When it comes to stranded colorwork, my skills are best described as “needs improvement.” But I’m in love with one way of knitting colorwork that doesn’t have me in a tangle: slip stitch knitting, that wonderfully simple technique using one yarn at a time. Slip stitch patterns ask, “What would happen if you just skipped those stitches instead of changing colors?”

Effortless Color Knitting

Knitting the Trolley Tracks Infinity Scarf was the best of all possible worlds: a colorful, graphic slip stitch knitting pattern that uses six happy yarn colors but doesn’t need stranding. It was as easy to knit as a striped cowl but much more interesting. I needed to pay attention to which stitches to slip and which to work, so it wasn’t quite movie knitting, but I didn’t wind up with a puckery mess, either.

Slip stitch knitting looks great as texture even when you only work one color in the whole project, but it sings when you use several colors. Faina Goberstein, one of the authors of The Art of Slip Stitch Knitting, explains why she loves slip-stitch patterns: “By using two or more colors and basic knitting skills, you can achieve stunning fabric that gives the impression of requiring much more advanced skills and time-consuming work than it really does. Slip-stitch colorwork is easier to work than stranded (for example, Fair Isle) colorwork and can be worked in the round or in rows—no steeking required!”

You’re Out of Order!

One of the things I love about knitting is a certain mathematical orderliness: Begin at the beginning, work across, and unless you make an intentional change (or a mistake), you have the same number of stitches in the same order. But sometimes bending those usual “rules” is delightful. Cables are the most common example—work groups of stitches out of order, and you get a rope or some other raised design.

Skip stitch knitting uses a similar principle to cables, except that instead of holding stitches to knit them out of order on the same row, you hold them to work on a different row. One part of the knitting gets longer, but another stays the same length. Done regularly, increases pull the the fabric up so that it develops horizontal tucks or gathers.

(Photos by Harper Point Photography)


Explore the Fun of Slip Stitch Knitting!

 

Bring children’s bedroom décor to life with an animal-themed rug from Ira Rott’s debut book Crochet Animal Rugs. In this wonderful collection of over 20 designs, Ira shows you how to create a crochet rug as well as coordinating accessories to complete the theme.

Our penguin placement pattern is free! Scroll to the bottom of this post to download it, and get a feel for the techniques used in the book. This placemat is perfect for a children’s party or Christmas centerpiece, or as a special gift for a penguin-lover (and let’s face it, who doesn’t love penguins?).

crochet animal penguin placemat

FINISHED SIZE
13in x 19in (33cm x 48.25cm)

HOOK
4.25mm (G)

YARN WEIGHT
Medium weight (4)
• Black (MC), 136-164yd (125-150m)
• White (CC1), 136-164yd (125-150m)
• Carrot (CC2), 87-98yd (80-90m)

GAUGE WITH 1 STRAND AND 4.25MM (G) HOOK
16 dc x 8.5 rows = 4in x 4in (10cm x 10cm)
Gauge ensures the exact sizing, it can be calibrated by using a smaller or larger hook with the recommended yarn weight. However, the gauge is not very critical for this project and your finished size may vary slightly depending on the materials used and your tension.

STITCH SUMMARY
Ch, sl st, sc, dc, rsc, picot, crest, shell, arch, join

SKILLS
Working in rows and in the round, raw edge finishing, changing colors, working across the bottom of the foundation chain, sewing

LEFT-HANDED CROCHET
If you are a left-handed crocheter, simply follow the exact same instructions, working in the opposite direction. Work clockwise when you crochet in the round or from left to right when you crochet in rows. Left-handed crochet is a mirrored work of right-handed crochet.

INSTRUCTIONS
Crochet the penguin placement following the pattern and charts for the body, wings, head, eyes, beak, face and feet, then assemble as follows: With RS facing, place the head right up against the top edge of the body and whipstitch across using MC. Flip the place mat to WS and whipstitch across the same seam (10). Fasten off.

Place the face onto the head and backstitch around the edge using CC1 (11). Fasten off.

Place the beak to cover the center bottom edge of the face. Using the long CC2 tail, whipstitch across the straight top edge of the beak and backstitch around the remaining edge (12). Fasten off.

Place the feet on each side of the body, leaving approximately 8 stitches between the feet at the bottom edge of the body. The side edges of the feet should extend beyond the body edge by approx 1¼in (3.17cm).

