Monday, July 02, 2007

Bobbles and Apples and Pears, Oh My

Hi Knitters,
Hope you all had a nice weekend. I started this little number yesterday and I am almost done already. Talk about a quick knit. It is the cover bag from Vogue Knitting Bags Two. I am using 3 skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca Bulky in Peace Pink and size 15 needles. I love the big bulky bobbles. I may have to do more with these in the future.
The bag is knit in one piece and then the handle is knitted separately. The materials call for plastic mesh to line the handle, fabric for a lining, a magnetic snap and a heavy piece of cardboard for the bottom which is covered in fabric. I still need to pick this other stuff up so I may not finish it for a few days. I looked online yesterday for some fun fabric for lining, but I couldn't see anything quite right.
There are some other cute patterns in this book so you may want to give it a look. I'll keep you posted on my finishing progress.
On to my next weekend project. I have been itching to do some mosaic work lately. I had this project sitting around and pulled it out to work on. Mosaic fruit is fun, quick and beautiful in the end. I certainly didn't originate this idea but here is a quick how-to. You will need fruit, the fake kind of course, mosaic glue, mosaic tiles, a tile nipper, grout and acrylic paint if you want to color your grout and a lot of patience. You can find this fruit at gift stores and probably craft stores. In Madison I have bought lots of fruit and pumpkins at Gratitudes. Even plastic fruit from your kids' play food would work fine. I placed an order for mosaic supplies here recently and they have great stuff.
After you nip your tiles into mini squares and rectangles you are set to start. I used a dark red and an orange-red for the apple.
I work in small sections at a time while adhering the tiles to the piece. I let the glue dry before starting the next section. On a round piece like this it is a good idea to work in bits and pieces. Then you don't have to worry about things moving when you turn your work. Spread some glue on a section with a heavy hand so your tiles will stick.
Next, I start placing the tiles to the apple. I don't worry too much about planning or organizing my design, I just dive right in. You can slide things around or pull things off if you need to adjust. It is like a puzzle.
I like a pretty tight mosaic usually but I am not sure if I will have enough tiles so I am leaving a little more space in between. I call it cramming when I cram everything together especially when I am working with all sorts of different materials and not only tiles. The more crammed together, the better.
The more a mosaic looks random and unplanned the more interesting it is to me. Don't worry about the colors just let it happen. This is what makes it fun.
Work around the side of the apple first leaving the top and bottom for the end.
Almost done with the side.
Looking good!Next, finish up the bottom.
Make sure the apple will sit flat when you are tiling.
When the apple is completely covered let it sit for 24 hours so the glue can dry completely before grouting.
Now I have to cut the tiles for the pear. I am using a light green and yellow.
I like to sit on my front stoop while I cut these tiles. I have done some crazy breaking of objects with a hammer out here, too. I am sure people wonder what is going on when they pass by. Be careful, this is glass here. I cut the tile in the palm of my left hand and cup my fingers around to block any flying pieces.
Matching Chacos are optional. Sorry about the pedicure but I have important things to do like making mosaic fruit.
As my apple sits drying I start the pear in the exact same way. I am adding yellow accents here so I have to plan but just a little.
I will probably be grouting tomorrow. Today I have yet another birthday party to throw. Cupcakes are coming for this one.
A mid-afternoon nap on the couch is always good on the weekend.
Aren't those fun books she is reading? I am jealous.
I have a few links for you here. Laurie wrote me a comment and I checked out her site. Her stuff is way cool and she has a book in the works. Who knew Stephanie has a mosaic backsplash? My love only grows for her. Check out these fun hats. Thankfully Stacey (check out her apple and pear fabric, pure coincidence) reminded me of this blog and it is a good one to follow. I'll cross my fingers that these links will work!
Phew! And that only scratches the surface.
best, susie