Saturday, May 5, 2018

Let's Talk Social Media and your Favorite Crafting Apps

Hello fellow fiber artists!

Let's start with Ravelry. Am I the only one who couldn't live without Ravelry. I tell people it's like Facebook for fiber artists!

I will be the first to admit I don't use Ravelry to it's full capacity. I do use it keep track of my wips, that way if I put a project down for a bit I can go and remind myself what hook/needle size I am using. And I can go back and find out what kind of yarn I used for a particular project.

It's the first and really only place I go for patterns. The search feature makes it so that you can customize it to find exactly what I am looking for without going to far now a rabbit hole to do so.

I tried keeping my yarn and stash there but that proved to be more trouble than it was worth for me. It seems like to many extra steps. That part is not very user friendly.

And while I am in a few groups on Ravelry, I very rarely go and participate. I am trying to get better with that.

My next must have app is Instagram. I can simply lose hours on IG if I don't pace myself. I just find the ease of searching various hashtags so easy. I am on Pinterest but I fell out of love with that app rather quickly and couldn't tell you the last time I went there. I just find IG much more easier to navigate to find whatever I am looking for.

As far as useful apps the only one I use on a regular basis on my iPhone is an app called Counter. I have a Clover row counter but I often forget to click it. But for some reason I don't tend to forget when I use the app. Plus I don't have to worry about one of my grands grabbing my clicker and having a field day with it. And it allows me to keep multiple projects in the app at one time so when I put a project in time out, I know exactly what row I left off on.

I haven't found any other iPhone apps that I find useful. If you have one that you cannot live without please leave the name in the comments. I would love to check it out.

Also please leave your Ravelry and/or Instagram name in the comments. The FKG would love to follow you and see what you create.

I just remembered another app that I cannot do without, iBooks. I save all my patterns to iBooks on either my iPhone or iPad so that I can pinch the font bigger so these old eyes can actually read the pattern. I tried to pinch a piece of paper bigger one time and unfortunately it didn't work.

So again, what are you MUST HAVE apps for helping manage your crafts? Please share in the comments below.

This month's meeting is May 22nd and we will be hand dyeing yarn! I am super excited to share my addiction and love of hand dyeing yarn. The possibilities are endless. We are dyeing superwash merino wool using acid dyes. The class is full but you are more than welcome to come and observe and ask any questions you have.

No field trip this month but we will be traveling to Savannah, Ga on June 2nd to visit Unwind Yarns and Gifts. If you would like to join us, please contact us on our Flowertown Knitting Guild page on Facebook or you can dm us on Instagram.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Introducing Ms. Marija Sanderling

Please indulge me this tribute to a dear friend who succumbed to cancer a year ago yesterday.

I struggled coming up with what to post this week and then I remembered one of the greatest things for me about being a crafter is the camaraderie, that feeling of fellowship over something as simple as a ball of yarn.

4-5 years ago I was looking for a group to share my love of crocheting with so I went to the app Meetup and found a group called West Ashley Purl's. At the time I lived in Moncks Corner and that was quite a trek going from Moncks Corner to West Ashley on Wednesday nights but I figured I would give it a go at least a couple of times to see how it went. I was welcomed with open arms even though I wasn't a knitter. It was a small group of ladies at the time but we had a great time. Shortly after I joined, this lady from Maine came by. She had found the group on Meetup as well. That lady was Marija and we couldn't have been more different. She was a librarian by trade, a vegan, an atheist and an animal lover. She crocheted and knit but mostly crocheted. For some reason we hit it off. Around the same time that Marija started coming so did Shawntel. Shawntel, Marija and I became instant friends from vastly different backgrounds but again our love for yarn brought us together. We dubbed ourselves the Hookers X3. lol

Marija was a traveler, she loved going someplace new and she loved her wine and beer. Her and Shawntel shared that love for libations and I would listen to them discuss the nuances and laugh at them. When my mom had her stroke and I moved in with her, Marija was always in my corner and my supporter. As I struggled making the transition from daughter to caregiver, I could always count on Marija to let me vent, cry, whatever I needed.

As I stated, Marija was a librarian by trade, she found her dream job working with the Charleston County Library system. She had just been there a few months before the tragedy of the Charleston Nine occurred and her boss, Mrs. Cynthia Hurd was one of the victims. When Marija started complaining of stomach pains we attributed it to the stress of carrying the load at the library after Cynthia's death. She went back and forth to the doctor before we got the horrible news. Her pain was caused by pancreatic cancer. She tried chemo and it helped for a bit but it became clear that it wasn't going to help avoid the inevitable and while it was prolonging her time with us, it wasn't the life she wanted to live. Marija's laugh, I can hear it even now, was a glorious thing. Our senses of humor was a dangerous thing when we got together.

