creative

Calling all my fibre friends!

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I am getting ready to start working seriously on my studio and on the first few pieces I will work on IN the new studio. So I was wondering, if there is interest in a community art piece?

What I was looking for:
The pieces should not be bigger than a credit card (3 inches by 5 inches. They can be smaller, but no bigger!), they have to be backed with lining. Any kind of thin lining (see mine in the picture), and can be whatever strikes you fancy and whatever technique you prefer. Knit, crochet, weave, felt, needle lace.. Anything. The pieces will have to have a blanket stitch around the edge, as you see in the picture, that way I can attach them to each other. You can make one, or eight. It all depends on how you feel and how inspired you are. Also: Please do attach a little tag to your piece with your name on it (and maybe an online  link, if you like and have one).
As to the materials used: I would like to keep them natural materials and recycled, if possible (cotton, linen, wool, blends, silk, etc). My little square there, used to be the pocket in wool pants, for example and the embroidery was made with a tiny leftover bit of sock yarn. You don’t have to make the whole thing out of recycled material, if you have a leftover scrap of fabric from a previous project, feel free to use it. I just wanted to see how creative we can get without spending a ton while keeping things out of our landfills. Make art, not trash! ;)


I would like this very first studio piece to be a community piece, because this is what my studio is all about. Growing community, working together on preserving the wonderful fibre arts, passing along what we know, celebrating each others talents and inspiring each other.

What will happen to the piece, once it is done:
Once the piece is done, it will be displayed in my studio for a while. For everybody to see it and marvel at our fibre community’s diversity and be inspired. After that, I was thinking of auctioning it off. I would like the proceeds to go to a charity. (I was thinking of picking three, or so and then hosting a vote on my blog, or on FB as to which one we give the money to.)

That reminds me: Our new FB page is up! If you feel like it, go clicklike! :)

How much time will you have to complete a little patch?

Really as long as you need. This will be a long term project. If you could get your patch done this year (2015) that would be awesome, but if you need a little longer, that’s probably fine too. I have no end date set for this, and I have no specific size I want it to be. So what ever comes in whenever that is, it will be fine. I think I will set a soft deadline for this at mid next year (I think a year and a half for a credit card sized swatch is enough time), but will re-evaluate the time frame when I see how big it is by then. :)

The pieces would have to be sent to me, if you are interested, please comment here and then email me.

Thanks for considering to participate! <3

If you are interested in participating, please email to catscradlenw (at) gmail (dot) com

A bit of boro and some sahiko stitches

2015-01-30 21.44.02Our towels have definitely seen better days. I am a bit ashamed to admit it, but some of them have extensive holes in them. I should go out and replace them with new ones and let the old ones become cleaning rags. It’s the natural life-cycle of towels in our house, as -I am sure- in many of your houses as well.
I just can’t let them go in the landfill, if they still have the tiniest breath of life and use in them.

I love the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi. Life as such certainly is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”. I adore the look of Kintsugi and the beautiful sashiko stitching (embroidery/reinforcement stitches done in running stitch). So why not put them to use? Reusing and mending is certainly not a modern idea and invention. Japanese boro has been around a while. Not only in Japan have textiles been re-used and mended and made to last just one more season, one more month, one more day.

So I look at my towels and think, why not give them another shot as towels? I could repair them!

A little bit of research and looking at photos and reading later and I was off to try my hand at some boro. I certainly have mended my family’s clothing this way for years, just never thought to actually call it any specific name, other than mending.

Boro does not mean art. It did not get invented as a form of self expression. It was the simple reaction to a very basic need of people living in extreme poverty. I can imagine the women sitting in their homes, or maybe in front of it, to make the best use of the natural light, and mending shirts, or pants, or bags, or anything one would need in daily life. To make it go another day. So their children would not have to run and play with holes in their clothes, or their husbands would not have to be cold, going to work every day. In the field? In a Mine? As a day laborer, not really knowing what he will do this day? Not really knowing IF he will get work and money to feed his family.

Our little family has been through our share of adversity. Brought on by the greed of big corporations, by someone just not thinking what their actions would do. Not just to my family, but countless others. People lose their jobs, their homes, their whole way of life. This happens every day. All over the world. My heart goes out to every one of you!

I am sitting here, mending our towels and thinking about the lives of people that went before me, and the people walking along side of me. I am not the only one, sitting here, mending things. There are a lot of us. Today, tonight, right now. Men and women. We are sitting here, taking one stitch at a time. Out of need most likely, out of love for sure. Every stitch I take, connects me with the other families, makes me understand the care and attention that goes into these fabrics. We are stitching so much more than just a shirt, a few towels, a bag.

We are stitching hope and dreams and love.

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PLY MAGAZINE: a Rave and a review

I have been following PLY magazine on FB for a while now and been drooling over their issues as they came out. Sadly it is not in my budget to subscribe to it at this point.

