Saturday, November 3, 2012

Plans and Hats and MORE PLANS

Hi everyone!

I hope that you have had a wonderful week and that everyone has been safe from the horrible weather. I don't think there is anyone that looks at this blog from the East Coast, but if there is, I hope that you have been able to avoid the worst of the storm. 

I have not made a lot of progress on my boyfriend's Christmas scarf, and I gave up on carrying the yarn up the side. I didn't like how the blue was peeking through on the white sections. I am just too picky :P. 
BUT I have managed to crochet almost two hats in the last 24 hours!! 

Finished Object(s)

Since both of these hats are pretty much identical, and I am still finishing weaving in the ends on the second hat, I will just take a picture of one of them
I crocheted these both with my size I bamboo crochet hook from ThinkBamboo out of Yarn Bee's Bamboospun in Olive. This yarn is very soft and nice to work with. The wrong side of the crocheted fabric actually ends up being softer than the right side, which is perfect for a hat. 

A note about these crochet hooks- they are clearly not the highest quality bamboo hooks, but I am in no way a snob when it comes to hooks and needles. As long as my tools feel comfortable in my hands, do not snag or otherwise disrupt my crafting process, and if they can get the job done well,  I am a happy camper. 
I like how the head of the hook is a little pointy

I have noticed in the the last year that I cannot knit or crochet comfortably with metal. My hands and wrists start cramping up quickly, and I cannot work for long periods of time. Because of this, I have switched almost completely over to using bamboo and, since I buy all of my supplies on a waitress' salary, I buy the least expensive tools I can find. I always check the reviews and look closely at all pictures before I buy any tools, and I have not been disappointed yet (except for when an inexpensive set of circular needles started to detach from the win some, you lose some).

This is a very very simple half-double crocheted hat. I started with seven or eight stitches and increased to 62 st (for my uncle) and 66 st (for my boyfriend's giant head). 

I have been promising my uncle a hat for the last four years, so I am going to surprise him tomorrow with this early Christmas present. 

Stash/Tool Enhancement

I am super excited to tell you that I have just purchased my first drop spindle!!!!
I bought a fairly inexpensive spindle, because I have never spun before, and did not want to shell out a lot of money for a craft that I may not like. 
I ordered a bottom whorl spindle from theknitstore on Etsy. From the research I have done, I think that I will prefer a bottom whorl over a top whorl, but I will have to let you know once I start spinning if this is really the case.
I also purchased some inexpensive, undyed blueface leicester fiber from threewatersfarm on Etsy. I am planning on dyeing this fiber myself, or just spinning it in it's natural color. (OR maybe I could dye half of it and then ply the natural and dyed fiber together!!! I am getting way too excited) 
I was really drooling over this roving from Ethereal Fibers and this one from Fibernymph (and don't even get me started on Into the Whirled and SpunRightRound...can you tell that I'm a color freak?)  but those will have to be on my Christmas wish list. And I should probably know what I'm doing with a spindle before I start getting googly eyes for more pricey fibers. 

Podcast Plans

So, as I have mentioned before, I am planning on starting a video podcast/ video blog about my projects and what I'm up to. I am waiting until I can figure out a good way to videotape myself, and until I can find a good video-editing software. 

My podcast will feature all of the basic elements as many of the other knitting podcasts you have seen/listened to. Therefore, it will include
1) Works in Progress
2) Finished Objects
3) Some good resources/patterns 
4) Stash enhancement/ new crafty tools

However, I want my podcast to be unique, and to represent me as much as possible. 

Podcast Philosophy

The general theme of my podcast is going to involve the three following areas as much as possible

1)Not only am I a student in college, I also consider myself a "Collegiate Crafter"- meaning that I have mastered many areas of knitting, crocheting, and sewing but I still have a LOT to learn, and am still honing and developing my skills.
As the title of my blog suggests, I am seeking to become wiser in the ways of knitting and crafting, as well as in life. As often as I can, I will show you what I have learned recently, and may even give demonstrations of my newly learned skills.
I may also end up talking a little bit about what I am learning in my classes, and incorporating this as much as possible into my discussions on crafting. As a studio art minor, I may have a lot to talk about some days :). 

2)   Since I am putting myself through college on government loans and the tips from my part-time job, I do not have unlimited funds to put towards my crafting. I love silk and cashmere as much as the next knitter, and I greatly admire and totally lust over the beautiful hand-dyed yarns that I see on Etsy, but I just cannot afford these luxuries on a regular basis. 
What I can do is look for the highest quality yarns that I can fit into my budget. That involves a lot of time scouring the web, local yarn stores, and, yes, even Hobby Lobby for good, affordable yarns and tools. I am picky, but I am not a snob when it comes to yarn and, while I would prefer to work with superfine merino all the time, you may see the occasional (good quality, soft and durable ) acrylic sneak in to my knitting. 
I will provide a lot of tips for finding bargains and sales, as well as how to make your dollar stretch when looking for crafting supplies. 

3) I am not a monogamous crafter. Although I generally prefer knitting over any other craft, I also spend a lot of time crocheting and sewing, as well as drawing and baking. I also write a lot, and have even been known to make jewelry and do calligraphy (although this is a rarity). 
Although this podcast will be primarily about the fiber arts, do not be surprised if I show off some cookies that I have baked or a drawing I have made for class as well.

Whew, that's a lot of content, right?
But I am not crazy. I know that I will not be able to cover every single one of these areas every podcast, but these tenants will direct the general theme of my podcasts, and they will help viewers understand the goal of my video.

So keep an eye out for that! I will let you know when I be starting these videos, and I hope that I will have some viewers! :P

Have a great week, and happy November!


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