll come away with a little larger view of our world and the meaning of fiber art in it.

One month later on October 14 and 15, the Guild participated in the Hand and Heart Art Show and Sale, co-sponsored by our friends at the Center for Women and benefiting the Charleston Area Senior Center
Here's the sign/painting at the Meeting St. door that welcomed the public into the Hand and Heart Art Show and Sale at the Charleston Area Senior Center.
Our table was an awesome, eclectic selection of fiber arts!
Knitted, woven, sewn, beaded, quilted, felted, crocheted, and/or dyed, we had it all!
Just a few highlights:
A close view of Linnie's manikin dressed in a lovely art jacket she made and draped with one of Judy Warren's shibori scarves.
Felted bags by Nancy Warren
Scarves, hats, and gloves knitted by Anita Sloan


Kaleidoscope Dolls in front of "the Good Fairy" made by Barbara Vanselow.  In the lower right corner, a bit of a sweater (striped) and a tank top (celery-green straps showing) knitted by Jessica Jones. In the background, felted birds by Dedee Regan perch in a pine tree.

While our sales were not what we would have liked them to be, we were able to donate about $85 to the important work of the Senior Center and we learned a lot about what we, as a Guild, need for show set-up and display. Like our workshop last fall, doing this show made made us realize in a new way what a talented group we really are. 


And just this past Friday, we made our bus trip to the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair in Asheville. What a good way to go to an incredible fiber-lovers event! No worries about buying gas, knowing the way, driving, or parking. All we had to do was get up really early to catch the bus -- and everything else was taken care of! 
The word I heard most often regarding our reactions to SAFF was -- "Overwhelming". Here is just a sample of why we might have felt that way!

Yarn, Yarn, Yarn, Yarn, Yarn, Yarn, Wool, Wool, Wool, Roving, Roving, Roving, Yarn, Yarn, Yarn, Yarn, and more Yarn!
More pictures from the day: 
We all had big smiles by the time we left. Almost everyone had found some "treasure" to bring home. Twenty-eight went along on this trip and we were delighted to be joined by several who are not members, but had heard about the trip through friends or friends of friends.We're always happy to meet more fiber-lovers!

Thank you Jessica for a great job organizing and coordinating this adventure.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hand & Heart Art Show & Sale

Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild is proud to be participating in the Hand & Heart Project this weekend. It is an art show and sale co-sponsored by the Center for Women and benefiting the Charleston Area Senior Center. Proceeds will support programs that bring food, housing, fellowship, and more to the elderly in need throughout the tri-county area.

Friday October 14, 4:30 - 9:00 PM
and
Saturday, October 15, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
The Charleston Area Senior Center, 259 Meeting St.

This is a great time and place to start your holiday shopping. Featured artists include:
Jewelry -- Ruth Ann Ivey, Judy Eisele, Nelle Woodruff, Gretchen Keller, and Pam Wackym
Textiles -- Arianne King-Comer, Leilani DeMuth, Cookie Washington, The Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild, and Chery Johnson
Photography -- Nancy Smythe
Pottery -- Liv Antonecchia and Marty Bierbaum
Painting -- Gayle Newcomb, Francina Smalls-Joyner and Marty Bierbaum

Tell all your friends and see you there!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Busy Fall

Our summer hiatus is officially over and lots is coming up for the Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild.

There is still room on the bus going to SAFF in Asheville for the day on Oct. 21. If you would like to go, contact Jessica Jones at flyingspindle@gmail.com ASAP to reserve your seat. The cost is $45.

Saturday, Sept. 10 - at 10:00 AM, 2nd Saturday Spinners will be at the home of Brenda Tilson on Seabrook. For directions, e-mail Brenda at jbtilson@bellsouth.net

Thursday, Sept. 15 -- Our public reception for "Connected By a Thread - Tapestries and Photographs from Lesotho" 5 - 7 PM at the Center for Women, 129 Cannon St., downtown Charleston.

Saturday, Sept. 17 -- Guild Meeting. The program will be a panel discussion on dye products, their uses, and cautions. This will be at our new permanent meeting space The Bee's Landing Recreation Center.

