Bird Week: Put a Bird On It!

The Seattle Public Library is partnering with the Seward Park Audubon Center for Bird Week, April 23-30, in celebration of the center’s 10th anniversary and the National Audubon Society’s 2018 Year of the Bird.

Long before Portlandia made it a meme, artists and craftspeople have been adorning their work with birds. One of the earliest known artworks is a 30,000 year-old sculpture of a water bird carved from a mammoth tusk. By the time John James Audubon began painting his famous Birds of America in the early 19th century, birds had been the subject of paintings, sculptures, weavings, jewelry and many other art forms for millennia.

You too can join this hallowed artistic tradition and celebrate Bird Week by creating your very own bird-centric art pieces Continue reading “Bird Week: Put a Bird On It!”

Knitting—It’s Good for What Ails You!

Image of Health Vest Patterns courtesy of Eadaoin Flynn from Flickr Creative CommonsKnitting is turning out to be a healing art.  There’s starting to be more and more evidence of the ways in which it brings health benefits: repetitive activities make us feel more relaxed, can decrease stress, and may even ward off dementia.  And it’s not hard to learn—just get comfortable with a basic knit stitch, combine with some of the fabulous yarn that’s available these days, and you can produce an amazing scarf.  Check out this ShelfTalk post for abundant ideas about learning and fun projects. Continue reading “Knitting—It’s Good for What Ails You!”

What I Made: Cute & cuddly children’s toys

 

photo: abby

photo credit: abby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although I have no children of my own (and don’t plan to), I really enjoy knitting for babies and toddlers. The projects are quick and totally adorable, and parents really appreciate these one-of-a-kind handmade gifts. Recently, I’ve gotten into knitting and sewing toys for my friend’s newborns. Here are some photos of toys I’ve made using patterns from books in the Library’s collection. Check them out and get inspired!

Above left is Stripe Dog from Fun Dolls by Aranzi Aronzo and Jumbo Elephant from Knitted Toys: 25 Fresh and Fabulous Designs by Zoe Mellor.
Below: Adorable baby Luna has a new friend with Lovable Rabbit Doll from Last-minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson.

 photo credit: Carey Goldenberg

Other books to check out:

What I Made column: Seattle is home to a thriving DIY ethic and culture. As part of an occasional series of posts, we feature hand-made items created by staff at The Seattle Public Library, and the library books, CDs, and DVDs that showed them how to do it themselves. We hope you’ll draw inspiration from their creations and check out some of the many great how-to resources the Library has to offer!

What I Made: Crocheted Creations

Seattle is home to a thriving DIY ethic and culture.  As part of an occasional series of posts, we feature hand-made items created by staff at The Seattle Public Library and the library books, CDs, and DVDs that showed them how to do it themselves. We hope you’ll draw inspiration from their creations and check some of the many great how-to resources the Library has to offer!

One Skein Scarf. Photo by Kara F.

I come from a long line of women who have creativity pulsing through their veins. I’ve inherited quite a bit of their love to create whether its tweaking a recipe, making a collage for a scrapbook, or crocheting a scarf, but with my mom living four hours away this girl definitely needs help every once and awhile so I turn to the second best place to get information regarding crafting…the library.

In The Happy Hooker: Stitch ‘N Bitch Crochet by Debbie Stoller, I took advantage of the random yarn I had sitting around and made a couple scarves using the One Skein Scarf pattern. Each stitch you crochet makes a front loop and a back loop, which almost resemble little bird feet. If you go through the front loop you can create an edging detail, but in this particular pattern that was not the case. So my first one skein scarf was slightly tragic looking considering I only went through the front loops. My second attempt was a success and ended up as a Christmas present for my cousin. Shortly after I returned this book to the library I went to Barnes and Noble and bought it!

Crocheted Afghan. Photo by Kara F.

With the book 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns: Exciting Patterns to Knit & Crochet for Afghans, Blankets & Throws, I graduated from making scarves to making my very first afghan. I was inspired by the first afghan my mom made that I have laying on the foot of my bed. I wanted to create something different with modern colors and a ripple pattern. I used the Strata pattern and had to teach myself through the wonderful illustrations in the back of the book how to do a double crochet three together, also known as dc3tog, which is a decreasing stitch. What I love about this book in particular is that every page has a couple crochet patterns on the right and a couple knitting patterns on the left. Sometimes when I get knitting and crochet books knitting usually dominates the patterns available, but this book was perfectly even.

 ~ Kara F., Montlake Branch

Yarn Anyone?

2629461357_6d8f37c115_mMaybe you have a relative who is a fanatical knitter or a friend who always has a ball of yarn in his or her knapsack? Or, am I describing you?! For more on this passion, let me share some info with you. Just like so many other crafts, there are web sites and blogs all over the Internet on knitting and crocheting. One of my favorite knitting sites is Knitty.com — a witty, stylized and cute site with patterns, coffeeshop chat and articles with knitting help.

Are you new to knitting or crocheting? The Lion Brand Yarn site includes Learn to Crochet instructions – one needs to keep scrolling to the bottom of the screen but the illustrations are easy to look at. Many knitting and crochet books, no matter what level of patterns covered, include a few pages of beginner’s tips and terminology.

Most local yarn stores – also referred to as your LYS – Continue reading “Yarn Anyone?”