QD – Quadratische Decke Shawl

QD – Quadratische Decke Shawl was my first adaptation of a Herbert Niebling’s pattern. Originally it was a square doily – its name, Quadratische Decke, in German isn’t really a name but a description for it literally means “square doily!”

It started with a Niebling KAL (Knit-along) on the popular fiber site, Ravelry (if you knit, crochet, weave, spin, or dye yarn and aren’t a member, check it out!) Majority of Niebling’s patterns are for doilies and/or table clothes, thus in circular, oval, or square shape. My very first lace shawl, Queen Anne’s Lace, was in a circular shape and not easy to wear as a shawl. Moreover, the old German pattern was not the most user friend, used unusual symbols in the charts, and in the case of Quadratische Decke, riddled with mistakes. So I decided to modify and rechart it into a triangular shape. In addition to changing the shape and creating easy-to-follow charts, I completely reworked the lace edge pattern so the motifs align properly. By popular demand, I published this pattern so more knitters can enjoy knitting this amazing design.

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QD – Quadratische Decke Shawl
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QD – Quadratische Decke Shawl
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Cut Card Construction Pendant

This is a class project we did a year ago. The cut card construction technique uses tension without any soldering or glue. It’s done with three pieces of 16-gauge metal cut perfectly for the stone of one’s choice. I did mine in copper and onyx. Fun project!

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Cut Card Construction – copper and onyx

Peony – Pfingstrose Shawl Pattern Released!

Very excited to release the much awaited Peony – Pfingstrose Shawl pattern today! It’s my second Herbert Niebling adaptation with a third, Blattkranz/Leaf Wreath Shawl, to be released next month. Herbert Niebling was a German doily knitter whose patterns are still very popular 50 years after his death. I started to adapt his design from circular or triangular to the more wearable deep-crescent shawl shape with Quadratische Decke – QD Shawl. 

I hope that by modifying these amazing designs into a shawl with well illustrated charts and clear instructions, more knitters will discover and enjoy the magic of Niebling.

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Peony – Pfingstrose Shawl
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Peony – Pfingstrose Shawl

 

Gjelina and Rustic Canyon

We were in Santa Monica over the weekend and did what we loved doing most – food!

Yes! This blog will include our culinary indulgence. We love to travel and instead of shopping, we enjoy local “epicurious” offerings instead.

A friend recommended Gjelina at Venice Beach. We ended up at the take-away counter – GTA – after completely missed the corner entrance to the restaurant! No matter for it was quite an experience. Sitting on a bench at a side alley with milk crates as our table, we devoured delicious sandwiches (my pork belly one is TDF) and shared a kale salad while people watched. As it turned out Gjelina had its own cookbook!

An afternoon along Abbot Kinney required a stop at Salt and Straw for some yummy fresh made ice cream – my chocolate brownie fudge is definitely worth another trip back to Southern California!

Whenever we travel, we try to research and make dinner reservations ahead for popular restaurants are normally booked up well in advance and don’t necessarily take many walk ins. Having done that, we found ourselves ready for dinner early and ended up eating at the bar of Rustic Canyon anyway. Sharing an endive salad, steak tartare, and pork shoulder main with tasty martini (our first time with Brooklyn Gin) and Vista Luna Borden Ranch Neyers Zinfadel (from St Helena by Napa!) was a perfect end to a lovely day.

Foldformed Cuff Bracelet

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Foldformed Cuff Bracelet

I had so much fun making the foldformed bowl that I decided to make myself a cuff bracelet! I wear copper to help with the tendinitis pain on my elbows so am always looking for stylist bracelets so this will be worn often!

Again I used the same liver of sulfur method from Robyn Cornelius’ tutorial.

I ordered some copper sheets in a variety of thicknesses and found this fabulous book, Creative Metal Forming, by Betty Helen Longhi and Cynthia Eid. I see more foldforming projects in my future! 🙂

Foldformed Bowl

 

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Foldformed bowl

I was going to write about my metalsmithing projects chronologically from the firstOctober 2014 class on but for a variety of reasons (one being the multiple work-in-progress projects still to be completed!), I decide it’s best not to put any restriction on this writing endeavor! So we just jumped to 2016…

The first project of the current session is foldforming – a technique I have never done before and even though it doesn’t help the tendinitis on my elbows, it is FUN! It sure is one way to de-stress – pounding on metal – I highly recommend it!

Starting with a piece of 24-gauge, 6″ x 6″ copper sheet, we were to either use a square or a circular shape. I went with circular and decided to keep all my folds going just one way since cross folds often yield unwanted holes where the folds intersect.

As I was annealing, folding, pounding, unfolding, pounding, repeat, etc. etc., the piece of metal started to look like a shell. Thus when I was forming it into a bowl shape, I kept the ruffling on the edge and stopped short of an actual bowl shape to keep it looking like a shell. I know glass often times speaks to me as I flamework – guess metal does, too!

I used the method I learned from the Liver of Sulfur Secrets tutorial by Robyn Cornelius to add patina to the bowl. I see she has more tutorials up on her Etsy store … time to go shopping! 🙂 Incidentally, I highly recommend Robyn’s class, Artisan Metalsmithing Techniques: Layered Pendants, on Craftsy!

If you are interested in foldforming, check out Foldforming by Charles Lewton-Brain.

Stonesetting – Tube and Flush Setting

I began taking metalsmithing class at my local community college Fall of 2014. It was an advanced class so I was a little intimidated with only four days of soldering – all from taking classes – under my belt. Fortunately, we had an excellent teacher and I was taking the class with my buddy, Melissa. Furthermore, in the first session, we had a classmate who was very helpful and supportive. Thank you, Leslie! We couldn’t have done it without you!

The first of the seven-week sessions were all about stonesetting. Beginning with tube setting and flush setting, I decided to go with a couple pairs of earrings. They were very similar in design for I really wanted to concentrate more on the techniques.

Tube Setting

We used 4mm cubic zirconia. I decided to make some simple copper washers and discs and added different color cz. They looked a little plain so a little wire wrapping with sterling silver wire completed the design.

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Tube Setting

Flush Setting

To accommodate the cullet (point) of the cz, Leslie came up with this cool design of soldering a flattened sterling silver ball. I added the same wire wrapped sterling silver wire and added a textured metal clay disc. These had become one of my favorite pair of earrings!

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Flush setting

 

If you are interested in some stonesetting books, Creative Stonesetting by John Cogswell and Gemstone Settings by Anastasia Young are excellent.