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Category Archives: Supplies

I needed more Cascade yarn in wine heather and couldn’t find it at any of my local haunts. Since I originally bought the skein at Tangle in Grand Junction I figured I’d try ordering from them online. Simple interface, item in stock, and I think she shipped it out the same day. GREAT service. They also have free patterns on their website which you can download easily.

Tangle Yarn Shop Rules

Tangle Yarn Shop Rules

I ran over to Michaels to try to find size 9 knitting needles. They’re still out, as is JoAnns, if you can believe that. Are all of you knitting on size 9s this month? Michaels is having big sales right now, 60 percent off of Christmas. Snagged some cute cookie tins for next year’s treat giving. This Sunday, everything (but clearance) is 20% off. Except for those of you living in Paramus, New Jersey. I’m not kidding, that is printed on the coupon.

While I was waiting to check out yesterday, I dug through the $1 bargain bins. Even the bargain bin stuff is onsale. I found three treasures, so I’m going to have to hit up another Michaels today to see if I can find more. Check out these great drawer pulls – for $0.43 each!

Discover Drawer Pull

Discover Your Inner-Crafter!

What crafter doesn’t need a few of those on the drawers of their craft table? They also had ones that read “pull” which might need to come home with me too.

Current Audio: Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Current Book: Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff. Shockingly-enough, this 1954 youth book by Sutcliff about a Roman legion in Britain has been made into a movie starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell (from the brilliant Billy Elliot).

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” – Plato

Sooooo. Going on the theory that:

1) I earned the money, and other than crafts and books I don’t spend a lot

2) chances like this don’t come along every day

I acquired a table loom via craigslist months ago.

Mountain Loom - maybe

Mountain Loom - maybe but I'm not sure

It has no markings on it, but from what I can tell it might be an elusive Mountain Loom pique table loom. Teksolv heddles, which will take some getting used to. It is a portable 8-shaft loom that I can take to workshops or move easily around the small home. Haven’t tried it out yet but am anxious to try out some 8-shaft patterns for a change.

This is going to require some rethinking of the tiny crafting storage area, and spare materials may end up being jettisoned in order to keep this baby.

“For many men, the acquisition of wealth does not end their troubles, it only changes them.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

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

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

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

At her recent Rocky Mountain Bead Society Steampunk lecture, Jean Campbell mentioned that she likes digging around her local hardware store for jewelry supplies. A generous member of the audience mentioned their favorite “stuff” store. The shop is Surplus Tools and Commodities at 1411 W. Alameda in Denver, a treasure trove of well, hardware chaos. Piles and tables and boxes of things that can find new repurposed life as Steampunk or hardware jewelry. Earth-friendly, green jewelry.

Hardware Store Glory

They are closed for inventory until July, but once they’re open again, I’ll be back to dig for more bits and bobs.

“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist of creating out of void, but out of chaos” – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

In case you were on the fence about attending the Great Western Alpaca Show this weekend in Denver, I want to encourage you to go. And by encourage I mean show you the beautiful things I bought to make you jealous-enough to go.

Great Western Alpaca Show finds

These finds are from:
Paradise Valley Alpaca Ranch

Outback Fibers
Currently located in Georgetown, Texas but moving to Colorado in the next year or two

I watched some of the animal judging today and the judges were great. They explain why they are giving which animal what ribbon, greatly helping all of you potential alpaca breeders out there. Just think, this definitely counts as Going Local. Raise it, shear it, spin the fiber, make/wear/sells things from the fiber.

Now if only I had land and that land was zoned for Alpacas…

“Human history is a race between education and catastrophe” – H G Wells

“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.” – Langston Hughes

For earth day I actually had to drive to a conference and back – seven hours in the car in one day. For my treat on the way home, I stopped at Green Valley Weavers and Knitters in Colorado Springs, http://greenvalleyweavers.com/

There was a torrential rainstorm going on and I’d just missed the hailstorm that blew through town. A yarn shop was even more of a refuge than usual. Green Valley? Beautiful/shiny/soft/alluring selection, helpful staff, and overall just a great yarn shop. Clearly, I was in a stash building mood.

Bamboo, alpaca, and hemp - oh my!

I was also distracted by some weaving yarn called “Slinky.” Honestly, that is the name. I’m going to have to weave this up with some shiny black and see what happens.

Slinky weaving yarn from Green Valley

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind.” – James Russell Lowell

Ran over to the Handweavers Guild Sale this morning. Scored:

1) Autographed copy of North American Dye Plants by Anne Bliss ($7). Over 200 pages of info about using plants in hand-dyeing

2) A copy of Handweaver’s Pattern Book by Marguerite Davison, revised edition. ($12) Pretty much THE basic book of handweaving

Definitely worth the trip!

“It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.” — C.S. Lewis

My sister and I have been digging through the post-Holiday sales to find supplies for our crafting.  Now’s the time to grab those holiday ornaments and ribbons at 75% off, as long as you promise to re-purpose them into something sellable.  Don’t buy it if you aren’t going to use it, or you’ll have bags and boxes of useless supplies that you end up giving to charity during your Spring cleaning. This is when shopping with a crafting buddy comes in handy; they can help you brainstorm how to re-purpose things or reel you back in when your cart gets too full.

Check your local fabric stores for their amazing fabric and pattern sales; many national patterns are on sale for $2 each instead of the regular $17. Stock up now on ones you’ll really use, or multiple sizes of great styles if you craft clothing for sale.  Many of the Halloween patterns are on sale now, giving you the jump on those cos-play patterns for the summer months.  Winter-theme fabrics are great deals now too, which you can use for Fall/Winter 2010 craft fair items.

We’ve also been assessing our craft supplies and trying to get organized. Somehow it makes it easier to be creative if you know where all the pieces are!  Holiday storage bins are on sale too, and as long as you don’t mind the red and green colors, you can get some attractive and useful supply storage and start the new crafting year off right.

“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.”  ~Benjamin Franklin