Fiber Art Community Support Post.

I know one of the things that is hardest for both myself, and many other crafters and fiber artists is exposure. So I went digging through Indie Gogo and Kickstarter looking for the best, currently active campaigns that support handcrafts and fiber artists, both domestic and internationally.

Here they are:

Save Local Woman’s Handicrafts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=07ZjK2ChGAI

Nasreen Shiekh (Director/Partner of LWH) is a 23 year old business woman who has built LWH by employing women from broken homes, abusive situations, extreme poverty and women with special needs. Nasreen is currently refusing her forced marriage which will most certainly put an end to Local Women’s Handicrafts and the jobs of the 20+ women of this collective.

 

Bennaigh Traditional Handknitting

Pam Connolly is a stay at home mother trying to preserve traditional hand knitting techniques of Ireland, England and Scotland. She has had fabulous selling her sweaters at Farmer’s Markets and is looking to expand in order to further support her family and preserve tradition. The sweater’s of hers that I’ve seen look gorgeous.

La Pintada Women’s Weaving Cooperative

“The city of Copán in Honduras attracts roughly 150,000 tourists a year for their majestic Mayan ruins and friendly town. About a 40 minute hike away, lies the Ch’orti’ village of La Pintada. It is a small community that faces several challenges; politically, economically, and socially. In response to these challenges, local and international groups have attempted to assist with various development projects. Most of them have dissipated over the years, except for a women’s weaving cooperative managed by five ambitious women since 2005.”

 

Restore Antique Home into a Fiber Arts Center

Historic Venue + Internet Presence = best of both worlds. The Sandwich Textile Center will offer shopping, classes & fiber equipment rentals. There are several textile centers located around the United States, but none in New Hampshire, and this vintage building – with an online presence – will be an outstanding resource for nurturing the contemporary renaissance of handmade goods.

The Sandwich Textile Center will be an in-person/online shopping venue and learning center for all things fiber arts related. There will be workshops for children and adults with lessons in:

• Raising and caring for fiber animals

• Fiber harvesting, processing and dyeing

• Knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, sewing

Steyning Grammar School Heritage Book

A stunning book showing the images and stories within this community textile project

Daisy and Blu

Taking direction from nursery rhymes, essence of childhood themes, and updating aesthetics from traditional tales, we believe Daisy & Blu is the ‘next big thing’ in children’s up-scale to mid-lux accessories, apparel, and home furnishings.

Our founder and chief designer, Sherry West, has taken her expertise as a high-end sweater designer and infused her illustrations with state of the art off-shore computer technology and capabilities to meet a demand that previously was not possible.

 

 

 

Tumblr is here!

Well, kind of. There is now an official partner tumblr that I’m running to create interest in commissions and ideas for myself. It’s emilyroseknits.tumblr.com if you’re looking. Unfortunately it’s not synced with this website yet. I’m fighting with tumblr’s API requirements and what exactly using a crossover app would mean both content wise and legally, since it would be other people’s original content. Until then thought, you all do get alot of pretty pictures from there!

Happy Blogging!

Sorry:
- Please recheck your ID(s).

Wrist Issues…

The problem with working all of that gorgeous sock yarn for a long amount of time is that it kills your wrists. So between all the knitting and the large amounts of time I spend on the computer my right wrist was not happy with me last week. I thought I’d bring a bunch of the links that I posted on tumblr over to this website and see what happens.

Wrist Exercises: Has really good photos

Exercises and Physiology

DON’T GET CARPAL TUNNEL

Hypermobility

Wrist Tendonitis

De Quervains Syndrome

R.I.C.E

English vs. Continental.

German Knitting: I like this the best since my right wrist does less work.

Tips

Massages/Use a tennis ball

Easy Rice Heating Bag

Another Heating Bag

Good Story and Advice

The thing that ended up working best for me were the heat bags. I already had a large amount of leftover cotton fabric and rice, then add in an hour or two of hand sewing and voilá! One rice heating pack thing. Granted, it was an hour or two of pain cause hand sewing with a minor repetitive motion issue isn’t exactly the best thing ever. But, hey, it worked. I now have multiple of them, including a scented one. The best solution I found for that was the Stress Relief Bath & Massage Oil from Bath and Body Works. Let the rice soak in that for a while and it smells pretty good.

Toe Up Socks

Are seriously the best things ever. Until recently I hadn’t made a sock since I was seven. I had never seen the point of them, after all why spend so much time on something that no one else was ever going to see and you were probably going to wear into oblivion rather quickly. This changed with the large amount of sock yarn I have in my stash. I was, and still am, desperately trying to stash bust before I go study in Spain for a year. However, there are only so many color work, hand warmers a girl can make before she starts to go insane.

So, I was like “why not?” and started a pair of striped socks, top down. I didn’t really have a pattern per say, I was working from the guidelines from “Knitting Rules!” by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Surprisingly they turned out rather well. They look slightly wonky, but OH MY GOD, they are the most comfortable things to wear. The toes look slightly ugly, since my Kitchener stitch needs some work but they are the most comfortable things ever. I don’t really know how many other ways I can say it. I wore them in my favorite pair of boots and it was like magic. I am officially a convert to hand knit socks. The comfort level is enough to eliminate the fact that no one will ever see them.

I am now working a pair of toe up socks, which are promising to be even better than the first pair. I am never buying socks again. Like seriously. (Okay, except maybe for gym socks.)

So I joined the Knitting Guild of America…?

Not entirely sure how this came about but it did. I’ve been doing financials this past month, and I had an extra few bucks to spend on an individual membership, so I did. I’m contemplating the Master’s program (level 1, at least) but that is a major time requirement. It’s only like five major commissions or so. Yikes.

