Tag Archives: alpaca

Vogue Knitting Live, Day 1

Yesterday, Vogue Knitting Live 2013 opened in New York.  If you’re in the New York area this weekend, you should stop by!  Here’s a quick wrap up of some of what I’ve seen so far.

Gallery

The gallery exhibits were being set up in the morning, and I had a chance to photograph most of them before it got too crowded.  Here are some of the highlights.  (And speaking of highlights, keep in mind that these photos were taken in dimly lit hotel corridors.)

Colorful Stitches had an awesome array of knit food displayed like a picnic table.  This bowl of cereal with a strawberry was my favorite!

Alyssa Ettinger is a ceramic artist with a studio in my native Brooklyn.  I love the soothing pastels of her work.

Rhonda Fargnoli‘s continuing education students at the Rhode Island School of Design created some beautiful designs with mill ends from Koigu.

I got to meet Anna Hrachovec of Mochimochi Land fame.  I’ve been an admirer of Anna’s work since I first saw it at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in 2011.  We’ll both be at the 9th Annual Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival in March.  (I’m teaching and she’s exhibiting.)

Adrian Kershaw is a crocheter and knitter working with upcycled VHS tapes as yarn.  Because her work is black and the lighting was so dim, the pictures don’t really convey the projects.  They’re pretty cool!

Carol MacDonald is a printmaker who makes prints, cards, and tags using her images from her knitting.

Edwina Sutherland is a fiber artist working primarily with needlefelting.  She shared her secret for successfully transporting her projects for display with me – wrap them in quilt batting.

And last – but certainly not least – was the crochet artist, Jo Hamilton.  I’ve seen her crochet portraits online and was really looking forward to seeing them in real life.  They are much cooler in person because there is much more texture and subtle color variations than a photo can convey.

Interview Teaser

I met with Danielle Chalson from Makewise Designs for a quick interview after lunch.   Until I publish it, I’ll just share this picture of Danielle’s enthusiastic smile.

Send your happy thoughts her way. She'll be working at the String booth at the Marketplace tomorrow!

The Marketplace

Apparently I wasn't the only one trying to get into the Marketplace when it opened.

With over 70 vendors, the Vogue Knitting Marketplace alone could take up many blog posts.  So I’ll just concentrate on the colleagues I visited and my purchases.

Kollabora's booth during set up.

I stopped by Kollabora‘s booth a few times to say hi and to see my samples on display.  Here’s a sneak peak of two of my upcoming crochet designs that they are debuting at Vogue Knitting Live.  (The patterns aren’t available yet.)

It was also cool to see two of my other designs featured in their ad in the program.

The patterns for the Givin’ Me Fever Pom Pom Hat (knit) and the Chevron Shell Cowl (crochet) are available as free downloads.

I also took a picture of their schedule so I can remember to stop by their events. With a program this packed, every reminder helps!

Then I got the chance to meet Shannon Okey (a.k.a. Knitgrrl) in person.  I have a pattern in one of the upcoming Cooperative Press Fresh Designs: Crochet books so we chatted about that briefly.  I somehow forgot to take a picture of Shannon, but here is a picture of the Cooperative Press booth :).I had a chance to check out Dishcloth Diva by Deb Buckingham in person.  It looked just as scrumptious as I thought it would!  (And I love that I can feel glamorous about making dishcloths!)

You may remember from Vogue Knitting Live last year that my first purchase was at the Kinokuniya booth.  Well, ever since I bought this awesome Japanese knitting stitch guide from Knitty City in the fall, I’ve realized that I don’t know nearly as much about knitting stitch symbols as I do about crochet stitch symbols, and I’ve been thinking about buying Clear & Simple Knitting Symbols.

A taste of the crochet selection at the Kinokuniya booth.

And then I saw the North Light Fibers booth.  I was drawn in because their tagline is “Block Island made,” and MC used to vacation in Block Island as a kid.  In addition to great natural fiber yarns, they sell these cozy alpaca socks.

After that, I saw a local vendor, the Long Island Livestock Company.

This chair from the Long Island Livestock Company booth is made from three spinning wheels from the 1930s.

