Paper Bowls, The First Round.

My husband got me a subscription to Juxtapoz and besides saving the Tom Waits issue (as well as a couple of others) I knew I couldn’t horde them. I gave some away and shredded the rest to turn into paper bowls. My favorite remains the Beastie Boys Check Your Head bowl, as seen below.

 

As for how these lovely bowls came together… Here is the gist of it:

Acrylic Glazing Liquid works incredibly well and holds up over the course of time. I made these bowls a year ago and they are still going strong. Mod Podge is the cheaper way to go, of course, and I will be testing it out for the next round. I found that a great way to do this was to saran wrap the outside of the bowl and, as you can see in the first image, take a piece of construction paper or something a bit thicker and therefor stiff, cut out a circle and tape it to the saran wrap at the bottom of the bowl. As you can see in the second picture, I didn’t saran wrap the entire inside, just enough to create a rim. Once the first 2 layers dry, the saran wrap comes off. In the third picture I have started putting the glazing liquid around the outside of the bowl, working in sections. As each layer dries, I added on another, for a total of 5 layers. I worked the glazing liquid with my fingers to help smooth out each layer once it was done being applied. I couldn’t help myself- I love to work directly with my hands as it makes me feel much more connected to whatever project I happen to be working with (it’s a huge part of what drives me to work with very specific yarn. I can’t stand scratchy yarn.) Once it was totally dry on the outside, I went to work on the inside, placing the images I wanted to show in and glazing them. Once their dry you are all set to go- you can paint them or leave them as a collage. The *Check Your Head* bowl was my favorite not only for the old school Beastie Boys imagery but because it was left as a collage. When I was a kid, if I wasn’t wandering around in the woods, riding my bike or reading, I was collaging whatever I could get my hands on. I’d love to see what you come with- share it with me here or on instagram using the #knowloveknowhope hashtag!

xo, Ev.

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Hand Knit Cabled Baby Blanket

I knit this blanket with malabrigo wool, which is ridiculously soft and so amazing to knit with. It’s also very warm and not at all scratchy. I have it on my project list to knit a large blanket for our bed with it, as well as a sweater. The pattern is incredibly easy (are you sensing a theme here, in regards to my patterns? My idea of incredibly easy is when a project is repetitive enough that you can mindlessly knit away) and made a lot of fun with the cables and seed stitch.

june22nd2015 007Know Love Cabled Baby Blanket

Finished size: length is 28 1/2 inches and the width is 23 inches.

Materials needed: Size 7 US Needles (I used circular needles, 32 inches in length,) cable needle, stitch markers (this is optional but really good for the beginning,) 5 skeins of worsted weight yarn of your choosing.

Yarn used: 2 skeins of Malabrigo Worsted Weight Buscando Azul and 3 skeins of Malabrigo Worsted Weight Polar Morn.

Pattern:

Cast on 212 stitches, placing the first marker after the fourth stitch and the second marker after the 208th stitch. This will mark the borders, which are worked in seed stitch.

Work Rows 1-4 in seed stitch.

Work the next 12 rows as follows: odd rows are to be knit with the first 4 stitches worked in seed stitch, knit 12 and purl 4 (repeating 13 times EXCEPT on the last repeat where you only knit 12) and work the last 4 stitches in seed stitch. The even rows are to be knit with the first 4 stitches worked in seed stitch, purl 12 and knit 4 (repeating 13 times EXCEPT on the last repeat where you only purl 12) and work the last 4 stitches in seed stitch. You will start this pattern on an odd row.

Cable Pattern for Main Body (this does not include the border stitches):

R1: Knit 12 stitches, purl 4. Repeat 13 times. Do not purl 4 in the last repeat.

R2: And all even rows, purl 12 stitches, knit 4. Repeat 13 times. Do not knit 4 in the last repeat.

R3: C8B, K4, purl 4

R5: Knit 12 stitches, purl 4. Repeat 13 times. Do not purl 4 in the last repeat.

R7: K4, C8F, purl 4

R9: Knit 12 stitches, purl 4. Repeat 13 times. Do not purl 4 in the last repeat.

R11: C8B, K4, purl 4

R13: Knit 12 stitches, purl 4. Repeat 13 times. Do not purl 4 in the last repeat.

