July 2010

Why You Should Enter The County Fair

All across the country, county fair season is winding up!  The summertime is when counties invite their residents to submit everything from chickens to crafts to be judged and the winners given ribbons, and sometimes cash prizes.  (And in my county, a $2 discount off the price of a fair ticket!)

I think it's safe to say that every crafter in the United States lives within the range of a county fair.  (The only exception I've found so far is residents of New York City, who would probably have to submit their entries to the state fair instead.)

So why should you enter?

What You Can Do About America's Creativity Crisis

According to Newsweek, America's creativity is dwindling.  Every year a group of scientists tests a group of kids for creativity, and offers scores - in much the same way that an IQ test scores the kids' intelligence.  Creativity scores increased year over year until 1990, when they started declining.  And have continued to decline ever since.

I have some serious misgivings about the research, the numbers, what they mean, and where they come from.  But these results FEEL true, don't they? 

It feels as if people have become more rigid, less willing to step back and see the big picture, less interested in learning and problem solving and frankly in doing anything other than wasting time on Facebook and watching television.

Matching Yarn Color To Pattern

I have to tell you, I have been having the worst WORST luck with knitting projects lately.  And you know why?  Because I ignore that little voice inside my head that's disagreeing with whatever decision I happen to be making at the time.  I hate that little voice, but it always turns out to be right in the end.  (Which only makes it smug!)

People, this kind of thing is why I always knit with gray!  (Cascade 220 shade #8400 "Charcoal.")

Summertime Knitting

Ah summer, when wool yarn somehow gets sticky in the hand, and the thought of sitting with a giant pile of knitting on your lap is less than appealing.  What's a knitter to do in the hot summer months?

Fiber content can be a big issue when the weather goes summery.  In high humidity, lightweight animal fibers like angora and mohair can become a real liability.  And although it would seem to make sense to start knitting winter garments now, something like a bulky wool/alpaca blend is just not going to be your friend on a hot summer night.

Independence Day Crafts

Independence Day is one of the best holidays for making vibrant, memorable crafts and projects—either with the kids or alone. Here are some fun, low-cost craft projects you might want to do this holiday weekend with your family.

Patriotic Pinwheels: Pinwheels are such a hit because once they’re finished, they give you a final product you can use in so many ways. You can give them out to guests as a party favor, to kids as a toy to play with, or decorate with them to polish off your Independence Day theme. Click here for easy yet polished pinwheel instructions.

Freedom Rocks: Paint river rocks red, white, and blue and decorate your 4th of July table with them. They work very well around candles (within holders). You can also paint words on them and give them to guests as souvenirs.