I had a great chat with the owner and her husband, and I was drawn to their natural care products.

So what did I end up buying?

I bought a pair of cozy alpaca socks for MC, a book for me, and some handmade soap and lip butter from a local company.

You’re probably saying, “What?? No yarn??”  You know I’ve been working on stashbusting for the past 13 months.  I’m not sure if I’ll buy yarn at Vogue Knitting Live, but I promised myself that I wouldn’t on the first day.  I wanted the chance to look at everything and sleep on any potential yarn purchases…  Let’s see how I hold up today!

Interview with Karia from Kouture Crochet

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Karia (also known as KoutureCrochet on Ravelry).  As a Brooklyn native, I’m always excited to meet crocheters in my home borough online – somehow, it often seems easier than meeting them in real life!  Karia is organizing an interesting Kickstarter project and also co-owns an Etsy shop.  You can also find Kouture Crochet online on Facebook.


Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first get started crocheting and knitting?
Kouture Crochet (KC): I started crocheting as a teen. My sister was in high school taking an art class where she was learning to crochet. As any self respecting younger sister, I wanted to do what my big sister was doing.  So with the help of my mother, my sister taught me how to crochet. I crocheted all through high school, college and beyond. I learned to knit years later after graduating college. These two art forms quickly become a big part of who I am and how i relax, how I watch tv and why I love audio books.

A unisex black alpaca scarf by Kouture Crochet. (Click photo to link to Etsy shop.)

UC: What inspired you to start selling your creations on Etsy?
KC: I started selling on Etsy because I was going broke making scarves and gifts for friends and family! Selling on Etsy was a way to continue to craft without losing money. I quickly realized I wanted to make this into a career. I’ve been selling on Etsy since March 2011, and I hope to be selling my crafts for a long time to come.

Knit skinny tie made with handdyed yarn by Kouture Crochet.

UC: Tell us about your Handspun Single Sheep Breeds Yarn Kickstarter project and your inspiration for developing it.

KC: For my shop on Etsy and for my personal projects, I used only natural fibers. One thing I found is that the selection of high quality 100% natural yarns is limited and often extremely expensive. I was able to find easy accessible camel and alpaca yarns through some luck and research. Wool yarns was more difficult. It felt like I had one option: merino. I love working with merino but I wanted to try something different.

When I started trying to find wool from other sheep breeds I was completely overwhelmed. There are hundreds of breeds and countless varieties. Purchasing finished yarns from more than one or two breeds was just not in my budget. In the end, I taught myself to spin yarn on a drop spindle in order to be able to try different breeds and varieties. I was lucky enough to be able to make my own yarns and learn to spin on a drop spindle, but most people don’t have the time or patience to learn to make their own yarns. There is a such a need for single breed yarns and it seemed to me like the market was not filling that need.

The best way to know “what is what” is to feel the yarn and work with it. However, there are hundreds of breeds and thousands of varieties. One skein of single breed yarn can be anywhere from $15 – $70. I had been a backer of many Kickstarter projects, and Kickstarter was a perfect format for this kind of idea. The project took months to research and price even though the goal was simple: affordable, an easy to understand way to try different single breed yarns. I have narrowed down the list to just 26 breeds. They vary wildly in softness, crimp, coarseness, strength and even the natural colors the fibers come in. I don’t cut corners in quality, but by offering samples of one ounce mini skeins its possible to offer many breeds for an affordable price.

Few, if any, local yarn shops will have more than 5 breeds of yarn to try, let alone 26! As a lover of natural fibers, it is great to be able to feel and sample a yarn in your hand. My hope is there are just a few people like me who wanted to try these fibers and yarns. Crafters who love natural yarns will be able to do so at a very reasonable price. I also hope that people who think wool is that “itchy, expensive stuff” will also give it a try.  (UC comment: This is really a great project!  If you’d like to contribute, check out Kouture Crochet’s Kickstarter page here.)

Handdyed merino yarn by Kouture Crochet.

UC: Do you have any crafty websites or blogs you frequent for inspiration or community that you would like to share?

KC: I’m new to Ravelry, but I love having such a large and active community of crafters.

 

Thanks so much for stopping by for an interview, Karia!

Hispanic Heritage Month 2012 Interview Series: Maru Minetto from Marumin Crochet

This post is part of my 2012 Hispanic Heritage Month interview series.

Today is the last interview in my Hispanic Heritage Month 2012 series.  (For those who don’t know, Hispanic Heritage Month starts on September 15 and ends on October 15.)  I’m happy to interview Maru Minetto, the Peruvian blogger and crochet designer behind Marumin Crochet.  Maru can also be found on Ravelry as marumin and on her designer page.

Maru Minetto.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you learn to crochet?

Maru: My grandma did the most beautiful crochet work.  She taught me the basics as a teenager, but I wasn’t any good at it.  I had difficulty holding the crochet correctly and ended up  very frustrated with my uneven results.  I tried it again several years later, before the birth of my son… I bought a few magazines and started crocheting with much better results, so I started to crochet for gifts and charities.

UC: You seem to enjoy making projects for babies and children.  What is it about these types of projects that you love?

Maru: I went back to crocheting because I wanted my children to have crocheted items like the ones my grandma used to make for us, (not that I could really do more than bibs and blankets), but that was what drew me back to crocheting.  Caps, booties and sweaters soon followed. Baby projects are finished up fast, and don’t take up a lot of material.  Babies and children are a great inspiration and they can wear anything from vintage classic to colorful  modern edge items and always look cute. Even when my kids are all grown up now, there’s always need for baby items for gift giving and especially to be donated to hospitals and children in need and I find it very rewarding to be able to give something done with my own hands.

Maru Minetto’s White Baby Bolero pattern.

UC: What inspired you to start designing?

Maru: I think basically the need to experiment, create and have fun.  I started by following patterns written by other designers (and I still do crochet items by other designers), but sometimes I have a specific idea and no pattern to follow, so I simply start crocheting and creating a pattern of my own.

UC: Tell us about the crochet scene in Peru.

Maru: As you may know, Perú is well known for its fine Alpaca wool and the excellent craftmanship of our native people.  (UC comment: This is definitely true.  I work with Galler Yarns, and they import several luscious Peruvian alpaca yarns!)  In native communities they learn to spin, knit and/or crochet as children. Several years ago it was also common for schools to teach the basics of knitting and crochet. There is no rivalry between knitting and crochet that I know of, but knitting is more widely spread as it is almost always related to clothing items as opposed to crochet that is viewed more as a decorative labor (tablecloths, doilies, dishcloths, afghans, etc). Also, people seem to find it easier to knit than to crochet and it is way easier to find information and patterns  related to knitting than to crochet.

Maru Minetto’s My Lavender Sachet pattern.

UC: Your blog is bilingual.  Tell us about your decision to blog in both English and Spanish.  What do you see as the benefits and the challenges of writing a bilingual blog?

Maru: I decided upon a bilingual blog as a means to reach more people, and make it easier for my followers.  I find that built in translators do not do a good job and the “translations” are almost always “confusing” to say the least.  Crochet has its very own “language” and common dictionaries/translators do not have the correct equivalents for crocheting terms. Blogging in two languages just takes up a little more time.

Maru Minetto’s Cute Baby Sweater pattern.

UC: Do you have any favorite Spanish or English crochet blogs or websites to share? Maru: There are several blogs I follow.  There are lots and lots of creative and caring people in the crochet community who love to share their knowledge of crochet.

But my all time favorite crochet blogs  are in Portuguese:

Thanks so much for stopping by Maru, and sharing your thoughts and links with us!

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.

Crocheted Softies Blog Tour, Day 6

This post contains affiliate links.

I’m stoked to be part of Stacey Trock’s blog tour for Crocheted Softies: 18 Adorable Animals from around the World today.  I am interviewing Stacey, reviewing her new book, and hosting a giveaway for a signed copy of the book, courtesy of Martingale & Company, so read on for more details!

The Interview

Stacey Trock is the mind behind FreshStitches, and is known for her crocheted, amigurumi animal designs, which are available for download on her website, on her Ravelry designer page, and in her Etsy shop.  (Stacey also sells her finished critters in her Etsy shop, in case you don’t crochet, as well as kits for her most popular patterns.)  You can also find Stacey online on Facebook and Twitter.  The pictures of Stacey’s work are used with her permission.

Stacey with one of her creations.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first get started crocheting?

Stacey: I started crocheting when I was a little girl… my mom taught me.  I don’t really remember learning, but I remember there was a time when I could only crochet a chain… and I spend a fair amount of time making a VERY long chain!

 

Wally the Koi Fish.

UC: What was your original inspiration to start making amigurumi, and what led you to start designing your own amigurumi patterns?

Stacey: I call it my ‘quarter life crisis’… I finished school and knew I didn’t want to work in an office. I though to myself, ‘what would I do if I could do ANYTHING?’… and I knew that I loved crocheting! I’ve also always loved stuffed animals (and had previously sewn a few of them), so it seemed like the natural thing to do.  I put all of my energy towards designing a collection of amigurumi and getting a website up and running, and I’ve never looked back!  (UC comment: I had a quarter-life crisis, too, but I didn’t do anything as cool as Stacey during mine!)

 

Kieran the Beaver.

UC: I love that many (most?) of your designs are larger than the typical wee Lilliputian scale of amigurumi patterns and are more “kid friendly.”  Can you tell me more about that?

Stacey: I think the size of my amigurumi reflects my love of stuffed animals.  I think they’re so cute and cuddly… and it doesn’t make much difference to me whether I crochet, sew, or knit them.  I happen to think crocheting makes the nicest fabric for stuffed animals (as compared to knitting), but my love is the animal itself.  So, it seemed pretty natural for me to focus on the larger size animals.  Most of my stuffed animals are about 8″ tall when completed… and of course, they could be made larger or smaller by using thicker or thinner yarn.

I do realize, though, that lots of folks love making the smaller amigurumi, and I’ve recently released a line of tiny amigurumi.  It’s important for me to design animals that people love… so if there’s lots of people who love the smaller animals, I want to do that, too!  My true love is still the big guys, though :)

 

Ro the Tiny Monster is one of Stacey’s tiny amigurumi patterns.

UC: Where do you generally find your creative inspiration?

Stacey: I’m like a sponge… I suck inspiration up from all over! I look at lots of drawings and cartoons (and Clip Art)… I love seeing how other artists conceptualize animals and break them down into basic shapes and components.  I also love all things cute: Japanese stationary, children’s toys, jewelry with animals on it… you name it, I’m inspired!

Oddly enough, I’m not terrifically inspired by actual animals.  (That sounds really lame when I say it aloud!) I’m an animal-lover, but I don’t draw inspiration for my stuffed animal designs from the actual animals themselves :).

 

Slithers the Snake, from Crocheted Softies, which can double as a scarf.

UC: Most people associate amigurumi and crocheted toys with acrylic yarn, but in Crocheted Softies, you’ve managed to create an entire book of patterns using eco-friendly yarns.  Tell me about your decision to do this.  What was your design and yarn selection process for this book?

Stacey: I’m really passionate about using quality yarn.  And, by quality yarn, I don’t mean ‘yarn sold in a fancy yarn store over big box stores.’  I’ve found scratchy, icky yarn in LYSs (local yarn stores), and some quite pleasant yarns sold by the major yarn manufacturers. What I mean is yarn that is pleasant to work with and that will help you make a quality product that you can be proud of.

For me, crocheting is a tactile process: the yarn runs through your fingers as you hold it… and when you make a stuffed animal, you’re making something that will probably be snuggled up against your child’s face. Why would you want to use a yarn that you’re not totally in love with?

I’ve always used high-quality yarn in my designs, but I thought that writing this book was the perfect opportunity to spread the word about fantastic Earth-friendly yarns… because you’re right, most people pick up a skein of acrylic yarn to make amigurumi.  For me, Earth-friendliness is about being aware of where your yarn comes from and it’s environmental impact.  I know that not everyone will pick up a skein of organic cotton to make your next animal. But, it’s important to me that people realize that when they’re crocheting, they’re creating a lovely little piece of artwork… and maybe they’ll think about using materials that are worthy of the love and energy they pour into the piece.

About my design process… for a couple of animals, I picked pairings that seemed perfect and hilarious: there’s a panda made from bamboo, an alpaca from alpaca and a kiwi from a New Zealand yarn.  For the remainder of the animals, I searched around for yarns that had the texture that would be right for the animals, and came in a colorway that would work.  There’s so many lovely yarns to choose from!

 

Shewwin the Alpaca, from Crocheted Softies, made in yummy, undyed Cascade Eco Alpaca.

UC: Does your background working in a yarn shop (Knit New Haven) influence your design process?  If so, how?

Stacey: It doesn’t directly influence my designs, but working in a yarn store influences me tremendously in my yarn-life.  I’m lucky enough to see all of the yarns that are coming into the shop on a regular basis, and hear customers’ reactions to them.  I also benefit tremendously from helping customers with their knitting/crocheting problems… I think I’ve gotten a really good sense of what people find difficult/easy about crocheting and pattern-reading.  Since I learned to crochet when I was so young, I don’t remember learning… so hearing the experiences of others who are learning helps me design patterns in a way that’s accessible for the largest number of crocheters.

Courtney the Owl in an Egg can hatch right before your eyes.

UC: Do you have any favorite craft/crochet/creativity blogs or websites to share?

Stacey: Oh my gosh… there’s too many!
I think Delicious Crochet, MochiMochi Land, and MyGurumi are some of the most clever animal designers on the block! I love seeing what new designs they come up with and I just think they’re some genius ladies!

As for blogs, I’ll share a few that are on my reader (which are only a couple from the oodles of amazing inspirational folks out there!):

And, I always happen across lots of inspiring things on Ravelry, Pinterest, Craftsy and Twitter.  So much great stuff going on!

Kai the Kiwi, from Crocheted Softies, in a merino/possum (!) blend.

UC: What are your favorite crochet books in your collection (besides your own, of course)?

Stacey: Oooh… that’s a very tricky question because I’m actually quite a minimalist about owning books :). I just bought Craft Activism, which is a totally awesome book about how people use all sorts of different crafts (including crochet) as forms of activism. And, I’m in love with Vanna’s Afghans A to Z for sentimental reasons… it was my first crochet book, and I’ve made a number of afghans from it! (UC comment: I once had a well loved copy of Vanna’s Favorite Gift Afghans, but I sold it online to pay some overdue bills during my quarter-life crisis!)

My other favorite books are knitting ones… I’m too multi-crafting to stick to just crochet books!

Lala the Panda, from Crocheted Softies, made with a bamboo/merino wool blend.

UC: What’s next for you?

Stacey: Oooh… I don’t know! I’m absolutely in love with what I do, so I’m totally going to stick with it… and I’m contemplating about how I’d like to branch out.

This January, I’m going to be teaching a couple of online amigurumi classes for Craftsy, which I’m super-excited about. I’m also going to be adding more tiny amigurumi designs to my site over the next year (and, of course, lots of new big ones!), as well as expanding the number of patterns I offer as kits… they’ve been popular!

I sometimes think about designing knitted animals… but I’ll have to see if that’s in the cards! I’m excited to see where FreshStitches will be this time next year :).

Thanks, Stacey, for stopping by for an interview today, and for signing the giveaway copy!

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for more chances to win a copy of Crocheted Softies!

Book Review


I confess that I was really looking forward to receiving my review copy of Crocheted Softies from Martingale & Company for several weeks before it arrived.  I really like the look of Stacey’s work, and especially enjoy the larger sizes of most of her amigurumi patterns.  I grew up receiving awesome crocheted bears from my grandmother, years before I ever heard the term amigurumi.  These bears were some of my favorite playthings as a kid, and I love how Stacey merges the coziness of an old fashioned teddy bear with a contemporary look.  I was also really intrigued by the the book’s concept of making amigurumi with earth-friendly yarns.  In my mind, amigurumi has always been associated with acrylic yarn, but in the past year, I’ve been looking at my yarn stash and trying to replace my petroleum based yarns with natural fibers.

I’m going to come right out and say that I love this book, and definitely will recommend it far and wide.  The book starts with several concise but detailed sections: Getting Started, Crochet Stitches, and Additional Techniques.  Stacey’s writing style is really conversational, and she gives some wonderful tips on substituting yarns, informal gauge, assembly and stuffing, and caring for your softies.  She also provides patterns for “basic animal shapes” which are used throughout the book.  Once you are familiar with the basic head, for example, you can use it to make many of the softies.

The book then introduces 18 softies, sorted by region.  Most of the critters are made with one skein of yarn in the main color and then smaller bits of other colors.  Stacey uses safety eyes throughout the book, but provides you with a quick technique for making crocheted eyes so you can easily substitute if your softie is for a baby or toddler (or you just plain don’t like safety eyes).  She uses an interesting range of fibers and her premise is that if you are using only one skein, you can try out some yarns you may not be as familiar with, like soy, corn, or recycled silk, without much of an investment.  All of the projects are super cute and would make great gifts, but I do have a few favorites: Stretch the Giraffe, Lala the Panda, Salty the Crocodile, Milton the Slowpoke Snail, Mr. Crabby, and Sherwin the Alpaca.

I think the book is great for a crochet newbie because it explains things like yarn substitution in a really friendly way, but it’s also wonderful for a more advanced crocheter because it encourages you to move outside of your comfort zone by trying new yarns and experimenting with pattern modifications.  (At the same time, you could make these patterns with your standard favorite yarns also.)  Like all Martingale & Company books, it has a really clean and eye pleasing layout.

Just so I don’t sound like a groupie, I’ll balance my review a bit. Crocheted Softies doesn’t pretend to teach you everything you need to know in order to crochet, though it does have written explanations and illustrations of the basic stitches.  Therefore, it will probably be too challenging for someone who has never crocheted before.  It doesn’t include international stitch symbols, which is ok by me since the patterns are really straightforward, but I know some people prefer to have both abbreviations and stitch symbols. (The book uses U.S. crochet abbreviations, by the way.)   The book obviously doesn’t include a range of project types, and only focuses on softies (though there is a variety of shapes and animal/space creature types).

If I wasn’t buried under a mountain of holiday crafting and design deadlines, I would absolutely be making MC his very own Mr. Crabby right now (not because he’s cranky, but because he’s a Cancer).  I think it will be on my Valentine’s Day gift list instead.

I give the book 5 out of 5 stars as a fun project book that shares some helpful techniques and skills for making amigurumi.

Full disclosure: Two free review copies of this book were provided by the publisher. Although I accept free books for review, I do not accept additional compensation from the publisher, nor do I guarantee a positive review.  My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions. This also post contains affiliate links. You can read my affiliate and review disclosures here.

Giveaway

I’m so excited that Martingale & Company provided two copies of the book, so I actually get to keep mine while still offering a giveaway to my readers!  This giveaway is open to international readers.

 

Interview with Candice Miller from All Things Fiber Camp

Today I’m interviewing Candice Miller, who, along with Scott Miller, is the co-owner of All Things Fiber Camp.

All Things Fiber Camp is an all-inclusive fiber vacation.  The spring camp is scheduled for May 13 – 18, 2012 at Ramapo for Children in Rhinebeck, NY.   I’ll be one of the instructors and I hope to meet some of you there!

Candice and Scott are also co-owners of Creekside Acres Fiber Farm.  They have been involved in the fiber industry since 2006 when they purchased their first alpacas.  Since then they have expanded with a llama and a small herd of pygora goats.  Candice is a novice fiber artist and an avid fiber and farming enthusiast.  Candice and Scott’s family consists of three children, four dogs, two cats, a lizard, and a few happy goldfish.

Scott and Candice Miller.  (Fellow Star Wars fans, I see.)

Underground Crafter (UC): What inspired you to start All Things Fiber Camp?

