Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Studio Time: CiM Testing - Mantis

I started out testing CiM new colors for testing feedback but fell in love with most of the colors and ended up using a number of the colors in my new Citrus Collection being developed for the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee in June.

I'm finally getting around to posting my results from the CiM testing with the new batches of blues and greens. I tested Eclectus Parrot, Mantis, and Budgerigar. Eclectus Parrot is a limited run and in limited quantity. I was able to find 5 lbs of Mantis, and it’s nearly the same color as Eclectus Parrot, so this fits the bill and makes a beautiful swirl for the Pomelo collection. 

Mantis is a super easy green to work with. No shocking. very smooth. Slightly stiff so it needs a little more time to melt. I like to work hot and fast and this glass tolerates that without getting too bubbly like a lot of transparent glass does. I might reduce the heat just a smidge to control the bubbling but generally it tolerates my working speed. 






I mixed the color with Peppermint Cream and Venus to create the swirled version. 







Saturday, June 23, 2018

Styling Ideas for Twilight Bead Collection



This is my first attempt at trying styling ideas with my beads. These are bead strands and just waiting for ideas to be made into jewelry.

I kept it simple on my first try at styling.






Thursday, November 30, 2017

Studio Time: Knitting with Multiple Colors

I have a couple of favorite designers where I've learned some major knitting skills through knitting their designs. Their designs are challenging and interesting and the results are beautiful and elegant. 

Kate Davies is the designer of this gorgeous Epistropheid hat in fair isle style of knitting. My learning curve has taken a steep turn and I'm ravenous for challenging and complex knits. So I dove straight into fair isle knitting. I looked up various suggestions on how to knit fair isle. 
Researching fair isle knitting, I stumbled across double-knitting.

So, I did Epistropheid as a fair isle knit. It ended up being a very quick (two nights, total 12 hours) knit because I knit two-handed. Love knitting two-handed! Allows me to benefit from knowing both English and Continental style and speed up the process. Plus, I love the result of the hat. I still need to block it to allow the stitches to bloom out. 




My absolute favorite part of the hat is the top 9-point snowflake. So gorgeous. Such a clever design.


Even more importantly, I'm super proud of the neatness of the "wrong side" of the fair isle knit. The floats are tidy. Almost tidy enough to wear it wrong side out! But again I credit the two-handed approach to making this turn out so well. When I started fair isle, I was knitting both colors from the left hand and it was twisting the colors up. Once I started holding the contrast color in my right hand, the floats became much more consistent and the tension was also consistent (a key to the floats and proper tension). 


Now I've decided to take the challenge to the next level and do the Epistropheid design in double-knitting. It's definitely a mental challenge. One that I'm enjoying so far even though I've already frogged and re-knit this twice. Recovering from mistakes is much harder so I've been knitting more slowly. 


The last two-color knitting I'm going to conquer is the brioche stitch. I'm not super convinced I like this stitch yet. I think it probably has to do with the color combo. If I choose a color combo that I love better, I might like it a little more. I have some designs favorited in my Ravelry that are a little more intriguing than straight brioche. 


Monday, November 20, 2017

Artfully Meandering: Down the Knitting Rabbit Hole - My First Sweaters

I blame Irma.

Well, I started falling down the knitting rabbit hole before Irma, but Irma clinched it. Nothing like evacuating to Alabama and having four days to focus on knitting.

I finished...frogged and re-knit my very first sweater. This is the Old Town sweater from Sunday Knits. This one took six weeks.



And then I went and knit a version in white for my niece. It was originally supposed to be for my sister, but I used a thinner yarn (smaller gauge) so it fits my niece better. This one took two weeks.




And now I have three four projects (two baby blankets, a scarf, and a hat) at the moment with a few others percolating in my head cast on my needles.

I knit my first pullover sweater in linen. This is gorgeous Prism Euroflax Linen yarn. I had a skein of this yarn in my stash when I decided to take on this sweater. I ordered two additional skeins from Desert Designs Knits to complete the sweater. Normally different dye lots can create a very jarring transition, but it worked out okay with this sweater. And I'm SUPER happy with the result of this sweater. In fact, I have a request to make one for another friend.  I've been able to machine wash this in super delicate and dry on delicate and it turns out perfectly. It's getting softer and drapey-er with each washing.



I've been pairing the sweater with another Sunday Knits item - the Sonoma Stole is perfect for the slightly cooler in between weather for a Florida winter. I get to wear my warmer knits!!!


While learning to knit with linen, here is a list of references that have helped me.

Here are the linen posts:
http://fluffyknitterdeb.blogspot.com/2006/06/l-is-for-linen.html
http://untangling-knots.com/2016/05/20/6-things-to-know-about-knitting-with-linen/
http://www.knittingparadise.com/t-172115-1.html
https://marvelknits.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/knitting-with-linen-technicalities/
http://www.ravelry.com/groups/linen-and-hemp-lovers
http://knitbot.com/blog/2013/5/9/knitting-with-linen
http://knitbot.com/blog/2013/5/22/finishing-with-linen
https://www.interweave.com/article/knitting/knitting-with-linen-yarn-and-knitscene-summer/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaPdU20WdzQ


Adding lining to a knit piece:
http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2008/05/best-way-to-attach-lining-fabric-to.html



And a side note on a cool stitch called the Linen Stitch for future knitting...


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Studio Time: Kanna Earring Designs

Current earring designs I can re-create in either glass or polymer clay. If you need light earrings, I recommend polymer. If you like the beauty of glass and can handle a little bit of weight, then go for the glass.

1. Simple Drop ($18 Retail)


2. Loop and Triple Drop ($35 Retail)

3. Cherry Blossom ($47 Retail)

4. Lagoon ($35 Retail)

5. Lasso and Lariat ($47 Retail)

6. Graduated Drops ($22 Retail)

7. Stacked Loop and Triple Drop ($41 Retail)

8. Icicle and Drop ($47 Retail)

9. Twig ($59 Retail)

10. Cascading Droplets ($35 Retail)

11. Byzantine Chain with Large Bead ($47 Retail)

12. Rope and Bead ($39 Retail)

13. Triple decker small bead ($29 retail)


14. Endless Summer ($24 Retail)

15. Simple Silver and Bead ($24 Retail) - sunstone variation

15. Simple Silver and Bead ($24 Retail) glass bead variation

16. Confetti ($69 Retail) - Glass and carnelian variation

16. Confetti ($69 Retail) - Glass and carnelian variation

16. Confetti ($69 Retail) - Flamenco Variation 

16. Confetti ($69 Retail) - Pink Swarovski Crystal and glass bead variation

16. Confetti ($69 Retail) - Green peridot and dyed shell variation