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Odds and Ends Crochet Rug: A Journey

I can crochet. I don’t do it often, or do it well, and I don’t call myself a crocheter, because I have never successfully finished crocheting anything. Every so often though, I feel like I need to change things up. so I start a crochet project, usually with plans of making a blanket, and either abandon the attempt, or rip it out and knit something with the yarn instead. The reason I have never finished a crochet project is because I only ever feel like doing it when I don’t feel like doing anything else. This isn’t a reflection on crochet as a craft, mind you, just my particular feelings towards it.

a crochet yarn scrap rug
I started this rug last fall when we found out when we were moving into this house, and we had all these great wood floors to protect. I was hitting the tail end of my first trimester, and still feeling pretty pukey. I didn’t want to do anything really, but the idea of crocheting rugs for my new house seemed like an idea I could get behind. I had a lot of single and partial skeins of worsted weight yarn that I had just been carrying around for years, and I couldn’t think of a better way to use it up. I don’t tend to knit with worsted weight yarn very often–and when I do, it’s usually a sweater–not great for all those single skeins I dyed when I was learning how to dye.

After spending last week doing a lot of soap-making and blog related research, I have been a little bit too burnt out to knit–crazy, I know. But I started thinking about this rug again. I abandoned it half-done about the time we moved in when I ran out of undyed yarn. My vision for this rug was to pair the single skeins with undyed yarn all the way through, but I’m not very good at crochet, and have no idea how to calculate how long 2 1/2 skeins of undyed yarn will last. I thought I would get a bit more diameter out of it. And the whole point of an odds and ends project is that you don’t buy yarn for it.

Yesterday, we stopped by the grocery store on the way home from work and on our way out, our car wouldn’t start. Just like that, something that is probably the starter wouldn’t work. After many phone calls, a tow truck and jostling a giant carseat around, and getting our other car that we never drive jumped, because we never drive it and the battery was dead. We didn’t get dinner until 9:30. It was not a fun evening.

odds and ends crochet rugs

In the middle of all that, I kept thinking that I would rather be working on something simple. Double crochet over and over again in the round is just about as easy as stockinette in the round. Probably because I was so exhausted, crocheting sounded more satisfying than knitting. In the haze of my I-hate-cars-why-do-I-live-in-a-place-with-rotten-public-transportation-and-I-can’t-ride-my-bike-everywhere-because-I-have-an-infant haze, I suddenly realized that my hang up on having white throughout the rug was silly. It’s an odds and ends rug. It’s not going to look silly if I change it up halfway through, it’s going to look like an odds and end rug, because that’s what it is. Get over yourself and and finish it if that’s what you want to do.

Now I’m determined to finish this rug, so we can use it in our house. I will finish at least one crochet project. Who knows, maybe one day I will add crochet to my resume.

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Spring Bazaar

A few of you locals might be interested to know that instead of being at the farmers market this weekend, I will attending the spring fiber arts!

I, the Potwin Fiber Artisans and I will be at Potwin Presbyterian Church in Topeka. We are on the First Friday Art Walk Friday from 5-9 pm. On Saturday, we will be open from 9am to 5pm. The coolest part is that we will be offering mini-classes, from knitting to spinning to weaving.

Come join us. It will be a blast!

Other notables:
Alpacas at Orchard Hill will be there (ie, the finest alpaca in Kansas)
Blushing Ewe will be there as well with her gorgeous batts. (I usually can’t resist buying one myself.)
The Industrious Knit’n Spin who has been working her tail off, so make sure you give her some love when you see her.

My mission, to find yarn and / or fiber for my first unsupervised weaving project.

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PFA Classes March 2012

PFA Classes for March 2012
Classes will be held at the Potwin Presbyterian Church. Enter through the South Door.
To register, contact the instructor!

Monday, March 5th, 6-8pm
FELT THIS! Needle Felted Coffee Sleeve class Fee: $15 Description: Continue to explore the ancient practice of creating the fabric known as felt from wispy fibers in amazing colors. No experience is needed for this class as you use a template to create a coffee sleeve for your to-go cup. By the end of this 2 hour class, you should have your sleeve completed and ready to use. (Limited to 12 students.) Materials: Bring your felting needle(s), foam base, two ounces or more of wool fibers in colors of your choosing. (A limited number of needle felting kits with needle, small foam base and 50 grams of fibers will be available on the day of the class for $15.)
Instructor: Anna Walker aka @FELTit on Twitter,

