Thursday, September 27, 2007

Angelica's Ring

I made this yesterday. Using sterling silver I initially meant to make a pair of flower shaped earrings. While holding the tiny silver shaped domes upside down with the silver attached something clicked in my brain, I thought about flowers and poppies and a garden sprung to mind, one with an odd numbered flowers.

I wondered how can I pull this off and keep it both simple and stylized? Should it be a pin? A brooch would limit the deminsions I was looking for. We hold flowers in our hands before we give them to our loved ones, so why not extend a garden on a ring? My daughters fashion designs came to mind, she's always thinking outside the box and taking creative chances...and her work is so stunning, she would have told me to go for it.

The reactions to this piece have been I was wondering...Do you think it's finished? If not what elements would you add?

Would you wear this ring?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

6s 7s & 9s Timeless Pendant

Green Fluorite Sterling Silver Pendant

I found this little green rock at a gem show last winter. It reminded me of a worry rock, something smooth, a touch-stone to keep in your pocket for reassurance.

Time...I say it over and over in my head and it starts to mean nothing. Time time time time time time, it begins to sound like tine, which makes me think of forks. And cake, mmm cake with super sickly sugary frosting which over time will decay your teeth and in the shorter run give you a tummy ache.

Timeless beauty, how is that possible? What does it mean? In 100 years will someone look at a photo of our ultra skinny runway models and think Ah yes, those starved bodies with heads floating atop, just look at those jaunty joints and boney faces, such timeless beauty. Okay that's a silly description of beauty even by today’s standards.

Light captured in a Van Gogh paint stroke, seeing a shooting star from a tiny island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina breathing in the late night air, witnessing your child taking her first steps and the sounds of her laughing are timeless beauty.

This piece was put together with a lot of worry and learning to let go of conventional beauty. I wanted ugly. I wanted time stopped so beauty could rest. I wanted crazy. How about numbers which don't make sense and no face on a watch? No not the melting clocks of Dali...instead solid, with striations and fragility of time, some worry lines. Stamped nonsense numbers and letters on the sides of the silver, easily held due to the thickness of the bezel I formed tell that nothing is permanent. My metal smith instructor spent plenty of class time with me talking about the piece, bending the metal and reassuring me to keep going with it.

Still looking for the right chain to create in order to wear the piece, time marches on...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Felted iPod Hoodie

Have I mentioned I love to felt my knitting? I find the felting results of knitted stitches vary widely. For instance, a simple st st will come out very smooth, while a garter stitch leaves a little more substance. This makes sense, with more thread looped together (garter stitch) vs. less (stockinette) during the felting process end product will be thicker or smoother. It's definitely a fun process to play around with. Speaking of playing, I remember not long ago...wait was it really that long? We used to play 45s. Once you've taken the huge step of combining those old school 'albums' onto a tiny iPod you can't go back. But surely you can enjoy looking back at all those LPs. The vinyl, the cover art, liner notes and memories will stay.
I put together an iPod Hoodie. It can be worn around the neck, definitely suitable for a walk outside, knitting or metal smithing, even eating your favorite snacks. Your iPod stays where you can find it. Again, embellishing after the knitting and felting was the most satisfying. I knitted an I Cord for the handle, used some wooden beads to give a new device a retro feel and added a hole at the bottom where the cord is attached.

Top to Bottm
Back View of iPod Hoodie
Front Open View of iPod Hoodie
Front Closed View of iPod hoodie.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mittens for Autumn

These were fun for several reasons, the constant change of the pattern and the sounds the double pointed needles made over and over as they clicked and clacked moving with the wool. I just love the ssk, ktog, ssk then psso combos. The pattern called for an area of knitting 8 rounds even, (I was knitting with 5 double pointed needles) I knew this would be tedious and would have to somehow keep count. Making little check marks on the pattern is so boring...always willing to snack I placed 8 Cheez-its out and after each round would eat just one. (that was sort of difficult) Anywho, it proved a great way to count, very reliable and yummy.

I used Patons wool, the color Pumpkin. I am still craving a slice of pie, or a pumpkin latte (now available at coffee houses for Autumn). These are a childs average size. The thumbs were a bit scary at first, but trusting the pattern proved fruitful.

