Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Loom Knitting Will Get Me Through..............

..........the summer heat and humidity !  UGH !  Hate it so much.  Thank-goodness I have a little something to keep me out of it !  :)  

I'm still having fun with loom knitting.  I've made a couple ruffle scarves and have started another blanket.  All that fun is also causing me some allergy issues.  sigh.  It's always something with my nose for cryin' out loud !  Would seem it's most likely dust causing me so much trouble.  The process of manufacturing the yarn then winding it all up in a skein or ball traps all that dust.  Unravel the yarn to knit with and wha-la - all that dust is released.  That's the consenses anyway.  And yes, it goes right up my nose.  Solution:  Wash the skeins/cakes or wear a dust mask.  I have done both.  Washing the skeins, so far, seems to have worked some.  Onward and upward.  

This semi-new fun has started a whole new collection of tools, holders and yarns.  Just what I needed right ?  lol !  I've already gotten quite a collection of hooks together.  Have purchased several new looms and of course, all that yarn !  lol !  Need yarn for the blankets, need a different yarn for the scrubbies and yet another type yarn for the ruffle scarves.  lol !  It's just fun.  Of course making a blanket or afgan you can use just about any type of yarn.  

So here is a couple photo's of what I've accomplished so far.  It's a shame but I will be "frogging" the blanket I started the other day.  I feel there are too many mistakes and don't want to do that.  Anyway, photo's please:  

This first is of the second afgan/blanket I made.  I love the colors !  Didn't turn out as long as I had hoped but that's ok.  Will still keep a body warm and comfy.  

My first ruffle scarf made on one of my new looms.  Too much fun to make and I bet alot of fun to wear !  Has a sparkle to it which you cannot see in the photo.  

Scrubbies !  I actually made these before the scarf.  Made these while taking a break from making that second afgan.  Nice to have around the house.
Ruffle scarf #2.  Oh so pretty !  Also has a sparkle to it that just won't show in the photo's.  I gotta figure out a better way to photograph !  Love the colors on this one !  This one is longer too measuring in at 76" long.

My tool collection, looms and yarns will be the subject of yet another post in the near future.  Hope you come back for a visit !  Thanks for coming by !


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Spring Fun - Or How To Avoid Summer Heat

Answer:  Find another craft to keep you busy inside with the AC running.  Yep.  I'm one of those people.  Can't stand the heat and humidity of the South.  It knocks you down and makes you unable to breathe !  UGH !  With near 90 degree temps all last week, I hibernated as I do every summer.  Only venturing out when I must.  I dread summer coming at all.  

Ok, so I haven't posted in a few weeks.  It's really due to that first loom knitting project.  I actually finished it in roughly 6 weeks - give or take a day here and there.  Loaded with mistakes, attempting to fix mistakes and finding it heavier than I really thought it would be - I finished it !  It's big, about 65"x58" I think it was.  Something in that range.  Nice size for getting nice and cozy warm.  Which who needs that in the summer but hey, it's available.  :)  
I'm not sure I like the way the yarn ended up after washing.  It's very "fuzzy".  It washed up great !  It's soft to be sure.  No issues there.  Even the repairs I did held up really good.  Still, I don't care for the fuzz.  This yarn is really nice in hats and scarfs though.  I love how it looks.

Since finishing my first afgan, I started yet another one with new yarn.  I LOVE the new yarn but had to "frog" the project.  Why the term frog to end a knitting project ?  I'm not sure but might as well keep with the lingo right ?  :)  Anyway, I learned the purl stitch.  Never did that stitch before and found I really liked the look and it was something different.  Also learned the other 3 basic stitches.  On the new project I used both estitch and purl.  Decided I really liked the yarn alot and was going to buy more but because I was unsure I would get even close to same dye lots, figured I better not.  So the project was frogged.  Anyway, I got practice on the stitches.  

Now we come to yesterday.  I got my latest shipment of yarn !  Oh yeah !  I'm addicted because I could not WAIT to get those packages.  Only 2 arrived.  lol !  More to come.  Anyway, so I started yet another afgan as soon as I could yesterday.  LOVE LOVE LOVE this yarn !  OMG !  Soft, chunky, beautiful colors !  I bought 2 colors of this stuff and I know I'll go back for more.  Bernat Blanket Yarn.  YUMMY !  Doing what is called the garter stitch - which is nothing but knit a row, purl a row.  Love it !  Will have to add a photo later.  Still in camera.  

