Dyeing for Some Color?

Sunday, April 26th at the Pittsfield Branch, Knitgrrl Shannon Okey - Author, knitter extraordinaire, shop owner and an expert dyer will give a primer on hand-dyeing for knitters and fiber enthusiasts.

Tips and tricks on materials, supplies and tools will be discussed. Yarns and dyes will be available for a hands-on experience. Recommended for teens and adults.

The program starts at 2 p.m. A book signing will follow, courtesy of Nicola's Books.

Homebrew time!

Saturday at 2pm in the Malletts Creek program room, Ann Arbor Brewers' Guild member Jeff Renner will be presenting a variety of basic homebrew tips, as well as advice for experienced brewers. In case you'd like to do a little reading on your own, either before or after Jeff's presentation, check out the Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian, a book referred to by many homebrewers as the "Homebrew Bible." Since summer is one of the best possible seasons (in my opinion) to enjoy a pale ale, you might want to learn how to make your own. Terry Foster's Pale ale: History, brewing techniques, recipes can help guide you through your first batch. And if you're a first timer for whom this all seems like a whole lot of mess, John Palmer's How to brew: Everything you need to know to brew beer right the first time might help you demystify the process. Cheers! Here's to your health!

Duct Tape DIY Diversion

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Teens: if you're looking for something fun (and FREE) to do during the school break plan to attend Duct Tape Re-Dux on Wednesday, April 15: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm @ the Traverwood Branch. We have an awesome array of duct tape colors on hand from camouflage to the elusive plaid. We'll provide a few patterns, but you're only limited by what you can create in the time period! Prom season is also upon us and many teens make their prom outfits completely out of duct tape - take a look at this teen who knitted her entire dress out of duct tape.

All supplies will be provided. No registration required. Teens in grades 6-12 are welcome!
Wednesday, April 15: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm @ the Traverwood Branch

Putting Furball to ReUse

Over at Inhabitots they posted about a pet groomer putting all the cut hair to use by making yarn and knitting items with it. Some breeds likely work better than others. Here is a video about her business originally aired on Animal Planet:

While you may or may not want to do it with your pet's hair, if your interested in making your own yarn we have Start spinning : everything you need to know to make great yarn and Dyeing to knit : how to use and create your own beautiful hand-dyed yarns. Then get started on your project with A fine fleece : knitting with handspun yarns and our very large collection of knitting pattern books.

To Build an Igloo

With some of the winter storms that have gone through the area this season you could almost mistake the view outside as an arctic landscape. One thing that may be missing is the traditional shelter of an igloo. Luckily this Canadian documentary will show you how one is built.

Finally! It IS easy to be green!

If you are like me, you are interested in being more socially responsible, like going beyond simple recycling and doing your part to help save our planet for future generations, but you don't have lots of money and time to devote to "going green". Sound familiar? If so, then you need to get yourself a copy of Renee Loux's Easy green living : the ultimate guide to simple, eco-friendly choices for you and your home. This lifestyle guide is PACKED with information about the simple, affordable choices we can make to avoid toxins, conserve natural resources and generally be more eco-smart. Whether you choose to take tiny baby steps or completely overhaul your wasteful self, you will find the answers you need. One of my favorite easy eco-tips is the following: "About 100 million trees and 28 billion gallons of water are used annually to produce the 5.8 million tons of catalogs and unsolicited wads of preapproved credit card offers and other junk that arrive at our homes - 44 percent of which are thrown away unopened....Stop credit card offers. Go to www.optoutprescreen.com, where the consumer credit report industry lets you opt out of receiving preapproved and prescreened credit card offers." Now imagine if we all did that!

Shadow Art Fair

The Shadow Art Fair is being held this Saturday, July 19 from noon to midnight at the Arbor Brewing Company's Corner Brewery, in Ypsilanti. Meant to focus less on the national scope of this week's big Ann Arbor Art Fairs and more on our rich local arts scene, it's always a quirky and rewarding event. The Shadow is refreshingly human-sized, and a great way to find out what's happening with homegrown creativity.

New Knits on the Block

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Let me make a confession: I don’t know how to knit. And working at the library with a slew of fabulous, fun and new knitting books, well, I feel a bit guilty. I was recently searching for the movie The Goonies in our catalog and a wonderful book came up in the search instead: New Knits on the Block. A book that features knitting projects inspired by costumes, toys and decorations. What does that have to do with The Goonies, you ask? There is a knitting project called Goonie’s Treasure Bath Set, Which consists of a Jolly Roger wash cloth, a stuffed parrot, eye patch, and head scarf- all stitched up for bath time play. The fun doesn’t stop there. The book also has directions to knit the following: a St. Elmo’s Fire firefighter hat, Labyrinth felted wizard and princess hats, a Schneider tool set and pouch (my personal fave), The Tooth is Out There alien tooth fairy pillows, a Benetar guitar pillow, and even The Last Unicorn dress up headpiece. I could go on and on with the pop culture titled, magically adorable crafty projects. If I could knit I would make these treats for every kid I know, and possibly a few for myself.

The author, Vicki Howell, is the host of DIY’s Knitty Gritty, and is well respected in the knitting world for her funky, hip edgy designs. (I know it’s summer and folks don’t want to knit scarves in the summer, but these are toys! And toys are needed year round.)

Hours of Crafting

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The November issue of Hour Detroit, Detroit’s monthly magazine, features a great article about the local craft movement. The movement in general extends beyond crocheted potholders and Martha Stewart and has been on a slow rampage for the past several years. Artists, creators and makers do just that; make. Some do it to create and meet people and some are able to also do it as a full time job. Some have studios and some sell their wares online and in small boutiques on consignment. The Hour article gives face to local craft collectives like Handmade Detroit, the Michigan Design Militia and Loop- who get together to chat, craft and produce events for others to take part in. The article also features a handy guide to upcoming holiday craft fairs in Southeastern Michigan. For more reads, Bust, Venus (and soon Craft) are other magazines at the AADL with some edgy DIY appeal.

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