Sunday, November 13, 2011

Olds Fibre Week

I am teaching at Olds Fibre Week again this year.  Three classes if enough people sign up, Humble Hook a beginners crochet class,  Interesting Beginnings, Useful Endings, Excellent Edges and Joyful Joins about different ways to cast on and off and edge your work, it's amazing how many different ways there are.

 Mitts inside,  the thrums are pure alpaca, I am worried that they will be to warm.
Right side out, much smaller.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Books, books and more books

My favourite Calgary book store Fair's Fair has just got in a huge pile of knitting books.  After I got some of what I wanted and more than I really should, this pile is still waiting for new and loving owners.

And 3 or 4 shelves full.  they all came from one owner who had to down size.

 These books are in excellent condition and reasonably priced.  if you go and buy something, Please mention that you read about on my blog.  I don't get a commission, sigh, I wish, but I would like them to know that their excellent service to me over the years pays off.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ladies in Blue

Even grownups, grandmotherlys type all, love to play in water and play with colour.   The Calgary Guild of mudpie makers got together for a dye day.  It's more fun than mudpies.

The blue gloves are specially for dyeing, they are quite heat resistant.  I've fished a skein out of boiling water,  very, very quickly.

The blue fibre is mine, and the lady sharing the table was dyeing sock yarn.  She got a lovely grey pink.

Purple dye over blue, using the pour and puddle method.

Not bad results, thanks to Ruth B. expert help.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursday morning at my guild

 I am a member of a great group the Heritage Weavers and Spinners of Calgary despite the fact that I don't weave, I do spin and dye, as well as knit.  I am also a very, very lucky spinner.

This morning I was the only spinner and a good thing too, at our informal thursday drop in.  A woman donated  6 huge bags of fibre to the guild.

Here it is on the table and the bookcases, I helped carry it in and unpack it.

The Guild has a tradition of members dropping off stuff they won't use, it gets sold to any member who wants it, on an honor system, somewhere in that picture is a battered can with a coin slot in the top.

Being the only spinner and the unpacker I got first dibs.  This is what I hauled home and my vehicle of choice.

I put in a fair donation though not what it's worth retail,  some of it I might end up giving back, some of it I will share with other spinners,  some of it will be it my stash when I die, I have stash beyond life expectance. And I intend to live a long time.

This RED and the picture doesn't do the redness justice must be about 10 lbs, I don't have a scale that works for that much.  It's going to thrums for mittens. Well, not all of it.

This is 5 lbs 10 ozs of Romney.  The donor left just about everything in the original bags which is good idea, it's much easier to use something when you know what it is.

Lastly this is alpacha.

I feel a bit guilty about this, other guild members urged me to take what I wanted and pay what I could,  and there is still a lot there, though more suitable for felting than spinning.

There are a lot of advantages to guild membership, being part of group of people who understand and the occasional lucky day.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Courageous Crocheters Resources

Ultimate crochet bible : a complete reference with step-by-step techniques
Crowfoot, Jane.
746. 434 CRO

  Crochet : 25 projects for the new stitcher 1st ed.
Meldrum, Carol.
746. 434 MEL
     Unexpected crochet for the home : [23 unique designs]
Maikon, Lena.
746. 434 MAI

Leinhauser, Jean
746. 434 LEI

Dobiasch, Cornelia.
746. 434 DOB

Hubert, Margaret.
746. 434 HUB 

Despite how they look the book titles are not hot links, go to the library catalogue and search by title

Good Websites  a non-profit organization of big yarn company’s trying to encourage yarn crafts, good tutorials  good tutorials and free patterns

 And one Video

Calgary resources  has crochet classes

Summer camp for grownups, varied courses in most of the fibre arts

Buying Supplies  they do have crochet hooks but not yet on the web site, phone them to order, say hello to Lori for me, great yarns and service based in Winnipeg wonderful site for vast number of yarns including great bargains, their crochet hooks are expensive though, based in Vancouver north and west of Calgary, lovely yarn in 30 + colours from western Canadian sheep, no crochet hooks, say hello to Fenn for me

There are 4 or 5 yarn stores in Calgary and the Big M box. 

Social Web sites anyone who spins, knits, crochets etc. should join. My Rav user name is janientrelac is a new idea in Calgary.  They might have crochet classes

AND Me blogging at  where this handout is April blog.  All the hotlinks are easier to use from my blog and I will be adding stuff.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Teaching yourself to knit part 2

I know of a wonderful website to teach absolute beginners how to use a computer mouse, but if you don't know anything about the internet how would you find it?
There are many, many sites that can teach you to knit, but if you don't know the right words, how do you find them.  And judge how good they are?
Knitting help is the best site I have seen, basics to advanced,  written guides, pictures and video, so it suits different learning styles.
Knit picks also has wonderful tutorials.
All of the knitting stores in Calgary are offering classes, and so is Calgary Board of education.
One of the most interesting places to take a class is Olds, I am teaching there this summer.  It's a summer camp for grownups.
Then there are videos to inspire, world's fastest knitter , the world's biggest and the world oddest.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Teaching Yourself to Knit, You can do it
I am a librarian so I always start with books.  People learn in many different ways so books might not work for you, say "that's not my learning style" and try something else.  Videos will be on the next blog.
Don't run out and buy these books, though they are worth owning, borrow them from the library first and find out if the author's voice and the pictures, drawing etc  work for you.  Some knitters love anything by a certain writer, and some knitters are repelled.
Start with Sally Melvile not just a great knitter but a great teacher.  The Knitting Experience is a three book series that takes a beginner from the knit stitch, adds the purl and then colour work. Like all XRX books they are very well illustrated, have the best drawings of instructions and good glossary/ abbreviations and have good photographs.  I think calling your web site the knitting universe is a bit pompous however, the publisher not Sally.
Next try Priscilla A Gibson Roberts, Knitting in the Old Way is one of the most interesting and empowering books about knitting, everything from Andean hats to putting in zippers.  Not just one way to knit but 3 and then the combinations, yarn, needles, how to decide how much yarn will be needed for a garment.  Roberts doesn't spell out individual patterns, she teaches you how to design your own.   If you could only have one book this would be the one. It's only lack is photos, there are very clear and useful drawings but no colour.
Last but not at all least, EZ whose books I have worn out, given away, read and reread, the first sweaters I ever knit were from the Knitting Workshop, my favorite socks are from Knitter's Almanac.  Zimmermann gives her patterns in two versions, one written to use to design your own version and Pithy Directions for blind followers.  She has a very individual voice, writes about her husband and her cats, gives all kinds of useful advice, reading her books is like sitting with her and knitting.
These are Moccasin socks, I modified the pattern quite a bit.