Crafty Stories

I like to tell stories through the creative arts. I may be slightly obsessed with books, movies, TV shows, yarn and fiber. Wanna hang out?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Fiber Festival Recap

My first-ever fiber festival - Fiber in the Boro - went really well! I'm very pleased with my sales and also it was a big bunch of fun to meet so many local and semi-local fibery friends!!

Here's a shot of my booth:





Since not ALL of my fibery friends could attend the festival, I'm also hosting a little "Virtual Fiber Festival" in my Ravelry group! Come on over and check out what I have left of my inventory. Everything is on SALE and I'm also offering FREE shipping (worldwide!) of all the items until I put them back in my Etsy shop later this week. Also, anyone who makes a purchase from the virtual festival can enter to WIN a door prize (I will select it based on the winner's tastes)!

Happy Halloween!!!!



Friday, October 28, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday: Blogs I Love

So, all of my fiber arts stuff is packed up in suitcases right now in preparation to travel with me to Fiber in the Boro tomorrow. I'm vending at my first-ever fiber festival, wahoo!!

Since I don't have anything fiber artsy to show you, I thought I'd take a minute to share some blog love today instead.

I read a lot of blogs. I find it really inspiring to read blogs about what other people are crafting. I've discovered in the past few years that you can learn how to do virtually anything if you Google it, and blogs are a great resource for tutorials, patterns and general crafty inspiration. Here are some of the crafty blogs I love and why:

- Sew, Mama, Sew!
This blog is full of sewing inspiration, as the name implies. Right now I'm participating in a holiday decor sew-along through this blog, where I'm horribly behind in making a table runner and a Christmas tree skirt. I'm hoping to get back on track with those projects after the festival. In addition to sew-alongs, the SMS blog features links to sewing patterns and tutorials as well as a wealth of in-house tutorials and guest posts. It's a really great blog for beginning to advanced seamstresses.


- Pink Chalk Fabric Studio
I first discovered this blog because of Fat Quarter Tuesday; every Tuesday the ladies at the studio put together two sets of fat quarters and give them away, which is pretty awesome, right?!? They also do sew-alongs; right now they're sewing through all of the projects in One-Yard Wonders, which is great for me because I own that book so it can be really helpful to see a more experienced seamstress tackle the projects before I try them. There are also tutorials and posts about new fabric trends and patterns, which I love.


- Made (aka Dana Made It)
This blog is full of great tutorials, too, especially ones for kids' clothing and projects. I really love the clean look of the blog and even though I've only been reading it for a little while, I really enjoy it.

- I Still Love You
This is another mostly new blog for me, but I really enjoy the crafty tips and tutorials. She includes great refashion/upcycled fashion projects, too, which is something that's right up my alley.


- What I Made
Um, wow. This guy is amazing. I mostly don't try to re-create his projects because they seem really complicated, though I know usually they're not. I just love to see what he comes up with, because it's always really individual and amazing.

- Prudent Baby
I love Jaime and Jacinda over at Prudent Baby! They're two moms who admit that sometimes life feels like a hot mess, but that doesn't mean you have to LOOK like it! They have great tutorials for sewing projects and patterns, kids' crafts, gift ideas, recipes and more. They link to other amazing blogs and projects and they really connect well with today's modern mommies.

- Wee Essentials
This blog is owned by Candice, the owner of Wee Essentials and also my friend. She has some great information about eco-friendly living, taking care of your home/family and green products.

As for fiber arts blogs, here are a few I enjoy:

- Liberty's Yarn
I first "met" Liberty through Twitter, where she posted a call to fiber artists to join her for a series of interviews. I enjoyed my interview with her immensely, and if you're a regular visitor here then you know I interviewed her as well. This week she interviewed our very own Andrea of Wonder Why Alpacas, so that was awesome! I also love following Liberty on Twitter because she posts some really awesome and helpful links for crafty business owners.


- Who Needs Gauge
This blog belongs to my friend Steph, who comes up with really creative and fun projects for her kids. The posts she creates aren't exclusively related to fiber arts but it fits in well with her title and she does post plenty of things about knitting, too!

