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Knitting for Fun: Freeform Knitting (no set pattern) Using New Circular Needles

Hello everyone!!

I recently received a full set of circular needles by ordering what I assume was a Chinese based business.  Well, I can’t SAY it was Chinese based but the prodect must have come from there because of the quality.  Now, I’m not complaining considering I only paid about $10 for a full set of circular bamboo needles and because I do have small hands, however I suppose this entry is a slight cautionary tale about buying off of a random facebook ad.  Now, the original photo was shot very well in a way to show that the cords looked longer than they were and what I received in the mail were not quite what I expected.  However, I have been using them and they are nice, lightweight, and the yarn runs smoothly off the needles. FIrst, let me show you what I thought I was getting:

As you can see, the cords look long enough to work on a small afghan.  However, what I did end up getting looked more like this:

I mean, it appears I won’t be able to do much with this set, however I am currently working on a freeform knit hat using knit/purl alternating stitch to give it sort of a cattapillar texture which should result in a versatile slouch hat utilizing draw strings to adjust sizing and style (messy bun, slouch beanie, head wrap…the possibilities are nearly endless).  I am currently using a Caron Cake I had been waiting to use for a special project in Cherry Chip (I am not completely sure but I think this color is coming up on discontinuing?).

Want to support my projects?  Want items but do not have the budget to pay upwards $73 or more?  Please consider supporting me on patreon !

 

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A New Year! 2018 and What It Means For Huffensen

As we close out 2017 and look forward to a new year, we tend to reflect on our growth in careers, life, love, and so on.  Publically, (or at least outside of Facebook), I didn’t write too much about what had been happening in life.  Obviously there hasn’t been as much content posted as I would like due to having to deal with hard transitions in my own life; family loss, personal loss, difficulty in my “real life” job, and my own health.  Thinking even further back, 2016 wasn’t exactly a walk in the park either, although I am pretty optimistic for the future.  Or at least, I plan to make an effort to make it better.

What is going on with Huffensen though?  Currently I am working on a variety of different projects, some individual and some collaborative, which I am truly excited about.  Patreon and Instagram will become a primary focus, meanwhile have also renewed life in my Threadless account.  There will be more sewing, more painting, and more sketch work shared.  I am usually not much for making resolutions but I do plan to focus more on what I love by re-evaluating priorities.  For those who continue to come by to check on me, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  If you want to support me, please stop by at my Huffensen Stores link, become a Patreon, and buy original artwork.

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The Plastic Bag Recycling Project: Where We Ended Up

I want to say about six months or so back I had come cross the concept of recycling the endless supply of grocery bags into a material now commonly known as “Plarn” (Plastic yarn).  Many of us already probably reuse these bags for storage (permanent or temporary) or we supplement our use of garbage bags with these bags (as my Mom used to do).  The problem with this is that the bags STILL end up in landfills and eventually in our oceans.

Recently I had seen a TED talk video featuring 21 year old Boyan Slat.  The Ocean Cleanup Foundation was initially created and talked about at various talks about four years ago and they are just now launching cleanup efforts to try to eliminate the FIVE plastic islands in the middle of each ocean.

 

So that’s great, right?  Someone has developed and will be implementing a solution to a problem that is obviously contributing to the harm of our planet AND will fund itself three times over while only taking a fraction of the time for traditional cleanup.  This is very promising, right?  So my question is, what about the rest of us?  We don’t think about the impact we all create individually.  We want a bottle of water, we buy it.   We want fast food, we buy it.  The problem is the plastic straws, bottles, lids, cups, and packaging we all end up purchasing contributes to this ever growing and perpetual problem.  I admit that I’ve been pretty lazy myself but I have decided I personally, as an individual, need to start making a change of my own.  It isn’t a large change because these things don’t happen overnight.  Behaviors do not happen overnight but if as individuals we do our part…as little or as much as we can to minimize our disposable culture, alongside these efforts then we can finally begin to reverse what damage we have created.

This isn’t me telling you to stop eating meat because cow farts contribute to CO2 greenhouse gasses (although factory farming not only ensures animals to live a life of horror but improper disposal of animal feces as well as living conditions of animals as well as workers does contribute the environmental as well as personal issues) or that we are cutting down too many trees (controlled burns and logging helps forests to thrive while preventing large scale destructive forest fires) by using paper bags.  I am a huge advocate of the use of hemp to replace the logging industry among other industries.

So why am I writing about this subject on an art and design blog?  Well, I have always been an advocate of recycling and reusing items until they are unusable.  I buy nearly everything from the thrift store or make it myself.  People come to me to ask me if I can use something before they dump it because of what I do.  I almost never buy clothing retail and if I do buy things like appliances, I will spend a little extra to ensure that it will last.  We simply cannot sustain this disposable mentality forever.

That in point, I decided that instead of just reusing my plastic grocery bags as trash bags, that I started making reusable totes made from 100% recycled material; T shirt material and strips of plarn.

 

 

So as you can see the steps are a little involved when initially creating the plarn (and I just noticed that my dog was “helping” while I wound the strips into a ball”) but once this process is complete it’s pretty easy crochet into sturdy shoulder tote.  I reinforced the edging and straps by crocheting the t shirt yarn around and into straps.  I’ve carried a number of books in this tote and it is remarkably strong.  Not bad for reused trash 😀

I have yet to decide to offer the finished bags as a product for sale.  For now, here is the finished result.  Please comment below if you think this is something you would be interested in purchasing from me.   I am thinking that all first time donations through Patreon will receive a bag after a $1 donation.  Let me know!

 

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Slowly Updating Shop Front

Hello friends!  I’m currently updating some things and apparently when the shop went live, it also shared some sample pages on the fb.  My bad!  Things will be sparse in the beginning because I also have a few things displayed at the Lakewood Arts Council in Lakewood, CO.  Well, displayed is an overstatement.  When I saw how my things were “displayed”, I was more than just a little disappointed.  Feeling I don’t quite have a strong voice in the arts community in my neighborhood, I haven’t vocally expressed my disappointment, however I do plan to never trust proper marketing/display with my items.  Obviously I assumed because the gallery would take a 20% commission that they would do everything in their power to assure sales.  Nope, apparently not.

No attention to stitching, how it would look worn (I did ask them if they needed tables or displays and they said no).  Just thrown in a basket.  As you can understand after paying an entrance fee plus agreeing to an 80% profit that I assumed they would take care of it.  Obviously not.  So that being said, these things will not show up on the web store until Dec 28th when I retrieve whatever does not sell.

Anyway, ranting aside, thank you for sticking around.  I will be including more in the future!

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Well That Sucked….

Hello friends!

So it turned out my last blog had been deleted.  It’s a bummer, however sometimes you have to start new and I guess that’s what I’m doing now.   I suppose this is a good reason why I should not be so damn cheap and just hire a security service…..or I probably screwed up and did not update something somewhere.  Oh well, no reason to get upset over it.

So, the past five months have been a pretty rough moment in my life, which is why I hadn’t posted anything recently.  While working through the storm, I’ve been going through some old artwork.  Etsy, Imagekind, and Zazzle sites are still available and once I finish setting up the rest of this blog in the manner I like, it will be easier to access said stores from this site.  Thank you again for check things out.

Shaunna

Huffensen.com