Monday, April 29, 2013

Bobbins in action

I decided to try out my new bobbins tonight so I wound them up and started working. I just love the look of them and I was hoping that they would be functional as well.
So I wound the thread, and the first note is that on the next ones, I think I'll make the thread holding area needs to be a little longer.  Not much, just a little.

I think I will also add a bead half-way up the handle section.

But all in all, they worked great and having the open area allows you to tension them the a single finger.  They'll take a little getting used to but I think I can say they are a huge success!  I do have some glass beads bought for the purpose of the bobbins but not at hand when I sat down to work.

Now for a little experimenting!  hehe

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Change as good as a rest

Of course a rest is pretty good as a rest, too.  I was able to take a couple of days off last week just ahead of a business trip.  I took the opportunity to wander through the back roads of Massachusetts and added 3 states to the number I've been in - now at 34 states. 

I find driving very, very relaxing and, of course, everything in that area is so close together that it's only a short drive to be in another state.  While I was driving, I had a little epiphany while I was driving as to how bobbins for lace could be constructed:
This was after I saw a lace bobbin in an antique shop marked at $120.  I haven't tried using them yet so I don't know how practical they are but I really like the possibilities they represent.

To make them, I cut a length of 16 gauge craft wire to about 8 inches.  I settled a wooden bead about halfway and folded the wire on either side of the bead to hold it tight.  After shaping the wire, I folded the ends in and then hid them inside another bead.  To add some rigidity to the wire, I took the bottom bead off and hammered the wire down the length on both side to avoid the piece arching.  Now it will be a little more durable.

I just need to try them out now to see how they handle or if they need to be adjusted.  I've already got a number of variations in mind.

The other things I worked on while I was away was a baby sweater.  I have a feeling it's going to be way too large for the baby I intended it for but it's been an exercise in design.  I started with a pattern I found in a magazine but once I got past the bodice, I've taken it a completely different direction and I'm really liking it.
It's not actually wonky  like this appears - it's on circular needles so it doesn't lie very flat.  The band becomes the sleeves and I may add a little cap on them but I like it the way it is.  The little green band under the braided cable band will have embroidered flowers around.  It's a cardigan and is being worked in Mandarin Petite, a very soft cotton yarn.  Now with the flounce working in this lacy pattern, I think it's going to be a really sweet little item.

I'm very, very tempted to work one for me.  I think I have some handspun that would be perfect for this pattern.  But first I want to get this one done and any design issues worked out before I start on a larger version.  I actually think working this pattern on larger needles with a heavier yarn will work really well and won't need much tweaking for the larger size.

That braided cable band will certainly need to be larger needles because this one took FOREVER!  Kind of like knitting edging for a shawl!