Happy as a clam…?

Is that a phrase or am I making things up? …Oh well. I’m very happy. I had a fiber filled day today. I’m currently taking an art history course at school and we get extra credit if we go to a reception/gallery talk/show opening. We have a small gallery in the student center on campus and there was a show opening today. My husband (who is also taking the class) and I decided to go. I was dreading it slightly, mostly because I thought it would be paintings…And while I like paintings, I really prefer crafts and find them more interesting due to the different skills and processes you have to learn to produce work.

Well when we got to the opening, it turned out to be a fibers exhibit! How WONDERFUL!! I was very excited. The artist’s name is Jennifer Sargent. She is a British textiles artist who moved to America years ago. She was wonderful. She gave an overview of how she got started, what inspired her work and how her inspirations changed as she moved and learned more as a fiber artist.

She is a tapestry weaver, screen printer, surface designer etc. etc. Her work was lovely. I found it so interesting because she combined weaving with surface design and printing. I have been trying to figure out a way of doing that same thing and making it look appealing and…well…good. Well she’s done it. Look her up. 🙂

I finished knitting another hat today. It looks a little weird (maybe) because I ran out of yarn and just had to cinch it up and I had a lot of decreases still to go. It actually might look okay, it just has these interesting pleats or ridges at the top where it wasn’t prepared to draw in. I think it could actually look quite cool. But I’ll have to wait and see what it looks like after felting it. Needless to say, I’m excited.

I also got to order more yarn for knitting today. I have been looking at different places and shopping around. I found some nice wool from Knit Picks that was pretty cheap. I ordered 9 hanks of 50 grams each. I’m using three colors per hat (gives it more interest than just two IMHO) and I can get about 2 hats per 3 hanks. So that’s like…6 hats?? Well, I am trying to sell them. Perhaps I shall make leg warmers too though. Either way, it should keep me knitting for a while.

I have been looking longingly at my loom lately. I really want to get a warp on it. But I was hoping to get a new reed before starting my next project. I should probably just suck it up and use what I’ve got. I’ve got an 8yd. scarf warp wound off and sitting on my loom ready to be put on. Perhaps after the first round of tests in school I can get it on there.

Anyway, it’s been a lovely little day and I’ve been very happy and excited about fibers today. I love being a fibers geek/nerd. It’s lots of fun. I like having something to think about that isn’t school or work. Knitting gives me something to keep my hands busy that’s completely portable. Though weaving still captures most of my heart. 🙂
~JoAnna

Wet Weather Days

The rain has been falling for two days now. It’s supposed to rain again tomorrow too. On days like this, I wish I could be inside weaving, knitting or doing something productive with crafts.

I’m getting quite tired of being wet all the time…And though I love ceramics and throwing pottery on the wheel, yesterday I just didn’t want to do it because it was wet, cold and dirty. And when it’s wet, cold and dirty outside, it makes it hard to want to do a thing that feels the same as being outside.

I’m sure I’ll have many of those days. Perhaps what I’ll end up doing to balance more than one craft is do ceramics during the summer (warm weather, when I don’t mind cold, wet clay) and weave and knit during the colder months. (since you generally want to be doing something inside anyway when it’s cold and icky out)

We shall see. I doubt I’ll stop doing either craft completely during the “Off Season”. I love them both too much. At least I’m taking throwing in the semester that starts off warm. It was awful taking intro to clay in the spring. It was freezing and it made it very hard to want to get in there and work.

I am very excited though to watch my skills improve as I continue through the semester. I’ve already gotten SO much better from last semester… And even just since the beginning of this semester! Right now I’m just experimenting with what I can do with the form. I can pretty much make a form every time I put clay on the wheel now. I have no trouble centering, coning, or entering and expanding the base.

Well I feel like I should be talking about weaving. But at this point it’s all just dreaming. I don’t have anything on the loom right now. 😦 I had planned on putting an 8 yd. scarf warp on Mac before school started but I ran out of time. My craft time had to be spent prepping for Fall Fun Fest. Oh well. Perhaps if I get some extra time on a weekend or something I can get something on there.
~JoAnna

Pictures and Fall Fun Festival

It’s all over and done. FINALLY!!! I have been stressing and trying to prepare for weeks. The annual Fall Fun Fest was this weekend. I shared a craft booth with my mother and helped set up, take down, arrange and price things. I was there for about 6 hours on Friday and hmmm…10ish hours on Saturday.
It was lots of fun. We met a very nice lady in the booth next to us who decorated gourds, which were quite lovely.

I actually did fairly well. I sold two bags and a scarf. Here’s some pictures of my work before it went into the show.


I sold this lovely little orange floral bag.

And this lovely rayon and cotton, red and yellow scarf.

The little runner below got quite a bit of attention and I believe I have a custom order to make some scarves similar to this.

New fiber discoveries!!

I’ve been pretty busy with school lately and haven’t updated for a little while. I’ve been busy sewing messenger bags for the craft fair coming up this weekend. I’m getting excited! I’ve got three woven bags and one made from commercial fabric (’twas a mock up). I’ve also got three scarves and a small runner (possibly for a dresser or something…It’s not really long enough for anything…)
Anyway, that’s going to be very exciting. 🙂

But onto the reason for the post. Alright. I’ve known how to knit for years. I think the first time I ever knit anything I was probably 10 or 12. Not very old, not very patient. Needless to say, I gave up on it pretty quickly. It was boring and frustrating and took far too long. I’d start projects randomly and I managed to knit two scarves at some point, but I never really enjoyed it.

Part of this is due to the fact that I’m a very tight knitter. I get frustrated because thus far in my life I’ve mostly used acrylic yarn…It has it’s place, but that place is not in my hands. When I wrap the yarn around my finger to keep the tension, it rubs my skin in between my fingers raw. Not cool. Well I was over at my mother’s house over Labor Day and she knits like a mad woman. It’s wonderful and I love the things she makes. She knits with 100% wool yarn so she can felt the things she makes. They’re all lovely. I have been trying to convince her for months to give me one of the hats (or a bag) that she’s made. *lol*

Well I asked if I could try using some of her wool yarn. She pulled out her stash and gave me three skeins and a pair of circular needles. Now, I’ve never really knitted with circular needles so I didn’t really know what to expect…It. Was. Wonderful. I knit for about 4 hours straight. I’ve never been able to do that. I am now most of the way done with a lovely wool hat which will be felted once it’s done. It’s like I’ve re-discovered knitting and it’s possibilities and I’ve also discovered felting and all of its wonderful possibilities. I’m very excited about it. I like it because it’s something that I can take with me where ever I go (too bad I can’t knit in class!!) and it uses yarn. My favorite. 🙂 I must say I still love weaving far more than knitting, but I’m very happy that I can finally put an unused skill to good use.

I think I shall knit a few hats first. I get too frustrated knitting scarves. They’re too long. I like the circular needles. So I’ll stick with those and just knit up a storm of hats for now. I love hats anyway, and perhaps I can give them to people or sell them at some point. Obviously I’m quite excited. I like having something to keep my hands busy when I can’t sit at my loom.
~JoAnna