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I'm In Stitches!, Issue #004 -- Crochet With Find out now!
December 05, 2006
Easy Instructions, Best Results!

At find explanations and pictures easy enough for even the most nervous beginner to follow. You'll be creating wonderful pieces in no time. Just take your time, take it all in, ask questions if you need to, then give it a try. I'm sure you'll soon be 'hooked'!

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December 5th 2006 - Issue # 4

In this issue you'll find...
  • Craft Fairs - Elementary My Dear Watson
  • Crochet With Fiber - A New Twist, Or Not?
  • I'm In Love With Felted Purses - What Next?
  • Tip of the Month
  • Some fun new info this month as promised...

    Craft Fairs - Elementary My Dear Watson

    So - this weekend I had a booth at a local craft fair. I haven't done any in a while, well, since before my boys were born, but I had a lot of stock and the venue was only 10 minutes away, so I decided to take the plunge.

    I had prepared all month in any spare time I had - more crocheting - but it was all fun. My Mom even mailed some things over that she'd been making - Christmas tree ornaments, bracelets & scarves - she's well into beading right now.

    I set up on the Thursday night as it started on the Friday so the kids from each class in the Elementary School could come into the gym and do their secret Christmas shopping.

    Unfortunately I'd come down with a really nasty cold AND I had to have both boys with me for that Friday. SO, after a very bad nights sleep I got the boys up & ready & off we went.

    I spent the majority of the Friday chasing Adam around, watching where Joshua was venturing off to, and racing back to my box of tissues I had secreted in my booth.

    Still - made it through & the kids all seemed to have fun. Joshua (my eldest) had insisted he wanted to wear his Spiderman suit. Who was I to argue? He drew quite a following!

    The next day my Hubby & boys drove me the the Fair and came back to pick me up at the end. Saturday was much more fruitful. The Fair was open to the public, and although it snowed all day had quite good attendance. I at least was able to sit and crochet more products, chat to people about my items, walk around, do some shopping, drink my coffee, and generally relax without having to chase the wee ones around. It was really quite blissful.

    All in all it was well worth having a booth. What was really nice, was that the school dealt with all the money side of things, all I had to do was set up, sell, socialize, craft, enjoy then take down. I'll be getting a nice check in the next few days, just in time for Christmas. It only cost $25 for the 2 days and I have to donate 10% the school PTA. I still made a nice sum - maybe you'd like to consider doing craft fairs too?

    October to December is usually the most popular time for more profitable Craft Fairs, because of the Festive Season. If you're considering having a booth at a Craft Fair, check out my Craft Fair information page - you should find it very useful. Happy Crafting!

    Crochet With Fiber - A New Twist, Or Not?

    Have you ever tried crocheting with fiber? What am I talking about? Well, I recently read an article which said that you could crochet with fiber, so of course I just had to try it.

    It wasn't that difficult actually. I started with a length of fiber pulled from a top about 2 yards long. You then take a piece off the fiber length by pulling it apart from one end to the other, as if you're stripping bark off a twig.

    Then you draft or gently pull the fibers (lengthwise) to the thickness you want to work with. If you haven't done any spinning before then you need to be pretty careful with the fibers. Start with a thicker grouping of fibers as the finer you get the harder it is to crochet without breaking the "yarn".

    I pulled the fibers until when twisted the fibers would form a yarn approximately bulky weight. Once you have the length of fibers pulled to your preferred thickness, then gently wind the fiber around your fingers as you would winding a regular ball of yarn (this gives it a slight twist and makes it a little stronger).

    Once wound into a ball you can begin crocheting. Treat you ball of fibers like a ball of yarn, but be more gentle. If you happen to pull the fibers too hard & break your 'yarn', just overlap the 2 ends and crochet it in to your work. Also if you run out of fibers/yarn, just start another strip, overlap it, crochet the ends in and keep going.

    I used merino tops for ease and convenience. You could use carded fiber too, but it would be a little more difficult as you'd have more ends to join together (batts being much shorter in length).

    Once you get into the crocheting part it's really quite easy, you just have to be very gentle handling the fiber. I made a scarf & it's so wonderfully soft. I'm still considering whether or not to felt it. Of course, if you don't felt it you have to hand wash your finished item very gently and lay it flat to dry.

    Also be very careful as you weave in ends. Gently pull out the fibers to a finer grouping and twist into a yarn any fibers you need to weave in before you weave them in, as that will make them strong enough to pull along a row.

    I'm always experimenting and just had to try this when I read about it. Since reading that article I have also seen a pair of boots made by the same method of drawing out the fibers, but they were knitted. Very interesting!

    If you decide to try this method - do let me know how you get on by contacting me. I'd be very interested in your results.

    I'm In Love With Felted Purses - What Next?

    I recently fell in love with making felted purses. It's just so fun! Like I said earlier I just love experimenting, and made 3 pattern variations on one design, then another 2 in a slightly different shape. They all look so very different yet were all made from the same basic style.

    One has fun fur stripes, a crocheted flower and 2 handles on. Another has beads crocheted into it and a long shoulder strap. The third of this pattern has more fun fur, a rainbow of colors and different handles again.

    I decided as I'd enjoyed designing them so much, and as I have so many more ideas that I will be writing a book of felted purse patterns. Now this is no instant thing. I'm shooting for having it ready to publish in Spring/Summer '07, so that's not too long to wait, I hope.

    Stay tuned for more information. You won't be disappointed!

    In the meantime if you'd like to experiment with a felted purse try this granny square purse. It's really easy and gives great results with any color combination that suits you.

    Tip of the Month

    Do you ever get stuck in long traffic jams, left in waiting rooms for hours on end, have to stay in the car while the kids are sleeping?

    There are any number of situations where you can be left with nothing to do and too much time to do it.

    Remedy - take with you a ziploc bag or 2 with a small crochet project in each one. They don't have to be huge. You can crochet a fun fur scarf with 2 skeins and the right size hook.

    What about some hair scrunchies - drop a few hairbands, a couple of skeins of a novelty yarn and a hook in another bag & pull them out while you're waiting. You can get a couple of hair scrunchies from one skein of novelty yarn.

    Have a think about it - you could do toys, granny squares, motifs, doilies, whatever you like while you're waiting, instead of wasting your time thumbing through a magazine which really doesn't interest you.

    If you like to finish things completely don't forget something to use to cut your yarn (fingernail clippers, etc.), and a needle for weaving in ends. It just takes a little thought ahead of time. Try it - you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish!

    Getting closer to figuring out the video situation. Once I've got one up on site, there'll be no stopping me. It's always the first one that's the hardest, so please bear with me.

    I'm anticipating some video input near the end of January - so stay tuned! But for this edition...That's all folks!

    Comments? Ideas? Suggestions? Feedback? Sock it to me! I'd love to hear what you have to say. Just reply to this ezine and tell me what you think.

    Happy crafting, and please drop by regularly to see what fun new ideas Woolcrafting has in store for you.

    Now grab that hook and go, go, go....

    Best Wishes
    from Jill Wright

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