Shipping

Since my last post several stores have been forced to close their doors temporarily until this crisis is over.  This has slowed down their shipping, but usually not stopped it entirely.  My list is in no way comprehensive, just the stores that I have subscribed to their newsletter in the past.

Purl Soho is offering free shipping, I took advantage of this and purchased some colors of crewel wool to try since I am planning a Crewel Embroidery class in the near future at my public library.  If I post a demonstration video, like I am planning, then I will add a link here.

Jimmy Beans Wool is offering free shipping through the end of March, not long now.  I love the Wool Watcher deals for some really amazing specials.  I took advantage of both, getting the print version of the 2015 Interweave Press Folk Knitting magazine, a $14 value, for $4.  Not having to pay shipping just added to the extreme deal.

We are Knitters is offering free shipping on all of their products through March 28, so hurry on this one.

Leading Men Fiber Arts is offering free shipping on orders over $10 for the duration of the pandemic, I plan on taking advantage of this when I get my bills paid for the month and see what I have left over.

Abundant Yarn Online has free shipping for newsletter subscribers, that one expires in mid June so I suggest jumping on that bandwagon.

Harrisville Designs is offering a ton of free patterns, however no free shipping.  My mom loved making potholders from loopers so I purchased their ‘pro’ sized loom and took advantage of the download of two free pattern books.  Later on I will see if I have the dexterity to make some potholders.

Kraemer Textiles is having an automatic 20% off of orders of $20 or more and free shipping over $50.  Not unlimited free shipping but still a generous offer for a small business.

Pig of the Month BBQ is offering free shipping if you are a carnivore.

In these troubling times, I highly recommend supporting small businesses where you are able.

Until next time, Live Life a Little More Abstract.  Check on your Extroverts!

Freebies

Okay, there are plenty of things that you can do for free in these tough times.  I’m going to post some of these that are really special deals, or brand new.

JSTOR: One of the databases that many college’s rely on (and is really pricey) is JSTOR.  They have added more materials to their open content section of their database: https://about.jstor.org/oa-and-free/  Since you now, probably, have time check these resources out.

Booklist is currently offering their reviews for free.  https://www.booklistonline.com/ this is a periodical that reviews book, it is created by the American Library Association.  I hope to spend some time using this to do plenty of collection development for my libraries.

Audible has a quite a few free books for children and young adults.  I have been trying to listen to a couple of free fairy tales, you do have to have the browser tab active to listen to these.  Very neat!  https://stories.audible.com/start-listen

If you enjoyed Animorphs when you were a kid, they are offering the entire series for free as e-books.  My internet is running slow in weird places so I did not get to check on these but the link is here: https://animorphsforum.com/ebooks/

Bluprint is offering free coloring pages.  https://www.mybluprint.com/article/coloring-book-pages?cr_linkid=FBO_03192020_ColoringBook_Photo&cr_maid=112211&cr_source=facebook&cr_medium=social%20engagement&fbclid=IwAR0uLkJNJyImO-BBGMY4SzX1D5n6HMX69NlIGQ5_Z2zWrtK1UO9Ysf38FIc

If you are into gaming, Lifehacker put out this article regarding free STEAM Games: https://lifehacker.com/the-best-free-games-to-try-out-from-the-steam-game-fest-1842402486?utm_campaign=socialflow_lifehacker_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow&utm_source=lifehacker_facebook&fbclid=IwAR2uV9L3NExeKXUU2TG9B5M1TcWxF_PGDTst0_JSxUvUHga6oyBBtu_rz6s

Many craft shops are also offering free shipping online, I will be posting about that later this week (along with the fact that I went a tiny bit nuts on this…but I still kept mostly within my budget.)

Until next time, Live Life a Little More Abstract.  Check on your Extroverts!

Introverts, Check on Your Extroverts

March 2020 Ramen Pandemic

This is packaged ramen with 1/2 can each green beans and carrots and the meat from 2 drumsticks.  If I would have felt fancy I might have added spices (pepper, curry, etc.).

