Tag Archives: Michaels

Jump For Jump Rings

Usually, I buy my findings but have decided to branch out a bit. Reading Mindset by Carol Dwek, Ph.D., got me to hop out of my comfort zone. I’ve seen people make their own jump rings and tried a few times, unsuccessfully. The ends of my rings would never line up because my wire nippers left an angled cut.

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I finally bought a pair of flush cutters (above) and I’m in production mode!

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Have you tried making your own findings?  I’d love to hear your adventures with wire.

Join me at the Michaels in Springfield for the Velvet Drop Chandelier Earrings class where I’ll teach you how to make jump rings in any size you desire and incorporate them into a lovely pair of earrings you’ll be proud to wear!  Registration is $15, and only 3 supplies needed; you’ll even make your own ear wires and wear these lovelies home!

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Crochet-a-Long

I saw Lion Brand’s Colorfully Modern Cardigan pattern and decided to jump into their crochet-a-long (CAL).  Isn’t it cute?  I love the colors and the vertical striping created by the front post double crochets (FPDC) – and pockets too!  If all goes well, I’m thinking of making some of these as gifts.  But this one is mine!photo

If you’ve never been part of a CAL, you should try it.  Really!

The way it works:

The host of the CAL has a blog and guides participants through yarn substitutions, gauge, and each step of the project.  Photos posted of the various steps and techniques really help too.  And the participants have a conversation online by posting their problems, solutions, and photos.  Everyone helps each other.  It’s really exciting to see the same pattern worked in so many different color combinations and with modifications a few participants make.  It’s like attending a class, but you can do it at your own pace AND in your pajamas!

yarn Modern CardiganI wanted to get started as soon as possible (no time to wait for shipping! Must…Start…Now…), so I went to Michaels and pondered colors for what seemed like an hour.  I decided on the Loops & Threads Impeccable yarn in Folklore, Ginseng, and Southwest and Vanna’s Choice in Charcoal Grey and Chocolate.

After swatching and many trips to the basement for different sized hooks, I finally got gauge with my Susan Bates Crystalites size L (8.0 mm).  I know, I hear ya.  Swatching isn’t fun for me either.  But I learned my lesson long ago that if you want something to fit, you have to just do it.  Just take a deep breath, swatch, and measure.  I repeat to myself, “It’s worth it.”  I definitely don’t want to spend precious hours on a sweater only to discover that it doesn’t fit.

Here’s a photo of the Back in progress.  Modern Cardigan2I’ve placed stitch markers to remind me of the sections between the FPDCs where there are 2 sc instead of 3 sc.  It’s going really well.  I have my yarn balls sitting next to me in order, which makes it very easy when changing colors every 2 rows.  I know exactly which one is next without having to look twice.

The FPDCs create the raised texture and slimming vertical lines.  I really enjoy working this stitch.  In The Crocheter’s Guide to Yarn Cocktails, I designed a purse with it and created a cabled-look.  And I’m designing a sweater now using FPDC and BPDC (back post double crochet) as well as other stitches to create an Aran sweater look.  Look for my post in a few days about this doozy!  Whew!

Modern CardiganHere’s a close-up of the FPDC.  These are worked around the posts of each other for straight lines with a row of sc between each FDPC row.

I’m making good progress.  Crocheting is so much faster than knitting!  Don’t get me wrong, I love knitting.  Each has it’s own pros and cons depending on what type of project and yarn you choose.  But that’s a topic for another day.  Ready for the armhole decreases!  Yay!

 

 

Beading Classes at Michaels

I’m offering new classes at Michaels — Beads!

Wire Crochet
Wire Crochet

This is going to be so much fun.  I’m very excited about the possibilities – color, texture, all of the various materials like wire and cording.

Fundamentals of Wire Crochet

No crochet experience is necessary to take the Wire Crochet class.  And the materials needed are few:  an aluminum or steel crochet hook, a spool of wire, a clasp, and beads that catch your eye.

The results can be stunning!

Crimping
Crimping

Fundamentals of Crimping Techniques

Crimping
Crimping

Tiny crimp beads incorporated into this design result in a ‘floating’ necklace.  Bead stringing wire or  clear transite can be used as your stringing material.  Add some beads and a clasp for results you’re sure to be proud of.

One of the exciting things about the jewelry classes is that students leave with a finished piece!  In 2 1/2 hours, learn new techniques, meet others who are interested in beading, and design your own unique piece of jewelry.

Sign up today at Michaels Arts & Crafts, Springfield, VA.  I can’t wait to see your designs!