Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pretzel Stitch Markers

I had so much fun collecting different stitch markers at Stitches West last year, that I jumped at the chance to participate in the stitch marker swap again this year.

Last year I made rubber ducky stitch markers and I wanted to use clay again this time. With Lauren's help, I decided to make pretzel stitch markers, because really, who doesn't love pretzels?

I mixed up a batch of pretzel-brown clay using brown, orange, and white polymer clays. I ended up creating a ball of clay about the size of my fist. Then I pinched a small ball of clay off and rolled it out evenly so that it looked like a snake. It took a lot of practice to shape the "snake" into a pretzel, so much so that I almost ditched the pretzel idea completely. I didn't obsess over making the pretzels identical to one another; I am actually loving the fact that no two pretzels are alike.

After I shaped all my pretzels (with some help from Lauren), I popped them in the oven for about 30 minutes. Once they cooled, I added some white glitter and modge podge to look like salt. I found that using a wet toothpick was the most efficient way to add glitter, and I simply just painted on the modge podge with a thin paintbrush.

I let the modge podge dry for about an hour and relied on Lauren to add jump rings to my pretzels. Thanks Lauren :) I made both knitting stitch markers with regular circular jump rings, and crochet stitch markers with lobster claws. The whole pretzel-making process took a few days, but the more time I spent working on them, the more I enjoyed seeing the finished project.

I ended up making 92 pretzels, and I had 36 rubber ducks leftover from last year. When given the choice, most people actually wanted one of my leftover ducks instead of a pretzel...oh well! I didn't do too much swapping in the Marketplace this year because I only had one day to shop, but I really enjoyed exchanging stitch markers at the designated meetup that evening. There were some really cute ones out there like Lauren's mini skeins, Lego heads, and random word beads, just to name a few.

Even though there's no way I'll ever need hundreds of stitch markers, I still love participating in the swap just to see what everyone else comes up with and makes. It's a great way to use up supplies you already have and an excellent way to end up with some unique pieces!