Thread the needle with 1 strand of CC2 and backstitch around the overlapped edges, leaving the side edges unstitched (13). Do not fasten off.

Flip the placemat to WS and whipstitch across the same edges using CC2 (14). Fasten off.
Weave in all the ends from finishing on WS.

Position your placemat in pride of place on your table then sit back and wait for the compliments!

This penguin placemat is a bonus project from Ira Rott’s Crochet Animal Rugs. If you liked it, find more amazing animal-themed patterns in the book!

Give the Penguin Placemat and Animal Crochet a Go!
Get my free pattern!

Make more crochet animals:

I’ve recently become obsessed not only with shadow weave but also with the woman behind the Powell system. Do you happen to know anything about the life of Marian Powell? Where did she live? Did she leave any textiles behind? All I have been able to find out about her is that her shadow weave book was published in Oregon and that she also wrote a monograph on summer and winter. I am assuming she is deceased but I don’t even know that for a fact.

Any information you have would be greatly appreciated.

Best,
Isabelle

Hi Isabelle!

The person who would have known a lot about her is Russell Groff of Robin and Russ. But he is no longer alive. I’m not sure who might have known him well enough to know what he knew about Marian Powell. It is sad that the weaving world is such a special niche that historians and biographers at large have never been much interested in us. I am extremely grateful for Sadye Tune Wilson’s Textile Arts Index, because I can look in it for a list of any articles (between 1950 and 1987) about or by Marian Powell. There are two articles listed by Powell in Handweaver & Craftsman (none about her), one on shadow weave (Summer 1961) and a brief entry about her (Spring 1962) describing a Summer and Winter Study she did with the Des Moines Weavers Guild).

In the shadow-weave article, her bio says that she is from Perry, Iowa, and was president of the Midwest Weavers Conference that met in Kansas City in 1961. She was a member of the Des Moines Weavers Guild. The guild is described as having 500 of her woven samples, I presume in shadow weave.

Both the Midwest Weavers Conference and the Des Moines Weavers Guild are likely to have info about her. And somewhere those 500 samples must exist, which would make a GREAT exhibit at a future Convergence. I’d contact both of those groups.

And to the readers who sent in suggestions for a name for my new puppy (Dimity, Lacey, Twill, Piqué, and more): I ended up naming her Sadye, spelled that way in honor of Sadye Tune Wilson mentioned above. Compiling that Index was a heroic endeavor for which I have been very grateful for decades.

Madelyn


If you have a weaving question please email Madelyn! Featured Image: Photo by George Boe. View related & recent “Ask Madelyn” posts!


Explore Interweave weaving resources!

 

Cooler temperatures and cleaning up the end-of-season garden inspire us to plan for next year’s growing season. Do your plans include a dyer’s garden? Some plants used for natural dyeing should come with a warning, and woad is one such plant. In this excerpt from Spin Off Summer 2018, contributor Gayle Vallance shares the basics about cultivating this problematic plant.

Woad (Isatis tinctoria) is a hardy member of the Brassicaceae (also called Cruciferae) family. It is easily cultivated in any reasonably temperate climate (zones 3 to 8), but it requires fertile soil and plenty of sunshine for greater dye production. It is a biennial, forming a rosette of leaves in its first year and a flowering stalk up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) tall in the second. The flowers produce thousands of seeds that detach easily when the pods turn purple. Seeds need only be collected every couple of years, since they store well in a jar or freezer. You can test seeds for potency by placing them onto wet paper; a violet color cast on the paper indicates a higher indigo content.

natural dying

A close-up of a woad plant. Photos by Gayle Vallance

Plant the seeds ½ to 1 inch deep when the soil is warm. They germinate in 10 days, and the plants should be thinned to 8 to 10 inches apart. Spread straw mulch between the rows to retain moisture and discourage weeds. You can harvest leaves every 3 to 4 weeks between June and August.

In North America, woad is considered a noxious weed, and therefore it must be controlled. A dyer should dig out the plants at the end of the first growing season, remove the spreading roots, and leave only one plant to produce seeds the following year. Pull seed stalks before the seeds are fully ripe and store them to ripen in a closed paper bag. Check local, state, and federal agricultural regulations before growing woad, which may be quarantined, prohibited, or targeted for eradication in your area.

