Posts Tagged 'fashion'

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.

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Amigami Introduces the Mage Hood!

As the winter chill begins to creep in around us, my thoughts have been increasingly focused on creating a line of warm outdoor wear.  This is especially true since we have recently obtained a fairly sizable array of luxurious alpaca yarn.

This hood is the first of my proto-types.  I’ve often felt myself wishing the hoods on my jackets were larger and more voluminous, and this crocheted hood definitely towers above the rest.  It was made using a whopping half pound of violet acrylic worsted yarn.  I wanted to work in acrylic for the first of the hoods, so as not to squander any alpaca on unknown territory.  The structure of the hood has foundation in this precious Russian baby hatIn the Mage Hood however, the hood’s point is greatly enlarged & tapered, and the shoulders are tailored to lay flat against the wearer.  Additionally, the front of the hood was folded inwards & attached, allowing for  a thick plush brim which adds definition to the piece.

To take this hood to the next level, I’ve relinquished it to my partner Ramon, who is currently felting the garment with alpaca fiber.  It’s looking Amazing, and I can’t wait to post pictures once it’s completed.  He is also carving antler toggles to secure the hood, which I think will be the perfect accent for the violet & natural colors.  So keep watching for more pics and more hoods in my Etsy shop soon!

Chinese Zodiac Stone Necklaces

These elegant stone necklaces are inspired by the lore and symbolism of the Chinese zodiac.  I first had the idea after purchasing a jade rat key chain, in honor of my own zodiac sign.  After salvaging a carnelian monkey and purchasing a fluorite dragon, it seemed only natural to begin a series of zodiac jewelry.  Each of these necklaces features the same basic design, with “gun metal” filigree end caps, toggles, and genuine sterling silver Bali beads.  I am currently on the lookout to complete the set, I need quality stone fetish beads for: ox, boar, horse, snake, rabbit, dog, tiger, rooster & ram.
As I previously mentioned, this first necklace (and matching bracelet) features a jade rat focal bead in luxurious pale green.  Jade is known as the “dream stone,” and helps to promote harmony.  The jade is complemented by rounds of Moonstone, a stone associated with wishes, hopes & femininity.  Due to limited Jade supplies, the matching bracelet is actually composed of Green Turquoise, a protective & grounding stone which facillitates mental clarity.

In contrast to the lunar-inspired Rat necklace, this carnelian monkey set is inspired by the warmth of the sun.  Carnelian (also known as Sard) is an energetic stone said to enhance happiness & positivity, while sharpening the mind.  The small dark rounds which punctuate the set are Onyx, a stone of strength said to banish grief and heighten self-control.  The set is tied together by large beautifully banded rounds of Sardonyx, the “lucky stone,” which is actually a naturally formed combination of Onyx and Carnelian.  To complete the theme of happiness and celebration, the set is accented by genuine sterling silver Bali drums.

This third necklace showcases the natural spectrum of the mineral Fluorite, a stone of structure, aptitude & health.  The colors of Fluorite are said to differ slightly in metaphysical attributes, opening and activating the chakras they represent.  The melange of green, purple, colorless & rainbow fluorite is punctuated by small rounds of Amethyst, a traditional healing stone, known as a “stone of spirituality and contentment.”

This Chinese Zodiac collection is a wonderful combination of beauty and symbolism, which really allows the natural brilliance of the stones to shine as stars.  I can’t wait to complete the series, so stay posted for your birth year to be featured as the next Amigami creation.

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!

Gemstone Jewelry With Form & Function

I’ve been intending to post photos of some of the stone jewelry I’ve created in the past, but lately I’ve been too caught up with posting current items to bother with the archives.  This is a collection of jewelry I designed this past holiday season as gifts for friends & family.  Constructed using only the finest quality metal and stone, these pieces were designed not only with aesthetic appeal in mind, but also the stones’ supposed metaphysical properties.

This first necklace showcases a crescendo of alternating spheres, in shades of dusty yellow which looks stunning against a darker wardrobe.  The large translucent orbs are Lemon Quartz, which is said to clear the mind & absorb negative energy.  The smaller brighter beads are Citrine, a powerful cleansing stone of emotional balance, which is also known as a “merchant’s stone” for promoting financial prosperity.  When combined, the citrine is said to dispel the negativity which the lemon quartz collects – the necklace retains an optimistic air regardless of the wearer’s stress levels.  Hung on a sterling silver chain, with complementary accent charm on the clasp, this elegant citrus-inspired necklace is a personification of happiness.

This next piece was designed for a longtime family friend who had recently been involved in a car accident and suffered a broken wrist.  To supplement the healing process, this bracelet features large free form nuggets of Pyrite (a stone of physical strength), framed by round beads of red tiger eye (his favorite stone) and accented by brass.  Tiger Eye is a grounding stone, said to combine the energies of sun & earth, which helps to encourage discipline & practicality.  Though designed with a man in mind, this silhouette is extremely versatile is looks great on women as well.

These next two pieces were collaborative works with my partner.  The first is an edgy pendant showcasing a genuine Ammonite fossil. Ammonites are a prehistoric form of marine life, said to bring structure to one’s life while allowing them to understand the big picture.  The fossil is framed by small spheres of spotted Dalmatian Jasper and disks of Bronzite, on a large brass chain.  Dalmation Jasper, also known as Leopard Jasper, is a stabilizing stone which promotes patience and helps one accept responsibilities.  Similarly, Bronzite is known as a “stone of courtesy,” promoting equitability and unbiased judgment.  Although the stones used are sharply contrasting in appearance they hold common threads metaphysically, which allow them to come together in a youthful necklace of peace & understanding.

This final tourmaline bracelet is truly elegant & unique.  The vintage-style butterfly, which we bent to match the natural curve of the wrist, was originally purchased about a decade ago from a local Claire’s Boutique as a necklace focal point.  The bracelet is adorned in pink and black tourmaline rounds, and accented by faceted nuggets of green tourmaline and “gun-metal” filigree beads.  Tourmaline promotes inspiration $ self-confidence, and it’s said to mirror the body’s chakras.  Rubellite (aka pink tourmaline) strengthens love &the healing qualities of the heart.  Green Tourmaline, also related with the heart, brings about both clarity & wealth (material & emotional). And the powerful Schorl (aka Aphrizite or Black Tourmaline) is said to protect against & repel negative energy.  With a design reminiscent of a peace sign, this bracelet connects the energies of mind, heart & body.

All of the wonderful information I’ve presented here on the stones’ properties has been gathered from the definitive source on the subject, Love is in the Earth:  The Crystal & Mineral Encyclopedia, by Melody. It may be the heaviest book I own, but it certainly suceeds in leaving no stone unturned.   🙂

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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