Archive for the 'etsy' Category



Alpaca Pinwheel Scarf and Hex Slippers

Upon searching the Ravelry pattern databases for fun scarf ideas, I came across a technique known as the Catherine Wheel, which creates a wonderfully eye-catching pattern.  The pinwheel effect is achieved by mirroring two rows of bunched crochet stitches, with narrow intermediary segments which are shaped by subsequent rows, forming this wave-like design.  It’s also very practical – the bunches become epicenters of warmth which shield against even the sharpest winter winds.

For these reasons, alpaca was the ideal material for me to create the Amigami Pinwheel Scarf.  The yarn used to craft this piece was created entirely from animals living in the Upper Ohio Valley regions of West Virginia and Pennsylvania, on farms we know personally.  My partner Ramon was the shearer responsible for collecting the raw fiber from these animals, and the white and two-tone yarns were handspun by the animals’ owners.  From hoof to hand, this beautiful scarf is the epitome of regional handmade crafts, and is truly a must-have for any winter wardrobe.  And lucky for you, they are available in my Etsy shop!

From the same skeins I’ve also created these ultra-warm Hexagon Slippers, named for the 6 sided panels which are used to form the shoes.  The three hexagons, stitched together in the center, are then stitched around a double thick sole, creating a durable and comfortable cushion for your foot.  I need to work with adjusting the sizing on these slippers before they are ready for sale, but if you are interested in some let me know and we can get started on a custom order.

Back to School Sale! Free Shipping AUG 22-28

The Amys in the Arts Etsy Street Team is celebrating the start of the new school year by offering Free Worldwide Shipping on purchases from our members’ Etsy shopfronts during August 22-28.  This is your opportunity to finally get that item you’ve been thinking about for so long.  The Amys in the Arts blog will also be  full of fun memories & stories about School & education, so make sure to check it out!

Click here to Visit My Etsy Shop!

Click here to Visit the Amys in the Arts Blog!

Swallowtail Butterfly Knot Charms Now Available!

These butterfly charms have become my instant new favorite, as I’m sure they will be yours.

Butterflies are recognized the world over as symbols of joy, life & love. These beautiful butterflies are knotted in the Chinese tradition, with a central Mystic Knot. Otherwise known as the Pan Chang, this knot dates back thousands of years in Asian culture, and is considered one of the eight Buddhist treasures. An extremely auspicious symbol, the Mystic Knot is said to bring happiness both to the wearer, as well as all who view it.

The wings of the butterfly are interwoven with Josephine Knots (or Carrick Bends), a well-recognized Celtic knot representing true love. The tails of the butterfly feature an additional Josephine Knot, along with Chinese Button Knots and metallic accent beads.

Measuring about 3 inches long, and made out of a single strand of 2mm satin cord in a gorgeous redwood brown, this swallowtail charm is the perfect centerpiece for any necklace!

And lucky, I just happen to have matching necklaces!  Made of high quality complementary satin cord, these clasp-free necklaces are completely adjustable, making them great for all ages. Just pull on the necklace to open (don’t worry, it’s sturdy!), then pull the central knot apart to re-close.  The center of the necklace can be looped through most charms or pendants for an instant new look, making this necklace the ultimate in versatility.

Both of these great items are currently for sale in my Etsy shop, and they have already become a high-demand item locally.  They’re absolutely gorgeous and ornate, and look fabulous on women of all ages, so make sure to pick one up today!  And remember, I can always fulfill custom color requests, just ask!

Nippon Worry Dolls & Cattail Trinket Cases

Worry Dolls are a traditional Guatemalan custom, but these have taken on a Japanese twist!  A popular children’s gift, worry dolls are commonly kept under pillows at night to ward off worries & anxieties.  Customarily made with household items such as clothespins and bits of fabric, worry dolls are a great way to transform scrap materials into awesome works of art.
When I was young I learned a worry doll technique using tooth picks and leftover embroidery floss.  I feel using floss instead of fabric allows for more detail, both in terms of color & design as well as the actual contours of the figure.  The faces are left blank so you can draw a smile on once the source or worry is gone!
These worry dolls, like much of the art in the Amigami collection, have taken on a a Japanese twist.  The pair of Geisha, in shades of pink and violet, are inspired by summer flowers.  Their ensemble is complete with rear bow, the famous Geisha white face make-up, and hair neatly held in place (one even has “chopsticks!”)
We also have Buddhist monks in their famous orange robes, as well as Miko (temple priestesses) with their customary red skirt and flowing hair.
And last but certainly not least is their packaging.  In brilliant emerald green, the “worry box” is hand-woven from cattails of northern Appalachia.  These leaves were collected and dried personally, in a special dark room designed to retain the plants’ vivid color.
Case & lid each measure about 2.5″ x 4″ and fit neatly inside one another.  Water resistant and incredibly strong, this case is a perfect way to store your keepsakes, including your worry dolls!
This entire collection is now available in my Etsy shop!  And of course, I am always happy to make custom worry dolls or cattail boxes – just ask!

Sailor Knot Bangle Bracelets

The Turk’s Head, or Sailor Knot, is a beautifully brilliant way to transform any cord or string into braided bangles.  They can be made quickly and easily, by wrapping the cord over any round surface (or even your own wrist).  With an interior knot closure, the bangle appear endless:  people love to marvel at this seemingly infinite braid.

I currently have Sailor Knot Bangles for sale in my Etsy shop, made from several different mediums.  The first are composed of thick 3mm natural-colored hemp cord.  Large yet subtle & incredibly durable, these hemp bracelets are perfect for men & women of all ages.

And for a more eye-catching evening look, I have a thinner woman’s bangle, made of woven nylon cord.  Black with interwoven strands of metallic red & silver, these bangles capture the light radiantly.

The Turk’s Head Knot is a wonderful technique, especially for thicker fibers.  Extremely versatile in its simplicity — I can’t wait to try out more types of raw materials.

2 Tone Suri Alpaca Beanie – 100% Handmade, From Cut To Crochet

This is hopefully only the first of many in a very special series of crochet work.  My partner Ramon travels the countryside each spring shearing alpacas, and a few weeks ago he returned with some of the fruits of his labor.

Mother Rasha & cria Morningstar, donors for the White fiber in this hat!

Amongst his clients is Vision Acres Ranch of Berkeley Country, West Virginia.  After the 2009 shearing season, Judy of Vision Acres began processing this high-quality alpaca fiber into exquisite hand-spun dual-toned yarn.  And it’s not just the dual coloring which makes this yarn unique – it is composed of 100% Suri Alpaca fiber.

Herdsire Scimitar (a.k.a. "Sam") contributed the brown yarn for this hat!

Suris, unlike their more popular fluffy Huacaya counterparts, feature fiber which forms natural locks, giving the final product an altogether different consistency and feel than your standard alpaca fiber.  Thank you to the Judy & everyone at Vision Ares Ranch for caring for these beautiful animals & creating the yarn, as well as to Ramon for shearing the alpacas and for bringing me spoils.

The hat is created using a modified version of a stylish beanie pattern I found in the Ravelry databases.  Unbelievably soft & warm, it’s also extremely breathable, making this hat a great year-round accessory.  Accented by a large natural-colored button I found in my mother’s vintage sewing supplies, this luxurious hat has certainly been given the personal touch from start to finish.


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