Saturday, January 29, 2011

Entrelac Joy

I started on an entrelac project a few blogposts ago. I got through the first row of triangles just fine, then lost it on the second row. I couldn't follow the directions well enough; apparently, they were meant for someone who had done this before. I decided to back up, put the project on hold and try to use a more forgiving (i.e., bulkier) yarn, Universal Deluxe Chunky Long Print in Elegant Baby, and size 9 knitting needles. I also purchased the book, Entrelac, by Rosemary Drysdale. This book was given excellent reviews on Amazon and I wholeheartedly concur. I'm not on my fourth row and can hardly put it down. The book shows step-by-step directions as well as very well explained directions. It also has loads of patterns for various entrelac designs/variations on this theme. Once I'm finished with the present piece, I'll go back and pick up the Limerick yarn to complete the wrap I started. For right now, however, I'm enjoying that wonderful feeling of finally accomplishing a a skill I wasn't sure I'd be able to grasp. Also knitting while enjoying the second book of A Game of Thrones on my iPod is even better. Henry and I are so entranced in these books, we can hardly put them down. He's ahead a book, but I'm closing in fast. We're hoping to read these (all) before the show starts. So two recommended books today, Entrelac and A Game of Thrones - best when enjoyed together.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Crafterdays Art Fire Account Closed

I made a decision today to close my Art Fire account. I had been considering this lately, as it is additional work and duplicated somewhat with my site, I had considered it an alternate way that my customers could shop for yarn and also buy handmade items. There is much discussion going on between the pro-sellers at Art Fire and the COO/Vice-President Tony right now as to who should be allowed to sell on the AF site.

Sellers have been grouped according to what they are selling and also high/low categories. I was very disappointed and dismayed to see that as a seller of commercial goods, although a high for customer interest, I would be considered low ethically due to not selling all handmade goods. This not only hurt my feelings personally, but professionally. I have been crafting since I could manage crayons and scissors, professionally now for at least thirty years. My customer ratings there were five-star (all 100%).

I can understand artisans wanting to be part of a handmade-only site. Sites such as Art Fire raise the standard for serious crafters, something long-coming in a world where art is often only given credence if it is in the form of an oil painting or marble sculpture. I just wish they had been a little more up front with these feelings when I signed up to sell my yarn there. Maybe I should have scoped out the site better before taking the plunge with my 168 items listed.

I just can't get past the "low ethics" category on this, however. Fortunately, the Ewe is doing well and this will give me more time to develop this website. I'm working on new merchandise to sell there, including a new workbook for knitters (coming out by this Spring).

I want to thank my customers from Art Fire. They have been a great bunch of persons to work with, but then that is one reason I love selling fiber supplies. I always meet the nicest people. I wish those sellers who remain with Art Fire the best of luck.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Stellated Octahedron Origami

I've been having fun with a new origami kit, Geo-Gami, The Art of Making Geometrical Shapes from Paper, by Katherine Gleason. I'm planning to teach the first two projects, the hexahedron and the stellated octahedron which builds on the hexahedron to the Origami Club I sponsor at school. I'm posting a video of my making these for my club on our school website and will post it here as well. The video is in three segments to make it easier for uploading here. The pictures above are of the same object, just from different angles. I used twenty-four squares of origami paper for the total project, three for each component.

Part I

Part 2

Part 3

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Entrelac Throw

I've been getting several orders lately for the yarn, Wisdom Limerick in colorway 31801. There is a beautiful pattern in the Winter Issue of Knit Simple magazine for an entrelac throw done with this particular yarn. There is also a very similar wrap knitted with the same yarn in the Wisdom Colors Collection pattern book, which was also featured recently at Stitches.

I started saying to myself, "Hmmm, maybe I should give entrelac another try." I took a class last year which was a lot of fun. I did well during the class, then went home and couldn't get it right. Frustration ensued, and I found myself shelving this project.
After seeing these new patterns, I'm giving it another try. I started the first row of triangles and after a few, I'm completing a triangle without looking at the pattern. I have three more to complete tonight, then on to the part that gave me a fit before. The pictures in Knit Simple are very good and I found a youtube video by Eunny Jang which is really good. I'll keep posting my progress.
Feel free to join me in this project. I'd love to hear how you're coming along with this.