Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Twining Class

Twined rugs on display
Fremont County Fiber Arts Exhibit
Fort Washakie, WY
June - July 2015
The rug and frame (shown above) at the Fiber Guild exhibit in June drew some interest from those eager to learn the process. Dates and times were determined, and the first session was on September 12, 2015 in Fort Washakie for three students. Another lady joined us at a work night held two weeks later, and others may join at the next scheduled class meeting in October.

Ingrid T. tightens the eyebolts on her rug frame
 Students assembled their frames: nails were pounded, corners squared, and eyebolts affixed. 

Lorre H. loads the warp on her frame. 
After the frames were built, denim was stripped and sewn into strips so the frames could be loaded. The process of twining was demonstrated and then practiced by the students. Before leaving for the day, they had at least two - three rows started at the top and bottom of their frames. The class would have a "work night" again in two weeks to check progress and to revisit technique for those who hadn't quite mastered it.  

Clarinda T. made a lot of progress on her rug at home.
She enjoyed twining in the evenings. 
Ingrid falls into the rhythm of twining
Since the follow-up meeting was a "work night," I invited Sheri to go with me and work on the rug she had just started.

Sheri H. works on her first twined rug

Over the last seven years, I have taught nearly 30 individuals how to twine. I hope they, in turn, have taught others so this technique of rug making can be kept alive.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Brenda's Scarves

I took some silk scarves to Denver because I thought Brenda would enjoy dyeing them with the bleeding art tissue. For the first scarf Brenda dyed it with the turquoise strips, and then the next day, added bits of color in the white sections.

We discovered that freezer paper worked great as a protective base; then we spread out of layer of clear plastic food wrap. After the tissue and scarf got a good spray with the vinegar water, we added another layer of plastic wrap on top and sealed the edges. The scarf was kept flat on the counter overnight.

Brenda wanted butterflies on the second scarf, but the fussy wings took too much time to cut. she ultimately used two overlapping "vees" to suggest the butterflies.

After the scarf had been pressed, the wings were outlined with a Pigma pen. Brenda was going to use dashes but found the ink bleed, so she just used dots. We were surprised that the dots turned into "Xs"

Brenda created a third scarf with various shades of turquoise - from light to dark. It made a lovely gradient scarf, but the photo I took was poor quality.

Another post on this process can be seen here.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Weekend Fiber Fun

drop spindle, roving, and bobbin
September 25, 2015
Two years of planning came together on Friday and Saturday: a Spinning Weekend with Maggie Casey - sponsored by Fremont County Fiber Arts Guild. Maggie is a well-known spinner and author, and we were honored to have someone of her expertise come to our small community.

spinning wheel and roving
September 26, 2015
hands of a master (Maggie Casey)
winding a bobbin
September 25, 2015
spinning cotton fibers directly from the boll
September 26, 2015
I took a LOT of photos of the classes, so more photos of the weekend can be seen on the newly established Fiber Guild blog throughout this week.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Foreign Friday

Shinto Shrine
southern Japan
April 1980

The thick rope hanging in the archway is called shimenawa and is woven from rice straw. The white paper, hanging from the rope is called shide.  The rope signifies a sacred or holy space.

Believers would approach the shrine, throw a coin into offertory box, then summon God to the shrine by pulling on the long rope suspended in the middle. Believers then bow twice and make a wish with their heart, clap twice, and bow deeply once more.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Nymphladia Shawl #3

I enjoyed knitting the two Nymphalidea shawls for Brenda so much that I made one for myself. (aren't you impressed with my first attempt of taking a "selfie"? My arms were not long enough to take it without the help of a mirror) The multi-colored yarn was a skein that I picked up at Christy's house when she invited Guild members to help themselves to her samples. The Wildfire socks were knit from Christy's samples, too. 

Yarn:       Knit Picks Gloss (Black) 220 yards - 70% merino, 30% silk
                LANG Mille Colori Baby 207 yards - 100% merino

Needles: US size 6

Pattern: Nymphalidea (free on Ravelry OR  Knitty - Deep Fall 2013)

Brenda wearing Nymphladia #2
June 2015

Brenda wearing Nymphladia #1
June 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Blocking for Sheila

mini doily crocheted by Susan S.
date unknown
Recently I went over to Sheila's house to pick up some honey to mail to Judy and her Mr. in Wisconsin. Sheila (a non-knitter) and I looked through some of her mom's knitting patterns and hand-written knitting notes and notations to determine what could be discarded. In one box we found four doilies that Susan had crocheted that needed blocking. You may remember that Susan explained her process to me, and I blocked some of her final pieces. It is satisfying to see the doilies starched and stretched into their intended shapes. Big or small, Susan's doilies are works of art.

square doilies crocheted by Susan S.
date unknown
These two square doilies were gorgeous, and blocking them required an "army" of pins to keep the sides straight.

preliminary pinning of Susan S. square, crocheted doily

Some of the "soldiers' had to be moved several times, but before long they were marching in a straight line.

