Tag Archives: AZ

Kumihimo Could Be The Ultimate Stash Buster


Today was well spent at A Good Yarn taking a beginning Kumihimo class from Jeannie.  She’s a good teacher!  And the class proved to me what I suspected…  Kumihimo might just be the ultimate stash buster.

Kumihimo is the Japanese term and method for braiding.  There are many different types, but we learned a basic yatsu umi, or 8-strand round braid.  Jeannie even introduced us to using beads.  For a basic yatsu umi starter project, we each started with four strands of about two yards each, doubled over to make eight strands to work with, and create a key chain.  Most everyone else stopped with a normal sized key chain, but since I was camping out for part of the day anyway, I kept going until I had no more threads left to work with!  So mine’s actually long enough for a necklace now.  I’m thinking about taking the split ring off and instead adding a decorative clasp for an offset design.  Maybe add a crochet element.  Not sure yet how, but pretty sure this is going to be a necklace.

The fun thing about Kumihimo (and I should have taken some photos of Jeannie’s examples to do her justice), is that you can use up scraps of yarn and thread that might not be long enough to do much else with.  She had examples of several made from a variety of yarns, thick and thin, including pigtail-eyelash.  How much stash you can bust with braiding depends on your end project idea, of course, but it adds one more thing to my bucket of tools and growing skills.  I look at kumihimo and see possibilities for jewelry, where crochet might not give me the result I want, but also, I think this could make a much stronger, less stretchy purse strap for some of my weighty beaded purses, over crochet.  One of my fellow classmates mentioned wanting to make some for decorating Christmas presents.

Here are some photos of my yatsu umi.

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This is the basic beginner's small Kumihimo kit, long with my yatsu umi hanging out the backside.

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The yatsu umi has a spiral effect when you use contrasting colors.

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Beading adds a nice element to the spiral braid.

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My yatsu umi is long enough to make a necklace! I'm thinking I might take off the split ring and instead turn this into an offset necklace with a decorative clasp.

If you find yourself in Prescott, AZ, I can’t recommend the local yarn shoppe – A Good Yarn – enough. They are incredibly helpful, friendly and a bright spot to visit. I also LOVE Debra’s “Buck A Ball” community donation project. Drop off your unused yarn leftovers, or balls you aren’t going to use, and Debra puts them in a box for $1 a ball, with all proceeds going to the local women’s shelter. Umm, yes I found some goodies to buy in the box too. Gracious and community oriented, this store is one of the most crochet friendly yarn stores I’ve ever shopped. And you can tell that Prescott locals value them too, as they stayed busy with many local friends coming and going, friendly chatter, along with newbies who dropped by today as well. I met a lady from South Africa today who said she’d heard so much about this store she just had to come. Seriously, you can’t help but be in great hands!

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Carma, Jeannie and Debra! When you are in Prescott, you must visit these super friendly ladies and tell them I sent you!

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Filed under 'Tis the Season, Artist Information & Notes, Crochet Community, Crochet Education

A Day of Knitting and Crocheting with Alpaca!


Photos from my visit to Peaceful Prairie Ranch an alpaca ranch in Prescott Valley, AZ.

I met Emily at Debra’s Christmas party at A Good Yarn and she invited me to tag along with the Prescott Knitters (Ravelry group) on Sunday to visit the alpaca farm. As I mentioned to folks along the way during my visit that I had new plans to visit an alpaca farm Sunday, I received a lot of incredulous replies along the line of: “There’s an alpaca farm in Prescott?! I didn’t know that!” Well, so I made a point of spreading the news. 😀

The Prescott Knitters Ravelry group was real friendly and an all round awesome group of folks. If you’re in the area, you can drop by and join their knit-ins (whether you knit or not) confident that you will have a great time! Trust me, whenever we go back, I’ll be checking to see what the Prescott Knitters are up to and working it into my schedule! Big hugs and thanks to Emily, Capi and the others who made sure I felt welcome. More about Capi and the gorgeous crochet hook she gave me later.

Wendy, the awesome owner of Peaceful Prairie ranch, carries roving for felting as well as spinning, as well as a lovely variety of spun fibers for knitting, crochet and whatever other crafts you might need yarn for. I’ve ordered what turned out to be bad baby alpaca before, which has left me shy to order any online ever again. In fact I still have a whole box of lace weight “baby” alpaca that feels like super thick rug yarn, and not at all something you’d want against your skin. I haven’t yet decided what to do with it, though I imagine I’ll get creative and come up with something.

But let me tell you, Peaceful Prairie’s alpaca products are top notch and after being able to listen to Wendy talk about her passion, see and feel the fibers, even in various stages, not to mention experience her top notch customer service, I’m convinced whole-heartedly in ordering from her online anytime! Her husband Dave was also cordial and helped make us all feel at home even while Wendy was busy.

Wendy also helped me purchase a gorgeous green baby alpaca with my credit card since I was there for a trip and not local. A little awkward since it needed to be done through Paypal, but she made it work so I could shop and I really wanted that green baby alpaca hank. It’s soooo super soft! I’ve included a photo of it here too. Whatever I make with it, I expect to be mine this time. I haven’t settled on what just yet. Leaning toward a cowl though. I’m really grateful and my experience with these lovely people only added to the pile of amazing things that became a part of my trip to Prescott.

Thanks y’all, from the bottom of my heart. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Filed under Artist Information & Notes, Community, crochet

Enjoying a Crafty Party at A Good Yarn


Debra’s hosting a Christmas party at her store, A Good Yarn, in Prescott, AZ. We’re all enjoying knitting and crocheting together.

Here’s a photo of what I’m working on at the moment and you can see more photos of the shop and group below.
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Debra has a new partner this year who carries weaving fibers and supplies. Carma runs the weaving portion. Her prices are awesome and the quality is fantastic. I’ve purchased some wonderful fibers from her by the ounce.

I just have to say that between my two trips to Prescott, AZ, my visits to A Good Yarn are among my favorites amongst the yarn stores that I have visited in my travels. Not only is everyone friendly, and I mean customers, staff and all, but she has an incredibly nice selection in my opinion of less than common fibers. And high quality fibers. And more fibers per foot of store space that I want to work with than most places I’ve walked into. And I love that she carries uncommon buttons too!

I have also overheard her on the phone with customers for private orders and such and just have to say, her and her partners’ customer service is just awesome. She’s really helpful, professional in all her dealings, obviously goes the extra mile and yet, her “knit pit” has the feel of visiting the comfort of someone’s home. There’s no fireplace, but I easily imagined one nearby while sitting on her couch and working along with everyone else. Cozy indeed!

If you’re in the area, definitely stop in and see Debra at A Good Yarn. Tell her you read about her on my blog and extend a healthy howdy from me.

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A Good Yarn in Prescott, AZ

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Filed under Artist Information & Notes, Community, crochet