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Monday, June 22, 2015

A day at the lavender farm

Last week I was so excited to hear about lavender festival here in AZ. The summers are so hot that I would never think it could grow here. The lavender fields in WA state were beautiful so I wanted to see it again.
The Red Rock Lavender farm is located in Concho, AZ. The 4 hours drive towards Show Low is not particularly easy because of distance but we drove through beautiful pine forest and meadows scenery and enjoyed it.

We got there in the afternoon and were just in time for a painting demo presentation by watercolor artist Catherine Sickafoose. What beautiful paintings!
Lavender blooms were beautiful and fragrant there on the field.
I cut a small bouquet, took some photos and was very happy with my day.
I bought a small lavender plant to plant at home hoping that it might survive the heat. So it was quietly resting in our cup holder on a way back  home. This whole plant is so fragrant, it filled our car with a lovely aroma.

A great souvenir to bring back home !

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Crochet wire & bead bracelet tutorial

Here is a crochet wire and bead bracelet tutorial from OlgaUryvskaya's book, as I promised.

To make a stylish bracelet like this you will need a 0.3 mm thick black jewelry wire, a steel crochet hook 1.25 (US 8), a variety of beads in different shapes and a bracelet buckle closure.
Choose your beads and mix them all together. The more unique your mix is, the better!
String all of your beads onto the wire. You can arrange them in a pattern or randomly.
Measure the width of your bracelet buckle closure side to decide how wide your bracelet should be. In our project it requires a chain of 5.

Measure your wrist to decide what bracelet length you want. Remember to make it longer to be able to open and close your bracelet comfortable. Use your watch band as a guide.

Bracelet pattern:

Stitches used (US crochet terms)
ch - chain
st - stitches
dc - double crochet

Ch 7 loosely.

Row 1. 1 dc into the 3rd chain from the hook, 1 dc into each chain till end. Ch 2, turn

Row 2. 1 dc into each st to end (slide a bead up and catch it in your next st, on every stitch). Ch 2, turn
Repeat round 2 until your bracelet is the desired length.

Work loosely to achieve a lace effect and smooth your work with your hands while working.
Finish off (leave approximately 6" length of wire).
Attach your bracelet buckle using the 6" wire tail. Make sure you have no sharp wire end.

Put it through the holes of beads to hide and your bracelet is ready!
If you'd like to smooth your work, place it in between of 2 towels and carefully roll on top with a roller.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Olga Uryvskaya's first book is published!

I am always so happy to hear about a success of my etsy team mates. This news this month is that Olga Uryvskaya (MiracoliSpB shop on Etsy) had her first book published.
This book is about pretty crochet jewelry and home decor made with wire and beads. There are 63 pages in this book and it is filled with photographs and DIY tutorials.

The book is published by Phoenix books publisher and it's available in Russian language only at this time. So for Russian speaking readers the title of the book is "Вязаные украшения из проволки" by Ольга Урывская. But even if you are not fluent in Russian you still can follow the instructions since tutorials are pictured step by step.
 Olga is a very busy person. She runs a hotel in St. Petersburgh and loves her job. On her free time, she creates crochet jewelry and cute little crochet dolls. You can find the items she creates in her Etsy shops, MiracoliSpB and Creativhook.

With Olga's permission I will translate one of her projects from her book on my blog and will publish it soon.
Congratulations on your book publishing, Olga! A way to go!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Christmas in July summer sale at Socksandmittens

This summer we are discounting many of our stock items to let customers save on early shopping for Christmas. There are lots of great quality hand knit and crochet items which will make a lovely thoughtful gift for your loved ones.

We were trying to add a variety to our Summer Sale section to give some options. You will find some warm scarves, wraps, knit headbands, gloves and arm warmers. We are also going to add more cable knit cup cozies to the sale section. They always makes a great stocking stuffer and now you will be able to get some of them on sale.