Saturday, Oct. 8 -- 2nd Saturday Spinners will be at the nonprofit tent at the Marion Square Farmer's Market, hosted by Garnette Tuten, owner of Charleston Spice Company. Time, TBA. This will be during National Spinning and Weaving week where guilds and fiber artist everywhere take their art "public" to give people a chance to see spinning and weaving -- and to flush out more potential group members. Thank you Garnette for arranging for us to be at The Market.

Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14 & 15 -- Our guild will have a table at the Hands & Heart Project, an art show and sale benefiting the Charleston Area Senior Center. The artists' reception and sale will take place Friday night with the sale continuing all day Saturday. Sandy will be heading this up. You have another month to finish your pieces for this show and the one at Unite at the end of the month (keep reading). 20% of sales from this show are donated to the Senior Center.

Friday, October 21 -- Our day trip to Asheville to go to Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair. Our bus leaves the Unity Church parking lot (Leeds Ave.) at 6:30 AM and we'll be returning between 8:30 - 9:00 PM. If you haven't signed up yet, there's still a few seats left. Contact Jessica Jones ASAP at flyingspindle@gmail.com.

Sunday, Oct. 23 -- In case you didn't sell everything you hoped to at Hand & Heart, Lynn Holland has purchased a table for the Guild at the annual craft show at Unity Church. Get items you'd like to have a this show to Lynn, priced and labeled with your name, ahead of time and Lynn will be our representative at this show. Some proceeds from this show go to support Unity Church.

Are you on Facebook? So are we. Find us here and "Like" us. You'll get our updates and help us get the word out about Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Connected by a Thread

The following press release was sent to local and state media outlets this week:

Fiber Art Exhibit -- Connected by a Thread

Charleston, SC -- July 15, 2011  The Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild and the Center for Women will con-sponsor an exhibit of photographs and woven tapestries entitled Connected by a Thread on display August 8 - Oct. 1 at the Center for Women.

The exhibit celebrates the three-year collaboration between the local fiber arts guild and the Maseru Tapestries Cooperative, a sustainable weaving operation in Lesotho, which is a small nation located in southern Africa.
Lesotho is an autonomous "kingdom" located within the boundaries of South Africa. It is a mountainous country whose residents depend on herding goats and sheep for subsistence income. Men raise the livestock and manage its sale and distribution in cooperatives. Opportunities for women who are "head of household" have been limited, but in the 1980s a half-dozen women-owned tapestry businesses were organized in Lesotho and local women trained to be spinners, dyers, and weavers. These businesses were sustained with involvement of European mentors until the 1990s when the local women took them over as cooperatives.
In 2009 the Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild raised money to train four women in Maseru as tapestry weavers and the students responded by sending the Guild a wall hanging entitled "Women's Meeting." This tapestry serves as the centerpiece for Connected by a Thread which includes several other large pieces woven by members of the coop along with a series of photographs taken in Lesotho of the weavers, their looms, and their work space.
Detail of Women's Meeting, given to Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild by the Maseru Tapestries Cooperative in 2010.
A public reception for Connected by as Thread will be held Thursday, September 15, 5;00 - 7:00 PM at the Center for Women located at 129 Cannon Street in downtown Charleston. August 8 - Oct. 1 the exhibit is available for viewing during the Center's hours of operation (Monday - Thursday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, and Friday, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM) except times when the meeting room is in use. To determine availability, please call 843-763-7333.
A photograph from Connected by a Thread:  Dressed in traditional Basotho finery, Me. Mesetumo Lebitsa, manager of the Maseru Tapestries Cooperative, demonstrates spinning wool on a spinning wheel made of wood and a tube-less bicycle wheel, commonly seen around the town of Maseru.
An affiliate of The Handweavers Guild of America, the Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild serves the greater Charleston area as a membership organization that promotes traditional and contemporary skills in a wide range of fiber arts including, but not limited to, weaving, spinning, dying, felting, basketry, quilting, knitting, crocheting, tatting and bead weaving.

The Center for Women is the only comprehensive women's development center in South Carolina. It offers programs and events aimed at making personal and professional success an everyday event for women in the Lowcountry.

To learn more about either organization, please visit their web sites at www.palmettofiberartsguild.blogspot.com and www.c4women.org .