I meant to get this post up earlier, however my workplaces (I’m a librarian) went insane.  My community college went completely online early this week (late last week), and the library has been figuring out how to support the students.  My private University still has some students on campus, if it is not too safe for them to go home & international students, as of the writing of this e-mail so the library has been figuring out how to support them.  My public library has been having limited staff on site and is currently working on online programs we can do to support our patrons.  It looks like I might be doing online video classes, however I am not going to think about that until Monday.

Only time is going to tell if we are over-reacting, under-reacting, or taking the right steps.  We can ‘fight government oppression’ once we know that we are safe again.  While we are in the middle of this, remember if you are an introvert the Extroverts in your life are not doing well with this situation.  They need you to reach out, video chat, text, and get reminders that you love them.  I’m already texting with a couple and I have a video chat planned with another sometime this weekend.

For now, I’m going to take the rest of today to curl up and sleep (it’s been a busy week and my stomach is making me pay for it).  Later I hope to get some home-stuff done, but if I do not I still have most of tomorrow.  I’m supposed to be working at the Private University tomorrow from 12-5, which gives me plenty of time to do things between now and then.  I did finish my crewel embroidery piece, and due to free shipping I ordered some more linen and crewel embroidery thread to experiment with for an in-person project at the public library when we get back.

I’m going to plan several posts in the near future, probably a bit more frequently than my usual 1/week.  Until then, Keep Safe & Healthy, Check on Your Extroverts, Live Life a Little More Abstract!

 

Fibershed by Rebecca Burgess

I received this book from my Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Kathleen for Christmas in 2019, Thank You. This post is going to go into a lot of biology, environmental concerns, and more serious topics.  If this is not for you, my organization story will continue next week.

As a bit of my background relating to this book, my thesis to receive my bachelors degree in sociology surrounded the relationship between early menarche and hormones being fed to the animals that we, as Americans, derive our meat from.  Essentially I looked at the research tying children getting their first period as early as 5 years old and the hormones being pumped into the cows and chickens from which we get milk, eggs, and meat.  Hormones, and antibiotics really, that are not flushed out in any way before being fed to ourselves and our children.  Though I do not have that paper, there was certainly a correlation.  In the past decade or so I have all but forgotten that paper that managed to land me my bachelors degree, which I only needed so that I could get a my Masters in Library Studies.  To be frank, it is not financially viable for me to live an organic life.  This does not mean that these concerns should not be addressed, even if sweeping changes are not realistic.  My reading of FiberShed is not replacing the knowledge I gained from my thesis, but building on it in ways that I had not considered.  This is going to be a quick review designed to encourage you to read this book and others like it.  This review in no way replaces the joy, and extensive knowledge gained, by reading this book.

Synthetic fibers are derived from petroleum products, or have gone through chemical laden processes to be created and turned into clothing.  When these processes are occurring many safety precautions have to be taken to ensure the health of the workers, then the run-off has to be carefully disposed of so as to not contaminate the local drinking water.  The fact that all too often both of these steps are not taken seriously causes great ecological problems.  We are wearing these products on our skin, the largest, permeable organ on our body.  How many of these chemicals are we absorbing?  This book tackles these problems on both a local and global scale from a crafting point of view.  We as crafters can take charge of the yarns we buy, the fiber we spin, and the clothing we create.  This book goes from fiber, dyes, and encompasses all of the processes in between.  Exploring every aspect of fabric creation from where the cotton is grown, and from what kind of seed, to the sheep, processing the materials, dyeing the materials (naturally, of course), weaving/knitting these materials, even recycling them.  There is an amazing wealth of information, including how the methods of agriculture detailed will be profitable for not only the environment but the farmers and consumers also.  All of this information is interspersed with personal tales from herself as well as her friends and companions along this journey.

For a fascinating, if terrifying, look at our fast fashion culture check out this book.  Inside we are also taken through a journey of some steps that we might take to regain our chemical independence, as well as the steps that some conglomerates are taking to help our ecology, economy, and general sustainability.  Since this book comes at this from a crafting perspective there is some lamenting, but there are many more solutions.  Fantastic Read.

Remember to Live Life A Little More Abstract!

