Monday, 29 April 2013

Bloom 2013

In this age of high speed and convenience, the rhythmic act of weaving speaks to my soul.  When I sit before the loom I choose to surrender to process, relishing textures of coarse wool, smooth cotton and glossy silk as inch by inch they pass through my fingertips into the warp. Emotions and concepts begin to surface and collide, connect or slip past each other in my mind.  I imagine these strands of subconscious are travelling alongside the threads as I twine, coax and beat them into place.  Tapestry commands discipline and constant deliberation; It challenges me to have faith in my instincts and give it Time.

Bloom is my celebration of the Time it took.


I am overjoyed to announce that "Bloom" was one of 35 entries selected by the jury to travel with Dimensions 2013.  What an intensive learning experience!  I have my next warp ready to string onto the loom, and the new cartoon is already blown up to scale.  

Thank you to everyone who shared in this adventure with me especially my loving husband and family, my ever optimistic friends and the awesome ladies of the Saskatchewan Spinners and Weavers Guild. 

Happy creating everyone!


Sunday, 28 April 2013

4KCBWDAY7 Looking Forward

"One year from now, when the 5th Knitting & Crochet Blog Week rolls around, where do you hope your crafting will have taken you to? What new skills, projects and experiences do you hope you might have conquered or tried?"

By this time next year I hope to be doing more of the following:

-exploring ALL the lace!
-conquering my irrational avoidance of the knitted sock. 
-writing out my patterns to share and sell
-creating more tutorials, including video
-have my Etsy shop up and running with all my wares!

Thank you very much to Eskimimi for organizing this super fun challenge!   It has given me a great deal of perspective and food for thought for the following year, and lots of cool ideas for making my blog more interesting and fun to read.

It has been really awesome to see what other craft bloggers are doing with the challenges, and I look forward to participating again next year!

Thank you for stopping by,

Happy creating!

Too cute not to share. Henry Keller 7mos

4KCBW Day 1 Here!
4KCBW Day 2 Here!
4KCBW Day 3 Here!
4KCBW Day 4 Here!
4KCBW Day 5 Here!
4KCBW Day 6 Here!

 Find out more about Eskimimimakes Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013

Saturday, 27 April 2013

4KCBWDAY6 A Tool To Covet

Hands down, my favorite tool is my umbrella swift.  I have it shown below alongside my other favorite: a ball winder. They work together like PB and J.              

I took some skeins of hand spun compound yarn out of my stash and quickly discovered that the sequins were too obnoxiously huge to fit through the ball winder. And then I thought that was probably okay because I am here to talk about the swift.

It's called an umbrella swift because of the way it opens.  All those sticks are tied together with string, so they are flexible and open out accordion style.  This means that it will fit a lot of different sized skeins.  I have had a few skeins that were too big, but not for the most part.

As a spinner/knitter/crocheter/weaver/ninja* I am constantly falling in love with fancy hand dyed or specialty yarns that almost always come by the skein; I find this tool to be indispensable.  Before my swift I shuddered at all the skeins of daisy size 20 and 30 crochet thread my hubby brought home from the thrift store, when I should have been doing the boogie-woogie dance.  Now I am unwinding those bad boys like a yarn balling speed demon from the planet Yarnopia.**


You don't need a yarn "cake" balling tool to help, you can simply ball up the yarn loosely by hand.  A trick is to wind the yarn over your thumb and pointer as you make the ball, to prevent the ball from becoming too tight.  this is especially important for fluffy, soft yarns that once stretched will loose all their oomph.   I learned this nifty trick from some super awesome gals at a local "crafternoon" last summer. 

I have been trying to think of a tool that I didn't find handy, and I can't!  I might have been lucky, so far, that I haven't picked up a dud.  One of my other favorite tools is called a fringe twister.

Do you have a favorite tool, or do you have trouble picking just one like me?

Happy Creating!


*I'm not really a ninja. Occasionally I'm stealthy.  Mostly I am a clutz.
* Yarnopia is a soft, squishy, peaceful planet located somewhere in the galaxy of Fibertron. 

4KCBW Day 1 Here!
4KCBW Day 2 Here!
4KCBW Day 3 Here!
4KCBW Day 4 Here!
4KCBW Day 5 Here!

Find out more about Eskimimimakes Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013

Friday, 26 April 2013

Thursday, 25 April 2013

4KCBWDAY4 Colour Review


Rainbows in my projects, rainbows in my stash...technicolor daydreams.  It is ALL THE COLOURS up in here.  Check out my groovy duds in the upper right corner.

You might be thinking "uh, peacock?" and colour is definitely where I faltered when picking my house.  But then I thought: colours=flowers=FUN FOR BEES.

I'm really not subtle, especially this past year.  But after searching through all my pictures, I've found that in the last few months I'm shifting towards one colour:

And this is interesting.  My rose tapestry from the last 2 years running:

Basically a cornucopia of colour.

Here's a snippet of the next cartoon:

I am just threading up my loom for this one, but the cartoon has been ready for the past 6 months so It's likely the root of my new fixation. But if you look close, you see that I am not completely forsaking the other colours...

What colours are you coveting lately?

4KCBW Day 1 Here!
4KCBW Day 2 Here!
4KCBW Day 3 Here!

Find out more about Eskimimimakes Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

4KCBWDAY3 Infographic


I had a hard time with this challenge.  Something will probably come to me in an hour and I'll be like WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT BEFORE!?

