YarnCraft Episode 66 Transcript :: Let’s Craft Outside! Projects Perfect for Warm Weather

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You’re listening to YarnCraft. [music]


Zontee: Welcome to YarnCraft. It’s episode 66 on May 11th, 2010. Thanks for joining us today. This is Zontee.

Liz: And I’m Liz, and we are the hosts of YarnCraft.

Zontee: Stop by YarnCraft.LionBrand.com for more information about the patterns and products that we talk about on today’s episode. And while you’re there you can also leave us your comments. Or give us a call and leave a voicemail at 744-452-YARN. That’s 9276. We always love sharing your stories, questions, and comments on the show.

Liz: As usual, we’re here at the Lion Brand Design Center in New York City. And today’s topic is projects that are perfect for outdoor crafting. The weather’s getting beautiful. And it’s so nice to be outside that we figured it would be fun to talk about crafting in the sun and projects that are great for day trips and picnics.

Zontee: Plus, you know, I just moved to an apartment with a garden. So I’m hoping to spend more time knitting and crocheting in the sunshine. So I think that we’re just in the mood for a bright, outdoorsy sort of episode.

Liz: Definitely. And on today’s “Stash This: Ideas for Your Crafting Life” we’re going to be exploring a summertime great weather yarn themes with talking about planning a yarn-crafting vacation.

Zontee: Stay tuned for bright ideas and breezy projects next on YarnCraft. [music]

Zontee: Starting out our episode we are going to talk a little bit about our current projects. And as usual, we want to hear about yours. So if you haven’t posted your recent projects on our Ravelry group — or if you’re not a part of Ravelry, please share a comment on the blog — and let us know what you’re working on. Liz, how have you been doing?

Liz: Well, I’ve been enjoying the non deadline-sensitive knitting and crocheting lifestyle. But I have been requested to make a scarf for a five year old boy. And so I’m trying to do this and stash-bust a little at the same time. So I’ve been experimenting with different scraps of various blue yarns in weights and colors that I have and trying to figure out what would be cutest. So I’ve basically just been doing “swatching.” I started out trying to put everything in the kitchen sink into one scarf. And it’s getting a little crazy. So…

Zontee: It can get a little out of control.

Liz: I think I’m going to have go a lot simpler than I had originally envisioned.

Zontee: Mhmm. Good idea. I have been working on that shawl. I really am almost done. I’m probably 95 percent of the way there of the South Bay Shawlette in the sunbeam color of Silk Mohair. I wanted to finish it sometime this week. But since I’m in the process of moving and whatnot, it’s just had to go into the box for a little bit. Once I’m done, I’ve set up my yarn again, and everything is sorted out, then I’ll finish it off. And since it’s such a lightweight shawl, I feel like I’m still going to be wearing it for, you know, cool evenings in the summer. So it’ll be pretty good.

Liz: Good luck, you can do it.

Zontee: I hope I can. I’m excited to get it done because then I can move on to another project.

Liz: Yes, that’s the best part of finishing one part, starting the next one.

Zontee: Moving on let’s go to some of your questions and comments. We got a question this week from Karen S. who wrote on our blog to let us know that she actually heard about the podcast from her sister, which is great. Glad to hear that we’re passing along to other people who will appreciate it. And she mentions that she’s got two questions about working on the Hermosa Beach Washcloth Pattern. She’s just finished a washcloth. And her first question is that it seems to roll. And she hasn’t washed it yet. So she wanted to know if that would help it to lay flat.

Liz: Yes, it definitely should. Generally, washing a product when finished helps just everything lay smoother. It evens out all your tension. It may be a little wonkiness in your gauge or your tension that’s causing it to curl. So, you know, you say you use Cotton-Ease so just go ahead and throw it through the washer or dryer. And it should be much flatter afterward.

Zontee: And her second question is that she noticed that Cotton-Ease is 50 percent acrylic and 50 percent cotton, and she wanted to know if she be able to use it as a potholder since she wants to make sure it won’t melt or anything on hot pans.

