glaze

Kiln Sneak Peak 1/12

January 14, 2023

First glaze firing of the year! This glaze firing is the first one that's based on me focusing on building inventory of specific things. There are so many crabs in this kiln. I did not count the number of crabs that I glazed, but it was a lot. I glazed crab mugs, spoon rests, appetizer plates, sponge holders, magnets, and more. There were so many crabs that not all made it into the kiln.

Also in this kiln are the first two soap dispensers that I'm trying out. I'm excited and nervous about these. Worst case scenario they are a new shape of vase. Also in this kiln are all of the Calla Lily candle holders that I've made recently. Kiln Sneak Peak 1/12




clay

New Squiggle Pottery

January 12, 2023

I had making a couple more squiggle bowls on my to do list for 2023. I've made a couple of these and they're always really well liked. I love how they look. These are made using the puzzling molds from Learn Fired Arts.

New Squiggle Pottery


Rather than make two of the same I decided to make a second one in my small bowl form. I feel like this one is slightly more functional than the one above. The one above is definitely art, this one you could put fruit in.

New Squiggle Pottery


When I was making these I had just a tiny bit of coils left over so I grabbed a really small sphere. When I've made spheres in the past I've always made them with the hole side down, but as I was looking at this I wondered - could it be a candle holder? I'm worried the hole will be too small by the time it shrinks. Also not sure if will be sturdy enough. We shall see. Worst case it becomes a very small art object.

New Squiggle Pottery




clay

Calla Lily Candle Holders

January 10, 2023

Made a whole bunch of my Calla Lily candle holders. I think I still need to make more. I never had more than 1-2 sets at a show, but I never brought them home with me. I'm thinking about making them in more colors this year to add some more variety. Calla Lily Candle Holders




crochet

Rice Stitch Cardigan with Hazelnut Buttons

January 09, 2023

This pattern was built around buttons. I got these medium Hazelnut buttons at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival from Favour Valley Wordworking. I found them when I was looking for the bear buttons for the Reclaim Poncho with Arm Holes and I wanted to put them to use. I stood in my yarn room (ok it's a guest room, but it has a lot of yarn in it) and saw 6 skeins of Aran Tweed from Briar Rose Fibers and it was a perfect match.

Since I only had 6 skeins I knew this had to be a shorter sweater than I often make.

Rice Stitch Cardigan with Hazelnut Buttons


The sun was not cooperating in my office so I decided to try out using my pottery light setup (above). I think it looks a lot better than this pic even if I can't show it completely hanging.

Rice Stitch Cardigan with Hazelnut Buttons


This pattern uses the rice stitch which is basically just alternating front post and back post double crochet. It's looks like it's open, but it's still a pretty warm stitch.

Rice Stitch Cardigan with Hazelnut Buttons


I used a 5.5 mm hook for this.

Stitches:

ch - chain
sc - single crochet
sc blo - single crochet back loop only
hdc - half double crochet
hdc blo - half double crochet back loop only dc - double crochet
fpdc - front post double crochet
dbdc - back post double crochet
sl st - slip stitch


Rice Stitch Cardigan with Hazelnut Buttons


Cast on 60.
Row 1: Dc in the 3rd chain from the hook, dc in each chain across
Row 2: ch 1, hdc in the first stitch, *fpdc, bpdc. Repeat from *, hdc in the last stitch
Repeat row 2 26 times (total of 28 rows)
Front panels - make 2
Cast on 26
Row 1: Dc in the 3rd chain from the hook, dc in each chain across
Row 2: ch 1, hdc in the first stitch, *fpdc, bpdc. Repeat from *, hdc in the last stitch
Repeat row 2 26 times (total of 28 rows)
Sew the panels together. Make sure that your first row from all 3 panels (which just has the dc) is at the bottom. I like to leave about 2 inches at the bottom before I start sewing. Leave 8 inches for each of the arm holes.

Rice Stitch Cardigan with Hazelnut Buttons


I always start my arms in the arm pit. Make sure the sweater is inside out. The biggest struggle I have with the arms is picking up the same number of stitches. For this pattern I picked up 43 stitches. I decided to make the arms for this sweater extra long. In retrospect, if I had shortened them a couple of rows I could have had a bigger collar.
Row 1: Ch 2, dc in each stitch around picking up 43 stitches
Row 2: ch 1, hdc in the first stitch, *fpdc, bpdc. Repeat from *, Sl st to join
Row 3-11: repeat row 2
Row 12: ch 1, hdc in the first stitch, *fpdc, bpdc. Repeat from *, in the last stitch join 2 together to decrease. Sl st to join
Row 14-18: repeat row 12
For me the decreasing is never an exact science. I try the sleeve on constantly and see if the taper feels right.