Friday, March 9th, 2-4pm
FELT THIS! Needle Felted Create-A-Creature class
Fee: $30 Description: Using an armature built from chenille stems and fiberfill, and your imagination, create a creature of your choosing, real or imaginary. Blend the wispy fibers and learn to use your felting needle to create details and texture in your sculpture. No experience is needed for this class as you learn how to blend and combine different colors and textures of the fibers to create your creature. By the end of this 2 hour class, your creature should be mostly created, and you’ll have ideas for finishing details to complete at home. (Limited to 12 students.) Materials: Bring your felting needle(s), foam base, two or more ounces of wool fibers in assorted colors of your choosing. Chenille stems and fiberfill will be provided by instructor. (A limited number of needle felting kits with needle, small foam base and 50 grams of fibers will be available on the day of the class for $15.)
Instructor: Anna Walker aka @FELTit on Twitter,

Tuesday, March 20th, 10am-4pm
FELT THIS! Wet Felted Mini-Painting class
Fee: $75 Description: During this class you will build a multi layered wool painting from the fibers you bring to create the background for a silhouetted tree. Learn the technique of ensuring even shrinkage during felting, and discover beauty of how the fibers migrate and blend during the felting process. You’ll leave class with ideas for further embellishment of your painting. (Minimum of 4 students and maximum of 12.) Materials: Bring an old towel to transport your painting home, two ounces of natural colored fibers for the base and four ounces of dyed wool roving-NOT SUPERWASH! I recommend merino or BFL blends of no more than 30% other fiber like silk or bamboo. (Instructor will bring soap, bubble wrap, and other tools for wet felting and will have black and fancy fibers to add details to your painting. Instructor will also bring drum carder in case you want to blend your fibers. Dress in comfortable clothing that could get wet and non-slip shoes) We will take a lunch break, so bring a lunch and drink with you as well.
Instructor: Anna Walker aka @FELTit on Twitter,
CONTACT INSTRUCTOR TO RSVP YOUR CLASS SPOT. Find Potwin Fiber Artisans on Facebook!

Sundays, March 11th & 25th, 2-4pm
Crochet for Beginners Fee: $30 Description: Learn the skills needed to begin a crochet project, including overhand knot, chain, slip stitch, single crochet, and double crochet. We will make a small purse or electronic device cover for a cell phone or MP3 player. (Limited to 8 students.) Materials: Bring 1 US Size H crochet hook, 100 yards worsted weight yarn (1 skein, any fiber), and a pair of small scissors.
Instructor: Susan Hudgens,

Thursday, March 29th, 1-3pm
Demystifying Crochet Gauge Fee: $15 Description: Tame this dreaded dragon and advance your crochet skills in this lively workshop on gauge. If you need help with a project, please bring it. (Limited to 8 students.) Materials: Bring 2 or 3 crochet hooks in different sizes, 100 yards worsted weight yarn (1 skein, any fiber), a pair of small scissors, and a small ruler.
Instructor: Susan Hudgens,

Unfortunately, no knitting classes this month. I will be back next month with another project class. Possibly another beginning knitting class. I am more than willing to take suggestions!

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New In the Shop This Week

I have a couple new sections up in the Tiny Dino Studios etsy shop this week.

Along with feeling the pull toward lace weight myself, I jumped in and bought a bunch of it to sell!

I am listing two skeins in each color way, which is more than enough to make a sweater. My new lace line is called Oviraptor, after the small, but sharp little carnivore. It is 100% superwash merino wool, and you can feel the strength of this seemingly delicate 2-ply when you hold a skein in your hand. There are 875 yards or yarn per 100g skein! At $24 each, that’s one sweater for less than $50, which is less that I usually pay for a ready made one at the store that doesn’t quite fit properly.

Second, I have new worsted weight yarns, or as we call them, Pteranodon yarns, for winter. I have been thinking for awhile that I would like to do larger lots of my worsted weight yarn so projects other than a hat or a pair of gloves would be possible. I would like folks to be able to make sweaters, vests, and really big cushy scarves or shawls if they like.

My first two colorways are in my favorite of my new winter color stories:

5 skeins (1090 yards) of Sugar Plum

4 Skeins (872 yards) of SemiSolid Teal

Pteranodon yarn is available for $16 a skein, which makes it very affordable. Plus, you get the unique character of building a garment out of hand dyed yarn.

Now all I need are patterns to go alone with it all. Which, believe it or not, I am working on.