- Adventures in Wool
This is the blog of Johanna, aka Ever Improving Me on Etsy/Artfire/Ravelry. Johanna posts her shop updates here and other information that can be helpful for fiber artists!

- KnitFiber
This is my friend Carrie, who uses her blog to showcase her great fiber arts projects.


- Wonder Why Alpaca Farm
Of course! Our fearless Fiber Arts Friday leader always has something fun and interesting to share with us, doesn't she? I'm so glad I found Fiber Arts Friday and Andrea's blog, because I really enjoy sharing her creative journey through the blog.

I feel like I should have more fiber arts-related blogs that I read regularly. If you have a fiber arts blog or a favorite blog you read, please leave me a comment so I can come and visit! I regularly visit the other FAF contributors but I don't often remember to check their blogs the other days of the week. Leave me a comment to tell me why I should make a note of that! :)

When you're finished, head on over to Andrea's place and link up with the rest of the Fiber Arts Friday fun!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gift Ideas for Book Lovers: Five Hot Tips

Searching for the perfect gift for the book lover in your life? Look no further! Whether your bookish friend is a fan of mystery, science fiction, or literary classics, you can put together an amazing gift that is sure to please. Order your gift online or put it together from locally available items; gifts for book lovers come in as many varieties as there are literary genres. Whether you want a serious, cherished gift or a fun and whimsical option, you're sure to find one here that fits your style AND your budget.

1. Boxed Set
If your book-loving friend has a favorite author, consider purchasing a boxed set of books from that author. A boxed set will contain books in high quality hardback editions; that way, your friend can have a full matched set of his favorite books to display on his book shelf. Try the Harry Potter Boxed Set, available from amazon.com for $122.85. Fans of mystery might enjoy a Sherlock Holmes Boxed Set for just over $38.

2. Books and Movies
Buy your book lover the book and DVD version of her favorite story, then put it together with some microwave popcorn and movie theater style boxed candies. Add a 20-ounce bottle of soda and a memento from the movie, such as a movie poster or movie t-shirt, and your gift is ready to give.

3. Wear Your Book On Your Sleeve
Visit Cafepress.com to see a selection of tshirts, bags, coffee mugs, and other printable items inspired by favorite books. Check out this Shakespeare Insults T-shirt for $28 or this Mark Twain Rectangle Magnet for $5. If you don't see something inspired by your friend's favorite book or author, you can create your own custom items using quotes and graphics of your own choosing.

4. Boxes and Baskets
Try this selection of book lover's gift baskets, which include a variety of snacks and an option to choose a paperback novel for inclusion with the package. Or check out this Book Lovers Gift Basket for $44.50; it includes an option to add a Barnes & Noble gift card for an additional price, and comes in a book end chest for a reusable packaging option. You can always put together your own basket, too - include a signed or first-edition copy of a favorite book along with foods inspired by that book (Harry Potter candies and pumpkin juice, for instance).

5. Handmade Marketplace
Etsy.com offers gifts for book lovers in mass quantities. Try these colorful author matchbook notebooks for $6.50 or this custom made charm bracelet for $21.99. Don't forget to browse Etsy's selection of handmade bookmarks while you're there. (Of course, there's always yarn and spinning fiber for book lovers, too!) If you haven't found anything you like yet, contact one of your favorite Etsy artisans and ask for a custom order option. Now that's a one-of-a-kind gift!

Whatever you choose, make your gift memorable by personalizing it for the book lover in your life.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Free Crochet Pattern: Sock Yarn Goddess

I first created this little goddess some time last year for the Phat Fiber Sampler box recipients. It worked well with our theme of the elements at the time.

I wrote this originally as a pendant or key chain. I also think it would be a nice gift for a woman you know, to thank her for sharing her inner goddess with the world. I'm thinking of making several out of my own sock yarns and using it as a garland to display my colorways!

Now I'm offering her up for free to all of you, my lovely blog readers! Here we go ...


Materials:
- Approx. 15 yds fingering/sock yarn   
- Crochet hook, size US F (3.75 mm)
- Jump ring or plain stitch marker   
- Large eye blunt needle
- Liquid starch

NOTE: All stitches and abbreviations are in US terminology.