Back to the financials thing, I’ve been trying to set up a more legitimate system than what I have now. I’m lucky (or maybe not) in that my major requires basic accounting classes, so I know how to run a basic ledger and accounts. I just have the problem that I don’t have a separate bank account for EmilyRoseKnits, plus when I buy yarn, most of the time I don’t know if I’m going to end up selling a finished product with it. Sometimes it does end up on the table and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s great from an artistic point of view, but hell from an accounting one. Three months down the road when I get around to working with the hand dyed alpaca for some project, I don’t remember what it cost to start out with. The only solution I currently have for that is to keep a record of all the yarn I buy, which on top of all the other work is simply too much.

Which also brings me to pricing. It’s a bitch. I try to at least recoup basic supply costs but I struggle with charging for labor. If I actually charged minimum wage for the hours put into, say a pair of mittens, people would be paying a good $70 for them. That’s simply not possible in the venues I sell at. It also doesn’t include the overhead required for the time I would have to do paperwork and books for each job. Etsy has some good solutions to this, but none I can find include the fluidity needed to account for changes at venues.

My ideal solution to this would be to find a small boutique to work with and supply say, 4 items a month to, with varying price ranges. However, that’s a pipe dream that probably never happen till I can get a consistent system set up. Gonna dream big on that one. And make excel my new best friend.

Vermont and School. Yay.

So my trip to my aunt’s house near Montpelier was awesome. I got to see her Swedish Loom and her Great Wheel, both of which were really cool. We spent a good three hours talking about weaving, with her explaining to me how it’s all done. I had no idea that making the warp was so time consuming. Yikes. It’s easier to understand why textiles were such a valuable market in history now.

This is the Loom:

Swedish Loom

 

And this is her Great Wheel:

wheel

I also got to see many of the projects she did when she was learning to weave in Sweden. I am seriously jealous. However, I did come out of this trip with two pride and joy pieces, the first is a square of fabric that she wove as a practice piece, but means the world to me, and the second is a whole bunch of roving that came from sheep she saw sheared in New Zealand way back when on her honeymoon. I’m kind of afraid to touch it in case I muck it up.

fabric

That’s it and I love it. It’s just wool, but it’s awesome. I’m using it as a kind of dresser runner/tablecloth thing in my dorm. Speaking of…

I’m back at school now and moved into my shoebox of a single. I’m doing a bunch of classes (ugh. math.) and am now the Teaching Coordinator for my school’s knitting club. Basically that means I teach classes every other Monday on yarn and knitting related things. My first class is this Monday on increases and decreases; I’m really excited but also kind of nervous. Wish me Luck!

 

Summer 2013

So I ended up spending the summer teaching knitting and fiber crafts at my old girls camp in New Hampshire. I had a fabulous time and hopefully have started many other young girls on the path of knitting obsession. Part of my responsibility was keeping the yarn closet clean and, woah, was that a task. It was just a jumble of boxes of yarn that had been donated in no particular order. Imagine my surprise when I found a huge amount of the same French Angora brand that my grandmother had given me at the bottom of one of those boxes! I ended up sorting/vetting it all by type of yarn, with the cheap acrylic stuff in giant ziplocs and the good wool blends in the newly washed boxes.

I spent almost ten weeks there, working and knitting, and during that time I finished these:

tumblr_mr4u0ydlD01reic44o1_500

 

which are my pride and joy of the summer. It took me almost 3 months using sock yarn and size two needles, but I am ridiculously happy with how they turned out. Now I just owe my brother a different pair for graduation.

After those ten weeks, I drove up to my sister in Vermont for the week before school and along the way I got to stop at the Green Mountain Spinnery in Putney, VT. So awesome! I got a bunch of a really pretty cotton/wool blend in pastel colors that I’m going to turn into a bolero at some point. Though that may have to wait till I’m done with a couple of commission-type pieces I have right now.

Tomorrow I start the drive back form Vermont to Florida, and I get to stop and see my great aunt’s great wheel at her farm near Montpelier. Really excited about that.

Till later everybody.

Welcome Circular Gallifreyan!

Welcome to the knitting world Gallifrey! These charts are based on the Circular Gallifreyan alphabet created by Loren Sherman. They include the basic vowels, consonant, and punctuation along with a link with a description of how they are all supposed to be put together.

Each individual letter is charted and circle charts are provided so that you can design your own words and sentences. The download is a general pdf file with further instructions.

Skill Level: Advanced

 

A varied assortment of things…

Student Arts Market went really well, learned alot about the types of things people are willing to buy.

I’m officially working with a fellow filmmaker on a WWII documentary piece. Just finished drawing up some of the contracts today. I’m really excited as to where this will go, lots of possibilities. We’re already in talks to do a screening tour with some of the North Florida public libraries. I should be getting the website for that film specifically up and running soon.

Student Arts Market Tomorrow!

I’m going to be running a stand tomorrow out at my school’s Student Union with one of my friends! I’m really excited and it’s my first experience with craft fairs/sales. However, we are totally behind the curve right now because we didn’t realize that neither of us had class during the time slot, and stopped preparing. We only realized that it was actually at night yesterday. So much to do and so little time. Making some emergency runs to St. Johns’ TC today to pick up supplies, and it’s probs going to be a crazy night trying to finish homework and all the items to sell.

I’ve been doing some research on stands and there are some great ideas out there, like using a slinky to hold business cards. The only kink in my ideas is that Joann’s doesn’t appear to stock styrofoam heads, so I have to figure out another way to display cowls and scarves…