I recently got this very fun-looking book for review in the mail.
an American costume jewelry and accessory designer, based in Los Angeles,California. Known for her flamboyant pink hair, she has been described as having “a pretty cult-like following here in LA” and as “the haute designer of playful jewelry for grown women”.
So this is not a knitting book, but a book for those of you who are multi-craftual. According to the description of the book on her website:
Fashionistas, aspiring jewelry designers, and DIY lovers will learn how to make 20 of Tarina’s most essential pieces including statement earrings, cocktail rings, hair jewelry, stretch cuff bracelets, embellished spectacles, and more. Fans of Tarina will also learn about her brand history, getting inspired, creating themes and stories, sourcing materials, essential tools and techniques, how to wear and style your jewelry wardrobe, and more. The text is complemented by tips and hundreds of full-color photos throughout.
Now, my style runs more towards large emerald-cut diamonds in Art Deco platinum settings and Jess MaHarry conflict-free diamonds set in rose gold (how’s that for specific?), but I found this book quite fun to thumb through. A long time ago I took some jewelry-making classes and learned how to string beads and knot in-between them, attach clasps, set stones for stud earrings, etc. I enjoyed jewelry-making immensely and was amazed to find how quickly I could rack up a huge bill in a bead store and walk out with a wee tiny bag of purchases. (I see some of you nodding in agreement out there!)
Back to the book: as the description states, there are complete instructions for making 20 different pieces. I was looking at one of the ring designs — the Paris Apartment Cocktail Ring.
Look at the “ingredients” it is made from:
Sculpey clay in several different colors and a crystal or cabochon! Totally do-able! And there are beautifully clear photos that illustrate the step-by-step instructions for making this ring, as there are for each piece in the book.
In addition to the complete instructions for making the pieces, there is a great deal of good information about inspiration, finding raw materials, the tools you need, and how to wear your jewelry.
I am very, very tempted to keep this book, but hesitate to slide back down the rabbit hole of jewelry-making. And, as I said, the pieces are not really my style. I think I need to be younger and hipper to pull off some of the pieces. Not that I couldn’t use the techniques taught in the book to make things that are more my style . . .
But no, I will be nice and offer this book up to an aspiring jewelry-maker. Who’d like it?
To be entered in the drawing to receive my review copy of The Sparkle Factory by Tarina Tarantino, please leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00 Eastern time this Sunday, August 18, 2013. The Random Number Generator will choose a winner at that time.
The winner will be required to create a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry for me. (Just kidding! But I am quite taken with the Sugar Skull Stretch Bracelet on page 105 . . . I am quite sure I could pull off wearing that!)
I finished the body of my Pomme de Pin cardigan yesterday. With some mods, of course.
Note that if you are making the largest size of this design, the shoulder shaping on the left and right front pieces do not match — the directions for the right front are wrong. I just noticed this quite by accident but thought I’d point it out. But if you just follow the left front shaping instructions and reverse them you will be fine.
I added some length in the hem to armhole portion of the sweater, and again in the depth of the armhole. For the 5 sizes given for the pattern, the armhole depth varies from 7.75 to 8.75 inches deep. I know from experience that I would fine this vastly uncomfortable: way too tight. Particularly if I plan to wear the cardi over something with sleeves. I realize that the lace pattern used is stretchy, but I prefer an oversized cardi to one that is straining at the buttonholes when I button it. Tightly-fitted clothing bothers me and makes me feel too warm. Hence my adjustments.
My other issue with this pattern is how the sleeves are designed. You are directed to knit long tubes for the sleeves that have the same diameter at the cuff as at the upper arm. Yeah . . . no.
As I said, I understand that the knitted fabric for this design is stretchy, but I simply do not “get” how the sleeves are designed. For each size, an additional “x” number of stitches is added to the cast-on. For the smallest size, the sleeve is 10″ around, from cuff to armpit. And the largest size is 16.4″ around, from cuff to armpit. That cuff would be flapping in the breeze and the sleeve would be pretty fitted at the upper arm. I find it hard to believe that’s what the designer wanted: such a difference in the look of the sleeve from smallest to largest size.
To make things easy on myself, I did a Ravelry search for free sweater patterns knit at the same gauge as this design, and cobbled together a sleeve pattern from the results. My sleeves will have fewer stitches at the cuff and gradual increases up the arm like a traditional sleeve. This is not what the designer had in mind, clearly, but it’s my sweater.
Last night I started a sleeve.
At some point soon I will join the body fronts to back and pick up for the neckband/front bands. Then I can knit on the bands at home, and keep the sleeve for commuter knitting. I need to be done with this project by the end of August for it to count as my Camp Loopy project, and I’m still on target.
I was a little concerned about timing, what with a new kitty and all. But I can knit fairly successfully in Loki’s presence. I just need to be careful not to flaunt my yarn in front of him. He will from time to time show interest in what I am doing and sniff at the yarn. During these times I hold still and hold my breath. But so far, so good.
I am fairly certain, however, that blocking lace will not be possible in his presence. I do not have a space large enough to block lace that can be shut away from a busy kitty, so I will not be doing any lace knitting for the foreseeable future.