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Entries in Jewelry (6)

Thursday
Jun272013

Molly's Sketchbook: Braided Friendship Bracelets

It will surprise no one that at summer camp my favorite activity was always and without fail arts and crafts! I wasn’t great at archery or rowing, but I could make a lanyard like nobody’s business. I loved that camp craft projects were simple and fun to make, with no fussy equipment required. My summer days were happily filled with the satisfaction of gods-eyes, reed baskets and of course, friendship bracelets!

I’ve talked about my love for friendship bracelets here before, and we have created versions in cotton, wool, and even cashmere. This time I kept the colorful essence of a traditional macramed friendship bracelet but used a completely different (and much easier) technique to create a new kind of bangle: a craft-hybrid of friendship bracelets, rope tying, and lanyards! 

To create these little beauties I used our thickest Chinese Knotting Cord which comes in a vibrant rainbow of colors, and I finished them with a neat and effortless sliding closure. The resulting bracelet is so pretty and best of all, it perfectly captures the spirit of summer camp!  -Molly

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Thursday
Sep202012

Laura's Loop: Cashmere Cuff

Like Molly, my summers as a kid were filled with the making and trading of friendship bracelets. I would pin vibrant strands of DMC to my jeans or even to my Keds, fervently knotting up bracelets every chance I got. I am thankful Molly has brought them back into our lives here at Purl Soho, but now... I cannot get enough! 

Loving the nostalgia of the friendship bracelet, but also feeling a bit "adult" since my thirtieth birthday last month, I decided to approach my childhood obsession from a new perspective. And so while I love the electric colors of the classic summertime bracelets, I find myself wanting a tamer palette to accompany the wisdom of my years.
But what I toned down in color, I amped up in gauge, reaching straight for my favorite chunky yarn, Jade Sapphire's 12-ply Mongolian Cashmere. Its spin provides the perfect sheen for jewelry, especially the glowing color Silver Pearl. Jade Sapphire's yarns are hand dyed,and the subtle shifts in color perfectly complement the super structured, tightly textured macrame bracelet. 
But since no one is too old for a pop of color, I couldn't resist a little! For three versions I threw in some bright strands of Manos Del Uruguay's Maxima, a single-ply, hand spun merino.  And for the other version, I added Blue Sky's Worsted, a beautiful merino and royal alpaca blend. 

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Thursday
May242012

Whit's Knits: Crocheted Jewelry Dishes

I love the vitrines at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that are filled with household artifacts from places long ago and far away. Tightly woven mats and perfectly crafted sandals, hammered metal and braided leather, ancient objects still feel alive with the integrity and vitality of their makers.

What sometimes also strikes me is how little our aesthetic values have changed over the thousands of years. Beauty is still a human imperative and careful craftsmanship is still a revered skill. We still respond to simple shapes and beautiful materials, to whimsical embellishments and practical uses.

I thought about this a lot as I crocheted these Jewelry Dishes. I wondered if I were given the opportunity to slip them into a glass case at the Met, would they be so out of place? Or, if I put them on my dresser and filled them with my rings and bracelets, my pieces of sea glass and other curios, would it be that much different than, say, a Pacific Islander from centuries back storing glass trade beads and shell earrings in her own hand crafted vessel? And isn't this connection to the past really, deep down, why we craft?

My trip into antiquity was greatly assisted by the purity and simplicity of Habu's extraordinary fibers. I held two yarns together, Copper Bamboo and Dyed Linen. The bamboo and linen lend an exquisite rusticity to the finished pieces, while throughout, the copper flashes its chestnut sparkle, glowing like a warm ember.

It's not hard to make your own pretty little trays and bowls, just some simple crocheting... like it's always been done! --Whitney

PS Wouldn't these gorgeous brass bracelets be right at home in a museum case? The Maggie Bracelets were designed by our good friend Kerrilynn Pamer and are for sale online right here and at her lovely West Village store, Castor & Pollux!

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Thursday
Jan262012

Molly's Sketchbook: Valentine's Friendship Bracelets

Last summer I not only conquered my childhood fear of making Friendship Bracelets, but I also developed a new appreciation for them. They're simple to make and cute as a can be, but most winningly, they really are great tokens of friendship. So cheerfully reminiscent of childhood and its open declarations of best-friends-forever, friendship bracelets are such a super way to let someone know you're thinking about them. All this adds up to the perfect Valentine's Day project! How sweet would it be to show up to work or school on February 14th with a bunch of these lovely little expressions of affection?

This time around I was a little more ambitious, creating adorable patterns of hearts and arrows, perfect for the holiday!  Also, instead of traditional embroidery floss,  I used Koigu Premium Merino Needlepoint Yarn, and I may never look back. Not only does this 100% merino wool come in a stunning array of hand-dyed colors, but its soft elasticity actually makes it easier to work with than the cotton. Plus, when you're done, you can press your bracelet so it lies totally flat with a beautiful drape.

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Thursday
Aug042011

Laura's Loop: I-Cord Necklaces

 It's back and it's everywhere! I'm talking about all things hand dyed, from tie dyed and dip dyed to Japanese Shibori dyed and Batik dyed. This summer, man, woman and child are sporting funky, irregularly dyed threads. Dresses, shirts, scarves, purses, totes, you name it and it has been dyed, even ponytails!

This trend, once associated with the dancing bears and free love of the 70s, now connotes a chic, beachy, bohemian attitude. The color combinations are more controlled and subtle, sticking to one color range rather than running the r.o.y.g.b.i.v gamut.

All I knew, was I wanted in! I can be chic, beachy and bohemian, too, at least I'd like to think I can!

Picking the yarn was a snap. I went straight for Alchemy's hand dyed blend, Kozmos.  A mixture of wool, mohair, silk and cotton, Kozmos echoes the saturated, unruly nature of hand dyed fabrics. Each fiber reacts uniquely during the dying process, giving it a one-of-a-kind depth and texture.

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