—Gayle Vallance

Gayle Vallance earned a Master Spinner Certificate at Olds College, Level I of the Certificate of Excellence (Spinning) through the Handweavers Guild of America, and the basic level of the master weaver program through the Guild of Canadian Weavers. She teaches at conferences around North America.

Woad seeds can be purchased from www.wildcolours.co.uk or from www.richters.com in Canada. Richters cannot ship seeds to California, Idaho, or Montana in the United States or to Alberta, Canada. Consult your local extension office before attempting to grow woad. To read more about using woad for natural dyeing, download the Summer 2018 issue of Spin Off. Plus to learn more about the ins and outs of natural dyeing, download a copy of our free eBook, Guide to Dyeing Yarn: Learn How to Dye Yarn Using Natural Dyeing Techniques, gathered from the pages of Spin Off magazine.

Featured Image: Using both the indigo method and traditional dyeing methods brings an amazing array of colors from woad.


Discover more about natural dyeing!

Have you ever looked at one of your peyote stitch projects and felt that something was missing? That it needed a little extra splash in order to really consider it complete? You’ll love Melinda Barta’s online workshop Mastering Peyote Stitch: Finishing Touches — the final installment in her in-depth series on peyote stitch.

If anyone knows the ins, outs, and up-beads of peyote stitch, it’s Melinda. She literally wrote the book on the subject, and now these chapters are also conveniently formatted as online workshops. Whether you’d prefer an online course, an eBook, or a tangible tome you can actually flip through, you will not regret acquiring this rich expertise in peyote stitch.

Peyote Stitch

These sparkly components are strung together to create Melinda’s Zigzag Zing.

You’ll learn all kinds of ways to pop peyote stitch designs. Through clear instructions and diagrams, you’ll tackle basic fringe, loop fringe, stitch-in-the-ditch embellishments, and all sorts of picot designs you never even knew existed. Then you’ll experiment with even more types of border decor, from whipstitch to scallops, from rope to brick-stitch.

Peyote Stitch

Melinda Barta’s Zigzag Zing bracelet takes peyote stitch to a new level with finishing touches including picot and stitch-in-the-ditch.

Peyote Stitch Projects for Finishing Touches

To solidify the techniques needed to bring these final details to life, you’ll follow along with two unique projects. To make Melinda’s Zigzag Zing bracelet, you’ll use tubular peyote stitch to bezel crystal rivolis, then add color and texture using stitch-in-the-ditch embellishments.

Peyote Stitch

Lisa Kan’s Trésor combines multiple finishing touches for a beautiful necklace.

You’ll also make Lisa Kan’s Trésor, a necklace with beautifully detailed, reversible components. With tubular and circular peyote stitch, netting, rope edging, picot, and stitch-in-the-ditch techniques, you’ll see how these fine embellishments create a truly elegant look.

Melinda’s Top 5 Tips on Finishing Touches for Peyote Stitch

Before you head off to make your own designs with these culminating features, check out these expert tips from Melinda:

Peyote Stitch

Fringe and stitch-in-the-ditch embellishments are just a few of the finishing touches possible with peyote stitch.

1. Fabulous fringe

To form a fringe, string one or more decorative beads and one bead for the tip, then pass back through the decorative bead(s) (see blue thread above). If using crystals for the decorative beads, consider stringing one small bead before the crystal (see red thread above). This will help protect the thread from accidental cutting.

2. Stitch in the Ditch

Layers of decoration can be easily added to previously stitched rows/rounds of beadwork. Exit one bead in the row/round you wish to embellish, string one decorative bead and pass through the next bead in the same row/round. Repeat as desired.

3. Scalloped edging

Give a plain edge a wavy finish by peyote-stitching one bead in every other stitch in the final row/round.

4. Creative bezels

When it comes to bezeling play around with buttons, coins, subway tokens, watch faces and much more—including cabochons that are a bit more oval or square. Keep in mind you may need to experiment a little to find the perfect number of beads for the starting rounds and the number of rounds worked.

5. Pretty and Practical

Add brick stitches along the border of your next bead-embroidered project to give the design a professional finish. In addition to being decorative, the stitches also help join and secure the layers of beading foundation and backing material.