So, as it is with my glass addiction -  it is also with loom knitting.  :)  I'm not complaining mind you.  Oh no, I'm enjoying it totally and completely.  And have already shown that it's not just the yarn or the loom or the actually knitting - it's the gadgets that go with it !!  lol !  Oh brother..................

Time to get my day started.  Thanks for coming by.  Have a great week !  Enjoy life !  



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Loom Knitting - Or How to Become Addicted to Yet Another Craft

I'm sure everyone that's ever done more than one craft/art already knows what it is to become "addicted" to that craft/art.  sigh.  It pretty much takes over your life.  lol !  We don't mean it to do that but it does.  And ususally without realizing it has until it's too late.  Then you are so far into it that it's just too late TO do anything about it.......except enjoy it, have fun with it and find as many places online or locally as you can to spend time with others that have that very same addiction !  :)  Been there - done that and am there AGAIN !  lol !  

This loom knitting thing is extremely addicting.  It's like with my beads.  I love it, can't wait to work on my project and look forward to learning something new.  I enjoy connecting with folks who are same minded.  There are LOTS of Facebook groups dedicated to loom knitting and of course a few on Ravelry.  I have enough looms for now.  Got all of them years ago except for the new KB "S" loom I am using now.  And I really have lots of yarn left over from all those years ago however they are not the type I need to use on these looms.  I bought them for Kumihimo  (yes that was another addiction too ! ) braids.  I am really drooling over all the yarn these days !   Especially all the newer types like the cake yarns.  So yummy but I am really controlling myself.  I recently used a gift certificate I had for Hobby Lobby all on yarn !  lol !  My next project already in my head.  lol !   

So yes, it's easy to become "addicted" to an art/craft - once you step into it.  So be careful.  No matter what it is  - it will take you in and hold you there until you can't take it anymore !  If that day ever comes.  lol !  

I'm still working on my first afgan using my KB "S" loom.  I've used up all the left over yarn that I had that worked in this project.  I wanted to keep it all one type of yarn - polyester so I still have left over yarns that I can use in other projects later.  I purchased 6 skeins of same namebrand yarn I started with and have 2 1/2 left.  As of today, I have about 50 inches of afgan knitted and thinking I need another 20 inches give or take to get a full 6 ft. long afgan.  Turns out those skeins are making only about 6 1/2" of afgan so I may end up having to buy another skein or two to finish UNLESS I just end it after the next two skeins.  I think it just depends on how "impatient" I get during the process to see the end result !  lol !  

Photo is of where I ended up a couple days ago at about 45".  Not to shabby I think for a first try at an afgan.  I made plenty of hats and scarves years ago and even a bag or two but never an afgan.  So, there it is.  

    Of course with loom knitting, you must have a few loom knitting tools - or as I call them, picks.  I just find it easier to say picks is all.  :)  I did have several already that came with the looms I had previously.  One came with the s loom as well.  I found they are all too short or too skinny or just plain uncomfortable in MY hand. As with the clothing industry - one size DOES NOT fit all with these picks.  So I searched and found a few that are longer and ordered.  One came yesterday.  I also saw a link posted in one of the FB groups of a video of how to add "padding" to the picks to make them "softer" or cushioned using those tiny rubber bands.  The handles of these picks that come with the looms are hard plastic and quite uncomfortable and even painful.  So I ordered some of those tiny rubber bands.  Those came on Monday.   Watched the video and made 2 rubber band "holders" for 2 of my picks and wha-la !  It works !  Easy to make, fun to make, fun to look at and most importantly - it HELPS tremendously !  I'll post the link to the video below.  Pictured are the two picks I added the rubber band holders too.  The red/orange/yellow colors represent the flame since I do make glass beads at my torch !  :)  The longer one is the one that I purchased and am thinking of ordering another one.  That one is 6" long.

Links:  How to make the loom knitting tool holder:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P762Ai88p8s

My FB page:  https://www.facebook.com/AllMyBeads/   Here you can find LOTS of items for sale such as my hand dyed 100 % silk cords/strings, jewelry clearance items, beads and Kumihimo braids.  

