Thursday, September 30, 2010

Delaware Art Chat On Twitter

The other day I had a brilliant idea!  I do have those occasionally.  When I do, it's usually a day to mark on your calendar because it may be a long dry spell before I have another. This time I was thinking about local venues for my work.  I think it's art, but others may think it's 'art supplies'.  Whatever.  I want local places to show it off; not just online.  After doing some googling, and coming up (almost) dry, I asked on Twitter.  What I really asked was if there was an active Delaware Artists and Crafters community on Twitter. The very quick answer was 'no'.  So . . . to make a long story short, there is now an account for @DEartchat and the search tag for Delaware artists and crafters is #DEartchat.

We will begin having regular chats this Sunday, October 3, from  8 pm to 9 pm local time.  This time will be flexible and, until we get a regular group chatting,  can change or rotate with a different time and day to encourage more participation. I've taken this on my own to get it started, but would be happy to have input and guest hosts.

The topic of the first chat is "When Art and Technology Collide".  If you have questions or discussion starters for this topic, please post them in the comment section here or send a DM to @DEartchat on Twitter. Also more discussion topics for future chats are needed.

There will be a brief period (5-10 min.) at the beginning of the chat period for introductions.  Then questions will be posted every 5-10 min until about 8:50 pm.  At that point, there will be open chat (almost anything goes) and plugs for your site, store, gallery, whatever.  Use the tag #DEartchat with each post so participants can click the search tag and see all posts.

There is also a Flickr Group for DEartchat.  Please join the group and post images of your work that you would like to share with the group.  Post a link on twitter with the tag #DEartchat to let others know there are new images of your work available.

Though the purpose of this Twitter community and Flickr group is to share information about Delaware Arts and Crafts, I don't think anyone will mind the occasional post indicating where your work can be seen and purchased.

Please invite fellow Delaware Artists and Crafters to join us and share what's going on in the Arts and Crafts community. You may link to this blog post or post the link on twitter, facebook, or any other social media source. As we grow in numbers, we will be better known and our work better appreciated.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fiber Arts Friday & A Cozy for Your Coffee

Some people think a coffee cozy is just silly.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Those who use them are generally happy with the result-keep your coffee warmer, longer, while keeping your hands cooler.  At the same time, you can let your mugs with advertising or editorial comments go undercover.  Works for me.

What also works for me is making a coffee cozy while testing a stitch pattern, swatching for a larger project (check your gauge!), or using bits of left over yarn.

How To:
Using size 2 (US) needles (I used two dpns because that's that I had in easy reach), cast on 62 stitches.

Knit 4 rows, working back and forth, (two ridges of garter stitch).

Next row and every row till about 1/2 inch from desired height, Slip the first stitch as to purl, *YO, Slip1 as to Purl, K2Tog.* Repeat from * to * till one stitch remains.  K1.

When within 1/2" to 1/4" of desired height of coffee cozy, work 4 rows of K (two ridges of garter stitch) and bind off.

Leave about 10" to 12" of yarn.  Using a tapestry sewing needle, sew the two top corners together, run the yarn down the side of the piece, and sew the two bottom corners together. Weave in ends of yarn.

This is not a fancy pattern.  You can play with it make your coffee cozy as plain or fancy as possible.  This stitch pattern is one of my favorites because it doesn't use a purl stitch, which are often more painful to my arthritic hands.

If you make coffee cozies (or any other cozies!) please post a link to a photo in the comments section.  I'm looking forward to seeing your work.

And . . . . it's Fiber Arts Friday!  If you have a fiber related (yarn, knitting, crocheting, dyeing, spinning, sewing, quilting, anything fiber arts!) blog post, please post a link to your blog post in the comments section.  And I always appreciate a link back to my post.  Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Do You Know How Difficult It Is To Photograph Socks - While You're Wearing Them?

That's why I don't have good photos of this pair yet.  One day, maybe.  But until then, I'll show you a couple of shots.  The yarn is "Nottingham" from the "If Robin Hood Knit Socks" yarn club.  It's the "Rehoboth" line.  This is suppose to be fingering weight, but it's a little heavier than I'm used to.  It knit up into a nice squishy sock, but just a little on the thick side.  That's ok with me, I just can't wear them with my boots.  The yarn is 100% Merino, 8 ply.  It has very nice stitch definition and was easy to work with.

The pattern is my Bamboo Socks.  The 'bamboo' is the stitch pattern and not the fiber.  If I come up with a really catchy name, I'll change it.  This pattern isn't available to the public yet.  I'm planning to get a pattern page set up so .pdf files can be purchased and downloaded from my website.  But I have so many plans right now, I'm not sure when that one will happen.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday: Just Another Day In The Office

Unless you work from home.  Then Monday opens up a whole different world of opportunities.  What to do today?  What to do first?  Well, that's often determined for you.  What has to be done today?  What has to be done first?  For me that involves a cup of coffee and reclining in bed with my laptop.  After I let the dog out.  Twice.  Because he didn't like the back yard this morning. 

Monday mornings in my 'office' also involve researching market trends, developing marketing strategies, and much more.  Like 'Social Networking'.  Yeah, I love my job.  Mainly because I love my colleagues and customers.  It's not a chore to network with you.  It's a joy and I am truly blessed to be able to share what I love with awesome people who want to to know more.  This blog post is dedicated to all of you-friends, colleagues, customers, and just cool people who like to check in to see what's going on in my little world.

If you have ever owned your own business, you fully understand that "a prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.."(1)  I am fortunate to have a husband who recognizes the value of my work and my business.  But I understand how rare that is.  Often family members fail to see the value of what we do while 'strangers' encourage and support us.  I sometimes have mixed emotions when I look on Facebook and see the 'Likes' for my posts and comments.  They are, more times than not, 'Liked' by people halfway around the world that I've never met and are likely to never meet.  All the while, my many of my 'friends' and family (who I know visit Facebook because of the games they play) seem to never see a link.  I understand life is busy.  But really.  How long does it really take to click a button? 

And it's not just Facebook. On Ravelry, it only takes a moment to click the 'Love' or 'Agree' buttons. (and I wish more sites had those options. I often 'Agree' on Facebook, though I don't always 'Like'. ) On Twitter, just an occasional response to let me know that someone in my list of 1000+ followers are actually reading an occasional tweet is appreciated.

Do you read my blog? Or did you just click to see if there are any photos and then move on? I didn't realize how often I was doing that to other people till I started keeping track of my own blog statistics. Now I try to make an effort more often to at least leave a short comment to let the writer know I did read the post and I appreciate the efforts they are making, whether to promote their business or the industry in general.

I'm going to wind this up because I really do have work to do this morning – besides laundry. I still have a sock to finish and photograph, patterns to write and format, trying to remember how to list the patterns for sale on my website, a serious website update, soap to be made, new patterns that have been spinning around head to be designed, and the rest of the never ending list of tasks. But I do love doing them all.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What Makes You Extraordinary?

I have a theory that everyone is extraordinary in at least one specific way.  There is at least one thing that you can do better than most people you know.  What is it that makes you extraordinary?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

This One Is For Me!

The results of Day 6 of 300 Days of Dyeing:

I over dyed the Day 1 yarn again and I am satisfied.  This is the depth of color that I was seeking.  I don't mean a 'dark' color.  It is many layers, building on one another, achieving an organic character, revealing the life of the yarn that gives it depth.

Though this yarn would show off a lovely lace stitch pattern, I think I'm going to use a simple pattern that will give the layers of color the respect due.