R15: K4, C8F, purl 4

Main Body: Work first 4 stitches in seed stitch, work the cable pattern 13 times, work last 4 stitches in seed stitch (Note: you do not need to purl 4 before the seed stitches.) Repeat this until you have worked through most of your 5th skein of yarn. Piece will measure 26 1/2 inches at this point.

Work the next 12 rows as follows (beginning with an odd row): odd rows are to be knit with the first 4 stitches worked in seed stitch, knit 12 and purl 4 (repeating 13 times EXCEPT on the last repeat only knit 12) and work the last 4 stitches in seed stitch. The even rows are to be knit with the first 4 stitches worked in seed stitch, purl 12 and knit 4 (repeating 13 times EXCEPT in the last repeat only purl 12) and work the last 4 stitches in seed stitch.

Work last 4 rows in seed stitch and bind off.

Enjoy, and I’d love to see photos of your completed blankets! If you’re on Instagram, tag your photos with the hashtag #knowloveknowcolor. xo, Ev.

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Crochet Basket

june22nd2015 002This basket was my first crochet project and now I get all of the hype… Crocheting is addicting, relaxing and entertaining. I found the rhythm of it easy with this super bulky yarn (which had the added bonus of being a quick and easy project.)

Disclaimer: I will tell you how I did this but know going into it that I adopted the philosophy of “just wing it” and did not follow a pattern! Crochet patterns are a mystery to me and I figure everything out by trial and error. Not being able to read a pattern means that I also don’t know how to write one. With that said…

I first started with a chain of 100 and single crocheted until it was the length needed for the desired circumference of the basket. I then seamed it together, inside out, using a single crochet. It looks good on the right side, which is important to me, but doesn’t have that seamless look- that’s my next skill to learn!

june22nd2015 003The handles were done separately, and crocheted to the basket itself.

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For the bottom I crocheted in a flat circle until it fit the basket. Again, I crocheted it to the basket, inside out.

And that’s it! It wasn’t meant to be stiff to the point of standing straight up; I achieved the perfect balance between stiffness and floppiness by using a super bulky yarn and a hook that was a size smaller than one would normally use. I crocheted this specifically to hold yarn and my only requirements were for the handles to be durable (and they sure are… There is a lot of weight in yarn there and it’s only half full!) I’d love to see what baskets you’ve been crocheting- share them on Instagram using the hashtag #knowloveknowcolor for a chance to be featured on my Instagram site! xo, Ev.

Hand Bound Sketchbook

overdue5252015 103I had so much fun creating this sketchbook! I’ve had it in my head that all of these years of using paper and paper towels (as well as aprons, jeans and hand towels…) as a blotter for paintings would need to be reused somehow. Why not in a sketchbook? I was using these papers to test drawings on before heading to my sketchbook so this was a very natural progression. It combines my love of re-purposing as well as multi-media artwork. I love to sew but not avidly; I use it more to supplement my art or to make little crafts (such as my lavender sachets.) So I pulled out my watercolors, acrylics and some extra paper and got to work laying down a background, with the idea in mind that these colorful pages would be a background for drawings.

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overdue5252015 062I’ve written before about my love for textures and about how all of my paintings are based around that, which is where the idea for this sketchbook came from. Next up was to pull out my sewing machine where I decided to sew some designs onto a few pages as well as a photograph, before sewing it all together- my preferred means of binding it all together.

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overdue5252015 084The sewing worked out really well, better than I had anticipated. The sketchbook has 15 pages (30 front and back) in which I sewed all together after sewing them together 3 at a time for extra strength. My only worry was that I would need a denim needle, which this sewing machine does not come with (I’m sure I could buy one for it but sewing machines and their accoutrements are NOT my specialty…) The photograph was also much easier to sew than I had expected and I loved finding a new way to add my prints to my work.

All in all, I am beyond happy with this sketchbook (as well as the process of making it) and look forward to making many more in the future, both bigger and travel sized. My next venture will be to make spiral bound sketchbooks with many more pages! xo, Ev.

