Category Archives: crochet

I Still Exist!

And I’m still making things!

I won’t linger over the details anymore, but I’ve been busy in the metals lab since I stopped keeping up with this blog. Here are a few things I’ve completed.


This is a labradorite bead riveted into a silver frame. I like the look of these riveted projects but I’ve become tired of trying to find long beads that are drilled through cleanly and without chips around the ends (which can cause the rivet to bend and distort.) I had to really ream this one out–but it was so worth it.

 

 

Ah, I finally found something to do with the copper “crazy quilt” disc I made a couple years ago when I was experimenting with copper solder. I really like how this turned out (and I also recently made a bead with nine little texture samples on each side like this, but don’t have a picture.)

 

Here’s a bit of fun made with some scraps. I got the color with a power stripper.

 

Malachite is always good for some drama, I think.

 

Inevitably, when you get a reputation for making jewelry, friends and coworkers come up to you with broken jewelry, hoping you can fix it. This piece is pretty much a copy of a cheap, plated bypass ring that someone I work with wore for years until the band snapped at the point where it adjusts to size. She’d hoped I could fix it–nope. But I thought about it, and made a band that night with a piece of sterling wire and a hammer and a mandrel. From there, I got the OK to recreate the ring (tip: get the shell bits out by heating the back with an alcohol lamp until the epoxy weakens and they fall right out.) She was really pleased with it, and I am too. It was a good learning experience (and I made the band thicker so it won’t break this time!)

 

After I finished the above piece, I still had bypass rings on my mind, so I hammered out one for myself and tried out different stones until I fell in love with the look of this red agate. Soldering was tricky, but I’m getting better all the time.

 

I bought this stone a few years ago and made a few failed attempts to design a pendant and set it (remember?):

 

Well, here she is now! That brass framework was a real . . . challenge. I bought my own solderite board to bring to the studio–perfectly flat, and with grooves carved into it to hold those pieces exactly where I needed them. The end result comes close to what I had in mind all this time. Still waiting for the chain to tarnish a bit, though. I randomly melted some silver solder around for an old, industrial look (note the solder around the joined areas) but it doesn’t quite show up on the links yet.

 

Here’s a fun scrap piece I made with some wire bits I melted together some time ago but never knew what to do with. At one point last spring I was making a simple ring with this stone (and, for the first time, adding a jump ring inside the bezel to make the stone stand taller) when I held it up next to the scrappy bit and thought, “Wow! Perfect!” And that’s how this happened.

 

Remember these old dudes I hammered out back in the day? The two on top became earrings, and I hung onto the big piece for a long time, trying to think up a good necklace idea. A little extra piece and a little crochet later:

I rather wish I hadn’t punched holes in the corners, but I did, and that made what I ultimately came up with a bit more difficult than if, say, I had soldered loops on the back. Still, I’m loving the simplicity of this one. I’m glad I waited on it.

 

I sketched this out last October, hoping to make use of this neat sardonyx cabochon I’d been holding on to. This piece turned out a bit difficult due to its size (and trying to solder on square copper wire bits without silver solder blorps everywhere!) The back has a pin mechanism that was a bit tough–the pieces are so tiny and need to be placed exactly, and you have to be sure not to clog up or fuse the catch during the process . . . but I pulled it off. I even made a pin/pendant converter with a piece of tubing and wire.

 

My teacher, Bob, was recently given a huge box full of jewelry supplies, casting stuff, sterling silver, you name it, from a donor who had retired from jewelry making and didn’t want the stuff anymore. Among the treasures was a spool of 30 gauge argentium which he had no idea what to do with–but knew that I would, as a knitter/crocheter. I ended up buying it off him (with proceeds going back to the studio) and made this crochet cuff with some beads and a sterling frame I made myself. It’s got a bit of beginner’s wonk to it, and I ought to have practiced more before making the real thing because one side of the strip is looser and sloppier than the other, when I started really getting the hang of it. But this was interesting–and I’m in the middle of using the remainder to make a kind of mesh amulet bag from instructions I found in an old Lapidary Journal from the 90s.

And last but so, so not least. Remember when I started futzing around with wax to carve rings?

I finally got these both finished after months of inactivity, messing up one and doing it over, and just generally worrying about doing something wrong and ruining all that work. Last week, they were cast in silver.