For prior postings Maseru Tapestries Cooperative see:
www.palmettofiberartsguild.blogspot.com/2009/05/fundraising-for-small-south-african.html 

and  http://palmettofiberartsguild.blogspot.com/2009/06/upcoming-guild-meeting-june-20.html

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Hiatus for Guild Meetings

The Guild takes a hiatus from regular meetings in July and August, but that doesn't mean our hands aren't busy. Michaela recently reminded me that summer in the South is comparable to winter in the North -- the inhospitable weather makes it a good time to stay in and weave or spin or knit or whatever you most love to do.

I hope you are all doing just that because, as a Guild, we plan to participate in The Hand and Heart Project Oct. 14 - 15. This is an art show and sale co-sponsored by The Center for Women and benefiting the Charleston Area Senior Center. We will have a table at the show and hopefully each member will have at least a few items to sell. Our table will represent the wide range of fiber arts we love -- woven goods, hand-spun wool, knitted items, paper creations, dyed items, felted pieces, samples of bead weaving -- it's time to let your creative flag fly!

The coordinating committee will do all the promotional and set-up work. They will  provide publicity, print the program, host a reception Friday night, and provide and set-up tables. The Guild has had several meetings at the downtown location and it beautifully transforms for this annual art show.

The Guild will pay the $50 fee for our table. 20% of the price of each item sold will go to the support of Charleston Area Senior Center -- a good organization that serves our community's more vulnerable older adults. They do the Meals on Wheels and the Foster Grandparent programs and manage Ansonborough House, the apartment complex for lower-income seniors that is next door to the Center.

So start thinking about what you would like to put in the show and look for upcoming  e-mails that will help us organize our table at The 2011 Hand and Heart Project.

In June, two members showed us their recently completed shawls. Here's one Lynn's made with a luscious, rich-hued yarn she feel in love with:
And Kelly was celebrating the completion of her cotton shawl -- in the works for four months. She said the pattern was 20-pages long!
The progression of color change in this wrap comes, not from a variegated yarn, but from 4-ply thread where one strand changes color at a time. Kelly manipulated it to come out just the way she wanted it.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Many Uses for Hand-dyed Cotton Rag Strips

Fiber Guild members are enjoying the hand-dyed cotton rags we have recently come into in large quantities. Each time we get together the weavers paw through bags of colorful balls of cotton strips.

After taking home balls of cotton from our April meeting, Kelly wove a couple of rugs on her rigid heddle loom. Dale did a braided rug.

Sandy showed up at the June meeting with two rugs made with a half and half warp.

Terri got the bug today and started picking out her  colors.

There were some questions about warp. The 8/4 cotton rug warp Sandy used can be seen among the balls of cotton strips in the top picture. Almost any site that sells weaving yarn and supplies sells it. See it here at Earth Guild in Asheville. (I'm not saying this is the least expensive source -- but you can buy individual spools there -- some sites want you to buy in 10-spool minimums -- which is the way "stash" starts to take over your life.) Carpet warp comes in lots and lots of colors -- more than a rainbow!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

SAFF is for Yarn Lovers -- Day Trip October 21

What is SAFF you ask? Why, it's the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair, held every October in Asheville, NC and destination for fiber fondlers everywhere.

You can see the animals from which fiber is made -- sheep, goats, llamas,and rabbits, just to name a few -- and meet the people who raise them.

You can attend workshops on raising animals, spinning, felting, knitting, weaving, clothes construction and more.

And you can shop. Oh my Lord, you can shop!

Yarns, fleece, roving, spinning wheels, spindles, fiber tools of all manner. More things for sale and more beautiful things than you can imagine! SAFF is fiber lover's heaven.

So why am I going on about an event in Asheville in the fall? Because we're planning a day trip and hope you and your friends will join us!

We're chartering a bus that will leave the Unity Church parking lot (Leeds Ave. just off  I-526) at 6:30 AM on Friday, October 21. We'll be in Asheville in time to spend the whole day at SAFF, leaving for home between 4 - 5 PM, getting back to Charleston at a reasonable hour.

For anyone who hasn't been to SAFF before, this is a good way to "stick your toe in the water" and see what is there. For someone who HAS been before, this is a fun way to get there. We can sit back on the bus and knit, or spin, or sleep, or talk -- we'll be there before we know it. Much better than driving up I-26 alone, dealing with traffic, and finding a place to park.

