Crafting into 2012

Working alongside so many clever crafters, it is easy to branch out of my comfort zone and try my hand at new projects and crafts. In addition to those who knit and crochet, there are also spinners, weavers, and dyers here at the KP office – a wealth of knowledge and inspiration! Over the past year, I have crocheted a few amigurumi toys and learned how to weave on a rigid heddle loom. Not only is it so much fun to explore new ways to indulge my fiber love, but it is also welcomed reality check. It was strange and exciting to be back into that unknown territory where I couldn’t read my stitches and I wasn’t sure if my hands were moving correctly to warp the loom. It was fun to have a project where I could embrace the experience and learning process rather than focus on the finished object.

In the spirit of a new year and new projects, I am beginning to plan my list of new things to try out in 2012. First things first – I am starting to realize I have a growing collection of fiber. I have a drop spindle that I play around with from time to time, but I think learning to spin would be a much more effective use of my time and fiber!

                      Wool of the Andes and Hanks in the Hood roving

A while back, I took a drive through the Mt. Hood area, a little ways outside of Portland, Oregon. I ended up stopping at an alpaca farm where I could not resist buying two big bags of raw alpaca fleece! What was I planning to do with raw fleece? I am not really sure, especially since I didn’t even own a drop spindle at the time.

                From my visit to the alpaca farm, what a great haircut!

Finally, a few months back I dropped off my raw alpaca fleece at Andersen Fiber Works in Gresham, Oregon. I now have nice, clean, and processed fiber that I can use. Another motivating factor for me to learn a bit of spinning in the new year.

I also would love to start doing more with crochet. Like I mentioned earlier, I know the basics and I can make toys. I find that I am comfortable with crochet hooks and the physical process of crochet, but my roadblock stems more from my confusion about terminology and stitches. This can be particularly hard when I go to start a crochet pattern and I am stumped before I even start. Both Stacey and Jenny C. have been crocheting lately and showing off their awesome projects. So, I am also looking forward to expanding my crochet skills and my hope is to complete a crochet blanket.

Another thing I am seriously coveting are the new Silk Hankies from Hanks in the Hood. I love how the saturated colors just seem even more vibrant on the layers of silk. The best part? You don’t need to know how to spin to use these lovely silk hankies, also known as mawata. You simply draft each layer however thick or thin you want it to be, and then you are ready to knit or crochet with it. I’ve seen lots of chatter about making mittens from silk hankies and that is high priority on my crafting to-do list.

                       One lovely layer of Hanks in the Hood Silk Hankies

And I just remembered one more thing! I know I have talked about this before, but I absolutely will make the
Sheer Beauty jacket out of the book Knit, Swirl by Sandra McIver this year. (By the way, our book sale is currently going on!) I love the flow of this jacket and am
so intrigued at the construction of the swirl jackets in this book.
Again, this year is all about getting out of my comfort zone and jumping
into to new and challenging projects!

Phew, I think that is it for me! What are some of your crafting goals for 2012?