They’re still not done (clearly), but man, is it a relief to have gotten this far! They are heavy as hell–I wish I’d carved away more wax on the interior but the wax was getting delicate and I was nervous about breakage. I shouldn’t have been, though. The thing on the left, if you’re wondering, was a slice of ring wax that I’d carved into with a new set of wax working tools as a kind of technical exercise. I figured if I made the design well enough, I’d cast it. And so I did–with a different design on each side. It’ll be a reversible pendant when I’m done.

And that’s about where I am on the jewelry front. As for knitting, I haven’t bothered all that much. I’ve got two pairs of socks made with crazy rainbow yarn I tried to dilute with solid colors, and a clone of my cat.

Pattern: SlipStripe Spiral

 

Pattern: Ugly Duckling Socks

 

Pattern: The Parlor Cat

And that is . . . probably . . . all for now! I’m sure I’ll catch up again in a few months. Until then, keep crafting!

 

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Filed under amigurumi, beads, bracelet, casting, crochet, knitting, metals, necklace, pendant, pin, ring, riveting, socks, soldering, stones/gems, wax carving, yak yak yak

Season’s Greetings!

Well, my husband is sick and family Christmas time is postponed, so here I am blogging about some little gifts I made for my niece and nephew, respectively.

melbracelet

I think this will fit a six-year-old. Well, I hope so. I made this with a super cheap and crappy set of alphabet stamps I got from a big box craft store with a 50% off coupon, so they were like 8 bucks. Mind you, a good set could run at least 75 dollars or more. I’m not terribly happy with them, but I knew what I was getting into, and they’ll be good for marking things and experimenting, anyway.

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My nephew is into sea creatures these days, so I dug around in my Ravelry favorites until I spotted this sweet Little Blue Lobster pattern. I’d have liked to use blue yarn, but I actually don’t have any since I’ve been working on a scrapghan. Fortunately, I did have just the right amount of scrap bulky red with a charming fleck in it–and ah, sadness, I think I got it from my knit night friend who has just moved away as her husband has a new job in Chicago. So he turned out super cute and the pattern was easy, fast, and enjoyable.

And just because I’m too lazy to write a separate post:

2ndclasp

Here’s a bracelet I (finally) just finished up. I don’t think I ever talked about it or took progress shots, but I’ve been working on that box clasp since last fall. Actually, I finished that a while ago. I found it easier and more enjoyable than stringing up beads and putting crimps on (I don’t even know how I got the tongue end of the clasp on backwards, but I did on my first attempt.) I might get those little c-shaped crimp covers you put over them and squeeze down with pliers, but we’ll see. Anyway, I’ve had those red creek jasper beads for nearly two years now and I’m glad I finally did this–and I have four beads to spare, so there might be some fun with them in the coming year.

And so it’s not been the best year, but it’s been a creative one, and I can’t complain. See you in January!

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Filed under amigurumi, beads, bracelet, crochet, metals, presents

Happy Halloween

Well, just as I was getting all into my wax ring models, I realized I had to get down to business on my Halloween costume before a community trick or treat event  on 10/21 that I volunteered for. The good news: I had it half-done. Sort of. Remember this crazybusiness?

vikinghatandbeard

I made that a good three years ago and never got around to the rest of it. So, thanks to my buddy Pinterest, I found a diagram and some basic–really, really basic–instructions for making a Viking coat. The bad news: this was written for someone who knows their way around a sewing machine, and while that kinda-sorta was me years ago, I’d forgotten it all. Actually, that’s not quite right. The sewing machine is the easy part. The measuring, the cutting, the pinning, the marking, the ironing, the seaming . . . so many steps with their own little quirks.

helpI did have help, though.

It all took more time than I anticipated, and though it’s got an amateur-hour quality to it, I got it done with no major problems. The only real alteration I made was to shorten the coat to a tunic (and not cut the front open); if I were to do this over next year with better fabric (yeah, right) I’d make it just a bit longer, because I forgot that actually having a, you know, body tends to make tunics shorter than you think.

tunic

Accessories weren’t difficult: I got a belt from the thrift store, a ring featuring a skull with a giant axe through it from Six Flags Great America a billion years ago, my husband’s gray sweat pants, furry slipper-boots from the Kmart that’s going out of business in our town, and as for a weapon . . .

lilmjolnirOh, Li’l Mjolnir!

