Thursday, December 21, 2006

unscheduled delay

hi readers, just a quick note to say that i apologize for the severe lack of posting, but it is due to technical difficulties as i have been without internet connection for a whole week as of today: horrors! and now i am in ohio where i can post, but with no access to my photos. so i am just going to officially say that HPF is on Holiday Hiatus until the new year. happy holidays and thanks!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

broken promise

note to self: never make promises on the blog!
ok, so i didn't manage to post the preview of what i was making before the craftacular. as usual, time just got away from me and i was up til 3am the night before... but here are some pics i took sometime that night. the light was not so good but i'm glad i snapped these because at least three of these pieces sold!

i made a lot of helmet hats; it's my basic style and very cozy on the ears. most of them use ozark handspun yarn, mixed with other more basic yarns because the ozark is pretty wild! i will be writing more about them later, and i promised to write a pattern for them so i need to do that soon...

i was glad i sold both of these hoods because they're my new favorite style, and these were my two faves of the six or seven i made!

all in all the sale was quite overwhelming and exhausting, but i did pretty well. i'm always hoping to sell more, but i'm satisfied. the number of people that attend is incomprehensible; i'm eager to hear the tally since they charged $1 admission this year so they should have numbers. most shoppers seemed to actually think it was TOO crowded, to the point that it's hard to shop. and the music is a little too loud... my voice is still hoarse 2 days later!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

holiday gift sales

oh yes, it's that time of year again! september through december are always the busiest months for me, because fall/holiday is the most intense sales season and it's when i make and sell so many crochet pieces, which are the most time-consuming items in my line. it all culminates in december when the big holiday gift sales come along... this year i am doing two: first is the BUST craftacular, this coming saturday, december 9 at the Warsaw in williamsburg. i did this one last year too and it's quite an extravaganza: dj's, prizes, free drinks (6-7pm) and over 60 vendors with all kinds of hand-crafted gift ideas, including many of my fellow SAPLINGs: treehouse (which also means sirius and becky lee), raeburn ink, mociun, 31 corn lane, a.s.i.s., as well as other friends like MAKE workshop, saltlick, and department of craft!
and if you can't make that one, or just prefer a quieter, more intimate shopping experience, the following saturday, december 16 i will be at sodafine's 'THE GIFT on grand' sale, held in a beautiful old bank building near the river. this one has over 20 designers, nearly all of whom will not be at the previous sale so you'll want to try to check out both! lena corwin is doing this one, and so are ann wood (can't wait to see her birds!), deadly squire and moonblood.
i promise to post some sneak peeks at what i'm making for these events this week...

Friday, December 01, 2006

crocheted yumminess

i think you know by now that of all the techniques i use, crochet is my most favorite. my good friend alisa of dynamo-ville sent me a link to crochet artist joy kampia. what fun! her food looks so good i want to eat it! her work is a great illustration of how sculptural crochet can be. it makes me really want to get back to those amigurumi and try some other objects too...
here is her artist's statement:

"Because I enjoy the irony between subject matter and material, I have merged my favorite subject matter (food) with my favourite process (crochet). I love food too much to be satisfied with its transience; therefore I am driven to give it permanence through art. I am a passionate advocate for crochet as an art medium--going beyond its traditional uses and exploring its limitless possibilites. By taking both food and crochet out of their ordinary settings, I hope to challenge the viewer's preconceived notions of their roles.

And I hope it makes people hungry."

Monday, November 27, 2006

new shirts at lingo

i brought some new shirts to lingo, the shop in chelsea who has carried hodge podge for nearly 4 years. nothing too groundbreaking i know, but i experimented with some ribbon embroidery and reverse applique. i guess i should have ironed them before taking the photos...

Monday, November 20, 2006

junk to jewels!

i took a 'junk to jewels' class at my hangout the treehouse, taught by the multi-talented rebecca. it was such fun; i have always wanted to learn how to make jewelry and these were the techniques i was looking for! i have so many bits and baubles at home... beads, charms, threads, ribbons-- you get the picture. now i know how to attach clasps and jump rings and string it all up! everyone had so much fun eating cookies, telling stories and crafting, it felt just like being in girl scouts again.

a grand window

shortly after i brought my stuff to sodafine, erin told me she had put my shirt in the window! i was a slowpoke about posting, so it's probably out by now, but it made me really happy, flattered and proud when i saw it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

steam valley fiber farm

in my post about sheep and wool fest, i promised to tell more about my apprenticeship at steam valley, the farm owned and run by the amazing spinner, dyer, weaver, shepherd, mother, chef and musician, phylleri ball. well, it was summer 2003 when i spent three glorious weeks camping in a tent in the woods behind the farm, deep in the middle of pennsylvania. we woke every morning at 5:30 so we could be milking the nubian goats by 6. milking is fun if you can keep the goats from stepping in the milk or kicking over the bucket...

this goat on the left is a nubian. i think her name is blueberry but i have to admit my memory is a little cloudy! phylleri raises nubians for milk. above right and below are angora goats. they are raised for their long, fuzzy fiber known as mohair.

this is known as a 'goat parade'. for some reason, even though they spend all day roaming about the pasture as a herd, when they leave the barn in the morning and return in the evening, they walk single file to get where they're going.

here's phylleri 'plucking' one of her angora bunnies. that's what they call it, but it's a misleading word; the fiber is not actually being 'plucked' out by the roots at all. it's more like combing a long-haired cat. the fur is being shed naturally; we are just combing it out and collecting it. angora is one of my favorite fibers, so soft and reportedly one of the warmest. but it is usually best mixed with wool to give it strength, body and elasticity.

my favorite time was the 3-day 'fiber study' weekend, when we put aside all but the essential farm chores and focused on learning to spin and dye fiber. the domed tent was our classroom, but much of our learning was done right outside in the yard, next to the jacob ram lambs. we used giant kettles, heated on a turkey fryer, to dye the wool.

we also spent time at two different county fairs. phylleri and her son star are active in 4-H; here is star saying goodbye to his two goat kids that were sold at auction at the fair. he was sad to see them go, but that is the ultimate goal of a 4-H project, so he was prepared. phylleri's spinning guild participates in sheep-to-shawl competitions and at both of the ones i witnessed, her team took first place!

she also convinced me to enter my first skein of handspun into the fiber judging competition, in the category 'novice spinner' (i had only been spinning for less than 2 weeks at that point!) and i was extremely proud to receive my second place red ribbon, out of three entries!

if you still want more, you can read my original review of my apprenticeship here (scroll down to where it says 'cal's review'...)