For my cousin's birthday, I made him a little treat between my studies (sorry for being so light on projects!). After serving as his nanny for a few months last year, I was definitely inspired to make him something awesome. He is honestly one of the cutest kids ever. He's sweet, loves new people, and we rarely had any cranky days. I really can't get enough of this little guy!
Figuring that he is at the age to really start walking around, I decided to make him a little pair of shoes! I based these off the classic Converse sneaker. I love my pair (I'm wearing those now), and thought these would be good for when he starts to walk.
These are almost completely crocheted, and I had a lot of fun making up the pattern. I used a couple seams, which is rare for me, to mimick the stitched canvas on a pair of chucks. But I didn't want these to be a complete knock off, so I styled these with two tone blue yarns instead of contrasting white on blue.
The result: super stinkin' cute! But a little slippery. So, I used some of the puff paint for marking our scuba equipment to give these a slip-resistant sole. These are the first booties that I've crocheted (the others I've done have all been knits), and I couldn't be happier with the results!
April is a busy month for birthdays in my family (it's no July, but it's up there). Within one week, we have my sister, my sister-in-law, and my grandpa. So, for today's post, I have the rug I crocheted for my sister-in-law.
My sister-in-law loves doilies. I mean LOVES these. I thought a huge one would be the perfect fit: both for her, and for my skill level. Open work is not my typical forte, but something I wanted to try.
While I have been intermingling knitting my current boot project with tons of schoolwork, it's been nice to be able to get back to some knitting basics and mindlessly knit a scarf. It's been a while since I've done something simple and easy, so I am loving how much I am able to relax with this one!
While this is one of the easiest things to make, I'm not making it plain either. I'm making this one for a friend, who came to me with the yarn and needles in hand.
So, I'm knitting, relaxing, and doing my standard moss stitch. I'm really enjoying how the different colors in the veregated yarn are mixing with the colors and with the stitch pattern.
Alright, life has definitely been full lately! I've been working on a lot of things for school: finishing my furniture class and jumping headlong into final projects for my other classes.
So, I'm putting up just two of the paintings I've done in my color theory class this semester, the second of which I painted just today.
Now, it's no secret that I love all things underwater, so I started my paintings by going through some pictures that I had of different underwater scenes. For this first painting, I knew I'd found the perfect piece the second I'd seen the inspiration photo. The mixture of the white feathers and the bubbles with the composition of the bird catching the fish seemed like the perfect choice for this painting.
This was for my "Monochromatic and Achromatic" assignment. The hues are all created with blue, orange, white, and black. The idea was to create achromatic colors - the neutrals/browns - with different mixes of these four colors and different levels of monochromatic blues. I think it's amazing just how these four colors could combine so easily into this composition.
To finish it off, I mixed some GAC-100 with my paint to use the paint as a glaze. The glaze smoothed out a lot of the transitions in color and contributed to the way the painting flows in the water and adding depth to the rocks.
The second painting is brand new today! I had a lot of fun with this one and with making it another underwater composition.
I chose one of the two most fascinating tiny animals underwater: a feather duster worm! These little guys burrow into coral, shells, and just about any natural surface underwater. These will poke out the "duster" portion, and when touched, these quickly burrow back inside the tube these have created.
There is also a cute little shrimp in there just hanging out under the rock.
While I'm still relatively new to painting, I'm really excited about the strides I've made so far and the experimenting that I've been able to do so far in my assignments. The class structure has definitely made me think outside the box, and I love the barriers I've been able to break - both with my own creativity and with my skill level.
I"m definitely happy that I could add this to my creative repertoire, so feel free to contact me if there is anything you'd want painted!
- Katie Swanson
Well, as I've mentioned, I recently went back to school. This quarter, I've taken on a much heavier course-load, and I'm working a ton! So, I haven't had much chance to write.
So, I've decided to share a little of my favorites of what I've been doing with my history of furniture class. Approximately two-thirds of the assignments involve drawing out furniture from specific time periods, and there are definitely some images that I am excited to share.
Greek Klismos Chair
Gothic Canopied Bedstead
On the left is an ancient Greek Klismos chair. This was one of my favorite designs to draw, and I really liked how crisp this drawing came out when I input it into the computer. It highlights a lot of the classical elements found in these furniture pieces: rosettes over the joints, saber legs, woven seat, concave back, Greek key... It's such a cool piece!
Spanish Curule Chair
This Gothic Canopied bedstead was definitely one of the most challenging drawings I took on over the course of this class, Overall, I think it went really well, and was a very successful drawing.
The pointed arches and flamboyant tracery reflect the time period's relation with the church and the overlap of tradespeople working with church and residential projects.
The Spanish curule chair was very common throughout the renaissance period, and similar styles were found all over Europe.
These were normally made of fabrics with wooden frames, though these were also adorned with fringes, ornate finials, and structural runners.
While there were no purely upholstered pieces of furniture, these were the predecessor to all of the upholstery we have in furniture today. These were also the main ancestor to the modern day director's chair, as this one also folds through the middle.
Louis XIV Console
The Louis XIV console is an iconic piece of Baroque furniture. Its style directly influenced many of the furniture styles prevalent throughout Europe and the Americas, as these styles set the standard for luxury in the French castle: Versailles.
The features of this console: the ornate carving, gilded in gold ormolu, its marble top, the cartouche motifs on each side, and flat back to be set against a wall are all features that have been interpreted and reinterpreted through the Rococo and Neoclassic Periods.