The cost is $45 with the initial deposit of $25 due June 15. You do NOT have to be a member of the Guild to go, in fact, we need other fiber lovers to join us to fill the bus. So, send your money in, if you haven't already, and pass the word to others you know who might be interested.

Make checks out to Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild and mail them to PO Box 31341, Charleston, SC  29417. If you have additional questions or are about the miss the deadline but want to go, contact trip coordinator Jessica Jones at flyingspindle@gmail.com.

SAFF has not yet posted this year's workshops or vendors on their website, but it will be there July 15. We'll have plenty of time to sign up for anything we want, so why don't you come along with us?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

New Meeting Place and Time in May

Next Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild meeting -- May 21, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm at Bees Landing Recreation Center. 

At our May 21 meeting, we'll try out another meeting site -- The Bees Landing Recreation Center in West Ashley. It has the advantages of being spacious, centrally located, having plenty of parking, and with a slight alteration to our meeting time, we do not have to be responsible for opening and closing someone else's building. That said, our meeting  date will remain the 3rd Saturday of each month, but the meeting time will change to 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM.

The Recreation Center is located off of Bees Ferry Road in the Grand Oaks subdivision. The address is 1580 Ashley Gardens Blvd. Charleston, SC  29414. Click here for a map.

May's program will be a lot of fun -- we'll be dying some silk scarves and ties using techniques similar to the shibori Judy talked to us about January. Please bring a couple of silk ties you haven't yet taken to Goodwill -- or find them at local thrift shops. We'll be dying over their patterns and colors. Depending on the number of people who come, there will be a small materials fee for this program to cover the cost of dye and blank scarves.

Reserve Your Seat on the Bus:
Jessica Jones is working on the details for a one day bus trip to the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) in Asheville, NC on Friday, October 21. We have about 12 committed to go and need 35 to fill the bus. The cost is $45 with a deposit of $25 due by June 15. The entrance fee to SAFF will be an additional $3. To get your name on the list, contact Jessica at flyingspindle@gmail.com. And if you know of someone who would enjoy this, spread the word and encourage them to join us for the day.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, several Guild members took a ride down to Yemassee to visit a sheep farm and see the results of a recent shearing. Thanks to Terri Phillips for sharing pictures.

Kayleigh, Sonia, and Sonia's son all want to feel the wool.

Dale looks out over the sheep in the pasture



Bahh Bahh black sheep, have you any wool?
Here's a nice, white fleece

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Wash Day

Write about your typical crafting time. When it is that you are likely to craft? - alone or in more social environments?, when watching TV or whilst taking bus journeys? What items do you like to surround yourself with whilst you twirl your hook like a majorette's baton or work those needles like a skilled set of samurai swords? Do you always have snacks at hand or are you strictly a 'no crumbs near my yarn!" kind of knitter?
by Anne Ball

It's always time to knit. At least I think it's always time to knit. I think about knitting a lot. I think about it while I drive. I think about it while I'm doing dishes. I think about it when I should be concentrating on something else. I think about it when I crochet, or cross-stitch, or work on other crafts. But actually sitting down and knitting? That happens less frequently.

Recent finished project
Ringwood Gloves from Knitty.com
Certainly I knit most every Monday night at my knitting group. Well, that is unless the conversation is too good or I'm too tired or I feel the need to check out the magazines and books. (We meet at a local Barnes and Noble cafe. If you're in Charleston, SC - West of the Ashley to be exact - come join us from 7-ish to 9-ish.) I have to bring a project that doesn't require too much attention but it's a good way to get a project done or get some help from the other knitters.

On the needles
Nuthatch Gloves from Colorwork Creations
by Susan Anderson-Freed
There are times I knit under duress. You know, the holidays are coming. A birthday. Or my husband is getting deployed someplace cold and needs a warm sweater. At these times I knit anywhere I can. While dinner is cooking on the stove, for a few minutes in the waiting room of a doctor's office, in the car at a stop light. OK, I haven't knit at a stop light yet but I do think about it.

The knitting chair with cup of tea
But my favorite place to knit is my laundry room. I knit while the washer is swishing back and forth, the clothes in the dryer are lifted up and around and then fall with a soft thump. I sit in the old office swivel chair and keep a cup of tea, or sometimes even a pot of tea, at my side. When the dryer beeps to say its done, I give my knitting muscles a rest and fold or hang up the warm clothes. When the washer finishes I walk the four or so feet to the laundry basket and put in another load. Knitting and doing laundry takes on a low, slow rhythm. I get two things done at a luxurious pace. I get breaks from doing too much of either. My hands get worked in different ways. The sounds of the washer and drier with the clicking of the needles relaxes me. It is my favorite time of the week.

