2.28.2011

Making Colors

I’ve been amazed at blending and creating colors from just the basic three colors.

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It started as yarn dyeing, and took me to watercolors, which helped me understand color on a whole different level. I haven't painted in a bit. But I have been playing with yarn dyeing…..

The inspiration, a photo from a spice market in Morocco! The spices, the colorful clothing, and the sky!

I discovered if I do my yarn dyeing in multiple steps, laying the colors in one at a time, (wash, add another color, wash repeat as many times as you desire) that the colors come out cleaner! I’m loving the results.

The above set is Morocco spice, especially dyed for someone!

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It is best to think of the color wheel and lay in your lightest colors first, do some planning. Think of what color the overlapping colors will make.

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Red is the strongest, so I always add that one last.

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Want to warm it up? Put the entire skein in a weak color bath of a warm color, red, orange, or yellow. Cool the color, try a weak color bath of blue or green.

Too bright? You can drab it down a tone by adding the color that is opposite the color you have on the color wheel. For instance too red? Add some green!

And always remember you can always add but not subtract color!

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All boxed up and ready to ship out! I know it turned out well when I want to keep it and cast on something!

May your knitting needles fly as fast as dragonflies….

glittery-animated-dragonfly-insects

2.27.2011

Featured Etsy Seller of the Month

The Etsy seller to be featured this month is Diana of Faerie Garden Fancies!

From her Bio:

I am an artist & teacher. My favorite materials to work with include but are not limited to paper, paint, glue, scissors, polymer clay, pencils, watercolors, camera, and computer. I am sometimes disguised as a substitute teacher, as I attempt to figure out how to reconcile my passions with making a living. I live in the country with my partner and our four still-at-home, unschooled kids and one very spoiled cat.
For more info about me, check out my blog at http://bunnykissd.blogspot.com!

I think one of my favorites is the Chocolate Candy Pendant

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I love her Magical Mermaid Doll

mermaid doll

Crazy Kitty

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Take a look at her shop for more goodies.

2.19.2011

Recycle to create..

reuse_reduce_recycle
Fun ways to help mother earth, and economical also! Enjoy!
-Embellish a tee shirt to fun and flirty tutorial with Positively Splendid

-Sneezerville shows us how to recycle a sweater into stylish leg warmers


-Craftbits always has great ideas! Here is one for a luminary from plastic drink containers that looks elegant!
Image for Recycled Plastic Tub Luminary DIY Craft Project
-Kaboose has a sweet little tin can pot tutorial for your Herb garden

-Turn a boxy men's tee into a great fitting one for yourself with bekathwia and Instructables
T-Shirt Mod: Boxy to Foxy

2.17.2011

Spinning Monkeys

Last year I bought some lovely fiber from a fiber festival. It was so soft, the kind of fiber you pick up and just want to rub and snuggle with.

Then I had a day off, and some sunshine, I pulled my wheel out onto the deck, even with a cool breeze and my jacket on it was a pleasure to sit and spin.

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The Fiber is: Screaming Wild Monkey! A special house blend of 70% super wash merino/15% Banana/!5% Seacell (impregnated with silver) 4 oz. (what ever this means!!??) Did that stop me from buying it? Oh no. The photo doesn’t show the colors, they are vibrant.

made by River’s Edge Weaving Studio at  weavingstudio.com

It was a dream to spin! I spun it up fairly quickly. After some consideration I decided to try my hand at Navajo Plying.

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I used this You Tube video from Rexenne on Navajo Plying, she has quite a personality, and the video is very through, even including slow motion.

018After plying I was amazed at the difference in the color!! Plying in the Navajo style with multicolored singles gives an entirely different color result.

Navajo plying (also called chain plying) is a way to make a three-ply yarn from only a single strand. Spinners often use this method when they have spun singles from a multicolored top and want to avoid creating “barber pole” yarn as they ply. Navajo plying preserves the color changes of the original singles, giving you a striped yarn rather than a marled one.

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Put into skeins now, I got approx. 225 yds. out of 4oz. More of the colors are coming out now.

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I am pleased with how it plied up. I like doing the Navajo plying and would do this again.

Now what to knit with this?

2.14.2011

Yarn Substitution and Frustrations

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I’m still slogging along with my Iced sweater from Knitty. After an alarming number of frogs and ciphering, I am cautiously on a roll. Yes you would think with yarn this bulky, that this sweater would be done in a week. Me too!

I started with this lovely yarn that I purchased for another pattern, sound familiar? How many times do I do this? It laid around and mocked me for some time. I just wasn’t happy with the pattern that I originally bought for it.

Of course the yarn being rather super bulky, it was hard to find another pattern to fit my needs. Enter Knitty Fall 2010 Iced Sweater by Carol Feller. I feel in love with it and had to have it. Well,,,,,,I didn’t want to buy more yarn, so I decided I would “force” this yarn into behaving itself began and perilous journey.

Getting Gauge: not going to happen, the knitting gods laughed at me…Frogged

Getting Gauge second try: still laughing, and do I detect some snorting?….Frogged

Begin knitting, I’m blindly knitting along, tightly to “get gauge”, and realize that my sweater is feeling similar to a bullet proof vest…..Frogged

OK seriously now, I decided to make a swatch with the recommended needles, (imagine that!), and try to make the sweater in a smaller size. As my gauge is approx 25% larger than the pattern recommends, OK this seems to be going well, until I try it on, (oh the beauty of top down sweaters), and realize the arms are like bat wings…..Frogged

Now, I’m knitting again, trying it on every couple of rows and it is looking pretty good. I think I’ll even have enough yarn to finish it!

Moral to the story?

Yarn Substitution is very tricky, you must take into account not only the size of the yarn! This is about the best article I have found on gauge and yarn substitution, from Knitty Summer 05 by Jenna Wilson.