Though I truly wish I could have been more productive with my creative pursuits, I can't help but be glad for the improvements I've made in my drawing and artistic capabilities over this class. I do have a few more things form this one that I can share, and I certainly will if I am able. While this is definitely not a knit mitten or a crocheted shark, I am still counting it with interiors. With my degree pursuits in Interior Design, it seems to fit.
I hope you enjoyed! If you'd like to see more of these kinds of posts, please let me know either in the comments or by email! Thank you.
In preparation for Christmas, I was hired to create 11 different coffee cozies (more to come!), and in making these, I decided to explore a new skill and try my needles at double knitting.
With double knitting, the piece is completely reversible, and it shows as knitting on both sides. For the first one, I was still experimenting with the techniques for double knitting, so I wasn't quite to the point of knitting these in the round. Instead, I made this one with the button detail that can fit with coffee cups with handles.
The second cozy I made was still within the two color pattern, but I built enough confidence to try more difficult patterns.
I had always wanted to experiment with vertical stripes, and I was thrilled with how this one turned out. The next steps for my double knitting adventures will definitely be in adding colors and in using different styles of stitches.
In the same set that I made the owl and the hammerheads, I made two other animals. I hadn't really attempted anything like these before, so it was definitely a big challenge for me to execute.
The first one I made is a giraffe. I think the proportions turned out really well! My next big goal with this one is to try to integrate the patches on his side into the overall pattern with the yellow yarn. I do a lot of that with knitting, but it is a skill I have yet to completely master with the art of crochet.
Like the owl, I did implement a lot of known techniques in its execution: the ears, horns, and snout are all very similar to the dragons I've made previously. The next step in re-executing this one will definitely be to experiment with some yarn patterns for the pattern in the fur, and to try something new with the legs so these don't seem quite so separate from the rest of the body.
The other animal I made was this little lion. He's also the first one I've attempted, so I'm considering some adjustments here as well: maybe some kind of ear coming through the mane.
I'm happy with how must of the body came out, this was another pattern with ideas borrowed from the dragon, except this time, I used the way the back legs are integrated into the body. This helped me get a more powerful look in the legs.
The other thing I'm going to experiment with is the mane itself. I am thinking of adding some small ears, but I'm also trying to find a way to make the mane a little fluffier without sacrificing the use of real stitches This just helps to keep the mane far more durable over time than loose yarn. In total, I think these both turned out pretty cute, and I'm looking forward to being able to experiment with these a little more.
It seems the week between Christmas and the New Year is always a time of reflection: of changes we may have made, dreams we reached, steps we've taken, and even opportunities we've missed.
There have definitely been missed opportunities here, and I deeply regret them, and I hope to never abandon what I have going on this website again. But with a year of changes, who knows what will come in the future. We've also gained some opportunities. We have a new contributor, and seem to be growing not only here but in our personal lives as well. It's been a tough year, and while I'm sad for what we've missed and glad for what we've gained, I'm excited to start moving forward into 2013.
It also seems to be the time when the world starts to collectively think anew. From New Year's resolutions to more birthdays and holidays to get time moving, it's nice to take this time in New Year's Eve to reflect and rekindle hope for the future. I hope all have a fantastic and safe holiday, and that 2013 brings plenty of joy.
With that, I would like to wish everyone a wonderful New Year!
One of the most fun pieces I've had a chance to play with this year was this little guy. Luckily for me, owls and penguins are fairly popular birds to make right now, and one of the very first animals I made was a penguin!
This one I made for the same person as the hammerhead sharks, and I had a ton of getting him done.
I used a very similar technique to the penguin I made a few years ago: mostly it is two connected spheres. But I've made a lot of changes to define it as an owl.
The first big change I made was simply where I started: normally, I start from the head and I work my way down, but to get the top of the head the right shape, I started at the bottom and I worked my way upward.
As it turned out, the wings were very similar to shark and fish fins, so the biggest issues I had with those was putting these into the narrow space between the body and the head. I connect each piece as I go, so nothing is sewn onto the animal, and getting the crochet hook and the yarn in at the right angle made it very tricky.
The beak was made with the same general dimensions as the start of a shark's head, so its execution was very similar to what I'm used to making. The feet were made with the same techniques that I used on my dragons. And the eyes were almost exactly the same as those I used when I made the penguin.
Even though so much of the design was borrowed from other projects, I'm really happy with how it all came together.
A few months ago (when I was on hiatus, sorry again), I made a few crochet animals that haven't made it on here yet!
Today, I'm going to show off my newest sharks: hammerheads! Since I typically keep my sharks fairly basic, these were a big change, and a nice challenge, for me. I used a lot of the same general techniques that I normally use, but I definitely had to make some major changes from my usual crocheted sharks.
Of coarse, these were still the same general techniques and colors, the biggest change was definitely the shaping for the heads on these hammerheads.
I wanted to try to keep the head in proportion to the rest of its body, so I modified how the front of the head connects to the body. I also left a longer piece of yarn hanging off at the beginning so I could use it to close up part of the head without having any additional rows or stitches on one side of the head.
As per usual, I kept the purple eyes, and I attached these right on the sides of the head, similar to where these would be anatomically.
The other big difference between my hammerheads and my other crocheted sharks is the length of the fins. Hammerheads have the longest fins compared to body size than any other shark, so I wanted to emphasize this physiological difference on these as well.
The pectoral fins are about 30% longer than on my other sharks, and the dorsal fin is about 20% longer. The caudal (tail) fin was set up to be a slightly different shape than I normally do to better mirror this type of shark.