Fiber Preppers

Knitting, crocheting, weaving, spinning… your way through an emergency

Tomorrow we are expecting a snowfall and while it is good to have a shovel, candles extra food and water handy, you need to be fiber prepared.

True Preppers are people preparing for a catastrophic event, possibly even a doomsday scenario. Maybe as simple as watching your child’s hockey game or swim meet. If this is all new to you, you have had your head to deeply into your knitting. Don’t worry, by the end of this article you will be prepared. You may not be prepared for the end of the world but, you will be prepared for a natural event, an unexpected wait in a hospital waiting room, an evacuation due to flooding or even waiting for AAA to come fix a flat.

Cafe Press has a bumper sticker that says it all,”I am developing a post apocalyptic skill set”. The goal of a Prepper is self-sufficiency. Spinning today, knitting tomorrow. Maybe it is time to learn to spin. Then you would have no shortage of yarn to knit or weave. You could trade some yarn back to the sheep farmer for more roving.

The needlework community is close-knit and they support and respect each other. Knitting for charity is a part of who we are. So if the Mayan’s or the Prepper’s are correct…we will be in demand. Everyone needs socks, sweaters, scarves, towels, blankets…

Here are suggested items for your bug-out bag (the technical term Preppers use for their emergency kit). Your bug-out bag should be sturdy, have pockets, (if you can’t leave home with only a few balls of yarn…maybe it should have wheels) and large enough to fit everything comfortably.

The following items are recommended suggestions;

Bottle of water, energy bars and snacks

Cell phone (knitting apps) and charger

Computer and charger (to listen to fiber podcasts)

Flashlight (Knitting in the dark only results in mistakes)

Eyeglasses (extra pair)

Aspirins (in case you need to frog* your work)

Hand lotion, baby wipes and tissues

Pillow & blanket (unless you knit fast and are making an afghan)

Paper and pencil, tape measure

Pattern book, current knitting/crochet/spinning magazine

Drop spindle and roving

Yarn, several balls for the project you are working on, extra yarn for another project – sock yarn can act as a general all purpose yarn.

Yarn stash – teach a newbie to knit – a great way to take their mind off the situation. Teach the young children finger knitting.

Needles & crochet hooks- various sizes and several sets for teaching others.

Row counter, row markers, yarn needle, folding scissors

Pin loom for weavers

FYI: FEMA guidelines recommend stockpiling your pantry with three days worth of food in case of a natural disaster.

*frog is a knitting term meaning ‘rip it, rip it’

Have I forgotten something? Please feel free to comment and add to it.

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Sabbatical is over: A Time to Share

Ready

Maybe you have been wondering where I have been this past year. After writing online for Examiner for 7 years as the “Knitting Examiner” about all things fiber, it was time to take a sabbatical. I recommend it highly. I took classes, lectures, read, knit, crocheted, wove, spun, volunteered, experimented, dyed…immersed myself in fiber and learning. Now, I am ready to pass it on to you in my revamped website.

Set

By no means have I become an expert in any field. What I have always known and enjoyed about fiber is there is always more to learn. If you have been following me in the past, you can expect the same and much more. There will be book reviews, tips, photos, fiber news from around the world, techniques, what’s hot: a quick note (tapestry weaving, knee-length cardigans in autumn’s new color grenadine red, woven wall fiber art, knit/crochet/woven ponchos)…

Go

Now is the perfect time to go through your yarn, fiber, textiles, books, tools etc., organize, donate and frog (rip it, rip it) the projects you will never complete. If you don’t have a fiber studio and always wanted one, maybe take an unused closet and transform it into your space. Have a fiber party, your cast offs are someone else’s treasures and vice versa.

Yulia Ustinova

hooked sculptires

hooked sculptires

Yulia (Julia) is a crochet artist of voluptuous naked women. She resides in Moscow, Russia. She obtained her degree from Moscow Printing Arts.

Her sculptures are of women at play with a hula hoop, sunbathing, showering… funny, thoughtful and created with a hook.

Granny is no square

For those crocheters who don’t give granny squares a glance, try taking a look at “Granny Squares”. “Granny Squares” the latest book in this genre has over 25 creative ways to crochet the classic pattern and is written by Stephanie Gohr, Melanie Sturm and Barbara Wilder. It is worth a look.

There are many more than a dozen different square designs to crochet. That alone is worth turning the pages. Primrose, Netting and Cornflower squares are my favorites. Color choice and yarn fiber help to make these patterns fit into contemporary home decor and fashion. Granny squares are a great yarn stash buster. No matter what granny square pattern you choose, they all start from the center. For more about this book…

Felt painting

Moy Mackay creates beautiful works of art using fleece, fiber and threads in her book “Art in Felt & Stitch”. It is filled with colorful felt paintings of still-life, animals and landscapes inspired by her home in the Scottish Borders. See how she uses various felt techniques to achieve her paintings.

Felt is one of the earliest fabrics and is older than weaving, spinning and knitting. The book itself is a work of art with the fiber colors jumping off the page in the numerous photographs. Four step by step projects are included with instructional pictures that are clear, detailed and inspiring and numerous. Also included are many examples of her finished pieces.

Read on

 

Skinny scarf trending for summer

The linen stitch, knit into a skinny scarf is the popular summer trend. Worked in lightweight variegated yarns makes a splash of any outfit. Knit in silk, linen, cotton or a blend of these fibers will result in a scarf with nice drape. The linen stitch makes a compact but not rigid fabric.

Following is a pattern for the linen scarf that is worked lengthwise. Tip: Using circular needles as straight knitting needles might be the best way to work with the large number of stitches. Five to six feet is a nice length for wrapping around your neck a time or two.
Here for the pattern.

Beautiful knitted flowers from Nora J. Bellows


Flowers make a great gift but, the book “Noni Flowers” is a beautiful gift in itself. “Noni Flowers” is authored by Nora J. Bellows. It is a book of 40 knitted and felted flower patterns and six projects to adorn and embellish garments, accessories, gift decorations and home decor.

The photographs by R. A. Sullivan are so well done that you feel as though you have just visited a florist or walked through the botanical gardens with Latin names provided. The flowers in all their detail are eye candy.

More about this book and a beautiful slideshow here.