I have fallen down the Rabbit Hole…

tissue paper

…again. I have a voracious appetite when it comes to fiber. Fiber Arts, that is. Taking a sabbatical was a wonderfully creative outlet. What I learned and started to explore then, continues to spiral out of control. I love it. So now it is onto experimenting with paper.

paper pin loom

Paper to spin, weave and dye for. Currently I am spinning tissue paper that is left over from gifts I have received. Yes, that inexpensive brightly colored wrap you find in clothes boxes and gift bags. My research is taking me to Japan (at least in books and videos) and learning the language and history as it applies to paper.

The art of Japanese paper weaving is from the Edo period during the 18 and 19 century. Shifu (cloth) clothes, hats, kimonos… are made from mulberry bark paper, Kozo, Mitsumata and Gampi. Thin continuous strips are cut from Washi (Japanese paper) and then twisted and woven into fabric. Paper was woven into garments for segments of the population because of the scarcity and expense of other materials. Today, paper garments are vogue for the upper class.

Susan Byrd’s book, “Song of Praise for Shifu”, can’t come fast enough for me. You can find me waiting at the mailbox. I will keep you posted on my shifu progress. Have you tried spinning paper, weaving it? Show me, tell me.


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.

QR code for knitters

QR code

You have seen them popping up everywhere. It is a Quick Response code in black and white. This matrix barcode is increasing in popularity.  As a result of its ease in reading and the ability of the code to store a large capacity of information in a 2-D format, it is finding its way into mainstream marketing. read more… and see a slideshow, video and get information for a QR code knitting bag patter