Crafting Challenge for 2019?
Each year as the New Year rolls around I take stock of what I have accomplished over the past year and what my hopes are for the upcoming year.
I have always dreamt of making an Aron Fisherman Knit Sweater. I have the yarn, a friend brought it back from Ireland for me. I just need the confidence.
In order to gather the skills, I will need to take on this dream I have been teaching myself different stitches. I will have a final piece that is uniquely my own creation using the stitches I have learned.
I have been teaching a monthly knit dish cloth class here on Krafters Korner for four years. This year, as I embark on my fifth year of teaching these classes here on krafters Korner I will be teaching primarily different stitches to use in a project like the Aron Fisherman Knit Sweater. These stitches could also be used in lovely blankets for little ones, or a nice afghan throw for the living room couch.
The January class is a honeycomb cable stitch. I was so excited to learn this stitch and now to be able to teach it to others here. I have a beautiful Aron afghan my Grandmother made me for my wedding. The center panel is the honeycomb cable and the texture is incredible. I have now finally been able to knit that stitch myself!
When I started teaching these classes here on KK, I was just an advanced beginner knitter. I used the opportunity of teaching these classes to encourage myself to step out of the comfort zone and to learn new techniques and then share these techniques with other blind knitters. This experience has help me to grow and expand as a blind knitter.
So, my challenge for 2019 is to come up with 12 different stitches for the 12 classes I will teach.
What is your crafting challenge for 2019?
How can you share that challenge with other blind crafters?
I love to knit, particularly with knitting needles. I enjoy the process of the knitting far more than the finished project. For this reason, most of what I knit, I end up giving away to someone as a gift.
This month was no exception. I just completed knitting a shawl from a pattern book entitled, “FriendShip Shawls,” by Debbie Macomber. The pattern I made was entitled, “A Hug to Keep,” and was designed by Cathy Hardy. What a simple but pretty shawl this turned out to be! Using bulky weight yarn and size 10 needles, the pattern is of a triangular shawl where the knitting begins at the bottom tip, and the shaping is achieved by adding on stitches using the knit cast on method in a stair-step pattern.
I gave the shawl to my sister when she visited me this weekend. It is sure to keep her warm this winter. She lives 400 miles away, so the shawl is my hug for her till we can see one another again.
Here at Krafters Korner we hold classes teaching blind crafters ways to create many different types of crafts. In some of our classes we learn techniques to make these crafts more marketable. Below is a note from one of our students describing some of what she learned in a recent class.
I took the Jelly Bean Jar Class. I learned that you should always embellish your jar lid, by doing so you can earn more money if selling the item. We also learned a technique where you take some item and use it to cover the top of the jar. An example would be if filling the jar with dog bones, take a dog bone or several mini dog bones and glue them to the top but don’t forget to seal the item with Modge Podge or some sealant.
Sources for Affordable yarn
Yarn crafters who make projects to donate to charity are always looking for good sources for affordable yarns to use.
Some ideas for free or inexpensive yarns:
- Community organizations such as the Girl Scouts may be a good source of free yarn. Yarns are donated to these groups, and can often times be more than the organization can use. To find a local Girl Scout council in your area go to: https://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/join/council-finder.html
- Websites like https://www.freecycle.org/search are sources of free items people are wanting to give away.
- Goodwill and other consignment shops have inexpensive clothing. Sweaters made of wool can be found in these shops for very little cost. Unraveling the sweater and reusing the yarn in the project of your choice is another way to get inexpensive yarn.
What sources can you suggest for acquiring free and inexpensive yarns to use in charity projects?
Here at Krafters Korner we love creating handcrafted items from a baby blanket to a safety pin beaded ship with lots of other exciting creations in between. We just celebrated our 10th year in 2018 as a division of the National Federation of the Blind. Let’s take a moment to meet our incredible founder and president Joyce Kane.
Joyce is a native new Englander with the Yankee “can do” spirit. She resides in Stratford, CT in a beautiful three-story colonial home. She currently lives with her son J.C. Her 100-years-young mom lives next door. Joyce and her late husband John were married for 42 years. John was always a huge support to Joyce with her crafting adventures. At an NFB convention in Orlando John told me that his philosophy was that a happy wife made for a happy life. Check out the Kane Brewer Fund on our website to learn more about John and how his legacy assists others to reach their crafting dreams. Joyce and John were blessed with three children and five grandchildren. grandchildren.
Throughout the years, Joyce has always stayed active in promoting her crafting passion. These activities ranged from owning a yarn shop to teaching community education classes in all types of crafts.
She has also been very active in the Girl Scouts. Teaching girls of all age’s new crafts.
Joyce lost her vision 12 years ago from diabetic complications. Sure, she initially missed seeing this or that…but she soon learned through trial and error. As a totally blind person she effortlessly began knitting, crocheting, quilting, beading and several other crafts again. Joyce does not slow down with learning new crafting techniques. We can all learn from her willingness to try new experiences. Currently Joyce has begun her own embroidery business she is calling it “Color My World”. She will make custom items from t-shirts, bags to table runners and many other items in between. She uses a computerized embroidery machine that she just started to learn a year ago. Her creations are gorgeous.
Joyce searched for a group of likeminded blind people to share tips and tricks of the crafting world with. After she did not find such a group…she set out to begin her own group.
The Krafters Korner currently has over 50 members and we average around 40 classes a year. Joyce has provided renewed joy and excitement to many. Not just in her geographical area, but virtually all over the world. Joyce gathered a group of people to help create the foundations of this division. They saw the importance of teaching in a format that will not be hindered by the miles that may separate us. This has been accomplished in unbelievable ways. Stop by our website and check out our classes www.krafterskorner.org.
I have been personally so encouraged through my friendship with Joyce, and I know others feel the same. Thanks for your passion Joyce and for creating Krafters Korner!