Tag Archives: Design

Kierrätystehdas, or Recycling Factory, 2012

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As I’ve already mentioned in my last post, Sunday was a delightful day for me mainly for the reason of having visited the Recycling Factory event for the first time.

A lovely display by Florencia

So here’s the report about some of my moments there, as promised 🙂

Kierrätystehdas, or Recycling Factory, here in Helsinki is the largest sustainable lifestyle event of Finland. This year it was organized for the fifth time and I had the pleasure to visit it – together with some 10 000 other people. My friend and I spent the most part of our time in the Sales market – the part of Recycling Factory that united craftspeople, who use mainly recycled materials for the products they produce and sell. But there were also other parts of the event that we just didn’t have enough time to visit (us both having slipped away from our families for just a few hours): the Ilmaistori (or “Free of Charge” market) where visitors could bring items they didn’t need anymore and take whatever they needed, the panel discussions, runway shows and quite a few workshops (I brought home my “masterpiece” from a mosaic workshop 🙂 ).

EcoDesign: Oskari Nukarinen’s bedside table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the first time this year there was an EcoDesign competition. Unfortunately, I somehow didn’t stumble upon the winner design while I was there, but just look at this ingenious bedside table designed by Oskari Nukarinen for OplusMonG Design Ltd! It is very simple and minimalist but really so great. No more bedside lamps falling off bedside tables, right?

Pencil-clock by Design Airo

 

 

 

 

Ok, but here’s what I did stumble upon that really made my eyebrows arch and would have made me whistle if I knew how to do that: the pencil-clock by Design Airo…

Organizing board by a crafty girl from Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences

 

 

 

 

…and this amazing organizing board presented by a crafty girl from Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences. You know how you never can find pens or rulers when you really need them? Well, no more! And this would be useful for so many more things! You could even hang it in the kitchen and use it to store tableware. Should look fun!

Colorful lamp from Mum’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the Recycling factory we met the warm and friendly women from Mum’s. We started talking as I asked permission to take a picture of the colorful lamp. They told us about their project: Mum’s products are designed in Finland and manufactured in South Africa, thus providing work for people there. It’s a really socially responsible idea, don’t you think? And their designs are real cute too 🙂

Bag by Globe Hope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing about good designs and sustainable products: what do you think about this bag by Globe Hope? Guess what it’s made of. I myself would never have even dreamed: it’s made of the hood that protected the Olympic Stadium’s tower during its renovation! This thing has such great history!

Soap dish by Think Today

Wristlets by Think Today

 

 

 

More recycling? Here are the wonderful little things made by Think Today out of left-over flooring materials. I fell in love with the soap dish.

It’s such a great design: you can open the snaps and the whole dish becomes completely flat, thus it’s very easy to store or to send to someone as a gift, for example 🙂 And the colours of this particular one!

Chalkboard-frames by Kimara Crafts

Postcards by Kimara Crafts

Magnets by Kimara Crafts

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really liked magnets by Kimara Crafts. The words on them are in Finnish and mean “remember” or “from the shop” or “when you have time” 🙂 There were also the beautiful and handy chalkboard-frames and these cute postcards in their stand. And lots of other great stuff (here’s their homepage).

Spoon necklaces by AddDrama!

Engraved spoon necklace by AddDrama!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now for the real sophisticated things: what do you think about these spoon necklaces by AddDrama!, huh? I loved them. Especially the ones with embedded crystals and the most delicate engravings. Who could have thought that spoons can be so charmingly beautiful!

Delicate little aluminium plates and spoons by Latimeria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And just look at the designs by Latimeria! Those delicate little plates with tiny spoons – they’re made from aluminium! And the bigger spoon is from steel. I don’t know if you’re able to see that not only one part of it has this beautiful purple colour to it but there’s also a soft light blue strip on the handle as well (argh, I so need to learn to use my cumbersome but real good camera!..). The lady at the Latimeria stand told us these wonderful colours appear when processing steel with different temperatures. Interesting!

Steel teespoon by Latimeria

And, of course, all this are only teeny-tiny grains of all the things that we saw – and didn’t have time to see – at the Recycling Factory. But I’ve already loaded you with more photos than is reasonable, havent’ I? So… enjoy them for now, explore the homepages of the crafty companies and people to find even more great designs. And I’ll be back next time with a short post on the workshops that took place at the Recycling Factory.

Have a great day/night (depending on what part of the world you’re in 🙂 )!

Black-on-black

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My first commission! I waited with big excitement how my friend – who became my first client – would react to what I have created from the rough idea she gave me and the specific beads she wanted used; she loved it! So now I can present it to you – Black-on-black wristers/bracelets.

