Mar 17 2023

Amy’s Awesome Topless Mitts

Published by under crafty,tutorials

I have written a pattern. You can download it here.

Let me know if you make them I wanna see.

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Oct 16 2019

Sock making maniac – file depository!

Published by under amy's head

I wrote a pattern:

Here’s a handy dandy link page for sourcing just about anything I refer to in my sock making videos:

  • Youtube Channel: Amy the Sockmaker
  • Big CSM FB group: Circular Sock Machine Knitters 2.0 is always there for anyone who needs help or advice. They are great people with a great love of all things sock machine.
  • Erlbacher Gearhart made my 1:1 ratio Speedster sock machine and I adore it and this company!
  • The Circular Sock Knitting Machine Society is a great non profit org that you should definitely join if you make socks – dedicated to helping and preserving sock machine knowledge.
  • Acrylic hand turned CSM handles: seek out Celeste Angello in the FB group
  • Counter weight for CSMs who have custom handles installed: seek out David Huelster in the FB group
  • Embroidered CSM machine dust covers and drip floor mats: A Creative Eclectic on Etsy she does great work and is also from Colorado!
  • the custom color of my machine is Orchid Lavendar from Prismatic Powder
  • My cone winder can be found here, shipping from Germany, I emailed the company and got a quote, then paid via paypal and a month later my winder/cones arrived.
  • I buy my cobweb lycra from Erlbacher Gearhart
  • I love fischerwool, simply sock yarn, Hue Loco, Lolodidit, Super Garne (Aktiv), and of course your local yarn store for sock yarn.
  • I use these magic clips to pop on the cam shaft and make the machine quieter (only works when knitting in the round, not heels/toes), also works well for holding your ends when you yarn change
  • I followed these instructions on the Colorado Cranker’s blog to make my soft weights. My big weight is 3lbs, my 3 heel fork weights are 8oz, 8oz, and 10oz (I don’t know why I did that, I would just make them all 8oz if I were to do them again). I used BBs/shot (the kind you load into a BB gun), old doubled over commercial socks initially, and made covers for the weights after shot started leaking out of the socks after a year
  • Juana’s 1×1 Selvage

Files I made for tracking / planning my sock making:

  • Here is my Sock Log sheet that I use for every pair of socks I make:
  • I’ve also created a “foot sizing” worksheet to determine how many rows to knit for the foot to get a correct size. I have not revisited this form since last year so use at your own risk. I have still had some issues with getting the right size, but I think that’s due to variances in yarn stretchiness. Still, it’s a good resource just for learning how to make the right size (even if more testing is needed).
  • And finally, once I figure out the optimal tension of a yarn, I have a log to jot it down, along with other yarn specifics, such as yardage per 100g, how many rows per inch, foot rows (for me), etc. Here is that form:

OK, that’s it! Hope you enjoy 🙂

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Apr 19 2017

Craft / Art Show Advice

Published by under amy's head

My niece is applying to her first art/craft show this summer and her mom asked if I had any advice or tips for her. I sat down and this is what vomited out of my brain. I thought I’d post it here too for anyone who’d like to read it. Please note that I am not the most experienced show goer out there, in fact, I keep a light schedule compared to many artists. I think these tips are helpful though so here goes.

Good resources: – love this site for seeing if a show has good reviews – fantastic wise advice for jury photos and booth shots as well as general show advice – lots of good advice, geared directly to working artists

The quality of shows is directly related to the quality of the customers. A cheap $25 show at a school raffle or a church bazaar is going to have people who may spend $25. (If you make 1000 $5 earrings, this show may be a big hit for you.) A high quality Art in the Park juried show that costs $500 will (hopefully) have customers ready to spend $500+. Your results may (and will) vary, but you have a much better shot at making money at a quality show than at a cheap one. I’ve been in some very expensive shows that were absolute duds. Look for reviews of the shows you’re interested in, and make your decisions based on that. If it’s been a dud for several years, then maybe skip it. You never know though — I had a GREAT show that my neighbor sold next to nothing, so sadly, it’s very fickle. But quality shows do beget quality buyers.
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Aug 23 2016

Show Life & a change of direction

Published by under amy's head

I don’t do nearly as many shows as some artists do. I re-met some friends at a show in Steamboat Springs this weekend who do 35 shows a year. (35!!!!) This year, I think I did 3. It was a pretty light year. Last year, my heaviest year, I did 7 or 8.