For the wrist - cast on 10.
Row 1: hdc in the second stich from the chain, hdc to the end (10 stitches)
Row 2: ch 2, hdc blo to the end
Row 3: ch 2, hdc to the end
Repeat row 2 and 3 until you have 16 rows
Leave a long tail to sew the end together and then onto the end of the sleeve. Important - make sure that you have your sweater and your sleeve both inside out when you sew together.

Repeat for the other arm.

Rice Stitch Cardigan with Hazelnut Buttons


I knew I was running out of yarn so I made the pockets before the collar.

Pockets - make 2
Chain 18
Row 1: Dc in the 3rd chain from the hook, dc in each chain across
Row 2: ch 1, hdc in the first stitch, *fpdc, bpdc. Repeat from *, hdc in the last stitch
Repeat row 2 4 times (total of 6 rows)

Turn your sweater right side out. You're going to start the collar on the bottom right.
I modified this a bit after I played yarn chicken and lost.
Row 1: Ch 2, hdc up over and down
Row 2: Ch 1, sc blo up over and down
Row 3: ch 1, sc up over and down
Row 4: Ch 1, sc blo up over and down

Rice Stitch Cardigan with Hazelnut Buttons


Now you can position the pockets and sew them on. I put mine about 3 inches from the sides and 2 rows up from the bottom. You can adjust as needed.

Last, but not least - the buttons! I had 6 buttons so I positioned them and decided to start 2 inches up and space them out 2 inches up the left side.
It's a really cozy little sweater. This aran tween yarn is pricey, but it's one of my favorites.

clay

Beach Vacation Gnomes and Mushrooms

January 07, 2023

We decided to go to a beach closer to home for the holidays this year. Ocean City is only a couple of hours away and there's a ton to do there. When we booked it we weren't expecting it to be frigid, but we still had fun. The first couple of days there it was almost unbearable outside. It was in the single digits at night and teens during the day. With the windchill it was colder than that.

Of course I brought my "travel clay" with me :) I spent Christmas day afternoon making gnomes and mushrooms.

Beach Vacation Gnomes and Mushrooms


My sister's boyfriend also got in on the action and made a few gnomes as well. I started off by making some wine topper gnomes, which are the same as normal gnomes but much smaller. I've actually gotten pretty quick a making each gnome, but then spend a good amount of time at the end fussing over the details.

Beach Vacation Gnomes and Mushrooms


Then I moved onto making larger gnomes.

Beach Vacation Gnomes and Mushrooms


And finished off with a whole lot of mushrooms that will turn into jewelry.

Beach Vacation Gnomes and Mushrooms


We did actually get to enjoy the beach as the weather got "warmer" (it was about 35). Willow liked to dig holes. Sometimes she would start on her own, but if you pointed at the ground when she was looking she would do it on command as well.

Beach Vacation Gnomes and Mushrooms


River, however, liked to play fetch with the shells. She would go flying after them, getting a face full of sand to pick it up if it landed the wrong way down.

crochet

Reclaim Poncho with Arm Holes

January 05, 2023

A few years ago when I was first starting to branch out beyond scarves and hats I started making sweaters. There was this one sweater that I called the Frankensweater because it started off amazing. I had a perfect moss stitch for the back and front panels. Then I realized - I didn't have enough yarn for the arms and the collar. I was following a pattern and the sleeves were made wrist to shoulder. I didn't really know how to measure sleeves at that point so I made them really long. On the second sleeve I ran out of yarn - so I switched to a completely different yarn. Different weight, different color, different texture, and made the top of the sleeve. I started to use the same yarn for the collar - and ran out again. So I switched to yet another yarn with different weight, color, and texture. I used that to make the pockets too. The sweater was so ugly, but I had made it and I was sure that at some point I'd wear it.

It sat in my drawer for at least 4 years and I never took it out. It was so ugly. A few weeks ago I decided that it was shame to waste such pretty yarn and started unravelling it. It's so old that I didn't have notes on where the yarn is from. The yarn on the collar was really fuzzy and wouldn't frog so I just cut it out (it wasn't a very good quality). I've been thinking about a poncho with pockets for a while and decided try it out. I wish I had taken a picture of the Frankensweater before I frogged it, but I was sure I already had one. Apparently I was so ashamed of this sweater I never took a picture, or if I did, I deleted it.

This pattern is really forgiving. If you miss a stitch or add a stitch - no one will notice. Reclaim Poncho with Arm Holes


I'm fairly certain this was a worsted weight yarn. It was pretty heavy, but I don't know exactly how much yarn I used becuase it was too long ago. If I had to guess it's probably somewhere around 1000 yards because it's about the same size as my Down by the River Poncho. I used a 6 mm hook.

