Monthly Archives: July 2017

  • Building Community

    The world is made up of millions of communities. Each community is like a bubble in that they can cling together forming something larger or join and merge to create one larger bubble. Communities can be tiny or giant.  There can even be communities within communities.

    Let’s look at Ravelry as an example. Ravelry is one big community but it is made up of many other communities. Some of the communities within can be defined as knitters or crocheters. Maybe there is even a community made up of people who knit AND crochet.  There are communities of designers, pattern testers, and tech editors. There are communities of dyers, bag makers, podcasters or fans of podcasts.  There are so many ways to separate and identify communities and, at the same time, even more ways to overlap and combine them.

    A knitting venn diagram!

    Over the last decade, it has become more and more apparent to me that, as individuals, we have the most influence on our own communities.  For example, I can make a difference in my children’s school or by helping with service projects in my city. My vote in local elections carries far more weight than voting in national elections (though I do that, too).  Bringing this back to fiber (because that is why we are all here), I can support fiber arts locally and on the whole. I can buy from my LYS, participate in online discussions, share knowledge with others in local meet ups or by participating in my local knitting guild. I make a conscious effort to support my local fiber festival every year to help ensure vendors return and that the the festival grows. Those are examples of my local communities, but I can also support groups on Ravelry, or independently owned fiber related businesses that are a part of my larger fiber community.

    Creating FiberCrafty has helped me to combine my love of community and my passion for the fiber arts, as well as draw on the skills that I developed in the corporate world. After spending so much time working for a large corporation, I realized how strong my desire was to support my passion and make a difference for independent businesses. As a part of the fiber crafting community, FiberCrafty allows me to provide a channel for indie businesses to build their businesses.  As an added bonus, many times these are women-owned business and give me a way to support them, that I might not otherwise have.

    Ultimately, FiberCrafty becomes it’s own community with business owners and customers. Together we help raise awareness of different businesses, different products, different types of fibers, we can even share patterns, tips and other resources. I look forward to the day when the FiberCrafty community can help give back through micro donations that add up, or charity craft-alongs.

    What communities are you a part of and passionate about? What role does community play in your life?

  • Learning About Rug Yarn

    When I started down the path of FiberCrafty, I considered myself pretty educated in the fiber world. But as shops started adding products to FiberCrafty, I began seeing things I wasn’t familiar with. Turns out I was pretty educated in my own little corner of the fiber world but not in the fiber world at large.  

    Knitted rug by Julie from Alpacamom.com

    Rug yarn made appearances in the Brigadoon Fiber Farm and Alpacamom.com shops and sparked my curiosity. Then it showed up again in the Wynham Farms with GotMyGoat shop.  I guessed that since I didn’t know much about it, there were others in the same boat. So I started asking questions to see what I could learn.

    It seems obvious, right? Its RUG yarn. But what does that mean?  It means it is really ideal for sturdy, heavy duty projects like rugs (told you!), pillow coverings, large blankets, poufs (you have probably seen those knitted floor cushions or foot rests), totes or baskets. It uses much larger needles or hooks or can also be woven.

    Crocheted pouf by Kathy at Wynham Farms

    Julie of Alpacamom.com provided a really great description.

    “Rug yarns are spun around a cotton or jute core and they are considered "core spun" which means that the fibers are literally wrapped around the core and not traditionally plied. Because of that, the fibers don't have to be uniform in length or micron and that's why a lot of growers use their lower grade fibers for rug yarn. They can be spun with a variety of fibers and the mill I use likes to add a little bit of merino to my alpaca to help hold the slippery fibers in place. The rug yarns that I have aren't suitable to be worn next to the skin. They make wonderfully durable yet soft and comfortable mats and rugs, table runners, baskets and purses. I've knitted it, crocheted it and woven it. If knitting or crocheting you need a pretty big needle...18-50 needles and a "P" hook I think is what I used.”

    Core spun yarns can vary from next to skin and delicate to coarse and rugged and not all core spun yarns are rug yarns. When using rug yarn it is so much bulkier that a 2’x3’ rug might use around 100 yards.  Items made with rug yarn can often be considered easy care and may be vacuumed or shaken or maybe even hosed off.  Kathy, of Wynham Farms with GotMyGoat cautions that it can be harder on your hands and wrists since it is bulky and heavier than mill or handspun yarn.

    Rug being woven by Julie from Alpacamom.com

    It sounds like a very versatile product that opens new doors for creating things!  I would love to make a small poof to use as a footrest under my desk. If you have ever used rug yarn, what did you make with it? Share pictures in the Facebook Group or on Instagram! If you have never used it, does this give you some ideas? Let us know what you would make!

    Knitted rug by Kathy at Wynham Farms

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