I was so grateful that being a caregiver for my mom meant that I could also spend more time with Marija in her last days. Just a week prior to her death we sat on her back porch and she teased me because this non-nature lover recognized a few of the birds flitting around her backyard. I shared how good the bowl of beanie weenies I had the night before were and that prompted her to heat up a can for herself, sans hot dogs. When her decline came, it was mercifully quick. Just a week later I had to say see you later, dear friend. I am so grateful for the years we had together, talking yarn, life and anything in between. One of the things we looked forward to every year was Southeast Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) at the end of October. One year Marija drove and that was the most harrowing trip. We stayed in a fellow member of Purls, cabin in the NC mountains. Let's just say coming down off that mountain in Marija's tiny car while she swerved to avoid hitting squirrels was a trip I won't soon forget. I just knew my tombstone was going to read "The squirrel lived". When we got home, we vowed that Marija wasn't allowed to drive EVER again!!

We have several groups that meet throughout the Lowcountry, a list of them is on the sidebar here if you are on the web version. Please take the time this summer to attend at least one group in Marija's honor. Don't let the drive deter you from taking the time. You just never know who you will meet and form a bond with over a simple ball of yarn.

Rest in peace Marija, it was truly an honor to be a member of the Hookers X3 with you!!

It seemed that May is a busy month for the FKG members so our May field trip has been pushed back to the first weekend in June. June 2nd to be exact. We are heading to Savannah and Unwind yarn store. I am especially excited about this month guild meeting as I will teaching a class on hand dyeing yarn. The class space is limited as we only have a 2 hour window and we have already reached capacity.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

National Local Yarn Store Day 2018

Hello fellow fiber artists!

The FKG went on a field trip yesterday. Since our LYS closed down last year we went in search of one to support. That took us to Columbia, SC to visit Luna Lola and to Irmo, SC to Copious Fibers. Finding a yarn store in SC is hard to do; to have 2 within 30 minutes of each other is extremely rare so we wanted to be sure to support both. We had a total of 12 ladies who made the trip and we had a wonderful time sharing our love for all things yarn related.

Luna Lola was our first stop and I must say I was quite pleased with the store. While a bit on the small side, it was packed with goodies, from yarn, yarn accessories, roving to teas and soaps. It was quite an eclectic shop. They had the fixing for mimosas, really delicious pretzel bite and homemade cookies all laid out for our enjoyment.

Skein Deep Yarn was there with her hand dyed yarns. She was excited because it was her first trunk show. She had a colorway dyed especially for NLYSD as well as a colorway especially dyed for Luna Lola. As a fellow hand dyer myself I was really impressed with her colorways.

My purchases from Luna Lola was an autographed copy of Intrepretations by Joji Locatelli and Vera Välimäki. I am huge fan of Joji’s designs and I may have a sqeuealed a little when I say the book and when the owner pointed out that it was autographed there was no way I was leaving without it. I also bought a Chinchillin’ pin to bling out my Fringe Supply Co. bag. I am trying to step up my pin game.

After doing our part to support Luna Lola, we headed to Copious Fibers in Irmo. I must say we were all quite disappointed in that store. They had made no extra effort for NLYSD, they literally had 3 bags of chips laid out that they didn’t even bother to take out of the bag. Not sure if they were for customers or themselves so no one bothered them. They do not, for some reason, price their items. They have clipboards around the store with the prices on them. I was not going to bother to price my
own yarn so all I bought was a set of Addi 12” needles to make children’s hats. And I had no idea of their cost until I was handed my receipt.

At Luna Lola we were welcomed and made to feel like the owners appreciated our patronage. Not so at Copious Fibers. In their defense, we did get there 30 minutes before they were supposed to close but they acted like our arrival was bothersome rather than being welcomed for the added income we brought. I can honestly say, I have no desire to go back to Copious Fibers and I wouldn’t recommend them.  And that saddens me as LYS are so few and far between in the South but if you’re not welcoming then you can’t expect return customers. Especially when it’s a 2 hour drive for me.

All in all, it was a good trip and I was really pleased with the turnout. That being said, I must say as a long time crocheter I am always disappointed in the lack of designs, sales, extras available to us hookers. Luna Lola had a free pattern designed especially for that day but it was a knitted pattern. I am bi-stitchual and now both knit and crochet but I feel a lot of times that LYS treat crocheters like red headed stepchildren and we are often overlooked.

For our field trip in May, we will be heading to Savannah. We’ll decide on the date at our monthly FKG on Tuesday so keep an eye out on Facebook for the date and times. Please comment and let us know your latest experience at a LYS. Who would you recommend? And why?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Introducing Mrs. Tammy Davis

Were you born and raised in SC? If not, where and how did you end up here?

I was born and raised in Huntington, WV. I decided in elementary school that I wanted to live in SC when I grew up, I'm sure to be near the beach, so I moved here after graduating from college.

