Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Not So Scary Halloween Knitting

Happy Halloween!
This is the fun side of Halloween - the decorating, the silly, funny parts, like a knitted Halloween scene. This scene was inspired by a book - Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi: More than 40 itty-bitty minis to knit, wear, and give by Anna Hrachovec. The teeny ghosts are great and the tiny cactus too. And then, it grew from there.

Maybe you would like to create your own little scene or vignettes - send photos, please. Or just give away the little guys for gifts, decorations, more inspiration. The books are available at Kiwi Knitting and the little ghosts and pumpkins will be there until Halloween.

Credits and Details:
The ghosts, cactus, pumpkin and cat were knit by Jill, the blog editor. The pumpkin is not in the book but based on many of the techniques there. The cat was an original design based on one of my cats.

The adobe house and the coyotes are from a group project created by The Spinning Study Group of the Tucson Handweavers and Spinners Guild, a Fiber Community, as a challenge to make a toy of handspun yarn. The "toy" grew to become a collection in an Arizona style late 1800s miniature ranch affectionately known as "The Ranch". Sharon Ewing designed, spun and knit the adobe house. Yani Gudenkauf created the two coyotes (hiding at the corner of the adobe house) from her handspun yarn, designing them on the knitting needles. Anne Fletcher handspun, designed, crafted and crocheted the vineyards just visible behind the house. There are many more items in The Ranch contributed by 25 members of the guild. For more information about The Ranch see the December 2009 issue of SpinOff magazine by Interweave Press. Also The Ranch is displayed at the County Fair and other venues when requested. Tucson Handweavers and Spinners Guild or Kiwi Knitting will have information when it is to be displayed again.

For some perspective, here are the teeny-tiny ghosts, pumpkin, etc with a quarter and a ruler. The gnome is not in the Halloween scene but is on the yarn stormed bicycle at Kiwi Knitting.

New Feature: Meet the Teachers and Staff at Kiwi Knitting
Carolyn Webb: "Although I'm an "equal opportunity fiber lover", knitting was my first love. My mother taught me how to knit when I was about 10. At about 19 I began knitting in earnest, and have been at it ever since. I enjoy knitting just about everything, but no longer make sweaters as I used to(no need out here!). Shawls, socks, vests, hats, mitts, neckwarmers, etc. And, like many knitters, there is an endless list of the items I hope to knit, including a large, fine, lace shawl. I have taught children to knit, which I think is very fun. Felting is another love. I like to nuno-felt especially, and teach felting. This past year, I acquired a beautiful, hand-made floor loom, so weaving is again in the picture. Another area I'm particularly interested in is the history of knitting and crochet, and vintage books and patterns. I've amassed quite a collection of vintage books, patterns, and knitted and crocheted items and tools over the years, and occasionally give a talk on this subject. And then there is spinning....well, there's just not enough time in life, but I do my best to try and fit it all in!! I'm happy to be spending a few hours a week at Kiwi, amongst all the fiber and color and friendly people!"

Jill Holbrook: "It has long been my dream to work in a yarn shop. I am thrilled to say I am working at Kiwi's! For now just a few hours every other week but I will be working a bit more and teaching starting in January. I love yarn and color and knitting. My favorite knitting is lace and Fair Isle, but I enjoy almost everything in knitting. I have been knitting since I was 13 years old and it felt like I always knew how. I also spin and weave and crochet and these did not come so easily. Weaving is hard to fit into a busy life as it is not so portable but spinning is my way to relax and something I do almost daily just like knitting. Teaching is another love as I enjoy passing along my passions to others. There are so many fiber journeys ahead!"

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Little Knitting Idea and a Few Hints

Isn't there an expression that need is the mother of invention? Not that my idea is so grand as an invention but need (or desire) certainly spawned it.

I love the T shirts by Sabaku. They are truly artwork and lovely. I have more than several. The last few I bought were cropped T shirts. I wore them but I was never comfortable with how short they are. The idea of adding a knitted edge just popped into my mind. This is the second one I have done and by far the most successful. I have received numerous compliments on it so thought I would pass along the idea.


The edging is called Cockleshell from The Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker. I added a faggot stitch to the straight edge. The yarn is a handpainted silk yarn by Robin Pascal. I chose it more for the colors but it does have a wondeful drape. It is sewn on using sewing thread in a whip stitch on the very edge of the shirt.

If you decide to do something similar here are my hints. (1) Pick an edging like this one that is worked to the length - not one that you have to start with the length. That way you can start sewing the edging on the shirt and add to the knitting as needed. (2) Work in two pieces and leave the sides open. This drapes better and is easier then putting the edging all the way around and sewing or grafting the beginning to the end. (3) Choose a yarn that is compatible with the way you wash the T-shirt, that is, cotton, rayon, silk. bamboo since the T-shirt is cotton. You could probably use a silk/wool blend. I have been washing mine on the delicate cycle and drying it on gentle in the dryer.

We would love to see pictures of your edgings and how you use them. Also all ideas and hints are welcome too

Have fun.

Yarn Storming

Yarn bombing/storming/grafitti is a world wide phenonmenon. There have been various articles and even books written about the subject. A group of Kiwi customers have organized to beautify Tucson with the pictured bike now on display at Kiwi. Eventually you may see it around town. A Big Thanks to The Ordinary Bike Shop for donating the bicycle! (The Ordinary Bike Shop is on 7th St. one block west of 4th Avenue.) You can join in the fun by coming by Kiwi and signing up for a part to decorate. We have yarn available or pick something you would love to get rid of from your stash!

Lynn Davis
Kiwi Knitting Company. LCC
2540 E. 6th Street
Tucson, Arizona 85716