Saturday, October 31, 2015

Cast Off Chemo

As the last hours of October fade away, I want to put in a quick plug for a worthwhile charity. Many of you probably know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month otherwise known as Pinktober to some of us who have had an altercation with that disease. I'm sure those behind this campaign have good intentions, but some of us are tired of seeing pink ribbons slapped on just about anything and precious little progress toward a cure. Stage IV breast cancer is incurable and fatal. Awareness is important, but research into a cure is at least as important. 

I have found at least one breast cancer charity that I can support. It's called Cast Off Chemo and was established by a group of yarn industry professionals to support the research of Dr. David Krag. Dr. Krag is working on using the body's own immune system to fight breast cancer potentially eliminating the need for chemotherapy. This work could also help in the fight against other cancers. Many women, myself included, have already benefited from Dr. Krag's previous work in developing the sentinel node biopsy procedure. Because of that, I still have most of my axillary lymph nodes, and I don't have lymphedema in my arms. 

You can purchase crochet and knitting patterns in support of Cast Off Chemo on Ravelry. The easiest way to find all the patterns is to do a pattern search for "Cast Off Chemo," but here's a link to save you the trouble. Two of the patterns, a crocheted wrap and knitted scarf, were designed by Cari Clement for the charity. 

While at the Knit and Crochet Show in July, I purchased 2 skeins of the Wool2Dye4 yarn used in these patterns at the Cast Off Chemo booth. One skein will make the knitted scarf, and 2 skeins will make the crocheted wrap. 

Some of this yarn may still be available. There's no shopping cart on the charity's web site but it can be purchased by check. Contact Cari Clement at Cast Off Chemo, 5 Emmons St #2, Montpelier VT 05602. It's $25 for one skein plus the pattern. For two skeins, the price is $45.  All proceeds go directly to the project.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival 2015

I love fiber festivals. I can't think of anything more fun than spending time with other fiber lovers shopping for yarn, admiring beautiful yarny creations and visiting with fuzzy alpacas, llamas, bunnies, sheep and goats. The Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival is always held the last full weekend in September. Each year they have a featured craft, and this year it was, for the first time ever, crochet! 

Always In Stitches

For me and my fellow members of Always In Stitches, the local chapter of the Crochet Guild of America, the excitement started last year. We had a display at last year's festival to publicize crochet and spread the word that it would be this year's featured craft. We worked hard all year to finish lots of projects both for this year's display and for the crochet competition. The centerpiece of our display this year featured 8 versions of the Rose Trellis Shawlette by designer and teacher Darla Fanton. Darla created this pattern for last spring's Rose City Yarn Crawl in Portland. Each year in the weeks leading up to the yarn crawl, there are mystery crochet and knit alongs. Darla's shawlette was the project for the 2015 crochet along, and many stunning versions of it could be seen about the Rose City during the yarn crawl.

Here are a few other FO's from our display. The two shawls at the center were the mystery crochet along project from the 2014 Rose City Yarn Crawl - Rosaline by Laurinda Reddig.

This turkey hat by one of my fellow AIS members was a favorite of visitors to our display both last year and again this year. It's a kid magnet, but the adults love it too. So cute!


The festival features many competitions. There are shows for the different fiber animal breeds, several spinning competitions, and the fiber division competitions for crocheted, knitted, woven and felted items and skeins of handspun yarn. This year's grand prize winner in the crochet division was this lovely doily in size 20 thread.

Remember my orange pullover from an earlier post? 

It won a 3rd place as did this filet crochet shawlette that I made from Kathryn White's Eolande pattern. 

Critters and Yarn

I always have to visit the animal barns. I love seeing all the different critters that produce fiber. Here's one of the inhabitants of the bunny barn getting a blow dry. At least I think there's a rabbit under all that fluff!

Another reason the bunny barn was a favorite of mine this year was that they were having a raffle. I do love a good raffle. Especially when I win something like some hand spun merino and silk yarn.

So if you're in the neighborhood next September or can plan a trip to Oregon, put the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival on your calendar. It's well worth the visit.