Directions:
Start by making a magic circle or whatever method you use to crochet in the round.  

Round 1: Make 8 sc stitches in the circle, and join with a sl st.
Round 2: Ch 1, 2 sc in 1st stitch and every stitch around. Join with a sl st. (16 sc)
Round 3: Ch 1, TURN, make 1 sc stitch in the next 2 sc stitches. (2 sc)
From here on out you will work back and forth in rows.
Row 4
: Ch 1, turn, make 2 sc in each sc across. (4 sc)
Row 5: Ch 3 (counts as dc), turn, 1 dc in 1st sc, 1 dc in each of next 2 sc, 2 dc in last sc. (6 dc)
Row 6: Ch 3 (counts as dc), turn, 1 dc in each stitch across. (6 dc)
Row 7: Ch 1, turn, sc2tog, sc in each of next 2 dc, sc2tog. (4 sc)
Row 8: Ch 1, turn, sc2tog, sc2tog. (2 sc)
Row 9: Ch 1, turn, hdc2tog. (1 hdc)
Row 10: Ch 1, turn, sc around edge of body up toward the head. When you reach the upper portion of the body, approximately row 5, ch 15. Sl st in 2nd ch from hook and each ch after that and reconnect to the body with a sc. Continue to sc around neck and head, then make 15 ch on the other side of the body to parallel the first arm. Sl st down these sts and join to the body with a sc. Sc around to the bottom of the body. Make 1 dc stitch in the bottom of the body, then sc up this stitch and join with a sl st to a single crochet on the other side where you started the edging. Finish off and weave in your ends.


Finishing:
Bring the goddess’s arms up over her head as if she is clapping. Hold the jump ring between her hands and use needle and spare length of the yarn to stitch the two hands together with the jump ring in between. You will hang a ribbon or chain from this jump ring for wearing. Weave in ends, dip in liquid starch, and block. Let dry and hang her on a ribbon or chain to wear.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gonna Have a Good Day

I've been thinking about a lot of things lately - some good, some not so much. My day job has mostly fizzled, leaving me worried about finances a lot. I've been trying to focus on the power of positive thinking and the idea that we get back the energy that we put out, so we should probably try to put out good energy.

Am I worried about money? Yes. Am I worried about my business? Yes. Am I anxious that my business won't ever be enough to sustain me? Yes. Can I do anything about that situation? Yes. I can focus on the positive, take action to improve my business every day, and I can try to have a good day.

Let's face it - if you want to have a bad day, you're going to have one. If you want to wallow, you're going to do it. If you don't let yourself do those things, something surprisingly good could come out of it. You never know unless you try.

So in the spirit of that, here's a little song for you. Give yourself a minute to dance in your seat and let's all try to have a good day today!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday: Meet Liberty!

Today for Fiber Arts Friday I have a special treat to share with all of you - an interview with Liberty of Liberty's Yarn!

Liberty is an amazing fiber artist and blogger extraordinaire. I was lucky enough to "meet" her when she interviewed me for her blog series, Better Know a Fiber Artist. After that I started following her blog and her tweets and I realized that she is an amazing source of inspiration and information, so I asked her to come and share some of that with us today!

Lady Liberty! (Photo from Liberty's Yarn site.)
Here we go! (Bold sections are the questions I asked.)

1.       Tell us a little bit about the nitty gritty details – name, location, family:
My name is Liberty of Liberty’s Yarn. I live at the foot of Mt. Rainier in the beautiful Puget Sound. (That’s Seattle/Tacoma for all you non-PNW’ers.) I live with my darling hubster, one teen girl, the boy-beast child, and one rambunctious pup. When I am not chasing the kids, juggling their specialists, making dinner, (trying to convince the hubby to add more yarn to his newest book series) and avoiding housework – I dye yarn, make soap and try to sell it.