There’s a lovely special feeling when you’re at a show. Your neighbors are your friends. You talk to them, you chat about their work/your work, you talk about other shows, how they were good/bad. You talk about the nuts and bolts of booths — where did you get yoru tent? How long have you had it? Does it do OK in the mountains? You have HOW much weight on each leg! Those glass display cases are lovely. The talk can go on and on (and it does, depending on how busy the show is!)

When I’m setting up for a show, or breaking down, that is when I feel like I must have an idea of how carnival folks live, with of course, major differences. We put up tents, decorate the tents to be enticing to passers-by, and set up a little mini version of “life” behind the counter where we sit all day, with all the necessary accouterments to sell for 1-3 days and be comfortable and keep busy at the same time. Scissors are lent to neighbors and step ladders are borrowed. Help is given with that wall that just doesn’t want to zip on properly.

And then when the show is over, everyone breaks everything down, says goodbye, promises to write — as if it’s the end of summer camp, which in a way it feels like it is (except without nearly as much fun).
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Jun 11 2015

Summer 2015 shows and events plus PURPLE HAIR

Published by under amy's head

My kids have been out of school for about 2 weeks now. Now that they’re older (11 and 13) it’s not so daunting as it used to be, but it definitely does take a toll on my studio hours. There are pools that need to be swum in! Skating at rinks to do! Camping, hiking, car races and let’s not forget our 2 doggies to play with and take to doggie parks.

I also have a ton of shows I’m doing this summer. I haven’t done very many shows here in Colorado since we moved here from Virgina 4 years ago. I did a couple shows at the last minute last fall, and then planned booth upgrade purchases (which were then made before spring) and applied to a whole mess of shows. Many of them accepted me! Hopefully it is a successful return to the show circuit for me, we shall see how it goes.

Here are all the things going on for me this summer:

6/12-6/14: 24 hours of LeMons Race, High Plains Raceway, CO (nothing to do with jewelry, but still a hoot)
6/19-6/21: Art on the Green, Lyons, CO
6/27-6/28: Parker Summerfest Arts & Crafts Festival, Parker, CO
7/17-7/19: Colorado Metalsmiths Conference, Salida, CO
7/25-7/26: Longmont Arts Festival, Longmont, CO
7/29-8/3: Family Vacation
8/8-8/9: Denver Art Festival at Sloan’s Lake, Denver, CO
8/15-8/16: Steamboat Springs Artstroll, Steamboat Springs, CO

If you can make it to any of my shows, please stop by and say hello! If you are ordering from my website(s), Friday/Mondays around these dates will likely be “pack stuff away and organize” days rather than “make stuff/ship orders/work work work” days.

In another return to things I’m doing but haven’t for a long time, I dyed my hair purple! I went pink for a summer long ago when Jocelyn (now 11) was just a toddler gal. I had a corporate gig there and kind of congratulate myself that the HR manual at that company now has a line about “unnatural hair color” not being allowed (grin).

Well, I’ve been a full time ARTEEEEST! for 4 years now, with no corporate gig in sight, so purple it is! I did NOT do any bleach this time around, because I am a fickle, fickle woman, and purple will not be wanted forever, and when I’m done with purple, I don’t want to have to deal with thrashed, bleached, horridly abused WHITE hair. I learned my lesson on that from my adventures in pink. My ends were very light anyway from years of dying it red (which then fades to light blonde after 6 months), so those light ends took the color nicely.

Here are some crappy photos of me and my purple hair:

Purple? Or maybe pink.

A photo posted by amy sanders (@raine137) on

Wow, look at me, writing like, STUFF ON MY BLOG! About my LIFE! and ME! And my THOUGHTS AND THINGS I’VE DONE OR WILL BE DOING! SHOCKING!