How long have you been a member of the FKG?

Just joined the FKG last month.

When did you learn to knit/crochet? Are you self taught? Who taught you?

My grannie gave me my first knitting lesson more than twenty years ago but I was a college student (2nd time around so taking it more seriously) I didn't live near my grannie and there was no internet then so I really didn't do much after that lesson.  I then took a beginner knit class at The Village Knittery about 8 years ago and have been loving it ever since then.

What was your first knit/crochet project? Do you still have it?

My first project was a scarf. I was such a beginner that I didn't know that a scarf in stockinette would just roll! I still have it because it's the first thing I did but have been considering frogging it.

What is one benefit of knit/crochet that you really enjoy?

For me it is therapeutic and I just love creating something new, so much fun to watch the projects as they're being created!

What advice would you give a beginning knitter/crocheter?

Don't give up! Put it down for a bit if you're getting frustrated but then get back to it. Find a friend to knit with, you can do it!

What are you most proud of when it comes to your craft?

Not sure, I guess that I did stick with knitting the second time around and feel like I have really increased my skills (not that there isn't still plenty to learn)! My grannie really loved knitting so I sometimes think that she knows that I figured it out and is helping me out when I need it.

What is a little known fun fact about you?

I bungee jumped from 180 feet and loved it! Not sure that I would do it again. :-)

It's been great getting to know the members of the FKG. The last few members are a bit technology challenged so I am going to have to go old school with them and bring out pencil and paper. lol

To piggyback off something Michelle and Anita mentioned - find a group to knit/crochet with! The friendships that form are worth it alone but the knitting knowledge you can find in a group is priceless as well. Anita said it to, crafters tend to be a very generous group and are always willing to share their knowledge - whether you are a beginner or seasoned, there is always something new to learn.


FKG has challenged us to knit 10 child size hats by the September 25th meeting! Catherine has several local schools who contact her asking for hats for their students. The hats can be any color or pattern you choose. We ask that you use acrylic yarn to avoid any allergies to animal fibers, plus the easy care instructions allow for laundering as often as needed. The ages range from 3 yr old Headstart to High School.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Introducing Mrs. Michelle Anderson

Were you born in SC? If not, where and how did you end up here?

Nope! I was born and grew up in Pennsylvania....eastern Philadelphia area. I came to Charleston essentially because of my husband. He was originally from PA as well, but lived in Charlotte, NC for 8 years and came to think of that as home. After we met, he was very clear that he did not want to stay in PA and would I consider moving south if our relationship worked out! But I told him that if he was taking me south I had to be near the beach. We came to visit Charleston and I was smitten! We moved here 2 years after we were married and have been here for almost 5 years.

How long have you been a member of the FKG?

2 months

When did you learn to knit/crochet? Self taught or who taught you?

I learned in 2005 when a group of girls I was working with were taking a 'learn to knit' class at a yarn store nearby. I joined them and was instantly hooked!

What was your first project you knitted/crocheted? Do you still have it?

My first project was a scarf.....basic garter stitch. I do not have it anymore.  I don't think it made the cut when we moved?

What advice would you give a beginning knitter?

Take a class....ideally as a group. There's something about the camaraderie of others learning around you that makes it more fun and less serious! And challenge yourself every so often!

What is one benefit of knitting/crocheting that you really enjoy?

Sharing it with my friend Tammy!

What are you most proud of when it comes to your craft?

Making things for others and seeing their appreciation of something handmade.

What is a little known fun fact about you?

I was "Miss Burgenland 1988"......a contest for girls of Austrian descent. I won a trip to Austria to represent 'my peeps' from where I grew up. :)


I hope you enjoyed getting to know Michelle! She is a hoot and a half. lol I love her fun fact!

This week the guild was relatively quiet. We are all busy knitting on various projects. And trying to agree upon a project to have a FKG KAL. We are going to wait until after the May meeting to choose so we can use our own hand dyed yarn that I will be introducing the ladies to their latest addiction. lol

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Introducing Mrs. Anita Sloane

Were you born and raised in SC? If not, where and how did you end up here?

I was born in Modesto, CA. My dad served 32 years the Navy and Charleston was his last tour of duty.  He retired here and I married a James Island boy and we just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in October.

How long have you been a member of the FKG? 

Not sure, but the meetings were held in the Village Knittery's original location. I think Kaye Heins was one of the first people I knew in the group.

When did you learn to knit/crochet? Are you self taught? Who taught you?

I lived in England for 3 years and learned it in school - 7th grade. No one in my family knitted and I didn't knit again until 2007, when I bought a kit from Tuesday Morning. Picked it up and going strong ever since.

What was your first knit/crochet project? Do you still have it?

Don't remember and surely not.

What is the benefit of knitting/crocheting that you really enjoy?