2.       Having read the About section of your blog, I know that you have moved around a LOT and held a LOT of jobs. Which location/job was the wackiest? Which one will stay in your heart the most?
I love them all for different reasons. Alaska will always be home. It was a real challenge to go from Alaskan island fishing town to subtropical big city. And yet, if I had to get culture-shocked I am so grateful it happened in New Orleans. It was such a divinely magical city. My greatest hope is for its return to splendor. New Orleans was probably the wackiest town I’ve lived in the totally awesome way. It still inspires and enchants me.

Jobs…I have had some weird ones. Some that were just boring, and some I don’t talk about.  Staying home with my kids has always steered my job choices. I have not always been able to be a SAHM, but I have taken some odd jobs trying too. The yarn shop was born from a love of fiber and the need to be flexible enough to stay home and manage my kids’ special needs.

3.       When it comes to making yarn, what inspires you? What’s the process you go through when you create a new colorway?
That’s a tough one. Nature, movies, stories, beautiful produce (Farmers Markets are like porn LOL). My interest change from moment to moment – so it is usually whatever I am interested in at the time. I tend to be drawn to the fiber artists like Kathryn Alexander and Kristin Nicholas. Their unabashed use of colors teases me out from my all-black-all-the-time wardrobe and inspires crazy things like wearing bright orange boots to the grocery store. (gasp)

When I create a color it always goes one of two ways. Either Option #1: I plan, measure out, plan some more, test samples, worry, hem, haw ... and then end up unhappy and overdyeing the whole mess. OR Option #2: I heat up the pots, grab a dye whose name strikes me, and just play. Little of this - lots of that. My colors almost always end up more vibrant than I had planned - sometimes WAY too intense - but I am always happier in the end when I play. I try not to compare my colors to anyone else's. It can be a challenge when I walk into a yarn store and see an amazing colorway. My first reaction is almost always, "I can make that”. And sometimes I do. But it never feels right. And it always takes Option #1 to achieve.


4.       You dye yarn, you make soap, you care for a family and you support causes like the Special Olympics. How do you balance all of those things and still find time for yourself?
Short answer is…I don’t. But I am working on it. On good days - I practice yoga, meditate, and take time to cook vegetarian yummies for myself. But usually that is abbreviated down to 5 minutes alone in the shower and a nice cup of tea. It’s a work in progress. LOL

I am learning to do the things that need to be done when I am in the mood to do them. That way it doesn’t feel like work, it feels like fun. I have gobs of stuff that needs to be done all the time. Chances are I am in the mood to do at least one of them at any given time. (fingers crossed) And I am getting really really good at using the word, “no’. This is a brand new and strange concept for me. But I like it.
 
5.       What motivates you and gets you excited?
Learning new things. Being around people excited to learn something new. Exploring new places. Negativity and drama are my kryptonite.

In fiber it is the magic of metamorphosis. There is nothing like taking a fleece through processing, dyeing, spinning, knitting or crochet or weaving. How that grungy hunk of stinky wool can morph at every stage into something more beautiful than the last is truly magic. Watching a hand painted yarn’s color take a stitch this way or that. Seeing an argyle pattern appear where one was never intended. I know its super nerdy – I don’t care. It is true awesome-hood-ness!

6.       If you could do any job in the world, what would it be?
Other than what I do now? Hmmm…Some days I think I was meant to be a librarian. I love books, learning, (quiet time)…but I would need some travel added. Could I be an action-librarian? Oh oh could I be a librarian on the starship Enterprise?! Replicators, no money, endless travel, interesting people – that would be awesome!

7.       Your blog is both entertaining and educational, which I love. What advice do you have for other bloggers or would-be bloggers to make their blogs more inviting?
Thank you! There are gazillions of people out there who want to tell you how to do it ‘right’. There is no one ‘right’ way to knit, and there is no one ‘right’ way to blog. My favorite tips have been:
1)look at blogs you love, take note of what they have/are doing that you love, and try to integrate it into your blog 
2)figure out a focus and try to stick to it
3)write in your own voice and don’t let anybody tell you different 
4)keep your blog simple – easy to navigate, not too busy – let your content be what jumps out at the reader.
5)and everyone loves a list post. Ha ha

Play with confidence! Have fun boldly! 

Liberty's Logo - photo from her site.