Adding the branch and fall leaf details after the mittens were knitted was like painting...quite fun, the sort of thing you want to stay doing for a long's hard to eating only 8 Cheez-its.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Throwing Down the Knitted Gauntlet

I’m going to decide what to actually make, mittens or gauntlet! Let me tell you it’s been a rough and (at times) unraveling time since last night. I made my first mitten…almost…I stopped short of finishing the round area of the mitten, the sweet little area which keeps fingers warm and cozy.
Yes mittens are sure cute, but the fingers must be liberated! Fingers need to snap, they need to be available for important utilitarian purposes! I took the mostly-made mitten apart, unraveling it (as my knitting instructor Vreni would say “Open it up!” a dare not unlike Throwing Down the Gauntlet damn it.) With the 5 double pointed needles in hand feeling like a puppeteer not quite acquainted with her craft, I remade it, then realized to make a knitted gauntlet I might want to make the length of the wrist area expand up to the forearm. I refuse to do a cable up the arm (a la mode), that will send me over…
Alas, I am unraveling the thing yet again to make a longer version of the knitted gauntlet. It will be warm, it will be flexible, it will not be suitable for battle but I will be able to dip Oreos in cold milk while knitting another scarf and use the keyboard.

Friday, September 14, 2007

There's No Place Like Home

I made these little Mary Jane style booties with red wool and cute-as-a-button closure. Initially they looked very soft and loose so I tossed them in the washer for a felting.

The results are lovely, I couldn't be happier with the way they felted. Thicker... softer... sturdier, I'm a happy knitster. At a close look there's still a hint of my stockinette and purl stitches, you never quite know what you'll get with felting. I love the results of these soft rubies.

Not that I know of any such fields, knitting these gave my brain such a feeling of those alluring languid poppies, reaching up to the sky ready to burst.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Nurturing a Beautiful Addiction on the Road

When vacationing in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and you have a yen for yarn you must check out this awesome knit shop. Aptly named Knitting Addiction it is packed with color texture and the most beautiful yarns you could imagine. There are two comfy couches, tech support for your knitting woes...the walls are covered with projects and patterns. No worries about buying unwound skeins, there is a wooden hand crank skein winder on hand. The owners will happily wind you up while you check out more threads.

Outer Banks is known for more than its old pirate tales, old Ocrakoke Brogue and the Wright Brothers. Yes it is the home to more feral cats than people (so I heard) and the occasional red fox. Knitting Addiction is home to Purrl, a beloved Outer Banks cat who may have lineage dating back to Blackbeards time Arrrrrrrrrr Matey! Purrl is sweet and well loved, but don't let her fool you, she seems to own the shop.

Dare I post a photo of the sweater I recently finished from a pattern and yarn acquired from Knitting Addiction? Let me wear it and do a test drive, if nothing unravels, or a stitch mysteriously drops I will...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Free Pattern for Baby Hat

Mocha Latte w/Whipped Cream Top Baby Hat

designed by CarolynArtist

Click images for larger detailed views

You will need
Lion Brand Nature’s Choice 100% Cotton (follow label instructions for washing care)
1 skein each of the following colors:

Size 8 knitting needles
Tapestry needle
Measuring Tape

Start with ribbing of hat
Cast on 58 stitches in Walnut
Work back and forth in ribbing, k1, P1 for 1-1 ½ inches

Switch to stockinette stitch until whole piece (from cast on row) is 2-2 ½ inches

On knit side switch to Pecan and continue as before in st st until whole piece reaches 3- 3 ¼ inches from cast on row

Beg to Decrease
Row 1- K 6, K2tog * rep to end of row
Even rows, 2-16, Purl
Row 3- K 5, K2tog *rep to end of row
Row 5- K 4, K2tog *rep to end of row
Row 7- K 3, K2tog *rep to end of row
Row 9- K 2, K2tog *rep to end of row
Row 11, K 1, K2tog *rep to end of row
Row 13, K2tog to end of row
Row 15 K2tog to end of row (yep again as in Row 13 this will add a tip to the whipped cream top)
After purling 16th row you will have 5 stitches remain on knitting needle

Transfer remaining 5 stitches onto tapestry needle

Finish seam of hat using mattress stitch, and work in any loose ends.

At top of hat embellish whipped cream curls but weaving in and out loops using Macadamia and a tapestry needle…make it thick, thick thick, or thin whatever you like

Please let me know if you experience any problems with this pattern. It worked for me

Cotton Baby Hats With Bangs and Ears

Aren't these colors delicious? Hats for babies can be pretty boring without a whimsical top. I left the eyes and nose out hoping the wearer would complete the look (babies don't usually have hair do they? or funky ears). Recently discovered at Lion Brand, 100% organic cotton...the hats were knitted fast with the following colors:

The feel of this cotton is so wonderful you can't knit just one!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

OCD and Knitting baby hat and booties

This set was knitted using a pattern I found on the DIY show Knitty Gritty (the pattern is available on their site). I mixed my colors and design up from the original just a tad. As you see from the title my somewhat controlled OCD has its advantages... and with that this Knitster is happy to say more than one set has been knitted.