Tuesday, November 13, 2007

2nd Annual Yarn Ball A Success!

A success, indeed! For some of our favorite charities, including Project Linus and the Pittsburgh Women's Center and Shelter, the night's festivities produced many handmade, crocheted and knitted items:

20 blankets
17 scarves
2 hat/scarf sets
10 hats
4 purses
1 baby sweater
2 pairs of slippers
And 132 balls of yarn to be made into even more items!

In addition, between the afghan auction and cash donations, we raised $450 for Rwanda Knits!

Thanks to everyone who made this such a huge success! Also, thanks go to Becky for hosting the event again at her house. And as you can see from the pictures below, there was something fun for everyone!

Hand crafted items were on display at every turn...

Sharing, chatting, and crocheting and knitting were enjoyed by many...

The Yarn Ball Fashion Show featured treasured items made by or for the wearers...

Entertainment helped set the festive mood...

Stories kept the younger attendees enthralled...

The silent auction winners were announced after a flurry of last minute bidding...

And of course, there was tasty Yarn Ball Cake!

If you couldn't join us this year, we hope you'll make plans for next year's Yarn Ball!

Also check out more pictures at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/three_rivers_crochet/ (You may need to register to see them.)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Three Rivers Crochet Presents...

Yarn Ball Afghans for Auction

In what is becoming a beloved annual event for our crochet group, this year's Yarn Ball features beautiful crocheted and knitted afghans for auction. The group decided, somewhat late in the game, to do another group project that would benefit a favorite charity, Rwanda Knits (www.rwandaknits.org). We quickly decided that squares and rectangles we would piece together should allow us to create at least one afghan and maybe two that we could auction off in time for the event. Well, the response to our request was overwhelming! Everyone dug into their stash and donated swatches from previous projects or made new ones especially for the event. Some members even solicited friends and co-workers for squares that they had around the house.

Well, OVERWHELMING is indeed a great word for it. We were able to piece together five beautiful afghans, plus have a bunch leftover for next year's Yarn Ball!

Pick out your favorite and then don't forget to bring your checkbook to the Yarn Ball to participate in this wonderful auction for charity! See you there!

Aran Rhapsody

Frilly Little Miss

Sweet Dreams



Monday, October 8, 2007

We haven't been on Hiatus

Despite no posts since June 20th, we've been very busy!

The group had more donations of sheepy projects.

Diane made this beautiful sheep, decorated in crochet thread flowers.

Unfortunately, due to the wonders of modern technology and user inexperience, all the wonderful digital photos of the other contributions were erased.

However, we do have some pictures of us working on finishing the piece.

While Diane concentrated on felting the title to our sheepskin-shaped backing,

Lynn worked on attaching her spinning wheel.

Jackie makes quick work of Diane's sheep.

And Karen happily punches away on a granny square made by KJ.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

We're back!

We had a special mid-week meeting of the crochet group where Rebecca's cousin, Robyn, visited from Cincinnati. Some of us had met her before at the Crochet Guild of America national conference last July. She's been crocheting up a storm since even before then, publishing a number of designs in magazines and books for Crochet Today! and Interweave Press. (Check out her blog at http://www.crochetbyfaye.blogspot.com/) She brought us yarn gifts -a whole big bag of cool new yarns- from her recent trip to TNNA (The National NeedleArts Association) convention, a trade show for companies specializing in needle arts products. Thanks, Robyn! By the way, that little granny square swatch you made and left attached to one of your yarn gifts... consider it your contribution to our group project. Again, Thanks, Robyn!

In other progress, Becky brought the little sweater she finished.

She is going to donate the needles as well to make it look like a WIP - work in progress!

The stitch pattern was interesting to watch develop and Becky said it was a lot of fun! It is created by setting up a rib pattern with a yarn over, then on subsequent rows, continuing in rib until the row where you purposely drop a stitch. The dropped stitch runs down to the yarn over, creating a little oval gap between the rib stitches.

Awesome, Becky!

Stay tuned for more!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Summer slowdown

With the Memorial Day holiday approaching, we've hit a summer slowdown. We might even be cancelling the Saturday, May 26th meeting! Hey, we're diehards, here. We meet practically every weekend, even through the summer!

Unfortunately, we have no new pieces to show, though, more are in the works! Please check back in a week or two, after the holiday. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Our first piece!

Actually, we have two completed pieces! Jackie made a little sheep. She used single crochet and bobble stitches to give it texture. It's crocheted in the round like amigurumi.

What a cute face, Jackie!

...and Lyn made a spinning wheel, using mostly double crochet and chain stitches.

Stay tuned! More projects are in the works!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Experiment a success!

With a flurry of emails, we began to wonder if we would have to sew all our freeform pieces onto the felt backing. We thought we would be able to needle felt (a method of dry felting that uses a barbed needle to mix and lock the fibers together) them, but we were not sure what fiber contents would work best. Would our yarn and/or backing have to be 100% wool? If one was 100%, could the others be a blend or even contain no wool at all?

In the meantime, and after driving all over the city and beyond, Diane purchased the only 100% wool felt she could find. An off-white, cut to 3'x4'. Becky had hoped we could find black, but alas, the only black felts were a rayon/wool blend. Sorry, Becky, we'll have to incorporate your "black sheep" idea some other way...

Determined to find out how much sewing we would have to do (decidedly the least favorite part of our last group freeform project), Rebecca purchased a remnant of the wool/rayon blend felt in red. Using a felting needle, and various fibers, she jabbed and jabbed and jabbed. Wool, bamboo, acrylic, alpaca, cashmerino, linen, cotton, and even a knitted square, all attached with minimal effort. The red felt proved that we would not have to worry about the backing color bleeding through the freeform pieces. The experiment was definitely a success! Though our methods were not very scientific, we are happy to report our results: any fiber in any state (original yarn or worked piece) can be attached to even a wool/rayon blend. 100% wool not required.

Monday, April 30, 2007

We've begun...

...Our next group project!

As a group, we've decided to participate in an upcoming art exhibit to be held at One Mellon Center here in Pittsburgh. This blog will track our creative progress, from ideas (there are already a few brewing!) to the completed project.

The exhibit focuses on wool including weaving, looping, felting, and our personal favorites: yarn, knitting, and especially crocheting!

So after a brainstorming meeting, we have decided to make various items related to wool and adhere them to a felt background in the shape of a sheepskin. We will use any technique we can think of, including freeform, knitting, needle felting, and all types of crocheting.

Check back weekly to see our progress!