Somehow I got talking to talking to Jacey Boggs Faulkner, Editor in Chief of the magazine and wonderful person all round. Anyway, she was sweet enough to comp me an issue (or was it really evil???? Because now I am obsessed with saving up for a subscription) for review.

Well. The Community issue arrived here just a few days ago. OH BOY. What can I say?

How about ITSABSOLUTELYAWESOMEANDILOVEIT! Seriously, this magazine is amazing. SO MUCH INFO! The ads in it are decent and do not distract you from the experience,  like in so many other magazines these days.

I rather love the idea of a magazine gathering it’s content around a theme, rather than just the seasons for once. There is so much to sink your teeth into with a theme. So many variants to explore!

The Fall issue is all about community. Let me just cite you some of the articles in it: Communities through time and art (my favourite one!), Shetland Sheep & Wool: A crossover of communities, Ravelers spin together. See what I mean it’s all about community?

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The other amazing thing are the patterns in the magazine. They are beautiful and wearable. The patterns consist of a SPIN IT section (the designer explains about how she spun the yarn for the project, gives you the specs of the wool and the finished yarn you will be aiming for and general encouragement to go try it for yourself). Then there is the pattern itself, as we are used to them in other knitting/spinning magazines. I find PLY’s patterns clearly written and very detailed. I love that it’s not all squished together. The patterns have room and are nicely formatted. It’s very easy to follow them and not lose your place. The patterns in this magazine are for a really really cute cardigan, a fun hat and a shawl. There is something for everyone! If you want a big, sink your teeth into project, or just something little and quick for that bit of fluff, you just could not say no to at the fibre fair.2014-10-10 13.19.41 2014-10-10 13.20.03

Ads.. well, it is a magazine and it does have to make money. There are ads. HOWEVER, they are decently placed on the edges of the articles. You do not have to flip through pages and pages in a row. I really DO appreciate that! I hope that won’t change.

The magazine is 104 pages of INFO, ENCOURAGEMENT and FIBRE. It’s a catalog lol I am smitten!

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When you get this magazine (see how I said WHEN? Because I URGE YOU to go subscribe to it), go make yourself a nice cup of tea, or coffee, or chocolate (or grab a glass of wine) and make yourself comfortable. This is a READ not a brows and look at pictures magazine. Although the photos in PLY magazine are really wonderful shots and some are supplied by the readers themselves. There are frequent shout outs and requests on the PLY FB page for photos of sheep or diverse other things. I love this level of inclusion of the readers. I find it wonderful to see a community come together and create something so inspiring.

Of course the big part of the work is done by the editors and photographers. To them I would like to extend a big THANK YOU! and Please continue the hard work you have put in so far. It is amazing and wonderful and worth every penny!

Want to subscribe now, or contribute to the magazine? Here you go!

Goddess of whimsy

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back I really like the jewelery making from beach treasures! This is a bit of shell, I found, carved, then tinted a little goddess figure  in it. The tiny red dot is a home grown ruby crystal! (My daughter’s science experiment a few years back)

I really, really like this one! I plan on making a simple crochet-chain necklace out of my bamboo yarn and put a few stray beads on it. I might have a hard time parting with this one! But part I will! EDITED: I won’t! I can’t! It’s mine! For I AM the goddess of whimsy! (It’s true! Just look me up on Ravelry!)

If anybody is interested in having it, please leave a comment here, or Dm me on facebook! (link in the sidebar! )

I also made some temporary art on the peach itself! :) One for my husband. I call it “rock solid love”.

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And one for the people… just a pretty! :)flower

March!?

Time flies by when you are having fun! The shop is going to be one year old on March 31st! We are going through prep for the “birthday party”. At the same time, we are working feverishly on the shawls/patterns/photos for the LYS tour (Local Yarn Shop Tour) that will be happening in May (but the patterns have to be done by the 23rd of this month! Then I have a custom order to finish (knitting a dresser scarf and night table covers!) and a custom spinning order to finish, not to mention teaching classes in between!

Oh boy! I do know what I am tired of at night!

Pictures? Sure! Hang on.. The shawls can’t be shown until the yarn tour, but the rest I can put here for you all to see :)

A new shrug! Pretty and happy in orange!

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A new hat! WOOT WOOT! I really love this hat!

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I don’t think I have shown you the cable wrap yet! That got done as well and is getting tested now!

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I made owls (the pattern is already available! )

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I re-fahsioned a turtleneck into a tank-top:

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I sewed 5 pillowcases (well I cut an pinned, my daughter sewed) and then crochet around the edge:

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I made a headband inspired by the one in French girl knits:

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I wrapped cardboard letters in yarn together with my daughter (these were for the shop window in February, I knitted little banners for this month and Callie embroidered “happy birthday” on it, I will show you that one soon):

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The dresser scarf won’t be shown until it is done as well and the spinning will be shown in a future post. It’s for a giveaway for the shops birthday and a custom order of sock yarn! (you didn’t think I had forgotten about you, did you, Alice?)

PHEW! All caught up! :) What do you think?

Nest up: another book review! So stay tuned!