Liz: To answer that question, I want to check out the labeled care instructions on the ball of Cotton-Ease. It says do not iron. So, when you think about it, there’s really not a lot of difference between an iron and a hot pot. They’re both hot pieces of metal. So, I think it’s just better to not chance it and not use Cotton-Ease in anything you’re intending to be a potholder. You might want to check out something like our Lion Cotton, which is 100 percent cotton and does on the label say that ironing is OK.

Zontee: In general, I find that Lion Cotton’s just a great one for any kind of kitchen product from dishcloths to place mats to potholders. So it’s got a great line of colors. I think it’s a great replacement. Since it is the same weight as the Cotton-Ease, you can still use it with that pattern. [music]

Liz: In our last episode, we talked about knitting and crochet and yarn crafting favorites. One thing you guys told us you’re all really big fans of is the Ravelry website for yarn crafters. So we’re very excited that Zontee was able to speak to the entire Ravelry team at the recent Stitches South event. So we’re going to play that interview for you now.

Zontee: I’m here at Stitches South, and I’m with the Ravelry gang. So let’s have everyone say hello and introduce themselves.

Jessica: Hi, I’m Jessica.

Mary Heather: Hello, I’m Mary Heather.

Sarah: I’m Sarah.

Casey: I’m Casey.

Zontee: We know that all of our listeners are really excited about Ravelry. We just asked on our Ravelry group, “What websites does everyone use?” One of the obviously biggest ones was Ravelry. We know that people are always asking questions about what it’s like to work for Ravelry.

So what do you think has been the most surprising thing that you’ve learned since creating Ravelry, and kind of interacting with the community?

Jessica: I think it was just that there were so many people who really wanted to come on and help us build this site together. When we started, we had no idea how many people would really be interested in sharing their projects and participating in the site.

So that’s been a really amazing surprise for us, and the people that help us run the site, all the volunteer moderators, people who make groups, and companies that participate in the site who talk to their consumers.

So it’s been a happy accident, I think, sometimes that we kind of stumbled into this, and we’re at the right place at the right time. We feel really blessed.

Zontee: Here at Stitches, you guys have had meet-ups, and we had a Ravelry party a couple of days ago. How’s it been actually interacting with the people face to face? Have you got some interesting insights?

Mary Heather: Well, it’s always fun to meet people face to face. Normally, we see everybody’s avatars and usually, they’re cats. So we know what everyone’s cats and dogs look like. Or children. So it’s really nice to meet people and have them smile and just say hi to people that we’ve talked to or emailed with for sometimes a few years, but never gotten a chance to travel and meet them.

It’s one of our favorite parts of the job, really, is getting to meet users at events like these. It’s really fun.

Zontee: Definitely. We actually had one of our listeners stop by, and I know her by her Ravelry handle. Her name’s HotPink: Holly. She stopped by and she said hello, and I was like, it’s so funny to now have a face to go with their avatar and the name. It’s really nice to interact with people in that level.

So now that you’ve been walking around, is there anything fun that you’ve seen project wise from people that they’ve brought along? Or do you guys have any favorite finished objects on Ravelry that are just like really wacky and interesting that you’ve seen?

Mary Heather: I keep talking, but I’ve been really inspired by all of the summer knits that I’ve seen. At the fashion show the other night, there were a lot of great tanks and shells, and….

Sarah: …Skirts.

Mary Heather: …Cotton, and skirts, bamboos, and cotton blends, linens, tinsels. Yeah.

Sarah: Just so awesome for those of us that live in the South. Because I’m a Southerner, and it’s hot and humid. You don’t even want some of that stuff on your lap in the summer. So, to be able to see things that I can make in the summer, and not have to stick to socks and little bitty things that won’t make me too hot. Things I can wear more often in the summer has been really exciting for me. So, yeah, I agree with them on that.

Zontee: A question for you, Casey: Anything exciting coming down the pipeline that Ravelry fans are going to be really excited about code-wise?

Casey: I don’t know. I mean, we don’t plan super far ahead. We’re always adding a little bit at a time. Some of the things that people are patiently waiting for are spinning related features. People are sort of being really patient about that and then it’ll be really exciting when we add that. Anything else?

