Posted in crochet, Finished Objects, Jewelry, Works In Progress

Here Is What’s Been Keeping Me Busy

Wednesday WIPs is taking a backseat today for two reasons: I’ve way too many WIPs, but I have a lot of finished projects I want to show off. It doesn’t help much that I’ve been gone for so long. What with two trips in two months under my belt, who has time to write. Additionally, I’m still publishing two newsletters a month for The Yarn Store at Nob Hill, teaching classes, and now getting ready for craft fair season.

One project that took quite a bit of time and effort was getting a teaching plan and patterns ready for a project for The Yarn Store (TYS). The store wanted to reach out to the university crowd by offering kits at a reasonable price. The kits are for either crochet or knit and include how-to instructions for beginners, five patterns, yarn and tools in a pouch plus lessons with an instructor. Another woman did the knit portion, and I did the crochet portion. I wrote three original patterns, a photo-tutorial on a granny square scarf in chart form, and an adaptation of the Amazing Grace headband. Since starting this blog, I’ve been updating my color scheme in my patterns, so you’ll notice that they coordinate well with the blog. I also like the bi-fold style layout which looks like this:

Front and back cover
Inside pages

I had to put the watermark on them because they are for sale on Ravelry and in TYS kits. Here is what the others look like.

Continue reading “Here Is What’s Been Keeping Me Busy”
Posted in Craft tips, Jewelry, kumihimo

Brief intro to Kumihimo jewelry

Kumihimo cord was first created centuries ago by a form of finger-loop braiding. Later, tools such as the marudai and the takadai were employed to make more complex braids in a shorter time. For photos and information on these braiding looms, check out the American Kumihimo SocietyHere is a YouTube video of a braider demonstrating the use of a takadai for making complex flat braids. The most prominent historical use of the braided cords was by Samurai as both a functional and decorative way to lace their armor and their horses’ armor. Contemporary Western use includes jewelry making, with or without beads.

A modern kumihimo disk made of firm but flexible foam plastic with notches can also be used as a portable marudai. The disks have 32 notches that create tension on the cords. The foam kumihimo disk is lightweight, portable, and significantly more affordable than the traditional marudai. Braiders can create complex braids up to 24 bobbins and incorporate beads. There are many sizes and shapes of foam disks available. Look for a disk that is sturdy and doesn’t bend easily, otherwise the braider will experience uneven tension. Continue reading “Brief intro to Kumihimo jewelry”

Posted in Craft tips, motivation, timeless thursday

Do You Remember These Crafts?

…and would you make them today?

It is craft fair season — and I’m madly making items to sell — so I’m sharing a page from an old Workbasket magazine. The feature “Making Cents” highlighted projects for the crafter to sell. Usually made from common household items (these days we call it upcycling,) the projects even included a suggested price range. Why, wouldn’t someone just snap up a hat for a doll made from a nut cup for a mere $.25!  And for about the same price, everyone will be grabbing the crocheted chocolate chip cookie pins off  your table.

Get crackin’, time’s awasting.

thursday

Are you participating in craft shows this season? What are you making; what are your best-sellers? Do you have any tips for us? Comment below.

Posted in Personal

Improve Everything! (Except maybe your wallet.)

improve everythingImprove your grades!
Lower your stress level!
Make gifts for your friends!
Boost your self-esteem!

What do these things have in common? Crafting, specifically knitting and crochet. Scientists, educators, and therapists agree that occupying the hands occupies the mind, redirecting the synapses into constructive conduits. Additionally, making and gifting are proven boosters to self-esteem and interpersonal relationships. Continue reading “Improve Everything! (Except maybe your wallet.)”

Posted in Personal

A Time for Every Season

End of Summer . . . what is this time of year like for you? So many changes take place as students head back to school. Harvest time has special meaning in my semi-rural neighborhood that is not felt in more urban areas. There will be fiestas coming up soon too. I start feeling nostalgia creeping up, and I know it is time to shift my energies into Autumn activities.

Even though I’ve lived in central New Mexico for over 25 years, I have a hard time with the seasonal changes. You’d think I’d be used to it by now. But, I grew up in a two-season, moderate, subtropical climate: hot or wet. As a result, here I’m just getting used to one season, then another one comes along. No sooner do I get used to that one when I’m expected to adapt again. I don’t really like it.

I’ve desperately tried to come up with some way to bend my mind around the seasons. I’m usually pretty flexible, even impetuous on occasion, so change itself is not the issue. I live for the longer daylight hours, and I celebrate the Winter Solstice like nobody’s business. Maybe there’s a bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder in me. I can tell you this, though, the shorter days are already getting on my nerves. I think it is going to be a rough winter.

solstice 2016
On Solstice night, I light every candle in the house, welcoming the return of the sun.