Archive for May, 2007

at the same time

After ripping and starting for a THIRD time on one of the front panels of the Ruffled Surplice, I’m actually making significant progress. Slow, but significant. Why did I knit this thing THREE times? Because of “At the same time.” My least favorite phrase in all the knitting instructions in all the world. I like to think I’m kind of a smart cookie, in general, but my brain throws up its hands and takes a coffee break when it sees “At the same time.”

The real reason my knitting progress is slow because of my new craft addiction. My free time is now divided between knitting and jewelry making. I guess my addiction is not that new, actually. I used to make jewelry several years ago, which eventually took a back seat to soap making. For a while, I sold my handmade bath and body products at craft shows and through a couple boutiques in my area, but my interest eventually fizzled and the soap making was replaced by the knitting. It’s not that I’ve lost interest in knitting, but I’ve rediscovered my interest in jewelry making. I guess I enjoy crafts that are somewhat functional. Having the Etsy shop has been fun, too. (Although my friends and family keep scooping up the good stuff before it’s in the shop for very long!) I want to keep a variety of items in the shop, and I expect to have several more fine silver pieces in there very soon, but ever since I acquired the proper tools and found out where to get good beads, I can’t stop making rings…

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summer knitting?

I’ve had to restart the second front panel of the Ruffled Surplice twice, now, and the jewelry making is really taking up most of my crafting time nowadays, but I’m already looking ahead to my next knit, because I am a craft addict and possibly a glutton for craft punishment. I intended to knit Butterfly this summer, but…(sigh)…all that thinking…I just don’t feel up to it right now. I looked at the Interweave Knits preview online, and my favorite pattern happened to be the Summertime Tunic, which happened to be one of their free ones! I don’t lovelovelove this tunic, but I like it 7-balls-of-Elann-yarn worth. So I ordered some Elann Sonata in “Grand Canyon,” which is exactly where I may wind up knitting this! How could I resist?

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good gifts

Two weeks ago, I finally got to give the EZ baby sweater and the felted fox to the new baby and new big brother. I’m assuming that most knitters get at least a little excited about giving a knitted gift that they put much time and love into, so I was so happy to hear that my gifts did more good than I had imagined. I hear there was much oohing and ahhing over the sweater, but apparently, the fox really eased the transition for new big brother. At two and a half years old, his parents were more than a little nervous about how he’d handle meeting his new baby sister. He was a bit freaked out by being in the hospital, but as soon as his parents gave him the gift, it took his mind off of it right away. Not only did he relax, but he immediately wanted to go share his fox with his new sister. They have some wonderful photos of the new family in the hospital and that fox is in every single one. Who knew?

Anyway. My hot pot kiln arrived this week and I finally tried out the precious metal clay. It was actually a little harder than I thought it would be. I think the difficulty resulted from trying to work on such a small scale, combined with my paralyzing fear of wasting this expensive material. Consequently, I made some junk. But firing them in the kiln was VERY fun, and I did get one successful piece out of it:

These earrings will be a birthday gift for my sister this weekend. The disks are made from precious metal clay, and so are 100% silver. I stamped a flowered pattern into them and gave them a patina to bring out the texture. They were a little boring until I added the freshwater pearls, but now I really kind of like them.

I made another pair at the same time, which I will add to a my Etsy shop, eventually. They still need finishing touches and I also need a scale to weigh them and figure out how to price them properly. I’m looking forward to experimenting more with precious metal clay. It’s so satisfying (and unexpected) to be able to make a high quality piece of jewelry on your front steps!

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