Self portrait of blogger with dryer

To see other blogs participating in the 2nd Annual Knitting & Crochet Blogging Week and also posting on this same topic today, enter " 2KCBWDAY7 " without the quotation marks into your search engine and browse the results.

Thanks to Amy Heins, Aurora Jones, Jess Jones, Michaela McIntosh, Anne Ball, and Pablo Neruda for stepping up to the writing challenge, for sharing your knitting experiences, and for making this a most interesting week for the  Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild's blog readers!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Something I Perspire - I Mean Aspire - to

Is there a pattern or skill that you don't yet feel ready to tackle but which you hope to (or think you can only dream of) tackling in the future, near or distant?

by Anne Ball

Shyness is not a problem for me with knitting. This never ceases to surprise me because in my non-knitting life I am timid. I'm afraid to try new things because I'm not creative enough, smart enough, athletic enough, coordinated enough -- you get the picture. But show me something that involves needle and thread and I am 100% sure, sure, sure that I can do it. It doesn't matter that there are quite a few patterns and stitches that I have never figured out. It doesn't matter that I can cast-on and rip something out thirty or forty times and never get it. I KNOW that given enough time I can figure it out. Oh, yes. I am completely over confident and fearless when it comes to knitting. I flinch at nothing in the knitting world except - and I'm starting to hyperventilate now - weaving in the ends of cast-on threads, weaving in the ends of cast-off threads, weaving in more ends in the middle of pieces, and every Freaking Thing that has to do with Weaving In The Ends.


I have even steeked without breaking out in a cold hard sweat. Yes. I have to admit my heart fluttered ever so slightly when I did it, but really, how much damage can one do when cutting up several months of knitting? I knew I could do it. The Norwegians do it all the time. And I was taught to knit by a Norwegian. Steeking, shmeeking. The blessed thing about steeking is that all those irritating ends are captured in the seam and can't show. You can just snip them off and knit or crochet a nice edging over them. Pure heaven.

I just finished a scarf for Uncle Fred. See the picture? Not bad, huh? Not a particularly difficult pattern. I added an icord edge just because it made it the sides look neater. But holy cow I had to use TWO skeins of yarn for the scarf. That made for a total of FOUR ends of yarn I had to weave in. One at the beginning. Two in the middle where I ended one skein and added another. And one at the end. FOUR FREAKING ENDS. Note that I did't take a photo to show where I wove in the ends. That would be too humiliating. That lump of poorly woven-in yarn will undoubtedly sprout fraying ends before too long. My only consolation is I know Uncle Fred would be too polite to say anything about the mess (Thank you, Uncle Fred!)

My knitting friends don't seem to share this fear. I look at their finished projects and never see lumps or ends poking out. What is their secret? I must find out. I must wipe off this excess perspiration and get over this silly fear of weaving in the ends. This is my promise to myself. This year I will look those fraying yarn ends in the, er, end and learn how to hide them nice and snug in my knitted creation. I will seek out a teacher, a drill sergeant, someone with lots of patience who is willing to push me. And I will learn from them. I will practice and practice again. I will conquer the ends and become completely fearless. I hope.

To see other blogs participating in the 2nd Annual Knitting & Crochet Blogging Week and also posting on this same topic today, enter " 2KCBWDAY6 " without the quotation marks into your search engine and browse the results.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Something a Little Different on Day 5

Try to push your creativity in blogging by doing something a bit different today. Try a post of all photographs, a video blog post, a podcast, a poem, or write from a new perspective (for instance, write about a day in the life of a sock from the sock's point of view.)
Contributed by Sandy Hutchinson  
 


ODE TO MY SOCKS
by Pablo Neruda (translation by Stephen Mitchell)

Maru Mori brought me
a pair
of socks
which she knitted with her own
sheepherder hands,
two socks as soft 
as rabbits.
I slipped my feet
into them
as if they were
two
cases
knitted
with threads of
twilight
and the pelt of sheep.

