Half Day

It was hard getting up this morning - I am soooo not a morning person - but the Tunisian beading class with Darla Fanton was definitely worth it.

We worked with tiny beads (6/0), thread and a smallish crochet hook - thank goodness for the table-top magnifier I bought yesterday. No way I could have done this workshop without it.

Great class, very relaxing with everyone working at their own speed and the beads all pre-strung by Darla.

I'm going to miss Yarn Fest - where else can you find backstrap weavers hanging out in the hotel lobby?? - but I'm really (really, really) looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow.
As soon as I got out of class, we headed for Denver and the Mythical Creatures exhibit at the natural history museum. I think most of Denver had the same idea - the entry line was looooooong . . . until smarty Rachel remembered the self-service kiosks in the lobby. Bye bye, standing in line!

The exhibit was really interesting. Addy was excited to see unicorns but not so much the dragons and krakens.
Tomorrow is a free day and Tuesday we fly home. Addy is advocating for a visit to the Ft Collins children's museum and finishing up her embroidery.

I think we can arrange that.


Crochet Immersion

I'm sad there's only one day - and one class - left of Yarn Fest 2015. I've thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with my fellow yarnies, especially the crochet branch. And I really lucked out on the teachers - they've all been fantastic.

First class of the day was with Robyn Chachula, learning how to combine lace and cables. So many ideas!

The green sweater is from her Blueprint Sweater book and has moved to the top of my must-make list. The cables accent the lace but also keep the sweater from "growing", aka stretching out of shape. Brilliant.

Class #2 was Bruges lace with Mary Beth Temple, another well-known artist, author and teacher. What a great session!
This was the session I was most looking forward too, and neither the topic nor the instructor disappointed.
Bruges crochet is just beginning to be popular and there aren't a lot of published patterns yet. Getting started is easy - double crochets and chains - but the possibilities and variations are endless. I'm planning to pull out my bobbin lace books and do a bit of design research. Being bi-craftal has some great benefits!
Addy and Rachel met me after class for one last trip through the marketplace (Rach and I also hit the quilting Shop Hop at lunchtime. . . .)

We made a quick stop for a table-top magnifier (for tomorrow's beading class) and some embroidery supplies, then home for the evening so I could give Addy her first lesson in embroidery.
Didn't she do great?? Just look at that concentration!
It's looking more and more like Addison got a full dose of the crafting gene. Makes a grandma so happy.


Yarn Fest 2015

We made it to Loveland just in time for the snow (yesterday) and rain (today).

Thursday's class with Robyn Chachula was wonderful. In three, much too short, hours she covered a variety of unusual stitches that I've been wanting to try.
Solomon's knots? Check.
X and Y stitches? Check. Broomstick? Check.
Bruges lace? Check and double check for the very cool shell variation she showed us.

While I was taking my class and visiting the (very dangerous for my credit card) marketplace - the three booths in this corner alone sold angora, bison and paco-vicuña; soooo hard to resist -
Rachel was taking a beginning spinning class with expert teacher Maggie Casey.

I love having a new spinner in the family.
Today's classes for me were on Tunisian crochet -
including design elements for Tunisian arans,

with popcorns, arrows and cables -
and entrelac in the round,

which Addy decided should be a hat rather than a to-be-felted bowl. Silly girl.
I learned a lot in today's classes but I was disappointed in the instructor's teaching style. She handed us a booklet with instructions, gave a brief overview and then said 'go to it'. She'd answer any questions you had, but there was no "teaching", as in how to do the stitches or work the pattern. I was ok, since I've done Tunisian before, but some in the class were new to the craft and they were totally lost.
On a more positive note, I've spotted some great crochet in the wild -
and gotten ideas for both projects

and future classes. My head is buzzing with ideas and possibilities.
Three classes down, with three more to go. Crossing fingers for good instructors and fun projects.


Granny Charms

Saturday was spent at French General, learning to make bracelet charms with instructor Robin Howes.
There are few things more satisfying than spending time with good friends, pretty things, and some really big hammers. 
We learned to solder (scary stuff), drill holes, punch, wire wrap, beat metal into submission and more. I'll admit that I had to be talked into taking this class, but it turned out to be a lot of fun.
The vintage bingo tokens became my inspiration. I dug through the box until I found 13, 18 and 21 - the little girls' birthdays. 
Leanne's name was too long to stamp, so I just used her initials.

Then it was just a matter of adding things that had meaning for me - their names stamped in metal, buttons and bells and bits of tape measure;  
sparkly rhinestones and pennies for luck. As you can imagine, everyone's project came out very differently.
I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out - even after I almost set fire to the bingo chips with the soldering iron. And I think the little girls will have fun playing with it, finding things that have meaning for them too.



Pillowcase Palooza

It took a little longer than expected - doesn't everything?? - but all 12 pillowcases are finished, French seams and all.
Leanne "helped" me cut the fabric almost a month ago and I rashly predicted I'd have them completed in a day or two. Yeah, right.
I've always worked best to a deadline, and since we're leaving Wednesday for Yarn Fest 2015* (and visiting Addy!! Soooo nice of Interweave to schedule the festival in Addy's hometown), it was time to git 'er done.
Last night, I made pillowcase burritos**, then turned and trimmed the edges. Today, I cranked up some tunes, heated up the iron, and production-lined 12 sets of French seams.
The green Celtic pillowcases are for the adults - two for each family (I'm sure the gents will be thrilled, but I hope the ladies like them.) Olaf goes to Addy, the purple trimmed My Little Pony is for Leia, and the other two - pink Pony and Mickey - will live at Leanne's house.
And now it's time to go do laundry so I can pack . . . .

** I used the "Roll It Up" pattern found here - it's super easy. A direct link to the pdf version of the pattern is here

*I'm super excited about my classes - it's hard to find crochet and Tunisian classes in my area. I'm taking:

  • Unexpected Lace Crochet, plus Crochet Cables and Lace with Robyn Chachula; 
  • Beautiful Bruges Crochet Lace with Mary Beth Temple;
  • and 3 Tunisian classes with Darla Fanton - Designing Tunisian Arans; Tunisian Entrelac In the Round; and Tunisian Cuff Bracelet (beaded!)



Made these cuties for a class I'm teaching at Eweniversity.
My goal was to use different bobble stitches as the fleece.
I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.
I know I'm not supposed to have favorites, 
but I love this little guy. 



Eggceptional Day

Saturday was eggtastic! We started with an egg hunt at Leanne's mommy's work - 
then headed north for a dyeing eggstravaganza with the Ojai branch.
Mary outdid herself with lunch - handmade chicken and dumplings - and the different dyes, 
stickers, gel paints,
and pens she had ready 

for the girls to eggsplore.
Then we were off to a community egg hunt 
that required waiting . . .  
and patience . . . 
and more waiting . . . 
and a tad more patience . . . . 
then . . . finally . . .  when we were just about to give up . . .
egg stampede!
By then it was almost 5 and Leanne was D.O.N.E. Not even the promise of ice cream could salvage this one.
Still you have to admit; she's an eggceptional cutie, even during meltdown.