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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Twisted bangles

Twisted bangles
Originally uploaded by acornbud
I like to try out what I learned in class at least once. In the Beautiful Bangles class taught by Iris at The Bead Gallery, she twisted square sterling silver wire in two vise grips and then formed the bangles. I made plain bangles to learn the soldering part and wanted to try the twisting. The twisting went well, as the blogless Landcaster convinced me his wrenches would just as well for the twisting and that I did not need to go shopping for vise grips (although they had cute yellow ones at Checkers). Alas, my tiny creme brulee torches were not powerful enough to heat up the silver hot enough to solder but a quick trip to The Bead Gallery fixed that. I snagged some bead strands at 25% off while I was there and got to wish Jamie Happy Birthday.

I would give myself a D for the soldering. The hard part is getting the ends to meet correctly and then being quick enough to see the flash as the solder melts and take the heat away. It's a multitasking deficiency, sigh. Lucky for me, the Landcaster loves anything to do with fire and I'm sure I can convince him to do my solderng next time around.

I polished these in my toy rock tumbler with the stainless silver beads and found out that the drop of detergent is really necessary.

(I really need to take a Photoshop class as I just changed by editing program after years of PaintShopPro to Photoshop and I miss my color replacer tool)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Blue Tile Stole, FO

Blue Tile Stole
Originally uploaded by acornbud
Pattern: Tile stitch. Cast on 93 stitches. 2 for selvege, 8 for garter border, 83 for pattern. Long tail CO followed by 6 rows of garter.
Yarn: Araucania Pomaire, blues, 5 skeins
Needles: Size 10
This cotton yarn is wonderful to knit with and soft an cushy against the skin. One skein was a shade darker and it just happens to be the middle one. Since it's in the back where I can't see it, it doesn't bother me one bit;)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's a blustery day in paradise and this rainbow jumped out at me to remind me of all the blessings I am grateful for. They are so numerous I got bogged down listing them!

Instead I will just wish everyone and the universe a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

The newest Totoro wants to wish everyone a great day on his favorite American holiday! (That's Koigu Hedgerow Mitt WIP)

Happy crafting, eating and musing:)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Emerald Slug

Emerald Slug
Originally uploaded by acornbud
Pattern by cheezombie on Etsy
Green fractal yarn hand dyeled by Moonlightbaker on Etsy Bits and pieces of Heaven Scent baby alpaca and red Koigu
Size 2 needles.

No mods. Cheezombie knit a cute Christmas slug.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Gnome flickr
Originally uploaded by acornbud
Another Gnome from Alan Dart's pattern. Yarns leftover from my Ishbel. It was hand dyed by Moonlight Baker (Hungry for Handspun on Etsy). I held the yarn double and knit the smallest size. He is knit in the round.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Just Yer Morning Moon Mitts

The zeal for Tile Stole is winding down. The 4th ball took forever and the 5th ball is neverending. I'm escaping the boredom into those stash yarns I love to knit...Beaverslide (oh you bouncy lovely sheep keeping warm beneath the wide Montana sky) and Noro Silk Garden (how your color changes please and surprise) The Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed and Socks that Rock Medium weight call to me, and I keep dreaming about a Santa from that red Black Water Abbey yarn from the gnome pattern although I don't really need another hat and the sock mojo is comatose. There were a bunch of cute hat patterns in the recent Vogue. I don't think I have a black yarn worthy of the Black water Abbey yarn for Santa's boot. Sure there's the Malabrigo...but it is too soft...decisions, decisions.

Pattern: New Moon inspired Alice Cullen fingerless mittens by Nancy Fry, free on Ravelry
Yarn: worsted weight Beaverslide, Mountain Morning
Needles: 7 and 8 dpns
Mods: I wanted longer mitts so I cast on 36 stitches and K3P3 for 2 inches. Then I K3P1P2tog for one row and continued on with the pattern. I started with knit on cast on.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gnomes, Finally Final

The Sirdar Foxy finally came in. It really does make for a more luxurious beard and with only one strand. It's a shame it has been discontinued. The little gnome is really much cuter, imo. I made the beard for the large gnome bigger. I am going to play with the beards a bit, brushing them out, before sewing the hats on. These are so cute, I may just have to keep one for me. But then I can always make another:)

Noro Silk Garden is always a pleasure to knit with. I love the color changes.

Related post

Monday, November 16, 2009

How Crafting Leads to Shopping

I simply adore this Amy Butler Correopsis fabric. It is home dec weight. I found it on Etsy.

Perhaps the sewing mojo is returning. 5 bags are in the works. I experimented with some fake fur and the cheetah bag came out very cute. The sewing is not up to my standards so it will be mine unless my blogless sky goddess sister nabs it.

I hope the charms I ordered and my eyelash yarn for the gnomes come soon so these can finish up some projects.

The tablecloth project is still in the research stage as is the request for bigger bags. I can't seem to remember what stitch and thread to use in my serger and I'm not sure wooly nylon will look good as it's not shiny. But I have some, so that's a plus and so I don't have a reason to shop.

The bigger bags are more of a challenge. Increasing the diameter of the base means I can't recylce junk cds, and it changes the balance a of the bag. My first prototype of a squarish base, came out too large. It may be a nice gift bag if I can find the right size container. (oh my, that's sounds like another reason to shop)

Off to make more stitch markers. I may need more headpins. Oh my! Not another reason to shop!

