Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Memorial Day is gone and past and now we go for a big push at work and an even bigger push on the home front. Work...I won't get into. But on the home front:

  • finish up my Pinwheel Sweater. I'm now on the crochet edge of the first sleeve

  • spin up fiber to knit myself a shrug. the shrug must be in wearable form by August 2, 2008 to my friend's wedding.

  • I started knitting the nightie from Mason Dixon Knitting using some silk I had bought last year. Yes, it's a silk nightie. mmm, sexy. I admit, I hate wearing pants when I go to sleep but I do it when I travel with people. A nightie seems to be a good compromise here. And the silk...well I sure as hell am not going to be making a wool nightie cuz that just defeats the purpose. I also hate sleeping when it's too warm and wool wouldn't help that.

  • I've swatched and am also ready to cast on for Flying Fox in some Be Sweet Bamboo. yay!

  • oh, and lots of fun beading projects.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Persimmon Tree Farms - Autumn Harvest glitz

Happy Memorial Day weekend! Just wanted to show off some spinning progress on the Autumn Harvest. I haven't done much this week since I've spent a lot of that time lying mostly lifeless on the couch. However, the yarn is delicious and it spins up nicely and quickly.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

At the end of the weekend

Friday night, I sat at Bead Obsessions and made a ring:
Finished ring

I like it. It's a little loose for me when my finger isn't naturally swelled up. Yes it is for sale if anyone wants it.

I taught class at Bead Obsessions. It was the calla lily class. I've decided that I must ban the use of gold wire in class. For whatever reason, gold wire is extra fussy and kinks and coils all over the place. While there, I also started work on a beaded hyacinth pattern. I know there are patterns that already exist, but I wanted to do one myself, that also involves a bulb. I like the look/scent of forcing hyacinth bulbs in the winter. The one thing that bothers me about those is how short their lifespans are.

beaded hyacinth in progress

I also visited evil Amber at Stitch DC Georgetown where she was working. She was knitting with some Be Sweet Bamboo on Thursday night and it felt REALLY GOOD and she mentioned they still had sweater quantities available. And there was a last minute sale at Stitch DC. So I went and picked up some of the stuff in a nice Barbie pink.
Be Sweet - Bamboo

I also finished spinning up the Spunky Eclectic romney in the "Sangria" colorway. It has been washed and is now drying in the bathroom. Therefore, I started spinning up some of the new Autumn Harvest Glitz I had bought at sheep and wool. Spun up a small amount and Navajo plied in the hopes that I would get worsted weight yarn. Set it, dried it and yes! Worsted! Whoo hoo!
Autumn Harvest Glitz - the start
Autumn Harvest Glitz - the start
Autumn Harvest Glitz - the start

Saturday, May 17, 2008

When you want to make your own ring

I'm doing a little wire work tutorial today. I had bought this cabochon as a set of 3 at the Gem & Jewelry Show. I had bought a ring setting for one, given a second away as a gift, and had this third one sitting around for a while. I wanted to make it a ring, but I wanted a different setting from the one I already had. I looked all over the place and either the settings were the wrong size, or I had to order wholesale and in bulk. Finally, an idea started forming in my head about using wire and making my own ring. I've included the instructions here. You can click on the pictures to see larger images.


- 1 ft 16 gauge wire

- 1 ft 20 gauge wire. More may be needed if you want to wrap it a lot or if your stone is bigger

- Small cabochon

- heavy duty wire cutters

- wire working pliers

- ring mandrel or something round of approximate size to your finger with a little bit of extra room

Note that I like to use sterling silver (dead soft). Copper will be more bendable and you may end up with nicks on the wire from your pliers. The choice is really up to you.

Sizing up your finger

If you already know the size ring you want, good for you. If not, you need to figure out what size ring you want to make. There are various resources on the web to find your ring size like this one at wikipedia. If you don't own a ring mandrel, you would probably want to figure out either the diameter of your finger to fit (so you can buy and approximate sized dowel at the hardware store) or the circumference of your finger (so you can find a similar object around the house).

