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Saturday, 12 November 2011

The Cardigan That Goes On Forever

I have to admit that I'm getting tired of sewing my cardigan together. Once I blocked the pieces I noticed the back was shorter than the two fronts! I sewed the shoulder seams together and you can really notice the difference....so I have to pick up stitches and do a little more knitting onto the back.

Last night I started the mattress stitch on what I *thought* was one of the sleeves.....but it was a front piece!!!! Well, at least now I have a little bit of experience doing the mattress stitch :-/

I also have to pick up stitches around the neck. It's in the pattern, it's not to fix a mistake I made ;-)

I have to take a break from it to pack because we're moving at the end of the month. I have a feeling the sweater will get shelved, unfinished.....


Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Getting There!


I still have to knit the left front (the side with the buttonholes) so once I have that piece I can safely say I'll be in the home stretch! For the past few weeks I've been practicing my buttonholes and also experimenting to find the one that looks the best. I'm also looking for easiest, too!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Stashbuster

This hat is a stashbuster, meaning that I tried to use up as much of my wool stash as possible. This touque is in 2 x 2 rib and it's merino wool:


This is sleeve #1 from the cardigan I've been working on all summer. I figured that since the yarn is handpainted and variegated that colour changes would be subtle and I wouldn't have to worry about getting dark patches. Well, as you can see, I got a dark patch:


When I whinged about this on Facebook a friend of mine suggested doing this deliberately to sleeve #2 so that they seem somewhat coherent. Brilliant idea, L!!!!!!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Steek It!!!!

I've been thinking about what I said the last time about not being able to knit a cardigan in one piece, in the round. I actually think you *can*....by sewing a steek into it and cutting down the front. Like I've read in several places, steeking is "not for the faint of heart". After all, it involves spending countless hours and days knitting and then actually cutting the piece open. You could mess it up! It would be so disheartening if it didn't work out!

After my cardigan is finished (I'm still about 3/4 of the way done with the first sleeve, then I have to figure out the reverse directions for the right front, not to mention learn how to do buttonholes!) I think I'll do something that has a steek in it. Maybe just a swatch....;-)

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Cardigan Bravery

I finally decided a few months ago to knit something I've never attempted before....a cardigan. Last winter I searched high and low in the stores for a particular cardigan and I couldn't find it. My sister had previously extolled the virtues of knitting my own and therefore getting exactly what I wanted. It's a good theory but have you seen the price of wool these days??? And yes, I wanted to make it out of wool because I wanted it to be the warmest it could possibly be. I've heard good things about wool!

Many years ago I photocopied a pattern out of a knitting book and then promptly filed it away. I don't even know what the cardigan is called. I guess it's just a generic, stockinette stitch sweater. That's good! I assumed it would be easy.

It's one of those ones where you knit each element of the sweater separately and then you sew it all together. I guess cardigans have to be done that way.....I mean, you can't knit it in one piece, can you??

Anyway, many months ago I went to a yarn store in Leslieville and told the shopkeeper what I wanted to make and could she direct me to the best yarn for the project? Yes, she could and did.

It was beautiful handpainted yarn by Tanis Fibre Arts in the colourway Stormy. It's got different shades of blue and some greys thrown in. I instantly fell in love with it. I didn't even think to look at the price tag, because if I *had*, I most certainly would have balked at the price. Nineteen dollars a hank and I needed 5 of them!

I started knitting during the recent heat wave if you can believe it.  I escaped the sweatbox apartment I live in with my husband and spent my days in the A/C comfort of Starbucks, sipping on an iced coffee (or 2!) and knitting. I went there every day.

The back of the sweater is the first part that you knit. I started and restarted about 5 times. I even got about 4 inches knitted then decided to unravel it because it had mistakes in it that I just couldn't fix by picking up stitches. I think it was my tension that got all loose and eventually I finished the back but those mistakes are still there. Anyway, here it is:


I think I ran into some errata in the pattern because it didn't seem to instruct me on what to do with the final live stitches....so I just binded (bound?) them off. Maybe I didn't understand the directions but there was no one to ask and I didn't know how to ask the internet. Maybe I will if I run into that problem again. I was even thinking of unravelling this piece and starting over. Who knows, I still might.

Here is the left front, still in progress:

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Various Things

I recently completed a one-week intensive jewellery-making course through the Toronto District School Board. I mainly worked on two pieces and a third was started in the last two hours of the last day....so it isn't finished yet. I still want to post it here because I'm kind of proud of the fact that I was patient enough to complete the sawing! Here it is:


This is my Arizona piece. It's two pieces hanging together on a jump ring. A little rough around the edges but still in progress:


This piece is sterling silver and the gemstone is an Australian Opal cabachon that I bought at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show a few years ago. Yes, there is still some fire scale on this piece and the jump ring is not soldered closed but I'm still in the process of completing this one as well. But Hey! I used an open-flame torch! All by myself! I gotta say I'm pleased with that fact!


Here are a bunch of resin magnets:


A fused glass magnet:


A pencil cup, one of my favourite things to make on the pottery wheel:

These next two I think of as "companion pieces" because they're both glazed with Aqua Gemstone matte glaze:





My sister made a print of this drawing she did and I used it to make a decal to adorn a pencil cup for her:



This is a vertically-striped scarf in a chenille yarn. Vertical stripes take some planning to do!


