Weaving for a Better Life

I was in this area years ago, but was not interested in weaving yet – only the finished product.  I was gifted a beautiful jacket, purchased tablecloth sets, a lapghan, drawn by the vibrant colours and patterns.

Now I want to go back there and spend some time watching and learning what they do. They spin and dye their own yarn, and weave the cloth.

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https://www.linktv.org/shows/women-in-focus/the-art-of-weaving-textiles-for-a-better-life

I wish there was more footage of the actual weaving, but the message they bring as well is important – as tourists interested in purchasing a ‘souvenir’, we shouldn’t haggle it down to the cheapest price.  This is, after all, their livelihood, and as they said, they will never go beyond poverty if we are paying for less.

And what about all the discussions I see on the knit and crochet forums, the indignant posts about how their handmade items are worth the price, and therefore should not be questioned or counter-offered with a lower price?  So why do we shortchange the makers of those handcrafted souvenirs that we come across in our travels?

Are they not also worth the time and price?

 

2017 Special Olympics Scarf Project

The 2017 Special Olympics Scarf Project is in full swing.

Actually, we’re nearing the end of the project for some participating states, with about four states holding their winter games soon.  But don’t worry – there’s still another 12 participating states that you can knit and crochet items for.

For a full list of participating states and what they need, go to the 2017 SO Scarf Project page. 

In the meantime, be inspired by the items made by our Facebook and Ravelry group members.

 

Your Hobby is Action …

This popped up on my Facebook feed … and I immediately thought of yarn stashes.  Ok, so my yarn stash, specifically, and am I really collecting, or just accumulating?

” Your Hobby is Action, Not Accumulation “

But when I buy yarn, I’m not buying yarn to add to a collection, but to add to the ‘To-Be-Used’ pile to use for the ‘To-Try-This-Pattern’ list …

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But I totally see where you cross over the line of accumulating, and not enough of the action, and you don’t even realize it.  
I wrote before that I felt that I’ve ‘graduated’ to the next level of yarn fibers … that I was ready to try new patterns that would mean a different set of fibers and yarn weights to use, if I wanted my finished projects to look like the photos in the patterns.
I’m moving away from the acrylics – not completely, but I do notice when I don’t feel the excitement of buying yarn because it came in a new colour.  I feel that excitement now more for the wool-based yarn, and the colours and combinations  I’m drawn to are mostly in the fingering and lace weights.  img_0517
I’m okay with fingering weights … I still think twice about working with lace weights.  It takes forever to finish project!  Not to mention how easy they tangle up when I frog …
Although I did recently purchase a Malabrigo lace weight yarn (the light grey-blue cake at the bottom of the picture).  When and what I do with it is a different story.
So … a new period of accumulation … errr action .. starts – I’m stocking up now on the wool yarn, and in different weights too.  And there will be an effort made in more action in using up the accumulation … There you go .. I already have a crafty resolution for the new year, even before the new year has started …

What To Do …

My fingers are looking for something to do …

Yes, I have WIPs I can work on … but they’re not calling to me.  I have lots of ideas in my head on what to work on … but I can’t settle down long enough to start on them.

So I just picked up hook and yarn and started a granny square …

It’s the easiest thing to do, right?

So this is what it looks like at the moment – a bit washed out, but the lighting was kind of dark, so I had to lighten up the photo a bit.

Don’t know if I will continue with this, or if I’ll change my mind and make it into something else instead …

For more inspiration, I took out the stray hanks of yarn that I purchased from a destash group on Facebook … I decided it was time for a winding party …

 

 

All done … and ideas are running through my head again … So now, what to do?

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This just means that I have to look for patterns to experiment on …

 

Inspired by Yarn

It’s been a busy fall/autumn season … And there was lots of playing with yarn, but no major item finished … except for this.

The Bouvardia Hooded Jacket (available on Ravelry).  It’s a pattern I saved a couple of years ago, and each time I see it, I want to start making one but then I don’t … except this time, I did.

Maybe it was the yarn – Lion Brand Landscapes in Mountain Range – that inspired me. The yarn colours were the colours of fall, and it was soft and squishy.  Or maybe it’s just my brain saying that it was time to work on something else other than hats, scarves and shawls.  In any case … Something clicked in my brain, and said that it was Sewing 101 after all.  I suddenly pictured in my brain the different parts of the jacket and how they are assembled.  Just like following the sewing patterns …

This is the finished product, hanging on a door.  It’s looking longer than it should be – it reaches my ankles – and that’s because the yarn and pattern stretches.  I also had to fiddle with the pattern a bit – okay, a lot.  It’s a nice and easy pattern – granny stitches – but unfortunately, there were some mistakes and omissions in the pattern, and I had to figure out and fill in the blanks a few times.

See the wavy ends at the bottom?  In the pattern picture, this is showing as straight and rectangular.  I followed the instructions on the pattern, and it came out wavy.  I frogged and started over, and frogged again, making sure to follow the pattern step by step.  It still came out wavy, so I left it like that.  I think it adds a nice touch to it, anyway.

The pattern didn’t say anything about adding buttons, but I added them.  The front was a bit loose, so I added buttons so that I can close the front if I wanted to.

Oh, and the hood!  It’s turned out a bit bigger than it should,  because I miscounted stitches again *sigh*   But it doesn’t look bad, so no frogging needed.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with it.  This is my first attempt at ‘big’ clothing items.  And now that my brain has caught on to clothes construction, I’ll be coming out of my comfort zone to try making more jackets and tops.  One more skill to add to the collection!

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Crochet Unevenly

I thought I was done with this modified Baktus pattern scarf.  Vaguely, I remembered reading of a scarf pattern that was straight on one side, and the increase and decrease was on the other side.  As usual, miscalculating on the amount of yarn and the number of stitches, I finished the two balls of yarn that I had with a scarf that was more of a trapezoid than an obtuse triangle.  So I put it away …

Until I discovered two more balls stashed away in my ‘yarn for current WIPs’ that I had forgotten about !  You see why you need to organize your yarn, so that you know how much yarn you have for a project that you’re working on, or know where to look for more?  lol … Oh, and now I know what this yarn is … the first two didn’t have labels, so I didn’t know if I could find these selling anywhere.   These two balls had the labels folded and inserted in the middle of the wound-up balls.


Good …  I could use the two balls to knit a border around, making the scarf bigger and wider.  The stitches would be perpendicular to the body, but I figured that would be an interesting design instead.  hmmm … just noticed that I’m using a lot of geometry terms for this scarf …

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I got tired of picking up stitches, so I decided that I would just crochet the border around, instead of cramming all those stitches to knit on the circular needles.  Pattern instructions would usually say ‘crochet evenly around’.  Well, because of the thick and think strands, and the resulting thick and thin stitches, it didn’t feel that it was an even crocheting around.  I continued on, anyway, loosening and tightening the stitches as I went along.  Every once in a while, I would insert two single crochets in a loose stitch, so that the yarn wasn’t pulling across tightly with one single crochet, or too loose because it stretched too much.


So now, I have another finished scarf … yaaayy !  It is in some sort of triangle shape now, and the border edges are kind of rolling up  … but it’s so nice and soft and squishy …