Tag Archives: art blog

Portuguese Knitting Pins

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For the sake of diversification, I’ve been “expanding my product line” in my Etsy store (I can’t sell physical items at Ravelry…at least I don’t think I can) by making these beautiful knitting pins used in Portuguese style knitting; the pins are very unique because I made them out of Czech glass buttons, of which are incredibly beautiful!!!   If you don’t know what it is, check out this video on YouTube:

I normally knit by the method of English “throwing” (right hand does all of the work) but I prefer to use the knitting pin when I knit a knit/purl blanket because it’s very efficient, faster (I can knit about 150 stitches a minute) and doesn’t strain your hands so much.  However, I have my own way of doing it; I do the purl technique the exact same way as in the video but instead of the demonstrated knit stitch, I do a continental knit stitch…someday when I’m bored, I’ll make a video of it because I haven’t seen anyone else do it.

Anyway, if you’d like to check out some unique knitting pins, please check out my shop on Etsy at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CapeCodStitchery

Here are some of the pins that are currently available…

If there are any questions, please feel free to ask or leave a comment.  Thanks!!

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Playing with my knitting machine

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Playing with my knitting machine

I’m finally starting to come out of my latest adventure…spinal surgery!! YAY…not.  I was expecting the surgery itself to be way worse than it was, but it wasn’t horrific.  Granted, feeling staples brush against the vertebrae in your back is not a good time.  It’s been slow but the incision is finally healing.  The nerve damage from the blown disc pinching off my S1 and S2 nerves for 9 months will take longer to heal, if it ever heals at all.  I hope I finally heal completely because walking with a cane really sucks.

The worst thing about the whole thing was that I couldn’t sit for more than 10 minutes at a time (and then I had to sit in a reclined position), thus I COULDN’T KNIT!!!!  It really stunk but I found a way around it; I had the fore-site to elevate an old card table and dug out an old Bond Knitting Machine, that I’ve had for years, and set it up.  About two weeks after the surgery, I was standing and walking so I designed a simple baby blanket that I could make; it wasn’t exactly like knitting but it was the best I could do at the time. The good thing was that I was able to gauge it out to a hand knitting pattern.

If you’d like to have this pattern, it can be found at:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/CapeCodStitchery

~or~

http://www.ravelry.com/stores/cape-cod-stitchery

long viewcable close upfolded close up

Chunky Yarn Baby Blanket in Wavy Lines

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My latest baby blanket design; this creation was a happy accident because I was going for a large basket weave but once I started knitting it, I noticed that the main vertical lines were waving on their own…and I love the way it turned out!!  I’m thinking that I’m going to make this one into an adult sized blanket but that will be a project for another day.

If you’d like to obtain a copy of this knitting pattern, it is located at:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/CapeCodStitchery

Thanks for looking!!

Knitted cubes, in 3D

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I thought I would share my latest design; a reversible knit and purl baby blanket knitted in a stunning spice red, chunky yarn.  Very soft and appropriate for an evening out with Mom and Dad!

This pattern is available, along with many others, at:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/CapeCodStitchery

Thanks for stopping by!

Dixie

Here are the latest projects in yarn.

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Even though I haven’t updated my blog in a while, I have been busy crafting.  Granted, I haven’t had a lot of time to do it but the least I can do it post them.cable baby blanket 3

Pictured to the right is my most recent creation, a cable knit baby blanket.  I’ve never been much of a knitter but have always been intimidated by doing cables so, since a friend of mine at work is preggers, I decided to take the plunge.  Much to my surprise, it was incredibly easy to do!  Since I’m not one for following patterns, I decided to design my own and this is what I came up with.  It looks incredibly difficult but I’m very happy with how it turned out.

