14 July 2009

Just a little jewelry in July

I'm a bit of a bead whore and jewelry junkie and I'm also very big on repurposing things. My parents were frugal folk and it did not skip a generation.

Based on my projects at Teradata/NCR, it had to have been at least 5 or 6 years ago when the hardware guys I was working with did a redesign/rethink of a honking huge circuit board and, as a result, scrapped a whole slew of heat sinks.

On the day the heat sinks were about to hit the dumpster, I was in the lab talking with the engineers who were gathering up the doomed. I immediately saw potential in these little hotties for either jewelry, sculpture or some other art project so I adopted a few.

As is the usual case, the adoptees went into the project room to rub elbows with some of the other oddments and wait for their turn at the front of the inspiration & project queue.

One thing and another, lay off, connecting with colleagues, chats with local artists (dangers of living near Spanish Village), some $ store and Industrial Liquidators finds and front of the queue they came.

So what do you get when you mix heat sinks, liquid gold leaf, cheap $ store nail varnish, a bit of Industrial Liquidators' brass wire, niobium ear wires and my creative vision?

Earrings that are getting me major compliments.

These are actually second generation as the first ones I painted out with a great green that just would not/could not work with normal ear wires and put me back on the niobium track.

Most of the heat sinks are base black but some are metallic. I'm trying to work for now with the black and saving the metallics for different wire wrap treatments.

For jewelry, the black poses a bit of a problem if you're trying to get good surface colour coverage and not have a jarring ticky-tacky (trash to treasure never really comes off as more than trashy IMO).

They have a nice channel that lets you hide the wire you're using to create the loop that will connect up to the ear wire or other finding. That channel also allows for the interesting interlocking quality that first drew me to them and thought they might do well as sculpture in one form or another.

I've wired up and worn the original vision green ones and I have a number of other variations either in process or planned. Some for me, some so not.

06 July 2009

Grrr gauge or when is #18 not #18

One of the perils of knitting with non-standard materials is that the materials don't always have to meet any sort of knitting QA standards.

I mean, come on, the world will not end and the job will not stop on a job/construction site if the #18 Mason twine from one package to another is not quite the same weight as the last batch.

That's my current excuse for not getting gauge or, more precisely, not seeing much difference between several different runs at the same project with different stitch counts on the same size needles.

I'm not unfamiliar with the idea that sometimes that's not the issue but rather that the thread/yarn whatever will only bend/morph change so much within the range of needles that it can be worked with -- or to put it another way, it doesn't effin matter what you do your spi isn't going to get tighter no matter how much pain you put yourself through.

So I'm still on the deconstruct and reconstruct side of the fish afghan. I'm thinking that the story of the fish afghan blanket will be right up there with the how Theo came to be born (aka the delivery saga) and I'm hoping that when blankie finally meets baby for more than a casual nod in a bar that they will bond.

And you know what? Even if that doesn't happen Jen, Tony & Theo are so special and such good people, the finished product is working up to be so wonderful, and the journey has been worth it.

05 July 2009

Helping hats or the 1000 fab hats project

When I was a kid I loved hats and I wore them well.

Later on my little pin head and lots of hair combo made hats a more problematic issue but I was still not above stealing Panamas, Cookie Cutters, and other dashing haberdashery items from male friends on the unprincipled principle that they looked better on me.

Come to think of it, I had something of the same MO when it came to the hats of my youth.

I know for a fact that one of my favourites was a cream coloured felt number with a jaunty tilt that I'm pretty sure I stole from my mother.

Wish I still had that hat as I am now coming back around again to being now old enough (rather than young enough) to pull off the eccentric vintage thing.

But enough about me and even about my hats, this post is about a hat project called 1000 Fabulous Knitted Hats and I still need to do some photography to get my projects in for consideration.

This is a project put together between Annie Modesitt and Rockport Publishing (aka Quarry Books) and the original deadline for the photographs was 1 July but it has been extended to 15 July.

  • Click on the links to get the information & forms
  • Get out your digital cameras and set them to take PRINT rather than WEB quality photos -- yeah, I know, you may have to actually read the instruction manual & clear some space on your memory card -- and shoot some of those masterpieces.
  • Or, if you happen to have a lovely cache of digital photos of great hats, go through the files and pick a winner.
I know I'd love to see the Mary Lee Herrick Chicken hat that got away from me during the DAE 2002 Knitter's Auction and not for want of bidding btw turn up in the pages of this project.

In case you're wondering, the panda hat shown is, as far as I know, still in the possession of the person I knit it for and also occasionally getting linked to by Myspace people without my approval as documented in this 2007 blog posting. With the extended deadline, I may try to get the hat back for a photo shoot even if I wouldn't really relish revisiting that design.

The other for consideration hats hit another snag today when fave bartender was not on Whistlestop patrol at our knitting Sunday. Still, I'll work it out and clear that memory card to make room.

03 July 2009

Big Fish Story or why you can never have too many needles

The last update on the fish blanket/afghan was that the # of stitches picked up along the edge of one panel was way off from the live stitch count of the other panel it was to be grafted to.

Live stitches were living on a 32" circular and I was guess-timating that the final panel was at least close to the same length as the others.

Two things that changed my world view on this one.

I finally pulled the picked up stitches out of the final panel. In the process I discovered that one of the segments of the panel had had some stitch failures along the selvedge edge.

So, I decided to frog it and take the grafting out so I could reknit and regraft.

Since I was already going to undertake this effort, I decided that it probably would be a good idea for me get a real sanity check about why the stitch counts on the two sides were so off.

To that end, I carefully transferred the live stitches onto a length of heavy gauge fishing line (great stuff for blocking btw) and, sure enough, the final panel with the problematic picked up stitches is at least four inches longer than the other panel. That pretty much explains the problem.

So, while I may be picking up stitches soon and grafting the last panel into place, first there's a bit of frogging and reknitting that has to happen first.

02 July 2009

Rainbow icord for the season

So what do you get if you knit five stitch icord using rainbow nylon twine on 3.25mm needles?

If you're me, you get a perfect rainbow cord suitable for Pride season. Or for someone who likes rainbows.

The prototype icord key chain that I've created with this bit of frivolous knitting needs a rethink when it comes to attaching to the keyring, I don't dislike the end product enough to keep it from
making a trip to the Pacific Northwest as a gift.