Stitches:
Ch – chain
Sc – single crochet
Hdc – half double crochet
Hdc blo – half double crochet back loop only
Tr – triple crochet
Ch Sp Stitch - 2 hdc in the first chain stitch, ch 2, 2 hdc in the second chain stitch
Puff - Yarn over, pull up (3), yarn over, pull up (5), yarn over, pull up (7), yarn over, pull up (9), yarn over and pull through all the loops, chaun to secure the puff
Sk st – skip stitch
Sl st – slip stitch


Reclaim Poncho with Arm Holes


Cast on an even number of stitches. You want it to fit comfortably around your neck. You can always add a neck and make it smaller, you can't make it bigger later. I cast on 74.

You want your increases to be on opposite sides, but I didn’t want the start to be on the increases so I started, did about 10 stitches and then I did my increase. Each row increases by 2 stitches

Row 1: Hdc in the 2nd chain from the hook, hdc in each chain for 10 stitches, 2 hdc in the same stitch, ch 2, 2 hdc in the same stitch, hdc in each chain for 37, 2 hdc in the same stitch, ch 2, 2 hdc in the same stitch, hdc in each stitch until you get to the first stitch, sl st to join.

Since I cast on 74, half of 74 is 37 so after I did the increase I hdc in 37 stitches and then did the second increase. If you cast on a different stitch, just make sure they are on opposite sides.

Row 2-5: ch 2. Hdc blo in all stitches except the corners. There you’ll do the Ch Sp Stitch. Sl st to join
Row 6: ch 3, sk st, *Hdc, ch, sk st. Repeat from * all the way around except the corners where you will do the Ch Sp Stitch. Sl St to join
Row 7: ch 2, * 2 hdc in the same stitch, sk st. Repeat from * all the way around except the corners where you will do the Ch Sp Stitch. Sl St to join
Row 8: repeat row 6 Row 9: repeat row 7 Row 10: repeat row 6 Row 11: repeat row 7 Row 12: repeat row 6 Row 13: repeat row 7 Row 14: repeat row 6 Row 15: repeat row 7 Row 16-17: ch 5, sk st, * tr, ch 1, sk st. Repeat from * all the way around except the corners where you will do the Ch Sp Stitch but with a tr instead of hdc. Sl St to join
Row 18: ch 2, * hdc in each stitch. Repeat from * all the way around except the corners where you will do the Ch Sp Stitch but with a tr instead of hdc. Sl St to join
Row 19: Repeat row 2
Row 20: This row has the arm holes. I wanted the arm holes on the opposite side of the seam and about 2 inches from the corners. If you have a different number of stitches - that's ok, just make sure that they are the same number of stitches from the corner stitch.
Ch 2, hdc blo to the corner Ch Sp Stitch, hdc blo in 12 stitches, ch 18, skip 16 stitches, hdc blo 38, ch 18, skip 16 stitches, hdc blo to corner, Ch Sp Stitch, hdc blo to the seam. Sl St to join. increase stitch, hdc.
Row 21-22: Repeat row 2
Row 23: repeat row 6
Row 24: repeat row 7
Row 25: repeat row 6
Row 26: repeat row 7
Row 27: repeat row 6
Row 28: repeat row 7
Row 29: repeat row 6
Row 30: repeat row 7
Row 31: repeat row 6
Row 32: repeat row 7
Row 33-34: Repeat row 16
Row 35: repeat row 6
Row 36: repeat row 7
Row 37: repeat row 6
Row 38: repeat row 7
Row 39: repeat row 6
Row 40: repeat row 7

You now have the option to switch yarns or use the same yarn. This yarn also came off my Frankensweater, but it's probably more of a sport weight yarn. I thought it looked good as the trim. You could use the same weight yarn with the same pattern.

Row 41: ch 1, * sc in each stitch. Repeat from * all the way around except the corners where you will do the Ch Sp Stitch but with a sc instead of hdc. Sl St to join
Row 42: ch 7, tr into the same stitch, sk st, *tr, ch 3, tr, sk st. Repeat from * all the way around except the corners where you will do the Ch Sp Stitch but with a tr instead of hdc. Sl St to join
Row 43: *Sl st (no starting chain), puff, sl st, sl st. The puff goes into the middle stitch of each of the v's. In the corners I did extra sl st and an extra yarn over for the puff. Sl st to join


Reclaim Poncho with Arm Holes


Once I had the contrast color at the bottom I decided I needed it around the pockets and neck too.
For the pockets I just did one how of sc all the way around. I thought the buttons would look cute and enable me to close the arm holes if it was really cold. I got these little bears on Etsy, they're just so cute!

Neck:
Row 1: ch 1, * sc in each stitch. Repeat from * all the way around. Sl St to join
Row 2: ch 2, * 2 hdc in the same stitch, sk st. Repeat from * all the way. Sl St to join


Reclaim Poncho with Arm Holes




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