8.       You write a lot about Crafty Biz, both in your blog posts and in your tweets. If you could give just one or two pieces of advice to crafty businesspeople, what would you say?
Own your ‘why’. Why do you do what you do? Why are you different? Why should I spend money with you? People don’t buy what you do; they buy into why you do it. So fly that freak flag and get noticed.
Another thing I had to learn the hard way was to delegate. There is so much that goes into running a business. I just can’t be good at everything. It is often cheaper to pay someone else to do the things I suck at. (And if I’m really lucky – they will trade me services for yarn. Hee hee)

9.       How did you grow your own crafty business to bring it to the place it is today (wholesale accounts, your own web site, fame and fortune)?
Not a lot of fame or fortune – just yarn. Lots and lots of yarn. Oh, and soap. If the zombies come, I will be very clean. LOL
I started out super small on Etsy. A few months later, I worked up to my own site complimented by my existing blog. I was a vendor at Sock Summit 09 (next to the beer – prime real estate). I now wholesale to a handful of shops and host a monthly yarn club on my website. I do my best to keep my tribe in what they love while staying true to what I love to make. It can be a tough balance.
I find the most success and feel the most growth when I reach out to other crafters/artist. I am a huge supporter of the notion of coopetition. When we support each other, everyone wins.  

It wouldn’t be the Storied Yarns blog if I didn’t ask these questions:

10.   What’s your favorite book? Soup Makes the Meal by Ken Haedrich (every recipe works, delicious, sanity saver)…oh, did you mean fiction? (Did I mention I have a book ‘collecting’ ‘issue’?) Would have to be Sense and Sensibility by the marvelous Jane Austen.
11.   What’s your favorite TV show/series? Lost/Eureka/Castle/Miss Marple (I think I am going to be very bad at these.)
12.   What’s your favorite movie? Big Fat Greek Wedding/A-Team/Pride and Prejudice
13.   If you could knit your own freak flag, what would it look like? What yarn would you use? I would use my yarn – cause its here and easy to get too. It would probably begin as a dizzying array of overcomplicated stitches with wild urban primary colors and then transition to dominos, entrelac, chevrons, and finally stripes.
14.   If you could create a skein of yarn inspired by your life, what would it be like? It would be rustic, simple with many layers of water color. It would be wool – probably Shetland – with a smidge of tweed flecks. It would have many plies, but probably only be about DK weight. It would probably be deep dyed pewter with specks of pumpkin, aubergine, and cranberry. 

My personal fave - Liberty's Empyrean colorway on her Aran of Green Gables (LOVE, ha!) base.

15. Is there anything else you want to share with our readers? Thank you Jessica for having me. This was fun! I am getting into all sorts of fun on the blog/shop – just posted the Poison Rose Mystery Mitten pattern, collecting interviews for BNAFA, and the Yarn Co_Op is going strong. 

Thanks so much, Liberty! 

Happy Fiber Arts Friday to the rest of you fiber artists out there. Head on over to Andrea's Blog and check out the rest of the adventures!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Free Crochet Pattern: Vine Garland Accessory

This one's for Miki of Funhouse Fibers, who wants to know how to crochet a vine. ;)


Materials Needed:
- Yarn (I used worsted weight)
- Crochet hook (I used size US J)
- Scissors
- Embroidery needle for weaving in ends.

A note about yarn and hook choices:
I used worsted weight yarn (specifically some leftover "I Love This Cotton" from Hobby Lobby that I had in my stash) and a size US J crochet hook. As a result, my vine is kind of loosey/goosey/drapey. This works for me because I'm planning to use it as the foundation for my pumpkin and leaf garland. If you want your vine to stand on its own a little more, use a hook that gives you a good, tight gauge. If it curls up on itself while you work you can always block it later, depending on the yarn you use.

Abbreviations used:
- CH = chain
- SC = single crochet
- SL ST = slip stitch

Note for Spinners: When I made this, my starting chain weighed 4g and my finished vine weighed about 38g. So basically, if you have art yarn or handspun and you want to use it for this project, keep chaining until you have used up about 1/10th of the yarn you have, then get going on the rest of the instructions. That way you won't run out of yarn that you can't replicate or pick up at your local craft store. :)

Let's get started, shall we?