It’s kind of miraculous. I’d better stop before I bring about the apocolypse.


ps: Even though I hardly update here anymore, if you do like little peeks into my studio/life/pictures of dogs — then you might like to follow me on instagram. Photos include, what we and my daughter did in the studio for “Take Your Kid To Work Day”, dogs, cats, things I’ve eaten (that sounds weird, I mean pretty food pics, not “here let me regurgitate this so you can see it!”), jewelry, stones, really cheap race cars, cute kids, kitties, doggies, etc.

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Feb 18 2015

Graduated Jens Pind Necklace Tutorial/Guideline

Published by under amy's head

I have had several requests on how to make a graduated Jens Pind necklace, to go along with my graduated Jens Pind earrings. Well, the wait is over! This video is not a “tutorial” really, more like guidelines. If you need to know how to weave Jens Pind, you will need to see the tutorial for that. Then, to see how the graduation is done, you’ll want to watch how I do it in the Graduated Jens Pind Earrings video. Since the steps to putting the necklace together are a little different than the earrings, I made this video to help folks through putting together a graduated jens pind necklace.

You can also purchase a kit for the necklace right here!

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Oct 29 2014

A doggie love story

Published by under amy's head,daily,dog

First of all, to all 2 of you reading this, don’t freak out that I actually wrote and posted something. I am as SHOCKED as you are! I should really do better.. maybe this will be the start to a new era of blogging.

Just don’t hold your breath.

So… we got a dog. She is the sweetest, most adorable, nearly perfectly well behaved doggie ever.

Now, I am not a dog person. I am a cat person. I love a kitty who will come sit on my lap and snuggle away, and then generally take care of themselves the rest of the time. Cats are for the low maintenance household. Dogs on the other hand… well, they take a bit more work.

My husband James though, now he’s a dog person at heart. Sure he loves our cats Ender and Valentine just fine, but deep down, he has really wanted a dog. And since we moved to Colorado from Virginia, to a house that has a fenced in back yard….. well, the hints have been dropped.

However, *I* am the one who is at home all day, *I* would be the one that would have to watch after her, take her out, and generally deal with her for the majority of the time. So.. it was kind of me that had to sign off on it. I wasn’t eager to.

But all summer long, every time I saw a dog… my heart melted a little inside. “DOGGIE ALERT!” I would say to Jocelyn, if she was with me, and she would join me in looking at/going over to/gushing over/petting/loving up said dog.

Then one day, after Saturday brunch at our favorite weekend brunch place, I said to James (KNOWING IN MY HEART WHAT THIS ACTUALLY MEANT…) “Why don’t we go over to the county shelter and look at the dogs?”

He looked at me, and had that look in his eye. That look that Charlie Brown must have gotten in HIS eye every time Lucy asked him to kick the football before she yanked it away from him. That look that said he REALLY wanted something but wasn’t sure he was actually going to get it.

“Are you sure?” he said.

“I’m sure.” I said — totally lying. I WAS NOT EVEN CLOSE TO SURE!! I KNEW what it meant. I KNEW that if we went there, we would get a dog. I was not sure. But I wanted a dog, and if we could find the right dog…

Well we went. So many dogs! When we got to her kennel, I knew she was something special. First off, she was standing right up against the door, and made nary a peep. The din of noise from all the other dogs was too much for my 12 year old son — he has always been noise sensitive — he left to go hang out with the kitties. We made a note of the kennel and then arranged to meet her outside. After that meeting, we agreed she was the one for us. We went up front and adopted her — but couldn’t bring her home until after she had been spayed, later on in the week.

We spent the days discussing what to name her, and preparing for her arrival. While James really would have liked a Star Wars name (Sabine and Ahsoka were the top favorites in that arena) we settled on Katara — who is the water bending friend to Aang in the children’s cartoon “Avatar – The Last Airbender” (NOT the movie Avatar with blue people, and NOT the live action movie version of the cartoon, called “The Last Airbender”, which was horrible, sorry, Shamalamadingdong. The cartoon is awesome, and the perfect show to watch as a family — good for kids, and still great for adults as well. It’s funny and charming and has a great world and storyline, go put it on your Netflix queue!) We have a history of naming our pets after Sci-Fi/Fantasy characters, and we weren’t about to break the trend now (Ender and Valentine are from Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, a book I highly recommend you go and read right now (it’s way better than the movie)).

