Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Goodbye 2010, hello New Year

Well, it is sad to say goodbye to a good year bringing new friendships, fun/challenging projects, lots of laughter, and our blogging efforts! But, look, there is a bright star, a new light in the sky, and many days of fun with friends ahead!

Our Wednesdays are also brightened by several additions! Energetic and enthusiastic new knitters, bringing new conversation and community spirit to the group: Cassie, Lindsay, and Michelle. Welcome!

Another wonderful addition was the birth of Lorraine's baby girl, Kalli Jazmyn. We saw an "early edition" preview, at about 4 days old, 2 weeks before Christmas, along with big sister and proud dad. This little cutie will undoubtedly be the source of many lovely and lovingly created crafts. Meanwhile, we get to see her progress each week. Our hearty congratulations to Lorraine and all of her family, and a warm welcome to Kalli.

The Craft Sale at the Deming Library, to benefit the Friends of the Deming Library building and program fund, has had great success, we hear. The total is yet to come in, but preliminary reports sound very good. It was great to see those crafts disappear from the shelves! Now, start planning for next year...a little bit of yarn crafting here and there will go a long way to adding to a bag of goodies to display for sale next December.

So the year 2010 has nearly passed, yet must be remembered for the good books read and crafts made. We are thankful for the people and the blessings we have experienced: The support of Deming Library staff, the Friends of the Deming Library for providing the community room, the textile lovers who have graced our evenings, and all who taught many stitches as needed. May the New Year bring you many stitches and satisfaction. And may you often stitch with friends.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Create Crafts for Deming Library Sale!

Now, this funraiser seems MADE for Wednesday Night's Yarn Ravelers at Deming Library! A HOLIDAY CRAFT SALE!! This benefits the Deming Library. Which is a good thing, right? They provide community space for us to get together and do our crafts and we get to give a little back! The sale starts in December and crafts can be brought in at any time to library staff.

I would like to invite any readers of this blog to contribute a craft item for the sale. I took a moment (actually it took my senior computer brain a little longer...like 2 hours) to look up some holiday-ish crafts to do. Some are very quick and fun, and some are longer and fun. These are just what I came up with, but there are probably millions of holiday crafts out there in cyber-space, or in your craft notebook, or drawer from which to pull projects.

These are a few of the ideas I found (caution: check for copyright which may allow only personal use or not for profit use...free patterns may have limited use clauses).

Candy Cane Cozy: zakka life: Candy Cane Cozy This is a VERY quick craft, uses 4-ply cotton, and is yummy too. See picture.

Holly Slippers: Holly Slippers | FaveCrafts.com Hey, a couple for the library sale, and a couple for gifts.

Xmas Tree Hat or Centerpiece: Xmas Tree Hat or Centerpiece See picture of not-yet-finished hat (I'm trying!).

Mini-stockings: Free knitting patterns: knitted mini christmas stockings Afraid of socks? Try a mini one and work your way up to wearable ones. These are very cute...again in 4-ply cotton. See picture.

Ornaments: mind of winter: A Present For You This is a yarn and wire knit. Haven't tried it but it looks lovely and intriguing.

The Deming Library deserves all the support we can give. It is a lovely space with lovely crafting books always available. We so enjoy their support of our yarn crafting.

Have fun and don't stress during the holidays....your hobby is meant to enhance your life. Saying this, I have to make a list for......? How many days do I have to make.....?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mrs. Santa Claus

This is Sue. Sue is the sweetest and merriest person I have ever met.
She lives and works at a gift shop in North Pole, Alaska and tries to make us believe that she just comes to this area once a year to visit relatives.
That is a Christmas pin on her blouse. What is that she is knitting? It's a stocking!
Who is she kidding? We think she is checking to see who's naughty and who's nice.
Thank you for bringing laughter and light to our humble knit night at the Deming Library, Sue.
We look forward to seeing you again next year.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tree of Life in the Summer

It's Autumn and it's finished!
This Tree of Life Afghan pattern was chosen for a Lion Brand Knit Along in 2008.
I got around to making it this summer using Pound of Love baby yarn (worsted weight) instead of Wool-Ease Fisherman's as was suggested.
It knitted up soft and very warm.

A very nice pattern by Nicky Epstein. She has several books of lovely projects at the library and/or you can get a free copy of this afghan at http://www.lionbrand.com/pattern
In those great ignorant leafy ways;
Remembering all that shaken hair
And how the winged sandals dart,
Thine eyes grow full of tender care:
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart.

Gaze no more in the bitter glass
The demons, with their subtle guile,
Lift up before us when they pass,
Or only gaze a little while.

From "The Two Trees" by W.B. Yeats

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


The beautiful things being created at the Deming Library and in our homes every week are so amazing. Helen has finished her cabled scarf knitted with a super wash wool. It is soft, warm and washable.