1. Begin with a starting chain that is a multiple of 7 stitches plus 12. (Note: I have NO idea what my starting chain is - let's go with "longish." I wanted this to be long enough to go over the doorway where my garland currently hangs on a boring old strand of yarn, so I kept on chaining until it looked long enough. That's how I roll. I don't count the multiple of 7, I just count to 7 over and over again until it looks good, then I add 12 more.)
2. SC in the 2nd ch from the hook and in each of the next 4 ch stitches.
3. Ch 12 (this is the start of a branch).
4. SC in the 2nd ch from the hook and in each of the next 4 ch stitches (branch fork side one).
5. Ch 4. SC in the 2nd ch from the hook and in each of the next 2 stitches (branch fork side two).
6. Sl St in the same ch stitch where you started this fork. SC in the next ch and in each ch back down the branch.
7. Sl St in the same ch stitch from the foundation ch where you started this branch.
8. SC in each of the next 14 ch stitches.
9. Repeat steps 3 through 8 all down the length of the starting chain. When you have fewer than 14 stitches left in the chain, just single crochet in each of them.
10. In the last Ch stitch, make a total of 3 SC stitches to turn your work around. You will now be working back up the starting chain on the opposite side.
11. SC in every stitch until you reach the Ch where you started a branch on the opposite side. Keep making SC for 7 more CH stitches.
12. Repeat steps 3 through 8. Keep on repeating steps 3 through 8 until you hit the end of this chain, again finishing with single crochet stitches at the end of the row.
13. Make two extra single crochets in the last chain on this side, then Sl St in the first SC you made. Finish off and weave in your ends.

Uses for this project:
- Use it as garland by itself. Hang it on your wall or wrap it around a wreath or a holiday tree.
- Use it as garland in combination with other things. I'm going to hang pumpkins and leaves (knitted and crocheted out of handspun) from mine. I'm probably going to make another one in gothy colors with bats and witches for Halloween and then maybe make a holiday looking one as well. It'd be fun to crochet it in green and add little red balls for holly berries, wouldn't it?
- Wear it as a scarf, as seen here:


- Dress as Medusa for Halloween and wrap it around your head like a wig.

I hope you enjoy the pattern! Feel free to use it as you like and make or sell as many vines as you want. Please just don't re-publish the pattern anywhere or sell it to other people. Thank you!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Shop Update!

I updated the Storied Yarns Shop last night with a pound of Polwarth and some merino, too! :)

Here are the items I added:

Artemis Fowl on Polwarth

Jack and Sally on Polwarth - there are 2 of these sets in stock!

Nobody Owens on Polwarth. This one is graduated from dark charcoal/black to grey to white!

Sarah Sanderson on Merino (Hocus Pocus)

Nucky Thompson on Merino (Boardwalk Empire)


Remember, use coupon code Pumpkin to save 15% in the shop this month! I will be heading to my first ever fiber festival at the end of October, so if you have a favorite item you'd better snag it now before it sells out! :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday: Character to Colorway - Edward Cullen

Happy Fiber Arts Friday, everyone!! I hope you've had a fabulous week playing with string. I know I have, mostly the kind of playing where I get dye all over my hands and my clothes.

(Have I considered changing my T-shirt before playing with dye? Yes I have. Have I actually done it? No, I have not. Gimme a break, my kids are home from school for two weeks.)

Anyway, I dyed up a new colorway this week in response to a request from one of my favorite customers, Chris of GHL Designs. Chris is participating in my Halloween Knit-Along and she wanted Edward Cullen sock yarn.

Hmm, I get to spend the week obsessing thinking logically about a sexy, sparkly vampire? I love my job!

Anyway, this week for Fiber Arts Friday I thought I'd take you on a little journey with me about how I take a character and turn him into a colorway. In this case, Mr. Cullen.

With Edward, I thought about the book and movie versions of his character. I loved the books when I read them, but I also think Robert Pattinson is a hottie, so for me there was no way to separate the two versions of Edward in this colorway creation.

