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

Friday, October 7, 2016


Yep, it's that time of year when the cool morning breezes, falling leaves and the smell of autumn is in the air !   Which means - torch time for me !  In the early mornings, when it's the coolest temps I can take advantage and finally be at the torch again !  Which is what I did this past week !  Yay !  It also means the temps will keep falling (hopefully) and I'll be able to torch no matter the time of day.  Still, my most productive and favorite time of the day IS early mornings.   As far back as I can remember early mornings have ALWAYS been my best time of day. 

Since it is autumn I decided I needed to make some leaves again.  The set I made took me a few days to put together.  That's because I only torch no more than 2 or 2 1/2 hours a morning.  It's a HUGE set that can be divided.  Just need to figure out how big the sets need to be.  Anyway, I have made this set before and enjoyed it a lot so have wanted to make another set since.  Just never did it - til now.  Of course it's not exactly the same.  A remake never is.  Still, I like it a lot.  I'm putting up photo's of both sets to compare.  The only way I can compare since the first set is long gone.  :)  So here goes:  Photo #1 is the new set and photo #2 is the first set.  I used the exact same colors but used a little bit of a different technique in applying those colors.  Plus, the newest set does not have spacers.  I have given up on making spacers simply because they are a pain in the hand (and butt ! ) to clean !  Easy to make but a real pain to clean.  I have enough hand problems as it is without adding more !  :)  Anyway, there you go. 

So this morning, as I sit and type this post, I am thinking what I want to do today.  Specifically, this morning.  I have had a busy week up to this point with my typical "stuff" including torching but also including reading again.  Oh yes, reading some books that have grabbed me by my heart and won't let go !  lol ! 

OUTLANDER baby and if you haven't seen the show yet or read the books, I suggest you do !  If you like a great love story that includes a bit of "fantasy", romance, a bit of World History, war battles, intrigue, murder and everything in between than these books and the show are for you !  I am so badly hooked that, in a months time, I'm already on the 4th book in the series !  Yep.  I haven't read that much in DECADES !  I use to read ALOT back in my younger day.  lol !  And back then it was not novels so much as biographies and such.  The outlander series is a novel but also has a bit of history in it as well.  It grabs you from the very start, holds on to you and you don't care one bit !  lol !  It's soooooooooooo hard to stop reading.  And that is my "problem" these days.  Deciding do I want to read or get other stuff done ?  The reading has been winning out pretty much.  The nice thing about that is that it's a way to make up for waiting for the new season to start next year.  Yep, it's one of those shows that you literally have to wait a whole year to come back.  Much like Game of Thrones.  Another post for another day.  :)  Anyway, I highly recommend reading the books and watching the show.  The first season is on dvd with the second season soon to be released I think.  The show will begin it's 3rd season sometime in the spring on the Starz channel.  With GOT on Sunday nights and Outlander on Saturday nights, my weekend line up is complete !  lol ! 
A little something to entice you to watch Outlander !  :)
A photo that was the cover of Entertainment Weekly about a year or so ago I think and the second photo is the latest from the upcoming Season 3 out next year.  I found them online so figure I can post them here too.   

Thanks for coming by.  Come back again soon !