Saturday, September 13, 2014

Yarn bowl and socks

My good friend, Mrs. W, has been painting ceramics for years. She's gifted me lots of cool things since I've known her, usually at Christmastime.  In exchange, I've give her a number of hand knit items. I drive by the local ceramics shop (Hobby Hut) when I drive to my local yarn shop (The Yarn Shop at Words of Life).  Sometimes I stop at the ceramics shop when I see Mrs. W's car there.  A few weeks back, I stopped in to say hello and you'll never guess that I saw sitting on the shelves?
Yarn bowls.  
Ready to be painted.
I needed to do that!
So we made a day of it. We painted in the morning, took a break for lunch at our favorite lunch spot (MoMo's Japanese Restaurant), and then we went back to the ceramics shop to paint a bit more.
I was totally lost when it came to selecting paints, finishes, and techniques for my project.  But Mrs. W and the shop's owner helped me out.  I am sure I am using the wrong terminology for things, but I painted on three coats of a "glaze" that is supposed to be a dark chocolate brown when fired.  I had to wait for each coat to dry before applying the next coat. After lunch, I applied paper punches.  The paper punches were made out of card stock and they reminded me of fancy cut outs that folks use in scrap booking.  Essentially, my paper punches were very detailed dragonflies (the bowl has five dragonflies on it).  We soaked the paper punches in water until they were rather pliable and, when applied to the surface of the bowl, they stuck.  Then I painted on three more layers of  a "glaze" which was supposed to be a rosy sort of color when fired.  Painting over the paper punches was a drag. They kept lifting and I was worried all the glaze was seeping under the paper punches, thus obscuring the cool design.   When the third layer of rosy colored glaze was dried, I had to remove the paper punches. This was kind of stressful, too. I was afraid I would lift the soggy paper punches and too much of the glaze would pull off with the stencil and ruin my project.  Once the paper punches were lifted away, I could see some of the imperfections and I could scrape away some of the rosy glaze that had seeped under the paper punches.  I was told I had to wait for the project to completely dry before it could be fired.  I had to wait about a week to go back and pick up my yarn bowl. 

So I kept knitting on this pair of socks while I waited and a week later, Mrs. W sent me a text to tell me that my yarn bowl was done.  I sure love the way it turned out.  I was so surprised how the rosy colored glaze "moved" and the dragonfly designs look even more delicate.  I can see why Mrs. W loves ceramics so much.  I don't need another hobby but painting ceramics is a lot fun.  It's kind of like Christmas morning when you drive down to the ceramics shop and see what magic happened in the kiln.

As for the socks, these are my indulgent souvenir yarn socks.  Manos del Uruguay Alegria yarn from a shop in Beaverton, Oregon, called "For Yarn's Sake".  The colorway is Locura Flou.  This is what then yarn looked like when I bought it. 

Interesting to see how it knits up.  The pattern I am knitting is one of my favorites for socks.  Socks for Bigger Feet by Susan B. Anderson on 2.50 mm needles.  This is a great fitting sock since it's mostly ribbing.  I am working on the heel flap on sock #2 right now.  I'll post some photos when I am all done.