Jessica: We’ve been really working on some of those ponies. We kind of joke around about, I want a pony. So, Casey’s been really making a list of all those and getting things checked off. Last week he actually started a little request line on Friday. Because one of his old jobs had a fun Friday rule. So, you had to work on something fun on Friday. We try to do that at Ravelry too. He put up a little post on “For the Love of Ravelry” and said, “So what should I work on today guys. Let me know what it is.” That was really fun. I think we’ll continue to do that. If your listeners have any fun ideas that they’ve been really hoping for, make sure to look out for that on Friday.

Zontee: Wonderful. Well, thanks so much for stopping by. And thanks so much for doing this interview.

Mary Heather: Thank you.

Jessica: Thanks. [music]

Liz: Today we’re welcoming summer with ideas about projects that are perfect to work on when the weather gets warm and you can head outside. We got lots of good suggestions on Ravelry about projects at you like to work on in the warmer months. And there were some definitely common themes. Small projects are very popular, both because they’re portable and because you are keeping… You don’t have to sit there with a bulky hot project on your lap. And also, using some fibers that are more cool in nature, as opposed to the warm wools and acrylics we like in the winter.

Zontee: Absolutely. You know, I was just thinking that it’s too bad that we’re not sitting outside right now, Liz.

Liz: Why do we not have a gorgeous outdoor, yet somehow also soundproofed, recording studio.

Zontee: That’s a good question. If someone wants to build us one, I think that they should.

Liz: We would be totally open to that.

Zontee: Because right now we could be crafting outside. Like you said, a lot of people talked about how they really enjoy being outside doing their crafting in the sun and using the outdoor space as kind of an extension of their home. skullsnbats even mentions that she thinks that it’s nice to do your crafting by the pool. I think that’s a great idea. Think how scenic and beautiful that could be, very relaxing, or the beach. We did talk about running away to Hawaii, Liz. We haven’t done that yet.

Liz: I want to run away to Hawaii right now, Zontee. Let’s go.

Zontee: Yarn-crafters, let’s all meet in Hawaii, ready?

Liz: Yes.

Zontee: All right.

Liz: OK. Let’s do it. So, if you’re going to be running away to the beach, I think one of the first projects you would need would be a beach bag.

Zontee: That’s a good idea.

Liz: I have very specific childhood memories that have influenced my feelings about what an appropriate beach bag is. They should stringy, and meshy, and open, so all the sand can drain out and you can see where your favorite beach toy is in the bag without dumping everything out and getting it all sandy.

Zontee: [laughs] Well, I’m glad that you have some good requirements for your beach bag. In fact, we have some great patterns that really fit those criteria. One of our newest patterns is our Al Fresco Market Tote which I like a lot because it’s made out of several colors of Cotton-Ease and it has this striped pattern that makes it kind of fun and whimsical.

Liz: The pattern I really think is perfect for the beach because it’s meshy, and stretchy, and expandable, but it would also be a great grocery tote, is the Green Living Tote in our Recycled Cotton. But, that’s just a number four yarn. The pattern would work great in really, any of our cotton or cotton blend yarns. That’s just a very easy knit open stitch.

Zontee: Yeah, I like that a lot. Of course, all of these sorts of totes bags and what not make me think of projects that are really great for day trips other than just for the beach. Maybe you’re going hiking, maybe you’re going on a picnic, and all these projects are going to be really appropriate for that. In that vein, we have a couple of bottle cozy patterns. One that is loom knit and also these larger ones for two litter bottles, that are in both knit and crochet.

We designed them for the 4th of July so they’re in red, white, and blue. But, of course, you can do them in solids or stripes of other colors if you wanted as well. I think that these are really great for things like picnic, or a good hike were you want your water to be kept cool and insulated. But, all really good projects for those sorts of long trips where you’re going to want to stay hydrated.

Liz: If you’re picnicking, or cooking out, a lot of people like to set a really nice setting, even if it’s on the ground or a park picnic table. I think a really cute way to do that is with some great knit or crochet place mats. We have some great patterns but, really a place mat is just a big rectangle. So, you can use whatever yarn you have, whatever colors go with your theme and just make a rectangle.

Zontee: I agree. I also think that, as a side note, place mats make a really good hostess gift for this season. So, if you are going to a lot of barbecues or cookouts, this might be a really way of just saying thank you and showing your appreciation.