I made this word cloud to be a visual representation of my current inspirations, goals, ambitions, and priorities in terms of processes. As you can see the word "Blog"is fairly small. I would like to make it a bit bigger over the next year.  I also will note that the word "Inkle" is too small.  I am an total inkle freak.  I just burned myself out preparing for Christmas and put all my looms in the basement.  I'll be hauling those out soon to prep for a show, and then I'll be teaching a few inkle workshops this autumn.

What do you think your biggest word in a cloud like this would be?

I made this word cloud with Wordle!

Check out my first post for KCBW Here!
And Day 2 Here!

Find out more about Eskimimimakes Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

4KCBWDAY2 A Mascot Project


When ideas come they usually swarm me.  I flit from one to the next like they are flowers.  It's hard to settle on just one. Often I don't.  I just cast them all on and jump jump around.  WIPs don't bother me.  This is where I put in a plug about how seriously awesome my husband is, because he doesn't mind the WIPs either, even though they tend to build nests all over the living room, roost on the backs of chairs, and reproduce all over the kitchen table.

Day two's challenge is to come up with a mascot project.It doesn't have to be the actual animal, but relate to it in some way.  And we don't have to actually create this project for the post, but rather give a little insight into our creative process.  We do have the option of actually creating it in the future for extra credit. I am a total nerd for extra credit. 

Miraculously all the craft molecules in my brain aligned for this challenge. I figure if I am going to make a yarn bee mascot that accurately represents me it should probably also be whimsical and geeky*.  AMIGURUMI!   So, I did a Google image search.


Okay but after a quick scan I didn't see anything like what I was thinking, so time to doodle.I love doodling.  It's too bad I haven't been very disciplined about keeping an idea sketchbook.  I should crack the whip about that. ANYWAYS, after 3 drafts and a fair bit of chortling to myself, I give you...


He so fly**

Pssst.  Bizgig. Your sitting on your lunch.

He's got pretty severe pollinosis.

For anyone who is interested I do plan on making him, and sharing the pattern!  He will be crocheted with Red Heart acrylic yarn, to bust my stash.

* Live long and Prosper. May the force be with you. There's only one man who would dare give me the raspberry. It's Bigger on the inside. Inconceivable!  There can only be one.  We are the knights who say NI! Kevin Smith. Joss Whedon. Steven Moffat. BAZINGA!

**NOT. Either he is a fly trying to be a bee, or he is a bee who was born without stripes and has to wear a B-shirt.

Check out my first post for KCBW Here!

Find out more about Eskimimimakes Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013!

Monday, 22 April 2013

4KCBWDAY1 House of Bee


After a bit of confusion as to which house I should choose, I decided that at my barest bones I am definitely a BEE.  Though I do enjoy incorporating a challenging twist like Monkeys, and love embellishing and bedazzling things like Peacocks, I'm well known by family and friends to be a Producer.

You may notice a trend...
I hand spun some super fun compound yarn...
...and this is how it knit up!
 I'm that strange duck who CAN NOT leave the house without a project (or three, because at least in terms of crafting I'm attention deficit).  I tweaked one of my inkle looms for portability so that I could take it with me to the park in the summer.  I typically have at least one project that is car friendly, like my drop spindle or a little crochet lace edging, and I'm the one at the family bbq sitting in the shade under a tree with my knitting.  Occasionally I try to force myself to leave the bag of many things at
home and try to, you know, socialize a bit.  I have a lot of anxiety though. So I tend to run back for it at the last minute.
For weaving in the park
I am often asked how I get so much done. I just plain can't sit still. If I find myself in the van, or waiting in the doctor's office, or at a function without anything to fall into, I turn into a Twitchy-Mc Twitchypants.  I used to smoke upwards of a pack a day.  Then I replaced my cigarette with a crochet hook, and it grew to include knitting, spinning and whatever else I can get my fingers tangled in. I also immerse myself in projects to ward off depression. There is a direct correlation between how much I'm producing and how many demons are hovering in the wings. But mostly? I just LOVE making things and I'm totally obsessed with process. What I do isn't work to me but it also isn't a hobby.  I believe it's my vocation.


I do this obsessively
Some of my hand woven inkle bands
It's so exciting when people are sharing ideas and creating things together.  To me there is no fellowship that compares. My very favorite memories are of time spent with a few friends, when we got so busy crafting we forgot to talk, and our hot drinks got cold. It didn't matter at all because we were just content to be together, sharing the same space, feeling the sun warming our faces, with only the sound of the birds in the trees, kitties purring, needles clicking, pencils scritching....

I am also in love with texture
I love showing the things I make, talking about and demonstrating process, teaching and encouraging others to pick up a project. I believe we are all creative beings, and that creativity is relative. Sometimes it is simple and spontaneous like taking off your shoes and making squishy footprints in the mud, tossing a handful of leaves into the wind, whistling a tune, or doing a car dance*.  It can be complex and deliberate like an elegant equation, intricate lace, a musical score, or a novel.  It's in our children and grandchildren, in our garden, our muscle cars and choppers.  Tattoos, graffiti, yarn bombs, beat poetry, surfing the perfect wave, the runner's high. It can be an "ah-hah!" moment or a "ha ha!" moment.   It's the moment we take notice.  It's in the marks we make, and we should make as many as we possibly can.

Happy creating!

*Car dancing is one of my favorite things. Sit in the seat, buckle the belt, turn the radio on, or slide in a groovin' cd, and get down with your bad self. This gets really awesome at stop lights, in parking lots or in traffic jams, really ESPECIALLY awesome if you can persuade everyone in the car to do it, and totally hilarious if the dudes in the cars around you join in.

So, THIS, and THIS. Not to be confused with THIS, which is also unbelievably cool, but requires some seriously mad skills.  Please drive safe.

Find out more about Eskimimimakes Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013!