The next time you’re this close to completing a project but just can’t put your finger on what’s missing, refer to the exciting techniques in this workshop to give it the perfect finishing touch.

Go be creative!
Tamara Kula
Producer, Bead & Jewelry Group

Featured Image: Melinda Barta’s Zigzag Zing bracelet.


Obsessed with finishing touches? Discover more inspiration from Interweave!

Agnieszka Watts created 3 colorways of her Stardust Nebula Necklace for the December 2018/January 2019 issue of Beadwork. In addition, she made a bracelet, 3 pairs of earrings, and a pendant. The project is long, with lots of parts to fit together, so we didn’t have enough room to show all of the alternate colorways in the magazine. So, we are showcasing the full portfolio for you here. Agnieszka invested a lot of time and creative energy adapting the pattern into so many pieces of jewelry!

Stardust Nebula Necklace

The main colorway of Agnieszka’s Stardust Nebula Necklace uses metallic flax gold 3-hole CzechMates beams, matte metallic copper 2-hole Nib-bit beads, bronze CzechMates prongs, and a variety of beads in warm metallic and blue suede colors. The components are 3D and layered, for an intricate design with lots of depth. (See the magazine for the complete materials list and instructions for this colorway.)

Stardust Nebula Necklace

Stardust Nebula Necklace Main Colorway

Alternate Colorway: Blue & Gold Earrings

These blue and gold earrings—featured (but not pictured) in the December 2018/January 2019 issue—are the matching earrings for the Stardust Nebula Necklace. See the complete materials list for this alternate colorway below:

Blue/gold earrings
1 g silver-lined size 15° seed beads (A)
0.5 g semi-glazed navy rainbow size 11° seed beads (B)
There is no C in this colorway.
14 matte metallic flax 3×10mm 3-hole CzechMates beams (D)
There is no E in this colorway.
26 bronze luster iris opaque red 2mm fire-polished rounds (F)
There is no G in this colorway.
24 matte metallic copper 2mm pressed-glass rounds (H)
24 metallic suede blue 4mm pressed-glass rounds (J)
4 matte blue iris 6mm pressed-glass rounds (K)
There is no L in this colorway.
There is no M in this colorway.
There is no N in this colorway.

1 pair of gold-plated 18mm ear wires
Crystal 4 lb FireLine braided beading thread

Stardust Nebula Necklace

Alternate Colorway: Green & Purple Necklace

In this green and purple alternate colorway of the necklace, Agnieszka used turquoise Picasso CzechMates beams, metalust purple 2-hole Nib-bit beads, saturated metallic pink yarrow CzechMates prongs, and a lovely assortment of seed beads and other accent beads in teals, golds, and cranberry colors. See the complete materials list for this alternate colorway below:

Green/purple necklace
5 g Olympic bronze size 15° seed beads (A)
2 g metallic light bronze size 11° seed beads (B)
42 saturated metallic pink yarrow 3×6mm CzechMates prongs (C)
91 opaque turquoise Picasso 3×10mm 3-hole CzechMates beams (D)
42 metalust purple 5×6mm 2-hole pressed-glass Nib-bit beads (E)
97 24k gold-plated 2mm fire-polished rounds (F)
84 turquoise 2mm pressed-glass rounds (G)
54 metallic suede purple 2mm pressed-glass rounds (H)
44 metallic suede light green 4mm pressed-glass rounds (J)
2 metallic suede light green 6mm pressed-glass rounds (K)
14 polychrome aqua teal 8mm pressed-glass rounds (L)
1 polychrome aqua teal 10mm pressed-glass round (M)
5 matte metallic Aztec gold 10mm pressed-glass ripple beads (N)
Crystal 4 lb FireLine braided beading thread

Stardust Nebula Necklace

Alternate Colorway: Red & Green Necklace

The red and green alternate colorway of the necklace uses red Picasso CzechMates beams, metallic suede light green 2-hole Nib-bit beads, opaque luster Picasso CzechMates prongs, and is accented with cherry, taupe, and olive colors. See the complete materials list for this alternate colorway below:

Red/green necklace
5 g bronze size 15° seed beads (A)
2 g semi-glazed olive size 11° seed beads (B)
42 opaque luster Picasso 3×6mm CzechMates prongs (C)
91 opaque red Picasso 3×10mm 3-hole CzechMates beams (D)
42 metallic suede light green 5×6mm 2-hole pressed-glass Nib-bit beads (E)
97 peridot 2mm fire-polished rounds (F)
84 Pacifica avocado 2mm pressed-glass rounds (G)
54 matte opaque red 2mm pressed-glass rounds (H)
44 sueded gold smoky topaz 4mm pressed-glass rounds (J)
2 sueded gold smoky topaz 6mm pressed-glass rounds (K)
14 sueded gold amethyst 8mm pressed-glass rounds (L)
1 metallic suede gold 10mm pressed-glass round (M)
5 matte metallic Aztec gold 10mm pressed-glass ripple beads (N)
Smoke 4 lb FireLine braided beading thread

Stardust Nebula Necklace

Alternate Colorway: Red & Green Bracelet

This red and green bracelet colorway uses the same beads as its necklace counterpart. You can create a whole set with the matching earrings. See the complete materials list for this alternate colorway below:

Red/green bracelet
4 g bronze size 15° seed beads (A)
1 g semi-glazed olive size 11° seed beads (B)
8 opaque luster Picasso 3×6mm CzechMates prongs (C)
23 opaque red Picasso 3×10mm 3-hole CzechMates beams (D)
8 metallic suede light green 5×6mm 2-hole pressed-glass Nib-bit beads (E)
29 peridot 2mm fire-polished rounds (F)
16 Pacifica avocado 2mm pressed-glass rounds (G)
20 matte opaque red 2mm pressed-glass rounds (H)
24 sueded gold smoky topaz 4mm pressed-glass rounds (J)
2 sueded gold smoky topaz 6mm pressed-glass rounds (K)
5 sueded gold amethyst 8mm pressed-glass rounds (L)
There is no M in this colorway.
1 matte metallic Aztec gold 10mm pressed-glass ripple bead (N)
Smoke 4 lb FireLine braided beading thread

Stardust Nebula Necklace

Alternate Colorway: Red & Green Earrings

This red and green earring colorway uses the same beads as its necklace and bracelet counterparts. Make all three for a set! See the complete materials list for this alternate colorway below:

Red/green earrings
1 g bronze size 15° seed beads (A)
0.5 g semi-glazed olive size 11° seed beads (B)
There is no C in this colorway.
14 opaque red Picasso 3×10mm 3-hole CzechMates beams (D)
There is no E in this colorway.
26 peridot 2mm fire-polished rounds (F)
There is no G in this colorway.
24 matte opaque red 2mm pressed-glass rounds (H)
24 sueded gold smoky topaz 4mm pressed-glass rounds (J)
4 sueded gold smoky topaz 6mm pressed-glass rounds (K)
There is no L in this colorway.
There is no M in this colorway.
There is no N in this colorway.

1 pair of antiqued gold-plated 15mm ear wires
Smoke 4 lb FireLine braided beading thread

Stardust Nebula Necklace

Alternate Colorway: Green Earrings

This green earring colorway is featured and pictured in the December 2018/January 2019 issue. This colorway uses turquoise Picasso opaque CzechMates beams, bronze seed beads, and pops of gold, teal, and purple. (See the magazine for the complete materials list for this colorway.)

Stardust Nebula Necklace

Alternate Colorway: Orange Pendant

This orange pendant colorway is featured and pictured in the December 2018/January 2019 issue. This colorway uses matte metallic flax gold CzechMates beams, matte metallic bronze copper 2-hole Nib-bit beads, Pacifica tangerine CzechMates prongs, and a bright assortment of other accent beads in rose gold, yellow, and light teal colors. (See the magazine for the complete materials list for this colorway.)

Stardust Nebula Necklace


RESOURCES Check your favorite bead retailer or contact: Seed beads: Out On A Whim, (800) 232-3111, www.whimbeads.com. Thread: Beyond Beadery, (800) 840-5548, www.beyondbeadery.com. All other materials: Agnesse Artistry 1, www.agnesseartistry1.etsy.com.

Agnieszka Watts is a jewelry designer and teacher. She resides in Lemont, Illinois, but also spends time living in her home country, Poland. She became an Illinois Artisan in 2014, and she is an associate instructor for Art Clay World in Oak Lawn, Illinois. Contact her at agnieszkawatts@gmail.com and visit her website, www.agnesse.weebly.com, and Etsy shop, www.agnesseartistry1.etsy.com.