 

 


 

 

 

flower granny square blanket This is a granny square blanket that I ended up doing for one of my co-workers before his daughter was born.  Again, not being one for following patters, after the lavender flower was created, I pretty much went on my own for this one.  I was so happy with how it turned out, I entered it into our local county fair, last year, and got a blue ribbon for it!  A local yarn shop liked it so much, they gave me a $25 gift certificate also.  I’m glad because I really love the store! http://www.sageyarn.com/


granny square blanket 1Again, this is another granny square baby blanket for another of my co-workers that had a daughter on the way.  When I asked him what colors his wife liked and what the color of the nursery was, he said that she’s a big fan of pink and yellow.  This picture doesn’t show the colors very well but trust me…it was REALLY pink and yellow!  Again, no pattern…just winged it.


tunisian crochet baby blanketThis is another baby blanket I made, during the creation process, in a different technique called Tunisian crochet.  It’s actually a very old technique that was used quite a bit during the 30’s and 40’s but was called an afghan stitch instead of Tunisian crochet.  By mixing up the colors, I found that it makes a lovely hound’s tooth pattern.  I also made the crochet hook because, at the time, I couldn’t purchase one in the large size that I needed.  You guessed it…no pattern!


hippy bag tunisian crochetThis is the final picture I’m posting.  This is another example of Tunisian crochet, in the hound’s tooth pattern, but this is actually and handbag.  I did make this with a commercially available crochet hook and it made a very tight and rigid fabric.  I call this my “Dirty Hippy Handbag”.  Once again, without fail, this one isn’t from a pattern either.

So, there you go!  I hope I made up for my absence by catching my blog up with my crafting activities.  Thanks for looking!!

I really don’t like winter…

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My apologies, I haven’t had the ability to be very creative lately.  Don’t get me wrong, the ambition is there and I’m  still thinking about my newest project on an hourly basis but the stars haven’t alined properly for me to do so.

Shortly after finishing my last project, I started another one (a different style of snowflake ornament) in order to try and expand a color pallet for the inlay.  However…it was really cold!  Unbearably cold actually! It was impossible to be comfortable enough in my workshop to put in any time at my scroll saw.  That lasted for few weeks.

Once the clouds were parting on the arctic blast around here, I felt the pull towards the workshop again.  But alas…we got a blizzard here on Cape Cod last weekend!  I hadn’t been in a blizzard for a really long time so I’d forgotten how frustrating they could be.  The 1 1/2 feet of snow was frustrating enough along with the limited mobility (even though my husband and I both have 4-wheel drives) but losing power for 2 1/2 days was massively annoying!  Granted, we did better than most; we had heat, hot water, radio and light (in a limited capacity) due to the generator.  So many people had to leave their homes because they had nothing.  We even had one evening where we ran an extension cord from the bathroom, into the living room, in order to watch the movie “Army of Darkness” on my laptop with long retired speakers (I’m not even sure where they came from, only that I still had them) while cooking Ramon noodles in an old pan on the woodburning stove.  It wasn’t an ideal evening but we were cozy.

Anyway, the power returned and life went back to normal again so I’m hoping to get some saw time in this weekend.  I’ve been experimenting with different mediums to color resin with and I think I may be onto something.

Hopefully, I’ll have another entry coming soon.

I did it!!! My vision is a reality!!!!

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I did it!!!  My vision is a reality!!!!

So, maybe I’m overreacting a bit but I’m completely ecstatic about what transpired for me today…allow me to explain.

I explained in my last entry that my hubby had given me a scroll saw this past Christmas.  After much frustration (the people that scroll saw the signs at county fairs make it look incredibly easy!), I finally produced a completely jacked-up snow flake Christmas ornament.

my pathetic first attempt at scroll sawing anything

my pathetic first attempt at scroll sawing anything

Yea, it’s horrible…I know it.  It frustrates me that I didn’t do better at scroll sawing on the first attempt (normally, I can pick things up with little effort…not this time) but, I had to start somewhere.  I’m going to have to practice in order to take this further but it’s so worth it after what I was able to accomplish today!

After I took this picture, I put clear packaging tape on the back side (the worst side, actually…) and burnished it down so the resin wouldn’t leak out when I poured it.  Then I placed it on a paper plate with the tape on the bottom leaving the top open.  Then I mixed the clear resin and tinted it with oil pigment and poured it into the openings.

the resin is still wet and incredibly stinky!!!

the resin is still wet and incredibly stinky!!!

So I mixed, and I poured…and I stunk up the house with noxious fumes.  In this picture you can barely see the tape peaking out of the parameter of the ornament but that’s the only thing keeping the resin from pouring our all over the place.   In very simple terms, I’m trying to create a sun catcher (even though my end product is going to be much more elaborate) because I want to be able to back light the resin to make a stained glass effect. Well…it worked!!!!!!!!!

the ornament holding onto the resin without a tape backing!!

the ornament holding onto the resin without a tape backing!!