Outrageous socks,
my feet became
two fish
made of wool,
two long sharks,
of ultramarine blue
crossed
by one golden hair,
two gigantic blackbirds,
two cannons:
my feet were honored in this way by
these
heavenly
socks.

Click here to see Ode to My Socks in it's entirety.
All socks pictured in this post were knitted by Amy Heins and found on her blog, Purlene's Corner.
To see other blogs participating in the 2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blogging Week and making their own creative entries today, just enter " 2KCBWDAY5 " without the quotation marks into your search engine and browse the results.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where are they now? The three fates...

Write about the fate of a past knitting/crochet project. Something you made for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to a charity. How has one of your past knits lived up to wear. Maybe you spent weeks knitting your giant-footed dad a pair of socks in bright pink and green stripes which he then "lost."

By Jess M. Jones

Self-indulgence. Gift. Super fail. Those are the three fates of my knitting projects...



I love knitting stuff for myself! So the largest percentage of knits I've made have been for me. That's the easiest way to keep track of past projects, of coarse, because you get to wear them, use them, take care of them the right way :)

Some get more wear/use than others. Socks and hats seem to get the most play around here, but then I did make 2 sweaters last year and I wore them a lot this winter (being that I've only really been knitting in earnest for about 4 years, and I am a slow knitter, there are a lot of things I haven't yet attempted). But I may be selfish in the thought that others just won't quite hold the level of appreciation for the work, the intricacy of the pattern, the quality of the yarn, etc - so I knit for myself. Not to mention that I'm also prone to wanting to knit things that would be deemed as super strange by most! Like undies! They're great - made with sock yarn - and I feel like Wonder Woman when I wear them. Under-roos for the adult me!


When I do gift something knitted, it is probably for one of my daughters. Because they DO understand all of the details mentioned above! Still, how many things have I made for Rory, my 11 year old, which just aren't comfortable for her and therefore don't get worn? About 2 out of 2 too many, so I don't really knit for her anymore (she understands, tho, and I think that's good inspiration for her to make something for herself!). Gifting my knowledge, then, becomes the way to give. Here is a freely knit long cardigan I made for Vievy, which she actually has given good wear time to:

Outside my immediate household, I've given mostly hats. I made about 6 or 7 last Xmas (I'm slow, I know, cause I started MONTHS in advance!). These were for my brothers, my mom, sister, stepdad...they all loved them and evidenced that by truly wearing them a lot. That's great! In these cases, it's the care of the item that worries me but I know I have to try to let it go. Hard to do when you get a phone call from your mom....you're chatting...she mentions that, oh, that pom pom on the end of her hat? well, she took it off, "I hope that doesn't hurt your feelings," she says...

Besides trying to shrug off inevitable thoughts of, gee, I made that pom pom specifically for you, and I like it on the hat...I know that my mom did not CAREFULLY remove that pom pom! She has a certain strength about her that she saves for tasks like pom pom removal. Visions of the whole thing unraveling from the top down are now making me a little bit enraged, and I get quieter and quieter..."Well, mom, when it unravels don't call me about it, cause I put that pom pom on very thoroughly and you probably seam-ripped right thru a bunch of crucial stitches."

"OH NO, do you think it WILL unravel?" she shrieks. Oh, mom, I'll have a look at it next time I'm over...

If a knit of mine doesn't end up well, it turns into something else; the orange hemp yarn which I crocheted into the funky decorations on this button-up originally began its life with me on my 30th birthday trip to Georgetown with my mom, brother, and sister. There was a yarn shop! So I decided I'd make my first pair of knee-high socks with orange hemp...yep, hemp (BAD call!). I actually knitted the entire first sock, and it traveled with me for over a year until I decided there was no need to keep this one sock which was terribly un-elastic anyway. Plus I don't even think I had enough to make a second! So I ripped it out and have re-used it for all kinds of things! Those shirt decorations, stitch markers, gift wrapping twine - all were way better uses of that lovely yarn than its original intent. Now I know!

The important thing to me is that, no matter the fate of my knitting, so much was learned along the way - and I'm a better knitter and a better everything for it!

(to see other blogs also participating in the 2nd Annual Knitting & Crochet Blogging Week and posting on this same topic today, just enter " 2KCBWDAY4 " without the quotation marks into your search engine, and browse the results.)