Sunday, September 30, 2007
First of all I discovered that I am not the only person in the world who doesn't have a decent digital picture of themselves to post. I'd say at least half of the people on Ravelry have pictures of their pets rather than themselves. I use Alex's head shot from a while ago. The problem with not using your real photo is that others cannot recognize you when they meet you at events. I'll have to ask Paul to help me get a decent shot when we next get together.
I also discovered that this site has a huge database of patterns, books, fibers and tools for the knitter or crocheter. I have a skein that I love the look of but have no idea what to do with it. the site gave me information on a couple of books with patterns just for one skein and a bunch of projects that others had done with the same yarn. All reviewed by real live knitters so I have a clue about how hard it would be to use the patterns suggested.
I dd post a couple of patterns that I had completed and I have gotten a couple of hits already. I don't know if I will continue to use the site but for now it is a great resource. If you are a knitter or crocheter you might enjoy getting in on the action at http://www.ravelry.com/
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
There is a whole new class of projects that are completed within the embroidery hoop ... even down to applying zippers! We made a snail design with two kinds of applique fabric, a lady bug sun visor, three pieces of lace joined by a couching stitch, feather stitched multiple quilt squares joined with ribbon, faux cutwork on linen (very clever!) and a neat calico note pad holder. I want to try out all the techniques on my own as we shared one machine among 5 or 6 of us. My biggest issue with this seminar, which is probably the same for all similar seminars, is that a lot of time is spent just doing the embroidery. Once you know how to embroider one design, the act of embroiderng becomes as exciting as watching paint dry. The interesting techniques that make an embroidery machine so versatile could have taken an hour or two without having to create the embroiery.
I will try out the techniques I learned over the next few days and let you know how successful I am in recreating what I saw in class. Then we will see how good a student I am and how good Steve Wilson and Kinda Winzeler are at teaching.
Let the sewing begin!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
One part of the event is called the Swap-o-rama Rama. It is organized by Wendy Tremayne (http://www.gaiatreehouse.com/events.htm) . The concept is that you bring a bag of clean, in-season clothing to give away. You then can take whatever you want from everyone elses discards. In one video I saw on this concept it said that 5 - 7,000 pounds of clothing can be recycled at an event like this. While at the fair you can then take the clothing you have found and re-make it into something else... clothing, accessories or home dec items. There are sewing machines, threads, sergers, silk screens and designers available to help you realize your vision. Does this sound intriguing or what?
I have volunteered to help out that weekend but I will also be a willing participant. I'll let you know how it all turns out. Be on the lookout for similar events in your area as I am sure you would have a good time as well.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
One of her schticks is that the knitting community is not taken seriously by the rest of the business world. She related that Blue Moon Fibers (http://www.bluemoonfiberarts.com/) had approached a bank about helping with credit card orders for a monthly sock yarn club. When ordering opened the bank decided that it had to be a scam because thousands of people could not possibly want to order a monthly sock yarn club and refunded everyone's orders. I understand that litigation is still on-going.
Another story had to do with Stephanie's personal charity, Knitters Without Borders, which has raised over $300,000.00 for Doctors Without Borders. It took a couple of years for the group to meet its first goal of $120,000.00 after the Southeast Asian Tsunami. Stephanie then had another $120,000.00 goal announced on her blog and it took 72 hours to meet that goal. Now Doctors Wihtout Borders is asking her how to raise that much money.
In both cases knitters are shown to be a powerful economic force both in business and charity work even if the general community may not recognize this force. HOWEVER, we have met the enemy and it is us. To get respect you need to act like you already have it. Stephanie admits that she does not introduce herself as a writer of humor based on knitting. She has published five books, two of which have made the best seller lists and one of which has earned a prestigious award for humor writing. She introduces herself as a writer only and is unaware of how many books she has actually sold. I agree that with 50 million knitters in North America knitters can be a powerful force for good in the world but if one its most visible boosters is embarassed by her vocation its no wonder that the rest of the world is unaware of that power.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
And here is a picture of my own materials with Kristen's instructions. The Headband and wash cloth are made out of varigated kitchen cotton yarn. The headband fits very well and the cloth will probably go into my shower rather than be used in the kitchen. The fabric for the tissue holders and pencil cases is a cotton lawn from Japan printed with Martini glasses that I just love and have in two color ways!And, here is a photo of all the other bits and pieces that came in the package.
The little magazine includes instructions for a fold-over style sandwich bag, a soothing tea recipe, a soothing eye pillow idea and a bunch of ideas for keeping our creativity from becoming a burden. And check out that great fabric.... what will I do with all of this?
The subscriptions go on sale on Monday and they seemed to have sold out quickly last month. If what I have described seems like something you would like to try, please keep Kristen's enterprise in mind and shop her Etsy shop for little fun kits and other stuff.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Butter Tarts - Oh how I miss warm butter tarts with raisins and a good strong cup of Tim Horton's coffee. I got to indulge while I was there at least once a day and I may have gained a few butter tart pounds at the same time. Why anyone would put pecans, rather than raisins, in a butter tart is beyond me.
Wool Sweaters - I went to a Value Village while in Kitchener to check out wool sweaters for potential felting projects. I was very surprised at how few there were as the majority of the sweaters were cotton and acrylic. I picked up eight of various weights and styles for about $5.00 each. Even though they were quite bulky I still managed to get them in my suit case without going over the weight limits.
Barbecue - I know Canada is not generally known for its barecue but I had the opportunity to try a few meals of it and have come back with a new appreciation of honey based peppery sauces. Yum Yum!
Diversity - Kitchener is a very small city but I found excellent examples of many different ethic restaurants within a short distance of each other. When I return for more Dad Duty, I have a full list of places I want to try including the Korean Barbecue place downtown and the Indian place in the strip plaza down the road from his apartment. All this diversityin a small area also means there is quite a bit of ethinc tension and there is a debate I heard about about sending everyone back to where they came from, something the members of the first nations might find to be a good thing.
Trees - Large maples, oaks, elms and pines were every where. The shade canopy throughout the city was glorious and I can hardly wait for the leaves to start changing there. With great ecological awareness most grass fertilizers and weed killers are banned so the grass was almost universally brown and not at all attractive. It seemed that most lawns were dying and the parks were given over to mulched play areas and/or flower beds rather than large expanses of green.
Brick Houses - Especially around the hospital there were many large all brick homes with wrap around porches, unusually shaped windows and victorian gingerbread trim. I love being in an area where most of the homes are over 60 years old and, although sligthly expensive, are affordable for most middle class families. One of the joys of living in a smaller city. Heating these places means that the lovely original windows have been replaced by newer triple pained glass or are covered with aluminum storm windows. Yuck!
The War - When Canadian solders who have been killed in Afganistan are brought home for autopsy and burial, they are all returned to the base in Trenton and then driven to Toronto. Canadians line the over passes over Highway 401 to pay their respects to these fallen ones. It is quite moving to see and this stretch of road has been renamed the Highway of Heroes. On the other hand there was a 'support the troops' rally in the city of Calgary, Alberta and only 16 people participated.
Then there is Canadian Tire money, bilingualism, provincial politics, the CBC, TVO, heavy money, 15% sales tax, government run liquor stores, eh! and many, many other things that let you know you are in a foreign country Even with all these differences and similarities we still share the longest unguarded border in the world. Oh Canada indeed!
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
I have a ton of little projects I have completed in the last few days that I wanted to share but, frankly, I am too distracted by all these health issues to do photos and post. Some how I can knit and sew but not post.... interesting!
This should be an interesting few days. Wish me luck!