Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Self Care For Fiber Crafters

This week I wanted to do a focus on taking care of yourself while you enjoy your knitting and crochet. There have been multiple studies done to sing the praises of our crafting when it comes to our emotional well-being. As anyone who has done any deadline crafting (*cough* holidays *cough*) can attest to, these crafts that we love can take their toll on our physical well-being. I don't know about you guys, but I tend to want to sit and work on my projects as much as I can and as fast as I can before I loose interest and want to move onto the next thing. This usually results in a sore back/neck, arm and hand pains and sometimes even pains in my legs (depending on the chair that I'm sitting in).

One thing that I've been trying to do on my heavy knitting days is to set a Pomodoro Timer (you can find an app online). The concept behind using the Pomodoro system is that if you focus really hard and work on something for 25 minutes, then take a 5 minute break. When you go back to work after the break, you will be more focused and will, therefore, accomplish more during your work day. This seems to work extremely well for me for cleaning the house, but 25 minutes seems a bit too quick for knitting. I can make a small dent in my project during that time, but the timer always seems to go off just when I'm starting to get into a rhythm. So, I've started using 50 minutes as my knitting timer with a 10 min break in between and this seems to be going really well.

It is important to keep in mind that when you take your breaks, you actually need to take a break. This means that you need to get up, stretch, walk around, look at something out the window or across the room. This is very important for your eye health as well as your full body health. When we knit, our projects are fairly close to us so it's good to give your eyes a break and a stretch by looking at something far away. (If you're at your LYS for knit night, this is the perfect excuse to look around for that new yarn that needs to come home with you!)

One of my favorite sites for relieving any sorts of body pain is :
One of the biggest fears that fiber crafters have in regards to body damage from crafting is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome so here is Dr. Scott's fix for this common ailment:

Have a great week with your crafting and don't forget to take some breaks!

Shaina  ^_^

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Snow Day!

All week long I've gotten away without wearing a coat and now today we have Snow-acolypse happening outside so I'm declaring it a snow day.

In honor of the snow day, I'm offering a special discount code for 25% off all my patterns on Ravelry for anyone who is currently on my e-mail list or who signs up for my e-mails over the next week. (The code will be good through 11:59 PM CST on 3/30/16.) The weekly e-mail goes out at 6 PM CST every Wednesday, so check your inboxes for the code.

Thanks so much for all your support and I hope that you are all safely at home with your knitting and crochet!

Have a great week!

Shaina  ^_^

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Tutorial: The German Twisted Cast-On

Hi, everyone! This week I wanted to do a quick tutorial on how to do the German Twisted Cast-On (the cast-on that I recommend for my Giant Color Shift Brioche Scarf) . This cast-on method is also known as the Old Norwegian Cast-On and is wonderful for Brioche or any knitting where you want a super stretchy and elastic beginning to your project.

I also wanted to let you know that I'll be doing a Periscope video tutorial for this Cast-On method this Saturday (3/19/16) at 11:00 AM Central. If you can, I would love to have you join me for this live class. If you haven't used Periscope before, that's ok. All you have to do is download the app and do a search for YumiYarns. You will be able to see and hear me, but I'll only be able to see your comments and questions so don't worry, you won't be on T.V. I hope you can make it!

(ETA: Thanks to everyone who joined me for the live Periscope broadcast! The best place to start the video is at 12:01 because I was a bit flustered at the beginning and confused myself by trying to watch the camera instead of my hands. Lesson learned.)
German Twisted Cast-On:

Step 1: Make a Slip Knot and place it on the needle with the tail end closest to your body.

Step 2: Hold the yarn in your left hand as if you will be doing a traditional Lon-Tail Cast-On. The tail should be wrapped around your thumb and the ball end should be wrapped around your index finger. Hold your knitting needle (with the slip knot) in your right hand.

Step 3: Rather than inserting the needle in the yarn loop around your thumb, you will put the tip of the needle under both strands of yarn.

Step 4: Now you will bring the tip of your needle down into the loop on your thumb. Bring the needle back up on the outside of the loop on the side closest to your body.

Step 5: From right to left, bring the needle under the left-most strand of yarn that is wrapped around your index finger. (You will end up right between the loops of yarn wrapped around your thumb and forefinger.)

  Step 6: Bring the needle back towards your body and bring it back under the strand of yarn that is wrapped around your thumb and is closest to you. Bring the needle up between the two strands of yarn wrapped around your thumb.