Have you come up with another colorway for this pattern? Let us know in the comments. Also, please submit to W.O.R.D. (What Our Readers Did) by sending photos to beadworksubmissions@interweave.com and including “W.O.R.D.” in the subject line.

Meredith Steele
Technical Editor, Beadwork magazine


Get this pattern plus more when you purchase the December 2018/January 2019 issue of Beadwork!

Butterflies are some of the most gorgeous creatures on earth. But how well can you identify the various species? Take our quiz to find out how well you know your butterflies. Then, grab your beading needle and thread and brick-stitch your own collection of beaded butterflies.

1.

Click to Flip

2.

Click to Flip

3.

Click to Flip

4.

Click to Flip

5.

Click to Flip

6.

Click to Flip

7.

Click to Flip

Create Your Own Beaded Butterflies

Now that you’ve learned about a few butterflies, get Karen Parker’s butterfly eBooks and stitch your own collection!

These butterflies aren’t difficult to make. Our video producer Tammy Kula’s kids even gave it a shot! Check out Tammy’s and her sons’ progress in “Whistle While You Work and Brick Stitch Beaded Butterflies.”

Once you have a few butterflies made, select your favorite and turn it into a necklace. Karen Parker shares an easy technique in “Create a Necklace from a Gorgeous Beaded Butterfly.”

Happy beading!
Lavon Peters
Managing Editor, Beadwork magazine

All photos courtesy of Pixabay.


Add to or start your butterfly collection, today!

I love color. There are no two ways about it. Color draws me into a material and it leads my hand into a design. Okay. Maybe that’s a little too simplified, and designs don’t always come together that easily, but we can dream, right? Enameling is one of those mediums I was immediately drawn to, thanks to all the color. Then, because of the diversity of torch-fired enameling techniques one could pursue, I’m sticking with enamel for the long haul.

This image shows just a few ways Susan Lenart Kazmer plays with enamels.

Truly, you could create a lifetime of work using just one of many enameling techniques—like cloisonne. For me though, cloisonne is one technique I think would take me a lifetime before I made one piece that I would be happy with. Maybe that’s why torch-fired enameling appeals to me. Not only is it something I can do easily in my small studio space, it’s very forgiving. Plus, you can create a wide range of designs with a variety of enameling techniques (which is good for my lack of focus!). Torch-firing enamel is also one of those things where “organic” actually looks good!

Explore enamels with Pauline Warg.

So, what can you do with torch-fired enameling? Let’s dive into five ways to torch fire enamels (with more to follow in another article).
If enameling is brand new to you or it’s been awhile, please be sure to read 15+ Enameling Tips: Safety and Basics for Bringing Color to Your Jewelry.

Two Sgraffito Enameling Techniques

Sgraffito Love by Susan Lenart Kazmer from her enamel workshops.

The word sgraffito is from the Italian language and means to scratch through the surface to reveal the layer below. It is commonly used in plaster or stucco and with slip in ceramics, before firing. To follow are two ways I learned to approach sgraffito enamel.

Note: The following enameling techniques are done on copper and use the same foundation of 80-mesh bitter green for the counter enamel (for the underside) and horizon blue for the first top layer. There are a myriad of ways you can take these techniques. My hope is, by keeping things simple with the design, we can focus on the techniques and then let you use your own creativity once you have the enameling techniques under your belt.

enameling techniques: sgraffito

The fist top layer of enamel is done using 80-mesh enamel in horizon blue.

With the counter enamel and top layer established and cooled, follow these additional steps to achieve the different effects.

Sgraffito: Scratching Through Sifted Enamel

enameling techniques: sgraffito

Sgraffito with sifted enamel.

Sift a second top layer of a contrasting 80-mesh enamel color. Then, using a fine-tipped tool or fine paintbrush, “scratch” a design into the sifted enamel to reveal the layer below.

enameling techniques: sgraffito

Bitter green enamel added to the horizon blue layer then “scratched” through with a paintbrush.

Fire, then allow the piece to cool.

Sgraffito: Scratching Through Liquid Enamel

enameling techniques: sgraffito

Sgraffito with liquid enamel

1. Prepare liquid enamel (if starting with powdered enamel).

Pour a small amount of powder into a container. It looks like powdered sugar but isn’t safe to breathe, so be sure to wear a respirator-style mask.

enameling techniques: sgraffito

Enamel powder in small dish, ready for mixing with water.

