Archive for June, 2008

i love etsy

I have decided to start offering the Simple Gemstone Rings in my shop in any size. It’s a bit of a nuisance to haul out my metalworking tools and supplies and get my soldering station all set up, since I don’t have a dedicated studio in my home. So I usually wait until I have a good chunk of time, then try to make several jewelry pieces all at once. The one-at-a-time thing isn’t as big a deal when it’s just beading and wire work, but during the summer months I do have a little more time on my hands, so we’ll see how it goes!

Also, I recently purchased the cutest dress on Etsy! It was made especially for me by Cathy at Tangente. I love this dress so bad I want to marry it. I’m not kidding.

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playing with fire

I’ve been having some success and much fun working on some new jewelry pieces. I’ve been firing up the torch every day, and dreaming about jewelry at night. (Seriously.) I tweaked the design of my Cave Earrings ever so slightly by oxidizing the insides, too, and I am sort of totally in love with them, now. I’m not even sure why. I guess they’re just “me.” I’ve been wearing mine daily, and this morning a friend told me that “one of my earrings was on backwards and it was really bothering her. ” Sigh…when I explained that they were NOT on backward, but that they were concave, she immediately changed her tune and decided she loved them…she’s a science teacher. 🙂

I’ve also made several more gemstone rings. For now I’m going to be listing them in the shop in a variety of specific sizes, but eventually I’m hoping to be able to make them to size. I’m just not sure I have time in my schedule right now to be able to create custom pieces in a timely manner. And if I can’t do it well, I won’t do it at all. Soon, though! Summer should free up some serious jewelry making time…

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market bag

Since I’m slow to blog these days, this bag has already made her maiden voyage to the public market! I was able to lug home 2 cucumbers, 6 tomatoes, 1 head of broccoli, 1.5 pounds of coffee beans, and 2 pints of raspberries (which actually weren’t all that good and but still served their purpose…as a vehicle for Cool Whip). It held up just fine, and I still had room to spare! In this photo, the bag is stuffed with a bath towel. And not one of those skimpy bath towels, either.

I used this free pattern, and made a few minor modifications. I went down several needle sizes, after reading about how much this bag stretches. I used size 8’s for the bottom of the bag, 11’s for the lace body, then I switched to 9’s and then 8’s for the garter stitch border, although I probably could have gone right back to the 8’s. I was afraid of making the opening too small, but it seems to be fine. The top of the bag measures 12″ across when you lay it flat.

I wound up knitting 14.5” from garter stitch base of the bag to the bag opening, although I had planned on making it a bit shorter. But when I’m holding the bag by the handles down at my side, the bag doesn’t quite reach the ground, although it might if I really loaded it up with coffee beans. So maybe the bamboo handles aren’t ideal (digging into your forearms when you’re laden with produce), but I really do like the way they look. The bamboo handles have a diameter of 6″ (on the inside) and I didn’t do anything fancy to attach them, just went round and round and round with scrap yarn after I had bound off the bag.

I used some leftover Rowan Cotton Rope (maybe 3 balls or so?) and this yarn is much happier being a market bag than a lumpy dumpy surplice cardigan. Yes, we’re all much happier now that this yarn is a market bag.

More photos on Flickr.

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I’ve still got craft mojo…I just lost my blogging mojo there for a bit! I’ve been knitting Marilyn’s Not So Shrunken Cardigan using the Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool I ordered ages ago. (The stuff everyone told me to knit up immediately.) I’ve done the entire raglan shoulder portion and now I’m about 3″ into the body. I love the color. It’s #09, verdigris. I plan the lengthen the body, so I hope I have enough yarn. But I could always make the sleeves a bit shorter.

I made a pledge (to myself) to head out to our Public Market as often as possible and live on cheap veggies all summer, so obviously I needed a new market bag to help motivate me toward this goal! I’m using this free pattern, but I’m making a few modifications. After reading about how much this thing stretches, I went down a few needle sizes, using 8’s for the bottom and 11’s for the lace pattern, which seems to be working out pretty well. And I’m using reclaimed Rowan Cotton Rope…from the ill-fated Ruffled Surplice of last summer. I’m also planning on attaching bamboo handles, rather than knitting straps…for cuteness.

I’m also working on new items for the Etsy shop! I’ve been taking a jewelry making class, so I’m re-learning how to form metal, solder, set stones, etc. I have picked up a torch in years, but it seems to be coming back to me. Here’s my first class project:

It looked better right after I finished it…but I’ve been wearing it so much that it could use some polishing up already! And then I made these…

So I’ve been practicing with smaller pieces and forcing friends and relatives to wear the prototypes just to make sure they’re good enough for the general public, and hopefully soon I’ll have some new designs available in my shop!

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