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Monthly Archives: May 2008

  • Indiana Jones and the Knitter

    Did you know that Karen Allen, Harrison Ford's costar in the new Indiana Jones movie is a knitter? The 56-year-old actress has been a knitter since the age of 5. She now owns her own fiber arts studio in Massachusetts where she designs her own scarves, hats, sweaters and shawls. She teaches knitting at Bard College and has also taught at the Kripalu center.

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  • 5 Problems Solved by Gauge from YarnCraft Episode #15

    On the YarnCraft podcast, our bi-weekly audio show, we cover topics from common questions to tips on gift ideas. In YarnCraft episode #15, we devoted the episode to answering questions sent in by listeners like you! My co-host Liz and I were joined by Jackie Smyth, technical editor here at Lion Brand, who helped us answer the following questions:

    1. Why is my project is too big/too small?
    2. Why don't my stitch patterns look like the photo?
    3. Why doesn't my edging, crochet block, etc lie flat?
    4. Why didn't I have enough yarn/why did I have lots of leftover yarn?
    5. Why doesn't my crochet/knit fabric look like the photo?

    The answer to ALL of these questions is often gauge. Gauge will affect the size of your pattern; it will affect the way your fabric looks; wrong gauge can cause your fabric to misbehave and curl.

    So what is gauge? Gauge is the term that is used to define the proper tension you should work your piece in order to make sure that your piece's dimensions will match up to those specified in a pattern. It's usually given as stitches by rows versus the measurement that they should create (say 18 sts by 24 rows over 4 by 4 inches).

    To make a gauge swatch, knit or crochet a piece that's at least 4 inches by 4 inches in the stitch specified by the gauge section of the pattern. Then compare your stitches and rows to the number specified by the pattern to make 4 inches in both directions. The key here is that you do NOT have to adjust how tightly you knit or crochet.

    If you have too few stitches and rows, use a smaller hook/smaller needles and remake your swatch. If it's correct, then you should use this new hook/needle size. If you have too many stitches/rows, go up a hook/needle size and remake your swatch. Again, if it's now correct, then use this new needle/hook size. If it's still too many stitches, adjust your needle/hook size again. For a more in-depth guide on gauge, visit our website for knit gauge and crochet gauge instructions.

    For more tips, ideas, and inspiration from individual podcast episodes, visit the YarnCraft Podcast Blog.

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  • Amazing Art with Fun Fur

    Fun Fur Pseudo-Sod Car by Amy Caterina

    We were contacted by Amy Caterina, an artist who uses Fun Fur in her amazing sculptural pieces. She is currently working on an exhibit at the Grand Central Art Center at the California State University, Fullerton. When we saw how amazing her sculptures were, we knew we had to get involved.

    Born in Niagara Falls, NY, Amy received her MFA at CSUF in 2002 in photography. In early 2005, Amy started knitting and gave birth to the Pseudo-Sod, a series that quickly emerged as a major component in her evolving oeuvre of mixed media installations. She was selected to be the artist-in-residence at the Huntington Beach Art Center in conjunction with the exhibition "MANufacture"; during her residency she displays mixed media knitted "grass" (made with Fun Fur) covered deer and moose, beside four cemetery plot sized sections of "grass." The Pseudo-Sod car cover [above] was also featured in 2005 for the first time and presented in various locations throughout Orange County.

    Fun Fur Sculptures in progressAmy Caterina is currently the artist-in-residence at the CSUF Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California, and will open her first solo exhibition entitled, "This used to be real estate, now it's only fields and trees," on July 5, 2008.

    Amy was kind enough to send us some photos of the progress she's made so far on this exhibition [right]. She's got quite a few of these furry woodland creatures in the works, and they're really coming along! Talk about amazing uses of Fun Fur!

    We'll update you as Amy gets closer to the opening of her exhibition.

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