Thanks so much for coming by.  I hope you come back again sometime and join me on my loom knitting journey !  :)  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Long Overdue and Something New - Sort Of

Since I haven't been able to torch in a very long time due to weather, pollen, illnesses, etc etc, I decided I needed something to do with my hands to keep me out of trouble !  lol !  Yes, I get into trouble when I become too idle.  Go figure ! :) 
So I started doing some research on various things and remembered I have a pretty good stash of yarn and needed to get rid of it somehow.  Began searching the web and you tube and wha-la - found what I was looking for !  I wanted to make an afgan.  Tried knitting needles - if only my fingers and hands could figure it out.  Same with crochet.  More researching brought me back to looms.  I have looms.  Round, straight, short, long, big, small, metal and plastic pins.  Didn't know an afgan can be made on some of these looms.  Did more searching and found the "S" loom.  Ohhhh I thought, that's new and looks like fun and you can make an afgan with it !  Bought it and never looked back ! 

Ok so here I am, in the middle of a WIP afgan and decided I needed a loom holder which I found by mistake on FB by a couple that make them.  They make 3 styles and I chose the round one which holds the "S" loom just perfectly.  Thing is, when I saw it and got it home, I knew there was going to be one "problem".  The longer the afgan got, where would it go and how would the holder work ?  Especially if you're using the bulky type of yarn like mine is in this, my first, afgan.  It gets all bunched up underneath the loom.  My solution, see below. 

This is only the way I do it.  Yes, the loom holder still spins on the "lazy susan" that is attached underneath.  It does not spin as smoothly because the afgan is "hanging" out from the holder and you do need to hold the holder sometimes.  Your thinking oh what a headache and the afgan is getting dirty.  Nope, it's not.  Easier than you think and if you have a clean working surface, no dirt.  Easy as that besides, aren't you gonna wash the afgan before anyone (or you) uses it ?  :)  Plus, leaving it in the loom holder, you don't get hot with the afgan laying on you all the time !  lol ! 

If you have an idea on how to solve this particular issue, comment below or contact me on FB on my All My Beads Page All My Beads I'd love to hear about it or try it out myself.  :)  More links below the photo's including to the page where these loom holders can be purchased. 

See photo's below.
Photo #1 - Shows WIP afgan on "S" loom laid flat.  Afgan measures about 33" long.

Photo #2 - The round loom holder with one end piece removed.  Can easily be reattached when needed.  Set that piece aside because it isn't needed from this point on.

Photo #3 - Place loom back in holder with afgan still laid out.  Once loom is back on holder, fold afgan.  Mine is folded twice at this point. 

Photo #4 - Side view of loom in holder with folded afgan.

Photo #5 - Back view of loom in holder with folded afgan.

Thanks so much for coming by my blog page.  I'll come back with updates on my looming journey.  It's been a lot of fun ! 
Hopefully will be back at the torch very soon !  I do miss making beads ! 
My Facebook Page - Debs All My Beads
Where to Buy the loom holders - Loom Knitting Gadgets
A quick note.  My Etsy shop will be closing on May 15th.  I still have my hand dyed silk cords available there until closing.  If you have a moment, check it out.  Link is near the top on the right.  Just click on any of the photo's there or the link just below the photo's.  Once my shop closes, everything will be available on All My Beads Facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/AllMyBeads 
Thanks again ! 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Making Beads - Reasons Not Excuses

I still enjoy it.  Love it.  Have fun with it.  Want to do it.  Need to do it. 
I guess it's always going to be in me or a part of me in some way, shape or form.  Even though I can't be at my torch every day because of weather or just plain ole life happening in other ways - it's there.  I tried to get away from it years ago.  Sold everything I had.  That lasted about 2 years.  Had to come back.  Been back now for a while - on and off.  Can't do a lot of things I used to be able to do.  I no longer have steady hands.  I can no longer sit at the torch for hours on end.  My body doesn't allow me to torch when it's 30 degrees outside even though my fun spot is inside.  Still have to open a window to bring in fresh air and that sure can't happen in winter or when it's 90 degrees outside !  lol !  So many factors that want to interrupt or disrupt my torching time.  So, I go with the flow as it were.  lol !  Lately, even though it's the middle of winter and suppose to be at least in the 40's where we live, it's actually been in the 70's !  So I've been at the torch as often as possible.   Yes, making beads - melting glass - lampwork - torching - flameworking -  whatever one chooses to call it - will be in my heart and probably my soul for a long time to come !