Add water to the powder, then blend with a spoon (I used approximately a 70/30 ratio). Add more water as needed to reach your preferred consistency. I like when the back of the spoon is coated and drips fall slowly. Before using the prepared liquid enamel, some like to pass the enamel through a fine sieve or piece of cheesecloth to remove any large enamel particles.

Blend distilled water with powdered enamel; stir with a spoon until well blended.

Blend distilled water with powdered enamel; stir with a spoon until well blended.

2. Using a paintbrush, apply liquid enamel to the top enamel layer; allow to dry.

Surface appearance before (horizon blue only) and after applying white liquid enamel.

Surface appearance before (horizon blue only) and after applying white liquid enamel.

3. Use a fine-tipped sharp awl to scratch a design into the surface of the dried enamel.

Scratch through the dried liquid enamel surface.

Scratch through the dried liquid enamel surface.

4. Fire; allow to cool.

Enameling Techniques: Stenciled Dry Sifted Enamel

Finished sample of enamel stenciled onto metal.

Finished sample of enamel stenciled onto metal.

Place a stencil over the blue horizon surface. Sift enamel over the stencil so you cover the area you want for your design.

enameling techniques: Sift enamel over a stencil placed on an enameled surface.

Sift enamel over a stencil placed on an enameled surface.

Remove stencil and check the design. Use a paintbrush to clean up any stray enamel particles.

Remove stencil to reveal pattern.

Remove stencil to reveal pattern.

Fire; allow to cool.

Enameling Techniques: Cat Whiskers Enameled Surface

Cat whiskers (glass stringer) added to an enameled surface.

Cat whiskers (glass stringer) added to an enameled surface.

Place the enameled disc onto a trivet; then place the trivet onto your tripod. Place “whiskers” on the surface.

Stringer or cat whiskers placed onto the enameled surface.

Stringer or cat whiskers placed onto the enameled surface.

You may find the whiskers want to roll off before you can complete your design. Fire a few in place; then add more as your design dictates.

enameling techniques: Note how the yellow glass turns red after heating then turns back to yellow once cooled.

Note how the yellow glass turns red after heating then turns back to yellow once cooled.

Enameling Techniques: Enamel-Tipped Headpins

Enameled ball-tip heapins.

Enameled ball-tip headpins.

Cut copper wire (22- to 16- gauge) into 3-4” lengths. Heat one end of one length of wire until it forms a ball. Quench in water.

From copper wire into ball tip headpins.

From copper wire into ball tip headpins.

 

Hold the headpin with heatproof tweezers. Heat the ball end of the wire and while red, dip into enamel (80-mesh). Repeat a few times, heating the ball end to red with each layer so the enamel is heated to a full fuse.

Horizon blue enameled ball-tip headpin.

Horizon blue enameled ball-tip headpin.

These five torch-fired enameling techniques have a lot of room for interpretation. Try them on and see how you like them! Then increase your enameling knowledge and technique library with expert enameling videos and books. See if you like just one technique or if you’re like me and want to use them all!

Tammy
Editor of Beadwork magazine and Group Editorial Director, Bead & Jewelry

 


For more enamel play, enjoy these enameling resources found in our store:

How do you envision crocheting a sweater? For me, there’s one construction method I’ve stuck with. I tend to crochet the front, back, and sleeves in pieces, then seam them all together when I’m finished.

Boy, have I been missing out! There are so many other ways to make a sweater! Interweave Crochet Fall 2018 features a range of other ways to construct a crochet sweater. Read on to discover three different methods. Which is your favorite?

1. Bottom up, in pieces, then seamed.

This is often the most straightforward, and for me, intuitive way to construct a crochet sweater. Start at the bottom, maybe with some ribbing, and work your way toward the neckline. Do the same with the sleeves starting at the cuff and working toward the shoulder. Once each piece is finished, seam them all together into a garment. Try this with Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby’s Dashing Cardigan while also trying out the shadow stitch cable technique!