Liz: On Ravelry, untanglingmymind had a great suggestion. She starts planning all of her Christmas projects this time of year. All of the small stuff, like amigurumi, crochet ornaments, tawashi, and the like, get taken with her to the pool, or the park, or on car trips. By the time the holidays get here, she’s way ahead of schedule. I think that’s a great suggestion. We have a lot of really cute amigurumi and tawashi patterns. We have a little lion. I really love the little apples.

Zontee: Oh, definitely. We also have some other more generic scrubbies if you’re looking for things that are just kind of round, and cute, bright. We definitely have a bunch of projects like that as well. So, you can always just type in “tawashi” or “scrubbie” into the search box at LionBrand.com, and you can pull up all those patterns.

Liz: And, of course, we’ve got tons of amigurumi patterns. Always new, cute animal patterns coming out. So, if you’re looking for something new to get a jump-start on your holiday crafting, there’s a ton available for that.

Zontee: Absolutely, although, I don’t know how seasonal it will seem to other people if you are working on a reindeer in the park in the middle of summer, but, I say go for it. Cassandra also chimed in to the thread on Ravelry. She mentioned that she really feels that it’s great to be working on projects with cotton yarns and also other lightweight yarns.

I think that we should take a moment to talk through some of the other yarns that are out there other than Lion Cotton and the Cotton-Ease that we’ve just mentioned earlier. There’s also our great Cotton Bamboo from the LB Collection. I pulled two patterns that I thought might be really fun to be working on for this season.

For adults, I think that the Serene Shell would be really nice. Because, it’s just a really nice lightweight sleeveless top that you could wear to the office with a light jacket; and then on weekends with jeans or with a skirt. It’d feel very breezy and comfortable. Cotton bamboo is so nice to work on in the summer for summer wear because it’s so silky.

Liz: The rayon from bamboo content in the cotton bamboo yarn gives it such a cool feeling. It’s very pleasant. I really like the Feather and Fan Baby Sweater. I think that would be perfect if you knew a baby that was born in the early summer. That’s probably frankly the only sweater you’re going to get to make for that, in a newborn size. Unless, you want to wait until making a six months size in the winter. It’s good to have in your repertoire.

Zontee: That’s right. And it’s nice to make a small project like that, if you’re looking for a sweater or something. But, you don’t want to work on a full sized adult sweater; a kid’s sweater is a great option for a summer project. It’s light, easy to carry around. This project has such a cute feather and fan lace pattern that it makes it very summery feeling.

Liz: In addition to the Cotton Bamboo, we have our Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton, which is going to have all those cool great absorbent properties of any cotton yarn.

Zontee: Also, we have the Microspun, which I think is a nice choice for summer as well. It’s in bright, really pop colors which I think people always gravitate towards as the weather gets warmer. You can always do some great coral tones in that, or hot pink, or lime. It’s a great yarn for the summer because of its, again, smooth, cool, silky feeling. As you’re working with it in your hands, you’re going to have stuff feel like it’s just so slick and kind of cooling.

Liz: And, one of our newer yarns is a great option for this time of year, and that’s the Baby’s First. It’s a cotton-acrylic blend, but in a chunkier weight. It will make an excellent fast baby project if you feel the need. But also, I think in some of the brighter colors can make a really fun and fast shawl or shrug.

Zontee: Finally, if you’re like me, and you’re the kind of person who really can’t work on a certain kind of project until the weather more appropriate for it; and you’re thinking to yourself, “Oh no, I’m a little bit behind on summer crafting.” Well, it’s only May, so you have quite a few summer months left. So, hop to it, and pick a project that’s relatively quick!

I picked out some projects that are in Cotton-Ease, again, my go-to summery yarn, that I think are really great. Similar to the Serene Shell we mentioned earlier, there’s the Airy Lace Shell. Again, it’s a sleeveless top. It’s got a great kind of longer tunic length so it’s going to hit you at the hip. I think that this is something that you can make very, very quickly, now, and wear it all summer.

Liz: Absolutely. The great thing about shells is you don’t have to make sleeves for them.

Zontee: It’s true.