As for not being able to do what I used to be able to do at my torch:  So many issues but here goes.  Shakiness.  Yep.  This is my main culprit.  I was lucky for many years though.  I use to be very shaky as a kid and up thru my young adult ages.  Somewhere along it eased up for a while.  Was able to do those minute details in beads.  Then somewhere along the way it came back.  Not nerves just shakiness when doing anything that requires details.  I keep trying things and once in a while I get lucky but usually not so much.  So because of that I no longer make those beads that require tiny eyes or anything that is tiny detail wise.  Straight lines are the worse so far.  sigh. Oh well, I keep trying.  

Sitting at the torch endlessly.  Can't do it.  Haven't been able to do it for a long time.  My muscles become extremely tight and hard to move if I do sit endlessly.  I've actually gotten up from my chair bent over I sat too long !  Can't do that any more.  So my torch sessions are no more than a total of 2 hours at each session and I get up at least 2 or 3 times during each hour.  It gets painful !  lol !  Age does that I guess or at least maybe lack of exercise ?  Maybe both.  Even sitting at the computer or watching tv too long will hurt. 

Weather - Well, no control over that so what can one say ?  lol !  You REALLY have to go with the flow here.  lol ! 

Ok so now that that's all out - I have been at the torch lately.  One day I thought I had run out of oxygen but turned out I had enough to make 11 beads !  lol !  The photo below is that result:

These flowers were made prior to running out of oxygen.  I absolutely LOVE how they all turned out.  They are all headpins.
Just finished up the ones below 2 days ago.  I LOVE this mix of glass and silver.  Two layers of glass and 2 layers of fine silver ! 
Thanks so much for coming by.  Please come back again sometime.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

A New Year

Indeed it is -  a New Year.  Glad it's here and hoping for the best.

Making glass beads is still my #1 all time favorite thing to do.  The torch was and is my salvation from a frustrating year.  I can't help it.  I feel alive when melting glass.  Kinda how I use to feel when going to the ocean.   It's true that my designs have gotten "easier" as others might think.  I have no choice.  As I get older, my hands and arms have gotten shakier as it were which doesn't allow me to do much, if any, detail work perfectly.  I've accepted that fact and do what I can.  I have all the necessary tools to try to help "fix" that problem and some of it helps somewhat but it is what it is.  I will continue to enjoy playing with and melting glass in whatever methods I can muster.  I mean, what choice do I have ?  lol !  It's sorta in my blood.  :)  

That said, I haven't posted anything related to the actual making of beads in a long time.  I've been at the torch on and off quite a bit lately.  So many other things happening with the holidays and all sometimes there just wasn't any time.  Now, I intend to make up for that no matter how chilly it gets.  lol !  Today will most likely be the day I start.  It tends to get pretty cold in my "fun spot" as I call it, during the winter months even though it's not really very cold where we live.  Anyway, it requires I prewarm some of the glass so there's no shattering or at least less of it.  Sometimes that's a pain but for the most part it's not so bad.  I just don't like exploding glass rods.  Who does ???  

All that said, I've made a few things that are simple, pretty little beads.  Things I like to do.  I plan on trying a few new things as I've recently gotten 2 new molds.  Those always take a little time to work through.  In the meantime, here a few sets I've done over the last couple of months.

Thanks for coming by.  Come visit me on my Facebook page at:  https://www.facebook.com/AllMyBeads  for beads or at my Esty shop:  All My Beads Etsy shop  for silk cords/strings, kumihimo braids, jewelry and some Mykono's greek beads.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Something to Consider Very Seriously

Some links to some very important information. 
Please take a moment to check them out. 
Please pass them on to others, post on your social media pages and anywhere you can think of.  This is a true movement.  One this country needs. 

I've turned off the comment section as I do not care to see or read anything hateful. 

Most Important Petition & Read

Part One

Part Two