Tag: ceramics

Let’s Talk

Let’s talk honestly for a moment. (I know I missed Let’s Talk Day, but it’s always a good time to be open).

Since this year began, I haven’t felt quite right. I felt a lot of pressure trying to create unique items to have ready for the shop. It was like a race against Winter, which seemed to be passing by so quickly. I came up with idea upon idea that excited me initially, then seemed to lose its charm.

Last week, I finally decided that I had to stop thinking like a business woman and get back to who I am, a maker. This was never supposed to be a job. It’s a creative outlet for me, and a channel through which to fundraise for my community.

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I treated myself to a new set of Lykke Interchangeable Needles, and pulled a couple of baby alpaca skeins from my stash, ready to make something just for me. Immediately, I felt something switch in my brain that reignited a spark in me. The ideas kept flowing, and I felt myself envisioning designs that all serendipitously came together (like, seriously…do the multiples and stitch counts for different patterns ever all just match?!). Even though I had to frog numerous rows, numerous times, I didn’t feel discouraged at all. I powered through, and somehow ended up with something incredible!

All this to say I’m returning to designing knitting patterns, and I am anticipating releasing a pattern for this lovely textured cowl, fondly known as The Cobbler Cowl, in the near future! I also plan to make some slight modifications to turn it into a hat, and eventually, a cardigan. Currently looking for people willing to test the cowl pattern, if anyone is interested!

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I always share my creations with my mom (@onebearceramics), hoping for approval, but expecting a shrug or an eyebrow raise. She’s a pretty tough critic. This time however, I saw the same light behind my eyes flicker in hers. She ooh-ed and ahh-ed, and asked for a sweater version of my design.

I think I’m going to stick to designing for awhile, as I have ideas swimming around in my head, and I can feel a strong passion for this aspect of knitting. I’m also open to custom orders via DM, because I find these more fun to do. As always, send me a message with whatever’s on your mind! And stay tuned for a new WWK pattern!

Pender Cardigan (#wip pt. 3/3)

Glad to be getting back into weekly blogs. In the time I’ve been away, I’ve completed quite the number of projects, which you would have seen if you’re following me on instagram. If not, no worries! I will be rolling out new posts for old projects over the weeks to come!

First up is the final post of my Pender Cardigan wip…It’s complete!! I had originally intended to have another check-in post before the final product, but I got swept up with the website move and completed the cardigan without stopping to take photos.

I did take the time to note down my thoughts as I worked through it though, so here they are. To see the final product, skip to the bottom of the page.

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As I get closer to the end of a large project, I start to get nervous as to whether or not it will turn out like I imagined, particularly with knits that need to be blocked. It’s the point where I’ve already committed so much to it, that any changes that need to be made may involve significant backtracking.

After attaching the sleeves to the body as instructed in the pattern, I found it difficult to work with the rest of the garment because it became quite bulky. I have suspicions my sleeves ended up too long for my body, so I removed them and started putting together the collar first. I also ran into some issues with picking up stitches on the collar, so I went ahead and modified to achieve what I wanted (yet again, I have failed to complete a pattern the way it was instructed…oops). After trying it on at this point, I’ve fallen in love with it all over again! The stitch definition is looking so good and it is holding its shape incredibly well.

Here’s how it looked without the sleeves and hem. It looked so amazing I was almost tempted to leave it as a vest instead!

I went on to add the bottom hem, which I also shortened both length and widthwise to give a shorter and tighter look. Halfway through the hemline, I tried it on and got chills!

Full disclosure, I actually finished all the components within 3 weeks of starting, but left it sitting for another month because of my pure hatred of seaming. I found myself more enticed by other knitting projects that I never sat down to tidy up. Blocking was a whole other ordeal. I finally committed to finishing when my custom made ceramic buttons were finished. They really tied the piece together (literally.) so it was a perfect finish.

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Alas, all the coziness in a coat. It definitely turned out to be more of an outerwear style jacket than a cardigan. I’d love to remake the pattern in a worsted weight to see what it would look like. I do also wish there was one more button up top to close the neckline a little more. This just means another Pender Cardigan is in my future for 2018!

Ceramic buttons by One Bear Ceramics.

Get the pattern for yourself on Ravelry and check out Lindsay’s Instagram page for other amazing knits.

Meeting of the Crafts

Meeting of the Crafts

Each member of my immediate family has some kind of crafty talent. Dad’s a graphic designer and product photographer, big sis is a wedding and portrait photographer/videographer, and momma, well, she’s a potter!

She has been doing pottery for about 7 years now, growing her repertoire and experimenting with designs and techniques, much like myself. Her current theme is imprinting. She has some store-bought floral doilies that she rolls into her clay to create patterns that she then glazes over. She and I began collaborating  on projects using each of our talents. I learned how to crochet and join motifs that she could use.

The end result was awesome! She has managed to take the swatches I made for her and use them to design clay pots, teapots, and cups. It’s cool to see how the two of us can produce something together that neither of us would do on our own.

I have been teaching her to crochet designs herself (since I have so many other projects I’d like pursue) so soon I will become obsolete to her (haha) but it’s nice to know that there will be a few pieces out there that have a little touch from the both of us.

As a little side note, it’s funny how at one point she was the one who taught me to crochet many moons ago, but now she’s given that up and needs me to teach her. Makes me wonder if some day in the future I will give up knitting and crochet and move on to something new!

Fall Ceramic Pendants

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I should start by saying I cannot take credit for the design and creation of these AT ALL! These are actually the work of my pottery-enthusiast mother, who was inspired by the falling leaves to make pendants with leaf imprints. They came out beautifully, and she asked me to help her make some adjustable necklace cords to attach on (yes, I take credit for that haha). These cords can be attached to any kind of pendant-like object to make necklaces. The knots on each side slide to make them longer/shorter. Instructions on how to make them are all over youtube. Just search “adjustable necklace knot”.

Just wanted to share these here to show support for a fellow crafter (and to score daughter-points). You can find her work at any and all of the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/onebearceramics

https://www.instagram.com/onebearceramics/

http://onebearceramics.com/

DIY Candles

Scented candles seem to have gained popularity over the past couple of years. With Fall and Christmas season approaching, candles are starting to make an appearance again.

Good store-bought scented candles tend to be quite pricey for something that can disappear so quickly. The jars that they come in also end up being collected in a closet somewhere or recycled–which seems quite wasteful. I typically don’t buy candles for myself, but I love receiving them as gifts. These don’t tend to last me through the winter though, so buying the components online in bulk was a much more cost-effective way for me to produce my own.

I have never attempted to make a candle before, but based on online instructions and videos, it seemed pretty easy. I decided to do as much of it on my own, without purchasing anything other than soy wax flakes from amazon.

I used:

  • Soy Wax Flakes
  • 100% cotton yarn
  • Recycled wick stands from used tea lights
  • Essential Oils/Candle Scents
  • Ceramic containers (courtesy of One Bear Ceramics)

Here’s what I did:

  • Double boil the wax flakes (2x the amount of your container)
  • Add a tiny piece of crayon to add color
  • Cut a piece of yarn and soak it in the melted wax for 10 minutes, then hang to dry
  • Once dry, use pliers to widen the hole of the wick stand to thread the wick through, then clamp wick into position
  • Take the rest of the melted wax out of the boiling water and mix in a few drops of your scent
  • Place the wick in the centre of the container, using a pen to hold it up straight
  • Pour the wax into the container
  • Leave aside to cool and harden
  • Trim wick and light!

Now, my candles were far from perfect. They really didn’t work very well and had all sorts of problems including but not limited to:

  • Burn range not reaching the sides of the container
  • Scent not strong enough
  • Strange discoloration in wax (ie. not a solid, smooth color)
  • Wick stops burning halfway through and won’t hold a flame again

I am in the process of troubleshooting and will re-attempt this process again. If you have any tips or explanations for the flaws in my candles, please do let me know! I am hoping to fix all the problems and create scented candles that can be gifted by Christmas. I am working alongside OBC to create more ceramic candles, which I think would be a super cool gift since people can use the candle and have a functional handmade pot to reuse after. More to come!