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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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…

Vogue’s Crochet 2012 special collector’s issue

The last Vogue magazine dedicated to crochet was back in 1994. Seventy percent of today’s knitters, crochet. Crochet designs have come a long way. You can see them everywhere from the runway to the classroom.

There are jewelry designs you can crochet with thread. Baubles, bangles and beads can be incorporated into your crochet to accent your garments with flair. And crochet designs do have flair, just look at the cover. From the articles to the patterns, this magazine will have you taking out your crochet hook.
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.

Founders May Fair at New Pond Farm in review

Harris Hawk

The 27th Founders Fair was a great success in celebrating spring and the new growing season. The sun was shining over the 102 acre property located at 101 Marchant Road West Redding, Connecticut 06896, 203-938-2117. There were little girls all dressed in pretty sundresses wearing crowns of May flowers in their hair. The boys were excited to see the animals and try their hand at all the activities.

Find out more about this wonderful day.

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.