Monthly Archives: February 2009

Learn to Crochet Cuteness

Amigurumi, if you are not familiar with the term, are cute little crocheted animals.  I am teaching a class over at the Naked Sheep Knitshop in North Portland. Tuesdays ( March 10, 17, and 24) 6:30-8:30pm

During this three session class you will learn how to make an amigurumi critter from start to finish. The course fee is $55.00

Session 1-2:

The necessary crochet stitches.

  • How to read a crochet pattern for amigurumi.
  • How to choose the correct thread and materials.
  • The basics of amigurumi crochet construction.

Session 3:

  • Construction or putting your animal together.
  • How to design your own animals and creatures (I’m including a cool, reproducible worksheet that you can use to design your own special little critters)

There is a five dollar fee that covers the worksheets, patterns, construction supplies, and some of the decorations and notions you can use to decorate your animals. If you are a beginning crocheter that’s okay too.Don’t feel shy. I can start you off with some basic crochet stitches. This should be a super fun class and a great way to get started learning crochet.

You can sign up for the course via phone (503-283-2004) or in person at the Naked Sheep. For more information and contact info check out their site. They are located at: 2142 North Killingsworth Portland, OR 97217 For their current class schedule: http://www.thenakedsheepknitshop.com/class_sched.htm

Thanks a million, Natalie.

PS: I forgot to mention that if you register for this class or any class at the Naked Sheep you get a 10% discount on materials/yarn 1 week before and during the class. Also, this is a wonderful place to just learn crochet or knitting and hang out with people who love the craft.

Fanty & Monkey - just two of the critters you could make. The possibilities are endless

Fanty & Monkey - just two of the critters you could make. The possibilities are endless

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Holy Sock Holes, Batman!!!!!… It’s the Sock Summit 2009

Sock Summit 2009

I about peed my pants when I saw the speaker/guest list for  the 2009 Sock Summit. I feel so fortunate to live here in Portland, proud in fact that we’re hosting this event. Last night at knit night we were discussing how many yarn stores there were in PDX: Twenty four-last count. Eileen mentioned that we had the highest number of yarn stores per capita and the only other city that could compare was Minneapolis St. Paul. Someone else mentioned that folks who want to study and prep for opening a yarn shop often come to Portland to “do their homework.”

I attended a conference here in downtown Portland earlier this week and met one very excited knitter who was just dyeing (ooops….) dying to get into her rental car and start her yarn crawl. I sent her a Google map of all the yarn stores I could think of. Too bad, I didn’t know about Judy Becker’s Google Map.. And what’s the best thing about purchasing at Portland Yarn Stores? Shopping is  TAX FREE!    Needless to say, I think she and her friends have probably dropped a pretty coin into our local economy.

It’s funny but as we were talking I pulled out my crochet project to share, and I think a colleague of hers walked up to us as we were yammering about yarn and such, I think he was confused by the fact that I pulled out a piece of craft to share at a e-learning tech conference. Ah, the befuddlement of those who don’t ‘get’ our craft.

I’ve often thought that Portland and Oregon as a whole should sponsor some sort of “Craft Tourism.” I believe that Portlanders truly have that DIY spirit. I know so many people in this town who are devoted to their craft. I’ve met many people who tinker and are involved with producing their own products. They’re just not satisfied with the consumer fodder that’s put out before them.  The love to customize, adapt, re-mix and re-work anything from sweater patterns to beer. Even though we have one of the fastest growing unemployement rates in the country, I have faith that many of the people of this town are resourceful and innovative enough to reinvent their purpose and livelihoods.

My Crocheted Koigu Scarf

My Crocheted Koigu Scarf

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Meet my sentimental frog

Slouchy bit of frog

Slouchy bit of frog

I’ve been having issues with my camera fuzzing up. User error obviously. I actually was able to whip up “Frog” in about an evening. I took some time the next day during lunch to construct him, and I added the scarf later. He’s got sort of a soulful and sentimental air about him. As he sits on my desk next to my key board his eyes direct themselves toward the ceiling as if to ask “why?” If I was eight years old, he’d be my best friend and quite a listener.

I used Glaciar del Cielo for the body and parts.  I really enjoy using this yarn as it doesn’t feel as harsh or rough as other cotton yarns. Strange but I prefer to make my creatures out of cotton vs. acryllic or even wool yarns because of the way they feel to the touch. The scarf was knit from some unidentifiable scrap of acrylic blend yarn, probably Encore.

I tried to make this toy fairly kid-friendly: no wire construction, no buttons or beads. Just stuffing and embroidered features.

I’m actually drafting a pattern of this little guy right now, and I”ll probably make it available for free on Ravelry.com.

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See I told you Knitting was good for you!

Knitting is good for you

Knitting is good for you

Now if I can only get it to help me remember where my keys are….

Though I scrolled to the bottom and read:

“However, more research, where people are followed up over time, is needed to understand whether these sorts of activities can reduce the risk of dementia.”

All I have to say in response to this is: “As long as you swatch your cables and Fair Isle patterns before your start your project.”

Read the article here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7896441.stm?lss

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Save me from the Trader Joe’s Parking Lot

I would gladly pay for delivery service from Trader Joes just to avoid venturing into the gladiator ring that is their parking lot.  I HATE IT THERE! Despite their success, Trader Joes continues to build it stores in places where the parking sucks.  I think the only exceptions are where they open stores in abandoned grocery storefronts.  Last year I met with a content expert regularly at the Hollywood Trader Joes at the Panera coffee shop (because of the wireless access). This may sound a bit wimpy but I’d often find a parking space on the street because I want to avoid the incredibly hostile  drivers in the parking lot. There must be something about getting discounted gourmet foods that makes people into aggressive jack-asses.

Just thinking about going there this morning is messing with my Chi. I think I may either show up there a little early or figure out equally economical solutions to my needed grocery store items.

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