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Plum Moon Mitts, FO

Pattern: free on Ravelry, New Moon inspired Alice Cullen finger less Mitts, by Nancy Fry.
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Royal Llama Silk
Needles: size 8 and 7 dpns
Mods: I was one inch short for the bind out so did 11 rows for the cuff rib instead of 12. If I had be less generous with my tails, one ball would have been enough. As it turns out, the 11 rows was perfect for my smallish hands.
I had a little hole at the beginning of the cuff where it rejoins after the thumb bindoffs. I purled the first bind off with the active stitch on the first row of the cuff rib and that closed it up. If I make these again I will use a stretchy cast-on.

I love the way these fit.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gnomes waiting for their Beards

Blogless Sandy knit a gnome and it was so cute I had to try it. They are addicting and now I have to rest my hands. I got a callous on my baby finger from holding the dpns.

Pattern: Jultomtar & Teeny Tomte by Alan Dart.
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden
Needles: size 5 DPs
I knit these in the round. The large one I just winged and the smaller one I followed JoyKnitCrochet's instructions for the boots. The eyelash yarn Alan Dart used is Sirdar Foxy, now discontinued. I made these white ones from a generic "long" eyelash from China and I liked them a lot better then I thought I would. They are temporary as I envision the large one to have grey/brown beard and the little one to be a redhead. I still have to curl the tails on the hats.

I have all the necessary supplies to spin some yarn. There is the wonderful roving from Moonlight Baker...the book with all the answers (I hope)and the new spindle from the Isle of Wight . I hate to break into the beautiful braids as they are works of art by themselves! I have not tried the spindle yet. It has a very slender shaft, and 4 notches.

The fabric is also in the queue. It's to be my holiday table cloth. If I can only get my sewing mojo back before Thanksgiving passes me by. In fact, I seem to be suffering from some sort of malaise in general and there is so much on the to do list! Perhaps a day of decluttering is what I need.

Everyday, though, I am grateful for the beauty that surrounds me. The garden surprises, the turquoise ocean, the misty Koolaus, and those sudden sunsets that are gone in a flash.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Bangles and Gnomes

These bangles made in the Bead Gallery's Beautiful Bangle class are difficult to photograph. One is sterling silver and the other copper. The instructor, Iris Sandkuhler is very knowledgeable about the scary soldering process. I learned about some new tools, bangle sizing and shaping, and that koolaid has another use besides dyeing yarn. It is acid enough to "pickle". In soldering that means to clean up the metal after melting the solder in. As an interesting digression Iris shared her adventure to one of the three borax mines. It brought back memories of the old ranger on Death Valley Days and the 20 mule team borax teams. (The back ground is the moss now starting to cover my patio since the wet season has begun.) The borax is used as flux. It helps the solder flow where it's supposed to go. It was a large class and I'm so happy I did not set anything on fire.

Meanwhile, Mr. Gnome is waiting for his beard yarn to fly in from UK. Yes, I could use Lion fun fur or something else, but that paypal button is just too easy.

I used left over silk garden and the beige just makes me feel he is naked. I'll see how the beard works, but maybe he needs a shirt.

Look how big Kiko is.

It is impossible to get her to sit still. She is not a lap cat (not yet anyway) and attacks anything that feet and the camera cord. She would love some real mousies, and is addicted to her laser pointer.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Turchin, FO

Pattern: Urchin, by Ysolda Teague, published in Knitty
Yarn: Opal's Handspun, "Chinese Turquoise", Merino silk
Needles: size 11

I held the yarn double and it knit up tight and small. After a soak the yarn softened up. It is a little large for my head. I may leave it as is or add some elastic around the rim. It's a very fast, clever project. I wish I had Kitchenered on the wrong side, as I have a larger knit looking row at the join. It's not really a very big deal, though. The yarn was lovely to work with.

It was tough to get the colors to show up nicely while taking a photo of myself so I took one at Aloha Yarns today. It is always sunny and happy there and fun to knit with Totoro, Nanea, Sandy and others who come to visit.

I blocked it over a salad plate.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Silver Cuff

I woke up early this am and felt the need to pound some silver. Luckily the Bead Gallery had a opening in the Cuffcake Bracelet class. Shaping a bracelet was a skill I've been wanting to try. Jason and Amanda are great teachers! The bracelet starts with a flat piece of 20 g sterling. The designs could be card stock cut with a die cutter, or a metal stencil. I chose the cute rabbit as I was born in the year of the Rabbit. After gluing them down, the piece of silver is rolled through a press not unlike a pasta machine. After rounding the corners and sanding them smooth, I got to pound the silver into shape with a ball peen hammer on a piece of hollowed out wood. I love this part! The finally shaping was done over an oval bracelet mandrel. I tried antiquing it a bit with a hard boiled egg. It has a natural matte finish. It fits! And it doesn't roll around.

On the knitting scene, I took a short break from Tile Stole to knit Ysolda's Urchin from Knitty using hand spun silk/merino from the Opalescence. It's blocking now so pictures will have to wait. It was a fun, fast knit.