Current Spinning & Class Prep

I thought about not adding in the ‘service announcement’ portion of this post, but politicizing crafting irritates me to no end.  *I am boycotting Jo-Ann Fabrics.  They sent me an e-mail asking me to oppose the tariff because it would increase the cost of their supplies thereby increasing the cost of my ‘American Made’ crafts.  Shinybees podcast just recently mentioned something about that, how a yarn slaps the label on in Britain and calls itself a British Yarn.  Jo-Ann Fabrics buys most of its supplies inexpensively overseas, marks it up horribly so that they can put out their ‘40% off’ coupons all the time, and then sells it to crafters that then create something from those supplies.  If I oppose the tariff it would be for reasons other than to keep Jo-Anns making a fortune off of marking up foreign goods.  If I were to support the tariff I might say that marking up foreign goods may give some domestic products a chance to flourish, but I do not know enough about economics to make an educated guess.* End Service announcement.

I am currently getting ready for a class that I will be teaching in October on Latch Hooking.  Over the past couple of years of teaching crafting classes my students have mentioned that I am willing to  work on just about any craft.  That is true, I love crafting and I adore that I can figure out just about any craft there is.  I’m not always good at them, and sometimes I get bored, but I can usually figure them out.  Latch Hooking is a very simple craft, take a small length of yarn use a tool to form a larks head knot over a piece of canvas  and repeat ad Infinium until you are done with the yarn, and pattern.  I will create a tutorial with step by step instructions and be done with it until the class in October.

More interesting I just received permission to do a Book Binding series of craft classes for NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month in November which is also National Family Stories Month.  The act of binding a book is really three acts that are rolled into one.  First the Cover must be created, then the pages to go inside the cover and finally the entire thing must be assembled.  Since there is considerable amounts of glue involved in the process these three steps need time to dry in between.  A week should do it.  So there will be three separate classes on book binding.

Among all of this I did manage to get some spinning done, Moon Rock Farm of Western NEllen's Flockew York has a sheep named Elvira.  I obtained about 8 ounces of Elvira, the wool spins like a dream, and managed to spin over 148 yards of a 3 ply yarn.  The yarn is 10 wraps per inch, so the yarn is considered a worsted weight yarn.

So I will leave you with a picture of a full bobbin and wishes for Happy Crafting!

Service Announcement About Valuing Time

While I think it is human nature to underestimate one’s contributions during the day I also believe that by discounting these accomplishments we undervalue our own work.  I had a colleague talk to me about how it wasn’t anyone’s business how many hours she put in since she was under a salary and put in however many hours it took to accomplish the work to her professional satisfaction.  What she didn’t see, or refused to see, is that by putting in extra hours but not letting anyone know that you needed that time to get your work done, you are actually undervaluing your time and contributions.  Yes you have to get your work done to your satisfaction, but if no one knows that it takes you 60 hours to do your current workload then they don’t value your work.

I have found myself doing the same thing.  Yes, creating a breed journal is fun, but I wouldn’t be sticking with it if it were not for my students. I hope to provide them with an idea of the rabbit hole they are jumping down, as well as getting them on the path of tracking their spinning early.  The problem with this is that I spend at least 2-3 hours per night working on spinning, documenting, learning to quilt (something else my students requested), and reading a bit.  This is 10-15 hours per week that I am working on crafts that I intend to use to teach.  Yes, I would be doing some spinning anyway.  Yes, I am embarking on something that I lot of spinners dream of doing.  I also did get into this craft for sheer love of spinning and fiber.  What I didn’t realize is that my supervisor didn’t know that it took me that long to work on spinning, learning techniques (buying classes and videos) or the hours it takes me to plan the classes and write up lectures for those that go beyond the basics.

The purpose of this is to remind you, if you are doing your crafting to teach then value your time and what it costs you to learn.  In any profession take the time to realize how much of yourself you put into your job that you are not getting paid for, or credit for.  Find ways to put these accomplishments into conversation.  If someone praises you on something then let them know, “Thank you, I spent time learning how to do … in the evenings/on the bus/during the weekends but it was well worth it in the end.”  Or, “Thank you, I took a class on that a couple of months ago in the evenings/etc.”

Okay, done with the service announcement.