Saturday, October 29, 2011

Charity Drive Update

They've received all of our squares and posted the totals on the SmoothFox site. Annnnndddd......

October Team with the most points: Three Strands Together - 330 points

We're the top team so far!

I've started work on another blanket and taken a break on doing the squares. I figured I'd start spending a week or two during the beginning of each month doing squares for the charity. Then I'll spend the rest of it working on blankets.

Only two and a half months left for the charity drive, though. So we still need to get cranking on them. :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Playing with the Crochet Hook

by Kelly

I knit more than I crochet. But lately every time I need to learn something new when I'm knitting, it involves a crochet hook. For example, a provisional cast on requires a crochet hook. Here's a YouTube video by showing how this is done. Then I found this neat method of picking up stitches with a crochet hook, from a site called techknitting. And of course, if you drop a stitch, it's easier to pick it up with a hook than unravel down to the dropped stitch. Putting fringe on a scarf is also way easier with a hook.

So I started to wonder what else you could do with a crochet hook beyond crocheting. Turns out, there's quite a bit. has a tutorial featuring Tunisian crochet , which is done with a hook but looks just like knitting,

Rug making with fabric strips and threads to produce a woven look.

Filet crochet


and my new favorite, called Knooking. I especially love Knooking because it has it's own theme song. You gotta love the kind of people that make up their own needlecraft and then create a song to sing while doing it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Unique Yarn

by Kelly

Rellana Wool: Rellana Woolly Heads
Ads of the world

Sari Silk Yarn at Bonanza

Euro Sparkle from WEBS

And here's a link to a yarn shop in Frankenmuth, Michigan called Rapunzel's, which looks like a lot of fun to visit.

Featuring buttons made from handmade porcelain and coconut shell, and yarn from suppliers with evocative names like Ironstone Yarns and Ozark Handspun. Next time I'm in Frankenmuth :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Yarn Shopping - Highest Prices

by Kelly

So I saw a skein of yarn on sale for $30.00, and my jaw dropped open. I mean, what could be so special about 100 grams of yarn that warranted such a price tag? Well, it was made of silk and wool. Okay, but that's not worth $30.00 in my book. So I made up a little game for myself - what was the most expensive yarn I could find on the Internet? Here are my results...

I started with cashmere yarn, since I knew that cashmere clothing was expensive stuff. And yes, cashmere yarn retails for about $70 for a skein weighing 90 grams. Or at least that's the price I found at fabulousyarn.

Pretty, isn't it? Enough to make a sweater out of, at $7,000.00 a pop? Er, no.
By the way, here's a cool chart if you need to estimate how many yards of yarn you will need to knit a particular item. Courtesy of Lion Brand Yarn.

But anyway, on with the search. Here's something that's not quite as expensive per weight, until you think about what it's made of...

                 Prism Yarns 'Cool Stuff'

Prism Yarns Cool Stuff Yarn - Blue Lagoon
Prism Yarns - 'Cool Stuff'

Here's the official blurb:

"Cool Stuff is composed of 30-40 different hand dyed, gauge coordinated yarns. They are tied together end to end by hand, so that as you knit the texture and colors are always changing. Cool Stuff has moderate eyelash, metallic, and other highly textured yarns. Cool Stuff has no wool, mohair or other animal fibers in it. "

All this for a mere $92.00 for 170grams. Available at jimmybeanswool. 
Or buy the half hank for $52.00!

And why is this so expensive? Especially since this is stray bits of yarn off the mill floor that someone has casually tied together? They should give this away free to advertise the fabulous yarns you could acquire if you visit their shop.

Hmm...I bet I can do better...

How about this, which I saw in a Crochetville post from 2007...


"As the ancestor of the modern-day alpaca ; close cousin to the guanaco, vicunas are known as the "bearers of the golden fleece" for good reason. Vicuna is the rarest ; finest hair fiber available in the world, ; these animals live only in the upper altitudes of the Andes Mountains. Since each animal produces only about 4 ounces of harvestable fiber each year, that also adds to its rarity. Vicuna fiber is lighter, softer ; warmer than any other hair fiber -- even the guard hairs are soft! -- and since the fiber is sensitive to chemical treatment, vicuna yarn is left in its natural color -- a spicy cinnamon shade."

And the price for such rarity? $299.85 for 28.5 grams (217 yards).
Buy yours now! Buy it here.

What I especially love about this is that it's 15 cents under $300.00. Seriously - if you're willing to spend that much on yarn, is 15 cents more really going to be the deal breaker? Oh, and look, it's only available to U.S. residents. Well, as the world's leading light of Capitalism, I guess we do have standards to maintain. We wouldn't want anyone else in the world to display such conspicuous consumerism.

To my mind, such a value should only be placed on very finely spun yarn, preferably from the wool of an extinct animal like a mammoth, and hand dyed by blind nuns inhabiting a convent in Abruzzo.

 So the next time you are yarn shopping, and feeling guilty about the price you're paying, reflect on the fact that at least you're not buying Vicuna. Imagine the Vicuna peacefully grazing in it's remote alpine home, with no fear of a human sneaking up behind it with a set of shears. And don't feel so bad about having a cart full of homespun yarn. After all, the Vicuna would thank you.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Funnies Amigurumi

by Kelly

Saw this on the Crafster site this morning and had to share.

Calvin and Hobbes amigurumi. Awww! And they're poseable too!

Here's the link, but I don't know if everyone can see it, since Crafster is a registered user site.

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