Variety is the spice of life and Lorraine is spicing it up with some of her unique quilts. She also stitched up that cheery, bright carry-all bag beside her.

This is a stuffed toy lizard modified from a pattern by Brenda Franklin. Lorraine knitted the top as instructed in the pattern then she cut fabric for the underside and stitched them together. This has become the most shared pattern in our group. Some of us use it to make the pattern's intended pelt scarves but, as shown here it serves well as reptilian amusement.
To see Brenda Knight's internet site go to http://www.bfdesigns.ca/PELTS.htm

Have fun will ravel

Saturday, August 7, 2010


This is Lorraine's beautiful afghan that was started years ago. She has crocheted it with two strands of acrylic, 4 ply yarn held together and a size N hook. It is as lush and warm as it looks. She plans to complete it with a border and then give it away as a gift.
Psst, My birthday is ...

Helen is impressed by the pattern book,
Simplecrochet by Ericka Knight. It is filled with stylish patterns and easy to follow directions.

Donna begins a new project after completing her scarf. That lovely green will become a vest .

The pattern that she has for the vest gives all the measurements in metric. She bought the yarn and pattern while working overseas. We found conversion charts in the knitting section of the library.

Louise and her kayaking group are paddling near Vancouver Island and getting rained on.
Not to worry though, she took her knitting!

Have fun, will ravel.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Youthful Inspirations

Yarn crafts are certainly not exclusive to any age group. We at the Deming Library are constantly entertained by the new ideas of our younger participants.

Lorraine, who is a young mother, has become a regular attendee in these past few weeks and creates a vast array of beautiful projects despite her busy schedule. She has the most incredible way of changing a flubbed project into a successful one. A hat that she made for her young daughter is a bright and flattering color, perfect for a child but, a size too large. Rather than resign herself to wear the hat herself, Lorraine lined the inside of the hat with fleece fabric so the hat not only fits her little girl but, is also insulated.

A young boy knitted with the group last evening. He had seen our notice on the library postings and asked his mother if he could join us. Arden learned to "Pin" felt and knit at his grade school last winter. He picked up his needles and the group interactions as though he were joining old partners of craft and fun. When asked what he was making Arden said he didn't know yet. Now that's creativity!

Louise has finished her patchwork baby blanket but, we didn't get to see it because the recipient baby has been born. She promises to bring photos for us to see next week. Maybe she will have some of the blanket, too. Her new project is a knitted tiger toy. Orange with black strips and about a foot in length. Very cute and she is nearly finished. It's so good to have her back. We sure missed her.

I'm still poking along at the edging of my "Tree of Life" afghan. Just 5 more tulip buds to go. With catching up on news from Louise, the oh and awe-ing over Lorraine's quilted tote bag then reading Airport, a short story from Knit Lit the third aloud, I just didn't realize how little I was knitting. Well... until Arden asked me, "Do you ever knit"?

That is, Knit Lit the third. A collection of short stories edited by Linda Roghaar and Molly Wolf.
A book I renewed three times just because it makes me laugh out loud... a lot.

Another book that I request and renew multiple times is 45 fine and Fanciful Hats to Knit. By Anna Zulboorg. Berets, Toques, Cones, Stars, Pentagons and more. The colorful hats are delightful and different.

Have fun. Will ravel.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Endless Spring

Our seemingly endless cloudy days this year are not new to many of us. That doesn't make it easy to bear, but at least we know we are not entering a new ice age. If you are cold 8 months of the year, you have to wear hats and sweaters more. You are also comfortable curled in a chair doing things with yarn! We must find blessings in clouds or we would not live here.

Still spring and summer are quiet times for the yarn twiddlers at Deming Library. Here are some more books we found on the racks to inspire with color and ideas!

Hats with a Twist:
17 Fun and Funky Hats to Knit and 1 to Crochet, a special publication from Spin-off Magazine. This appears to be a well-used item at our library! There is a terrific Fair Isle Tam that will would be very popular at the holidays. A Twisted Tail Top has a curly-cue for fun.

No time during the week? Here is the answer. Weekend Knitting: 50 Unique Projects and Ideas, by Melanie Falick. Gloves galore...fingered, half-fingered, fingerless...all there, and mittens too. You have to see these to believe: turtle neck sweater egg cozies! This is a very timely book for impatient craft-ers, preparing for the holidays.

We are all going to be busy catching up in the gardens and taking trips and caring for the kids during school vacations. You can still make socks and hats on road trips or while waiting at the pool or at baseball games. You still need to rest after all you do, and crafting is relaxing as well as fun. So be good to yourselves and pick up some kind of textile habit that gives back so much. We will keep you company at the Deming Library, on Wednesday evenings from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

Speaking of vacations...Jean sent me this picture of a yarn shop on Kauai, Hawaii, called Hanalei Music's Strings and Things: Ukuleles, Yarn, and More. Stay and Play Awhile.

