Thursday, March 28, 2013

Birch Forest Part I






I've always enjoyed watching people paint, looking at paintings and even trying to paint myself. It's a way for me to rest my hands of needlecraft yet still express creativity.

This is the end product of a tutorial by Amy Pearce. Her video is very clear and concise. She doesn't skip steps either like some tutorials do. These are my steps that I took to create this painting. Part I is setting up the canvas.


Materials

  • 18 x 24" canvas
  • gesso
  • gesso brush or old flat brush
  • fine grit sandpaper

Method

  1.  Shake gesso really well. This step is important.
  2. Using your gesso brush, apply a thin layer of gesso to your canvas.
  3. Let this dry and wash your brush.
  4. Sand the surface of the canvas lightly. Remove the dust from the canvas by blowing, tapping or brushing it off.
  5. Repeat the above process two more times. Your canvas is now ready to be painted.
I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Container Candle






Have you ever wanted to make a candle without all of the hassle? Container candles are the way to go! There isn't a mold to set up. The wax used in containers is also easier to use. It generally has a very low melt point. So let's get to it!

Materials


  • Thermometer
  • Melting pot
  • Glass glow palm wax 1 lb
  • Vybar 1/2 - 1 t
  • Steric acid 1-3 T
  • Glass containers (clean and dry)
  • Scented oil (I used honey scented oil)
  • pretabbed wicks

Method

  1. Set up your melting pot in a pot of boiling water. Add 1 lb of wax or the amount of wax needed to fill your containers. A good way to measure is fill your container twice with the wax. That's about how much you will need.
  2. My wax package recommended pouring at 200F so I waited until that temperature to add my additives. Mix well but do not whip. Insert a pretabbed wick into your containers then pour in the wax. Allow the wax to harden and cool. Depending on the size of your container, you may need a second pour.
Your candle is now finished. Very easy and somewhat quick. In active time it's quick! Light your candle and relax.

I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

First Knit Sweater Progress





This post is just a quick progress report on my knit sweater.

The sweater is still knitting up easily. It is hard to find the time to work on it though. I haven't made any changes to the pattern as of yet.

It does appear that I won't need to make the hip increases after all. The yarn seems to be really stretchy and I'm knitting the next size up to make it rest more loose on me.

I have noticed that this sweater seems to be a little heavy. I may need to alter the shoulders. I won't know until I'm done though!

I hope you enjoy!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Stitch Series Garter on the Bias



Here is another instalment of my stitch series. This one is called garter stitch on the bias. This is the traditional method for making Shetland Island shawls.





Method


  • CO 3 sts
  • k1, yo, k1, yo, k1
  • k5
  • k1, yo, k3, yo, k1
  • k7
  • Continue in this pattern k1, yo, k(x amount of sts), yo, k1 then knit the next row
For decreasing do the following:
  • k1, s k psso, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1
  • k across
  • continue until 5 sts remain
  • k1, s k2tog psso, k1
  • k
  • bind off
As you can see, this pattern is very simple. The fabric it creates is stretchy and movable.

I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sea Painting 2.0






This is my second attempt at this painting. I don't believe I ever even posted about the first attempt.

My first try, in retrospect, was going poorly from the start. The background was one solid color of blue that was very poorly painted. I had wanted to have a solid background at the time but I couldn't figure out how to make it smooth. The background looked choppy. It was just plain awful!

The rest of the painting was actually going well. Then I got lazy. This painting was taking a very long time and really I just wanted it done. I quickly threw the rest together. It looked so very bad. I ended up tossing the painting.

The idea for this painting still hasn't been put to rest in my mind. I think it's time for round two.

I'm actually very pleased with how the background turned out. I wanted it to be from the perspective of looking up from the depths of the water at night and seeing the moon.

I have so much more to do on this painting. I hope not to cut corners on this run through.

I hope you enjoy!

Monday, March 11, 2013

First Raglan Sweater



This pattern is called $5 in Paris and was created by Anna Peck Maliszewski.

I picked this pattern as my first sweater for a variety of reasons. Mainly, it is a free pattern and uses yarn I already have in my stash. It's also an easy pattern to follow and is made in the raglan style. That means I can try this sweater on as I go.

So far it is knitting up quickly. For some reason I thought it would take a long time to make. The only thing that does take time is putting half of the stitches on another needle so that I can try the sweater on. I think it may be well worth it though.

