Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Book review: Kumihimo Wirework Made Easy


Christina Larsen has come up with the next logical crossover skill in jewelry making: kumihimo performed with wire instead of cords!  In Kumihimo Wirework Made Easy, Christina teaches three fairly simple kuihimo braid structures that she then goes on to turn into fabulous pieces of jewelry, both with and without beads.


Even if you have never done kumihimo with cords before, fear not.  The instructions are very complete, and Christina has lots of tips to help you speed through the learning curve.  You do not need expensive equipment or tools to do this...just a few basic wire tools that you probably already have, and one of the inexpensive foam disks.  Since wire doesn't slip out of holes once you've moved it there, you don't need to worry about the disks "wearing out" quickly.  You do have to worry about tension, though, and Christina shows you all her best practices for choosing, straightening, and moving wires, and for maintaining tension as you work. 


The wirework lends itself perfectly to bracelets, but there's much more to be explored in this book.  Rings, necklaces, and earrings projects are included too.  One of my favorite pieces is a pair of earrings that spiral beautifully (shown above) called Chandelier Earrings. 

The final chapter of projects includes leather cording mixed with wire.  I love the look of a lot of these, but my favorite is the Framed Leather Bracelet shown below. 

   


This post contains affiliate links: Amazon

Monday, October 29, 2018

Piano keys! Russian leaf pattern by Rita Sova



Are you familiar with Rita Sova's wonderful bead patterns?  I've come across Rita's designs many times before, but this time I fell hook, line, and sinker!  Since my recent foray into stitching Russian leaves in all kinds of patterns and colors, my eye has just naturally homed in on any new ones that I see as I'm scrolling through Pinterest. 

Well...there was this wonderful piano keys pattern, but without any credits or a link!!!!  Thanks to the magic of google and the Lightshot app, I was finally able to track it down to Rita.  So, here is my rendition of piano keys earrings.  You can get the tutorial at the link above for just a few dollars.  Enjoy!


My previous post on bead weaving Russian leaves

Monday, October 22, 2018

Honeycomb stitch crocheted scarf - tutorial link


I came across this really pretty stitch that I found on MyPicot, called the Honeycomb Stitch.  It takes about 7 rows to complete the entire pattern, but you can then choose to add another few rows without actually having to do an entire additional repeat.  I thought that 10 or 12 rows made a wonderful width for a scarf and am thinking about using this pattern again for something else in the future. 

As you can see in the photo below, I used two very similar colors of yarn for this scarf.  If you want the pattern to really stand out, use multiple colors like the sample on MyPicot shows. 


I recommend printing out the diagram provided.  Since each row is slightly different, it is much easier to follow the diagram than written out instructions.  I found the that I caught on to the pattern very quickly this way. On each long edge, I finished it with single crochet.


Monday, October 15, 2018

Another Kazuri bead necklace - a tutorial


Back in the Spring, I showed you how I used some gorgeous Kazuri beads that my Sister-in-Law brought back for me from Kenya.  The interchangeable Kazuri bead necklace is shown above, and the tutorial is at the link.  I decided last week to make one more strand to suit some of the darker, richer Autumn colors, and this is what emerged:

 

Copyright 2018 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Fall scarves...because I live in New England!


I was kind of sad when I had to put away my yarn for the summer.  Not only do I really love crocheting, but I also really really hate the heat!  Thanks to climate change, even New England is beginning to experience summers that are almost unbearable.

But finally autumn is here!  Yay!!  I don't need to be wearing scarves quite yet, but it is a lot of fun to be able to pick up where I left off last spring and get my fingers moving again!

Shown above is a wave pattern scarf, stitched crosswise.  You might remember that I made a bunch of them last spring, and mostly showed them in the lengthwise stitching pattern.  I want to give credit to Cori Dodds, who designed the first wave pattern scarf I saw.  She's the one who set me off on this adventure!

Instructions for Wave Stitch

Other examples, crocheted lengthwise and as infinity scarves


Copyright 2018 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Rope necklace wrap-up!


Because my summer was busy beyond belief, I decided to make rope necklaces.  Pick 'em up and work for a few minutes, put 'em back down and walk away.  As long as you have the current pattern firmly in mind, and a way to keep yourself and your beads organized, it's a wonderful way to be able to feel productive.  And as you can see, I actually was productive!!

I'm working on another rope right now, but it's a repeat, so it doesn't really count.  There are several more rope stitches that I want to explore before this is over, so as I tackle them, I'll post about them and also add them here.  This page will be linked in the Tutorials bar up above so that you can always easily find it without having to bookmark it. 


Russian spiral rope



Embellished peyote rope



Twisted herringbone rope



Chenille stitch rope



Pearl spiral rope



Indespiral rope



Ruffled peyote rope



Embellished right angle weave rope



Viking's double rope

Copyright 2018 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.
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