Next week, or so, I will enter all the yarn and textile shops I can find in this area. I will include the larger stores, with comments from Wednesday night attendees.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Crochet Addiction Concern

Perhaps there is a special reason yarn-crafters find solace or inspiration in their work. A happy "Addiction" is what comes to my mind. Maybe it is even an identifiable condition! Everyone I know who yarn crafts learns to enjoy the repetitiveness as well as the challenge and the constant chance to learn. There are many words for the experience. And that only covers the yarn and the results! There is also the companionship of fellow enthusiasts.

I am thinking along these lines because of a new book reviewed (and the resulting journey into another addiction) called Crochet Lace, by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss. The authors found lace table cloths at garage sales and antique shops, while Susan Lowman figured out the and wrote the patterns for the book. Crochet is not difficult, and the open and closed patterns of filet make for a satisfyingly quick result. Now, when I say quick, I mean rows in a block....not a complete bedspread! I am going for a window panel of maybe 3 blocks as a starter. But I am hooked (get it?)!

Our Library group of yarn enthusiasts are STILL working on gifts. Anne has the trim on the Tree of Life comforter nearly done, and she's not looking forward to the attachment phase! Helen is nearly done with a lovely dark blue cabled scarf. Louise is still knitting a patchwork baby blanket (now at risk to the crochet lace). It is hard to talk, and look at books, and yarn work ALL at the same time. Plus I look sites up on the computer sometimes (as well as download audio books). Of course there is never enough time for the yarn addicted. A new idea emerges. We must save time by blending in one hobby with others!

What about dogs? You can exercise those unused lower limbs by walking that cute, yarn adorned pooch! Especially after looking at this book: Dress Your Dog: Nifty Knits for Classy Canines, by Sys Fredens. You don't have to dress them in a hot sweater! How about a crocheted flower for the collar, or a dog carrying bag? The smaller the dog, the easier the project, i.e. a dog shrug. Now this is not a book for the working dog enthusiasts. But think of all the dog friends, or friends of friends, that are cold and need brightening up? We gave it a thumbs up!

Have fun with all your projects, and exercise a little to stay healthy! Come to our Wednesday Knit Night at the Deming Library, 6:30 to 8ish. We always have too much fun to stop until closing.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

When Informal Gatherings Becomes Something More

I realized, after last week's gathering on Wednesday night (for knitting, etc), that these Wednesdays sessions have evolved into a meeting of friends. I read books about this. But I really didn't anticipate it happening to us. I think it takes some time, some kindness, and some history to happen. I hope others will find the same experience, either with us or with a different gathering of individuals. We all come with our own fears or feelings about meeting new people. It is a little scary to jump into a new experience. But I think craft-ers are a special group of people. They want to teach and help others enjoy what THEY enjoy.

So we had our usual thoughtful and humorous Wednesday evening. Anne has nearly finished a Tree of Life blanket. The edging is being knitted, then will be attached. I am impressed! Helen is making a 6 ft cabled scarf. Lovely and LONG. I am still garter stitching squares for the baby blanket (I have 5 weeks left!).

We looked at some lovely books this week. Knit Kimono: 18 Designs with Simple Shapes, by Vicki Square. Everyone liked the patterns, Dofunku, and Taiko Happi. The history of the kimono is included.

The second book is, Awareness Knits: Knit and Crochet Projects for the Eco-Concious Stitcher, by Vickie Howell and Adriane Armstrong. This book is about more than just using green products; there are ways to knit for world peace! I may be stretching that a little, but it IS indeed more than product selection, and touches on many current issues. Check it out and report back!

Remember, you can comment on this blog. We would love to hear your thoughts. Keep raveling and unraveling that yarn.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Do you work on projects in the summer??

Here are words that spread panic into many good hearts: "Are you ready for Christmas yet?" Some people have (I believe) some magic that gets them ready for Christmas by Thanksgiving...and cook a big dinner too! I wish they would share their magic (It probably includes some hard work). One friend starts December 26th.

But really, I have never been a "summer knitter". This is changing, as there is a baby (1st grandchild) coming, in July. The first baby sweater took a lo-o-o-o-o-ng time to do. The second would weigh down a toddler. I am moving on to a blanket; 4x4" squares in garter stitch. (Classic Babies, Book 4, by Cashsoft Baby DK). But I am afraid that this baby will inspire summer knitting for the next 20 years. There is already an order for a Tiger and a Teddy Bear, and the baby hasn't been born yet (I love it)!

It is a good time to start gifts, especially if you knit at my speed. Here is a good book for those who want to knit toys: Knitted Toys: 21 easy-to-knit patterns for irresistible soft toys, by Fiona McTague. The Wed Night group liked it very much.

