Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fiber and more

Last weekend was Stitches West - the knitting and fiber show. They expected 8000 at the Santa Clara convention center for the weekend. I don't attend the regular classes, but do take advantage of the "market" classes. These are 1 hour classes given on the market place floor. I took a bead knitting class (I could easily get addicted to working with beads) and a class on various ways to increase.

While increasing and decreasing sound basic, I really want to know more than the way to do it. I want to know the why and the how. Each way of increasing has a different effect, I want to understand the differences. As for the how, I really want to understand the path the thread takes and what happens when that path changes.

I had taken "classes" from several friends on the how to use a lucet. It wasn't until I took from a professional teacher that I really learned the "How". Once I understood that how, I could look at any stitch and not only do it, I could teach it. Hence my philosophy about learning fiber manipulation.

Last year I could barely knit -- well I had knitted as a kid and then revived the basic skill when I had dyed yarn -- needed to do something with the wonderful yarn. I've been doing some, not a lot, but some knitting this year with the idea of doing some felting. Haven't finished anything to felt yet, but it will happen someday.

I've decided that I am a fiber-holic. I love touching fibers. If it has to do with fibers, I want in to some level. That said, I purchased some tofutsies (soy and wool), some knitting needles, and another spindle for hand spinning. I fondled lots of yarn but in the end bought very little. The experience was still a bit overwhelming.

Meanwhile one of the local needlework and knitting shops is closing. I did some damage there on their 50% off sale. I stocked up on some of the lovely Gumnut wools from Australia for embroidery (something about having to embroider a couple Viking coats and hats...) and some silk ribbon for CQ embroidery.

Monday was a class with Joyce Lukomski of Needlepoint Now. One of the local EGA chapters was having her in for a workshop on Fabulous Filling Stitches. It was a 2 day notebook class (no project - just working on samples to understand the different stitch patterns), but Tuesday was my local EGA chapter meeting.

The chapter meeting was on Kumihimo braiding. I took in my murudai and set it up so others could see the movement. The class used the foam core round boards which are great for travel. Good teacher. Fun class. About 20 signed up for the class. Nice to see the resurgence.

We also debuted the Redwork style quilt our chapter is doing for the Seminar Fund Raiser. I'll have pics up soon of my blocks (frantically finished in the last couple weeks). Since the theme is a Stitcher's Ottersea we opted for all sea themed blocks. One of the members drew them out for us. I encouraged everyone to try out using overdyed threads as well as blue and sea color based threads. We have 35 blocks and the sashes and borders are sea themed fabrics too. The mix of colors is wonderful! It will hang at the shop where we met until the June seminar. I'll try to get a pic of the whole quilt too.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Catching Up a Bit at a Time

Sorry for not posting for so long, but I haven't really been stitching. Did the training session for my EGA region officers. It went well even if it was over long. I'm learning more about training and powerpoint than I ever wanted to know. Now to clean it up and post it on the Region website. I was doing a rough calc of the hours -- over 300.....

Finishing up the quilt project for our EGA chapter. It will be our fund raiser at the Regional seminar. There are 35 blocks with "sea" related themes each done by different members of the Chapter. Rather than doing them in straight red or blue work they are done with colors and some overdyed threads. I did the logo for the seminar and need to finish the EGA logo on it now. Picky work. The other blocks are done. The quilt shop owner, were we meet, has volunteered to put the quilt top together and the store is donating the quilting - stitch in the ditch around the blocks and a seashell pattern for the sashing. It will be lovely and fun to see a project I envisioned come to life. I'll try to post a pic here.

Then I need to get cracking on making 2 "W's" in goldwork this weekend. Our local baronial kneeling pillows will be basically a crazy quilt of letters of the name of our Barony. Hence 2 - 3x3" goldwork W's for the first letter.

Then back to working on my queen's artisan project. More on that anon.
Have a lovely Valentine's Day. Whether or not you have a significant other -- tell those around you that you appreciate them. Speaking of which -- thanks for dropping by!

PS I redid my website over the holidays and it now contains most of my class handouts/information. Still need to add info and research but at least it is more up to date. Let me know if you have any problems with pages loading.