Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thoughts about Classes I want to teach.

First let me say that I love to teach. When I'm passionate about something I love to share what I've discovered and how it's done. I do not have formal teaching credentials but I have teaching experience.

When my son was in elementary school, I helped organize the "computer lab" for the school. Computers were new at that time and most of the teachers were either "scared" of the machine or simply did not have the time or desire to venture into this new media. I have always liked gadgets and love to type so when computers first came into my focus I wanted one. I was lucky enough to get a Macintosh 128k, which is the first Mac Apple put out.

This started my teaching elementary school children. The old how hard could this be? As long as I was one step ahead of the kids I'll be ok. Well it was a crash course in teaching which is no easy feat. Especially in this day and age of Sesame Street and all the other visual and audio stimulation kids get.

It ended up that I taught for 6 years and finally had experience in every grade level. Since then there has been several different subjects I've taught but currently fiber is my passion and I am gearing up to teach a class at my local yarn store. The class will be "Design Your Own Shawl"

I have some of the material semi organized and I kind of have an idea of what and how I want to teach this. So I sat down typing out the lesson and designing some of the graphics of the shawl shapes etc. Then I needed to describe the class in an interesting way so people who do not know me would want to take this class from just reading this clever dazzling description.

Let's see maybe other's have taught this class before and I wanted to see how they described their classes. I googled "design your own shawl". And this was the first hit:

But this is exactly why I blog so I can keep track of what I'm knitting and how I go about it. Otherwise if I want to repeat anything I have to "reverse engineer" it. I made this little shawl over a year ago and forgot all about this blog entry. Here we go I will now expand on what I said in that YouTube video because I've now made about ten of those little shawls. Experimenting with dying different color ways, spinning the fibers different ways and then putting together a shawl. Almost all of them with this basic recipe that I describe in the YouTube video.

But most people do not read my blog but just look at the pictures so here are some pictures of the shawls....

This off white natural wool I want to paint, but that is another class I'll be putting together.

The store I will be teaching at is my favorite store in Los Angeles Twist Yarns of Intigue. Time and date will be announced.

Friday, December 16, 2011

One of my favorite things to do is to dye!

A friend of mine called me yesterday and asked what I was doing? I said I was dyeing! To which she answered I'm sorry honey what's the matter? No I said it's wonderful I love to dye! Wrong spelling I'm just playing with wool. Happy to see the instant gratification, being able to create just exactly the color that I want.

This is one of the benefits and perhaps one of the main reasons I started spinning my own yarn. Being able to dye any color and spin any weight just added a whole new dimension to the process. Often I would have an idea for a project but would have to search around for just that exact color, weight and fiber that I had in mind. Sometimes it would take me a couple of years to locate just the right material for the project I had in mind.

I would walk into a yarn store and at first glance it looked like a huge array of yarns. Wool, silk, mohair some man made materials in all hues imaginable. But just not the the brownish sport weight soft wool that I was looking for. Well now I can do just that! For example I have this brown outfit that I love and it fits and looks halfway decent on me but I wanted a little shawl for the cooler days. For the summer I made a cotton moebius that I beaded on the edges.

Perfect, very happy for summer but for winter I wanted something made out of wool and a bit warmer. But to find just that color and just that weight & texture was a hunt. Not any more! I have added new skills and am able to dye the wool the colors I want and spin it to the exact weight I like. In this case I was looking for "sport" weight which is a kind of difficult find in yarn stores.

When I first pulled this roving out of the dye pot it really looked like a hot mess but to my surprise the colors are blending nicely and it's knitting up lovely. Fun Fun Fun.

*BTW I'm not too keen on "matchy, matchy" but I do like harmony and colors that like each other.

**Of course I write this blog for my own amusement but once in a while I do hear remarks about what I write. I do enjoy keeping track of my projects and feedback once in a while.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My hand hurts!

Darn it why do we have to get old and worn out? My poor thumb has too many miles on it. So I am limited in which craft I can work on. Knitting not so good, spinning not so good, chrochet maybe, plying yarn maybe and beading ok. Curious how I can crochet but not knit and I can sew but not spin. Different muscles used. So this is what I made.....

Brown Beaded Bowl

Used some of my handspun not so soft "shetland" wool, which is perfect for this job. Then I used glass beads around the edges. Turned out nice, I may even keep this or maybe not Christmas is so close it may be a present for a friend.