For those who like beads or other sparkly stuff, there is Knit and Crochet with Beads, by Lily M. Chin. We were whistling at the pictures. It answers the eternal question: How do you get beads on really long strands of yarn?

Who of you visit yarn shops on vacations/trips? The range of yarn shopping ranges from, 1) being dragged into one by a friend/relation, 2) finding a shop and asking if anyone minds if she/he goes in, 3) finding a shop and shrieking,"I'm going here", to, 4) planning a trip route by yarn or quilt shop's locations. I am the wander-by type. I wandered into Portland's Closeknit and bought some yarn, of course, chosen by my son for a hat. It is so much fun!

Tomorrow, Wednesday at 6:30-8:00 PM, at Deming Library, is another evening spent fondling yarn. Hope to see you there. I was away the last 2 Wednesdays and I miss my co-yarn addicts!


Saturday, May 1, 2010

What Goes On Wed Nights?

"We" are still a pretty small group of 3 or 4. There is no agenda or roll call. I try to gather names but not very compulsively. After all this is not work. Newcomers are gladly welcome. Where are all those knitters?

We have migrated around the library, and found exceptionally comfortable chairs and good lighting in several places. There is even a couple of tables for spreading out a project. If there is a crowd (rare), we can always go into the community meeting room.

We share what we are working on and admire progress and new ideas. There was a lot of poetry reciting going on this week! Books and patterns from magazines and websites are looked at. We tried some spinning one week. We haven't brought any sheep in yet :)

The Deming Library yarn crafting section is well used each week. The section number is 746.432. Whatcom County Library Services offers on-line search and book requests. Click here to go there.

Here are a few we like: "Knitted Socks: over 25 designs for fab feet and cozy toes for the whole family" by Anna Tillman. "Getting Started Knitting Socks" by Ann Budd is a good beginner resource. "The Knitter's Handbook" by Montse Stanley, is like a little knitting bible.

Most people start with a scarf or a washcloth as a first project. We show you an easy knitting cast-on technique, followed by a knit stitch, a turn at the end, and more rows until you are ready to cast-off. This is called a "garter stitch", is flexible and hides uneven stitches! Crochet uses a hook and starts with a chain of stitches, a turn, and rows attached to the previous one. Voila...a scarf or a washcloth!

Don't let a lack of supplies deter you from starting. We bring extra yarn and supplies for new-bees. You can try it before you invest dollars.

If you bring your yarn and needles/hook, here are suggestions: light colored "worsted" yarn without fancy patterns, a pair of size 7, 8, or 9 needles (straight inexpensive steel or plastic), or a size I, J, or K crochet hook.

If there are problems in any pattern, Anne is a good one to ask. Patterns for crochet or knitting have occasional errors....grrr, or it is hard to determine what the pattern writer is intending to do. Yikes! More than one brain is sometimes needed, and maybe a resource and a little ingenuity.

We have a good time and laugh a lot. Whatever you are making, have a good time doing it!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Yarn Ravelers is the Deming Library Knit Night

A bevy of yarn knitters/crocheters/needle workers/learners have been meeting at the Deming Library, on Wednesdays, from 6:30 to 8 pm since about 8/8/08. Who are we? Well, there is Anne, Louise, and others. I am Louise, and I would like to share
the good times we have by posting notes, pictures, projects, resources we discover, books we like (about yarn, of course!), and general "Ravelry". I know that is not a real word, but it describes the fun we have (we have been known to partake in too much ravelry). We have met some fun people at the Deming Library, through Wednesday "Knit Nights", and workshops where beginners can get tips and we all relax under the spell of the yarn. The setting is so-o-o comfortable in big easy chairs in the main part of the library. So come join us on Wednesday nights.

Here is a recent night when we celebrated some projects!
Helen was a "beginner" and
knit this sweater! Then she did this vest...she will say she needed some help! Hey, don't we all!

Anne found this pattern on-line called "Pelts". She calls it a Green Lizard. I made one out of brown and it looks like a mink pelt. It is a quick creation and fun!

Anne is working on an afghan, also from an on-line pattern (www.lionbrand.com/patterns/70122AD.html) called Tree of Life. There is also a Baby tree of Life available, and a crochet Tree of Life pattern. Can't wait to see it finished.

Here are a couple of books we looked at and liked: Son of Stitch 'n bitch, by Debbie Stollet! (wow! stuff to knit for cool guys), and Knitting loves Crochet, by Candi Jensen (combining knitting with crochet).

One last book, we found at the library, call Great Knitted Gifts, by Andrea and Gayle Shackleton. We loved it. Gets you sort of excited about making things for the holidays, all over again!

Have fun with yarn, and always laugh a lot.