Friday, January 29, 2016

To Lisa Grossman, The Vintage Sock and a New Creative Direction

   The January 15th, 2008 blog by the Yarn Harlot changed my life. I am just being truthful. The blog shows her efforts to inlay the knitted one inch leaf into the toe of The Vintage Sock, an amazing design by the amazing Lisa Grossman. I read that blog post and was drawn in by both the design of the sock and the running description of the process which actually takes up several days of postings. At that time I was a studio jeweler making the usual rings, earrings, bracelets  etc. in unusual ways.  I had just started doing shawl pins. The Yarn Harlot is describing the laborious, glorious process of lining up the stitches of both the toe hole and the leaf. She is sounding pretty proud until the knitting gets dropped and the slippery, straight needle falls leaving those perfect stitches to their undoing ways. Like a stone skipping on a placid pond my brain goes; slick straight needle, options, won't fall out, curvy necklace! And the cable needle necklace is born. Truthfully the first one looked like a Klingon war weapon. Since then the concept and the design have morphed beyond any projection I could have made.  It also set in motion my meeting Lisa a few years later at the MA Sheep and Wool Show which was the start of a too short friendship. All this from reading that blog. Thanks Stephanie! I owe you big time.
Blog On!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Button, Button, Who Made the Button? The Resources:

  I am off to Rhinebeck to teach a button making class this coming week.
Here are sources for materials:
     Wire: Allcraft   800-6457124
 Allcraft stocks all kinds of wire. For my classes I use mostly bronze, which they call Nugold, copper and some nickel. I caution people not to wear nickel next to the skin as the potential for an allergy reaction. Repeated exposure can trigger a reaction. I mostly use 16 gauge, 14 gauge and 12 gauge
   Wooden Discs:
  These are not shown in the above picture. The shop carries nicely finished blank wooden discs which may be drilled and decorated in unlimited directions.

   Metal Shapes of All Kinds:
 Also not represented but a true inspirational site . There is no way to describe all the metal shapes that are just waiting to be buttons or whatever  you envision. You will definitely have fun here!

  Solid small felt wheels 
 In my experimenting I looked at the small hard felted buffs used with  motorized hand held tool like a Foredom in a new way. These small dense discs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They have a single hold in the center that allows for attaching to a project with a bead and cotton embroidery thread. I have not gone too far down this road so I recommend taking them off to wash the garment. What is neat about them is the ability to use a sharpie for decoration.
  A caveat here: Give your credit card to a trusted friend when you first get the catalog. Give yourself  a few days to think. After more than forty years of making things I still find this catalog overwhelming.
 I will continue to update sources  as I go further down this road.
    For inspiration that makes you feel like you could do interesting and usable things there is no one like Alexander Calder.    If I had this past weekend to live over I would have sent a list of websites  for inspiration and motivation. This one would have led the list. I followed up with a search on Pinterest using the search words: Alexander, Calder, and Jewelry. I am headed back there the minute I post this update.  
  Second on the list is someone completely different, Mary Lee Hu.   
Where I find Calder's work motivating for it's simplicity I find Mary Lee Hu's work motivating and humbling for it's skillful use of wire.
    Blog On!

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Queen of the Quick and the Cheap

  What is more motivating at any level of proficiency than a successful completion of a project.  It has yet to be proven to me that 100 times the effort equals 100 times the satisfaction. Teaching has reinforced my love of easy and quick projects. A trip to A. C. Moore has reawakened my love of gimp. How could I put the two together? With a crocheted circle done with a large hook (here I used an "L"), that's how! Literally done in minutes I now have a pot scrubber workhorse worthy of keeping or gifting. The large sized hook makes for large sized holes that rinse clean of cling-ons, not to be confused with Klingons.
Blog On!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Crocheted Jute Orchid Pouch

  I am Orchid challenged. I have three that were blooming  brilliantly, the state in which they were received,  then never more. All my reading and asking brought me to realize that they needed air for the roots and maybe food. I happily invested $ 4.99 for the food. Then took up my crochet hook and natural jute twine and made this pouch which now hangs in the window over the sink where it can drain.
Blog On!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The First Tomato of the New Year

I am not claiming a Christmas miracle as I could not deal with the line of believers snaking through my house. This plant was in a pot from the beginning of it's germination as I can not trust the soil around my house. It was just poking along until I brought it in and gave it some fertilizer from the vermiculture bin in the cellar. Amazing things started to happen. As the tomato got heavier I had to place it on the spinning wheel hub to support it's heft. Three cheers for the worms!
Blog On!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Blame It on the Wensleydale

Well that and the craftivist, Casey Jenkins.  I had intended to make these merkins as joke gifts for Judy and Rose. But watching Casey's YouTube video really propelled me to follow through. Her willingness to follow through with her vision which is public, pubic and lasts for 28 days is admirable to me. And at this point there are almost 4 million visits to her video and several response videos including a quite funny parody.  There can be no better reason to free myself from open studio hours and special orders than to have fun, follow my creative directions  and  maybe motivate others to do this same.
 There is no pattern for these. I crocheted them from my single ply handspun wool and then put in the Wensleydale which could not have been more perfect if I had bought it for the project!  But if you wish directions for a Valentine's  Day gift go to this site.
Blog On,

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Demonstrating Rugmaking and Wool Spinning at the Whipple House

    I have driven by this house for many years and never expected to spend a day sitting on the lawn spinning wool. RoseAnn is shown here making a standing wool rug. Behind her is my favorite travel wheel, an Ashford Traveler. Next Sunday we are at Appleton Farms.