My riveting hammer just didn’t seem mighty enough. The fly-by-night Halloween store in my neighborhood had a Marvel licensed Thor hammer, but it was 20 bucks so I said screw that and bought a giant plastic broadsword for 10 bucks instead.

vikingDrama.

My favorite comment of the evening was probably from the kid who was all, “I know what–who–I know what that is! It’s like from the dragon–How to Tame Your Dragon movie.” And my least favorite was probably from the boy who grabbed my hem and was all, “Is this a dress?” Hands off, kid.

As for sewing, I can’t tell if I never want to do it again or if I want to look through some old patterns I have and get busy on something else! Truth is, this isn’t the time to get involved, and by the time it is, I’ll have lost interest, so farewell again, my sewing hobby.

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Filed under crochet, sewing, yak yak yak

With the Lights Out it’s Less Dangerous

kurt

Here’s something I finished recently. I crocheted this mini afghan on a car trip because I’ve been thinking that knitting in the passenger seat is probably dangerous in case of an accident and all. Don’t know if a hook is much better than a bunch of pointy sticks, but I suppose there’d be less chance of airbag trouble.

Anyway, most of knitting group was a bit too young to get what I was doing here. (That’s ok; I have absolutely no idea why that stupidass Full House reunion was such a big deal to them.) If you were of A Certain Age in 1991, there’s a special place in your Nostalgia Sack for this.

Also, you can’t beat a good pun like Kurt Crochetin.’

kc

(I have no idea if this is Photoshopped or not. But probably.)

Coming soon: a project for the State Fair. Which I have to finish soon. Oh God why did I agree to this.

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Filed under afghan, crochet

Bootie bootie bootie hey

charlie

Behold my latest pair of Simple Baby Booties, this time for a sort-of-coworker-in-the-main-office who just had a baby boy.  It’s a super easy and adorable pattern, and the only real mistake I made was to pop these off in the mail before making sure I had a good picture, so sorry about that.

In other news, I am borderline sick with whatever sinus-y malady that has kept my husband in bed for the past two weeks, and not up to much of anything, although I may go knit on the couch now. I hope to have some jewelry to show soon, because I dragged my headache-y self to class a couple nights ago and nearly finished up a bracelet, and cast a clump of rings.

Jeez I wish I felt better.

Anyway, enjoy your weekend.

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Here Come the Droids

bb8andr2d2

I’ve been working on these two for a while. They’re BB8 and R2D2 from . . . well, you know what they’re from, and if you don’t, I envy the rock you live under because I’m not really a fan. But my knitting, non-crocheting friend Sarah is, and so is her daughter, who calls R2D2 “Arty Dooty.” Who can resist that story? And so I have made these for her at Sarah’s request.

The pattern is here. It’s fairly straightforward, but with a lot of detail work (i.e. embroidery and Sewing Stuff On). The results are pretty stinkin’ cute though.

Hmm . . . wonder if I have a bead in my stash I could use for R2’s little red light?

UPDATE 3/5/16: Finished a second set! I liked it better this time around. Also paid more attention to getting the details stitched on right. Hope my sister-in-law likes them.

Actually, I just hope her dogs don’t eat them.

droids2

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Filed under amigurumi, crochet

Scarf Break

Last time I talked about knitting, I believe I said I was done with socks for a while. So I made some scarves.

This is one is made of Noro Kureyon, a worsted weight yarn I ordered online some 3 or 4 years ago for a specific shawl. Well, it turned out not to be a good yarn for that pattern, so it sat around until I found the Directional Scarf from Lion Brand. And here it is!

directional1

Pretty sweet all-triangle entrelac, although it’s been so long since I’ve done one of these that I forgot to dump the long-tail cast on in favor of a make-as-you-go one (hell, I don’t even know what that’s called or where I put the printout.) Anyway, here’s one of the most irritating things about this yarn, its tendency to go from very thick to very thin:

directional2Seriously?

And one more: this was a skein of homespun given to me last Christmas by my knitting buddy Kristi:

penny

It’s a simple two-in-one half double crochet stitch from one of those old Harmony guides.

And now I’m back to socks. I’ve frogged these because they never quite fit, and this yarn was too damn expensive to waste like that.

indiansummersox2

So that’s that, blah blah, and soon I’ll have an awesome casting project to talk about. An awesome, awesome casting project.

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Filed under crochet, knitting, scarf