With every pattern I use, I'm changing this one a little. Bold for a first time sweater knitter! At least I think so. I'm making the sweater longer which will mean increases for the hips. I also want to make the sleeves longer. Not drastic changes but changes I wanted to mention. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Eccentric Rug



You may recall that in a recent stitch series post I showed you the eccentric stitch. Well truth be told I was working on this rug at the same time.

I think this is an extremely fun and interesting rug. Since I used such a bulky yarn and large needles, it knit up quickly. The pattern is also easy to remember once you've done a few of the pattern repeats.


Materials:

  • 4 balls 92 yards each super bulky yarn. (Loops and Threads Cozy Wool) in Barley and Wool
  • US size 15 knitting needle
  • Tapestry needle
  • Size N 9mm crochet hook

Method:

CO 38 sts
  1. k
  2. k
  3. k
  4. k4, *yo, k8, k2tog* 3 times, k4
  5. k3, p1, *p2tog, p7, yo, p1* 3 times end with yo, p2, k3
  6. k6, *yo, k6, k2tog, k2* 3 times end with k2tog, k4
  7. k3, p1, *p2tog, p5, yo, p3* 3 times end with yo, p4, k3
  8. k8, *yo, k4, k2tog, k4* 3 times, end with k2tog, k4
  9. k3, p1, *p2tog, p3, yo, p5* 3 times end with yo, p6, k3
  10. k10, *yo, k2, k2tog, k6* 3 times end with k2tog, k4
  11. k3, p1, *p2tog, p1, yo, p7* 3 times end with yo, p8, k3
  12. k12, *yo, k2tog, k8* 3 times end with yo, k2tog, k4
  13. k3, p1, *yo, p8, p2tog tbl* 3 times end with p1, k3
  14. k4, *sl, k, psso, k7, yo, k1* 3 times end with yo, k5
  15. k3, p3, *yo, p6, p2tog tbl, p2* 3 times end with p1, k3
  16. k4, *sl, k, psso, k5, yo, k3* 3 times end with yo, k7
  17. k3, p5, *yo, p4, p2tog tbl, p4* 3 times end with p1, k3
  18. k4, *sl, k, psso, k3, yo, k5* 3 times end with yo, k9
  19. k3, p7, *yo, p2, p2tog tbl, p6* 3 times end with p1, k3
  20. k4, *sl, k, psso, k1, yo, k7* 3 times end with yo, k11
  21. k3, p9, *yo, p2tog tbl, p8* 3 times end with p1, k3\
Repeat rows 4-21 7 times and end with 3 rows of k. Bo and weave in ends. Using your crochet hook sc all the way around the rug. Cut 20 18" lengths of yarn in each color. Attach the fringe as shown in the picture.
The gauge of the rug blocked is 15" by 42"

I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Layered Goat's Milk Soap



Today will be a very quick soap making tutorial. I'm sort of a soap making "cheater" for lack of a better word. I don't make soap from scratch. Gasp! I use the melt and pour soaps.

I really like these melt and pour soaps for several reasons. You can add any scent you want. You can add dried herbs or flowers. You can also create any design you like with your soap including this layered look.

I get my soap from Peak Candle Supply. Their soaps come in one pound blocks. This way you can make a few bars of soap at a time and not dozens with the traditional method. So now on to the tutorial.


Materials:

  • Plastic wrap
  • Paper to make boxes
  • 1 block goat's milk soup
  • 2 t cappuccino hazelnut oil
  • small amount of orange oxide
  • soap mold

Method:

  1. Make four origami boxes with 10 x 10 inch paper. Make four lids making sure when you fold the boxes the ends don't quite meet in the middle. This will make the box larger.
  2. Cut your soap block in half. Set half aside and cut the remaining half into chunks.
  3. Microwave soap for 30 seconds. Stir the soap and microwave for another 30 seconds. Repeat this heating and stirring until the soap base is melted. Add half of the scent and pour halfway up four soap molds.
  4. Let the soap harden. Scrape a fork across the soap. This will make the layers attach to each other more easily.
  5. Melt the second half of the soap the same way you did the first. Add the last of the scent (I really wish I had chocolate scent!) then mix in the orange oxide. I used roughly 1 t but use as much or as little as you like. Pour the soap base into the molds filling them completely.
  6. When the soap has hardened, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store in the boxes.
I hope you enjoy my tutorial!