When I think of Edward Cullen, I think of him as being an old soul, since he's actually a really old vampire in the body of a young hottie. So I wanted his colorway to be sophisticated and distinguished rather than loud/bold. Here are the main points that came to mind:
- I thought of how Bella's first impression of Edward was that he was a "stupid shiny Volvo owner," so I added gray to the colorway.
Hello, sexy. (Photo from GraphicsHunt.com)
- I thought of how hot Robert Pattinson looks in that slate blue color from the movies, so I added slate blue to the colorway.










- I thought about how Edward's eyes change colors as he goes from satisfied to hungry (mmmmm), so I added topaz and black to the colorway.

Here's the finished result, in all his glory:





Now I just need to dye this up on my Starlet Sock base so it can sparkle! ;)

This isn't the way I always do my colorways. Sometimes I have more of an emotional connection with a character and I use the colors that bring out those emotions (like my Eric Northman colorway that's all sexy reds). Sometimes there's an actual color description in a book and I use that (like Octarine, which is a greenish purple color b/c that's how Terry Pratchett describes the color of magic). Sometimes I use the images from a film to come up with the whole colorway, and other times I take my customer's input. In any case, I like to think I have a pretty good system for putting color onto yarn and making it work, and I thought it would be fun to share at least part of that system with you!

I didn't put Edward in the shop, but I did add six other skeins today! Check it out:



Now it's time for you to share with me! What have you been up to this week? What has inspired you? Why don't you blog about your fibery adventures and then share them at Wonder Why Gal's blog so the rest of us can enjoy sharing your creative journey? Have an awesome, yarn-filled weekend everyone!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Review: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

So, I haven't been reading much lately, mostly because my Nook is currently misbehaving and I need to get it repaired or replaced. In the meantime, however, my friend Steph loaned me a few books to read, which was awesome of her! One of those books was Catherine Fisher's Incarceron.

Image from Amazon.com

If you know me and my reading preferences then you know that I love dystopian literature. I guess it's kind of a weird thing to love, when you think about it. I enjoy reading books about what could happen in the future if things go horribly wrong. Ha! Anyway, Incarceron is a dystopian novel so you should know I loved it before I even read the first page.

Synopsis
Incarceron introduces us first to Finn, a boy trapped inside a living, breathing prison. The prison is like a giant society all its own, housing countless prisoners in a variety of landscapes. It has metal forests, dark tombs, and giant caverns. It's full of bullies and heroes, just like life on the outside. Except that very few in the prison even believe in the idea of Outside, because no one has ever been there.

Next we meet Claudia, a girl who lives on the Outside. She is the prison warden's daughter, and she's trapped in her own kind of prison. She lives in a futuristic version of Earth where a long-since-dead dictator decided to re-create the past in order to save the future. Everyone lives in a sort of a play, pretending that they are from an era before technology and modern conveniences. The ruling class take their liberties with this situation and they keep everyone else in line through strict punishments. Meanwhile, very few people ever even think about Incarceron or the people inside it.

In this situation, Incarceron was built as a way to rid the world of all the evil-doers at one time. The rulers who built Incarceron sent all the criminals away to live there, along with several of the best and brightest people from that generation. The idea was to create a Utopia inside the prison, a perfect society with no problems. They would always be comfortable, always have food and shelter, and never have any disease or crime. Then the rest of society would move ahead by living in the past.

As the reader soon discovers, nothing ever works out the way you plan it. When Finn and Claudia connect with one another through a secret key, they will put in motion events that can change the future for everyone.

Review
Ok, enough teasers. I'm hoping I've enticed you to read this book, all my ramblings aside. They're making it into a movie, but that won't be out for another year and a half so in the meantime you've got plenty of time to read the book. The plot sucks you in from the very beginning and doesn't let you go until the very end. Even after reading it I'm left wanting more, and patiently waiting for Steph to send me the sequel, Sapphique. In the meantime, I'll have to busy myself with the creation of some Incarceron colorways for my shop, I suppose!

So, what have you been reading lately? Any recommendations for me?