(Wow, I really went all out with parenthesis in that last paragraph.)

Katara came home, and she’s been with us for 3 weeks now. That first week was kind of amazing for me, the non-dog-person. I felt like there should be a movie montage of the two of us falling in love — her running in slow mo through the grass toward me carring her rope toy, me with open arms waiting to greet her. Katara eagerly looking back at me at the end of her leash, me smiling at her and talking softly. Katara flopped down on our living room floor while the family watches the latest episode of Top Gear. All with the perfect soundtrack. “Dream Weaver” maybe? I’ll have to think on it.

“I LOVE HER!” I declared with astonishment and passion to my mom on breaking the news of our newest arrival. She laughed, “Of course you do!”

It’s been 3 weeks now, and the first blush of new love and excitement is past now — I still love her, but am no longer SURPRISED by how overpowering my love for her is, LOL! What I don’t love however, is the absolutely stinkiest farts this dog has been ripping. Maybe it’s the bits of peanut butter or spray cheese I add to her Kongs that then turns into the most foul, fetid smell that has ever been introduced to this planet’s atmosphere, but whatever it is, I wish I knew so I could stop giving it to her.

I feel like I did when I had a newborn breastfed baby. A baby who is breastfed has the most non-smelly baby poos ever. They smell vaguely unpleasant, I mean, it’s not like it’s appetizing or anything, but a breastfed baby diaper has a very mild, almost sweet smelling odor to it, so that you start to believe your beautiful wonder child is the first in the world to actually process food through their digestive system without actually making anything that stinks. “Of course they would, they are the most WONDERFUL BABY IN THE UNIVERSE, why wouldn’t they sweet smelling poop??” you think to yourself.

But when you feed the that same sweet baby some cereal or baby food for the first time and suddenly those diapers are filled with actual adult smelling shit, it’s a bit of a shock to one’s system. “I thought my baby’s poop just naturally didn’t stink!” one would think. Of course, one would be very very wrong.

It’s this same shock and surprise I’m experiencing now when I’m talking to my husband and an audible toot sounds, and I look at him. “Was that you?” I ask. Always full of surprises, this marriage. “No,” he answers. We both crack up as we look at Katara’s sweet doggy face. “IT WAS THE DOG?!!” we chortle — laughing until the smell hits us, and then we run for the gas masks.

So that’s the news from the Panders household — Our new sweet puppy, 6 month old Katara is a happy addition to our family, smelly farts and all.

I feel like a new mom!


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Feb 04 2014

3xR & THAW weeks 2-4

Well! Here it is February! And I still need to post each weeks piece for 3xR & THAW2014 challenges!

So here we go– just going to bust these guys out.

This cute little guy was a sample piece I stamped when experimenting for a piece in silver. I liked it so much I kept it for a long while. I enameled the back, and then the front with a lovely transparent enamel that makes the copper surface shimmery and golden. I still love this cute little guy — I am not generally a “cute” type of person, but looking at this piece just makes me happy.

3xR week 2 & THAW2014-2

On to week 3! This guy also makes me happy. I am not happy with the execution — this is the first time I’ve tried to set a faceted stone in a flush setting — and as you can see, it leaves much to be desired. However, I still love this little guy. The rustic stamping goes with the “rustic” stone setting, and I look forward to perfecting this technique.

Week 3: 3xR & THAW2014

And finally, week 4! I have kind of a thing about poppies. In Virginia, there was one week in May where the exit from I-66 was awash with poppies. It was the highlight of my commute — every May I would start to wonder.. “where are the poppies? Did I miss them somehow? Did they get mown over last year and they’re not coming back?” and have a serious panic sad moment — and then a week later, there they would be, in glorious wild bloom. I miss the field of poppies – little dots of brilliant red against the green grass, right next to the roaring (or more likely, stop and go) traffic of folks traveling into DC from the burbs. Every May, right around Mother’s Day and my son’s birthday.. I think of the lovely field of wild poppies gently nodding right off of the Nutley street exit.

