Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bookbinding and Fiber Art

Creativity packs, especially fiber based ones, excite me. I found this one from Painters Threads Collection at Blue Twig Studio.

Creativity Pack opened up and prepped.
I was so excited when I got it that I immediately opened it up and started separating things out. I had it all prepped before I thought to take a picture of it for you. When I received it, the stabilizer was a 4"x6" sheet (which I cut in half) and the yarns were gathered together in one hank.

To the pack I added some beads to add a bit of extra sparkle. When I was done embellishing the cover, I lined them with some scrap fabric and added some Canson XL Multi-Media paper for the pages.

I used the flat tape to reenforce the binding edges and left one of them extra long to act as a bookmark. The binding was done with some of the yarn from the pack.
The finished book.
The finished book is about 3" wide, 4" tall, and about 1/2" thick. Everything is sewn and the only glue used was on the knots to ensure they don't come undone.

There are some creativity packs from Treenway, too. I might have to try one of them next.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Unyunga is More than Crochet

You may have noticed that I list classes I'm teaching in the sidebar under the heading Crochet Classes and Groups. It gets updated as soon as I receive confirmation on dates from each of the places I teach. So check back often if you live in the Colorado Front Range area.

Did you notice that I added another section under the heading Art Classes right under the crochet listings? Yes, I teach art too.

So, if you've always wanted to take an art class, both my bookbinding and printmaking workshops and classes would be a great place to start. I am a strong believer in making art accessible for everyone so, whenever possible, I try to impart art skills and techniques that don't require a lot of specialized tools. You should be able to go home and, with very little investment, continue making art using what you've learned in my class.

Sign up for a workshop if you just want to dip your toes and see what it's like. If you prefer to dive right in, then the classes are for you. Both have the same beginning, but the classes go past the introduction and into more depth, skills, materials, and techniques.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Find Your Stash in Castle Rock, Colorado

I thought I'd get you in the loop on Find Your Stash. It's located in Castle Rock, Colorado in a little house off of 3rd Street near the The Old Stone Church Restaurant.

I love yarn shops in houses because they seem so much more cozy and inviting to me. Find Your Stash is no exception. When you walk into the house you enter into the main room which is full of yarn with the counter tucked into the back corner.

Owner, Crystal, at the counter.

In the back, by the counter, is the door to a room where they have classes and the tools of our trade. Off to the right of the door are a couple more little rooms full of more yarn. They also have a lot of samples hung up that are made out of the yarn they sell.

One thing that is almost immediately obvious is that this place LOVES crocheters. In fact, they tell me that they have a lot of crocheters and that they like to take classes. Whoohoo! That's where I come in. Take a look at my class schedule on the right of this page.

So if you are driving through Castle Rock, don't just stop at the outlet mall. Take a little detour off the interstate and head to the downtown area and Find Your Stash. : )

Find Me on Facebook

Hey! Guess what! Unyunga is now on Facebook. Go hunt me down and "like." I'll try to keep you in the loop on what's happening in the week including what I'm working on, experiencing, or thinking about.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I'm Sharing My Favorite Hat Template

I have a favorite type of hat to make and I've made several. I've often considered publishing a pattern and charging you for it, but I've come to a different conclusion after thinking long and hard about it.

I'm going to put it here for you for free. Why not? It's not especially complex or even that unique and special. But it's a good pattern if you like this kind of hat.

This is the kind of hat that guys might like, especially guys like my brother who have problems keeping their heads warm as the hair gets thinner. I like it because it looks good on me.

YARN: This hat can be made with any size yarn. I'm going to give you the basics and you can easily translate them to the size and type of yarn you're using. I suggest that you use a yarn that doesn't have a lot of drape and isn't too fluffy. Those will probably droop unattractively if you go there.

GAUGE: For yarns, like cotton, that tend to stretch out and stay that way I would recommend a tighter gauge. For yarns, like wool, that tend to "snap back" after being stretched, you can use a firm gauge. Don't go too loose or your hat will get droopy again.

