Loom-tastic! Knitting Loom Meeting

Blogged under Loom Knitting,My College Craft Club by Tammy on Friday 9 September 2011 at 6:07 pm

The knitting looms were a huge success at the craft club meeting. Each set of looms has 4 looms ranging from super small for infants to super large for probably making more like bags or cowls rather than hats. We ended up with 7 students showing up to our meeting (only the second one this semester). Two were at our first meeting, so they were geared up to continue with crochet and tackle double crochet stitch. One had learned crochet as a child and needed help remembering how to do it (though it is pretty much like riding a bike), and that left four students with looms. And they loved the looms, loved, loved, loved them!

Unfortunately, I could not get my loom DVD to work on the classroom computer, but I managed to get them all going, and I walked around and checked on their progress. We had to undo just about all of them at least once, but then they were getting it and were looming away! Our meetings last for about an hour and a half, and we do almost nothing but craft (just about zero club business stuff or anything like that). The time, however, zips by, and members are just getting the hang of it and have to leave, but they will hopefully continue to come back every week. In fact, one student actually made a trip to Walmart and bought herself her own crochet hook and a little skein of Jiffy yarn. I was so impressed with that!

An added goody to the meeting was a wonderful woman who is clearing out her yarn stash of acrylic yarn because she has now learned that she likes “the good stuff.” She came by with huge bags full of yarn to give to us! It was a yarn bonanza! The yarns pictured with the looms above are some of what she gave us, so it was perfect timing.

I went ahead and purchased another set of looms and a few extra hooks. So far, we have had at least a half dozen members (plus) come to meetings, so I don’t think we can really have too many looms!

Loom Day Tomorrow

Blogged under Loom Knitting,My College Craft Club by Tammy on Wednesday 7 September 2011 at 5:48 pm

Last week, we taught crochet. This week we are tackling crochet (again) and adding loom knitting at our craft club meeting. I have never taught loom knitting to anyone. Heck, it is still kind of new to me, so this should be interesting. My hope is that they all find is super easy, fall in love with it, but still want to pick up a crochet hook too. At least at this point, I feel that I have figured out the basics of round looms. For example, one big issue is thickness of yarn. While you can try looping the yarn multiple times around, I’ve discovered doubling worsted or going up to chunky is really the way to go to get the best results. I’ve also learned to pay attention more so than you’d think because it is so easy to miss a peg, and then whatever you are making is basically toast! Fingers crossed – we have another great meeting this week!

Craft Links a Day Late

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Monday 5 September 2011 at 12:22 pm

With the holiday weekend, you’d think I would be ahead, but oh no, it’s totally the opposite. One reason is because I’ve been obsessed with finishing this knit loomed cat tube. (Look for a tutorial soon). This project has taken me forever, but I finally finished it yesterday, even though I should have been writing and cleaning my house! So far, it has gotten only a little cat attention. Lola here is stalking an innocent mouse-toy that happened to wander into the tube unexpectedly.

Now that this project is off my to-do list, I’m back to getting my crafting links up and other things knocked off the list, including pulling out the vacuum cleaner!

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen’s gearing up for Christmas already with an altered wooden domino tutorial.

Cindy Gimbrone Beads
Cindy is one step ahead when she uses a wire wrapping technique to create a poinsettia ring for the holidays.

Craft Buds
Stop by Craft Buds this September, where they will host craft book giveaways, projects, and more. It’s a party!

Craftside- A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a chance to win a copy of the book Sewing Vintage Aprons along with a fun recycled shirt/apron tutorial, a bunch of portfolio info, and how to help a dog when it’s overheating, dehydrated, and sunburned and a new free Rockport App.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Eileen tries her hand at 3D paper tole. It’s not as difficult as it looks but does require a bit of patience.

Lindsay Sews
The equalizer quilt design is a new project that uses guy-friendly fabrics. It’s a quilt that even he will love.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi’s new friend Kerrie, aka Antikva, shares all kinds of tips on working with shrink plastic!

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
How to cover an umbrella with recycled lace curtain ruffles.

Teaching Crochet – It’s Not Easy!

Blogged under Fiber Fun,My College Craft Club by Tammy on Saturday 3 September 2011 at 9:08 am

While I have worked as a freelance writer for years, as my “day” job I’m an English professor. I teach students skills like how to write an outline, create a thesis sentence, and analyze a piece of text. So as my college’s craft club adviser, I now find myself teaching different skills such as how to crochet, wow! Of course, I did this last fall and spring semesters, but then we had the summer off. Now I’m back into the thick of things at school including my English classes and the club. We had our first meeting the other day, and six new members showed up eager to learn some crafts.

After getting the administrative items out of the way, we had about an hour left to teach them some crochet basics, starting with the chain stitch. I had a little deja vu from last year. When members first start trying to crochet, they say stuff like “I can’t do this!” “Wow, this is so hard!” And they struggle with having to use both hands at the same time, one to keep the yarn in place and one to work the crochet hook. They have a death grip on the hook, and their shoulders are all bunched up around their necks.

I have a co-adviser this year, so there were 2 of us and 6 of them. We walked around the room getting them started, and then eventually, I found it worked best if I could sit in between two people and just do it slowly and they would attempt to copy my movements. I had to keep reminding them to move the hook and not the yarn. I said that probably 100 times: “Move the hook and not the yarn.” Newbies always want to keep the hook stationary and move the yarn up and down and around the hook, which is totally the opposite of what you are supposed to do.

Admittedly, as I moved back and forth between them all, I started to have my doubts too. In my head, I was thinking “Oh, wow, this is hard to teach to someone else. Are they going to get it or just get frustrated and never come back?” Finally, after about 30 to 45 minutes, all was well and they were chaining like crazy. A few actually had some pretty decent gauge going on, and they had the “ah” look as they sat back in their chairs, shoulders now relaxed, and they continued to crochet, like they were hypnotized by the yarn and hook.

Fingers crossed, they come back to our next meeting where I hope to get them going on double crochet. Technically, they should learn single first, but I remember from last year that students hated single and loved double crochet. They seemed to be able to see the stitches better because double crochet stitch is so much larger (I think). Obviously, I am probably learning just as much as they are at this point.

1st Craft Club Meeting

Blogged under My College Craft Club by Tammy on Thursday 1 September 2011 at 7:12 am

My college craft club meets for the first time today. Yesterday, the school had what it calls Club Rush where all the clubs set up tables and exhibits in the cafeteria and students can mill around and find out what the clubs do and sign up for membership. I had to run off to class after I helped set up our table, but my co-adviser stayed and reports that we had lots of interest. We purposely scheduled our meeting for the day after this event with the idea that we would still be fresh in the minds of those who yesterday said they were interested. Hopefully, some cookies and sodas will also entice them to continue to participate – oh and of course the promise of lots of fun crafting – when they come by today.

If I remember correctly, after last year’s rush we had about 20 students show up at the first meeting, and considering the size of our college and the fact that it is more of a commuter school, that is a huge number.  Fingers crossed – we get at least the same turn out today!

« Previous Page