Good luck, hopefully next time you see this yarn, it will be an actual sweater.

dancing in the rain--
Knit Fast, Dye Yarn
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass... it's about learning how to dance in the rain."

2.12.2011

The Search For the Right Buttons

I’ve never been able to find some buttons that I thought looked good on this sweater! I’ve tried wood, metal with design, and various plastic. Finally I thought I would try to make some myself.

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Above is my Lion Neck Cardigan, with my buttons sewn on! I modified the pattern collar, see my rav link above. This was a fun top down pattern by Wendy Bernard.

I decided to make some more buttons with engraved branches on them, and some larger buttons to paint on.

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Here are my buttons, ready to go into the oven. I roughly scratched some branches and leaves with a toothpick. And then made the button holes by sticking a cuticle stick into the back and front and smoothing the hole out.

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I made 5 buttons with branches on them for my sweater. Lion Neck Cardigan. (amazon book link)

I rubbed in with my hands a acrylic green, using the paint brush to really make sure it got into all of the little cracks.

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Too green! So I added a burnt umber to my glaze and washed it over it. (I did this by using a little of the acrylic gloss + a small amount of burnt umber acrylic paint), and gently painting it on. I wanted a haphazard look to the finish.

Then I applied another gloss finish. These buttons are also hand washable.

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Now I’m ready to sew them on!

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Yay! See previous posts for more info on this process, and check out YouTube for many videos of creative people making everything from simple to elaborate buttons!

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=making+polymer+buttons&aq=f

Keep creating!

2.10.2011

Painting on your Polymer Buttons

I have been enjoying making Polymer buttons for my sweaters. The below buttons are approx. 2 inches across. Big enough to paint an image on.

I used acrylic paints and decided to try some bamboo stalks on them. Satisfied with the results, but then decided the back ground was too white. I Added some burnt umber to my gloss and painted this on after the image was dry. This made a more “weathered” look.

You can use any “gloss” treatment for acrylic paints, the paint on or spray.

Yay, now I need to find something to sew them on!

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Below are the 3 buttons from my last batch, Approx. 1.5 inch in diameter, (see engraved polymer button tutorial post), these are my plain buttons that I tried my hand at painting on. I had already painted a gloss coat on these buttons and the paint didn’t go on as bright as I wanted it. Memo to self, paint first….before putting a glossy coat on.

If you use the liquid gloss, you can add a little color to it and come up with more interesting looks.

It was difficult to decided what to paint on these, as they were smaller buttons.

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I settled on gold fish and seaweed. Then I put more gloss on the buttons again,  with a small amount of blue added to it to get a blue glaze. 

There are quite a few tutorials on making polymer buttons, I didn’t think to look for any before I started, see the list to get more cool ideas for buttons to add to your knitting!

From Craftstylish polymer clay button ideas, loads of ideas, using colored clay!

See Craftgossip.com for many polymer clay button ideas! includes a video

From Crafty Daisy’s a video tutorial for a simple polymer clay button

Have fun!

2.06.2011

Whoops I bought more fiber!

Enter a snowy day and some friends.

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We ate and drank, and walked around town. The above is a fountain that is frozen up. And when some of your company likes to knit and do needlework it turns into a perfect weekend.

shopping in newburg

Notice the large bag my husband is holding. This is because my girlfriend “found” a knitting shop that was selling out of all of their spinning fiber. Can you say “visa”?

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Seriously now, I wasn’t going to even buy any, just “look”. Then maybe just one or two, by the end, I had everything in my bag that she had left.

Clockwise from the top 1-Camel/Tussah Silk Top 8 oz., ooooo so silky and lovely, 2- Dark Blue Dyed Corridale 8 oz., 3- Light Blue Merino Silk Blend 8 oz., 4- Corridale, Turquoise 8 oz., 5-Baby Camel Top 8oz (this was the only one I was originally to buy, just made my knees weak)

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I need to get some seriously spinning done, and today is Super Bowl Sunday! Touchdown!!

Get the wheel out!

-
Knit Fast, Dye Yarn
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass... it's about learning how to dance in the rain."

2.01.2011

Make Custom Polymer Clay Engraved Buttons for your Knitted Items

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I have been looking for the “right” buttons for a sweater. I can’t find what I want so I decided I would play around and see if I could create some.

I thought of trying polymer clay. I bought a neutral color because I wanted to embed the design into it, and then bring it out with paint.

First I purchased some Polymer Clay

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I made 3 simple buttons by:

Warming the clay up until it was pliable and made a flattened piece of clay, like you would a sugar cookie, approx. 1/4 inch thick.

I think used a sharpie pen, (the fat kind) as a rolling pin to even it out and make the top portion smooth.

I used a bottle cap (from some body lotion) to punch the button out.

A cuticle stick to make the button holes.

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I also used the cuticle stick to try and scrape a design into the button. I wanted to make a bamboo like design.

(I made the design first and then punched the holes), Go into both sides of the button with your stick for the holes.

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Now bake according to the instructions on your clay package.

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When I took mine out, (this is the first time I have ever used polymer clay) it was still soft. I discovered it hardens when it dries.

Let dry overnight. (you may not need to let it dry this long?) The next day it is hard and feels like a ceramic button.

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I then used an acrylic paint and Cream coat varnish/gloss.

Mixed them together. I used a small amount of paint to gloss. My plan was to “antique” the button.

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I then rubbed the paint/gloss into the button well, getting it down into the lines that I had scraped.

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After this dries, I put a coat of gloss on it to make it shiny.

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Yay, now I have three custom made buttons for my sweater! Not too bad for a first try at handmade buttons.

I also made three plain buttons to paint a design on, more on that later!

-Knit Fast, Dye Yarn
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass... it's about learning how to dance in the rain."