Art With More Than One Use- That’s Value

I really love when I can see a real value in something. When something can fulfill different needs; when something is a real workhorse; and it if looks great while doing it, that is placing it over the top. When talking to a longtime friend of mine, I realized that her new business venture was of a product that met this description.

Lilla Rose creates hair products, which I admit are a bit different then what I have seen before. On the surface it looks like a typical hair tie, but it is actually flexible. Made from what I understand as piano wire, it is sturdy; so it holds its shape and such, but it is also flexible so that it can catch your hair more like almost a net and then cradle it. This helps it to feel comfortable all day long. 

Another different feature is that the pin that holds it in place, is actually attached to the tie, so that is it never lost, and it is in the correct place every time to keep your hair in place.

So, now what makes this a work horse, well, aside from the many different styles and looks, it also works great as a shawl pin. It adds a perfect locked in approach to keeping my shawl in place without slipping and sliding around. With the pin attached I know that it will not fall through or twist around. I know that when I put it in my shawl, it will stay. 

Then after some playing around I think I found my favorite latest use…holding my yarn balls in place. When I am working with multiple colors in the same fabric, it never fails…I get the yarn completely tangled and if I am using balls they are rolling everywhere. I can use multiple yarn bowls, but sometimes that is not practical as I am traveling with my work. However these hair clips fit perfectly in the yarn, and prevents it from rolling, while securing the end where I want it. 

I know this might seem like a small thing, holding yarn in place, either on the ball or my shawl, but sometimes it is the small things that really make a difference.

I am glad my friend and I had a chat about her products, as I think I have found a new “go-to” for a few different things. You can check out her clips here…

A Tradeshow that becomes an Adventure

ScannedImageFollowing the world of yarn can lead to some interesting adventures. Last week I attended the National Needleworks Association (TNNA) winter trade show, which is established to allow yarn, thread, needlepoint, and any other related manufactures and supplies to be in one spot and show their new wears to potential buyers. This show was in Washington D.C. and was as it usually is, a complete whirlwind.


Love the Mountain Color booth at TNNA in Washington DC

I saw many yarns, met many people, and left exhausted and overwhelmed. I hope to see some samples of the products I checked out at my home soon, so that I can get more equated with them, and share my thoughts with you.

I was able to meet up with my college roommate for dinner, which was an added trip bonus. I was able to meet his lovely wife, while catching up on old times. Amazing how 17 years can pass between meetings, but we can pick up on conversations like they were yesterday.

I also was fortunate enough to take part in a needle works tour of the National Cathedral. I did not get to complete the tour, as I needed to get to the airport for my journey home, but the part that I saw and heard was wonderful.

Now this is where the real adventure of my trip began, and definitely made a lasting memory. I got to Dulles airport, and was surprised to find no lines at security, nor real bad traffic in getting there for that matter. Then I learned that my flight to Denver was delayed, first 30 minutes, then an hour, ultimately it was delayed an hour and a half. It was still enough time to meet my connecting flight in Denver, so I didn’t think too much of it, until landing in Denver and realizing my connecting flight to Sacramento was cancelled. I had never had to deal with this in travel, so I guess I cannot complain too much.


Myself and Marly as she dropped me at the airport the next morning. Thank you Marly! What a nice unexpected visit.

I learned that by the time that my flight landed 30 flights had already been cancelled, and that was just by my airline. Apparently Denver had been under tornado warning most of the afternoon and evening. No hotels rooms were available, and it was well after midnight, so I began to find a quiet place to sleep, under a set of seats, and posts a picture of my sleeping arrangements to Facebook. About an hour later, after getting the usual 15 minutes of possible sleep, I checked my phone to find that a post was made just a few minutes earlier from a colleague and friend asking why I hadn’t given her a call. I did not realize that she lived so close to the airport, and after some back and forth, Marly Bird, the podcaster, designer, and Red Heart Ambassador came and picked me up at 2:30 in the morning to give me a few hours of sleep on her sofa.

The next morning, I got to see where all the magic happens in her studio before she returned me to the airport to begin my day of travel to Northern California via Southern California. I finally got home the next night, but this trade show showed me more than just some new yarns, it showed me just how generous people in this industry can be. It is definitely a trip I will not forget anytime soon.

Taking a Look at the “Extras” that make Crochet

ScannedImageI usually find myself to be a very simple person. I have crocheted for more years then I care to count, and have never thought about much more then my hook and my yarn. However recently I have started to look at “accessories”.

It probably came about from a ceramics class. A group of former students/friends arranged a day out to a local studio called “Color Me Mine”. It is apparently a chain of studios that have ceramic pieces for purchase, that you can then glaze and they will fire in a kiln, resulting in a personalized project that has a professional feel. At our studio day it was arranged for us to create our own yarn bowls.DSCF0937

A yarn bowl is a newer concept to me; it is a bowl that holds yarn but has decorative edge that actually functions in reducing your yarn from tangling. So balls of yarn are contained and do not run wild in the house and the pull of the yarn is from the same place every time. I admit, in the past I managed unruly balls of yarn by placing them in a tennis shoe or hiking boot, but this bowl seems to be much more effective. Of the finished pieces I had the pleasure of seeing, they are all beautiful.

Funny how one open door to a new thought can open the door to many others. As this experience had me looking at travel holders for hooks, bags, hooks in general, even coffee cups. So when I was attempting to find a “thank you” gift for a friend, instead of looking at the usual yarn, I began thinking of other possibilities. One that I have decided to undertake and make myself, a hook/needle travel case.


Small pouches for hooks/needles


Wrong side of sewn fabric, 2 sets of pockets are created with folds. (hook/needle pouches sewn on the main pocket)

It has not been as difficult as I would have first thought. I found a fabric I liked in my stash, a velvet or velour type in a dark green; I cut a rectangle of 13”x 30” (33x76cm), and then began folding. I folded up 8” (20cm) from the short side, and then folded it in half back down (so that the velvet side of the fabric was facing outward, while at the same time lining the pocket). I then began to stitch creating a pocket and then slender pocket of ½” (1cm) width to hold hooks/needles. I then created a second set of pockets behind the hooks, by pulling up the recently sewn pocket about 2 ½” (6cm) and stitching the sides down. I also placed a couple of additional seams over the stitches created in the hooks sleeves to make about 3” (7.5cm) pouches.


The crochet fabric is sewn to the velvet fabric, wrong sides together.

Now that the stitching was done, it was on to the crochet. I made a piece of crochet fabric from some rayon yarn I had, and utilized the Tunisian simple stitch to highlight the subtle color changes, in a size of a 9”x13” (23x33cm)rectangle. Matching the 13” (33cm) sides of the velvet and the crochet, with wrong sides together I stitches the seam, as well as at either end of the of the 9”(23cm) side of the crochet fabric to the velvet piece, and finally stitched the last side of the crochet fabric in place leaving the remaining velvet fabric unstitched (this is used to fold over the hooks/needles). Then sew on some ribbon ties and I think it looks good.


Tied up and ready to go!


Just needs to be filled!

Looking at accessories for the world of fiber, is opening up many new ideas….it seems like a whole new world!