I put a fairly high ratio of hardener into the resin in order to get a really solid cure so after about 2 hours (it takes about 24 to completely cure) I carefully removed the tape backing to see if the inlay would fall out and it didn’t.  Sometimes the resin shrinks when it cures but so far so good.

I also wanted to be sure that I could maintain an element of transparency  (necessary in order to be able to have the desired effect in the final project…this was only an experiment) and the transparency remained!  I kept two of the sections open as a comparison to the filled sections to see if there would be a notable difference (I was only going to leave one section open but I ran out of the opaque blue and didn’t want to mix any more…the fumes are intense) and there was an obvious difference.

a different lighting, I'm very happy that the colors stayed vibrant after curing

a different lighting, I’m very happy that the colors stayed vibrant after curing

In closing, I’m blissfully happy about the results!  There are still a few bugs to work out (most notably my complete lack of skill in using a scroll saw at this time…) but I think I’m getting closer to being able to create a “stained glass effect” inlay in wood.

More projects to follow….

Another year, a new project

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Happy New Year Everyone!!  Hopefully 2013 will be a wonderful year for everybody!!

I have to admit, 2012 wasn’t an entirely bad year but I’m not shedding any tears for it’s passing.  I have always felt refreshed by the concept of a new year coming along and always resolve to change something about the way I live my life in subtle ways; some last and some don’t.  As in previous years, I’ve made some resolutions for this years also.  Nothing particularly difficult but will take a bit of commitment all the same.  My primary resolution, for the interest of the blog, is to take my “crafting” to a new level.  Hopefully, I may even achieve the level of “art”…but that is yet to be seen.  More detail to follow…

Anyway, on my last post, I had discussed my intention for integrating wood and resin.  In all honesty, the dog paw in the small, wooden box was exhausting to pull off.  The hand carving of the paw about broke my hand as I did it with a Dremel freehand…big mistake.  However, the possibilities of what I can do with the integration of wood and resin has been brewing and building in my mind ever since.

Thanks to a very generous Santa Clause this year (my dear hubby), I now have a brand new Ryobi Scroll Saw and a brand new NICE camera to use to document my progress.  For those of you that don’t know what the capabilities of a scroll saw are…stay tuned; it’s difficult to explain but can easily be shown in pictures and videos.  Both of which I fully intend to have in my blog entries this year.

Just as before, I am a working woman and time to dedicate to my craft is brief so blog posts aren’t going to be very frequent for the foreseeable future; but I’ll do my best.  I’ve very excited about the new direction I’m about to embark on and the cool little workshop I now have in the basement!!!

Thanks for the support through this and hopefully we can have another inspiring year!!

 

 

Resin Inaly in Wooden Box

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my resin inlay experiementAfter much consideration and thought, I had found myself in a rut.  I enjoy crocheting and knitting but it’s not that fun to do when it’s hot as hell outside and oppressively muggy inside.  I enjoy creating the wooden boxes, that I’ve blogged about previously, but that project had also run it’s course.  Woodburning and painting was fun but “been there, done that”, I needed to find another direction to take my crafting…I was in a rut.

While surfing around the net one night, I stumbled upon the art of working with resin casting on You Tube.  The techniques documents were primarily for jewelry (pendents and bracelets mostly) and while it’s completely charming to imbed candy into clear resin and wear it around your neck for eternity…it really wasn’t my thing.  Then I found a video of a man that would put colored resin inlays into the neck of guitars; while interesting…I don’t play much anymore so that didn’t help either.

But I had a moment of enlightenment; is it possible to inlay colored resin into wood, or better yet…a wooden box?

So my quest for knowledge began.  I looked up everything I could on the internet about resin, casting resin, molding resin and coloring resin.  Again, it was mostly geared towards making jewelry (other than my wedding rings, I rarely wear it) so I began looking for resin inlay techniques for wood.  Amazingly enough, all I found was a single Acrobat document that was produced in 2009 for a woodworking magazine.  I was pretty much on my own for this one.