Liz: And then, if you are looking for a shawl, you might want to check out this Shoreline Lace Shawl in the Cotton-Ease which is a very pretty stitch pattern and should go pretty quickly as well.

Zontee: I agree. I’ve done similar kinds of lace patterns and I feel like, once you get into the rhythm you can crank them out. I like Cotton-Ease for this sort of project because it does hold its shape so beautifully when it comes to lace.

Liz: Don’t forget that the summer is a great time to get your kids involved in craft projects. Maybe a little on the messy side, and you don’t totally want them to do inside. But, you can cover the table out back with some newspaper, or head to the park, and get a little creative.

Zontee: I agree. One thing that I always think of when it comes to yarn projects and crafting outdoors is projects that involve glue. Something that can be a little messy, maybe you don’t want them doing it inside where they might touch the upholstery. So, of course, we have lots of wraps projects like our wrapped Recycled Milk Carton Vase, or our Earth Day Flower Pots, all things that are wrapped in yarn.

We have things like the organizers that we did for Father’s Day last year, would be a good project for this year as well, where they’re just recycled glass bottles or plastic bottles from various food containers. And you just wrap them in yarns in patterns and colors that you think will suit your Dad.

Liz: Another glue intensive project is actually something we have down as a Halloween project: our crafted candy bowl. But, you can really use any colors of yarn, and make one for summer as well. That’s when you take an inverted bowl, cover it with a plastic bag, and then dip strands of in diluted glue and mold them around the bowl form. When you let it dry, you’ve got a crafted bowl.

Zontee: Yeah, I think that that’s a really fun project; as Liz mentioned you just want to dilute a little glue. I find that usually 50 percent craft glue–regular school craft glue–and 50 percent water is a really good balance for this sort of thing where you’re dipping fibers into a glue. I was thinking about what are some variations that you can do on that. I’ve also seen this sort of project on balloons, where you wrap the yarn onto a balloon, and then pop the balloon afterward.

So I thought maybe instead of just doing a bowl shape, you could do the whole balloon, and actually make little ornaments. Once you pop the balloon, you just extract the popped balloon out of it, and you get round orbs that you could even hang from the trees. They make really beautiful summer ornaments for picnicking outdoors or having grill-outs. They’d make wonderful decorations.

Liz: Because really when you’re dipping the glue in the yarn and wrapping it, it’s really just kind of a form of paper mache.

Zontee: It is.

Liz: So any techniques or ideas you remember from doing those projects back in school or at camp can be applied.

Zontee: I agree. Speaking of camp, I was really thinking that you could do things like dream catchers with yarn outside and encourage your kids to use found objects of favorite things from going to the boardwalk or what not. And, actually incorporate them right into their dream catchers.

Liz: Another good option for that would be God’s Eyes. Always a popular summertime craft with some found sticks. I think it could actually be really fun to do some large over-sized ones with some larger yarn and use those as decorative items for your picnic or outdoor entertaining.

Zontee: Definitely, you could turn that into a mobile, again, hanging from your tree, right over your picnic table. That would be great. I think the kids would really enjoy seeing those outside all summer. A final project that’s really suited for outdoor time as a family crafting, is dyeing with Kool-Aid. Of course, dyeing can be a really messy process in general.

Liz: Certainly the part where you’re kind of painting a lot of different colors of Kool-Aid onto a single skein. That is great to take care of outside.

Zontee: Exactly. So, what you’re going to want to do is just turn your yarn into a hank, secure it in several places, and lay it out. And you can either take a paint brush dip it and actually let your kids paint on the sections so that they can make their own multi-colored yarns. Or I find that sometimes if you put the dye into a squirt bottle, let them squirt it; that’s good. But be forewarned that may be some squirt bottle fights caused by this. I take no responsibility for that.

Liz: That sounds like a really fun summertime activity actually.

Zontee: Yeah, and since it is Kool-Aid based, it is completely safe.

Liz: Yeah, just make sure everyone’s wearing old, old clothes.

Zontee: Agreed. And, of course, you can find lots of directions for Kool-Aid dyeing of yarn online. Just go to your favorite search engine, type it in, and find out what kinds of options you have.

