Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I ran across some photos of macrame' I thought I'd share.

I really should finish this gourd canteen strap.

Survivalist Fiber Arts

Self Reliance For Survival
Recently another photographer invited me to join a survivalist group on Flickr called Self Reliance For Survival.
As I was contemplating about what appropriate photos I could add, I thought spinning would be a good one. Then I thought about a topic that kind of chaps my hide, so to speak.
Many times when I'm knitting or crocheting or doing other fiber arts, men will walk by and roll their eyes and say something like, "um, knitting, or hmpf quilting, my wife does that." And then they'll go back to working on their knife or their bow or their atlatl darts. Very few of the men say, "Wow, you can knit. Can you show me how?" I think it's happened once and I even remember the guy who said it.
And no, he wasn't gay. He's one of our best archers and teachers.
So what's the deal guys? Don't you realize that to be a true survivalist you need as many fiber skills as you can master? You can't always rely on a deer walking by so you can shoot it, and skin it to make clothing or shelter.
With knitting or crochet or weaving you can make coats, blankets, hats, socks, gloves, shelters, slings, bow socks, hammocks, and so much more. With quilting you can take old clothes, save the good bits and make new blankets and jackets and vests. If you are a big, brave, strong guy are you afraid people will think you are a pansy if you whip out the knitting?

In a bartering society, you might need things you don't know how to make, like butter or candles. You might need to trade for eggs, lye, coffee, or fence posts. If you know how to weave you can make things to trade like baskets, sunhats, mats, potholders. One guy I know made his own hat out of pussywillows.

I hope you men will rethink your attitude towards fiber arts. If you don't want to do them yourself, at least don't belittle the women in your life that do them. They deserve as much respect as a knifemaker or a bowyer. And for you few guys out there that do knit and weave maybe you can convince the other guys you know to give it a try.

raffia hat

fox quiver

men in kilts

knit cap

Monday, April 26, 2010

Japanese Cord Braiding

My first cord.

The portable version of the foam disk.

Recently I took a class on Japanese cord making (Kumihimo). And after working on it steadily for a week, I'm finally done with the first one. The colors I used were purple, red, white and gray.
My mind has already planned the next one to be in gold and green. Hopefully I can get started on that one today. Once I have the card threaded, it's a good project to work on during TV commercials and short car trips as a passenger. That's why I like the little portable wheel. But I am looking at yardsales for a wooden stool to turn into a Marudai . You drill a hole about the size of a fifty cent piece in the center and use that as your braiding stand. The stand method is quicker because you can work with both hands and move two threads at once and it is more traditional. Of course if I found a Marudai  at a yard sale I'd be over the moon.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Back to Tatting

I met a tatter on Etsy that makes some amazing gloves and that renewed my interest in tatting. She's a shuttle tatter but there are also needle tatters. I haven't tatted in quite a while so I'd have to learn all over again. I was hoping I could get together with her, but she travels a lot for business and isn't free to just meet randomly sometime. But if anyone else wants to tat just drop me a line and we can meet at one of the many Starbucks in the area (Knott's Berry Farm area).