Tag Archives: yarn

I keep my promises — it’s giveaway time!

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I came across this awesome giveaway today, just in time to enter! Craft bloggers are so generous, aren’t they? This is a lovely blog, too.

not your average crochet

what the winner will receive

A beautiful yarn bowl handmade by my lovely and very talented friend Lauren:

yarn bowlA full skein of KnitPicks Billow (100% Pima cotton) in the shade Ice Lily:

billow bulky pima cotton in ice lilyA full skein of KnitPicks Brava Worsted (100% acrylic) in the shade Mint:

brava worsted acrylic in mintAnd finally a thread/yarn cutter keychain (I have one and have put it on a necklace chain):

thread cutter keychainI have tried both kinds of yarn previously and enjoy working with them very much, particularly with a yarn bowl made by my friend!

giveaway info

The giveaway is open from right now until November 25, 2013, when I will randomly draw the winner.  It is open to anyone, regardless of where in the world you are located.

giveaway rules

To enter in this giveaway, you must do ALL of the following:

  1. Follow this blog (can be via WordPress, e-mail, or Bloglovin’)
  2. Share this post by reblogging it…

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How Do I Know When it is Done?

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About a year ago, when I first started thinking about being creative every day, I was very excited about collage. I saw a lot of mixed media art that I loved and wanted to emulate in some way–not to make the same projects, but to take the idea of creating something new out of disparate parts and make my own projects.

I wasn’t sure where to start, so I just dove in. I painted a canvas with a an abstract grass and sky theme.

painted canvas

I really liked this canvas, and I didn’t want to mess it up by just diving in with no plan, so next I spent some time experimenting. I glued yarn to a practice canvas I had laying around. I tried a couple of different glues to see what would hold the buttons best. I got out a few different colors of yarn and experimented with making the trunk. I tried crocheting a trunk, but it came out too big with the multiple yarn colors I wanted to use, so in the end I decided to just twist the colors together and glue them down that way.

I worked on this over several weeks, working for a bit, then leaving and coming back the next day. The original plan for gluing the yarn down was  to make the roots relatively shallow on the canvas, trailing off, with a huge tree above with lots of button leaves. When I stepped back and looked at it after I got most of the yarn in place, though, I realized I had done it completely backwards–the long branches were in the green ground part, and the shorter roots were in the blue sky part of the canvas. D’Oh!

I certainly wasn’t going to try to take the yarn off and re-glue it. After I thought about it a bit, I decided that long roots are better anyway–much of a tree really is in the root system. So, I started gluing on buttons.

collage in progress

I  really enjoyed the process of coming back to this over and over again, sometimes stealing just 10 or 15 minutes out a busy day to glue on some buttons and look over the project. Sometimes the canvas would sit for days at a time without me looking at it all (which reminds me of the need to get more of a studio space than the corner of my dining room table…), but I found that valuable, too. When I came back, I had fresh eyes.

This week I got it out and looked at it again, and I find myself not sure what the next step is. Is it done? Does it look a bit barren at the bottom? Should I put a few button-leaves along the trunk?

current collage

I am not sure if it is done or not, but I don’t see anything that it needs, if that makes sense. Always before I would look at it and think it needed more leaves or something at the ground level, but now I look at it and nothing jumps out as necessary.

I am still pretty new to collage, so I am not sure exactly what I want, but I am enjoying the process!

Days 15 and 17: Baby, It’s Cold Outside

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In the interest of being slightly less boring, I am summing up on projects and posting when they are totally done, even though they may span several days. So, finishing a panel on an afghan that has multiple panels may be a project for one day, but I am not necessarily posting those here each time, because it can be too repetitive. Instead, I’ll keep track of the days I work on it and post a big one when I am done. Or, I’ll post some of them when it is new, then wait until I am done to post the other days. Whatever I feel like on any given day, basically.

I came home from work last Tuesday determined to work on the blanket I am making for the high school Parents’ Club auction, but I got sidetracked. You see, it is really cold here. Really, really cold. And I can’t find the hat I crocheted for myself last year.

I liked to make something to solve this sort of problem before I started this Making Things project, and that has only gotten more true this month. So, I put aside the blanket and started my scoodie, based on this pattern:

 

I wanted something a little brighter, though, and I found a nice pretty blue in my stash:

scoodie

The yarn is Red Heart With Love in Ocean Blue, which is listed as a worsted weight, medium, 4, but it seems a bit bulkier. I am surprised at how much variation there is with a weight classification for yarns, but it nice to have some variety for various purposes.

This is  a fairly warm scoodie with the half double crochet stitches giving it some thickness, but if it is a very windy day, a hood on top of it would be helpful. I used a K hook, so the stitches are kind of loose and the wind gets in there. I may eventually make another one of these with a smaller hook and more rows. Overall, though, I am very happy with this one! I’ve been told it makes my eyes look bright blue, which is nice, too.

My favorite part of this, though, is how I had a need and I made something myself to fill that need. There are many things I love about crocheting, but making useful things is definitely high on the list. I feel so much less a consumer and more a producer. I am starting to understand how people start out just making a nice baby blanket and end up raising sheep to shear and make their own yarn–not that I think I will get that far, but I can definitely see the appeal of making more and more of your own materials.

This is also why I like having a stash of yarn available–I frequently go into my stash to make things. I like being able to make something to fill a need I have without having to wait until I can get to a store. I prefer to be inspired by what I have on hand as much as possible–not that I never go to the store with a project in mind to buy supplies for, but that I like to have the option of being more spontaneous.

For that matter, this applies to any art or craft supplies. I like to go buy things that appeal to me, then figure out how to put them together later. I think that working within limits inspires the greatest creativity in me. If I have too many choices, I get very overwhelmed. Working with what I have on hand forces me to view everything a little differently, making things work that I might not have considered.

Do you buy art supplies and yarn with a specific project in mind? Or do you like to have a wide variety on hand for whenever the mood strikes?