Liz: So those are just a few of our suggestions for great outdoor summertime crafts. We want to hear and see what you guys are working on, so be sure to leave comments on the blog, or get in touch with us on out Ravelry group. [music]

Zontee: Today’s “Stash This: Ideas for Your Crafting Life,” is really an extension of this whole idea of yarn crafting, travel, summer activities; and we’ve turned all of that, into a vacation plan. So we’re going to be talking about how to take a yarn crafting vacation that’s fun for not only you, but the people the people that you go with.

Liz: It seems like as soon as the weather starts to get nice, all of the fiber festivals and shows and workshops start happening. It just puts me in the mood to go on a great yarn vacation. Some of the most obvious events and look up and schedule around are fiber festivals. They are great opportunities to meet people who are raising sheep and other fiber animals, see lots of different types of yarn, sometimes even take classes, and certainly meet and socialize with other yarn crafters.

Zontee: I agree. Here on the East Coast, Maryland’s Sheep and Wool Festival just happened. I know that Kendra from the Studio went and really enjoyed herself. You can definitely look up local events in your state and see if there is anything coming up. Sometimes they’re in conjunction with things like state fairs or other kinds of events.

Often, you can find fiber festivals that also have elements that can be pleasing for the rest of your family. If you’re bringing a husband, or a boyfriend, or your kids, if there is some other things kind of going on, they can enjoy themselves as well.

Liz: There’s usually always great fair food and often Border Collie demonstrations, or other heard dog events. I know getting into the fall, if you are planning really far ahead, I believe they have a Pumpkin Chucking Competition at Rhinebeck, here in Dutchess County, New York.

Zontee: Oh, how funny. How does one chuck a pumpkin?

Liz: I am not quite sure. I missed that when I went last year. I think I was there too early in the day for that, but one of these years I am going to figure it out.

Zontee: Alright. Sounds good. If you are looking for something that is maybe a little bit more indoorsy and air-conditioned, maybe you want to check out one of the various yarn events that are held around the country by different groups. This summer, Lion Brand is going to be participating in the Knit & Crochet Show, put together by the Knitting Guild Association and the Crochet Guild of America. They are going to be holding that up in Manchester, New Hampshire, and it is three days of shopping, classes, workshops, demos, book signings. It is going to be a really good time.

Similar to that is going to be the Stitches Circuit. So there is four shows a year, and this year we are going to be participating in Stitches Midwest, since I just came back from Stitches South. Stitches Midwest will be in the Chicago area, and it will be happening in August.

So, you can look up either of those events on their websites. For the Knit & Crochet Show, will literally be KnitandCrochetShow.com. For the Stitches Shows, you can go to Knitter’s Magazine website and check that out.

Liz: Another great option is to explore knitting, spinning, yarn crafting of any sort, workshop. I know there are a ton all around the country. My parents are in Maine, and they keep sending me email links to ones they find. There is one just down the road from them, that they’re really trying to get me to go to. [laughs] I think just so I can see them!

I know there are lots that happen all over the country. So, you can search either with your local guild branch. They may know about them, or online and work from there.

Zontee: That is a good idea. You can really make it a destination kind of vacation, where you are going. You are immersing yourself, and you are really enjoying yourself in a new location and learning new skills. I like that a lot! Speaking of immersing yourself in yarn crafting, have you heard about these yarn crafting cruises that are happening nowadays?

Liz: Yes!

Zontee: So, our good friend, Lily Chin, has been teaching on several of them. She just got back the last time I spoke to her, from one that went from Japan to China, and then back again. So, that is pretty great. You can go to a totally new location, take a lot of knitting or crocheting classes, and meet some yarn crafting celebrities like Lily, and have a great time.

Liz: I really wish I could have gone on that China and Japan one. Those are parts of the world I would like to see more of, and doing it with the art end on a cruise just sounds awesome!

Zontee: Me too, Liz. Me too. That is also a really great way of gathering a couple of your girlfriends, and making it really a special trip for just you guys.

Liz: If you are into road tripping with your family, there are a lot of great options. It is worthwhile to explore any towns with yarn history. Here is the Northeast there are so many mill towns in places like New Hampshire and Massachusetts, but I know also in parts of Texas there are mills that are open to visitors. All throughout the country, there are places to explore. So, wherever you are planning to go, you could certainly look into what textile traditions might have museums or facilities in that location.

