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Monthly Archives: September 2010

I do sometimes feel guilty about the amount of brand new craft supplies I purchase. Not only am I spending a lot of money, but yarn manufacturing is not always as eco-friendly as one might hope. Inspired by some recycling/upcycling fiber ladies I know (Mother Mary and Lisette Walker), I’ve decided to try upcycling yarn.

Weaving Spirit (whom I do not have the pleasure of knowing personally) has been recycling cashmere for years into beautiful new horoscope shawls. Why not take an unattractive or dated sweater, unravel it, and make it into something new?

I’ve been scavenging the local ARC thift shops, especially on Saturdays when almost everything is half price. I’ve scored some cashmere, silk, cotton/linen, merino wool, and silk/wool blends for $3-6 each. First up was this Liz Claiborne pink silk sweater, which has been unraveled into several hanks of pale pink silk. Once washed, I’m hoping to use this to make a delicate new woven scarf.

Upcycling Yarn

Upcycling Yarn - Before

Upcycling Yarn

Upcycling Yarn - After

There are some great tips and groups online about recycling and upcycling yarn. Try searching under “recycling” or “upcycling” or “unravel” yarn.

How To: Recycling Sweaters for Yarn

How to Recycle Yarn from a Thrift-Store Sweater

How to Unravel a Sweater and Recycle Yarn

“Thrift was never more necessary in the world’s history than it is today. ” – Francis H. Sisson


Quick reminder, Alpacas on the Rocks is this weekend. Fancy becoming an Alapaca rancher? Want to learn to spin Alpaca fiber? Then this may be the place for you.

Because wouldn’t we all like to eventually hang out all day playing with fiber?

“I have a farm and I love it there. There’s really nothing to do, but even watching the chickens, its fun.” – Salma Hayek

I am very anxious for it to finally be Fall. Who wants to work with fiber in the middle of summer heat? I’ve started Fall Tidying-and-Cleanup early and have come up with yet another box of fabric.

Apparently I think I always need more fabric, then all this loveliness sits in a box uncut and unsewn. I’m pondering what to make of these yards, most likely charity quilts of some kind. But thought I share the wealth by way of a photo of all of these pretties.

Wealth of Fabric

Wealth of Fabric

“Use a make-up table with everything close at hand and don’t rush; otherwise you’ll look like a patchwork quilt.” – Lucille Ball

The Handweavers sale is coming up in November and I cannot weave everything in black (much as I love it). Might as well pay attention to what the fashion industry says is going to be popular. I did some quick research on color trends for Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 and these are the results:

Fall 2010’s Top Color Trends

Fall Runway Color: Classic Camel

Pantone Fashion Color Report Fall 2010

Top 10 Fashion Color Report Spring 2011

Spring 2011 – An Exotic Journey

Alta Roma fall-winter 2010/2011 fashion week

Fall Winter 2010/2011 Color and Yarn forecast

And proving once again that Europeans are hipper than the rest of this, this Copenhagen International Fashion Fair report is arranged by categories like “Exotic Junk: The Neo Dissidents”
Fashion Trends Spring/Summer 2011

You can view a video of the CIFF trend show on their main site.

“On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.” – Thomas Jefferson

I’m taking a stab at combining clay work and weaving. Still in the very early stages but attempting things that are useful and attractive. It is almost impossible to make things smooth in clay so I’m seeing a lot of sanding in my future.

Mystery Clay 1

Mystery Clay 1

These will be fired in a few weeks, then glazed. I’m going to try different shapes and sizes and see where we get. Finished product won’t be done until mid-November, far after the Guild sale, but there is always next year.

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris

I’m continuing the tasks of weaving more dish towels. Need to have something useful to sell at the Guild sale! This time around I’m trying pink and brown cotton. I know, I know, but 1) I like pink and brown together and 2) stain-disguising colors.

Dish Towels - Pink and Brown

Weave Some Dish Towels II

The brown is very soft and is being used as the weft. The pink is rougher and is the warp. Obviously, should have switched that up. I’m having to beat things extra hard, with the shed open, to try to get the pattern to line up. Next time, smoother warp!

“You sometimes see a woman who would have made a Joan of Arc in another century and climate, threshing herself to pieces over all the mean worry of housekeeping.” – Rudyard Kipling

Just a quick reminder that fabric and craft stores are having big sales today. You may not think they are worth your while, but be sure to check the ads to make sure. For instance, Joann Fabrics has:
– All sewing notions 50% off
– Yarn 25% off
– Quilting books 30% off
TIP: Remember to write down what size needles and type of lightbulb your sewing machine takes. And remember to take that piece of paper (and any paper coupons) with you to the sale!

“The further through life I drift the more obvious it becomes that I am lacking in thrift.” – Ogden Nash