Anna

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Posts by Anna

Ann Arbor Wrap Up

I don’t have a ton of photos to show for it, but my Wooly Woods crafting event in Ann Arbor earlier this month was so much fun!

Around 40 people of all ages came to the district library for fun with wrapping twigs with yarn. It’s such a simple project that I think it lets you get creative in unexpected ways—as soon as we got started I saw people making swings and I-cords and using the yarn in other ways that I wouldn’t have thought to do myself. Many of the participants were knitters and embellished with their own details or with the patterns that I brought to hand out, but many were new to yarn crafting entirely. (I was surprised at the number of people who were eager to learn to knit right on the spot!)

These two cuties showed up a bit late, but still managed to make some colorful sculptures to take home.

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I asked Erin the librarian if one really big branch could be supplied as a group project, and she came through with the perfect thing. Various people worked on it throughout the workshop, and we finished it just in time. It’s now hanging about the reference desk in the youth department.

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It’s hard to tell in this photo, but this branch is around six feet long!

One of the neat things about this workshop was the way that I picked up a couple of handy techniques when I was preparing for it. (Nothing like the challenge of teaching someone to get you to learn new stuff yourself!) First, it occurred to me that I should finally learn to make a proper yarn bobbin so that wrapping twigs didn’t also involve constantly chasing unraveling balls of yarn around the room.

Here’s the video I used to learn the technique:

These kinds of bobbins are also really handy for instarsia knitting.

I also thought pompoms would be a neat element to add to the wrapped twigs, but somehow I’d gone 33 years on this planet without ever making one myself! So I turned to Vickie Howell, who showed me the most basic way with this video:

I was impressed by the great results you can get just by using your hand. (A friend to help you tie a tight knot really does help too.) While I’m on the topic, I’ll mention that while I was researching pompom making I also stumbled across this technique for making mini pompoms using a fork.

I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I foresee lots of tiny pompoms growing in my future Wooly Woods sculptures.

Thank you to the Ann Arbor District Library and to everyone who came out to the event!

Kirimi-chan the Fish Fillet

Earlier this year I blogged about Gudetama, the odd egg yolk character that Sanrio released to the Japan market. It seems that Sanrio is ready to test the “weird and cute” waters with their English-speaking followers now, with the introduction of their new character Kirirmi-chan, “a star in the slicked food world.”

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Yes, it’s a fillet of fish. Salmon, perhaps? This one is actually a little too weird for me, or maybe it’s the way that the body seems tacked on and lacking in design.

Super Cute Kawaii introduced this character to me this morning, but the blog Kao-ani has more information in a post from January, saying that the character resulted from an online vote that Sanrio held last year for a new food-related character. Fascinating! I have a feeling this one won’t be sticking around for very long, so for that reason alone I’m tempted to get some Kirimi-chan-branded products. Or even better…

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Book Signing & Tiny Chicken Class Aug 10 in Chicago

I’m looking forward to my first Chicago Yarn Crawl coming up next month!

As part of the crawl’s events, I’m going to be at Sifu Design Studio signing books from 10am to 1 pm.

Then in the afternoon, I’ll be teaching a tiny chicken class!

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This pattern incorporates elements that I use in many of my designs (like I-cords and picking up stitches), so it’s a great starting point for those new to tiny knitting. You’ll be well on your way to having a mini flock by the end of class!

You can find all of the class details and sign up on the Sifu website.

I’m looking forward to seeing all the yarn crawlers next month!

Schneck Lecker Gummy Snails

I discovered a new favorite candy this weekend! Schneck Lecker are gummy snails made by Haribo, and they are both weird and delicious (in a weird kind of way).

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I was really hoping that schneck lecker meant “snail licker,” especially since we see several little snaily tongues on the packaging. But Google Translate tells me that it just means “delicious snails.” (Still, I’d say they’re pretty lickable, so in my own head they’ll always be “snail lickers.”) Update: Several people have informed me that yes, it actually DOES mean “snail licker!” (Google Translate, you’re fired.)

The snails’ bodies are made of gummy foam, and the shells are regular transparent gummy (sorry, I don’t know the technical gummy terms). Haribo combines these two gummy types in many of their candies, but I’ve never seen the foam-to-regular-gummy ratio be so high, which makes these snails unique among gummies.

Also, they have cute little heads, complete with eye stalks and a nose.

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After I tried the first one, I had to play with the others and take photos for a while before they all went into my mouth.

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Wouldn’t these be fun toppers on a garden-themed birthday cake? If you can’t find them at your local European foods store, you can find them online from Euro Food Imports.

I’ll also take this snail-themed post as an opportunity to remind you that I have a free pattern for wooly snails and slugs. (Less delicious, but fewer calories!)

How to Pick Up Stitches

Recently I’ve received several requests for a tutorial on picking up stitches—it’s a technique that I use allll the time, so it’s about time that I show it! (And it comes in handy for one of the mystery kits that I’ve been shipping around the world this month…)

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Visit the How-to page for the full tutorial!