Common by, take a look at our sale and pick out the item you like while there is still a selection.
The sale at socksandmittens will last until August 31st, 2015.  Shop early and save!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Etsy Crafternoon Hosted by Bloguettes

Every year, people from around the world come together to attend locally organized Etsy Craft Parties to meet new members of their community, create art and inspire each other. So last Saturday I went to an Etsy’s Crafternoon hosted by Bloguettes at their studio in downtown Phoenix. The theme of this year’s Craft Party was Kaleidoscope: Paper Taking Shape.
What a great inspiring event that was! There was several Etsy sellers who were introducing some great projects. I made an origami crane, learned some techniques with paper stamping, made a drink stirrer and a cupcake topper using some printable images and learned how to distress wood with a chalk paint and wax. 

An absolutely great time!
There was also great music and food. We had some delicious snacks and cupcakes by Sprinkles Cupcakes  packed in cute individual cardboard boxes. A great way to present a cupcake!
It was a wonderful craft party and I am very grateful to the Bloquettes for organizing this.

The projects from ThePartyApple, Abubblylife and UrbanOasisDecor were just lovely and inspiring. 

 Absolutely great idea and a wonderful way to connect with our local community of makers!

Monday, June 1, 2015

How to make a boho style feather earrings jewelry tutorial

This summer is as hot as always here in the Valley so you are trying to wear the lightest clothing possible. Same applies to a jewelry. You want it to be light, pretty and preferably inexpensive. With this thought in mind Albina (albinasjewelry) and I made these boho style feather earrings during our last craft party in April.
We were trying to gather the materials in colors that would go together and are natural. Start with the feathers and determine, what other materials will best suit your very own earrings.
So here is what you need and how we made them:

Wooden beads
Linen thread
Yarn thread in golden metallic color
Thin lace trim
Copper wire 20 ga
Ear wires, 1 pair
All purpose glue

1. Attach wooden beads to the hemp cord. String a bead, leaving about 2" tail, pass the cord back through the bead, and tighten.
Attach the next 2 beads 1/2 inch apart from each other. Place a dot of white glue inside a bead hole to prevent the bead from sliding. Let the glue dry.
2. Cut the pieces of linen thread cord and laces 4" long . The amount of pieces depends on your design. We used 10 of them. 
3. Cut  6" of wire. Leaving 3/8" tail, make a loop using round nose pliers as shown. 
4. Put all laces, linen thread, beads and feather together. Place the wire inside of this bunch so the loop is on top of the bunch. 
5. Tightly wrap the bunch with long wire end. 
Tack the wire end inside the laces. 
6. Cut the laces and cords if necessary, so they are the same length. We used the feather is a guide.
7. Attach the ear wires to the top loop.
This project was real fun to make and there is so much space for creativity here. I hope you will enjoy it, too!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

What's new at Socksandmittens/ Inspired by Renaissance Fair. Spring 2015

This year we've got lots of new pretty yarns in alpaca, wool, cashmere and cotton. Some of yarns are even hand spun and hand dyed! Many of these we bought in small quantities so this coming season for us will be filled with OOAK items. The yarns are gorgeous and every one of these has a different feel. Every pair of gloves we made from these we are trying to bring the best qualities of yarn.

For example, this pair was knit from the yarn I bought during Renaissance Festival here in Phoenix:
The wool came from the lovely alpaca farm in Tuscon, AZ area. It was hand spuned there and later dyed with alkanet root. The dye gave it such a pretty lavender grey color! I also love that the yarn has un even thickness so the gloves we made have a very pretty texture.

We had chance to see how these yarns are made so it was so inspiring. I am almost ready to experiment with natural dyes myself!



The medieval festival gave us another idea, too. Historically, the clothing people wore were mostly made with single colors you can find in nature and the simple patterns were used. So we create a couple of new patterns for men's fingerless gloves for our shop. This pair has a longer ribbed cuff:

This pair seems to be simple but it has some different finishing touches:
Despite the simple look, they are not easy to make but I am really happy with how the gloves turned out. They are made in modern time for modern people but they still have this wonderful rustic feel in them!

The other yarns we got are also gorgeous and we are happily working on our new projects. We will probably list the warmer items at the end of summer but please visit our socksandmittens shop any time to see if there is anything you like to order or purchase a ready made item.