Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Crochet - how do I love thee?

I am so in love with crochet right now... it occupies my every craft thought. For me, it's the most versitile and fun way of making fabric. It's very easy to manipulate into sculptural shapes, there are so many amazing varriations, it has an amazing history and I feel cool doing it.

I have to really thank Cal over at Hodge Podge Farms for turning me on to crochet oh so many years ago! I thank Tamaralda for getting me back into crochet after a wee break.

Recently, Tamaralda had me over so we could teach ourselves some new crochet techniques... Broomstick Lace and Hairpin Lace. Both are crochet techniques using hooks and, in the case of Broomstick, a large knitting needle, in the case of Hairpin, a frame.

Broomstick Lace Sampler:

Tamaralda and I had a blast that day drinking Kilkenny and crocheting. We used resources from the internet and are anxious to apply both techniques to small projects.

Hairpin Lace Samples:

Please take some time to check out The Crochet Liberation Front!!

In other news, the elephant in my craft room (ie. setting up my actual craft room), has taken a great leap to being functional thanks to Boomer (see picture below of her using her handy-gal smarts to help clear off my work space).... a big tip of my crocheted cap to her! Now it's time to occupy the space with some crock-pots and messy dye stuffs and get this show rollin'....

Also, if you are in the Toronto area please check out the One of a Kind Craft Show... an amazing and huge yearly show of artisans from all disiplines that runs through December 5th. Stop by Jenna Rose's booth and check out her hand printed homewares!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

December Classes

Here are the classes I'm teaching in December! They are all being taught at Passionknit:
(416) 922-3832

The Entrelac Technique
If you’re interested in Entrelac, this is the class for you! We will be going over the technique, and participants will complete a small sample from casting-on to binding-off. Please know how to knit, purl, pick up stitches and read a pattern. Entrelac Pillow kits will be available for purchase at the time of the class at a 10% discount. (Pinchy) Thurs. Dec. 9, 7 – 9pm. $30 plus materials.*

Absolute Beginner Knitting
If you are interested in learning the basics of knitting this is the class for you!
This class is for those of you who have never knit before and want to get started.
We will learn how to cast-on, the knit stitch and the purl stitch. We will talk about different ways of knitting as well as knitting terminology. (Peachy)
Tues. Dec. 14, 7 – 9pm. $30 plus materials.*

Beginner Knitting Hat
What a fun hat! It’s a great beginner project! You will learn how to cast-on, bind-off, shape a garment, read a pattern and sew up your project. It’s a quick knit with great results. Lofty and lovely! (Peachy) Tues. Dec. 21, 7 – 9pm.
$30 plus materials.*

Easy Moebius (Shawl, Hood, Snood…)
During this class you will learn how to cast-on using the provisional method and how to graft together a seam. We will be making a fun and funky Moebius out of Mirasol’s new chunky yarn - Ushya. A snuggly treat! (Peachy)
Thurs. Dec. 16, 7 – 9pm. $30 plus materials.*

*Please bring your knitting tool bag to class:
needles, stitch markers, scissors, note pad, etc. Also, please roll any skeins into balls before class!

Please register in advance either by coming into the shop or calling Passionknit at:
(416) 322-0688

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I love Hodge Podge Farm and the Sheep and Wool Festival!

In Mid October I went to visit Hodge Podge Farm and attend the Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck New York. I got to meet a bunch of new and amazing designers and yarn makers - Into the Whirled, Jill Draper and Hodge Podge Farm. I also met some amazing animals! Here are some photos...

We have the HPF chickens (Joan, Betty, Trudy, Grace and Midge) as well as the face of HPF - Gertie

The festival:

Cal's Spinning Guild participated in a Sheep to Shawl competition:

We went to the Ravelry party!!!

We had fun around Accord, NY (sitting under Gnome Chomsky the World's Largest Garden Gnome):

AND I got a whole new Hodge Podge Farm wardrobe!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mr. P I was Honoured...

My lovely friend Hanna who is very involved in all sorts of amazing art as well as all sorts of amazing animal rescue efforts has curated an amazing show for her gallery in Tokyo. I happily participated! The show is of artist designed T-shirts, the theme is cats and dogs, the proceeds of the show will be donated to an animal shelter that Hanna has teamed up with in Tokyo. All around a very great and fun project!

My t-shirt is dedicated to a very important cat in my life. I will say that I have learned many amazing lessons from animals that, for me, hold far more significance and poignance than lessons I have learned from non-furry beings.

Mr. P was an amazing cat. A big boy with beautiful markings and an air of intelligence and concern that was quite unlike any other cat I have ever met. He was not won over easily. It was very important for me to be his friend and he insisted it would be on his terms.

I love cats! On the street, at people’s homes, on TV anywhere – KITTIES! I want to squish them, squeeze them and smell their fur. Yes, I turn into a three year old when I see a cat. Most cats do not like this… Mr. P did not tolerate it at all…

“The Little Prince” has been a guidebook to life for me since I was very young. Much too young to understand most of the analogies, it holds a lot of weight and significance for me. Mr. P taught me one of the most important lessons in that book. The lesson the Fox teaches the Little Prince.

The Fox encourages the Little Prince to “tame” him. This takes patience, the building of trust and time. The reward is that once you have invested the patience, building of trust and precious time, you now have something that alters how you view life all because you now you have “tamed” this other being. I knew my reward had come when, after several months, Mr. P jumped into my lap and, looking at me directly in the eye, sat down.

The Fox and Little Prince's story goes a little further and so does Mr. P's and mine... In the book, the time comes for the Little Prince to leave. The Fox is sad because he now has a great love for the Prince. The Prince gets upset and asks, “Why did I bother, if it causes such pain?” The Fox sums it up by saying, “Wheat fields will never be just wheat fields to me anymore, they will remind me of the colour of your hair - then I will be happy.”

Mr. P had to leave. He’s been gone for over a year now, but I’ve taken so much from the lesson he taught me. Things have never looked the same again because I have seen through his eyes and I spent time and patience and built trust with him – that created a whole new entity of love and experiences that was ours. I value those new little entities that I create with others everyday that alter my ways of thinking and the paths I take. Little things always hold the most significance…

All that in a t-shirt!? Seriously – I put all that into the crocheted stitches in my t-shirt for Mr. P! Mr. P - I was truly, deeply honoured!

A message to Cal at Hodge Podge Farm – my next post will be about my visit to Hodge Podge headquarters! My Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival project is coming along wonderfully. Thanks to my “…into the whirled” roving. Here is a picture of my first skein: