Textiles and technology: Aloha Knitters at HNL MakerFaire

The Aloha Knitters (and Crocheters and Spinners) have been meeting up and hanging out all over O'ahu for several years now, and has been gaining more local recognition along the way. Yesterday on Bytemarks Cafe (a program on Hawaii Public Radio), the hosts spoke to Alan Solidum and Ross Mukai, who helped organize the first Mini MakerFaire in Honolulu. Aloha Knitters was there, giving free knit and crochet lessons, and when Alan and Russ weren't sure how the knitters had found them, I called in and talked up the overlaps between textiles and technology. A recording of the program is now available online as a podcast. 

Episode 291: Mini MakerFaire Honolulu

Super Doodling (Line Drawing with Lisa Congdon)

Line Drawing with Lisa Congdon is a Creativebug online class that I signed up for after seeing Kim Werker and other yarnies posting doodles and line drawings in their social media feeds. Although the website shows this session closing on March 25th, the class (with archived video chat sessions) will continue to be available. The current monthly subscription of $9.95 gives you access to hundreds of video classes covering a wide range of topics (like Crochet Hat Formula with Cal Patch, Knit A Lace Shawl with Gudrun Johnston, and Screenprinting Cards with Hilary Williams).

I have an art degree. I've had fine art training in drawing. Did I really need to sign up for a class in "super-doodling"? Nope. I could have done this on my own, or looked around for free content. The workshop offers a sense of community and the opportunity to watch an artist at work, and a chance to provide a bit of material support to a creative professional. It's been a fun way to work on my drawing skills and muscles (like fiber crafts, a lot of this is about developing and training muscles!) without pressure. It's been a relaxing way to unwind at the end of the day. It's also gotten me fired up to do more creatively - I picked up some linoleum and carving tools, so I can do some small-scale printmaking at home. Printmaking is another skill I developed in art school and didn't do much to maintain, although I really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to sitting down with a block and carving it in the near future!

FO: Pläd Mormor

Last November, I figured this would be an easy project. 

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This really is a quick and easy project, simple enough for a beginner, with the fun of picking out colors to keep me engaged. Too bad I dislike weaving in ends so much - this sat in my WIP basket for a couple of months and I wove in an end here and an end there every once in a while. 

There's a temptation to undo the border and seams and rearrange the squares, maybe add another row of squares, use a different seam, add other colors...but I'm going to call this done. 

Ravelry project notes: Pinteresting Granny Square Baby Blanket

Granny2 Loves You (Sheepish Heartbomb 2014)

Valentine's Day is...not my favorite. 

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Lately my life has been good - pretty smooth sailing, even though there are bumps and I still grumble about things, when I reflect back I know I've been having some really good years in terms of where I am with my health, my family, and my friends. I still remember the bad years, and I still remember how Valentine's Day could feel so particularly horrible, even though I knew that it was this artificial, commercial, marketed phenomenon pushed heavily by an advertising industry that makes a lot of money off of making people feel bad about themselves. 

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There were the years I tried to do an anti-Valentine Day, and somehow that just made it worse.

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Last year, when Meredith Crawford/One Sheepish Girl announced the Sheepish Heartbomb, it really clicked with me. Instead of trying to outright reject today, or try to pretend it doesn't exist, I could celebrate in a way that rejects some of the aspects that really rub me the wrong way, specifically the consumerism and the messages that we are somehow undeserving of love unless we buy our way into being someone else. 

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For projects like these, I think about my matriarchs a lot. My devoutly Catholic grandmother took "love one another" (John 13:34) very seriously. My seamstress grandmother showed me that you can take scraps and turn them into something whole and beautiful, literally and figuratively. My great-aunt Mary demonstrated that you could do all of that in fabulous, loud, attention-grabbing color. Mom told me this week that she'd thought for a long time that teaching me to knit and crochet at such a young age was a rookie mother mistake, but it looks like it worked out in the long run - she'd just crocheted 23 hearts after I showed her how (she doesn't use patterns). 

So I made a rainbow of sorts, thinking of "no rain, no rainbows" and thinking of what it takes sometimes to get out of the bad times, using only yarn I already had on hand, leftover from other projects. The results are eye-searing, heavy on the hot pink (I had a lot of hot pink - still do, actually). Great-aunt Mary would have loved that. 

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If you are in the downtown/Chinatown area this weekend and there are still hearts here, please take one and share the love! 

p.s. members of TheFUZZ have been busy lately!