Dashing Cardigan | Photo Credit: Harper Point Photography

Dashing Cardigan | Photo Credit: Harper Point Photography

Alternative: Top down, in pieces, then seamed.
Similarly, you can work the sweater pieces from the top down and then seam them. This just means you start at the neckline and work your way down for the body pieces and start at the shoulder and work your way down to the cuff for the sleeves. When each piece is finished, seam them all together. If you’d like to try this construction method, try Ashlyn Holmes’ Cultivated Pullover.

Cultivated Pullover | Photo Credit: Harper Point Photography

Cultivated Pullover | Photo Credit: Harper Point Photography

2. Top down, in the round.

The best part about a top-down, in-the-round sweater? No seams! And if you’re working from the top down, you just need to know how to increase. This type of sweater construction is seen in raglans (with increases at the corners) and circular yokes (increases evenly dispersed around the neckline/circle). Then you separate for the body and sleeves and continue working in the round. Try this out with the Suave Sweater from Isa Catepillán.

Suave Sweater | Photo Credit: Harper Point Photography

Suave Sweater | Photo Credit: Harper Point Photography

Alternative: Bottom up, in the round.
Anything that is worked from the top down can also be worked from the bottom up. You just need to decrease stitches rather than increase them as you move toward the neck.

3. Side-to-side.

We don’t often get the chance to work sweaters from side to side. Amy Gunderson’s Worldly Cardigan is your chance to try out this construction method and see what you think. Rather than starting at the bottom or top, the front, back, and sleeves start at one side and move toward the opposite side. With this construction method, the natural lines that tend to appear as you work each row will appear vertical on the body rather than horizontal. We all love switching up our texture patterns from time to time!

Worldly Cardigan | Photo Credit: Harper Point Photography

Worldly Cardigan | Photo Credit: Harper Point Photography

Have you tried any of these construction methods? Hope this helped with any questions on how to crochet a sweater! Let us know in the comments below, and share your finished projects from Interweave Crochet Fall 2018 on Ravelry!

Happy stitching!
Sara

(Featured Image: Bottom up Dashing Cardigan, in the round Suave Sweater, side to side Worldly Cardigan | Photo Credit: Harper Point Photography)


Let Interweave Crochet inspire you!

 

Textiles from around the world continue to inspire and fascinate. PieceWork celebrates historical needlework in all of its many forms. Here are three books we recommend on needlework traditions from around the globe. The first takes us to Australia, the second sails across the oceans to South America, and the third makes its way around the world again to India.

Historical Needlework

Across the Desert: Aboriginal Batik from Central Australia
By Judith Ryan
Victoria, Australia: National Gallery of Victoria, 2009. Softbound, 168 pages, $37.50. ISBN 978-0-724-10299-0.

This stunning book served as the catalog for a 2008–2009 exhibition in Melbourne with more than sixty garments and textiles made by Aboriginal women using the technique of wax-resist dyeing called batik. Large color photographs of the textiles and garments allow the reader to examine the artistry achieved by the makers, while photographs of the makers provide the personal connection.

Historical Needlework

Andean Folk Knits: Great Designs from Peru, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador and Bolivia
By Marcia Lewandowski
Asheville, North Carolina: Lark Books, 2005. Hardbound, 144 pages, $24.95. ISBN 1-57990-582-X.

A brief history of the Andean people and their long knitting tradition sets the stage for the twenty-five knitting projects featured here. Choose from scarves, purses, mittens, and gloves.

Historical Needlework

Indian Textiles
By John Gillow and Nicholas Barnard
New York: Thames & Hudson, 2008. Hardbound, 224 pages, $50. ISBN 978-0-500-51432-0.

This beautifully illustrated book shows the breadth and depth of textiles produced in India. From antiquity to the present, examples of the textiles are enhanced by period and contemporary photographs of textile artisans. The bibliography, listing of museums and galleries throughout the world with Indian textile collections, and a glossary add to this informative book.

Read about more about historical needlework in our blog post, “Two Book Reviews on Historical Needlework: French Women Workers and Fair Isle Knitting,” and in every issue of PieceWork.

Looking to truly indulge in your passion for embroidery? Take one of the new online courses offered by England’s Royal School of Needlework (RSN). Select from Jacobean Crewelwork or Blackwork courses or enroll in Whitework or Goldwork courses. Visit their website today to sign up—www.rsnonlinecourses.com.


Learn more about historical needlework from PieceWork!