MEASUREMENTS: Please measure the head that the hat is for before you begin. You need to know how big around the head is and the approximate height from the top of the ear to the top of the head. If you have a tape measure, that will work well. If not, take a piece of yarn and use it to measure, holding the length on the yarn with your finger while you measure how long it is on a ruler or yard stick. Take the head circumference and use it to figure out the diameter of the hat by using this formula: diameter=circumference/3.14 (pi). Take the number you got when you measured how big around the head is (circumference) and divide it by 3.14 or pi. That will give you the diameter of your hat.

Now that you have your measurements, this is what you need to do to make your hat.

Make a Magic Loop OR ch 4 and join with a sl st to form a ring.
Rnd 1: Sc 6 in the ring just formed. Use a stitch marker to mark the last stitch. Work in a spiral from now on and move your stitch marker from round to round to keep track of where your round ends and the new one begins.
Rnd 2: Sc 2 in each st around. (12 sts)
Rnd 3: [Sc 1, sc 2 in next st] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 4: [Sc 2, sc 2 in next st] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 5: [Sc 3, sc 2 in next st] 6 times. (30 sts)
Rnd 6: [Sc 4, sc 2 in next st] 6 times. (36 sts)
Continue working in this way, increasing 6 times every round until you have a fairly flat circle that has the diameter you determined from your measurements. It will probably look a bit like a hexagon because that's what you are actually making. I'm not bothered by this because it's hardly noticeable once you start working the sides. However, if you are, stagger your increases so that they occur in different places along the round.

Edge: BPsc around.
BL stands for back post and it means that instead of working your sc in the top of the stitch you're working around the post of the stitch from the back. This makes the edge nice and sharp for the turn to work the sides. When the end of the round meets up with the beginning it will be a little offset, but that doesn't bother me and I just use it to see where the back of my hat is.

Rnd 1: Decrease by sc2tog 6 times at even intervals. This also sharpens the edge and actually makes the hat fit better.
All Rnds after: Sc in every st around.
Continue until the height of your hat matches your measurements. It should fit in such a way that it has to stretch just a little bit to go on. This makes it comfortable and secure. If you're using a yarn that stretches out and doesn't snap back you may need to do one more row of decreases to compensate for that.

That's the basic template. Now you can come up with all sorts of ways to have fun with it.
• You can replace the single crochet on the sides with other stitches or stitch patterns.
• It's sometimes nice to add an extra finish to the bottom edge such as a crab stitch.
• You can also make one with an exaggerated height so that the top flops over to the side.

Have fun with it!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New Classes and Another Location

I've updated the class list in the sidebar. If you're in the Colorado Front Range area, check them out.

I've been doing classes at Table Rock Llamas Fiber Arts Studio in Black Forest for several months now and I'm happy to announce that I'm also going to be doing classes at Stash in Castle Rock.

So please check both of them out.

Monday, January 20, 2014

New Year Fireworks

This year has started off with a bang for me. It seems I can hardly keep up!

On the 11th of January the local spinners celebrated Distaff Day. It's a lot of fun hanging out with women from all over the region, spinning and talking about what we love. I got to be a Spin Doctor again this year and was in high demand; although not so high that I didn't get a lot of my own spinning done. I made sure to do my shopping from the vendors first so that I could get first choice of the good stuff and have that taken care of for the rest of the day.

I'm back designing again and hope to start publishing soon. I have several design projects in process and just need to finish making them, then do the busy work of writing, photographing, getting them tech edited, and then published.

However, just as I got in full swing on that,
• a woman I did some sample crocheting for last fall came to me with another project,
• a friend I promised to help came to me with a print project,
• and I'm now on the board of the Front Range Fiber Artisans. If you're in the Colorado front range area, find us on Facebook.

I've also been given an opportunity to increase the teaching I'm doing. More on that later.

So I haven't made any resolutions for the new year other than to try and take on opportunities where I can without taking on too much. After a year of healing physically and mentally it's time to get back into the swing of things.