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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Months ago I signed up for an all-day Victorian knitting class at the world’s most fabulous local yarn shop. Taught, once again, by accomplished author, fiber arts historian, and teacher Donna Druchunas. If you recall, Donna D is the one who inspired me to start knitting a seemingly-endless stream of riesines.

The wealth of knitting knowledge contained within her brain is incomprehensible to me. Are all fiber teachers like this, able to pull out random historical details, ideas from multiple counties, stitches, and adaptations out of thin air? And she makes it 1) understandable and 2) engaging at the same time. The most challenging part of class, and the part that ended up being most interesting and important, was learning to chart Victorian knitting from written instructions. Just try following those instructions without charting the thing out.

Luckily for the rest of you, Donna is a traveling teacher who is fond of the road. Check her website for all the places she’ll be soon. If you’re headed to Sock Summit she’ll be there. Donna is also headed to the Interweave Knitting Lab in November. Sign up quickly as seats appear to be going fast for both.

(If I was going to Sock Summit, I’d be signing up for Donna’s classes as well as Twinkle Toes with Syne Mitchell…)

“When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell


I’ve been hunting for supplies and sites to help with the making of dolls for the Dolly Donations for Japan. Thinking some of you might be unsure how to proceed as well, I’m including the best-looking plans I’ve found in my hunting. I’ve never sewn a doll before, so we’ll see how it turns out. I went to the local thrift store and bought some incredibly soft 100% cotton sheets to use for the dolls themselves, and will use leftover quilt fabrics for the clothes.

The two patterns I purchased (only because they were on sale):
Burda 7611
Simplicity 2809

Helpful Things I Found Online:
How to Make Dolls Hair

Make Easy Rag Doll

FlatTops Rag Doll (Hmm, I’m sensing more dolls in my future, this time for breast cancer patients.)

Miss Gioia Rag Doll Tutorial

Miss Gioia Rag Doll Pattern

Making My First Rag Doll Part I

Making My First Rag Doll Part II

I’m very tempted to buy a french book, Poupee en Chiffon, after seeing this great blog posting about the adorable dolls you can make from the patterns. They just have a certain European flair, don’t they? I do realize that importing a book from France is MORE than I need to do at this point. If you cannot resist, you can try your hand at making it through the ordering process for the book.

Good luck with your Dolly making!

“Their toys are alive and can sometimes come to their aid, or get lost and Olie has to find them. They go to other planets. They go to the ice cream planet.” – William Joyce

After spending the weekend doing nothing else, my three entries for the TACTile Art Show in Louisville are now done. Not sure how they’ll be received, but they are completed and will be delivered this evening.

Tactile 2011

Done, done, & done!

“I love building spaces: architecture, furniture, all of it, probably more than fashion. The development procedure is more tactile. It’s about space and form and it’s something you can share with other people.” – Donna Karan

Six weeks in and some great advice from Stephenie Collin of Warped Art & Design. Just need to learn to pace myself, practice treadling at an even pace to the audiobooks, and relax.

All the ladies in the spinning class were great and Maggie Casey of Shuttles proved once again why she’s the master teacher. She’s gentle, funny and wicked-witty, and brimming with historical info about weaving in myth and history. You can find out for yourself how great she is if you invest in her new DVD Start Spinning from Interweave.



I won’t say that the resulting yarn is fabulous, but it is yarn which is what counts. Not ready to invest in a spinning wheel yet, even though I’ve been haunting online trading sites just in case. Please note: The gorgeous blue/green is dyed (but not-yet-spun) fiber.

“We are spinning our own fates, good or evil, and never to be undone. Every smallest stroke of virtue or of vice leaves its never-so-little scar.” – William James

NekoMade sent this along to me. She’s trying to organize a craft day where a bunch of us get together to help out Curious Lottie and her quest for dolls for Japan.

Curious Lottie’s Dolly Donation for Children of Japan — Deadline July 16

Curious Lottie was inspired by Sarah’s Doll Drives

Goodness knows I have plenty of fabric lying around, and you probably do too. There is a simple (and FREE) doll pattern on Sarah’s site, or you can purchase one of her other patterns off of her etsy page.

If you have some spare time and basic sewing skills, please consider adding a doll or two to the bunch being sent overseas for Japan’s children.

“Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child’s loss of a doll and a king’s loss of a crown are events of the same size.” – Mark Twain quotes

Friends were celebrating with a Doctor Who party. I offered to bring treats, because it has been a hard week and baking helps. I made:

– cupcakes topped with gummy fish (Christmas episode, couldn’t find gummy sharks so went with schools of fish instead)

– kaled mutant cupcakes (topped with a gummy octopus and “holding” a small candy banana)

– jammie dodgers (I recommend this recipe)

– dalek cupcakes (cupcakes turned upside down, covered in chocolate glaze, topped with Toffifay, and using a candy banana as the blaster gun)

I only managed to get a photo of the simplest thing, the jammie dodgers because I was running really late. They taste as good as they look!

Jammie Dodgers

"But I was promised tea!"

“Always take a banana to a party, Rose, bananas are good.” – The Doctor

Dalek: Scan reveals nothing! TARDIS self-destruct device non-existent!
The Doctor: All right, it’s a Jammie Dodger. But I was promised tea!

Louisville Art Association (Colorado) is hosting their 19th Tactile Show and the Art Challenged Show. Pieces will be handled and experienced by touch. Can you make something that is just as appealing to the touch as it is to the eye? Can you convey the same meaning or theme through touch as to the eye? If you’re up for trying, the deadline to have your entry form mailed in is May 11th.

Current Audiobooks: The Hands Off Manager; Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard; Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones.

“It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.” – Helen Keller