I call this a "bubble bowl":




This is a present I gave to my sister-in-law who lives in Tucson, AZ. The text says "Long Live Rocks" and is filled with ceramic rocks made from putting two pinch pots together. One of the rocks is actually a rattle:




Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Pottery

I've decided to sell some of the pottery that I made in school while living in Seattle. Here are the pictures I've taken of the first few pieces I want to sell:


Squiggle Bowl (the figure eights are pieces of clay fused inside the bowl).


Bud Vase glazed in Frosted Blue with black velour underglaze


Small bowl with Swirl. This is glazed with Cola Green glaze and covered with Sunset Pink glaze.

The outside of the bowl. Cool, huh?

Small bowl with question marks inside. One of my favourite punctuation marks!

Small blue bowl. I think it's glazed with Medium Blue underglaze then covered in clear glaze

These marks were made at the trimming stage. I don't think it was completely centred on the wheel and so the trimming tool jumped and bumped along the surface.
Another small bowl; this one glazed Glacier Blue on the inside and matte black on the outside.
As you can see, all of these pieces are smallish (some have quarters in the pic to show you the scale).

Monday, 7 March 2011

Glitter Rock, Year of the Rabbit and Aries!

I decided to try something new with my resin pieces....glitter! I think the fabric disks that I use are much easier to deal with and more controllable but the glitter looks really cool! Let me show you:


Here are the pieces as they cure in the mold.


I call this piece "Glitter Rock"
A charging ram to represent the Aries astrological sign (inspired by my husband the Aries!)
This is my favourite piece. To commemorate the Chinese Lunar Year of the Rabbit I embedded a metal charm of a rabbit and gave it a background of red glitter, the traditional colour used for Chinese New Year celebrations.


I haven't sanded them yet so they're still literally rough around the edges but I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out! Once they're sanded and have a magnet attached they'll be going into my Etsy shop.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Saturday Morning

Well, as it turns out, I'm starting my morning by pouring resin. I started it yesterday at around noon but thought that this time I'd let it sit longer before embedding the charms. This meant that I was contemplating pouring the next layer of resin at about 7:30 last night. I knew my husband was going to be home soon and I didn't want him to have to deal with the smell so I held off.

Even though the package of this particular resin says "Low Odour" it still has enough of a smell to give me a headache! So much so that I have to leave the apartment for a while. This morning I went to Starbucks and sat and read the paper while drinking a mocha. I'm looking forward to our upcoming move to the East end, not just because it's to a nice apartment but that there's no Starbucks in sight in our new neighbourhood! There's a Tim Horton's that's about a 10-minute walk away. Here, the Starbucks is a mere 2-minute walk away.

So not only will I be drinking less expensive, less-caloric coffee but I'll be getting a decent walk in just by going there!

Toronto is in the middle of its epic rainfall and I really don't feel like going out for a walk. I'm currently taking a jewellery-making course through the Toronto District School Board and I'd love to be able to work on my bezel setting but I don't have a jewellery studio to work out of. The class is only once a week for 3 hours but I enjoy every minute of it. By the way, a bezel setting is this: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_q7H5daARk5A/THhMocdBLyI/AAAAAAAAMv0/WKkI1ivApto/s1600/Bezel-Setting-Tutorial.jpg

That's an example. It can be a ring (in this case), a pendant (in the case of the one I'm making), a bracelet, a brooch or any other piece of jewellery you can think of! My goal is to make bezels for all my beautiful pieces of beach glass as well as for the great gemstones we bought in Tucson at the Gem and Mineral Show.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

New to This Blogging Thing!

Hi and welcome to my very first blog post! After months of toying with the idea I finally took the plunge and created a blog to act as a companion to my Etsy shop which is called Kim Made.

I've had the shop for over a year now (maybe even 2?) but only put items in there sporadically. I'm hoping this blog plus having the shop will spur me on to make more things and put them up for sale.

What things? Well, for the last 5 1/2 years my husband and I lived in Seattle, WA. I have a disability so I was the homemaker. This meant I stayed at home, quite a lot, actually, and started going nuts with boredom. That's when I began crafting. I had taught myself to knit a few years before living in Seattle so I did more of that. Here's an example:





 I also went on craftster.org all the time to pick up new techniques and crafting ideas.

I took a couple of mini-classes (4-hour classes) at a local Seattle art school (Pratt): one in jewellery-making (although they called it "jewelry") and one in fused glass, both of which I loved and vow to do more of! I took a pottery class as well, at the Pottery School at Pioneer Square (Hi Erik!)

I also found a Continuing Education pottery class at South Seattle Community College and this is where I was able to totally focus my life around pottery-making! It was the best! Any student enrolled in one of their courses could come into the studio anytime there wasn't a class and make stuff! The studio was spacious and part of my disability is balance issues related to the space around me. I need a lot of it! The studio was great for me and I felt calm there. I just started to get good mere months before we left Seattle and unfortunately I haven't found a pottery studio here in T.O (or El Toro, as Eye Magazine has dubbed our fair city!) that will let me spend so much time making pots.

Ah well, soon come, right? I'll keep looking.

Here are some examples of pots I'm particularly proud of:








Meanwhile, I'm taking another jewellery course here in Toronto. I'm not sure how I feel about soldering with a torch but I'm really looking forward to making a bezel-setting for one of the gems that we got at the Gem and Mineral Show in Tucson, AZ many years ago.

About a month ago I took a course through the Toronto Business Development Centre on how to start a small business. I decided I wanted to make crafts for a living.

My first formal batch of resin fridge magnets has come out of the molds and I've posted 8 of them here:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/Hippie9?ga_search_query=Hippie9&ga_search_type=seller_usernames

Feel free to let me know what you think!