Step 7: Slip the yarn off your thumb and tighten the stitch on your needle. (But not too tight, you're going to need to knit it later.)
Repeat Steps 3-7 until you have the required amount of stitches cast on.

Have a great week with your crafting!!

Shaina  ^_^

(PS: I'm sorry for the dumb spacing with this post, Blogger won't let me adjust the formating so it looks decent.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Green Camel Gathering 2016

 This past weekend (March 4-6, 2016) I had the pleasure of getting to finally attend my first Green Camel Gathering in Tyler, MN at the Danebod Folk School. This was the 9th year that the Green Camel has been held and it was wonderful!! The gathering lasted from 4 PM on Friday until 4 PM on Sunday and was full of fiber-y fun. Everyone was super nice and was just there to enjoy themselves and relax which made for a great atmosphere.

There was so much going on everywhere and since I am kinda nosey when it comes to crafting, I didn't really sit very often because I was so busy talking with everyone and trying to see what they were doing. This also means that I took a bunch of pictures so today's post will be a photo journal of the weekend. I loved meeting everyone and I made some wonderful new friends this year.

 I can't wait for next year's gathering, and I hope to see you all there for 2017!!  ^_^

The super adorable room that Katie and I shared over the weekend.

The main spinning/crafting room

Katie and I were super entertained with the bust of Abe Lincoln in a toga.

And there was also George Washington.

Katie spun up some green camel/silk fiber in honor of the gathering.

Ann showing off her flip-flop socks that Wendy (aka: Kathy-Not-Her-Real-Name) made for her in about 2 seconds.

Amy taught an amazing Nalbinding class on Saturday morning (I'll have a more detailed post on this later).

I taught my Basic Brioche Class Saturday afternoon.

Annikki did an impromptu magic crochet potholder demo for anyone interested.

Johanna did cording and tablet weaving demos throughout the weekend.

Sandy had multiple weaving looms that she was proud to show and explain to anyone.

Johanna gave Charlotte an intro to Tablet Weaving.

Charlotte's first Tablet Weaving up close.

Ann and Wendy hanging out and chatting after dinner one night.

I was able to get a bit of spinning in over the weekend.

Marty finished her handspun Never Not Knitting MKAL shawl.

I finally started spinning my neon Lambs Tail from Frabjous Fibers.

Lots of spinning happened this weekend. It was beautiful to hear all the wheels whirring along.

Carla finished her beautiful Entrelac Tunisian Crochet fingerless gloves.

Keri brought her amazing Celesial that she began at last year's Green Camel.

Rheba, Sheri, and Celeste shut down the Camel this year.

Thanks to Katie for sharing some of her pics with me for this post and for catching me in action at my wheel!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Featured Finished Object and a Really Big Announcement!!

Photo Credit to DoeDeer Photography

First things first. My Featured Finished Object for this month is Bronntanas by Ysolda Teague. I made mine out of Yarn Bee Fetching in Citrine from Hobby Lobby because as much as I love a beautiful indie yarn, this pattern seemed like it just needed some glitz and this yarn had great stitch definition and drape. Sometimes the big box yarns get a bad rap (and sometimes they deserve it) but this was one that I was very impressed with. I was working on this hat the first time that I went to NCFF (back in 2014) and I had so many people all weekend long ask me what yarn I was using and where I bought it. I almost felt bad telling them that it wasn't from one of the vendors at the festival.

This was a super fun knit (even if it did take me awhile to actually finish it) and I've thought of making another one as a gift for next year. It uses slipped stitches and cables with an alternating stockinette and reverse stockinette background. All of that sounds pretty complicated, but it's actually a very simple pattern with just the right amount of variations to hold your interest while you knit.

And now for the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: I am leaving my position as the Cafe Manager at the Sioux Falls Barnes and Noble to pursue being a full time Knit/Crochet Designer/Instructor!!

I can't even tell you guys how excited I am for this new opportunity. I've loved my 7 years at Barnes and Noble and I'm sad that I won't be working with the team at our store anymore. Sometimes, though, you have to be willing to let go of what makes you feel safe and comfortable so that you can become the person you want and need to be.

That being said, I'll be creating a teaching schedule for the upcoming months. I will be adding a calendar onto my page here, and I'll be posting it on Facebook and in our Ravelry group. I'd love to meet all of you and work with you, so if you have an idea for a class that you would be interested in taking let me know.

Have a great week of crafting everyone!

Shaina  ^_^

Photo Credit to DoeDear Photography