Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fine Sanding with Sanding Strips

Here's a great jewelry making tip from another blog: Shoebox Studio: Jewelry Making Techniques. Julia has a solution for sanding inside finely pierced work.

 She makes sanding strips from sandpaper and packing tape to insert in her saw frame. Couldn't be more ingenious!

I have been using 3M Micro-finishing Film for the same purpose, but this is cheaper and more accessible.

Click here to see how she does it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

We're Going Tripping! And Knitting.

We're leaving for our European backpacking vacation in less than a month! Totally exciting times! I will be heading out with my husband and daughter, while my son and his girlfriend follow us the next day. We will fly in and out of Istanbul, Turkey. We have our Eurail passes ready - they're cheaper if you buy them as a group, but then you have to travel together. You get one pass for the group, not individual passes. We have our passports and visas ready to go. And of course, I'm focusing on the most important thing to bring - my knitting! No one else understands me except another knitter. Another jeweler may get it, though. I won't be able to make jewelry while I'm away, but as long as I can knit, I should be able to keep my wits about me.

My projects for the trip need to be really small and compact. They will be in my backpack, and I'm bringing a small one, so I don't expect to have much free space. The choosing of 'the project' has really entertained me for a while. I don't think I'll have nearly as much fun knitting it as I have had choosing the project! I googled, explored ravlery, and consulted knitting friends at the knitting shop A Yarn's Tale in Brodheadsville, PA. I know my yarn should be thin - sport weight or lace weight, to provide many hours of knitting in a small package. I'm considering 3 different yarns:
  • There's a beautiful taupe merino lace weight that is so thin it's like knitting with spider web. It was originally going to be a lace shawl, but the battle of the lace was one battle that I lost. I keep thinking about a surprise shawl in this. It would be a good project for mindless knitting that is easily interrupted. Another thought has been an Elizabeth Zimmerman Pi Shawl. I always wanted to try one of those.
  • I have a comfortable sport weight washable wool left over from making a baby hat, but it's in white. Maybe not the best color for travel-sweaty hands and hiking on the Camino in Spain. Maybe socks though, 2 at a time on circulars to keep everything together while traveling. I haven't ever tried that before.
  • I'm now the proud new owner of a lovely purple sport weight wool that was the product of my visit to the yarn shop to ask friends what I should make. Silly me. I shouldn't bring that up in a yarn shop and expect to come away empty handed. So I'm thinking that a simple, small purple lace triangle scarf for next year might be just the thing to brighten up my black pants and jacket at work. 
I found what I hope is the perfect pouch to bring along to keep my yarn and needles together, and I ordered one from Etsy. A little gift for myself, just the right size for a small project. It hangs on your wrist  while you knit, keeping your yarn handy, and closes by pulling one handle inside the other to keep everything together. The lining helps keep needles from poking through the bag. Perfect! And when I found that it wouldn't be ready in time, the owner of KnitShearBliss said she would rush it right through for me. I love Etsy sellers! No bias there, of course.

I hope packing for the rest of the trip is this much fun!

Artifact Ring

 I started a new collection recently, tentatively called the Artifact collection. I adore this new ring!!
I will need to adjust how I'm making it, there are a few glitches with the method I used. But I really love it, so I went back to the drawing board and came up with a few ideas for new methods that won't change the look too much. This week I'll be back in the studio to see which method works for me with some consistency. Then I hope I'll be ready soon to release a real collection for wholesale!

Meanwhile, thanks to all of you who have been placing orders on Etsy and helping to keep me busy and inspired!