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DIY Canvas Corkboard

This one was an obvious choice for me. I like the concept of corkboards but instead of buying one and having yet another another item in my house, I decided to re-purpose one of the pre-stretched canvases I have laying around (I have a whole stack in my closet, thanks to a friend who is no longer allowed to paint due to chemical and olfactory sensitivities. Sad for her, great for me!) This isn’t a tutorial, just a project that I wanted to show off and hopefully inspire you to make some yourself (and share it with me, of course!)

03042015 001I used this piece of driftwood (at the bottom of the photo) to make the orange and white marks and got exactly the textured result I was looking for. The base coat I put on with a roller. As to what kind of roller it is… I’ve not been able to figure out what it’s specific purpose is. It’s not for house painting and it’s not for screen printing. Not that it matters, I have a habit of using objects to paint that weren’t designed with painting in mind, that’s my thing. It makes the process much more enjoyable for me and I rarely use paintbrushes as a result.

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03042015 007I use regular push pins but I have half a mind to make some fun ones out of old jewelry and awesome stones I have laying around. But that is a post for another day. As always, I’d love to see what you come up with. Post it on instagram using the hashtag #knowloveknowcolor and get featured on my instagram site! xo, Ev.

DIY Framed Honeymoon Shells

My husband and I had an amazing honeymoon in Costa Rica and being the avid and voracious collector of shells and rocks that I am, I brought home a bunch of both (and found a few of the much coveted lucky rocks. For those of you who don’t know what lucky rocks are, they have a stripe that runs all around it.) At this point I had to figure out a new way to display them. I have rocks + shells all around my house- outside on our railing, in glasses and mason jars, rock stacks in my windows, feathers sticking out of sea glass, decorating my fireplace mantle and adorning the base of my potted plants. I even have an interesting piece of driftwood that holds some tiny rocks and shells sitting on my studio table. At this point, I figured it’s time to step up my game. So I decided to frame them.

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The process couldn’t be more simple.

Materials Needed

Gold spraypaint (or color of choice)
Frame
Shells
Krazy glue
Double-sided tape
Shells
Rocks

I have a stack of unused frames from Ikea (I can’t tell you just how many times they have come in handy- I try to keep my studio relatively simple, clean and something resembling sparse but these are a must have) that I took apart and promptly spraypainted the backing gold.

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I didn’t use fancy spraypaint- no use wasting Montana here unless you’re looking for a specific, hard to find color (and for those of you unfamiliar with this delightful brand, they have some fantastic colors and the paint itself has amazing coverage.) Once dry I used double-sided tape to ensure the mat board doesn’t slide around (I love that Ikea provides a custom cut mat board.)

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Then comes the fun part: arranging the shells and rocks. Honestly, this is why I have them all over my house, so I can rearrange them as often as I please. Once in place, all that’s left is gluing them down! I have a hot glue gun somewhere in my house but instead of searching for it, I decided to use Krazy Glue. To be honest, I find it less messy and time consuming than hot glue gun. 

That’s all there is to it! I’d love to see what you come up with. If you are on Instagram, use the hash tag #knowloveknowcolor to be reposted on my feed! xo, Ev.

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(Lanes Cove, Gloucester, MA.)

It has been a crazy few months for me- a very good crazy! And I have sadly neglected my blog. In the meantime, I have been wrapping up my Sketchbook Project book (I will be posting photos about this in a week as well as a link to the company’s site and some information on this fantastic idea) and can’t wait to see it done. However, I’m incredibly sad that I will no longer have the hard copy in my possession as I love looking back at completed sketchbooks- of which I have very few, due to my starting so very many of them.

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(Assabet River, Maynard, MA.)

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(Sprocket the Dog.)

I have also been playing with my new Nikon D3200, so lovingly given to me by my husband (to whom this Sprocket the Dog photo credit belongs to.) I have to laugh because 14 years ago I swore up and down that I would never get a DSLR as I firmly felt the quality of the photos aren’t the same. I won’t get into that argument until I’ve tested out some top quality printers compared to good, old fashioned, satisfying darkroom work! I still love film as much as I ever did and still have my trusty SLR, a Canon A-1 (which is much heavier!) Now if I could just figure out how to properly and quickly change the manual settings… These DSLRs aren’t as easy for me to figure out as I would like them to be. It will be entertaining learning how to work this- I’ve never owned one before.