Zontee: That is a really good point. Thinking about Europe, there are so many places where there are traditions of lace making, and textile making and manufacturing, that I am sure that there would also be museums to explore in those places.

So, perhaps something to think about for this summer is if you are already going somewhere, see what interesting local destinations there are in that area, so that you can plan a little side trip to it.

Liz: In the Interweave Publication, Spin-Off Magazine, which is really targeted to hand spinners, they almost in every issue feature a textile orientated profile of some section of the country that lists interesting things to look and see. So, if you have a library that has some back issues of that, those are a good place to get started.

Zontee: Oh, that’s a great idea!

Liz: Something I found really fun on a road trip is to look at what fiber farms you might be passing by. This is how I got to meet alpaca. They are so cute.

Zontee: I believe it. They are adorable, every time I have seen photos of them. I bet you they are cuter in real life.

Liz: They are. I saw some that were like one-month old, and they were like so cute, so personable, really friendly. I got to meet the farmer, and he was talking to me all about how he raises them, how they breed them, how many times a year they sheared them, all this sort of stuff. It was great, and it was all just because I was driving down the road, and I saw a sign that said “Alpaca Farm, ” and I said, “Let’s go there! Let’s go there! Turn the car! Turn the car!”

Zontee: [laughs] An extension of sort of the idea of going to fiber farms is also checking out yarn shops along the way. There are so many really interesting destinations all over the country, that if you are going on a road trip, I think it is really worthwhile to maybe plan a couple of places to stop and check out.

If you happen here in the New York City area or coming to visit this summer, why not stop by the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. It would be really great to have you stop by. Who knows? Maybe you will even see me or Liz in there.

Liz: Could be. As Zontee mentioned before, if you are traveling with a group of people who are not necessarily knitters or crocheters themselves, you might want to look into what other activities are available to entertain them in the specific area.

Zontee: I think that when it comes to things like fiber farms or fiber festivals where there might be animals, your kids may already be pretty entertained just from the sheer fact that they get to interact with animals. So, I think that is always a great factor, but also like you mentioned, fiber festivals always have a lot of great food. Sometimes, they even have interesting things like goat cheese or dairy that is local because of the fact that they are related to these kind of animal farms.

I know that Patty down in the studio mentioned that the last time she went up to Rhinebeck with her husband, they had a grand old time, because after she got to do all of her fiber things, she and her husband got to go and do all the food things that he really enjoys, and try wines and buy cases.

Liz: Yes. I will say there is an extensive selection of local wines at Rhinebeck, and the vineyards are very happy to give you free tasting.

Zontee: Oh, wonderful! So, there are definitely other considerations, in terms of things that might be fun for everyone else, but I think that they key is if you keep everyone that you are with happy, then you can have a better time doing your yarn crafting related things.

Liz: Exactly. Just one final thing to consider is that if you are not able or wanting to take a ‘real’ go-out-of-town vacation this year, there are so many resources for fiber lovers in so many different parts of the country. Consider just doing a day trip of seeing what is within a short drive or ride from where you live that you might be able to explore, that will just give you some inspiration and re-invigoration in your yarn crafting.

Zontee: That can be anything from a museum exhibit that might be related, or a gallery exhibit to things like spinning demonstrations, like the ones that I know are happening up in Wave Hill. So there are a lot of options, and of course, it is always fun to make yarn crafting part of your summer plans. [music]

Zontee: We want to thank all of you for joining us today, and as usual, we want to thank those who shared their stories, questions, and comments.

Liz: Join us again in two weeks, when we talk about ideas for Father’s Day gifts, good ideas for projects for the men in your life. Are you working on something already? Tell us what you have got planned for Father’s Day, by leaving a comment on our website, YarnCraft.LionBrand.com, on Ravelry, or by leaving us a voicemail at 774-452-YARN, that’s 774-452-9276.

As usual, our music was “Boy With a Coin, ” by Iron & Wine for the Podsafe of Music Network. [music]


For more information about the patterns, links, and products discussed in this episode, please see the episode guide.