Creating the ring

If you are using a ring mandrel, you want to wrap the wire just at the notch just slightly larger than your desired ring size. If you are using a dowel or tubular object, you want to make sure the circumference is slightly larger than your finger. Using the 16 gauge wire, leave about 1.5 inches at the end and wrap it once
Making the ring
then twice
Making the ring
around the ring mandrel. Try to keep the size of the rings you're creating even. That's 2 full rings around the mandrel.

Take the end of the wire and you want to bend it around the two wire rings:
Securing the ends of the wire

Then, cut the wire from the spool, also leaving 1.5 inches. Wrap that end also around the 2 wire rings:
Securing the ends of the wire

Make loops with the two ends, or some other free form shape.
Finished silver ring, without stone

Finished silver ring, without stone

Trim the wires down to your desired length. You can stop here if you want. It's a very nice ring.

Wire wrapping the cabochon

Full disclosure: I have never taken a class or been instructed on wrapping stones with wire. I experimented with copper 26 gauge wire to see how it would work. Please feel free to experiment with the wire and the stone.

I used the 20 gauge wire to wrap the cabochon, leaving a 2 inch tail at one end to be used for securing to the ring. Then I proceeded to wrap the wire around to stone so that the stone is "trapped" in a cage.
Wrapping the cabochon Wrapping the cabochon

I secured the 2 ends of the 20 gauge wire to the ring by wrapping each end 3 times around the ring. I then trimmed off the excess.
Finished ring - commented

The stone was still wobbly on the ring so I took a small piece of the 20 gauge (you can use scraps at least 1 inch long) and threaded that through the wires under the cabochon and wrapped it around the ring to secure:
Finished ring - commented

Finally, the finished ring:
Finished ring
Finished ring

Friday, May 16, 2008

Confession time

I am a teenie bopper at heart. I love my boy bands. Now that I've said that...New Kids on the Block is going to be at Verizon Center on October 2, 2008. Is there anyone in the area who would want to go with me? Tickets go on sale 6/9 at 10am. It's been 15 years!

Did anyone catch them on the Today show this morning?

Yes, I love the New Kids. I love NSYNC. I love 98 Degrees.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Cyrstal necklace - refinished

I posted about two finished objects the other night. When I took the picture of the necklace, it looked a little tilted and I thought it was just me. After the photo session, I put it on. When I walked by a mirror, I realized that it wasn't me that was tilted. The necklace itself was tilted. Urgh! The middle 14mm rivoli was not centered under the 27mm rivoli. So of course, I had to take it apart and redo it so that the crystals were all centered. Now, this is better:

Refinished crystal necklace

Refinished crystal necklace - close up

Refinished crystal necklace - close up

I have a friend with a hobby in photography and I've been threatening to send him some flowers to photograph. I've always found beads to be difficult to photograph because you put too much light in and they're reflecting everywhere leaving everything out of focus and fuzzy. The picture showing the entire necklace is out of focus and it drives me nuts. Those crystals are pretty but damn, they're throwing me off.

How it sparkle. How it shines. - Rubyhorse

It's a strangely appropriate song to pop into my head since the NHL used this as their theme song...I believe it was the 2002 Stanley Cup playoffs. They had the cup all nicely polished up and silver. And now I'm watching the Stanley Cup and looking at this pretty sparkly thing. Wait. It may have been the 2003 playoffs. I think 2002 was Andrew WK's "Party Hard". Yes I remember my life by music.

2008 Maryland Sheep & Wool Haul

I finally got some pictures and loaded these into raverly. First, I got a basket:
New basket

My first purchased of the day, right at about 8am was from Persimmon Tree Farms. It's the Autumn Harvest Glitz blend. I saw this last year but I tried to hold off and by the time I decided to buy some, they were all out. So this year, I realized that I could spin this up in worsted weight and make Rowan's Cressida pattern.

Persimmon Tree Farm - Autum Harvest Glitz

At the Clover Hill Yarn Shop booth, I picked up some Spritely Goods Fey in the Manzanite in Bloom colorway.
Spritely Goods - Fey - Manzanite in Bloom

And then I also drooled over Mama E's C*eye*ber Fiber in the Raspberry Ganache colorway.Ceyeber Fiber - Raspberry Ganache

While I was there talking to her, I was telling her how evil she was with the flashing of the Garnet colorway on her website and she mentioned that she had some in her of course, I had her bring me some on Sunday to be sent home with Amber.
Ceyeber Fiber - Garnet

And then I got some Shelridge Farm Soft Touch Ultra to make Eunny Jang's Anemoi Mittens.
Shelridge Farm - Soft Touch Ultra - Plum
Shelridge Farm - Soft Touch Ultra - Clover Flower

And finally, in the Woodchuck's going out of business sale, he was getting rid of some of his wife's yarn stash at a really good price. I picked up 10 skeins of this wool/viscose yarn:

All in all, I stayed in my budget and didn't touch my credit cards or go into my food money. Yay me! Lots of spinning and knitting ahead.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Two finished objects!

