Monday, April 30, 2012

CSM socks and hat from Serenity yarn

I made a pair of socks today on my antique Creelman Brothers sock knitting machine. This pair is already spoken for. Don't you love the way the color pools and oozes around the sock? This is made from Serenity sock weight yarn from the Deborah Norville collection, from JoAnne's. It is the 'Aquamarine' colorway, and is a very lovely and soft mix of superwash Merino wool, bamboo, and nylon. I hope the recipient has fun with them!

The cool part of today is down in the lower right hand corner of the above picture. I figured out how to use the leftover sock yarn to make baby caps, also on the sock knitting machine. I like the yarns I've been working with so much that I've kept all the bits leftover after making socks. But I haven't really figured out what to do with them yet. I had tentative visions of weaving projects...but baby caps are just about the right size to use up the leftovers. And the yarn is warm, and soft against the skin. I'm thinking that quite a few newborn baby caps may be in my future! If I get going, I'll make some for friends/family, some for the Etsy shop, and maybe some for the local hospitals come winter time.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Ear wraps and project planning for ruanas

I've been having fun making more of the ear wraps. I made this one for my daughter, and she loves it. It is just like the one the other day, but instead of making a spiral on both top and bottom, I squiggled the bottom wire down to where she wore her post earrings, and made a loop there for the post to go through. That seems to anchor the ear wrap nicely in place. She says it is not that comfortable to sleep in, but otherwise she forgets she has it on. If I think of it, I'll make a tutorial on how to make these, but there are several good ones scattered around the net already.

In other news, I've been pondering where I want to take my art work next. What really inspires me are pictures of fantastic wearable art pieces. I think perhaps I should head in that direction. I love the nuno felted scarves, and I might try those. I also really enjoy wearing the ruana that I wove awhile ago, and loved the warp painted shawls I did. I'm thinking I ought to combine those two projects, and do a sample warp painted ruana and see how that goes. To that end, I bought some 3/2 white cotton. That should be a nice weight to wear, and should weave up relatively quickly. I bought enough for one ruana, just to try out. Well, I tried to buy it. It is currently on back order.

I'm thinking that two over sized hand painted silk scarves could also make an awesome vest/ruana if I sewed them together halfway up their length for a back seam. I might or might not want to also sew the sides together, to make arm holes and to keep the silk from flying around too much. So I also ordered 4 22"x72" habotai silk scarves from Dharma Trading Company tonight. If I paint two scarves with the same color scheme, it ought to work out well. I think I can see it in my head, but I need to experiment. If it turns out like I envision, I'll want a couple for myself, and then several for the shop to try out and see if they would go. It should be an elegant and whimsical dash of color to wear, particularly as summer wear. And the silk ruanas would be quicker (and so less expensive) to produce than the warmer and heavier hand woven ones.

The ideas are bubbling around my brain. Time to make some pretty things!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Back to work

Now that Estrella is done, and I've mostly recovered from the event, it is time to get myself back into gear in the studio. So for the past few days, I've been cranking out socks on my antique sock knitting machine.

I've got three pairs of women's socks off the machine, and ready for the hand sewing part. I can sew up the toes tomorrow night, when I have company over for game night. That way I can be part of the frivolity, and still have hand work to do.

I also had a 'duh' moment this evening. When I'm making the Viking wire woven necklaces, like these:

I will often end up with several inch scraps of wire left over after making the clasps. It pains me to just throw them away, but what to do with them? Tonight it hit me. I know how to make ear cuffs, stupid! So I whipped out the pliers, and a little experimentation later I remembered the trick and made this cuff.

I currently have it on, and it is very comfortable. I foresee lots of decorative twists of wire in my future. Maybe I'll eventually have a selection of them for sale as impulse buys in my booth at art shows.

Speaking of art shows, a friend of mine is having one in her home this weekend, and invited me to join her selection of hand picked artists. If you are in the Phoenix, AZ area, I'd love to have you stop by and say 'hi'! You can get more information at the FaceBook page for the event, at . The list of crafters is:
Susan Holt - Fine Art and Jewelry (
Jennifer Richardson - Tatting
Jana Stobaugh - Fine Leather Crafting
Erika Swanson - Skylanth Sky Dragons (
Kat Bretcher – Brazen Button, Scarves for Lily (
Pati Cook - Quilts
and me, Melissa Wold-McCollum - Fiber Arts (

Should be a fun weekend. Kat asked me if I would bring out my antique sock knitting machine, so I'll be giving a bit of a demo on that as well. I'm looking forward to this!