Stars in the Making is Here!

stars-in-the-makingSo much news! First, my booklet, Stars in the Making, has been published by Leisure Arts. They did an incredible job with the photographs of the stars and added bits of “Star Trivia” to each one. It is a beautiful booklet and I am so pleased with it.

SAFF is coming! SAFF is coming! Okay, so it is not until the end of October, but I have had to get everything ready for my classes because class registration begins April 1 for SAFF members and April 7 for everyone else. My classes and projects were all ready when SAFF had some teacher “adjustments” and we had to start all over with what I was to teach. So I am still hustling to get my samples ready for all the new classes I will be teaching. (Having the flu and a cold alternating for over a month has not helped my progress, but I am on the mend now.)

braided-gems-hat-and-wristersWe are taking Braided Gems to the next level and I’ve done a hat and wristers with beads – the wristers will be the class project.

entrelac-tote-bagWe did basic Entrelac a couple years ago, so this year we are doing Entrelac in the Round. I am having too much fun making samples of the little tote bag that will be the class project. Next month I will be teaching Entrelac in the Round with the option to felt it based on my large tote bag (photo below).

We are adding Take A Break classes this year. These are one-hour classes that allow you to Take A Break from shopping and sit for a spell to learn a technique. I had so many options that we couldn’t fit them all in. That means we will have more next year. YES!

drop-spindle-navajo-plyingI am having a great time making samples for the Take A Break and Learn to Navajo Ply on a Drop Spindle workshop. I simply love this technique! It has gotten me to use my drop spindle more than I usually do. Fun!

A Tribute To Lupin and Tonks

picture-017 The loom finally got warped, thanks to Geri showing me that great “c-clamp and chair” warping technique. Here is the scarf/wall hanging as of February 8. It is a bit longer now, though I have doubts that I have enough yarn to make it a scarf, so it will become a wall hanging. The warp is a commercial silk thread size 20 dyed by Red Fish Dyeworks. The weft is handspun 50/50 merino/silk in the Ruby colorway, dyed by Lisa Millman of Dicentra Fibers. Because I am in “learning” mode, I did not realize that the warp was spaced too far apart for a plain weave, so it is weft-faced. The lovely silk threads will show only in the fringe. I love the look, though, and am not at all disappointed with how it is turning out.

Wish I was having as much fun with the knitting. Though I did get a photo of my puppet head, Voldemort,

picture-027

there hasn’t been any more work on the puppets. I am working on three sweaters and a vest, all in different stages of frogging. If I ever get them finished, it means I have a whole new sweater wardrobe for next Winter!

2009 Studies

Andy Warhol wrote, “Either once only, or every day. If you do something once it’s exciting, and if you do it every day it’s exciting. But if you do it, say, twice or just almost every day, it’s not good any more.”

Gertrude Stein made a related point: “Anything one does every day is important and imposing and anywhere one lives is interesting and beautiful.”

New goal: Weave every day. Even if it is just two picks. Even if it is figuring the math and/or the colors for the next project. Weave every day.

Weaving is my “study” for 2009. I have projects lined up, projects that will push me forward to more complex and/or larger projects. First up: My silk scarf. The warp is a lovely light purple
silk 10/2 thread (commercial) dyed by Red Fish Dyeworks. The weft is a 50/50 silk/merino handspun single from a top dyed by Lisa Millman of Dicentra fibers. It will be a narrow scarf and the first using my handspun. Next up: rugs for the kitchen, hallway, and studio using both plain weave with colors and huck to try my hand at texture.

Study #2 is sculptural knitting. Learning just what can be done with texture, double-pointed needles, and the art of the stitch to sculpt yarn into forms. This all in relation to puppets.

What are you “studying” in 2009?

Spectacular SAFF

Another Spectacular SAFF has come and gone and what a fabulous time it was! I got to visit with two friends Charlene Schurch and Geri Forkner – two of the most creative women on the face of the planet!!!! – have short visits with many, many more friends, and made some new friends (HI Puggerhugger!) along the way. I love fiber folk!

My classes were packed and my stomach is still sore from so much laughing. Yes, we had great times in class! I love that everyone comes to class with different yarns so I get to see what’s new since my yarn shop forays are few and far between these days. My spinning classes on Friday – Spinning the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars – impacted the Saturday and Sunday classes because all the glittery fiber we used kept flying through the air and I found it on all my knitting class samples. Too much fun!

I said I wasn’t going to buy anything, but spin from my stash this year. That resolution lasted until about five seconds after I entered SAFF. I came home with more Cormo – I LOVE this fiber – to spin up for a vest for moi and some of Tina Evan’s great mohair locks to use for puppet hair. There were so many vendors who had such creative wares that the short time I had to fly through the vendor area was spent with my mouth open – either in amazement or laughing at the funnies that popped out everywhere.

If you have never been to SAFF, you are missing THE BEST FIBER SHOW of the year. Plan to make the trip next year – you won’t be disappointed!

Now that I am back home and have checked my Ravelry groups, I am gearing up for the next Reducio Sock Swap! I also was able to check out the new HP movie trailer! Awesome stuff!

Charlene Schurch Fans – New Book To Be Released March 24, 2008

For those of you who are fans of Charlene Schurch – and who wouldn’t be? – start getting excited. Her latest sock extravaganza, The Little Box of Sox, will be released to the public on March 24. It retails for $19.95, but you can pre-order it at Amazon.com for $13.57. This new group of sock designs are sure to be fabulous and, as with all the other “Little Box” series, you can take one card pattern with you instead of having to carry around a whole book or make copies. So why are you still reading my blog? Run, don’t walk, to the nearest computer to order Charlene’s new book, The Little Box of Sox. THEN be sure you come back and finish reading my blog, because you know I always have more to say.

Spinning The Sun, The Moon, and The Stars

Tomorrow is the spinning class and I am having a fun time putting together all the class supplies – lots of fiber and sparkle! I am seeing this not only as a time to make some beautiful yarn, but also to get myself readied for my interview with an astronaut in the next week or two. I love looking at all the astronomy books and the web sites of stars, gas giants, nebula, star nurseries, and just general “space”. Awesome stuff! Now with these sparkly yarns, I will be able to create my own universe. Why wait for SETI to discover if there is intelligent life in the Universe when I can create my own Universe and populate it with everything from one-celled organisms to statuesque, multi-limbed aliens. Sci-Fi meets the fiber arts – catchy title for a spinning/ knitting/ crocheting/ needle felting/ etc. conference, don’t you think?

Time To Play

“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.” Carl Jung

Play is so crucial to creativity. Play is how I develop many of my classes. I play with fiber to see what will happen and many times realize that other fiber folks do not understand how to do something that I just discovered through my play. It is also how I develop new patterns and get ideas for books and articles. Adults simply forget how to play and so do not understand why their creativity is stagnating.

So set aside an hour or two, a day, or a weekend and devote it to play. When you feel that rush of creative excitement, you will be scheduling more play times.

Even Dilbert Understands Creativity

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep.”  – Dilbert

Creativity

Today’s Creativity Quote:

“It is precisely from the regret left by the imperfect work that another can be born.” Odilon Redon (1840-1916: French painter and graphic artist; one of the outstanding figures of symbolism.)

Margaret’s Yarns