These were the two items I was hoping to finish this weekend. First up is the Simple Knitted Bodice. I'm hoping I can get a better picture of this at some point, but here it is:
Simple Knitted Bodice - done!

It's Stefanie Japel's Simple Knitted Bodice. This was knit using Elann's Peruvian Highland Wool. The lighter green is 797 and the darker green is 7359. This was knit on size 5 and 7 needles. I'm going to wear this to work tomorrow. It will be cool enough. Next up...
Finished pink rivoli necklace

Now I am done with this necklace. Give me a week to throw it on etsy. Sorry the photo sucks. This is one of the problems with photographing beaded objects. Beads reflect light, which makes them difficult to get the lighting adjusted correctly. When you're dealing with crystals, that just adds to the problem. Those silver beads are the new Toho permanant finish silver (no more galvanized, whoo hoo!) stitched in the St. Petersburg chain. I used 1 27mm pink Swarovski rivoli and 2 14mm pink Swarovski rivolis. The rivolis are joined using 6mm bicones.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Weekend goals

  • Photograph my yarn stash and get them into ravelry

  • Finish the Simple Knitted Bodice. I'm almost there. I just need to weave in some ends and do the collar.

  • Photograph ALL of the jewelry I've made. They'll be getting tagged with prices and will all be going to etsy

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Pink Ribbons

If you want me to donate to a cause, you can usually do so if it's related to breast cancer. It's something near and dear to me and I hope that it's not hereditary. And when you combine that with something like cute pink socks, you end up with me paying for The Pink Ribbon Sock Kit. She is putting together 100 kits. The total cost for those of you in the US is $45. That would be $5 for shipping, $20 for the sock kit, and $20 donated to the Susan G Komen foundation (the Race for the Cure people).

Monday, May 05, 2008

I finished some socks

These were the Caps playoff socks. I did two increases up the leg. What really bothers me about the increases is that I did the first one during one of the intermissions during Game 7. The Caps went on to lose that game. Boo! So when I walked out of Verizon Center, I had literally just finished the increase row, so I had to keep going! And I couldn't just do 1 increase so I had to do a second. And then I started running low on yarn so I finished it up. These will be good in the winter for some boots.

Twisted Rib socks - all finished!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

I'm not done yet

Crystal Rivoli Necklace

Really. Yes, you can wear it out, but I'm not done yet. That strap is made with the permanant finish silver beads that Patricia has recently started stocking over at Bead Obsessions. It's in a St. Petersburg chain. That is a 27mm Swarovski crystal rivoli there in the center.

Maryland Sheep & Wool 2008

Well, it was MD S&W weekend. I was good this year. I only spent the cash I brought with me! All of my goodies are still in the car since I'm carting it all around for show and tell. I bought some yarn and some fiber and some Noni patterns (Tulip Tote, Cascading Fuschia Market Bag, Prism Bag). I'll have pictures once I have finished with show and tell. My pictures from Sheep and Wool are here. I did a bit of a scavenger hunt and tried to take pictures of everyone I knew that I ran into. Hmm...did not see Amber and Stephanie. I am missing a picture of Beth who I even chatted with for a bit. I am also missing a picture of Lauren who made a last minute trip down. She IMed me on Friday to say that her boyfriend had decided at the last minute to visit his brother who just happened to live in Columbia, MD. She sent the boys off to do boy things while she got herself all overwhelmed with all things wooly. She is actually my friend Josh's sister and when she first started knitting, she didn't know anyone else who knitted and I was the first person he thought of :). So overall, it was a good weekend with good loot and good friends.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Hockey commercials

It's the NHL playoff I've been watching a lot of hockey. Some of my favorite commercials: