Sunday, September 9, 2012

Maker Faire

Participated in the Calgary Makers Faire  yesterday, and remembered to take pictures.  It was wonderful,  more than 50 displays from Lego to 3D printers.  Excellent organization, great site inside and outside at the Old  Simmons Mattress factory and warm weather.

I was there as part of my guild and SJ and I exhibited our work and demonstrated rug hooking, spinning and knitting. 

I got a couple of new makers started. 

As an afterthought I took some silk cocoons,  the kind you can shake and hear the dead silk worm rattle around inside,  a great hit with kids.

I am pleased I remembered to take pictures at all but I wish I had taken more of the other Makers.

This is a Walking Wheel in action, made from bike parts, the spindle is a Knitting needle and the white blob centring the drive band is hockey tape.

These guys thought to bring there own comfortable chairs,  no matter how good the organization of an event, the chairs are always horrible. 

Then I packed everything back up in my wagon and went home.
 I don't drive, I don't want to drive, it's amazing how many people think it is hard or impossible transport things without a motor vehicle.  I enjoy the looks and comments I get trundling a  wheel around.  One friendly guy recognize a wheel and called me a yarner.

The Mattress Factory is a wonderful space,  the interior beams are original  and impressive.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Class I am teaching in the fall

Forty Years of Knitting to Teach You
For Absolute beginners to quite experienced knitters

Heritage Weavers Spinners and Dyers
Art Pointe Studios
 4 Thursday Afternoons, 1  to 3
Sept 6 to 27

120.00 to HWSD members and 150.00 to non-members, pre-register
25.00 for supplies, paid on the first day

          This is a class for absolute beginners with an adventurous streak, we are going to cover all the basics but any level of knitter  would be interested because all three knitting methods will be covered. Spinners and dyers will have their interests and skills focused on too.  Yarn, needles, stitches, patterns, theory and history of knitting, ergonomics and mental health, the internet and knitting,  you are getting 40 years of knitting education, research experience and opinions. 

Day 1 starts with the Thumb or Portuguese purl, of all the methods this is the easiest.  If you are an absolute beginner I will cast on for you.  But a cast on comes next,  then 2 coloured knitting in the round (don't panic, really). 

Day 2 will be the Left hand Carry knit Stitch, that's the Continental or German method, then the purl, then the simplest cast off.  Somewhere in between we cover increasing and decreasing. 

Day 3 back to the Thumb method and it's knit stitch.  Then a few stitch patterns, garter, ribbing, stockinet and seed stitch and edges.

Day 4 will be an different cast on and cast off,  sewing together. And maybe cables if we have time or knitting circles.

Supplies and projects

One circular knitting needle, two balls of wool yarn (if you have sensitivities notify instructor)
Handouts including 2 patterns
Use of scissors, crochet hook, sewing needles, measuring tape etc. including opportunity to try different needles

Students should bring paper and pen.  And anything else you feel might be helpful or interesting. Second or third class bring a pattern you would like to knit.

Time and place
There will be a coffee break and coffee will be available,  bring snacks if desired. Smoking outside.  Art Pointe is 5 minutes from the # 1 bus and there is ample parking.  for map.
Instruction will be 1 to 3 for those who have commitments but Thursday morning is members only drop in and the instructor will be there if you want to come and practise, anytime from 10 to 1.  I don't rush off after either so we can sit around and practise.  To get the most from the class you will need to practise between classes.

The instructor, Jani Meyers has knit for 40 years, taken classes at Olds Fibre Week and Madrona  including "how to teach",  taught at Calgary Public Library and Olds Fibre Week.  She's janientrelac on Raverly and blogs at Knitting behind your back. Reach her at

Friday, May 25, 2012

Historical fiction and fact

I finally read Wolf Hall.  Great book.

It is very, very difficult to write historical fiction without making the central character sympathetic, I say  difficult not impossible, Cecelia Holland can do it.  Mantel makes a ruthless Cromwell sympathetic by writing how he thought about his actions, he doesn't justify himself,

The next book Bringing Up the Bodies promises to be even better. Wolf Hall ends with Anne Boleyn at the height of her power. My views on this period were shaped by the historical fiction Brief Gaudy Hour and Norah Lofts  I think I read everything Lofts ever wrote, both of these books view Anne as the victim of Henry.  He saw her, wanted her, got her, got bored and killed her and she was a "good girl".  Reality is harder to find,  she certainly wasn't a pure virgin trapped by circumstances. 

Another view from a minor character at Henry's court, a court painter, is Anne and her family as dissolute, dissipated and ambitious, which seems closer to the truth as researched and written by Alison Weir.  Henry did get bored and he did want  a son but Anne fell largely due to political manoeuvring by Cromwell and all her other enemies.  But if he had not gotten her executed, she might well have gotten him executed. Mantel will have fun with that.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A very long mistake

I thought about this, I thought long and hard.  Carefully chosen colours, lovely yarn, an interesting and creative idea, a method I have used many times.  I checked along the way to make sure it was working out as planned.  I even carefully weighted it when I had done 3 rows of blocks to get an average weight per row, so I could tell if I had enough yarn.  I have enough yarn, what I don't have is the ability to notice the most obvious thing.

The red, brown and orange sweater underneath  is a good length, the bottom is mid thigh on me.  The back of the neck is lined up, The bottom of the fushia, pink and blue sweater is a long, long way down.  The picture in my mind has it just below the knee, so much for my mind.

An ankle length sweater has a certain elegance but this is going to stretch, and stretch and stretch more, I know it will.
It was knit on interchangeable needles, my beloved knitter's pride set using very long cords.  The cords are still in the piece and they keep it from being as long as it could be.
One of the reasons I love interchangeable needles and long cords is how easy it can be to try on unfinished things,  why didn't I try it on?
It got spread out, it's picture was taken to show how nicely the back of the neck and the bottom hem were developing.  Somehow, while measuring to get the back of the neck the right width, which happened, the whole at least 6 foot length of it got ignored.

But the creative idea worked out well,  interchangeable needles got interchanged every 6 units making the entrelac modules bigger towards the bottom.  There is at least a 2 inch difference from the back of the neck on the bottom of the picture to  the 7 units on the hem line.  It's is a shame that the hem line would drag in the mud.
And I presume to teach. 

Yes, a course called Explicating Entrelac at at Colour Conspiracy   

Come if you dare.

I can't decide if i should rip it out now or save it for the class as a horrible example.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Worlds' best social Site

It's not just me that thinks Raverly is world's best, here are some hotlinks about it.  I am doing an informal presentation tomorrow to my guild
The opposite of unravel, to make with fibre.

well everybody who has sheep, alpacas, everybody who spins, dye or weaves,  everybody who knits, crochets, tats, everyone who is interested in textile history.

we fibre artists are a polite bunch
one great site about another Wikipedia which is also largely created by it's users

Famous knitters lurk on it, and a writers of good murders mysteries, like Pat Macintosh.
One for quilters nowhere near as good, there is nothing else like it.

Be afraid, be very afraid, it is addictive and cuts into knitting time.

While I am putting up good sites, the Alberta Weavers, Spinners and Dyers conference is in May and some of the details are, not many,  on the site.  If enough people are interested and register I will be teaching a course about entrelac, a very handy method of knitting for handspinners.