Archive | March, 2012

Viking Knit tutorial pt 3: Double knit

26 Mar

To make a more dense chain you can bring your loop behind the second cross up  (for double weave) or even the third (for triple weave) for a very sturdy chain.  Keep in mind that the denser the chain, the less flexible it will  be.

At some point you will probably come to the end of your first wire and will want to add on. When this happens, you take a second length and insert the tip in the bottom row on the right hand side of the column you ended on, run through the second/third rows following the same path that your final wire length did leaving a small tail of wire. Twist this tail together with the end of your first wire.

Continue your wire working with the new wire going over the tail.

When you return to this joining, pass the wire beind the tail, through the loops like normal and back over the tail to create a cage of sorts.

Weave the length you think you will need but know that you’ll gain a few  inches once the chain is drawn out. Once you have your weave about as long as you want, trim your wire and remove from your mandrel.

In next Mondays post we will show you how to finish your viking knit weave as well as a few tips.


Quote of the day and resourcefulness

20 Mar

“Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we will find the way.” – Abraham Lincoln


Tammy and I have been living this quote for as far back as we can remember. This shows even now in the pieces we create for Entwined Vines. We looked through pictures of ancient viking torques and thought about the weaving that was done to create a few. After taking a few classes and trying our hand at these we started wondering and thinking about how to transform the stunning single tone wire to something even more spectacular and after trying several different ways we now can do viking knit in single color as well as multiple even including a transitional tone variety.  Feel free to check us out and leave comments and suggestions here…

Viking Knit Tutorial Pt 2: How to start your piece

19 Mar

To start your piece, make three or more loops (i work in odd numbers as I like the look. This piece is going to be worked with 7 loops), each a few inches deep, with about a foot of your  wire, I do this around my fingers or a business card. Wrap the bundle of loops a few times near the base to lock in the loops. This won’t actually be  part of the finished chain, so don’t worry too much about looks.


Open then fit the loops around the end of your dowel or mandrel. Try to make the spacing of the loops even around your mandrel. I have most of my mandrels marked for different numbers of loops.

Anchor a new piece of wire–your working wire–to the base, and then make your  first loop. The working wire will follow down the side of one of the starter  loops, curve under where two loops rest side-by-side, behind the sides of the  two starter loops and then out and down again to the right, making a  counter-clockwise e-loop. Pull it snugly, but leave enough space to work around.

Continue to “knit” these e-loops, working to the right, joining each of the  starter loops together until you come back to the beginning.

On the next row, using the same method, bring your next loop behind the crossed  wires that formed the bottom of the first loop you made. This is how you will  continue to build your chain, loop by loop, for the first 3 or 4 rows till you have a solid fondation of single knit rows to add onto with double of triple knit.

Check back next Monday for the next instalment of how to make a basic viking knit chain. If you have any questions or comments feel free to post them…

How to stay paleo at the market part 1

18 Mar

Every weekend that we are at Portland Saturday Market we are faced with the challenge of what to eat. Most artisans face this and have different solutions. Many people just look at it as two days a week where the basically do not eat except early in the morning and then again later at night when they get home. This group might then break down and grab a bag of nuts or some other snack kind of food from a different booth. Then there are those that just figure into the budget eating from the food row every weekend. This tends to get spendy and after a while you also get tired of the same choices over and over again or the long lines and the time away from their booth.

Here at Entwined Vines, we have looked at both of the above options and have even taken advantage of the food row a time or two over the past year. We struggled through finding foods that we could eat with having to go gluten-free and although there are a few options and they really are not bad, they do not fully fill the Paleo bill. We can stick with the meat and produce options but the animals were probably grain finished and the food is all cooked in non-paleo friendly fats as it is at most locations if you eat out. To top things off it really just adds up as far as cost goes and Tammy and Tina both are working very hard to stay on budget and get a few things taken care off like so many people in the current economy.

To stay on the path food wise we have stepped on we have been bringing more and more of our own food from home. This is great for the budget and potentially for the variety of flavors and most definitely for the quality. It has added new dimensions of challenge though; how to transport what we make, how to enjoy it at optimal temperature, how much is reasonable to bring with us while fulfilling our needs (we seem to be eating way more yet burning more fat and loosing inches at a nice rate),and how much can be fixed the night before to save time in the morning when we are desperate for sleep and trying to stay on schedule. I will be posting once a month sharing how we are able to stay on target and even passing along a few recipes and yummy pictures to hopefully give you a few ideas while inviting you to share what you do in the comments section.

This month at Entwined Vines, we have fallen in love with fast grab morning snacks. Our current favorite seems to be deviled eggs. Now I know everyone has a favorite for this and most seem to be sweet to me. In my way of thinking the devil should be hot and spicy with a bit of kick. What we do is we take the simple yet mighty egg, cut it in half and instead of putting sugar, paprika, or mayo/miracle whip, we take that yoke out and mix it with nothing more than a splash of stone ground mustard and a smattering of garlic chili sauce (we like rooster style). Once it is nice and moist, we just spoon that yumminess in and not worry about how pretty it is as we are not putting this out for a potluck or party and even if we were, these are going to get banged up a bit in transport in out trusty cooler and as long as they taste good we don’t care. The trick with these really is that if we need to make them the night before, we have to add a small amount of homemade paleo friendly mayo or they seem a bit dry and crumbly…

Now for fast and easy yet tasty lunches and or afternoon snacks we have fallen head over heals for these coconut wraps that completely fit the bill for staying paleo and allows us wraps. We have enjoyed these with almond butter and bananas  (we do try to limit the fruit but had to give it a try with the children one day), as well as stuffed with egg filling  or chicken tandori sliced with cucumbers and tomatoes. To keep the chicken warm we have two options 1) warm it in the morning and store in a thermos designed for soups or 2) drag our tiny crockpot along and plug it in. We have found that it is usually much more reasonable to load the soup thermos’ as they are metal and stay warm enough for the amount of time we need so we have invested in 4 of these to have on hand for long days in the cold weather.

For a slower but much more filling lunch idea is we take our small 2 serving crockpot with us and simmer a batch of soup or homemade chili. Most of the cooking has had to be done ahead of time and then we just heat the soup till we are ready for it. This is really amazing and well worth it on days where we are at the market almost 12 hours in the very cold. I will be sharing recipes on this thread later so keep an eye open for it and remember share your ideas as well!


Cherful Cherub: Season’s Change

17 Mar

“I’ve lived with weather

all my life

It seems there’s nothing

else to do —

And yet it’s one thing

in the world

I cannot get

accustomed to.”


We were sitting at the Portland Saturday Market last weekend when we were just talking about how crazy the seasons here tend to be. In the last week an a half, we have had; stunning weather that prompted gardening in a tank shirt and shorts, pouring rain and heavy wind that anialated many a pop-up at the market, and then snow to have local school do a 2 hour delayed start and power breaks through the night. This is how it is here heading into Spring Break and you never know if you will be bundling up or playing in the sun. With staying on top of the weather and the season, we have been able to find much for creativity. The sun and gardening helped produce this butterfly catch:

The rain helped to stem our energy for outside work to be able to sit and weave a new viking knit piece:

And this snow is getting much long awaited paperwork caught up as well as a pair of earrings just in time for green:


16 Mar

Last year Tammy and I took submissions for our featured artisan blog sections. This year we are prowling through Artfire and giving a glimpse of what we see. Hope you enjoy and if you are an artisan that we showcase, if you would like us to make changes or delete a post about your studio please let us know.

Today as I was going through different shops on Artfire I stumbled into a fellow guild member that is here in the Pacific Northwest. She has stunning pieces and I had to share so pull up a chair with your favorite beverage, pop open this link and take a look around.

“I started out by taking some metalsmithing classes and learned the basics of forging metal from a local silversmith. I eventually set up a small studio in my home. I enjoyed designing jewelry for friends and family, but some intangible piece was still missing for me.   In time, I set metalwork aside and got involved with floral arranging, silk painting, and fabric and paper crafts. All along I was collecting beads, but I had no real plans for using them.   In Spring of 1995, I bought some lovely faceted fluorite and made a purple, green and topaz colored necklace for my mother-in-law. I had finally found what had been missing for me: the richness of color! It was color which had drawn me into floral work and dying silk. With high quality beaded jewelry I could combine my love of color with my passion for jewelry.”

I think my favorite piece right now is her owl bracelet as the colors are amazing and yet the design in classic.


And for a striking earthy piece I have to pick…

Take a look around and then let us know your favorite pieces!

individuality from a motivation

15 Mar

” My instruments are designed to celebrate Mother Nature in all her uniquely natural beauty. The stereotype super finishes that remove individuality and reduce everything to a bland similarity are not my style. I search for the rare – the unique piece of wood with character and personality.” —Patrick Hufschmid—


Tammy and I work many stones, metals, and nature created materials. We love the individuality that only nature can create and that in turn spurs the creativity in us.

We create so much and yet we rarely make the same thing again as the stones are each different. Take this piece of apple jasper that was then worked into a necklace:

If you click on the link, you will see that the natural curves lended themselves to the flowing curves of the viking knit and the free form of the base.

When in turn we used Jade and viking knit to a stunning effect in this bracelet in spectacular greens.