Thank you, Sheila for giving me the opportunity to work with more of your mother's doilies. She was an artist with a crochet hook.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sock Ruler - a review

Sock Ruler
Cheryl gave me a "sock ruler" several months ago, and when I started knitting sock again recently, I've been using it a lot. The ruler is made of flexible plastic.

One end is curved, which would be helpful for toe-up sock knitters to measure the length from the toe to the heel, but it can also be used by top-down knitters for the heel to the toe measurements. More detailed information can be seen on the Sock Ruler website.

Thanks, Cheryl for giving me this helpful knitting tool.

Note: I did not receive compensation for this review. 

I'm finally knitting with the sock yarn panel that I wrote about here.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Quilt of Valor Follow-up

Yesterday, I was thrilled to see this post on County 10, a local online news site because at the bottom were photos of veterans being presented Quilts of Valor (QOV). I immediately recognized six of the quilts that I made this year. It felt good to see them draped around the shoulders of the veterans and to see the smiles on their faces.  (All photos were taken from the County 10 post)

Stephanie Logan, State QOV coordinator,
presented Greg Coats with Courage
Ed Anima selected Independence Day
for his Quilt of Valor
David Gardner was presented Humility
by state QOV coordinator, Stephanie Logan
Bill Puryear was given On the Hunt in honor of his service

John Scharmur liked the earth tones of
Lone Star

John Scharmur with Lone Star

Randy Coulter receives a QOV hug from
Stephanie Logan, State QOV coordinator
Randy selected Rockets Red Glare for his QOV

Friday, September 18, 2015

Foreign Friday

Pepsi advertisement
photo taken through bus window
Bangkok, Thailand
December 1979
On our trip to southeast Asia in December 1979, it was fun to see common, American logos with foreign writing.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Wildfire Socks

Wildfire socks
women's size 10
Christy, a member of the Fiber Guild, is a sales rep for several yarn companies, and each year she gives her samples away to interested Guild members. It is fairly common to leave her house with more than one bag of yummy yarn. I love being able to knit with brands that cannot be found locally.

Last year, Christy had three sock flats (panels) that caught my eye, one a bright red. This summer the news was once more filled images of wildfires, and the smoky skies created vivid, red sunsets: thus, I named this yarn and the socks I knit, Wildfire.

Yarn: Regia - Creativ (sock blank)

Needles : turbo Sock Rockets, 16 inch circulars, US 2

Pattern: plain vanilla socks with ribbed cuff

Unfamiliar with sock blanks (yarn panels)? I've posted about one several years ago.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Bowl Plaza

Bowl Plaza
Lucas, KS
August 2015
Be prepared to be amazed at the artistry that we found at Bowl Plaza in Lucas, Kansas. While researching places to visit on our trip, Brenda discovered that Lucas was known not only for the Garden of Eden but also for Bowl Plaza, one of the World's Most Artsy Public Restrooms.

Since the Garden of Eden attracts over 10,000 visitors a year, the town (population 400) realized it needed a public restroom, and you really have to see this yourself to appreciate its beauty. Yes, I actually believe this restroom is beautiful.

When you park in front of the building, you will notice a large roll of toilet paper that is unrolling toward the building. The "paper" becomes the sidewalk.

The front of the building represents the tank on a toilet complete with a handle for flushing. The mosaic design is the lid. Note the arched benches on the side represent the toilet bowl, but look what's inside the toilet bowl. . .

This sculpture shows everything under the sun swirling around as the bowl was "flushed." Note the cute dog, sneaking a drink from the toilet bowl.

Okay, that was cute, but what was inside the building will amaze you.


sink in the women's bathroom
wall opposite the sink in the women's bathroom
same wall as above, but a different angle.
note the four seasons are represented
men's restroom
Yes, I have no shame. . .the door to the men's restroom was wide open with no one inside, so I ventured in and snapped some photos.

wall next to the sink in the men's restroom
mirror above sink in men's restroom
wall opposite the sink in men's restroom
The artwork was clever, humorous, and creative, and it was beautiful. By creating and maintaining this gorgeous public restroom, the citizens of Lucas, Kansas certainly know how to make a visitor feel welcome and special.

I recommend you visit this small town and marvel at the artistry of its citizens and the pride they have in their community.

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