Monday, November 19, 2012

Local Fame

I made the local paper today.

A reporter and photographer came to the Holiday Sale put on by the Front Range Fiber Artisans this last weekend.

I'm an active member and participated in the Holiday Sale both as a planner/implementer and by including some of my things for sale.

My family has not had much luck with accuracy when interviewed by the Gazette, so when I was interviewed yesterday I wondered if I would get in and what he would get wrong.

I had to chuckle when I read the article. Since a lot of crocheters get frustrated when people call it knitting and knitters get frustrated when people call it crocheting I could hardly be surprised that when the guy had just interviewed a bunch of weavers that he would think I was a weaver too. Crocheting could be construed as a sort of weaving. It's all interlacement...just different methods.

He was intrigued by my Cobweb Ribbons Wrap which was on a mannequin near by. When I told him it was made of mohair and silk, he asked what mohair was. I explained that it came from a special kind of goat.

So in the article I'm a weaver who uses goat hair. True...from a certain point of view. It's a good thing I've got a good sense of humor.

Read the whole article here.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Crochet Community and Help in Colorado Springs

If you live in the Colorado Springs, Colorado area and love to crochet, read on.

I facilitate a Crochet Study Group that gets together once a month, usually on the first Monday and usually at Panera on North Academy in the University Shopping Center.

We just did a Las Vegas night with 6 balls of yarn and a die. It was great fun and we all kept coming up ideas for using the concept of random selection creatively in our crochet.


Here's the schedule we have so far.
December 3rd: Holiday Party at a member's home.
January 7th: Indigo Movie at my house.
February 11th: Demo and show and tell with Juanita Canzoneri at Panera
March: Accessorizing your yarn at Panera
April: Flower petals; crochet them as you go at Panera
May: Felting at ?

If you're interested in coming, leave a comment and we'll figure out how to get in touch. Or, if you're on Ravelry, PM me there. I'm K-eM.

I also do a Crochet Help Group at Table Rock Llamas. This is for those who need extra help learning crochet tips and techniques, are stuck on a pattern, or just want assurance that what they're doing is correct. Any sort of crochet help needed qualifies. Follow the link if you're interested for scheduled times and be sure to sign up with the shop. Download the schedule and scroll down to the Crochet section to find it listed with future dates.

December we have 2 scheduled: December 1st and December 15th. Both are from 10am to 12pm.

So you can bring any holiday gifts that might be giving you headaches and I will do what I can to help you.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Slow Going for New Patterns

It's been a dry year for new patterns from me and I'm afraid that even now it's difficult. However, I've finally got the Pink Lizard Pack done and it is available for download.

Since my WONDERFUL tech editor decided to retire, I've been in a quandry. I worked with a new tech editor on the Pink Lizard Pack and I'm afraid she's probably thinking I'm a rather ditzy and unreliable person right now. Work has overwhelmed me again and when I'm home, it's a struggle to sit down and concentrate on details. The post traumatic stress from the fire hasn't helped either.

There is a glimmer of hope. While I haven't had any great ideas for designs get beyond the rough stage for quite awhile a trip to see the fall color on Kebler Pass a couple weeks ago...


...and a trip to Taos last weekend for the wool festival have helped to revive me a bit.

I've tried to get myself to focus on lace and lace stitch combinations these days. Since I want to publish it for you as an ebook, it's going to take some time. So far, four samples are made, and one is in the "figure out the stitches" stage.


Pink Lizard Pack

My Pink Lizard Pack is now available for sale as a Ravelry download.
$4.00


Pretty in pink means this lizard won’t blend into the crowd. So go ahead and have a little fun. The straps are adjustable and used to cinch the bag closed, keeping your girl gear secure.

Tapestry graph included.
Yarn: Worked in 2 colors in any fingering weight yarn.
Model shown in Filatura di Crosa Brilla.
• 300yds (274m) of Gray #402 A
• 100yds (91m) of Fuchsia #409 B
Supplies: Size F-5 (3.75mm) crochet hook, yarn needle,
locking or split ring stitch marker, and Optional 72” (183cm) of matching
cord instead of crocheted cord.
Finished Dimensions: Bag is approx. 11”(28cm) in diameter and 14”(35.5cm) tall.

Ravelry lists the yarn weight of DK/light worsted as 11 WPI. However, I have it listed as 14 WPI in the pattern.

It's also available on 

Craftsy, Kollabora, and Patternfish.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hairpin Lace Brilliance

Do you ever see something and think, "Brilliant! Why didn't I think of that?" I did that today when I saw this post over on Threads Magazine.com.

Ribbon gives it a whole new look. The possibilities!!!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The End: Time to Go Home

Today we finally go home to stay. We were given permission to return on Sunday, but not knowing what we'd find, we just went to look.

What I saw on Tuesday from work was this:





See that lighter brown smudge below the smoke? That's the quarry and my house is right under it. You can see why I wondered if I still had a home at the end of that day.

What we saw when we went home on Sunday was this:


This picture is from the main street in my neighborhood about 5 houses down from mine. So you can see how close that quarry is to my house. The only way you can see what happened on Tuesday is by looking closely at the mountain and seeing that the darkness is mostly charred sticks with a few very small patches of trees that are unburned.

I'm afraid that the complete contrast between the first photo and how normal and untouched the neighborhood felt when we went home just didn't gel in my mind. I was still trying to process the trauma of seeing flames race toward my home and what was going on in my mind did not match the normalness of my home.

So I drew this to help me visualize that conflict:


My home is down there in the corner with the trees still bright and green while above it rages the inferno that destroyed 346 homes starting just 4-5 blocks south of there. The quarry hovers protectively, diverting the flames and giving me the mercy that was not granted to others.