Candice: Our pygora goats actually!  I know it sounds crazy but our fiber animals really inspired All Things Fiber Camp!  We have a small fiber herd of pygora goats, a few alpacas, and a llama.  We love the fiber animals, along with the fiber industry, and wanted to grow with it, so we spent a long time brainstorming.  We live on a small farm and we didn’t really want to grow our herd to a commercial size because we really enjoy having a close relationship with each animal.  We know each of them well since we spend time socializing and handling them.  We really enjoy them as part of our family. I am also a very novice fiber artist and really enjoy learning as much as I can about the different arts.

Since my family LOVES traveling and vacationing, we thought it would be really fun to enjoy the fiber arts, learn, and keep our fiber herd small by putting together a really fun, laid back event like All Things Fiber Camp!

Wicket, one of the pygora goats, with Scott.

UC: What are some of the other activities taking place at the camp besides fiber related classes?

Candice: Well, first there are SO MANY fiber arts classes being offered that people won’t be able to get to all of them in just one camp.  We wanted to have a variety of fiber arts classes but felt that there needed to be other fiber-related activities to break things up a bit.  With that in mind, we have scheduled times for Llama Treks and guided hikes, assisted boating, folk dancing, yoga, and tai chi. There will also be a small herd of fiber animals for campers to get up close and personal with.  Campers can feed, pet, or just hang out with the fiber animals any time they want.  There will also be light evening activities, fiber-related demonstrations, and even a marketplace day for campers to shop.  There is something for everyone from 7:30am to 9:00pm!

Don’t you want to hang out with this cutie?

UC: What are your personal favorite fiber crafts?  How did you get started with these crafts?

Candice: This is always the hardest question for any fiber artist!  I think my heart is really in spinning.  Mostly because I love the idea of processing a fleece from one of my own animals to a finished product! It has some kind of special meaning once it is completed.  And, I have so much of my own fleece – I feel obligated to use it!  I am a very novice knitter and have tried some felting but really my favorite is spinning my fleeces into yarn.  I have enjoyed all of it and I am willing and eager to learn more!  (UC comment: If you’re a spinner, check out the Community Supported Agriculture shares from Creekside Acres.  The shares are available as raw fiber, roving, or yarn.  Or learn to spin at All Things Fiber Camp!)

 

Heather Love will be teaching spinning on a wheel.

 

UC: You’ve had the opportunity to visit many fiber festivals and shows to promote All Things Fiber Camp.  Tell us about some of your favorite fiber festival experiences.

Candice: We have visited a lot of festivals and we love all of them!  They all have so many great things to offer.  We are partial to the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival because we have been exhibiting our animals their since we started with fiber animals.  At the NYS Sheep and Wool we love the Llama Parades and Leaping Llama Contest.  Of course, we participate in those activities, but I think even the Festival goers love them.

We love the diversity of all the shows we have attended and the great people we meet while we are there.  We have been all over, from Michigan to North Carolina and back up to Massachusetts, visiting festivals.

Elizabeth Buchtman will be teaching wet felting at All Things Fiber Camp.

UC: Tell us a little about the buddy specials for people who register before the end of the year. Do you offer gift certificates or is there another way of paying for gift registrations?

Candice: Right now, we have some really great specials running!  The  Buddy Special gives you a discount based on the idea that the more people you sign up with, the cheaper your camp fee is!  If you sign up with one person, you will receive 25% off, sign up with 5 people you will get 50% off, and if you sign up with a group of 10 you will get 100% off your tuition – FREE!!

We are also running a Holiday Special that began on 12/1/11.  The Holiday Countdown Special started on 12/1/11 with 25% off.  As the days get closer to Christmas, the percentage will go down 1% per day.  Both the Holiday Countdown Special and The Early Bird Special will expire this month!

We do offer Gift Certificates and can make them in any amount.  People can pay for all or part of a camp tuition for their loved one.  The first 15 Gift Certificates will also be accompanied with a special gift from Creekside Acres Fiber Farm!

UC: Is there a way for people to keep up to date on what is going on leading up to All Things Fiber Camp?

Candice: Yes!  We are on Facebook and Ravelry and we have a website and an email group at Google Groups!  People can friend us on Facebook by friending AllThings Fiber.  We also have a weekly blog and email featuring some part of camp.

Thanks so much for stopping by to talk about All Things Fiber Camp, Candice!