Ahem. Where was I? Right! The enamel tile I made late last year using a sgraffito method of enameling. First a fired base of black enamel. Then I mixed up some liquid white, painted it down on top of the black and then sifted the green on top. I used a pick to scratch through the wet enamel to reveal the black underneath. I also scratched through where the red flowers would be, and then fired. Finally, I added the red enamel for the poppies, and touched up the stems with some enamel crayon. It was a joy to do and I hope to do more.

The tile was sitting in my enamel sample box — so I fished it out and added some scrap chain, dotted with lovely lemon citrine nuggets.

Week 4:

And there we go — a full month of Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling — a Thing A Week! In February — we’ll see if I can’t blog weekly instead of a big post with everything in it!


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Jan 31 2014

Video Tutorial: Japanese 12 in 2, Enso and Shenandoah

Published by under jewelry,tutorials

Wahoo! New FREE video tutorial going on! This one is probably the one I should have done about a zillion years ago. Shenandoah is my best selling chainmaille kit – the pendant, earrings, and bracelet. I have a photo tutorial for the pendant/earrings, and now here is a video tutorial! Yippee! I also did my Enso bracelet – all of these pieces use the Japanese 12-in-2 chainmaille weave. This weave is SO versatile and fun, there’s a lot of design potential with it.

Here is the video:

If you’re interested, the photo tutorial is also right here!

And of course — you can see all of my FREE jewelry tutorials right here.

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Jan 29 2014

Reminiscing.. and gushing about Frozen

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids,likes & irks

Look! It’s Tuesday and I’m writing again! I also managed to put up a new banner. The old one said “Summer 2013 — seeing as how it’s January of 2014…. a little overdue!

After I posted yesterday, I got caught up in looking through my old blog posts. I am so happy I have so much about my children when they were little. Some of the stories I remember, and have been come family legend (this video for example… Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!! Is there a ploblem?! Oh my goodness that video KILLS ME.) Other stories have fallen behind lost to memory — except when I spend a half hour reading through my archives! This one (specifically, the barbie doll head story) got retold at the dinner table last night.

It has been a great month so far in 2014. Last Thanksgiving, we went to Utah to my sisters to have Thanksgiving with a lot of family on my side, as we usually do. At some point during our visit, we went and saw the movie Frozen. I was kind of on the fence about seeing it – actually, more on the ‘nah, i’ll see it later” side of the fence. But I went, saw the movie, and was COMPLETELY blown away with how awesome it was (and is!).

I pick my daughter Jocelyn up every day from school along with two other girls we carpool with. And every day in January, we have a ritual on our way home from school. We crank up “Let it Go”, grab our imaginary microphones, and belt it out as we drive home. Sometimes I need to circle the block until it’s finished! I haven’t been this much in love with a Disney movie since Beauty and the Beast. When I saw in the theater with the opening scene to Beauty and the Beast, I felt transported. I felt like I was sitting watching musical theater. It was so beautifully done, the music so lovely – I was in heaven!

Yup, Frozen has topped them all. I may or may not cry in at least 5 different places in the movie.

Here’s the song “Let it Go”, sung by Idina Mendel.

I ran across this parady version which totally cracks me up. It is an alto’s lament that Disney songs are always so HIGH. It’s hilarious, but I also think it’s funny because “Let it Go” is one of the LOWEST Disney songs every! The highest it gets is an E — it think it’s even an E flat — which really, is NOT that high! Still, hilarious parady.

WARNING: BAD LANGUAGE! Don’t let your children wander over and watch it with you! Ahem. Like someone might do. Not me. No, it definitely wasn’t me. Why, did my kids tell you? Dammit, I told them not to tell anyone I let them see this.

There is a Frozen Sing A Long movie that is supposed to be released this weekend. I will be there!

I’m off to cut some jump rings this morning, and hopefully get to some enameling later today. My ideas for an entire enamel collection is growing — including the basket hoops up there in my new site banner. Aren’t they the CUTEST?

Off to work.. Happy Wednesday!

-amy pats herself on the back for writing. TWO TIMES in one week!

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