Friday, July 17, 2009

Knitting: European or Continental?

Lili who is Portuguese commented on my post about Portuguese knitting.

I've always called my way "European" but after receiving Lili's comment, I did some searching and my way is more often called "continental".

So to clear up any confusion, I found this video that shows the "continental" way of knitting that I was first taught.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Swoopy ring tutorial

I finally finished writing this tutorial for my swoopy ring. I was going to open an Etsy store and sell it there, but that seems like a lot of trouble since I might never get around to writing another tutorial. Besides, I've learned everything I know about making jewellery from generous folks on the web, so it's way past time that I should give something back.

All I ask is that you don't open a factory and start mass producing these rings. If you want to do that, email me and we'll talk.

Click here to download the Swoopy Ring Tutorial.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Kumibeado and Portuguese knitting

I made two of these today! I made the gold and purple one last night and it's a bit too short for a bracelet, but I might do something else with it. I haven't finished the blue and white one, it was mostly an experiment so it will go into the UFO box I suppose.
So how easy was it?
Pretty easy. I posted a kumihimo video the other day and while you're watching it, look at the related videos and you'll see one where the same gal adds beads. That's really all there is to it.
The blue and white example in the picture and the whitish one were both made with size 8/0 seed beads and heavy duty sewing thread. The gold and purple one is size 6/0 seed beads strung on embroidery thread.
I'll try to work up a better tut for this. In the meantime, "Gypsy" over at Gypsy's Ramblings coined the word "kumibeado" so please slide over there and give her props for being the first to describe it on the internet. And while I'm at it, I want to once again thank Gammie for telling my "yes you can" and nudging me in the right direction. It's still not my "thing" but it was fun while it lasted.
Then today, as if I don't have enough things to learn, I stumbled across this video on YouTube. Portuguese knitting. Who knew. I've always done it the European way but I think the Portuguese way is even faster and probably less strain. A Google search for the term "portuguese knitting" turns up a number of links. There are also a number of videos on YouTube. Check this one out.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kumihimo is not my thing, really.

So here I am, another day and another attempt at kumihimo and beads. This one turned out much better. I used 3 seed beads to each pearl and everything seems to be lined up better. I also started with the two pearl thread side by side and they spiral nicely around the piece.

Now I'll have to try with 4 threads of pearls and see how that turns out.

Why am I doing this if Kumihimo is not my thing? Well, I'm writing a tutorial for a wire ring that I make and the whole writing process is taxing my brain, so I need a diversion and kumihimo is it because it is easy to do and very portable.

Another thing I'm not good at is making beaded beads so I gave that a try last evening. No pictures - some failures are not worth documenting - but I'm determined to master beaded beads, so I intend to try again tonight.

In the meantime, here's a picture of my latest effort.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Another attempt - better results

After Gammie commented on my failure with kumihimo and beads, I just had to try again.

Originally, I was trying to run a thin thread alongside the thicker thread and that didn't work so well. Following Gammie's suggestion, I strung my beads onto Fireline and didn't add any thicker threads.

The picture shows two examples. The one on the left is all size 10/0 seed beads - 8 different colours. I started it using one bead at a time and then to speed it up, I started adding 3 beads at a time and I like it better.

The gold and pearl example uses two threads with pearls and 6 threads of size 10/0 seed beads. I moved 5 seed beads every time and it turned out quite well I thought.

Neither example is ready for prime time. I keep forgetting where I am and messing up the pattern, but I now know I can make it work so one of these days I'll set it up properly and make a bracelet.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A good idea but it didn't work

After my renewed interest in kumihimo yesterday, I tried some ideas I had for adding beads. I have tons of seed beads and wanted to use some in braids. My seed beads are small, size 10/0 so they won't fit over embroidery thread, so I thought I could run the beads along on a separate thread.

Having tried several samples, I don't think this is such a great idea, so I'll move along to something else.

It's a major hassle to get the beads to sit right on the cord when I used a separate thread for the beads. I haven't tried using larger beads and putting them on one of the main threads, but others do it that way and seem happy with the results so I won't argue with them LOL

In case you want to know how they do it, here's a video. I won't be showing my messy work, I don't want to waste the digitals on taking a picture.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What I learned today

It's been a long time since I added anything to this blog but since I'm in learning mode, I thought I'd use it to post some new ideas.


I tried kumihimo a couple of years ago, but gave up because I couldn't get the tension right using those small foam disks. I got my disks at Michael's and they came with some of that plastic cord.

If you do a Google search for kumihimo, you can find lots of places that sell the disks. The kind I have show up as the first item on this page for Weir Dolls.

So, back to my big discovery.

As I mentioned, I gave up because I couldn't get even tension and my cords all looked raggedy. Then I was cleaning out some crafting drawers and found all these unfinished cords and realized that I have at least 4 of these disks.

What if I stacked two of them? Would that hold the thread better?

Yup. With two disks stacked one on top of the other so the slots line up, I can get even tension using 6 strand embroidery cotton.

I'm going to try with 3 or 4 disks and different size yarn to see what effects I can produce.

I want to add some seed beads, I bet if I used 3 disks, I could get away with having the seed beads on Fireline in one or two slots and 6 strand embroidery cotton in the other slots.

I'm off to try that.

But here's a video, in case you haven't seen or tried kumihimo.