One reason was I figured I couldn't knit and eat at the same time. I did learn to do both eventually.

What advice would you give a beginning knitter/crocheter? 

Find groups to go to. One thing about most knitters and crocheters is that we are willing to share our knowledge and spread the joy. (Help you get addicted)

What are you most proud of when it comes to your craft?

I like to try new things and I sell items at craft shows. I would like to learn how to do some of the selling online.

What is a little known fun fact about you? 

I want to get a class B RV and travel. Kind of tired of waiting for my husband to retire.


I hope you enjoyed meeting Anita. I thought it was interesting that in England knitting was taught in school.

This week was our guild meeting and Joyce taught us how to knit cables without using cable needles. The class was a success with the ladies learning a lot.  Cathy had 13 bears to be donated to the Summerville Police Dept so they could have in their cars in case they have to deal with children. She also received a few hats as well. We have several charities that we donate to and welcome anything you would like donate.

I shared my trip to the Carolina Fiber Fest in Raleigh, NC. It was a on a smaller scale than SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Fest) but they had quite a few vendors and their classes were much more affordable then SAFF as well. After we left CFF, my friend and I went to 3 LYS - Warm & Fuzzy, Great Yarn and Admit Ewe Knit. Warm and Fuzzy had a whole wall of Hedgehog Fibers but the workers were not warm and fuzzy at all. Great Yarn was much better with a much better reception and Admit Ewe Knit was welcoming as well. All in all, it was a great day of yarn goodness!

Our next outing to Luna Lola in Columbia, SC is Saturday, April 21st. We will be leaving promptly from St. Luke's Lutheran church at 206 Central Ave, Summerville, SC at 10am. We will go to Luna Lola first and if time permits try and visit Copious Fibers in Irmo. Then we will stop for a bite to eat before heading back to Summerville. Please feel free to join us!!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Introducing Ms. Lynn Dukes

Were you born and raised in SC? If not, where and how did you end up here?

Born and raised in Ohio. Moved here in 1976 and married a Charleston boy. We were married for 32 years, 6 months and 2 days before he went home to the Lord. We had 3 beautiful children. Our oldest, Jennie was with us for only 14 years, but we were blessed and thankful to have her that long. We were fortunate to adopt our daughter, Jessica and our son, Chris, when they were just days old. Now I have a handsome, amazing and wonderful grandson, Mel who is my heart!!

My mother, Edna, came to live with me in 2012 when her heart was suffering. My father had Alzheimer's. When it became to much for her, I brought both of them to Summerville, my dad to a local nursing home and my mom with me. My dad passed away 2 years ago.

How long have you been a member of the FKG?

Founding member

When did you learn to knit/crochet? Are you self taught? Who taught you?

Not exactly sure when I started, but I learned to crochet first when I was about 6, I think. Then hair pin lace, then knitting. My mom, my grandmother and a neighbor were my first teachers. I was fortunate to have a Recreational Center that had classes in lots of things and I took classes there. I would knit off and on over the years, but it's mostly been this last 20 years or so that I have really gotten into it. From that point on I have been mostly self taught. I love taking classes and look forward to taking more!

What was your first knit/crochet project? Do you still have it?

I don't have my very first ones. I do have my first sweater which was my home-ec project in 8th grade - a baby sweater bonnet and booties! all there of my children wore it!

What is one benefit of knit/crochet that you really enjoy?

I can't just sit still or just watch TV, I want/need to be doing something. Knitting and spinning are my happy place. They both bring me joy, peach and a calmness I need in this crazy, stressful world.

What advice would you give a beginning knitter/crocheter?

1st jump in - don't let anyone tell you that a pattern is too hard or you shouldn't try it. When I wanted to learn to quilt I picked out a beautiful pattern (a spinning star to be exact). The sales ladies tried to talk me out of it because it was very involved, very complicated design. I was determined because if I had only on quilt I would ever make - I wanted it to be one I loved. Did I finish it? Well, let's just say, I have the quilt top completed. Quilting will never happen! But that's ok - I have made many others since and I am happy with that!

So - if you see a pattern you love - go for it! Be fearless!! 2nd - buy the best you can afford! It doesn't have to be the most expensive - just get gold quality supplies. Knitting is a skill that takes time to learn and you don't want to fight with rough needles or poor quality yarn.

What are you most proud of when it comes to your craft?

I've never really considered that, but I have learned a lot, made a lot of items and love that I can share it with others. I enjoy making gifts for my family (mostly my grandson).

What is a little known fun fact about you?

Fun Fact.....I'm compulsive.


Thank you for checking in this week and getting to know Lynn Dukes. I hope you enjoyed her crafter's journey.

Don't forget the FKG meeting this Tuesday. Joyce Stebbins will be teaching us how to knit cables without using cable needles. Please check either Facebook or Ravelry for the homework that you need to complete before the meeting.