What my friend wanted was the wristers that are more like bracelets (so they’re about 7 cm wide) and that they wouldn’t have a very strict order/pattern to them but instead would be kind of a bit chaotic. And the most specific request was that the square beads that you see in the photos are used. With all this in mind, I developed a pattern (I still needed one at least for the purpose of stringing the beads, if not anything else) and knit the wristers. You can see – and judge – the results by yourselves. I myself like them, though at first the idea of black beads on black yarn sounded a bit strange to me (somehow I didn’t think the beads would stand out enough to look good), but I’m so glad I went with the idea. One more new lesson and revelation! 🙂 What do you think?

Also, as I already started taking commissions, EVERYONE IS WELCOME 🙂 I’ve created a separate e-mail address specifically for the “business” purposes and added a new page to this blog with my contacts. Feel free to contact me about anything you saw in my earlier post that you’d like to have for yourself; or maybe you have a specific idea that you’d like to make into a knit-thing? Write to me and we will definitely work something out 🙂

For now I’ve set my beaded knits very-temporarily aside because there was this sweater idea that I carried in my head for more than a month that would just not leave me in peace. I have to knit that sweater! (and I need one, anyway 😀 ) So the next “dispatch” will probably be without beads but it’ll have more colour and be “bulkier” 😀

Spirals

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Yey!!! Finally! Finally, I can show you the very first pair of wristers with my original design!

Here they are 🙂

First, a few facts:

  • the wristers are 13 cm long;
  • knitted in DROPS Baby Alpaca Silk (70% wool, 30% silk);
  • a total of 2032 seed beads 11/0 used (1016 for each wrister);
  • a total of around 20 hours of knitting (3 hours of stringing beads, the rest – pure knitting).

Now, beyond the facts: those who read my earlier entries might remember how I thanked all the higher powers after knitting the pair of wristers with simple double-colored bows for my daughter. I thanked that I chanced to start my creative experimenting from the relatively simple design involving merely a few hundred beads, because that process taught me so much. Now you maybe understand better why I was so grateful. My projects rarely lack in ambition and had I started from this project… well, I wouldn’t deny the possibility that I wouldn’t be here anymore at this particular moment 🙂 I am patient but not that patient. Even this time I re-knitted one of the wristers (there was a blog entry about that as well – when I didn’t particularly like the way the design turned out) which meant that first I strung almost 1200 beads and knitted the whole wrister and then I had to take everything out and restring all the beads anew. But it was worth redoing because now I’m much more satisfied with the result.

The yarn that I used is actually kind of an experiment because traditionally wristers are made from pure wool – they say it’s stretchier and doesn’t change form so much after taking the wristers on and off many times. But the yarn with silk seemed much smoother and had a very subtle shine to it that I particularly liked. So, as wristers will be worn by me, I’ll see for myself how all the business with stretchiness goes.

Otherwise, a lot of work requiring a really concentrated attention, but that’s what I signed up for, isn’t it? I’m just a bit sorry that I couldn’t take photos of me actually wearing the wristers. But sun – or even a bright enough day that I could take the pictures at home and not go freeze my hand off in the -20 degrees cold outside – are very hard to come by at this time of year here in Finland, so only the “still-lifes” for now.

And now – for another “first”: I have my first commission! A very good friend asked for a pair of wristers for herself indicating the colors she wants, giving me a selection of beads she’d like to be used, and a general idea of what “mood” the wristers should be in. I came up with the design and we’ll see how that will turn out. Wish me luck!

More than winning

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“There’s more to racing than just winning,” said Lightning McQueen in “Cars”. He meant to boast, of course (that was in the first part of the movie while he was still the “cool racing car” without friends; I watch this movie at least 5 times a week – I have kids, remember? – so don’t laugh, ok? 😀 ), but this week I really was struck by the realisation that there IS more to racing a.k.a knitting than just winning (read: end-result). I was so absorbed in my “business plan” of making wristers as fast as I can and setting up my shop and getting to sell them as fast as I can, but… life’s not just about speed, right?

This week I made a great progress in knitting – I finished the first wrister of my first “pair for grown-ups” and I was so happy about it. It seemed that everything was finally coming together. But then I really looked at what I did and decided that… I can do better! The knitting is good, the process seems to be working well for me, but I’m not entirely happy with the design and I’m more than a little unhappy with the beads I used – they’re of different sizes which, I thought, would give more interesting texture to the knit, but I now think I’d be more happy if they were the same. Here’s how it looks in the present state.

And why did I start with talking about the process? Because I decided to spare enough time and improve the design until I really like it (it just needs a little tweaking but those little tweaks mean that I’ll have to recount all the beads and rewrite my sequence for stringing them) and use a bit different beads for the second wrister. If it comes out just as I want it, then I’ll remake this first one as well. Because I understood that there is no such thing as hurrying this all up so I can start selling fast. If I want to offer a really really good product and get a price that my time creating it was worth, I need it to be PERFECT. So, basically, back to square one and let’s start the process from the beginning with all the lessons that it already tought me firmly in mind 🙂

And in the mean time… I’ve finally found time to look through some of this year’s designers’ Pre-Fall collections. And they are great! And I’m not talking here only about the fact that there are tons of things that are absolutely gorgeous for me personally, but there are tons of things that indicate I’m not completely off with all this wrister business! I understand that it is very very bold of me to put my humble starting creations next to such design giants as Chanel or Oscar de la Renta, but… We need to dream BIG, don’t we? Sooo… Here are some pictures I really liked (there are only a few because I haven’t had time to look though all the collections and, of course, I cannot put here everything that caught my fancy – there would be tens or even hundreds of pictures 🙂 ) It’s just a very small selection but I was thrilled to see that Chanel, for example, had beads all over their designs – not only clothes but bags and gloves as well, Oscar de la Renta, Versace and lots of other designers had lots and lots of 3/4 sleeves that are perfect for wearing wristers with, and there’s also the trend of looong gloves and even kinds of “wrist warmers” (well, they at least look like ones) though in fancy materials such as leather.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect anyone who’s wearing Chanel to buy my wristers to go with the costume 😀 But the fact is, that the fashion – and all the “more wearable” things in more affordable stores that will follow the fashion trends – is indeed advantageous to what I’m starting to do here. And I am really glad! So I wanted to share my joy, maybe give you some ideas, and again… to be continued with better designs 🙂

 

Ta-daaa!

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Ahm, maybe the fanfare’s too much 😀 I must admit that I myself was really looking forward to seeing my first design “in the flesh”… and it’s not that much to see. No, it is beautiful really and my daughter (whom it was made for) adores it, but it is such a small thing and it took me so much time to make… Well, not actual time to make – maybe rather find time to make. But, without further ado, here they are – Girly Wristers With Bows.

Now for those who would be interested not only in photos but in the actual process of making these pretty things, I have promised to tell more when I mentioned problems I stumbled upon, haven’t I? Here’s the list (and it’s not the full one, either): first, I thought I had suitable beads for the wristers – that’s basically why I decided to make the little girly ones in the first place: because I had a few batches of pink beads that I didn’t think I could find any other use for and half a ball of white yarn, but when I sat down to string the beads, I found out they had too small holes in them and the yarn simply didn’t fit in. So I had to go buy new beads. Second came the problem of stringing: the seed beads are so small and there’s a LOT of them (well, in this design there were only 306 beads in one wrister, but that was a really small design) and the woolen yarn, though I use quite a thin one, is not so tiny after all, so I had to find a good method to string them all together. When I knit wristers earlier for my own pleasure, I would just cover the end of the knitting yarn with glue and use it instead of a needle, but that was a slooooow process and having in mind that I’m planning to kind of make my living off of this kind of knitting, I had to come up with some more “productive” method. It took me four kinds of glue and a gazillion times of trying to glue yarns of differing thickness together, but I made it – the “productive” method was found! Then came the knitting itself that proved to be a bit more difficult because first, I was knitting with 5 needles instead of the usual 2, and as the beads were of differing colors for the first time in my whole “knitting history”, I found out the hard way that it does make a difference which way the beads are strung – you have to think where the beginning of the knit and the beads will be, and where the end will be (sure, I would’ve figured that out without actually experimenting if I’d thought about it, but I simply didn’t think about it. In Lithuania there’s a saying for such instances which could be roughly translated as “If the head doesn’t work, the legs [in my case – the hands 😀 ] suffer”). And, of course, there were lots of other small “light bulbs” along the way that I might not even remember now but I’m sure they will come to mind the next time I knit.

So there really was a great amount of experimenting, looking for “optimizations” (with the view of all the future work that would be easier when I found them), knitting and re-knitting in this project. I only thank all the higher powers that they steered me in the way of choosing something really small for my first design. Knowing myself – if not for those pink beads that I already had and the fact that I don’t wear pink but my daughter doesn’t wear anything but – I would have chosen to make long wristers for myself (it’s still – already! – winter after all) with some intricate design that would have taken me not a week but a few months to make with all this experimenting.

So you can guess what I’m planning to make next with all of my new-found knowledge, can’t you? 😀 Although I’m sure it is still far from the end of my adventures and experiments. So… To be continued!