What have you been working on over the holiday season? xo, Ev.

Natural Wool Dying

Pokeberries grow in abundance out where I live and after finding out they work great as a natural dye using minimal ingredients, I decided to give it a whirl. This is my first time dying anything other than my hair and it was incredibly easy! I will definitely be experimenting with other ways to dye wool and fibers. As for what I chose to dye, I have a fantastic neighbor who has alpacas. I mean, these cuties are the best- super friendly and curious.

september17th2014 007Meet Clover (also shown below, nuzzling myself and my dog, Sprocket!)

september17th2014 011This guy didn’t have a name as of the time I met him. This was taken in mid September when he was newly born. Already he is sweet & friendly and comes up to say hello.

september17th2014 012I love her haircut! This is Bella. She’s a little standoff-ish but also sweet.

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september17th2014 015Pokeberries truly are gorgeous- the entire plant is a favorite of mine. I have a few in my backyard and there are a bunch in abundance in the woods by my house. One of my favorite parts about this project was everything was gathered locally.

lastofseptphotos 016Here is a list of what you’ll need to get this project done:

undyed alpaca fiber or wool

mesh strainer

dye pot that will fit the amount of fibers being dyed

masher or spoon

white or apple cider vinegar

3-4 lbs of pokeberries to every pound of wool

pokeberries (for amount, see above ratio)

gloves (optional as pokeberries are both safe to touch and will wash off)

towel or hangers for drying

First step is to put the wool into the dye pot (it will save you an extra step if you use just one pot) and fill with a 50/50 solution of cold water and vinegar. Vinegar is used as a mordant (although it is not technically a mordant) which helps the pokeberries become colorfast (stick to the wool without later fading.) I do want to point out that at any stage of the game, using water that is too hot will felt your wool. Additionally, in this step and while dying, do not agitate the wool as it will have the same effect. Make sure the wool is soaked through, put on the stove and cover. Heat to simmering, turn down to the lowest setting and let sit for an hour. Again, do not boil. Turn the heat off and let cool overnight.

october18th 006The next day I prepped the berries for dying: pick the berries off of the stem (you may want gloves for this part) and mash in the strainer. The goal here is to get all of the liquid out that you can, leaving behind only the flesh and seeds. To save yourself an extra step and another dirty dish to wash, just put the strainer over the pot with the wool in it (after draining a bit of the solution out- you want just enough liquid to soak the wool) and mash away over the wool.

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october18th 009It was pretty neat to watch the juice soak into the solution and the wool, I must admit. Stir gently to combine and voila! This is your dye bath.

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october18th 010You can do this one of two ways- I left mine outside, in the sun (my patio gets fantastic light all day) for 24 hours OR you can heat it over the stove. To do this, you will need to keep an eye on it. You want your solution to be barely simmering for an hour to get pinks and fuchsias. Specifically, you want your water to be hot to touch without burning. Once the water gets to that temperature, turn the heat off and let cool. There are advantages to each- I chose to leave mine out in the sun because of two reasons: curiosity and because I was heading up to Maine to go visit my little brother. This way, you don’t have as much control but I still achieved some beautiful pinks and fuchsias.

The next step is rinsing.

october18th 024 october18th 027 october18th 028I used a very small amount of wool (although the ratio stayed the same- 3:1) as this was my first time dying wool and it made the rinsing process ridiculously quick and easy. For rinsing you will want to leave the water running until it runs clear and make sure to use cold water. You may or may not want gloves with this part. I didn’t have any troubles and it left less juice on me than picking the berries did. Either way, the pokeberry juice washed away easily with hand soap. Then comes the drying. As I have a basement, I draped my wool over two hangers and let sit for 24 hours. You can also lay it over a towel or a drying rack. The most important thing to remember is you want to lay it as thinly as possible for a speedier drying time.

october18th 032 october18th 033And for my next step, hand spinning!

pokeberrydye 001 pokeberrydye 004I’m mixing it with undyed alpaca fibers and it is gorgeous.  I’m a drop spindle (although, a spinning wheel is on my wish list!) and I love it.  What are your latest adventures with wool? xo, Ev.