Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Playing with Wire

Ah, the knitting spool...

This tool has been my arch nemesis since I first saw it. I resisted it for a looooooong time. In Tucson I decided it was time to make it work. So I practiced and practiced, and finally knitted a two inch section with all of the stitches going in the right direction and without any holes. Yaay.

Then, it seemed like time to take it to the next step and try adding beads. I pre-strung some Czech glass rounds and CZ rondelles and resumed knitting, trying to place the beads so they would all be evenly spread. This proved difficult for me because I kept putting it down to show bead show attendees other tools and products. Often, more than a hour would go by before I could start again, so the beads aren't at proper intervals because I didn't count well. Thing is, the tension of my wire is so loose and wonky that it doesn't really matter where I placed the beads since they can move wherever they desire. Still, I knitted on and below is my silly attempt. It's super stretchy, so it can wrap twice around my wrist.


Okay, so I needed to work on my tension. What happened next was the best stroke of luck I've experience in a long time. Who did Sara bring to the booth just then? Oh, only the talented Sharon Hessoun - creator of my particular knitting spool! Sharon and I have chatted several times over email, so it was a great pleasure to meet her in person. She saw my sad little attempt at using her tool and gave me some amazing tips. The most important being: use the shape of the pegs on the tool to guide the stylus. Sure enough, Sharon knows what she's talking about. I practiced again, using my new knowledge, and this below is what I yielded. Pretty big difference, eh?

Now, what to do with a perfectly uniform knitted wire tube? Fill it with beads, of course. I used one strand each of .019 diameter Soft Flex Wire in Green Turquoise, Peridot, and Dark Blue Lapis to string a mix of 4mm crystal bicones and 2mm Thai silver cornerless cubes with a few vintage Lucite rounds. These three strands were threaded through the knitted tube (made of .019 Soft Flex Metallics Antique Copper color) and the ends were finished off with cones and a toggle clasp from Springall Adventures that I've had in my stash for a long time. The beads stand out more in person. It's my new favorite bracelet!


Now that I know what I'm going, I love me some knitting spool! There are many ideas bouncing around in my head on what can be created with knitted tubes. If you want to experiment with the knitting spool, pick up a copy of Sharon's book, Wire Knitting ... On a Spool. Thank you Sharon!

5 comments:

Andrew Thornton said...

That's so cool! It's like magic.

Softflexgirl said...

Nice design, my friend. You officially have to do all knitting spool demonstrations from this moment forward. Yay!

Jamie Hogsett said...

Thanks Andrew!

Oh, Sara, you're so funny...

Bum said...

I might have to get me one of these.

crazyhaberdasher said...

Hi! .... just found this post today .... I was wondering if you might like to join my spoolknitter group on Flickr and we would love to have these photos added to the photostream. I also have a blog all about spoolknitters (more to do with collecting but there are some interesting bits and pieces there) it is - http://spoolknitter.blogspot.com -
I hope to see you there, cheers, Marian aka spoolknitter and mazcrazyhaberdasher (also have a blog - knitsandbits for brief posts)