Since I wasn't ready emotionally to move back in (the fire was still not completely contained) and the house needed some cleaning, we just paid visits. Tuesday night and Wednesday I did some laundry to clean smoke out of floor rugs, bedding, and other textiles. Then I got out the baking soda products and spread it on the carpet up stairs for an hour before vacuuming it up. When we first got home on Sunday I couldn't smell the smoke, but after airing out the house, it was there just a little bit. In a way that was a good thing since it helped resolve the conflict in my mind.

Right now the house smells like scented Carpet Fresh. We'll find out if we need another go once that smell goes away.

And tonight we move back. They turned on the gas and lit the pilot light yesterday, so we have hot water and the fire is 100% contained. That means it's time to go home.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Still Have a Home

It's official. They published a list of streets that lost homes and mine wasn't on it. I can't tell you what that does to a person to experience that kind of relief.

When I got home on Tuesday night, I saw that my husband had grabbed my spinning wheel on one of the trips he made to grab things that day before the fire came over the mountain. I was glad, but it didn't really hit me until Wednesday night. I was trying to sort through the things piled up in our room that he had grabbed and there were the extra bobbins with the merino I need to ply, the yarn winder, and a tea cup that had been my grandmother's. I lost it. That he had noticed those things off to the side on a shelf and knew that he should grab them really touched my heart. Admit it ladies, sometimes we wonder if they notice.

Now I know that my yarn, fiber, paint, everything in my studio and my house is still safe. I don't have to sit down and make a list of what was lost or needs to be replaced.

We're not out of the woods yet though. Sorry. Bad pun. There are still hot spots and active areas of fire they're going to need to take care of before they can let us back into our homes. So we'll just sit tight.

But next week I feel like I can start going on with my life (other than work) again without wondering what's going happen. I'm going to get a haircut tomorrow, a massage on Monday, and demonstrate spinning, crochet, and/or embroidery at an assisted living place on Thursday. And maybe my new pattern will be ready to publish some time in the next 2 weeks as well.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Busy Past, Unsure Future

I've been kind of silent lately. Trouble with day jobs is that they can kind of take over your life and suddenly you find that everything else gives way and comes to a stop.

Well, almost everything.

While I've been coming home exhausted from work, I have tried to fit in a little creativity during lunch breaks. But not a lot. Sewing, embroidery, crochet, painting...

I've been planning this post in my head for a couple of weeks and I was going to post photos of the bits and pieces I've been doing.

But life took a new turn today.

Right now I don't know if I still have a home. I'm at my parent's house with the Honey and the cat. The last time I saw the mountain behind my house was about 4:30 this afternoon.

Fire was barreling down the mountain side to the south of my home and above it right above the quarry that is above my home. Then the wind picked up and blew the smoke around, enveloping the city in darkness.

So, I'm kind of in limbo. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Falling Stars Hat

My Falling Stars Hat is now available as a Ravelry download.
$4.00

 

 With a top adorned with starry fringe, this hat is soft and warm enough for that cold, clear winter day when hiking through the woods...or for the evening, when you step out to look for the Big Dipper and make a wish upon a falling star. 

Crochet Symbol Pattern Included
Yarn: Any worsted-weight yarn, approx. 275 [300] yards. 
Model shown in Plymouth Yarn Royal Llama Silk,
60% Fine Llama, 40% Silk (50gm/102yds per skein), color: 1883.
    Supplies: Size G-6 (4mm) crochet hook and a yarn needle.
Special Stitches: Linked double crochet, foundation linked double crochet, foundation half double crochet, and foundation single crochet.
Finished Dimensions: Approx. 10” [11”]/25cm [28cm] wide and 20”/51cm long when laid flat.


If you've never done a linked double crochet or need a refresher, check out my photo tutorial.

It's also available on 

Craftsy, Kollabora, and Patternfish.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Linked Double Crochet: How-to

I love using a linked double crochet (Ldc) whenever I need a double crochet fabric with minimal holes. So here is how you do it.

1. Beginning position, ready to go.


2. Locate the center "bar" of the previous stitch and insert your hook from top to bottom.



3. Yarnover and pull a loop through.


4. Insert your hook into the top of the stitch in the row below, yarnover, and pull a loop through.



5. You now have 3 loops on your hook.


6. Finish up just as you would for a standard double crochet. Yarnover and pull through 2 loops, yarnover and pull through the final two loops.


7. Your finished stitch.


Here's what it looks like after a foundation linked double crochet row (fLdc) and 3 rows of linked double crochet (Ldc). It's a nice, unholey fabric.



Thursday, March 1, 2012

Local Yarn Shop Sales

Today I signed up for Local Yarn Shop sales on Ravelry. So, if your local yarn shop is set up for Ravelry sales, send them over to my pattern page.

If they're not set up for Ravelry sales, have them take a look at my patterns here or at the link above and email me at unyunga@gmail.com. I'm happy to offer hard copies to them for their shop pattern selection.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Kool-aid ToThe Rescue

Kool-aid has turned a nice scarf into an awesome scarf.

I tried out a new design idea on some beige colored hand spun hoping it might be made a whole lot more interesting by becoming lace. Nope. So I decided I was going to have to dye it. I look pasty in beige.

I took some of the left over yarn and crocheted a swatch which I used to try some Berry Blue on.

Liking it I made up a whole pot from four packets and put in the scarf.

I let it soak in the cold mixture for a bit, pushing it down and allowing it to be fully saturated. Normally I'd pre-soak, but I was impatient. Once it was saturated I turned on the heat.

When it started to boil, I turned off the burner and dumped the almost clear mixture in the sink. After squeezing out the excess water, I laid it out to dry. Then I addressed my blue hands. I'd neglected to put on gloves.

The next day it was dry and really quite beautiful. I love Kool-aid.