Yarn Craft for Pre-K and K

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What is the right time to teach fiber crafts? If you have young ones who show an interest in your knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving…., that’s the right time. Even though they are excited to learn, they may not be ready to handle your specific hobby. So start them off with something fun and less complex using just their fingers and yarn to learn new skills.

Getting children interested in fiber crafts at an early age is a great way to share in your fiber pastime. I especially like when the craft is interwoven with learning. Part of the fun is they don’t realize they are learning.

A good way to start is with lacing cards for pre-k. Maybe you remember them? If not, there are numerous sites on the web to make your own. Let your child choose from your yarn basket the color they would like to use. They can learn colors as well as you informing them a bit about the yarn fiber ie: wool from sheep and goats, silk from silkworms, cotton from plants…

Make the cards in geometric shapes, numbers, letters, shape of a shoe for learning to tie, farm animals… Besides all this academic learning fun, hand-eye coordination of fine motor skills tops the learning list. Then it may be onto finger knitting. Usually at the age of five or six, children have enough dexterity to master this skill before it is onto knitting using needles. For older children seven and up a fun scarf can be created using your fingers and ruffle yarn.

Put this on your to-do list to interest a child in learning a fiber craft. Is there a fiber craft you do with your children or grandchildren that everyone enjoys?

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Free eBooks on Copyright for downloading

Interweave and Knitting Daily is offering free eBooks about copyrights. Interweave is the worlds largest on and off line resource for artists and crafters. This guide, to the basics of copyright and copyright infringement, will help you “better understand what it is and why it matters”.

These eBooks come at just the right time. This past week was World Intellectual Property Day. Whether you design patterns, craft for bazaars or are a craft retailor, this information on copyrights and copyright infringement will help to educate you on the issues that affect the arts and crafts industry.

The 10-page eBook is available for free download in each of Interweave’s online communities for artists and crafters:

Are you a Guild member?

Guilds formed as trade unions or small business associations for craftsmen over 1000 years ago. Trade flowed through these individual crafters and allowed them to own their tools and materials. Today they have more of an educational and social structure.

In Connecticut the fiber guilds include spinning, knitting, crochet, weaving and other needle arts. Do you belong to one? The cost to belong is nominal and the rewards are great. The CT Sheep and Wool festival will have representatives from some of these guilds that you can meet with and speak to. They also will be demonstrating techniques.

The Handweavers Guild of Connecticut’s mission stage is, “We invite handweavers, spinners and other fiber artists from all levels of experience to exchange ideas and share knowledge, to encourage and educate, to stimulate creativity and to challenge their abilities in fiber art techniques.” For more info on Guilds.

Spring-brings new color trends

The new colors for spring are here. If you knit, weave,spin, sew, crochet…the look for spring is airy, light, diaphanous, ethereal. The look will be classic with a modern twist. It sounds as if all body types will enjoy  the final product. 

Don’t throw out everything in your closet that isn’t this. Make a few accent pieces that are in this color-scheme and work it into your wardrobe.

Grey will be your neutral. Have fun.

Gee’s Bend Quilts

There is a rural in Alabama, Gee’s Bend population 700. The town grew from a cotton plantation and the slaves who worked the land.
“The town’s women developed a distinctive, bold, and sophisticated quilting style based on traditional American (and African American) quilts, but with a geometric simplicity reminiscent of Amish quilts and modern art.” The women have been working at their craft through at least six generations to the present.The top side of the quilt is pieced by individual women expressing their art through quilting. The “quilting” of the quilts is usually done communally. Gee’s Bend: The Women And Their Quilts 

Click here to see a photo of these 40 women who have quilted their way into history.

The quilts have been on display in Art Museums all over the United States.

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Apps

It seems these days if you have an iphone,  itouch or  blackberry, you are carrying a lot in your hand.

Spinners:

iSpin Tool Kit is a spinning reference and various tools, including ruler,  twist angle gauge,  calculators, wpi  and a niddy noddy converter among other things. cost through itunes $4.99

Knitters: 

KnitGaug;e $.99 This app calculates your gauge by using your iphone sideways on a swatch, drag the needle images to both ends of the stitches you have knitted. Your gauge is calculated in inches and centimeters.

Iknit Needle sizer;  $.99 Lay your needle or crochet hook on the blank line that fits the best. to find the size.

 JKnit; It will remember where you left off on a pattern, plus tell you what to do next.

ConvertKnit; $.99  Converts needle size, yarn weight, units.

Crocheters:

There are craft video downloads for $.99  CraftVideo… crochet tutorials

This is a sampling of what is out there. They are continuously improving and changing. If you don’t see it today, it will be there tomorrow.

If you could design your own app…what would it do?

knitting examiner

Sock monkey gets out of hand

 Sock monkeys are a piece of Americana. In 1890 Nelson Knitting began manufacturing these red heeled work socks. It all began in the early 1900’s when mothers started making stuffed monkeys out of the Original Red Heel socks. The socks are still produced today and they are back to selling the sock in blue. When you purchase a pair of socks, it comes with directions for making your own monkey. They are cute. One pair of socks makes a monkey.

The dress above is “Monkeys gone wild”.  Be creative, take that pair of socks that is just a bit too wild to wear and make them into a stuffed animal. 

See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil….just have fun.

sock monkey coffee cozy