I began gathering the supplies that I would need to start my experiment; luckily I already had most of them (paints and colorants) but purchased the actual resin and mixing cups from a craft store.  The syringes were a bit tricky (thank God I don’t look like an intravenous junky) but I found a pharmacist that sold me 16 syringes for 10 cents a piece because they were expiring their useful date for medical use and they were going to be pitched anyway.
useful things for casting and coloring resin

I had a little wooden box, that I’d purchased for a dollar,  that had a lid that was about 1/2 inch think and perfect for my inlay experiment.   I got into my vast supply of clip art books and found a simple dog paw pattern that fit nicely on the lid.  After transferring the clip art onto the lid, I used a Dremel to cut a recess of about 1/4 inch into the lid (I didn’t want to cut through the top because the resin would run out).  After the cutting was finished, I made sure that the lines were clean so after the excess resin was sanded off, a clean inlay would remain.

After blowing off the sanding dust, I proceeded to mix the resin (you have to combine it with a catalyst in order for it to harden) and it stunk to high hell.  I didn’t want to just cast clear resin so I had some silver/grey powdered mica that I mixed in.  After I combined the mixture to my satisfaction, I used a syringe to fill the recessed areas on the lid of the box.  I actually overfilled the cut out area because there’s a slight shrinkage upon the resin curing (I’d only read about it…no actual experience in how much shrinkage would take place) and the syringe made it a very clean and tidy process; I intended to sand the resin down to be flush with the lid anyway once it was cured.

After the filling and the curing (I put the box with the un-cured resin under a lamp that put out some heat) and waited for 24 hours.  The next day, I hand sanded the box until the resin was flush and smooth.  The one disappointment I had was that the resin was quite dull and blended with the matte finish of the box, I was hoping for a glossy finish.  Easily solved!  I dug into my collection of paints and finishes and found a bottle of Triple Gloss Acrylic that I painted on to create the shine.

Overall, I’m encouraged and actively working on my next project…of course I will blog about it.  Keep an eye open on my blog; more good things will be posted soon!!!!
Thanks for reading!!!

My crafting ways take a back seat to life way too often

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but still needs a button...

It just dawned on me, as I sit at the computer drinking my morning coffee and trying to wake up, the things I enjoy seemed to have taken a back seat to factors of my life that are necessary.

I make lists in order to make it through my life somewhat organized.  The lists contain bullet statements to remind me of what I need to do once my “stage one” activities take place.

What are the stages that rule my life??

  • STAGE ONE: work and sleep; the things that I have to do in order to exist with some level of comfort in this life but leave very little wiggle room for extra activities or accomplishments.  No list required in this stage.
  • STAGE TWO: necessary things that can be put off for a little while but not for long.  These items include house cleaning, grocery store visit and going to the dump.  Depending on how hectic work is, this can also be an elective category for a list.  Sometimes if I create a list for this category, there are spaces in time created for an element of creativity but normally STAGE THREE items find their way in.
  • STAGE THREE: necessary things that can be put off for a while but not forever.  These things include cleaning fish tanks in the house (we’ve got three), giving dogs hair cuts (again we have three and accomplishing this in a timely manner cuts down on hours of having to chase dog fur balls around the house with a vacuum), weeding the garden and general household organization.  This category also requires a list because I never know when I have an extra window of time available to take care of these things and I have a horrible memory so a list is handy.
  • STAGE FOUR: this category contains the things I actually enjoy doing but sadly find their way to the bottom.  Crafting, creating, going to craft stores, putting in a good movie and just finishing a project that was started months ago…writing a blog entry (I’m breaking protocol today because a dog fur ball just went scooting across the hallway floor…)  These items don’t have a list because there’s only about 5% of my time that I can give to them and I only address what will make me happiest at that particular moment.

So, here’s my quandary…life seems to have taken over my creative side.  I’ve tried to make STAGES 1-3 as efficient as possible but I seem to get really tired when I’m done with what needs to be done.  Sort of makes me sad sometimes but I guess that’s better than feeling guilty.  The sad thing is that I have an incredible husband that’s very helpful around the house but there are always lists to be made and crossed off every day.

In a bigger picture, I dream of having my own little shop on Etsy where I can sell my crafts.  Actually I have a shop built but there’s nothing in it.  If for some reason I do ever load any items on Etsy, I don’t think I’d have time to take care of it and keep it updated at this point in time.  God forbid I actually sell anything!  How in the world would I make it to the post office to mail it out?  So, almost in a defeated manner, I’m a forum lurker on Etsy…continuing to dream about a day where I can just create things for hours one end…

Am I the only one?